Retro Re-release Roundup, week of January 18, 2018

A trio of Irem classics hit the boutique repro market, with apologies to Ronnie James Dio.

This week's another catch-up week for Hamster: an arcade game they promised last year and a Neo Geo game they promised last week, not that anyone's going to die of Arcade Archives deprivation anytime soon. On the flipside, Retro-Bit has a few new boxes full of collectible retro trinkets on offer — and as an added bonus, the games they're tied too don't suck.


Double Dragon

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America, Japan)
  • Price: $7.99
  • Publisher: Hamster / Arc System Works

What's this? Bimmy and Jammy's classic arcade brawler from 1987, back — like, actually back, unlike last time — and as violent as ever.

Why should I care? You've played the NES version to death and want to experience the game as it was originally designed: that is to say, with a friend in tow... and with fewer stages gimmicks, more bugs and wayyyy more slowdown.

Helpful tip: Elbow smash, elbow smash, elbow smash. Seriously, elbow smash.


Power Spikes II

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

What's this? The fourth and final game in Video System's semi-series of one-button arcade volleyball titles, originally released in 1994; in addition to tried-and-true volleyball, Power Spikes II also includes a "hyper league" manned by cybernetic athletes equipped with ultra-powerful special moves.

Why should I care? You want to collect the complete trilogy of futuristic Neo Geo sports games and you don't care that it's not nearly as fun as Super Baseball 2020 or Soccer Brawl.

Useless fact: The Hyper League referee is not (only) a Johnny 5 ripoff — he's Tee-Bee, a pilot from Video System's popular shooting game series, Aero Fighters.


Holy Diver & R-Type Returns deluxe cartridge reissues by Retro-Bit and Castlemania Games

  • Platform: NES, SNES
  • Price: $59.99
  • Availability: orders go live on Friday January 19, 9AM PST

Retro-Bit has built its name on mass-produced retro-themed peripherals and devices, from controllers to plug-and-play consoles to their recent run of no-frills Data East and Jaleco multi-carts, and now they're entering the boutique reproduction market in collaboration with Castlemania Games to bring you a pair of deluxe reissues from publisher Irem: R-Type Returns, a two-in-one SNES cartridge containing both Super R-Type and R-Type III: The Third Lightning, and Holy Diver, a hard-as-nails heavy metal-styled sidescroller that was originally released only in Japan and has never graced the Virtual Console. Each package includes a cardboard box, pins, stickers, lithograph and a full-colour manual and, should you purchase one of the first 1000 units, a certificate of authenticity and a limited-colour cartridge variant. Retro-Bit's own cartridges have varied in quality, to say the least, but let's hope Castlemania Games takes as much care with the hardware as the have with the tchotchkes.