Retro Re-release Roundup, week of July 11, 2019

Sumos, soccer and stolen sprites.

If this week's update leaves you wanting more, and I have a hunch it might, let me point you towards two newer games released this week that may whet your appetite: Blazing Chromea Brazilian run-and-gun that offers the traditional Contra-style action lacking from the recently-announced Rogue Corps, as well as the console ports of Lethal League Blazethe four-player side-view disc-tossing game that has eclipsed Windjammers through the deft adoption of fighting game chic. Beyond that... iunno, have you beat Ninja Spirit yet? Go beat Ninja Spirit.


Shusse Ozumo

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster / Arc System Works

What's this? A traditional sumo wrestling game, developed by the roughnecks at Technos Japan and distributed in arcades by SNK in 1985; players attempt to fight their way to the rank of yokuzuna using directional moves and button-based attacks, with successful strikes or grapple escapes rewarded with "kiai" icons that allow you to unleash super-powerful attacks.

Why should I care? You want to give props to Technos for managing a relatively detailed facsimile of the pageantry of sumo for its era, and you're willing to tolerate a non-trivial amount of Japanese text.

Useless fact: Shusse Ozumo isn't just a representative early arcade sumo game, it's literally the first one — it beat Data East's Oozumou - The Grand Sumo to market by a couple of months.


Soccer Kid

  • Platform: PC via Steam (worldwide)
  • Price: $4.99 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Piko Interactive

What's this? The first and arguably most beloved of the short-lived '90s soccer-themed platformer fad, developed by Krysalis Software for the Amiga and subsequently ported to roughly eight hundred other platforms, with the 3DO version possibly being the most prominent; the aforementioned Kid is able to bounce his omnipresent soccer ball against the ground to use as an impromptu platform or kick it into enemies to attack, with big score bonuses given for using trick shots. (This version looks to be the MS-DOS port running in DOSBox.)

Why should I care? Don't ask me, I lived in a  Marko's Magic Football household (and didn't think much of it, but that's by the by).

Useless fact: Soccer Kid is one of a few late-era PlayStation games that were derived from a Game Boy Advance code base, with Artoon's Pinobee being another example.

Water Margin - The Tales of Clouds and Winds 

  • Platform: PC via Steam (worldwide)
  • Price: $9.99 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Piko Interactive

What's this? A ROM-in-emulator release of the unlicensed Mega Drive brawler Shui Hu: Feng Yun Zhuan, originally released in Taiwan in 1996 and reissued with a very slight makeover by Piko Interactive in 2015; some of the more obviously stolen content has been replaced and a few bugs have been squashed but the game's blatant mimicry of Capcom's Knights of the Round remains obvious.

Why should I care? Blatant plagiarism aside, Water Margin is one of a very small handful of unlicensed Asian Mega Drive games that could have passed for a genuine product in its day, and this particular version is far less freeze-prone than the version you may have found online.

Helpful tip: If you like the game, you can always grab a "genuine" cartridge copy! 


Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack Revival bluray disc

  • Format: blu-ray disc, includes digital download code
  • Price: $49.99
  • Publisher: Square-Enix

I suppose there must be an audience for these bluray soundtracks because Square-Enix hasn't been shy about putting them out... they're picking sure-fire hits, at least. (This is a Japanese import product, so expect a little extra wait on shipping.)


Nintendo of Europe's Summer Sale

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS (Europe)
  • Price: up to 750 off hundreds of games, ends July 25
  • Publisher: various

Countless games are on discount on the European eShop right now, including classic cuts like the SEGA Ages series and the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection, the recent Castlevania Annversary Collection and the don't-actually-buy-these Resident Evil HD remasters, as well as classic-style games like The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa, N++ and 2019's most exciting fighting game, Puyo Puyo Champions.

North American PlayStation Retro Sale

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable (North America)
  • Price: up to 75% off hundreds of games, ends July 23
  • Publisher: various

...and the same again, just swap platforms and regions. (There are some exclusive sales, of course, including several early Arcade Archives titles, Castlevania RequiemSpyro Reignited Trilogy, Onimusha and the just-patched Samurai Shodown V Special, which is cross-buy across PS4 & Vita.)