Retro Re-release Roundup, week of July 9, 2020
Back by popular demand, the game based on the popular Yu-Gi-Oh! card.
If this week's relatively sparse roundup isn't doing anything for you, I offer two suggestions: one, play Gradius again, you'll enjoy it; and two, keep an eye out for Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, the sequel to Inti Creates' expertly-crafted tribute to Castlevania III that introduces, among other things, three additional players and simultaneous two-player co-op action... and if that doesn't interest you, I really do wonder what brings you to this site.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / Konami
What's this? The debut entry in Konami's beloved and seminal horizontally-scrolling space shooter series, originally released in arcades in 1985 and ported forevermore; the Arcade Archives version has been available on PS4 for quite some time, and the game itself is included with Konami's Arcade Anniversary Collection bundle, but now it's finally available for Switch owners as a standalone. (Do not confuse this release with Vs. Gradius, the Arcade Archives reissue of the Nintendo Vs. System arcade back-port of the NES version.)
Why should I care? Of the many and varied arcade shooting games dredged up by Hamster every week, Gradius is unquestionably the most timeless, probably the most influential and arguably the one most likely to appeal to even the most casual of players, at least relative to age. Let's face it, I don't have to sell anyone on Gradius, yall already know what it be.
Helpful tip: Today's Switch release, as well as the corresponding update for the existing PS4 version, feature some annoying bugs, with the Switch version accidentally being synced to the online leaderboards for a different game and the PS4 version having boot issues that can currently only be dealt with by deleting your save data, but there are already patches in the works for both versions.
iOS & ANDROID
Bubble Bobble Classic
Long known as the mobile purveyors of the catalogues of Psikyo and, more recently, Toaplan, publisher Mobirix now has their hands on the Taito library and has started with one of the heavier hitters, the classic fixed-screen arcade action game Bubble Bobble; this version is single-player only and uses virtual controls (with extra options like a very wonky auto-shot), with in-game currency required to purchase continues or unlock the start-with-all-powerups option.
ROM HACKS & HOMEBREW
The Natsume-contracted NES game Power Blade is something of an anomaly among Natsume's sidescrolling action games; it was famously and dramatically overhauled from its quasi-Rockman roots on Famicom into something with a more exploratory bent, and as such, it lacks that certain finesse that typifies cult classics like Shatterhand and Shadow of the Ninja, but this hack makes a myriad of small tweaks that reorient the game towards the immediacy and challenge that Natsume is most fondly remembered for. ("R2RKMF" stands for "Running 2 the Right, Killing Mother Fuckers", by the by.)
LIMITED-EDITION PHYSICAL PRINT RUNS
Star Wars Episode 1: Racer packaged versions from Limited Run Games
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC (North America)
- Price: $29.99 (standard edition) / $59.99 (classic edition) / $89.99 (premium edition)
- Availability: orders begin on Friday, July 10, 10AM Eastern
I hope they patch the console versions a couple more times before they print these, just sayin'. (The console classic editions come in a N64-style box, whereas the PC classic edition comes in one of those action-figure style packages that Star Wars people crave and non-Star Wars people struggle to appraise.)
Ys Origin (Switch) physical versions from Limited Run Games
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America)
- Price: $29.99 (standard edition) / $69.99 (collectors edition)
- Availability: preorders end September 6
One of the many surprise announcements from this week's LRG blowout, this physical version of Ys Origin seems to not be particularly limited and bears no official LRG release designation, and they're being very explicit about the fact that DotEmu is planning their own retail release in Europe... but we all buy games to play, not collect, right?
SOUNDTRACKS & VINYL
Tekken 3 quadruple vinyl box set from Laced Records
- Format: vinyl (4LP)
- Price: £70.00
- Availability: estimated to ship in September
From the playlist of longtime fighting game veteran Ryan Hart comes a selection of tracks from the arcade and PlayStation versions of the phenomenally popular Tekken 3 — that's right, even four records wasn't enough to fit every track from both versions, so you'll have to hope your picks echo his.