Retro Release Round-up, week of August 17, 2017

Ya can't win 'em all, Tipper.

A relatively sparse update in comparison to recent weeks — a trio of niche remasters and an obligatory Neo Geo game — but you're probably busy with Sonic Mania anyhow, right?


Magician Lord

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
  • Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster

What's this? A brutally tough side-scrolling action-platformer by Neo Geo designers Alpha Denshi/ADK, released as both a launch title for the Neo Geo MVS arcade hardware and a pack-in for the Neo Geo AES home console. Play as the wizard Elma and transform into different creatures on the quest to stop the evil god Gal Agiese, one of the earliest victims of SNK English, from summoning a Lovecraftian abomination.

Why should I care? Magician Lord is one of the standout titles from the early Neo Geo era and remained one of the premier side-scrolling action games on the system, not that it had much competition; it's an absolutely ruthless quarter-muncher but it's fun to look at.

Useless fact: Magician Lord sequels for MVS, Neo Geo CD and Neo Geo Pocket Color were all scrapped, but the game does share the same universe as ADK's later Crossed Swords games.


Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition

  • Platform: Playstation 4 (North America, Europe version TBA),  PC via Steam, Xbox One (TBA)
  • Price: $14.99
  • Publisher: Screaming Villains

What's this? A remaster of the accidentally-controversial and utterly campy '90s FMV horror game, packaged with extra modes, unseen footage  documentaries and the never-seen-before prototype, Scene Of The Crime.

Why should I care? It's a significant part of gaming history that deserves to be maintained into the future and this version wrings every last drop of potential from the original game (but wait until the Steam version has been patched a few times, perhaps).

Useless Fact: You might spot a familiar face in the documentary...

TAITO Classics Takeshi no Chōsenjō

  • Platform: iOS, Android (Japan)
  • Price: ¥840
  • Publisher: Taito

What's this? A remastered port of Beat Takeshi's legendarily inscrutable Famicom action-adventure game featuring 16:9 visuals and new content. Punch anything and everything, die to anything and everything, understand nothing (especially if you can't read Japanese as it's not available in English),

Why should I care? It's a masterpiece, I tells ya! 

Useless fact: The publisher of the original, error-filled strategy guide was bombarded with so many complaints they had to resort to lying to customers by telling the writer of the guide had died, just to get people off their backs. (It didn't work. They printed another guide.)

The Bards Tale: Remastered and Resnarkled

  • Platform: Playstation 4, Vita (North America; Europe release TBA)
  • Price: $9.99
  • Publisher: InXile Entertainment

What's this? A higher-detail, higher-resolution (up to 4K 60FPS on PS4).port of the 2004 satirical action-RPG; completely separate from the classic CRPG trilogy and the upcoming crowdfunded game, this game is a self-aware sendup of RPG tropes starring a self-absorbed rogue who quests purely for his own benefit.

Why should I care? It's reasonably funny (or at least reasonably jokey), it's well-acted with a lot of dialog from the likes of Cary Ewles (The Princess Bride) and while it's mechanically simple it does have the typical Snowblind Engine feel so, if nothing else, one could treat it as Baldur's Gate methadone.

Useless fact: This game broke my first Xbox? That's all I got, internet.


Mega Man Legacy Collection (Playstation 4, Xbox One)

  • Price: $9.99 / $10.04 until August 22 or bundled with Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 for $29.99
  • Publisher: Capcom

Digital Eclipse's six-game NES Mega Man anthology, featuring Mega Man 5 and a few other, lesser games, is cheaper than ever for the next few days, both standalone and as a compilation with the recently-released Mega Man Legacy Collection 2.