Retro Re-release Roundup, week of December 26, 2019

No trippin', it's another Nintendo Vs. System game.

Christmas is over for another year and while you're all undoubtedly inundated with new games to play and/or old games to finally get around to playing, let me remind you that Balloon Fight is a timeless work of interactive video entertain — wait, scratch that, this version doesn't have Balloon Trip.


Vs. Balloon Fight (December 27)

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

What's this? The arcade companion to the classic black-box NES game, developed and released first by Nintendo SRD in 1984; along with the color and audio tweaks customary of Nintendo Vs. System titles, Vs. Balloon Fight is most noteworthy for its dual-monitor arcade cabinet which gave each player their own screen, allowing for vertically-scrolling stages that could not exist in the home version.

Why should I care? If you're all about Balloon Trip then you shouldn't care, because that's a home-only mode, but if you enjoy the stage-based Joust-esque mode then this is your chance to try a slightly different variant on the same format.

Useless fact: Vs. Balloon Fight's coarser handling in comparison to the NES version can be attributed to the use of fixed-point calculations for character movement; the home version, programmed by then-HAL Laboratory programmer Satoru Iwata, used floating-point calculations for added precision, a technique SRD's programmer Toshihiko Nakago would later borrow for the underwater handling in a lil' ol' game called Super Mario Bros.


Princess Maker: Faery Tales Come True & Princess Maker: Go!Go! Princess

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $29.99 or equivalent (Faery Tales Come True) / $14.99 or equivalent (Go!Go! Princess)
  • Publisher: CFK

What's this? A pair of ports from a long-running, popular-in-Asia series of child-raising games (think Tamagotchi meets relationship sim) produced by anime studio Gainax in the mid-to-late '90s; Faery Tales Come True is the third mainline game in the series, with the Switch port being based off a recent PC "remaster" of dubious quality, while the multiplayer boardgame-esque spinoff Go!Go! Princess is an all-new port.

Why should I care? These ports are woefully translated and, by all accounts, nigh-unplayable due to bugs and errors, but he Princess Maker series has a long, long history of near-misses when it comes to overseas releases, so you may want to commend CFK for finally succeeding, such as they have, where so many others had failed before them.

Useless fact: The "Execute" command in that screenshot does not do what you might fear it would.


ADK Damashii (PS2 Classics on PS4) by Limited Run Games

  • Platform: PlayStation 4 (worldwide)
  • Price: $29.99 (standard edition) / $59.99 or equivalent (limited edition)
  • Publisher: Limited Run Games / SNK

Limited Run Game's Neogeo-style shockbox series continues with a PS2-on-PS4 run of the Japan-only ADK Damashii, a collection containing five of the World Heroes/Magician Lord/Crossed Swords developer's non-World Heroes/Magician Lord/Crossed Swords titles, including the cult classic puzzle-shmup Twinkle Star Sprites, the unofficial trilogy of Ninja Combat, Ninja Commando and Ninja Master's: Haoh Ninpo Chou and the versus brawler Aggressors of Dark Kombat. It is a nice shockbox, I'll give 'em that.