Retro Release Round-up, week of August 31, 2017
Welcome to the jam.
The Neo Geo continues its reign as the dominant force in legacy re-releases this week, with the release of an obscure shooting game, a compilation of well-loved fighting games and the resurrection of a bona fide cult classic.
ARCADE ARCHIVES NEO GEO
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster
What's this? A quirky horizontal shooting game by cult arcade developers NMK; they made many shooting games in many formats but this was their sole Neo Geo game.
Why should I care? This game features an early '90s rave soundtrack by Manabu Namiki, who would later expand on this approach to much greater effect in Raizing's genre-defining danmaku shooter Battle Garegga.
Useless fact: Zed Blade awards points for shooting anything and everything, including environmental obstacles, so high-level play requires the player spend an inordinate amount of time shooting inanimate objects like walls and floors. Riveting.
- Platform: Playstation 4, Playstation Vita (worldwide)
- Price: $14.99 / €14.99 / £11.99
- Publisher: DotEmu
What's this? An outrageous high-octane mix of frisbee and air hockey, developed by Data East for the Neo Geo in 1994 and re-released outside of Japan for the first time, complete with online play and a HD frontend.
Why should I care? Windjammers is not-so-secretly one of the best pick-up-and-play arcade sports titles of its era and this release should have a healthy online population, providing the online features work.
Useless fact: Steve Miller, a character that appears only in the Japanese-version Flying Power Disc, is named after a former Data East employee who translated and voice many of their '90s arcade games now runs Ubisoft Japan.
PLAYSTATION 2 GAMES ON PLAYSTATION 4
Platform: Playstation 4 (North America, Europe)
Price: $14.99 / €14.99 / £11.99
What's this? A no-frills PS2 compilation containing all three of SNK'S Art of Fighting games; this series made breakthroughs for SNK in terms of sprite size and detail and introduced several classic characters into the wider SNK oeuvre, including Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, King and the indomitable Mr. Karate.
Why should I care? It's slightly cheaper than buying each game separately via Arcade Archives.
Useless fact: The cutscenes from the original Art of Fighting are the source of some ridicule in Japan, particularly the scenes involving Ryo riding a motorcycle in his martial arts gear.
SALES & MISCELLANEA
Fangamer has collaborated with DotEmu to release a line of officially-licensed Windjammers merchandise, including t-shirts (in both Windjammers and Flying Power Disc varieties), hats, pins and even an actual flying power disc; prices start from $10.