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.
ARCADE ARCHIVES NEO GEO
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
SOUNDTRACKS & MERCHANDISE
- 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.)
- 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.