This video was not quite a Labor of love. A Patrol Labor, that is.

Game Boy World makes its 2017 debut today. I would like to say the subject at hand is inspirational and sets a great precedent for the year, but that would make me a heckin’ liar. On the contrary, this latest Game Boy release is all kinds of mundane. Not wretched, not enjoyable, just kinda there, a legacy of a publisher’s willingness to peddle a fairly popular license without giving much thought to the quality of the problem attached to it. It’s a shame, because I really like the Patlabor franchise and think it could make a heck of a game in the right hands.

To add to the sorrow: This YouTube video has unfortunately been blocked by Bandai in Japan due to my inclusion of some footage from the anime franchise being covered here. If you happen to be one of the rare few who watch Game Boy World from Japan, I apologize. You can watch via Libsyn instead:

Either way, you’re in for an 11-minute video of which about 7 concern how cool Patlabor (the anime) is, while the rest kind of offers a perfunctory critique of how tedious Patlabor (the Game Boy game) turned out to be. I scraped as much game discussion as I could out of this, but there’s a weird element to the game in which you’re given a password after completing a stage which does not function as the password for continuing the game. I had intended to take the time to translate the dialogue in an attempt to figure out what I needed to do in order to advance, but time constraints kicked in and this is as far as I made it. Patron Max Smith shared a Nico Nico link that shows footage from later in the game and… it’s all the same thing. Just dull turn-based robot fights from start to finish. So, no great loss.

Next episode concerns a game that maybe isn’t great but is definitely weird and comes from an interesting developer, so I’ll try to make up for this episode’s shortcomings there.

7 Comments

Filed under Retronauts, Video, Video Chronicles

7 Responses to This video was not quite a Labor of love. A Patrol Labor, that is.

  1. Discord_inc

    Man, this video makes me really want to track down Patlabor. The anime I mean.

    As an aside, I appreciate how you take the time to give context to licensed games. I’m sure it would be so mich easier to say they were based on an anime and leave it at that.

  2. I am one of those rare few watching from Japan, and I totally appreciate the extra upload, which seems to be working just fine.

  3. Greg Falkingham

    Cue the ‘anime is for jerks’ gif

    I often wonder what strange bit of 90s corporate synergy took place that made the official video for KMFDM’s ‘Juke Joint Jezebel’ effectively an AMV for the second Patlabor movie. I mean, there’s even a bit where they match a character’s lip flaps to the vocals, which is one of the most ‘AMV’ things you can imagine – in a time well before YouTube!

    • Ben

      Allow me to be the Patlabor/KMFDM know-it-all for a second.

      The music video you’re thinking of is actually using footage for the first Patlabor movie. And as for why KMFDM used it for the first video for “Juke Joint Jezebel” (the other video they made for it famously used footage for the first Mortal Kombat movie), that probably had to deal with the band’s relationship with anime publisher Manga Entertainment, the same company that would use KMFDM’s Ultra (and other 90s rock radio hits) for their dub of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. I’ve wondered about this myself as Manga also dubbed the first two Patlabor movies (in the UK no less) back in 1995, and I’m guessing someone at Manga Entertainment was a fan and knew the band personally, especially seeing as how Manga had a US office in Chicago which is where KMFDM expatriated to in the early 90s.

  4. Max Smith

    So – you’ve got eighty of these videos now. Awesome! It would be cool, especially on days where not a lot is happening, to highlight some of the older videos on the Retronauts blog. I’m sure there are a bunch of people here who haven’t watched along from the beginning.

  5. cosmonaut

    Another viewer who happens to be in Japan, thank you so much for that reupload! Always been a fan of Patlabor, which is why I picked up a copy of this game when I happened to see it at a recycle store. Didn’t manage to kill a single labor though, due to my lack of Japanese and the weird combat.