Retro Re-release Roundup, week of June 27, 2024

Sequels to Luigi's Mansion and Myst, and the prequel to Ubisoft's notorious vvaporware.

Any one of the many remakes and remasters that happened to drop this week are worthy of being singled out, but only one of 'em has Neco-Arc, so better luck next time, everything that isn't Tsukihime.

(apologies for the lateness on this week's roundup, dear readers — as it turns out, cellphone towers aren't particularly resilient against drunk drivers...)



  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
  • Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster / Konami

What's this? A military-themed overhead drive-and-gun shooting game, originally developed and distributed in arcades by Konami in 1986, with multiple ports produced for various European computers, a significantly arranged conversion released for NES and cut down for Famicom Disk System and an emulated reissue via Xbox 360 Game Room some decades later; players are tasked with shooting their way through enemy territory in order to liberate hostages, with weapons that include a standard shot that always fires towards the top of the screen and a grenade weapon that can be manually aimed in a variety of directions; your jeep can hold up to eight hostages at once, and the more you're able to devier to a drop zone at once, the bigger bonus you'll receive.

Why should I care? You've played and enjoyed the more exploratory home version and want to try original, prettier all-action version, or you're a fan of the likes of Commando and Ikari Warriors and want to experience Konami's additions to the formula (which include an excessive amount of off-screen snipers, so be on your toes).

Helpful tip: The original North American arcade version, titled Top Gunner, is not included in this reissue, presumably due to a few graphical differences that suggest the game takes place in Vietnam. (The ACA release seems to be MIA in Europe right now, too...)


Topple Zip (PC-8801)

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $6.49 / ¥880
  • Publisher: D4 Enterprise / Bothtec

What's this? A vertically-autoscrolling 'racing adventure" starring cutesy Choro Q-esque aircraft, originally published by Bothtec in 1986 for a variety of Japanese microcomputers, with a Famicom Disk System conversion following the year after; the placer is tasked with racing against a handful of unique ships through looping stages, with the goal being to locate and uncover the hidden warps that'll take you from one stage to the next; shooting and ramming into rival ships will cause them to drop powerups and key items required to progress, including the radar item required to locate the secret warps, but your rivals can do the same to you, too...

Why should I care? The RPG/adventure-infused shooting games of this era tended to be solid shooting games burdened with infuriatingly vague or unintuitive progression-blocking "puzzles" — conversely, the tricks required to progress in Topple Zip aren't too unreasonable, and while the "racing" gimmick doesn't amount to much, it does a fine job of creating the sensation of bustling against a pack of unique rivals... if only it ran and scrolled a little better, eh?

Language barrier? There's not a lot of text in the game and the majority of it is basic katakana, and you can probably get by without reading any of it.


Beyond Good & Evil - 20th Anniversary Edition

  • Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam, Epic Store & Ubisoft Store (worldwide)
  • Price: $20 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

What's this? A fresh remaster of Ubisoft Montpellier's investigative sci-fi action-adventure game Beyond Good & Evil, originally released to critical acclaim but middling sales for PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, Xbox and PC in 2003, with a high-definition port produced for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011; this new version offers retouched character models, textures and lighting, a re-orchestrated soundtrack, a gallery of historical content, support for up to 4K resoluton and 60FPS framerate depending on platform, cross-save and more.

Why should I care? Fans have long squabbled about precisely why this game originally struggled to find a wider audience (poor marketing? heavy competition, including from other Ubisoft games? female protagonist?) but decades on, its reputation as both one of the standout not-a-Zelda games of the post-Ocarina era, as well as the capstone to Ubisoft's more ambitious pre-AAA period, have positioned it to finally catch on in a big way... provided they didn't screw up the remaster, anyway. They've also thrown in some new content towards the end that supposedly ties it to the decades-in-development, in-name-only sequel, so perhaps one might optimistically choose to view this remaster as an affirmation that BG&E2 will be completed and released sometime this century.

Useless fact: This release looks to have coincided with the delisting of the original PC port from certain stores — it wasn't a great port, necessarily, but choice is choice.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $59.99 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Nintendo

What's this? A high-definition remaster of Nintendo and Next Level Games' cartoony horror adventure game Luigi's Mansion 2, originally developed and published for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013; this new version was produced by Tantalus Media (of Twilight Princess & Skyward Sword HD fame) and offers substantially higher-fidelity character models, environments, lighting and other advanced effects and some other tweaks to configure the original version's second-screen elements for a single screen and make use of the Switch's wider array of buttons/sticks, as well as maintaining the original online-enabled "ScareScraper" multiplayer mode.

