Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.
The Adventures of Duane and BrandO were a nerdcore rap group that focused on doing video game parody songs. It’s an oft-told tale, old as time. They had some drama and broke up a few years ago, but not before making some nice tracks.
Honestly, that isn’t my scene musically, but they did some tracks based on Earthbound, and that entirely is my scene. The whole thing’s on Bandcamp, but here’s a sequence of three bits early in the game: a fairly straight rendition of part of the music for the first town, a diss track (is that what they call them?) from the first “Your Sanctuary” boss, and then the highlight, I think, in which the Onett police force get their heads handed to them by a 12-year-old kid. “I’m out of here that looks like it smarts/Check out my Super-Ultra-Mambo-Tango-Foxtrot Martial Arts!” (SUMTF?)
This is quite a collection to look through! While it was originally posted in 2021, it was updated with some new reviews just this past Sunday. They’re sorted alphabetically by game. They go at least as far back as NES Dragon Warrior, but some of them are really recent, especially with the addition of games reviewed by WalMart’s free pass-out magazine GameCenter. Their definition of JRPG kind of goes far afield, with some metroidvania-style Castlevanias, two Advance Wars games and a good number of half-related things.
Here are a small selection of included magazine scans….
GamePro’s review of the TurboGrafx port of Cadash, which unlike the Genesis/MegaDrive’s version has all four characters from the arcade game. The review’s written by “The Pizza Boys,” and has slangy writing and goofy little cartoon faces over the review scores, because it’s in a magazine written for teenage boys from 1991. Notice, the whole review is seven paragraphs, with four section headings, and four “PROTIP” inserts that don’t offer useful advice:
The review of Dragon Warrior from Game Player’s. I love it when magazines from this era publish the address of Nintendo of America. This review doesn’t really tell you much about the game though:
I had forgotten about this phase in Nintendo Power’s history. Check out their dissing the inventory of Earthbound, Nintendo’s own product! (I disagree, BTW, Earthbound is designed around its inventory limits, and they’re an essential part of the game!)
VideoGames & Computer Entertainment has always had a place in my heart, and Clayton Walnum is one of my favorite reviewers. In its heyday it had a no-nonsense approach to their reviews that appealed to me. It was the exact opposite of Electronic Gaming Monthly, a magazine that, honestly, I never much liked because of their loud editorial style and tendency to bloat their magazine up with advertisements:
Who doesn’t love Grandia? This review reminds us that we almost didn’t get an English version of it!
Little King Story is, no lie, one of the most overlooked Wii games of all time:
“VideoGames: The Ultimate Video Game Magazine” had a redundant title, but some fun layouts. Here’s their two page review of SNES Ogre Battle:
Sega Visions’ review of Phantasy Star II, a very grindy game without much story really, but with some really great twists:
EGM’s review of the remake of Shining Force for GBA:
GamePro’s review of Suikoden II didn’t age real well:
Vay, here mostly to show off the anime character portraits:
Zelda II in a late review from The Nintendo Official Magazine, with Dr. Mario riding along:
“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter
Greetings to all humans down there on planet Glorb-III, also known as Earth. Let’s get started, drebnar!
A lament from Reddit on how Streetpasses are impossible to get now. If only Nintendo had thought to include them on the Switch. Probably it’ll take another ten years before they realize what a good idea they had.
Chris Friberg of Den of Geek tells us his picks for the 15 best NES RPGs. #1 is Dragon Quest III! (What do you mean, don’t spoil it? I’m an alien, I spoil everything drebnar!) He also ranks Wizardry pretty high, he has great taste!