Retro Re-release Roundup, week of June 14, 2018

He's finally here, performing for you.

Looking back, it seems obvious that Arcade Archives Donkey Kong would happen eventually — I mean, Hamster probably didn't sign up because they were intoxicated by the commercial potential of Vs. Clu Clu Land — but  DK's been off-limits for so long that seeing it show up today is still A Big Deal. Thankfully, it's also a fun game! Not Donkey Kong Jr. fun, but I'm a patient man.


Donkey Kong

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

What's this? Nintendo's classic multi-screen arcade jumper and the ancestral birthplace of Mario, Donkey Kong and Pauline, often ported and reimagined but never reissued in its authentic arcade form — three different revisions, in fact — until tomorrow.

Why should I care? The original arcade version of Donkey Kong has long been considered untouchable due to an undisclosed legal settlement between Nintendo and external programmers Ikegami Tsushinki, so if not for any other reason, you might want to grab this now because who knows if it'll ever leave the vault again. 

Useless fact: John Kirby, the lawyer who successfully defended Nintendo against a lawsuit from King Kong owners Universal Studios over alleged copyright infringement, received two gifts from then-president Hiroshi Yamauchi for his services: a yacht, worth approximately $30,000, and the exclusive lifetime rights to name his yacht Donkey Kong, a gift for which no price could ever be high enough.


Super Sidekicks 3: The Next Glory

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

What's this? The third entry in SNK's popular soccer series, now with more teams, more tournament options and a rare Portuguese Brasiliero announcer option.

Why should I care? If you ever played one of these games in the arcades but could never quite remember which one you played, it was probably Super Sidekicks 3.

Useless fact: Ever play Neo Geo Cup '98? It's a barely-altered reskin of Super Sidekicks 3, despite the release of Super Sidekicks 4 in the interim.


Rockstar Classics update

  • Platform: Xbox One
  • Price: $14.99, or free if you own the original game disc or X360 Xbox Original digital version
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games

What's this? A classic Rockstar joint and two other games they made, up and running on Xbox One. (These were announced to be out last week but were intermittently broken at launch, so I figured I'd wait until they were working before bringing them up... if they're still not working, talk to Major Nelson.)

Which titles are available? Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar Table Tennis and both the standard and complete editions of the not-quite-Retronauts-old Midnight Club: Los Angeles.

Why should I care? San Andreas represents the zenith of early-'00s sandbox action gaming, should that be something you feel the urge to revisit, and Table Tennis... well, that sure was a launch-window console game, huh?

Helpful tip:  A note for owners of the OG Xbox version of San Andreas: popping the original disc into your XB1 will give you the X360 version and not the OG XB version.


Flashback 25th Anniversary Edition (June 17 / June 19)

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America, Europe)
  • Price: $19.99 / €19.99 / £17.49 (digital), $39.99 / €39.99 (collectors' edition)
  • Publisher: Microids / Maximum Games

What's this? Paul Cuisset's original cinematic sci-fi platformer-adventure game (not the recent Ubisoft-published remake), presented here with newly remastered audio, a rewind function, tutorials and an optional (and quite ugly) pixel filter.

Why should I care? Flashback's "CD-on-a-cartridge" presentation doesn't wow the way it once did but the intriguing plot and extremely particular character movement make it one of the few games of its era that were able to successfully clear the bar established by Prince of Persia.

Useless fact: Despite what you may have heard, Flashback bears no connection to Eric Chahi's Another World beyond a shared publisher, Delphine Software, and the prominent application of rotoscoped animation, so don't let your enjoyment of one influence your interest in the other.


Nintendo's E3 Sale

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS (North America), Nintendo Wii U (Europe)
  • Discounts: up to 50% off dozens of titles until June 21
  • Publisher: various

Nintendo's celebrating the announcement of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Switch with sales on classic franchise games both recent and classic... not that any of those classic games are available on Switch just yet, but you can always grab some of the straggling Virtual Console titles on 3DS (and also Wii U, if you're a PAL pal.) A few choice picks, if I may: Earthbound (New 3DS, NA), Mario Tennis (Wii U, EU) Sega 3D Classics Collection (3DS, NA), Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight (3DS, EU).

Space Invaders Extreme 40th Anniversary Sale

  • Platforms: PC via Steam (worldwide)
  • Discounts: 30% off from June 16
  • Publisher: Degica / Taito

Not only is Space Invaders just shy of 40 years old, the hip new revival game all the kids are raving about, Space Invaders Extreme, is itself a decade old... and it's also on PC, which a lot of people missed, so don't miss the excuse to pick it up later in the week. Who knows, maybe we'll get a sequel (another one, I mean.)