Retro Re-release Roundup, week of November 22, 2018

Low-key Toki panic?

As I'm sure you're all aware, every digital storefront one might care to name is awash with sales on zillions of different games, but owing to the fact that there are shockingly few classic titles on sale, let alone atypically cheap or unusual ones, I've opted not to list them and instead provide a humble suggestion: buy anything at all from during the Black Friday not-sale and do your part to fight the race to the bottom on indie game prices and contribute to a charitable cause, all at once... or if that's not your bag, Turok's cheap on XB1, I guess.


King of the Monsters 2 

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
  • Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster

What's this? The followup to SNK's popular kaiju wrestling game, released in arcades in 1992 and on various consoles a year later; KOTM2 sees a pared-down cast trekking through scrolling arenas to battle a much wider menageries and beasts in a manner that more closely resembles a conventional beat 'em up. ("The Next Thing" isn't a clumsy attempt at emphasizing the newness of the game, it's literally the name of the invading alien force.)

Why should I care? You want a more substantial single-player experience than the previous game and you don't mind that it' not the least bit fair.

Useless fact: If you don't like the format change and pine for a true sequel to the original KOTM, look no further than the Mega Drive version of KOTM2, which is not a port but a complete reimagining of the game in the vein of the original, with a wider cast of playable characters and fighting game-style command moves for each monster.


Super Burger Time

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (Europe)
  • Price: €7.99 / £7.99
  • Publisher: FTE Games / G-mode

What's this? One of the little-known, little-manufactured followups to Data East's oddball arcade hit, developed by Nichibutsu and released in 1990; this version retains the original's signature burger-assembling mechanic but adopts a format suspiciously similar to Taito's Bubble Bobble, with a variety of pop-chic stages, additional weapons, boss fights and two-player co-op.

Why should I care? You have time to kill and money to burn before Bubble Bobble shows up on Arcade Archives.

Useless fact: Despite the massive success of the original Burgertime way back ni 1982, Super Burgertime's total worldwide arcade allotment is said to be less than 100 units.


DX-Ball 2: 20th Anniversary Edition

  • Platform: PC via Steam (worldwide)
  • Price: $9.95 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Longbow Games

What's this? The ultimate remaster of the all-pervasive '90s PC brick-breaking game, enhanced with optional HD graphics, widescreen support, leaderboards, custom level sharing and creation and an extra set of brand-new stages.

Why should I care? You read the word "DX-Ball" and were immediately dwarfed by the shadow of your own feeble mortality.

Useless fact: Those of you who've never heard of DX-Ball may have heard of its creator, the late Seumas McNally — he was one of the earliest recipients of the Independent Games Festival's grand prize and tragically died of leukemia aged just 21; the IGF award was renamed the Seumas McNally Grand Prize in his honour.

Flashback 25th Anniversary

  • Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One (North America, Europe)
  • Price: $19.99 / €19.99 / £17.49 (digital), €29.99 / £24.99 (limited-edition disc version, Europe-only)
  • Publisher: Microids / Maximum Games

What's this? Paul Cuisset's original cinematic sci-fi platformer-adventure game, repackaged for Switch a few months ago and now on PS4/XB1 with an identical feature set: newly remastered audio, a rewind function, tutorials and an optional (and quite ugly) pixel filter.

Why should I care? Flashback's "CD-on-a-cartridge" presentation doesn't wow the way it once did but the intriguing plot and extremely particular character movement make it one of the few games of its era that were able to successfully clear the bar established by Prince of Persia.

Useless fact: Despite what you may have heard, Flashback bears no connection to Eric Chahi's Another World beyond a shared publisher, Delphine Software, and the prominent application of rotoscoped animation, so don't let your enjoyment of one influence your interest in the other.

Psikyo Collection Volume 2 (and Volume 1

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (Asia)
  • Price: $34.99 each or equivalent
  • Publisher: Arc System Works Asia

What's this? Four of Zerodiv's eShop ports of classic Psikyo shooting games — Vol.1 contains Strikers 1945, Sol DivideSengoku Ace and Gunbird, while Vol.1 features Strikers 1945-II, Tengai/Sengoku Blade, Gunbird 2 and Dragon Blaze — compiled onto carts with no new frills save for additional Asian localization. (Vol.1 is a few month old at this point... I held off on posting about it due to a tip-off about an overseas release, but they just dropped Vol.2 and announced Vol.3 and it still hasn't happened, so... my bad.)

