Retro Re-release Roundup, week of August 9, 2018

Goddess on the go.

Good news, Switch owners! Okami HD is now available for play anytime, anywere. Just think: if you were to take it with you and peck away at it for ten or fifteen minutes a day then before you know it, everything you know and love will have been lost to the inexorable march of time, and you might have even beaten the first Orochi fight.


Kid's Horehore Daisakusen

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

What's this? A time-hopping overhead maze game, developed and published in arcades by Nichibutsu in 1989 with ports here and there, including a Turbografx-16 version named Cratermaze and a Famicom remix with the entirely unremarkable title Booby Kids; players are tasked with digging holes to trap enemies as they scour each level for enough treasure to procure a key that lets them escape to the next stage. (The listing's not up outside of Japan just yet, so hold tight.)

Why should I care? You've always thought Heiankyo Alien would be improved by flamethrowers and Mappy doors, or you're just a sucker for late-'80s arcade earworms.

Useless fact: While Kid's Horehore Daisakusen is usually described as a Heiankyo Alien clone or even a licensed reskin, designer Shigeki Fujiwara insists the similarities were completely coincidental and that his game was meant as an interpretation of Hudson's Bomberman; given the resemblance of some of the power-up weapons to Bomberman's bombs and Fujiwara's own work on the Bomberman series soon after making this game, it's plausible that he's telling the truth.


Metal Slug 4

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

What's this? The fifth Metal Slug game, cobbled together by Korean licensee Mega Enterprise during SNK's purgatory and released for Neo Geo in 2002; this entry features "new" playable characters Trevor and Nadia, "new" slugs to pilot and a smattering of new enemies and bosses alongside ever-so-slightly-different versions of enemies and stages from the past four games.

Why should I care? You're not turned off by a lack of innovation or a massive amount of recycled content.

Useless fact: The now-defunct Japanese magazine Monthly Arcadia became the center of a minor controversey when a player using the name "copy-paste games suck" topped the inaugural Metal Slug 4 scoreboards.


Okami HD

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $19.99 / €19.99 / £15.99
  • Publisher: Capcom

What's this? Hideki Kamiya's omni-ported sumi-e odyssey, now on Switch with all the added touch-ups of the recent HD ports (skippable text!) plus a few extra enhancements including the option to use either gyro or touchscreen inputs to control the Celestial Brush.

Why should I care? You like traditional 3D Zelda games and you're adamant that one can never have too much of a good thing.

Helpful tip: Capcom's opted for a digital-only release in the west but they've released a physical version in Japan that's fully playable in English, should you choose to import it.


The Art of Metal Gear Solid I-IV by Dark Horse

  • Format: hardcover (2x 400pp)
  • Price: $79.99
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

After a brief delay, Dark Horse has finally released the first English-translated version of these highly sought-after books that catalog Yoji Shinkawa's extensive body of work as it pertains to the Metal Gear Solid franchise, specifically entries I through IV as well as Peace Walker; the book is split into two volumes, one containing official illustrations and the other sketches and concept art, contained inside a slipcase not entirely unlike the one produced for Metal Gear's 25th anniversary. The Art of Sparkster book's out next month, I promise.