Retro Re-release Roundup, week of April 12, 2018

Spin pickings.

This week's uncharacteristally barren release schedule is but a prelude to deluge of backwards-compatible Xbox Original games Microsoft has announced for Xbox One over the next couple weeks: seven next week, twelve the week after. (If you're a stickler about newness, you can download several new X1X Enhanced updates for a handful of backwards-compatibile X360 games including Red Dead Redemption, Gears of War 2 and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed — no, these games aren't retro, but some of them are depressingly close.)



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

What's this? A peculiar falling-block puzzle game by defunct developer FACE, released in arcades in 1994 and transplanted to home consoles for the first time as an Arcade Archives release; one or two players compete to assemble sets of three coloured characters within a playfield that can be rotated in 90-degree increments.

Why should I care? The kooky backgrounds are sort of interesting, I suppose.

Useless fact: Gurumin's inclusion in Arcade Archives bodes well for the eventual release of FACE's other Neo Geo puzzle game, the infinitely more enjoyable Money Puzzle Exchanger.


Dragon Blaze

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America, Japan)
  • Price: $7.99
  • Publisher: Zerodiv

What's this? Psikyo's final vertical shooting game, released to arcades in 2000; this action-fantasy title puts players in control of dragon-riding warriors who can mount and decouple from their dragon at the press of a button, doubling their offensive options and enabling then to attack multiple points at once.

Why should I care? You enjoyed Psikyo's previous works but felt they were too long, slow and easy. (Seriosly, this game does not mess around, even on the first loop)

Useless fact: Keeping with the trend of working with up-and-coming artists, Dragon Blaze's character designs and promotional illustrations were drawn by Boogiepop artist Kouji Ogata.

Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Bad Dudes

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (Europe)
  • Price: €7.99 / £7.99
  • 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. (They've pulled and re-upped this game for three weeks straight — I'm giving it another run because it's a slow week but if you can't find it on the store, take it up with Johnny.)

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 ran into a little controversy when people noticed many of the Bad Dudes promotional images had very clearly been pulled from Wikipedia and Deviantart, forcing him to relist the game with less amateurish images.


Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove - 2 Million Sold Sale

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PS4, PS3, Vita, Xbox One, Steam, GOG, and Humble Store
  • Price: 20% off until April 18
  • Publisher: Yacht Club Games

It's not truly retro and there's a very good chance you already own it, seeing as it just crossed the two-million sales threshold, but if not, now's your chance to grab the all-inclusive Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove package at a rare discount on whichever platform you choose. (A note for prospective double-dippers: the bonus Battletoads events, previously exclusive to the Xbox One version of the game, were added to the PC versions at the end of last year.)

The Retro Wonder Game Bundle

  • Platform: eBook (.mobi & .epub) via StoryBundle
  • Price: pay-what-you-want (4 books), $15 bonus tier (additional 7 books)
  • Publisher: StoryBundle

Game Developers Conference alum and longtime games writer Simon Carless has curated another selection of gaming books for StoryBundle, this time in support of Frank Cifaldi's Video Game History Foundation; this explicitly retro-focused collection contains several eBooks commissioned exclusively for this bundle, including pieces of the Atari VCS and the legacy of DOOM, as well as excerpted pieces from the likes of Rusel Demaria, Unseen64 and Hardcore Gaming 101. Be sure to click the book covers shown on the StoryBundle page for individual reviews and excerpts! (No, P.T.'s not retro, and no, it doesn't matter.)