Retro Re-release Roundup, week of September 27, 2018

This reminds me of a DS game!

There's nothing at all surprising about Professor Layton being a decade-old franchise — I mean, there are half a dozen games, a handful of spinoffs, an anime and a reboot; how could it not be? — but it is somewhat surprising to think Level-5 has managed to avoid smothering their franchise through cynical trend-chasing and overexposure. Come on, Hino, I know you have it in you.


The King of Fighters 2001 

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

What's this? The first post-bankruptcy KOF game, developed by Brezzasoft under the supervision of Korean company Eolith; this game marks the end of the "NESTS Saga" storyline and maintains the striker system from preceding entries with a new ratio mechanic that lets players manually designate the role of each character within their 4-person team.

Why should I care? This definitely shouldn't be anybody's first KOF game -- certain characters are literally broken and most of the Eolith-produced assets are far below KOF's usual standard -- but most of the new characters are fun and the sub-boss/boss duo are the ultimate manifestation of SNK Boss Syndrome, should that be something you actually enjoy.

Useless fact: One of the new characters introduced in this game, the grotesque Kyo Kusanagi clone K9999, was such an unabashed ripoff of Tetsuo Shiima from the manga/anime Akira upto and including having the same voice actor  that modern-day SNK refuses to acknowledge his existence and has replaced him with a slightly less unoriginal character called Nameless in more recent games.


Namco Arcade Museum Pac

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $39.99 / €34.99 / £29.99
  • Publisher: Bandai-Namco

What's this? A no-nonsense bundle containing Namco's launch-window arcade compilation and their port of Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus (with the "plus" signifying a Switch-only co-op option, dontcha know).

Why should I care? You don't yet have either package, you like a bargain or you didn't know Namco Museum included a port of Pac-Man Vs. until now.

Helpful tip: Listen to the newest episode of the podcast if you haven't yet done so, it's even more relevant than you might imagine. 

Professor Layton and the Curious Village HD

  • Platform: iOS, Android (worldwide)
  • Price: $9.99 / €9.99 / £9.99
  • Publisher: Level-5

What's this? An HD remaster of Level-5's wildly successful puzzle-adventure game, originally published outside Japan by Nintendo for Nintendo DS way back in 2007; this version retains all the content from the original game (including the wi-fi puzzles), with remastered HD assets and new additional animated cutscenes.

Why should I care? Professor Layton's addictive and charming blend of hidden-object adventure game, varied brain teasers and quaint anime mystery melodrama hasn't aged a day, and Curious Village sets up a trilogy which is then followed by a prequel trilogy, so if you're going to start anywhere, why not here?

Useless fact: The original US-produced voice for Layton's sidekick Luke used such an offensively inauthentic cockney accent that Nintendo of Europe elected to redub that specific character for the European release.


GALF NES reproduction cartridge from Limited Run Games

  • Platforms: NES (worldwide)
  • Price: $44.99
  • Availability: orders begin September 28, 10AM Eastern; orders ship in November

Not only is Limited Run Games putting out a physical version of the hit indie golf-RPG Golf Story, they're also offering a standalone version of Golf Story's in-universe videogame, GALF, that's fully NES-compliant and includes and exclusive hole and two-player mode; GALF comes with authentic NES-style packaging and is available in two colors, the standard "grassy green" and a more limited "golf ball white", with the total run capping out at 1500 copies. (If you'd rather profess your love of GALF more outwardly, they're also selling a GALF shirt & sticker pack.) 

SNK soundtracks go digital

  • Platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes Store, Google Play & more (worldwide)
  • Price: money
  • Publisher: SNK

The King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, The Last Blade and even a few Metal Slug soundtracks are now available to buy or stream at your music vendor of choice, and half a dozen others you've probably never heard of. Do note, these are strictly official soundtracks, so don't bother looking for the arrange soundtracks because they're not yet available.