Why should I care? You're a stickler for physical media, you're looking for a game to test your Flip Grip or you just want to read Gunbird's script in Simplified Chinese.

Helpful tip: The just-announced Volume 3 will include Strikers 1999, Gunbarich, Sengoku Cannon and Zero Gunner 2-, but that's not a selection I'd recommend anyone buy blind.


  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America, Europe)
  • Price: $29.99 / €29.99 / £29.99 (digital), €39.99 / £39.99 (collectors' edition)
  • Publisher: Microids / Maximum Games

What's this? A long, long, looooong-in-the-making remake of TAD's peculiar arcade-action game, originally released in arcades in 1989 but best-remembered by the atypically high-quality Amiga port produced in 1991; this new HD version has been developed by several key personnel responsible for the Amiga port and features completely new visuals, orchestrated music and an optional easy mode. (Even now, the publisher's being non-committal about the release date, so if either version doesn't show up on time, don't be surprised.)

Why should I care? This project has managed to survive the death of a publisher, a failed crowdfunding campaign and almost a decade of development hell, so it deserves to be acknowledge just for making it to market. (The game itself, presuming it's wholly faithful to the arcade original, is a fairly conventional late-'80s jump-and-shoot arcade game, albeit one with an exceedingly strange veneer.)

Useless fact: Original Toki dot artist Junichi Fujisawa currently enjoys a successful career as a high-ranking member of the prestigious anime studio Production I.G, where he's written for productions including Ghost in the Shell, Blood: The Last Vampire and the Pokemon Sun & Moon TV series.


Bomberman & Katamari Damacy merch via Fangamer  

  • Format: so, so much
  • Price: starts from $10
  • Availability: ships early December

Fangamer's launched two new retro game merch lines this week, with a handful of new items for both the Bomberman and Katamari Damacy series on offer, with my personal highlights being the magnetic Bomberman plush and the Prince duffel bag. (Not pictured: a Fangamer-exclusive color variant of Mondo Record's Katamari Damacy vinyl soundtrack.)

Everdrive Black Friday sale

  • Format: EverDrive & SD2SNES flash cartridges (various)
  • Discount: 20% off until Friday (picture disc)
  • Availability: low, I'm guessing

Late November is upon us once again, meaning now's your annual shot at getting one of Krikzz's much-sought-after flash cartridges at a discount. Be sure to check both Krikzz' own site as well as the Stone Age Gamer store, as they tend to vary in availability and shipping times.

Gradius II & Gradius III vinyl by Ship to Shore Phono Co.

  • Format: vinyl LP
  • Price: $23 (Gradius II), $36 (Gradius III)
  • Availability: on sale 10AM Eastern November 23

Here to complete the set started with July's original Gradius vinyl, Ship to Shore are dropping both vinyl sets for Gradius II (Famicom & MSX by of Nemesis 2) and Gradius III (SNES & arcade across 2LP) this Friday; as with the first record, the new albums contain liner notes by Jeremy Parish and cover art by Ian Wilding, and you'll be able to enjoy the entire art piece if you own all three records.

Mortal Kombat 1 & 2: Music from the Arcade Game Soundtracks by Enjoy the Ride Records & ThinkGeek

  • Format: vinyl LP
  • Price: $24.99, $29.99 (picture disc)
  • Availability: almost sold out!

Mortal Kombat's 25th anniversary was surprisingly uneventful, so perhaps as an act of compensation, Mortal Kombat 2's 25th anniversary is being commemorated with a vinyl soundtrack release for the first two games, plus the famous techno tune by The Immortals as a bonus track, available from Enjoy the Ride records in the traditional ninja colours of orange, blue and green (or as of right now, just blue) or from ThinkGeek in an exclusive MK logo picture disc variant. Say what you like about the quality of those games (let me get you started: "they're fantastic", "they haven't aged a day", "it's so technical they had to add a button just for blocking"), their sound design was unimpeachable.

Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog & Thunder Force IV sale

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America, Europe)
  • Discount: 25% off
  • Publisher: Say-gahhhhh

I know I said I wasn't going to pore through the console stores to point out sales but I felt I should make an exception here... I mean, didn't these come out, like, two weeks ago? And they're already discounted? On a Nintendo store? Eh, can't complain.