Retro Re-release Roundup, week of June 4, 2020
Return of the Dawn.
Let's be real: games can wait. Put your money towards something that matters, and above all, stay safe.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / City Connection
What's this? A maze-based action game of sorts, released in arcades by Jaleco in 1982. Players are tasked with controlling the titular naughty boy as he evades ghosts and monsters in his quest to throw rocks at castles for no discernible reason, with the distance of your rock-throw attack determined by the length of time the button is held before release.
Why should I care? The system of holding and releasing a button to determine the precise distance of a shot was pioneered by this game, as far as I'm aware, and it remains the game's one compelling feature.
Useless fact: Naughty Boy was such an early game for Jaleco that it's still credited to "Japan Leisure Company" on the title screen.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (Japan)
- Price: ¥500
- Publisher: G-MODE
What's this? An auto-scrolling platformer starring the aforementioned skateboard man, originally released on Japanese feature phones on 2006; the aim of the game is to jump over pits, grab burgers and do the occasional, very basic trick off designated ramps.
Why should I care? You loved getting the skateboard power-up in Adventure Island and you never lost your tolerance for the choppy scrolling of flip-phone action games.
Useless fact: "Sukebo(ooo)" = "skateboard; "man" = "man". That concludes this lazy reference.
- Platform: PC via Steam, Origin (worldwide)
- Price: $19.99 or equivalent
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
What's this? A 4K remaster of Westwood Studios' massively influential 1995 real-time strategy game Command & Conquer and its 1996 sequel, Command & Conquer: Red Alert; producer by several of the original developers at Petroglyph Games, these remasters include all the expansion content for both games as well as additional content imported from certain console versions, the ability to toggle between the original graphics and new ultra high-def visuals on the fly, upscaled video cutscenes, classic and newly-arranged music, a custom map editor, a redesigned UI, customizable hotkeys and much more, including custom multiplayer lobbies and new online matchmaking.
Why should I care? Jeremy's written on this subject recently, as it happens.
Useless fact: In conjunction with this remaster, Petroglyph's releasing the original source code to both games via GPLv3 public license. Good show.
- Platform: PC via Steam (worldwide)
- Price: still unlisted, but probably around $14.99
- Publisher: ZUN / Mediascape
What're these? The 10th, 11th and 12 canonical entries in the wildly and somewhat inexplicably popular Touhou series of (mostly) bullet hell shooting games, developed by one-man dev ZUN and distributed at doujin events from 2007 to 2009; as per ZUN's usual tack, they're being dumped on Steam more-or-less as-is, and that includes without any sort of translation.
Why should I care? I don't think anyone, least of all ZUN, could sufficiently answer that question, and I suspect that even those who've never seen so much as a screenshot of a Touhou game have already formed an opinion on it via osmosis, but beyond the fervent and all-encompassing fandom are a lot of very interesting and occasionally experimental danmaku games and a ton of shockingly catchy music. (I wouldn't say any of these three games are great beginner entries, but UFO's definitely a strong favorite, and I'd say all three of them are conventionally visually palatable, which isn't necessarily true of games prior.)
Useless fact: There aren't too many Touhou games prior to these ones that are viable candidates for release on Steam, primarily due to missing source code and by the simple virtue of being really old — the first five were PC-98 games, after all.
LIMITED-EDITION PHYSICAL PRINT RUNS
Samurai Shodown Neogeo Collection - Collector Edition by Pix'n'Love
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 (Europe)
- Price: 89,90€ (currently 79,90 €)
- Availability: ships August 28
Digital Eclipse's latest anthology, a collection of Neogeo-era Samsho games that includes the unreleased final Neogeo game Samurai Shodown V Perfect, is due to start hitting various digital storefronts from next week, but if you're confident in DE's work and you don't want to risk missing out on Pix'n'Love's latest lavish SNK-adjacent package, you should probably order this now. (I believe Limited Run Games has a similar but not identical package planned for you North Americans, too.)