Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 4, 2018
Indy's 3D debut stumbles out of the fridge.
This week's roundup features a handful of games that have spent well over a decade out of circulation, either due to complicated and expensive rights issues, changing market concerns or the fact that people simply weren't particularly aggrieved by their absence. Which game fits which descriptor? You be the judge.
ARCADE ARCHIVES NEOGEO
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster
What's this? A wacky fixed-screen co-op action game in the Bubble Bobble mold, published in arcades by SNK in 2001 and released at home for the first time today; by tossing your children(!) onto enemies, you can prime enemies to explode and create chain reactions for big points.
Why should I care? There are surprisingly few fixed-screen action games of this type available for Neo Geo — just two, off the top of my head — and this one happens to be the better of them.
Useless fact: If Zupapa! strikes you as a little behind the times for a game released in 2001, that's with good reason -- Zupapa! was originally developed, demoed and subsequently shelved by Money Idol Exchanger makers FACE in 1994, only to be unearthed years later as one of SNK's final pre-bankruptcy releases.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (North America)
- Price: $20.00
- Publisher: Zerodiv
What's this? Nintendo's first dalliance with Psikyo's other genre specialty, erotic mahjong games; the Taisen Hot Gimmick series found success in arcades, on Dreamcast and and Playstation 2 and this particular entry, a HD remaster of the somewhat sanitized PS2 remake of the original arcade game, is the first to officially leave Japan (with a predictably poor English translation, mind).
Why should I care? These games didn't sell purely based on the perv factor: they're genuinely well-crafted versus mahjong games and, should the "reward" of forcing anime girls to dress in sexy costumes not appeal to you, you can opt to play against the AI in the vs. "Jong-Fight" mode which replaces all the erotic characters with dudes in full-body spandex suits performing bizarre wrestling moves.
Useless fact: This game dropped in Japan a few months ago and the publisher was forced to replace and amend their eShop promo images multiple times due to excessive lewdness.
- Platform: PC via Good Old Games (worldwide)
- Price: $5.99
- Publisher: Lucasfilm / Disney
What's this? Indiana Jones' first 3D action-adventure game, developed by Lucasarts as an original title under the stewardship of Hal Barwood, director of Lucasarts' Indy adventure game, Fate of Atlantis, and released on PC in 1999 with ports to follow; just as Lara Croft borrowed from Indy, Infernal Machine is thoroughly derivative of Tomb Raider, albeit with a lot more dialogue and puzzles that are a little more, um, puzzle-y.
Why should I care? Indy's honestly had a fairly decent run in the gaming realm and this particular title is perhaps the most asked-about game of the 3D era, albeit one that's definitely of its time (read: tank controls).
Useless fact: If, like me, you remember the game from its N64 port, you may be taken aback by the PC version's controls; as a response to the criticisms leveled at the original PC game, the N64 version was thoroughly overhauled by Factor 5 to include controls more in line with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, among other changes.
- Platform: PC via Good Old Games (worldwide)
- Price: $9.99 each, also available as a three-pack with a 15% discount
- Publisher: Activision / Raven Software / some eastern European Cabela studio
What's this? All three entries in the notoriously gory Activision-published military FPS series, spanning from 2000 to 2007 and long thought to be lost in an unnavigable quandary of legal rights issues until now; the series overwent a shift from game to game, from a more typical FPS campaign to a tactical approach inspired by Rainbow Six to... y'know what, I didn't play that last game, so you tell me.
Why should I care? You're nostalgic for the era when Raven Software cranked out second-tier idtech FPS games around the clock, and you're able to accept the game's ludicrously grisly weapon damage with a few zillion miles of ironic distance. (That being said, I've never heard a single positive word about the third, non-Raven-developed game, so maybe don't go straight for the bundle.)
Useless fact: As with many violent games of the era, Soldier of Fortune II had to be heavily censored for release in Germany, which Raven opted to circumvent via the tried-and-true method of texturing all their human models with rivets and blue-grey skin and passing them off as robots.
DISCOUNTS & DEALS
- Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: $59.99 for 19 Mega Man & Mega Man X games
- Publisher: Capcom
For those who are coming in fresh with Mega Man 11, don't know which older games to buy or simply dilly-dallied on picking up the recent Legacy Collection releases, this bundle has you sorted: both Mega Man & Mega Man X Legacy Collections plus the brand-new Mega Man 11, bundled together with a fairly significant discount.