Retro Re-release Roundup, week of March 29, 2018

Uppercut, uppercut, body blow!

I'd really hoped I'd be able to share the release of Tempest 4000 with y'all today but Nintendo saw fit to pull it off the store within hours of release... was it supposed to come out today? Why'd it go away? Will it ever come out? Did Jeff Minter at least get paid upfront? Will the shambling corpse of Atari ever find true peace?


Punch-Out!! (March 30)

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (Europe, Japan)
  • Price: $7.99 / 6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster / Nintendo

What's this? Nintendo's popular 1984 arcade boxing title, reissued for home consoles for the very first time; the player's nameless, green-haired avatar — not Little Mac!  take on six huge, distinctive boxers as you punch, weave and block your way to earning (and defending) the WVBA championship title.

Why should I care? Punch-Out!! featured many appealing presentational touches, including digitised speech and hardware-scaled sprites, that were seldom-equaled in 1984 and are still impressive today, and while the character count is lower than the popular NES and Wii sequels, the more reactive, less predictive routines of the fighters and their subsequent rematches offer plenty of challenge.

Helpful tip: Hamster's re-release allows you to configure the dual-monitor layout in several ways, including a configuration designed for display on the Switch's screen when oriented vertically, allowing for optimal compatibility with Jeremy's work-in-progress vertical Switch grip.


Sengoku 3

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

What's this? The third and final entry in SNK's series of Japanese fantasy brawlers, released in arcades on the eve of SNK's bankruptcy in late 2001; this game ditches the crazy time-hopping shenanigans from the previous games and sports a more traditional ninja-and-samurai aesthetic, boltered by character designs from longtime Samurai Shodown series artist Shiroi Eiji.

Why should I care? You're looking for the Neo Geo's closest equivalent to technical brawlers like Capcom's Aliens vs. Predator and you can stomach a little (okay, a lot of) repetition.

Useless fact: Sengoku 3's drastic departure in style and tone can be attributed to developers Noise Factory, whose work on Sengoku 3 borrows heavily from their own original arcade brawler, 1999's Gaia Crusaders.


Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Bad Dudes

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $7.99 / €14.99 / £13.49
  • Publisher: Flying Tiger Entertainment

What's this? Another perfunctory Data East arcade re-release from the man behind the Turbo Duo mascot you never cared about; .this side-scrolling brawler puts players in control of street punks Blade and Striker, the only dudes bad enough to rescue "President Ronnie" from an army of garish and incredibly feebly ninjas.

Why should I care? You're nostalgic for a time when someone might feasibly want to rescue the president from being kidnapped by ninjas.

Useless fact: Ol' Johnny Turbo had planned to release this game a couple weeks ago but ran into a little controversy when people noticed many of their promotional images had very clearly been pulled from Wikipedia and Deviantart, forcing them to relist the game with less amateurish images.

Tengai (Sengoku Blade)

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

What's this? The 1996 sequel to Psikyo's samurai shooter Sengoku Ace; this game shifts the format to horizontally-scrolling action with player ships replaced by flying human characters, but the game systems are traditional Psikyo turned sideways: shoot, dodge tiny hella-fast bullets, grab flashing items for points.

Why should I care? it's not the old-school horizontal shooter you might be after, but it's also not Sol Divide.

Useless fact: Sengoku Blade's characters were designed by then-up-and-coming doujinshi artist Tsukasa Bullet, a man later famous for drawing a whole bunch of smut you absolutely shouldn't look up at work.


Playstation Europe Easter Sale

  • Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable (Europe)
  • Discounts: big discounts on over 800 titles
  • Publisher: various

Sony Europe's gargantuan sale mostly covers indie titles but, given than the price of Playstation VR has officially dropped by $100 and Tempest 4000 has gone MIA, I'd like to draw peoples' attention to Rez Infinite, the twice-classic rail-shooter and undisputed must-have VR title which is currently at 60% off. (I'd also like to draw peoples' attention to Wipeout Omega Collection which was just patched to include VR support... but alas, no sale.)