Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 3, 2019
We all know how bustin' makes you feel and frankly, we'd rather not know.
Gotta say, I was always more of a Gremlins dude.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / G-Mode
What's this? A pioneering one-on-one martial arts arcade game, developed by Technos and distributed in arcades by Data East in 1984; players are tasked with fighting a series of CPU opponents using a unique dual-joystick control scheme that puts movement on the left stick and attacks on the right stick, with different combinations of simultaneous inputs producing unique moves.
Why should I care? This game directly and generally kickstarted an entire genre, so while it's not especially riveting nowadays — the enemy AI is utterly predictable and this particular version doesn't even let you play against a human opponent! — it'll forever deserve props for being first.
Useless fact: Karate Champ's bonus stage ox shows up as a secret boss character in Data East's 1994 Neo Geo fighting game Fighter's History Dynamite.
GHOSTBUSTERS CATEGORY, I GUESS?
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC via Epic Games Store (worldwide)
- Price: $24.99 or equivalent (EGS) / $29.99 or equivalent (consoles)
- Publisher: Saber Interactive
What's this? The would-be narrative successor to the two 1980's Ghostbusters films; developed by Terminal Reality and published by Atari in 2009, this third- and first-person shooter boasted a new story written by the original writers and the return of almost every actor from the original cast as voice actors. Today's "remaster" looks to be a direct port with no notable additions or enhancements save for requisite resolution and framerate bumps — in fact, the entire multiplayer mode is missing and may or may not be added in a future update. (The game's physical release in the US is exclusive to Gamestop and speculated to be quite limited, so bear that in mind.)
Why should I care? This game was and will probably remain the best officially licensed diot-with-a-proton-pack simulator ever made, and while the much-touted story is more of a greatest hits package than a genuinely new adventure, it's nice to know they tried. (Okay, Bill Murray didn't try.)
Useless fact: Atari also produced a Wii/PS2 Ghostbusters game with the same basic script but a completely different, cartoony art style and several unique features and gimmicks including local split-screen co-op and specific Wii Remote functionality that made it the superior version, but there's been no indication of that version ever coming back.
Ghostbusters Remastered (1988) by Bit Ink Studios
Brazilian indie dev Mario Azevedo has taken it upon himself to completely overhaul the notoriously shoddy NES Ghostbusters with redrawn graphics, significantly reworked and rewritten game code and other tweaks that are probably imperceptible to anyone who chose not to commit this game to memory; the difference in quality is incredibly impressive and impossible to miss, and you'll be able to try the remaster for yourself when the ROM patch is released in just a day from now.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC via Steam (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Spike-Chunsoft / MAGES
What's this? The 2017 remake of the influential sci-fi adventure game of the same name, developed and published by eroge studio ELF in 1996 and subsequently ported and revised for Windows and Sega Saturn and now released outside of Japan for the first time in conjunction with the anime adaptation; aside from the obvious and very modern art and character redesigns, this remake boasts new voice acting, a toggle between modern arranged music and the original PC-98 FM tunes, modification of the more explicit sex scenes and several adjustments to the game's complicated interface that make it less stressful to play
Why should I care? YU-NO's ambitious time-hopping game system and dalliances with postmodern philosophy directly informed the direction of modern Japanese adventure games like Steins;Gate; while I can't speak to nor condone the degree of sexual content or comment on how it may have been amended during localization, I can say that this game deserves the chance to be evaluated and scrutinized by a wider audience, and you probably won't have to struggle to figure out whether you're necessarily part of that audience.
Helpful tip: First-print copies of the Switch version come with download codes for 8-BIT YU-NO's GREAT ADVETURE, a faux-NES sidescroller developed by the doujin studio PlatineDispositif with dot art by former Monster World series designer Maki Ohzora. (The initial Japanese PS4 release ca with a download code for a more direct port of the original PC-98 YU-NO game but, to my knowledge, that bonus has not been localized.)
PHYSICAL PRINT RUNS
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Roman Rumble in Las Vegum retail release
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: $29.99 or equivalent
- Publisher: Maximum Games / Microids
Gallic publisher Microids is prepping a brand-new Asterix & Obelix sequel for release in just a few weeks from now, so why not whet your appetite by picking up last year's remaster of the well-received PS2 action-adventure game, if for no other reason than they've dared to release it at retail in North America in TYOOL 2019?