Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 12, 2017


Week in, week out, another handful of Neo Geo and Turbogra—wait a minute. Wait a goddamned minute.


Real Bout Fatal Fury

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

What's this? The fifth entry in SNK's flagship fighting game series, now featuring a more streamlined control scheme and the somewhat unpopular inclusion of a ring-out system, as well as the return of popular characters Kim Kaphwan, Billy Kane and Duck King and the final canonical appearance of beloved badass Geese Howard.

Why should I care? This is probably the best entry point for fans of Street Fighter 2 or other more conventional 2D fighting games, and Terry's single-player ending is one of the most iconic moments in fighting game history.

Useless fact: The artists hid a skeevy easter egg in the original arcade version: winning a round and immediately falling out of bounds on the beach stage as Blue Mary would cause her to swim to the surface without a top, briefly exposing her breasts. It's been edited out of every other port and I'm sure it'll be edited out of this one, too.

The King of Fighters '95

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $7.99 /  €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster

What's this? The second of SNK's 3-on-3 crossover fighting games and the first to feature the ability to create custom teams with any character; it also marks the beginning of the "Orochi Saga" storyline and the debut of Kyo Kusanagi's eternal rival and fan favouite, Iori Yagami.

Why should I care? KOF95 is a raw, old-school fighting game with a lot of high-damage characters and fast rounds that give it a distinct flavour, even compared to the immediate sequel; it's probably not to the tastes of modern players but it's charming in its own way.

Useless fact: KOF95 started the long-running gag of having new teams enter the tournament by beating up KOF94's USA Team and stealing their invite.


Digital Champ: Battle Boxing (Turbografx-16)

  • Platform: Wii U (North America)
  • Price: $5.99 / €5.99 / £5.39
  • Publisher: Konami / naxat soft

What's this? An early boxing game for PC Engine, developed by Naxat in the image of Nintendo's Punch-Out!! arcade game.

Why should I care? It's not well-designed or well-animated and pressing buttons isn't fun at all but the screenshots do vaguely resemble a generic, charmless Punch-Out!!, so, mission accomplished?

Helpful tip: Wait for Arcade Archives Punch-Out!!

Legend of Hero Tonma (Turbografx-16)

  • Platform: Wii U
  • Price: $5.99 / €5.99 / £5.39
  • Publisher: Konami / Masaya

What's this? A respectable conversion of Irem's pop-fantasy arcade action game, released in 1991.

Why should I care? Irem consciously developed this game with a much lower level of challenge than their usual work, so you might enjoy this game as an alternative to the likes of Ninja Spirit.

Useless fact: Legend of Hero Tonma was famously developed by an all-female team, not that it seems to have had any bearing on the game's popularity or lack thereof.

Moto Roader (Turbografx-16)

  • Platform: Wii U
  • Price: $5.99 / €5.99 / £5.39
  • Publisher: Konami / Masaya

What's this? A near-future overhead racing game in the vein of R.C. Pro-Am or Micro Machines, developed by Masaya and released in 1989.

Why should I care? Moto Roader was one of the first PC Engine games with multi-tap support and it holds up as a fun, if simple, multiplayer game.

Helpful tip: The middle-of-the-track warp that occurs when your vehicle is left behind can be manipulated to warp your vehicle ahead of the drivers on certain corners, but abusing this technique will quickly drain your gasoline.


Heiankyo Alien

  • Platform: PC (Steam)
  • Price: $14.99
  • Publisher: Mindware

What's this? The second of three(!) commemorative Heiankyo Alien releases scheduled for this year, developed by long-time maniac developer Mikito Ichikawa's company, Mindware. This version of Heiankyo Alien include a port of the 1980 arcade version and several brand-new arrange modes, including a neo-retro mode inspired by Pac-Man Championship Edition and a mode themed around idol group Guildoll, of all things.

Why should I care? As referenced on every Retronauts podcast and video for the last eight months, Heiankyo Alien is both a historically significant part of Japanese computer history and the earliest example of the trap-and-run style of gameplay later popularised by the likes of Space Panic and Lode Runner

Helpful tip: If you need the complete Heiankyo experience, Mindware is also releasing a deluxe code-in-a-box package in Japan that includes replications of development materials and other documents from the production of various versions of the game that were sourced from The Game Preservation Society of Japan, including reprints of the original published code from the February 1980 issue of hobbyist computing magazine I/O.