Retro Re-release Roundup, week of January 14, 2021
You can stop asking now.
As the world celebrates the return of one of the digital console era's most prominent delistings, I feel we should commemorate the loss of one of its more notorious offerings: Magical Drop V, the impossibly-busted HD version of Data East's classic arcade puzzle game, delisted many months ago to the acknowledgement of nobody, the disappointment of no-one and the suprise of anyone who ever tried it and subsequently presumed it had been delisted a week after launch.
Cosmo Police Galivan
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / Nichibutsu
What's this? A side-scrolling action game starring a send-up of the tokusatsu hero Space Sheriff Gavan, originally released in arcades by Nichibutsu in 1985, with subsequent ports (as simply Galivan) for various European microcomputers, as well as an action-RPG reinterpretation for Famicom; players are tasked with navigating the large, free-scrolling stages in order to reach and destroy the boss with the aid of a convenient guide arrow that points towards your destination, blasting anything and everything that stands in your way.
Why should I care? The music's pretty jammin',and the game itself isn't as labyrinthine as the description, or your experience with the Famicom version, might have you believe — with a little practice, you can loop the game in five minutes or so.
Useless fact: Galivan is widely credited with being the very first game to feature a sampled orchestra hit.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (Japan)
- Price: ¥500
- Publisher: G-MODE
What's this? A ninja-themed minigame collection, originally released for Japanese feature phones in 2007 as part of the Get! Petit service; the game is set at a ninja school, with players attempting to graduate from five different ninja-themed minigames over the course of three in-game years.
Why should I care? Each of the minigames is well-optimized for the simple controls of the day, and the pixel art has aged spectacularly well.
Useless fact: I got nothin', sorry.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (Europe)
- Price: €4.39 / £3.99
- Publisher: G-MODE
What's this? A virus-themed action-puzzle game, originally released for Japanese feature phones by G-MODE in 2003 and released internationally to some acclaim the following year; each circuit-like stage is infected with viruses that can only be destroyed my manipulating them into colliding with each other, and viruses will multiply and mutate if left unchecked.
Why should I care? You've been waiting for months for a sign that G-MODE Archives might leave Japan and, now that you've got it, you want to encourage them to make more of these games available to the world.
Useless fact: .I can't be 100% certain, but I believe the obscure feature phone conversion of Zanac may be next on G-MODE's list for international release in a few weeks.
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC via Epic Game Store/Ubisoft Connect (worldwide)
- Price: $14.99 or equivalent
- Publisher: Ubisoft
What's this? A long-in-demand reissue of Ubisoft's nostalgic and heavily referential companion game to the 2010 comic-to-film adaptation of the same name, originally released for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in 2010 and subsequently delisted in 2014; this version includes the original game and its two paid DLC content updates, but as far as I'm aware, it's otherwise pretty much as it was with no notable new features or enhancements to speak of. (Limited Run Games is coming early with an even-larger-than-usual suite of physical collectors' goods for PS4/Switch — including a new vinyl for Anamanaguchi's chiptune soundtrack — from January 15, 10AM Eastern.)
Why should I care? I'm completely unequipped to evaluate the merits of this game as it pertains to the original Edgar Wright property, and I can't say I think a whole lot of it as a Kunio-kun pastiche, either, but the beauty of this release is that you now have another opportunity to make up your own mind about this game, instead of settling for half-remembered vagaries from the handful of people who played it a decade ago (and even those who did play it probably never tried the long, long-delayed second DLC pack, which included online multiplayer functionality.)
Helpful tip: Limited Run Games has announced plans to, at some point, release a physical version of this game for Xbox, a platform that has traditionally been off-limits to boutique limited-print publishers for a variety of mundane behind-the-scenes reasons. Progress!
ROM HACKS & TRANSLATIONS
Grandia (Sega Saturn) translation patch by SegaExtreme
Game Arts' 1997 RPG Grandia is commonly acknowledged as one of the rare multi-platform games of its era that looked and ran best on Saturn — so much so that the recent HD remaster was promoted on the premise that it would be derived from the Saturn version, a claim that turned out to be very much untrue — and now, decades on, fans have finally patched the Japan-only Saturn version with the localized script from the internationally-released PlayStation port and re-encoded the videos with English subtitles, allowing those patient players to experience the game as it was originally envisaged. (Patching instructions are included in the readme.)