Retro Re-release Roundup, week of September 13, 2018


I wouldn't typically give y'all a heads-up for a pre-order item but in this case I thought I should make an exception: getting a Japanese NEOGEO Mini without a pre-order was tough for a little while after launch and even with unflattering reports about the system's quality and ease of play, one would presume that demand will persist internationally. After all, when else are you going to have the opportunity to buy a bunch of old Neo Geo games?



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

What's this? An arcade side-scroller with a vaguely-Greek fantasy motif, developed and published in arcades by Tecmo in 1986 and subsequently ported to several home computers as well as the Atari Lynx; players are tasked with running, jumping and climbing to the end of each stage while collecting powerups for their yoyo-like "diskarmor" weapon and fighting the occasional boss along the way.

Why should I care? You're into esoteric mid-'80s arcade scoring tricks, or you just want to look at that sunset one more time.

Helpful tip: While the tiger iem will give you the very useful ability to defeat enemies by stomping on their heads, there are several points in the game where it's advantageous to avoid picking up this item — entering stage 3 without the tiger item, for example, allows you to bounce on top of the flying enemy that appears at the beginning of the stage and ride it all the way to the end of the level, provided you can bounce the whole way there.


Aggressors of Dark Kombat

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

What's this? A one-on-one street brawler starring seven rowdy scrappers and one World Heroes interloper, released by Neo Geo co-conspirators ADK (geddit?) in 1994; while it may resemble a traditional fighting game, the free-scrolling ground plane, grabbable weapons and heavy focus on grapples place it somewhere between a wrestling game and a beat-em-up in terms of game systems.

Why should I care? You're looking for a versus melee combat game that's very different to the many other fighting games on SNK's roster and you don't mind that it's not the least bit serious.

Useless fact: ADK's lead character Joe Kusanagi was originally slated for inclusion in the all-star fighting game Neo Geo Battle Coliseum but was left off the roster due to having an extremely similar name to KOF mainstay Kyo Kusanagi; instead, the sassy exchange student Kisarah Westfield was added to the lineup and in a fun inversion of her ADK super move, "Jealousy Bomber", Joe becomes the target of her affection instead of the victim.


Rumble Roses XX

  • Platform: Xbox One (worldwide)
  • Price: $14.99 / €14.99 / £11.99
  • Publisher: Konami

What's this? The second and final(?) entry in Konami's campy all-female wrestling series, developed in conjunction with rassle-factory Yuke's and released as Konami's first Xbox 360 title back in 2006; the new hardware allowed for dramatically higher-quality wrestler models and animations, as well as online play and a staggering amount of paid DLC.

Why should I care? While there's surprisingly little story content, especially for a game about fictional pin-up girls, XX's animations do hold up quite well and the game lets you view them from every, uh, angle.

Helpful tip: Despite Rumble Roses' modest success, the characters found an audience outside of the games and remain popular to this day, with cover-girl Reiko Hinomoto receiving a recent nod as a guest bomber in Super Bomberman R.

Zone of the Enders HD Collection

  • Platforms: Xbox One (worldwide)
  • Price: whatever the disc costs, it's not a Games on Demand title
  • Publisher: Konami

What's this? Konami's last-gen HD double-pack of Konami Productions' maniacal anime mecha action drama games, and not the even newer 4K ZOE2 port that showed up everywhere else a week ago.

Why should I care? Because Konami doesn't care enough to port ZOE2 Mars to XB1, from the looks of things. Hey, at least it comes with the first game!

Helpful tip: The X360 version of ZOEHD never received the technical overhaul that was afforded to the PS3 versio but it had fewer general issues to begin with, and the innate enhancements provided by the emulator on XB1 apparently bring the collection's performance within spitting distance of the patched PS3 version.


Steel Empire

  • Platform: PC via Steam (worldwide?)
  • Price: $14.99 or equivalent ($9.99 or equivalent until September 20)
  • Publisher: Teyon / Mebius

What's this? Hot-B's cult steampunk shooting game, orginally developed and released for Sega Mega Drive in 1992 and remade for Game Boy Advance in 2004; this port is based off the 3DS remaster which is derived from the GBA version, with Steam-specific additions like trading card support and online leaderboards.

Why should I care? You're looking for a newcomer-friendly shooting game with heavy cinematic flair, and you don't mind that the modern visual enhancements clash with the classic-style pixel art you might be familiar with.

Useless fact: An arcade version of Steel Empire began development soon after the Mega Drive game was released but was quickly shelved when the programmers were forced to assist in salvaging an existing project, an expensive Super Famicom RPG called Bazoo! Mahou Sekai which barely made it to market and bankrupted the studio.


NEOGEO Mini International preorders

  • Format: standalone unit with HDMI out
  • Price: $109 / £129.29
  • Availability: out October 16

SNK's mini arcade cabinet leaves a lot to be desired -- Daniel's evaluation was far from glowing and he was a lot more forgiving than others might be, myself included -- but with SNK mania at a long-time high there's no denying they'll be in hot demand, so if you'd rather not risk the very real possibility of stock issues on launch day, you'd best preorder now. (That also goes for accessories like the sadly non-clicky Neogeo CD replica controller, required for multiplayer, or the mini-HDMI cable required for TV-out play.)


Katamari Damacy LP second-edition reprint by Mondo

  • Format: vinyl (2xLP)
  • Price: $35
  • Availability: ships late September

The first version of Mondo's Katamari Damacy vinyl sold out extremely quickly, but this second-edition blue/orange version might be a little easier to grab: it's been on sale for a whole day and, as of this writing, it's still available! Madness! (Mondo's also offering a pair of Katamari Damacy shirts, if you're in the mood for more swag.)

Snatcher LP second-edition reprint by ShipToShore Phono Co. 

  • Format: vinyl (2xLP)
  • Price: $35
  • Availability: ships late September

What better complement to last week's Policenauts record than a Snatcher record? Much like the Snatcher vinyl released early last year, this one specifically drawn from the Sega CD soundtrack. with the only difference being the vinyl's new shade of "Metal Gear mkII Blue".