Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 5, 2017

Tanks on parade.

After last week's inaugural Arcade Archives Nintendo title, we're back to the ol' standbys: ACA Neo Geo releases (a great one, thankfully) and years-late Turbografx games for Wii U. On the flipside, you PS4-owning shooting game fans didn't have long to wait for Battle Garegga, iit drops tomorrow.


Metal Slug X

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

What's this? The third entry in SNK's beloved cartoony-run-and-gun series, released in arcades in 1999. Metal Slug X is less a sequel and more a remix of Metal Slug 2 with new and arranged content, revised stage order and a complete programming overhaul that vastly reduces the slowdown that plagued the original version.

Why should I care? It's the last of the truly great Metal Slug games and deftly balances spectacle, challenge and volume to a degree that would be lost with subsequent entries.

Useless fact: The Metal Slug X ROM contains a huge amount of unused data, including the entire stage layout of the original Metal Slug and early versions of several stages, enemies and vehicles from Metal Slug 3; this data was accessible in the original MVS release via a debug dipswitch, but don't expect to see it here.


Double Dungeons (Turbografx-16)

  • Platform: Wii U (Europe)
  • Price: €5.99 / £5.39
  • Publisher: Konami / NCS/extreme

What's this? A rudimentary first-person dungeon-crawling RPG by Masaya, remembered for the novel split-screen co-op feature and absolutely nothing else.

Why should I care? I mean, that split-screen feature is kinda neat, not that you'd ever want to play this game with friends, or on your own.

Helpful hint: Volgarr the Viking is also out on Wii U today. You like vikings, right? How about Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts? Volgarr is both a viking and a super ghoul and/or ghost! Just sayin'.

Vigilante (Turbografx-16)

  • Platform: Wii U (Europe)
  • Price: €5.99 / £5.39
  • Publisher: Konami / Irem

What's this? A port of Irem's 1988 single-place arcade brawler; mechanically, it's a spiritual sequel to the earlier Kung- 
Fu Master, but the aesthetic is pure late-'80s bare-knuckle violence.

Why should I care? You're a sucker for classic arcade urban justice and you're not bothered by a short clear time.

Helpful tip: If you leave the bosses alone for too long they'll eventually start to regenerate health, so don't let up!


Battle Garegga Rev.2016

What's this? A cult vertical shooting game released for arcades by Raizing in 1996, famous within arcade game circles for a complex dynamic difficulty system an a hardware-defying FM techno soundtrack; the M2 ShotTriggers version is the first re-release of the game since the Sega Saturn port and features a wealth of extras including new remixed game modes, multiple alternate soundtracks, online leaderboards and replays and a wealth of low-level customization options.

Why should I care? Battle Garegga is one of the progenitors of the bullet hell subgenre and the enhancements added for the M2 ShotTriggers release make it accessible to players of all skill levels. (It's also a hell of a lot cheaper than the Sega Saturn version.)

Helpful tip: If you're at all serious about clearing the standard arcade mode on one credit, do not hesistate to consult the system11 rank guide; it'll save you a ton of guesswork. 


Data Discs Metal Slug Vinyl Soundtrack

  • Price: £19.99 (classic black, opaque yellow), £20.99 (tri-colour white splatter)
  • Delivery time: November 2017

After a dozen successful and well-received vinyl collaborations with Sega (and more on the way), UK publisher Data Discs has teamed up with SNK for the first of what promises to be many vinyl soundtrack releases for classic SNK games, starting with the ubiquitous Metal Slug. The audio has been captured directly from Neo Geo development hardware by SNK themselves and mastered by Data Discs; preorders begin this Saturday, October 7, with plans to ship in early November. (SNK's clearly happy to play the field: the rights to the Art of Fighting series' music were recently signed to fellow retro VGM publisher Brave Wave Music.