Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 29, 2020
Gotta find that entrance to paradise...
Being the stickler for the rules that I am, I wouldn't dare mention Crimzon Clover: World EXplosion, the new revision and first-ever console port of arguably the greatest indie bullet hell shooter of the last decade, on the roundup, what with it not being ten years old for another six weeks or so. 'Tis a shame, too, seeing as there's absolutely nothing else out on Switch this week that one might want to buy. Nope, no siree.
64th Street: A Detective Story
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / City Connection
What's this? An extremely silly brawler with a 1930s gumshoe theme, distributed in arcades by Jaleco in 1991; aside from its shameless similarity to Final Fight, 64th Street's most distinctive feature might be the ability to slam enemies into background walls and windows.
Why should I care? You're willing to endure a moderate helping of slop to experience a ton of absurdity, including one of the more unapologetic deus ex machinas you're ever likely to experience in a game, which I won't spoil.
Useless fact: I'm quite sure the intro theme blatantly "references" Cameo's 1986 hit, Word Up.
Heracles no Eiko III: Kamigami no Chinmoku ("Glory of Heracles: Silence of the Gods")
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (Japan)
- Price: ¥500
- Publisher: G-MODE
What's this? A remake of Data East's well-regarded 1992 Super Famicom RPG, developed by Data East successor & IP holder Paon and distributed by fellow Data East successor & IP holder from 2008; the most fondly-remembered elements of the original game, including the scenario by future Final Fantasy writer Kazushige Nojima and the soundtrack by an all-star assortment of Data East composers led by future Mother 3 composer Shogo Sakai, have been retained for this remake, but the graphics and character design have been substantially changed and various aspects of the world design and game mechanics have been removed or truncated.
Why should I care? The original Heracles III has a reputation for being an unaccommodating and extremely rough-around-the-edges game that one should merely tolerate for the sake of experiencing the story; subsequently, this version is dramatically easier and, either deliberately or owing to the capacity limits of feature phones, heavily prunes the dungeons and other notorious time-sinks, resulting in a much more streamlined experience — of course, the remake also has a reputation for being way too easy, so you take the good with the bad.
Useless fact: I cannot vouch for the quality of the translation but, as you may have suspected, there does exist a translation patch for the SFC version of Heracles no Eikou III.
NEO GEO POCKET COLOR SELECTION
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 or equivalent
- Publisher: SNK / Code Mystics
What's this? The sole handheld adaptation of SNK's Bakamatsu-era weapon-based fighting game duology, originally released in 2000; this version includes most of the playable cast from the two arcades games and the de rigueur single-player upgrade system that allows you to earn currency to purchase scrolls which in turn unlock characters, character enhancements, mini-games and character lore.
Why should I care? Beyond the Destiny is a novel handheld concatenation of the two arcade games that allows you to experience many of the plot points from each game in a convenient package. You can also hit home runs with Jhezu, which you can't do anywhere else.
Useless fact: This release is just one of a few Last Blade-related announcements made today, the others being an official webcomic and the addition of an as-yet-unrevealed Last Blade character to the new Samurai Shodown.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $19.99 each (
- Publisher: XSEED / Marvelous
What're these? Ports of Grasshopper Manufacture's irreverent, blood-soaked Wii-era action games starring otaku and never-Smash-er Travis Touchdown; these versions are directly derived from the (uncensored) Wii originals, not the outsourced and derided Xbox 360 & PC ports, and are fairly straightforward offerings, with 1080p, relatively stable 60FPS visuals and the option of either Wii-style motion controls or more traditional button controls for both games.
Why should I care? Bob and co. covered this very question a few weeks ago, as it happens.
Useless fact: One of the few omissions from this version of NMH1, aside from the inevitable lack of telephone conversations being broadcast out of your controller, is the Genki Rockets tune Heavenly Star, presumably due to straightforward licensing issues... was this missing from the PS360 version? I don't remember, I shan't be revisiting those versions to confirm and I suggest you refrain from doing so, too.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America, Europe)
- Price: $9.99 or equivalent
- Publisher: Nightdive Studios
What's this? An RPG-infused, idtech-powered FPS, originally developed by Rogue Entertainment in 1996 and remastered for PC by Nightdive Studios in 2014; this port retains all the enhancements and additions from the PC remaster, including improved 3D rendering and lighting effects, the implementation of unused and unfinished content including a secondary deathmatch mode and the addition of a brand-new subquest and, potentially, a brand-new single-player map.
Why should I care? Strife's often credited with paving the way for immersive sims like Deus Ex and while that take's a little extreme, it's still offers a compelling example of just how far people could — and couldn't — push the original Doom engine during its few years of commercial relevance.
Useless fact: The roots of Strife's development team currently reside at Nerve Studios, whose most recent works just happen to be reissues of '90s 2.5D FPS games (Doom's 25th anniversary reissue and Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Whatever I'm Not Looking Up This Subtitle, Duke Ssssucks.).
UPDATES & DLC
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R GGPO netcode beta (October 29-November 2)
If you own GGAC+R on Steam and hope to someday play against another human being, rejoice! Arc System Works, in collaboration with a group of developers from the Guilty Gear community, is testing the long-requested implementation of GGPO netcode over the weekend, and first accounts make it sound pretty damn smooth, so try to enjoy it until the inevitable revelation that somebody involved is a complete dirtbag and the whole thing collapses in on itself.
SOUNDTRACKS & VINYL
SteamWorld Tower Defense -Reimagined vinyl 7"
- Format: vinyl (7")
- Price: 99.00 SEK or equivalent
- Availability: ships "soon"
You'd be forgiven for forgetting or being otherwise unaware of SteamWorld Tower Defense, the unassuming opening chapter in Image & Form's decade-old SteamWorld series, but for the 250 people who bought the game on DSiWare, this is the celebratory remix record for you!