Retro Re-release Roundup, week of January 9, 2020
Don't ever let us down, Arcade Archives.
Another slow week, I'm afraid, but I can't say I'm surprised... when the Wataru Supervision homebrew crew gets a-movin', it's best for everyone else to get out of the way.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / City Connection
What's this? A single-screen shooter developed and distributed in arcades by Jaleco in 1983 and later ported to MSX, SG-1000 and Famicom; this game is immediately distinguishable from the typical Galaga/Invaders-style shooters by its free-moving, inertia-laden ship and its aggressive abuse of parallax to simulate 3D backgrounds.
Why should I care? Your enjoyment of Exerion will live and die based on your ability or willingness to adapt to its floaty and somewhat disorienting ship movement, but even if you flake out after five minutes, you'll at least be treated to some neat-looking pseudo-3D magic.
Useless fact: The Exerion ship, Fighter EX, is piloted by one of the main characters of Jaleco's silly crossover shooting game series Game Tengoku, which was recently remastered for PS4 and PC and will be hitting Switch quite soon.
- Platform: PlayStation 4 (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster
What's this? A frantic dodgeball-esque game starring cutesy animals, developed and distributed in arcades by UPL in 1985 and later converted to Famicom, MSX and Game Boy. Each player starts at the end of a table with five balls in front of them, with the aim of the game being to toss all ten balls onto the opponent's side for a clean win or to have as few balls on your own side at the end of a 60-second round; the balls can be tossed directly at the opponent to stun them or at incoming balls in order to deflect them.
Why should I care? If you want a genuine multiplayer experience then I'd recommend the recent Penguin Wars remake instead, but the arcade original still holds up as a single-player game — and, crucially, one that remains fun even as the game turns the tables against you in ways that might seem unfair in other games.
Useless fact: The original arcade version of Penguin-kun Wars, but not all of the conversions, features a chiptune rendition of the song "Motto Sekin Shimasho" by former Japanese pop singer Hidemi Ishikawa, and judging by the JASRAC notice on the store page, it seems Hamster's shelled out to retain the tune for this reissue.
WATARA SUPERVISION HOMEBREW
- Platform: Watara Supervision (worldwide)
- Price: €35
- Publisher: poly.play
I cannot be certain that Assembloids, the umpteenth boutique homebrew conversion of the decade-old face-matching Flash game Quartet, will be the only Watara Supervision homebrew cartridge you ever read about on Retronauts, but I have an extremely strong suspicion it might be. This release includes a boxed cartridge with printed manual,stickers, a poster and signed certificate of authenticity, and I honestly have no idea whether their 60-unit production run is painfully low or painfully high.
SOUNDTRACKS & VINYL
Spotify is now home to fifteen Yakuza series soundtracks: all the mainline games from 0 to 5 (including Kiwami), the internationally-released spinoff Dead Souls and the Japan-only spinoffs Kenzan and Ishin. (What's missing, you may ask? Yakuza 6, Kiwami 2, and the recent spinoff Judgment, none of which have yet to receive official soundtrack releases, as well as the two Japan-only PSP Kurohyou spinoff soundtracks, purportedly due to rights issues.)