Retro Re-release Roundup, week of August 30, 2018
Mourn the loss of Akitoshi Kawazu's concluding fragment.
Another relatively quiet roundup this week, but it's buoyed by several retro-adjacent indie ()Blade Strangers! The Messenger! Freedom Planet on consoles!) and the knowledge that we're moving into prime resell-old-junk season. Strap yourselves in.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / City Connection
What's this? An early vertical shooting game from under-the-radar arcade devs NMK, published by Jaleco in 1985; this game riffs on the then-popular Xevious format with the addition of hazardous terrain, an end-of-stage landing strip minigame and a bullet spread that changes after every stage, as well as FM music from future Wonder Boy series composer Shinichi Sakamoto.
Why should I care? You're tired of sleeping your way through Psikyo and Cave games and want something with a little more challenge.
Helpful tip: The PS4 version currently has a bug where trophy notifications can occasionally corrupt the game screen, so don't be afraid to wait this version out until it's fixed.
ARCADE ARCHIVES NEO GEO
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster / SNK
What's this? The Neo Geo's one and only American football game, developed and published by SNK in early 1992.
Why should I care? You're after something a lot prettier and a little deeper than 10 Yard Fight.
Useless fact: King of Fighters '94's Brian Battler was originally conceived as a Football Frenzy representative but after several alterations to his costume, some made to differentiate him from World Heroes' Johnny Maximum, the connection between the two games was practically non-existant.
FINAL CALL BEFORE DELISTING
The Last Remnant, unavailable from September 4
- Platform: PC via Steam (worldwide)
- Price: $9.99 or equivalent
- Publisher: Square-Enix
If the recent remaster of Romancing SaGa 2 and the impending worldwide release of SaGa Scarlet Grace have whet your appetite for more inscrutable JPRG malarkey, be sure to grab The Last Remnant while you still can — SaGa mastermind Akitoshi Kawazu used an original title and a lucrative marketing deal with Epic to produce a SaGa-in-all-but-name game using Unreal Engine 3, and it may be the last time they ever give him so much money to make something for so few people. (The PC port also includes a bevy of enhancements, performance improvements and balance changes that make it far preferable to the original X360 version, but there's not much that can be done to keep it from looking like an early-gen UE3 game.)
WAIT, THEY ACTUALLY FIXED IT? REALLY?
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Not Broken This Time Edition)
- Platform: Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: free title update, as it should be
- Publisher: Microsoft
Almost four years after an immensely disastrous launch and countless months after all hope for a fix had been dashed, Microsoft and 343i have finally made good on their promise to give their Halo collection the technical overhaul it sorely needed: in addition to dedicated multiplayer servers, visual enhancements for XIX, LAN support and support for dedicated installs for specific titles, it also brings a complete overhaul of the matchmaking, ranking and migration systems and a massive assortment of game-specific campaign and multiplayer fixes that go beyond summation... and all in time for the package's inclusion in Gamepass. Funny how that worked out, huh? (Incidentally, the free Halo ODST port previously given to MCC owners as a mea culpa is now paid DLC, so if you're coming in fresh you'll have to shell out $5 for the additional game.)
SOUNDTRACKS & VINYL
- Format: CD
- Price: approximately $30 USD
- Publisher: EGG MUSIC RECORDS
I don't often include domestic Japanese soundtrack releases in the roundup — they're not always available for international purchase, and there are so many of them — but special mention should be made to EGG Records' recent Double Dragon Sound collection: not only does it include the full Famicom soundtracks from the classic Double Dragon trilogy as well as the recent Double Dragon IV but the liner notes also include an interview with series composer Kazunoko Yamane that has been fully translated into English for the express convenience of overseas buyers. Good show, Hally!