Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 19, 2017

A double-dose of Japanese cultdom.

What's this? Only one Arcade Archives release this week... and it's not a fighting game? WOW! YOU LOSE!


Robo Army

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

What's this? A 1991 brawler by SNK that stars a pair of cybernetically-augmented soldiers on a mission to defeat an uprising of evil robots bent on purging the world of humans.

Why should I care? You like robots, looking at well-animated robots, punching robots, being punched by robots, listening to the clang of robot-on-robot combat, crushing robots under the weight of your hyperactive bouncing buggy transformation attack and losing all your imaginary quarters to some really cheap robot bosses.

Useless fact: A Robo Army team was planned for The King of Fighters '99 but after much trial and error, the team was completely replaced and redesigned and only the character name "Maxima" remained as a vestige of the original concept; a later nod saw Robo Army's P2 character Rocky added to KOF2000 as a striker character for Maxima.


Spelunker Party

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
  • Price: $29.99 / €29.99 / £24.99
  • Publisher: Square Enix / Tozai Games

What's this? The newest entry in the long-running, famously murderous Spelunker series of cave-trawling platformers; this particular game remixes and repackages all the content from the free-to-play PS4 Spelunker World title — over 100 levels, character customization, helper characters and online multiplayer — into a traditional single-purchase game with no free-to-play elements, as well as additional new features like local split-screen multiplayer and an improved framerate.

Why should I care? Spelunker Party retains the straightforward, exacting controls of the previous games but the difficulty is mitigated by the ablity to upgrade your characters and work together with other players, so it's a great point of entry to the series, and it's simple enough that other players can jump into a local co-op game without much hassle. (For the completely unfamiliar, there's a free demo on the eShop.)

Helpful tip: This game isn't Spelunky. This game has nothing to do with Spelunky. It's okay to make that mistake once, or twice, or a few times more, but please, don't make it a habit.


  • Platform: Playstation 4 (North America, Europe)
  • Price: $14.99 / €14.99 / £14.99
  • Publisher: Pygmy Games

What's this? A much-belated sequel to a formative Japanese action-strategy game released for Japanese computers in 1983 and ported to Famicom in 1984; developed by Japanese indie studio Pygmy Studio, the sequel maintains the scrappy, frantic, just-a-little-too-random action of the original game and provides a few modern ameneties like a two-player mode and the option to switch between the original crude sprites, seen above, and modern crude visuals.

Why should I care? For all its faults and despite a complete lack of historical context, this is the best version of Bokosuka Wars you're ever likely to play and, should you stick around long enough to figure it out, it does possess a certain primitive charm.

Useless fact: The Minion Quest portion of the recent Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga remake was inspired by Bokosuka Wars, not that anyone outside of Japan would be expected to get the reference.


Playstation Network Halloween sales

  • Platform: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita (North America, Europe)
  • Heavy discounts on over 200 games until October 24 (North America) / November 1 (Europe)

Sony's celebrating Halloween with sales on a ton of loosely- and blatantly- horror-themed titles, including classic entries in the Resident Evil, Dead Rising, Legacy of Kain, House of the Dead, Devil May Cry and Castlevania series across PS4, PS3 and Vita. Europe's sales will run all the way through to Halloween but North America's sales will cycle next week, so notably absent titles (Silent Hill!) might show up closer to the holiday.