Why should I care? This isn't something you should buy with the expectation of new content, new features or big tweaks that might address or alter the foundations of the original game: it's Luigi's Mansion 2 but prettier; no more, no less. (They do at least let you disable gyro, which might indirectly improve certain trouble areas of the original.) For those who jumped in with the Switch game and never tried this one, do know that it adopts a very segmented, handheld-friendly mission system that was and is divisive, but it offers a ton of content and a surprisingly in-depth co-op multiplayer mode, and the visual upgrade brings it in line with the better-looking games available on Switch.

Useless fact: This port actually runs at a lower framerate than the original: it's capped at 30FPS, whereas the original ran at an uncapped framerate that could very occasionally hit 60FPS in small, low-intensity areas. 


  • Platform: PC via Steam, Mac via Mac Store, Oculus Quest 2 & 3 (worldwide)
  • Price: $34.99 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Cyan Worlds

What's this? A full remake of Cyan Worlds' and Broderbund's hit first-person, multi-CD puzzle-adventure game Riven: The Sequel to Myst, originally released for PC in 1997; this new version presents the game in true, real-time 3D optimized for both standard and virtual-reality displays and offers true free-roaming movement, new and tweaked puzzles, additional characters and more.

Why should I care? You put down the original after ninety minutes and never picked it up again, and you want to see if history will repeat itself.

Genuine question: My vague recollection is that Riven: The Sequel to Myst was less of a sequel to Myst and more of a sequel to a bunch of Myst novels that are never directly referenced anywhere, thereby rendering most of the story as completely nonsensical to anyone not knee-deep in the lore, and I don't see any indication that the remake will be any more upfront about this... wlll the remake offer a friendlier standalone experience?

Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon-

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch (North America)
  • Price: $49.99 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Type-Moon / Aniplex

What's this?  A remake of Type-Moon's breakout visual novel Tsukihime, originally released as doujin software in 2000 to surprising success, spawning an anime, manga, several sequels and a broader connected universe that includes the Fate series and the fighting game spinoff Melty Blood; this remake was proposed as long ago as 2008 and finally eventuated in Japan in 2021, with this North American release being the game's first-ever official localization. This remake takes place in a contemporized setting and recreates the "Near Side" scenarios of the two primary characters with brand-new visuals and character designs, full Japanese voice acting, new characters and expanded scenes, a music player, a timeline function to facilitate replays and more.

Why should I care? Be it due to obscurity, complexity or the Fate juggernaut sucking all the oxygen away from Tsukihime and Type-Moon's broader commitment to visual novels, an official Tsukihime localization had been written off as impossible by many a dismayed fan, so the mere fact that the game's finally being released outside of Japan, and with a competent localization at that, is truly commendable. As an introduction to the Nasuverse, this remake is a perfect starting point: it offers as much visual polish as any contemporary visual novel you're likely to play, the convenience of discovering and revisiting every story branch has been much-improved and the re-envisioned story and setting does more than enough to compensate for the fact that you will at some point have to buy the back half of the game.

Marginally-useful fact: The recent new Melty Blood game, Melty Blood: Type Lumina, explictly takes place in the universe of this remake rather than the original, and the inclusion and particulars of certain characters offer some subtle and not-so-subtle hints at certain elements of the umpending "Far Side" remake...


Shockman Zero (SNES) physical cartridge run by Retro-Bit

  • Price: $54.99 / €64.99 
  • Availability: orders end July 28; ETA Q4 2024

Originally planned for retail but ultimately relegated to release via the Satellaview, the final entry in Masaya's Shubibinman series of tokusatsu-inspired action games was originally blessed with a Super Famicom cartridge release by Columbus Circle in 2017, and is now being given a Super Nintendo cartridge run, complete with translation, courtesy of Retro-Bit. As is typical of Retro-Bit releases, the translation seems to be sourced from an existing fan translation and is distinct from the Ratalaika-produced localization that'll be hitting digital console storefronts next week.