Retro Re-release Roundup, week of May 31, 2018

We've awaited your return, warriors...

Two major collections dropped this week: one hard not to love, one hard to hate. Have you decided which is which?


Ninja Combat

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

What's this? A launch-window Neo Geo brawler developed by Alpha Denshi, starring a gaggle of ninjas on a quest to hurl approximately eight hundred shurikens into every individual opponent they cross, until they get bored or immediately stunlocked to death.

Why should I care? You want to play the one Neo Geo game with gameplay that matches the quality of the voice acting.

Useless fact: Ninja Combat is the first game in an unofficial trilogy of "wacky ninja games" from Alpha Denshi/ADK, the others being the overhead run-and-gun game Ninja Commando and the weapon-heavy fighting game The Ninja Master's.


Joe & Mac Caveman Ninja

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America)
  • Price: $7.99
  • Publisher: Flying Tiger Entertainment

What's this? Data East's cartoony caveman side-scroller, released in arcades in 1991 and followed by a handful of ports and a few sequels; despite the "caveman ninja" moniker, Joe & Mac's first adventure is less Ryu Hayabusa and more Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and Wonder Boy/Adventure Island.

Why should I care? Despite being a little shorter than the version you may have played at home, Joe & Mac is a fun pick-up-and-play game that's surprisingly amenable to co-op play. (Infinite credits doesn't hurt the experience either, mind.)

Useless fact: Joe & Mac's popularity in Europe was such that Nintendo Germany saw fit to give the two cavemen a cameo in their Club Nintendo Mario comic alongside Mega Man's Dr Wily and the Pickford Brothers' would-be mascot, Plok.



  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $14.99 / €14.99 / £13.49
  • Publisher: Nicalis / Treasure

What's this? Treasure's classic polarity-switching bullet hell shooter, ported to Switch with all the features you'd want and expect, including online leaderboards and a vertical display option for handheld mode.

Why should I care? Ikaruga is both the first undisputed classic shooting game available for Switch and the last authentic Japanese shooting game released to mainstream acclaim and, while it's not universally admired by hardcore shooting fanatics, the game's intuitive systems and heavy emphasis on puzzle-style stage design ensure it's a very accessible game that still retains a wealth of challenge for superplayers.

Helpful tip: A word for serious scorechasers: this version seems to confirm to the Steam/Nesica versions from a few years ago, with all the minor deviations that implues. (A word for everyone else: the port's perfectly fine, don't stress.)

Sega Mega Drive / Genesis Classics 

  • Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC via Steam (worldwide)
  • Price: $24.99 / €29.99 / £24.49
  • Publisher: Sega Europe

What's this? Another Mega Drive collection for the current generation, this one featuring some 50-odd games (list here; no, there's no Sonic 3 and/or Knuckles) inside a nostalgic '90-esque bedroom hub, complete with save states, achievements, screen settings, a rewind/fast-forward feature, region variants for select games, an intermittent array of specific per-game challenges, the option to horizontally flip the screen and online multiplayer for every game.

Why should I care? This collection offers a convenient and cost-effective way to play dozens of beloved Sega games on current consoles, including several titles that haven't been represented in previous compilations, and while the many of the lingering emulations issues that have plagues western Sega reissues for years still persist here, at least the feature set seems to be increasing.

Helpful tip: If this collection sounds a lot like a repackaging of the pre-existing Steam Mega Drive hub, that's because that's exactly what it is; the flipside is that all the enhancements made for the console port have been brought back to the PC as a free update, so if you bought these games years ago on Steam you pretty much already own this collection and then some.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection 

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC via Steam (North America/Europe)
  • Price: $39.99 / £34.99
  • Publisher: Capcom

What's this? Capcom and Digital Eclipse's thirtieth-anniversary tribute to the 2D era of Street Fighter, featuring twelve emulated arcade titles — the original game, all five main versions of Street Fighter II (plus a rare networked version of Super SFII thrown in for Switch owners), all three numbered versions of Street Fighter Alpha and the three main versions of Street Fighter III — along with online play and training modes for select games, a selection of high-quality display options and an in-depth museum featuring character and animation bios, a series timeline and a massive gallery of high-resolution, rarely-seen development and promotional art.

Why should I care? This collection isn't just a museum piece for an indelibily influential and innovative series, it's also the only contemporary legitmate venue to play these games in their original untarnished arcade form, not to mention a convenient way to acquaint or reacquaint yourself with a handful of games that remain fun and continue to be played competitively to this day.

Helpful tip: PS4 owners, take note: the default button configuration puts the start button on the DS4 touchpad, so if you plan on playing with a stick you'll have to rebind the controls on DS4 before plugging it in.


2018 Boss Fight Books StoryBundle 

  • Format: zero-DRM eBooks
  • Price: pay-what-you-want until June 22

Boss Fight Books is back with another StoryBundle — contribute to a good cause (or don't, you dirtbag) by grabbing a handful of books covering classic games including Super Mario Bros. 3, Final Fantasy V and Mega Man 3, or pledge over $15 to receive the full bundle covering an additional eight titles including Chrono Trigger, Metal Gear Solid and Shadow of the Colossus.