Retro Re-release Roundup, week of October 11, 2018
The Ports End with Switch
This week's update includes what may be the most half-assed feature implementation I've ever seen from a Nintendo product, in the form of The Legend of Zelda SP's "NES Classic suspend point as created by your pre-school child"-tier approach to broadening the audience for their older games. To be that good takes minutes, apparently.
ARCADE ARCHIVES NEOGEO
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
- Publisher: Hamster
What's this? The Neo Geo's one true wrestling game, released in 1993 by SNK as part of the first wave "100 Mega Shock" games; ten relatively copyright-friendly wrestlers square off in and outside the ring in a fast-moving wrestlefest not entirely unlike rival Capcom's Saturday Night Slam Masters.
Why should I care? You're looking for a wrestling game with a quick pace and a tough of fighting game flair and you're willing to endure a lot, and I mean a lot, of button-mashing.
Useless fact: After decades of obscurity, posterboy Red Dragon made his return to the SNK universe with an ever-so-brief cameo in Sylvie Paula Paula's SNK Heroines story mode ending.
NINTENDO SWITCH ONLINE - NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
October NSO update: The Legend of Zelda SP, NES Open Tournament Golf, Solomon's Key, Super Dodge Ball
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: available as part of Nintendo Switch Online
- Publisher: Nintendo, Koei-Tecmo, Arc System Works
What's this? The first of Nintendo's promised monthly updates to the Nintendo Switch Online NES library, including Nintendo's least unplayable NES golf title, Tecmo's unique and oft-cloned puzzle-action game and a so-so port of Kunio-kun's most celebrated four-player sports outing, as well as a new alternate version of The Legend of Zelda which has been expertly tuned to accomodate today's pla—oh who am I kidding, they had an intern collect a bunch of items and create a save state on his lunch break.
Why should I care? You're feeling overly nostalgic, or in the case of Zelda SP, you want to see how Nintendo tackled the challenge of making older games more accessible to newer audiences without putting in any real work or thinking about it too hard.
Useless fact: Arc System Works is giving away an officially-modified version of Super Dodge Ball starring Kunio's rival Riki as a pre-order bonus for their own online-enabled Kunio-kun collection due out later this year for all the platforms you'd expect. How about that?
XBOX 360 BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY ON XBOX ONE
- Platform: Xbox One (worldwide)
- Price: $19.99 / £14.99
- Publisher: Konami
What's this? The HD versions of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, released on last-gen consoles in late 2011 and dragged to XB1 via backwards compatibility because Konami would rather burn to the ground than expend any real effort to uphold the legacy of Hideo Kojima.
Why should I care? One of these games is unfolding in the real world in front of our very eyes, and the other stars that guy from Revengeance.
Where's Peace Walker? It was made backwards-compatible earlier this year, and it's taken this long for the numbered games to catch up.
- Platform: PC via Steam
- Price: $19.99 / €19.99 / £15.99
- Publisher: Capcom
What's this? Seven of Capcom's finest original arcade brawlers - 1989's Final Fight, 1991's Captain Commando, The King of Dragons and Knights of the Round, 1992's Warriors of Fate, 1994's Armored Warriors and 1997's Battle Circuit - complete with GGPO-powered online play for each title, region and dipswitch settings, an art gallery and not a lot else.
Why should I care? You're blindly optimistic that the PC version's netcode will be less abysmal than that of the console versions which dropped a few weeks ago.
Useless fact: Capcom's final arcade brawler, Battle Circuit, is an off-the-wall game full of strange characters and experimental mechanics, but it was originally even weirder; according the behind-the-scenes documents published at the time of release, Battle Circuit was originally intended to be a maniacal racing game somewhat inspired by Wacky Races, before being shelved and retooled as a more market-friendly action game.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 (worldwide)
- Price: $49.99
- Publisher: NISA
What's this? A 15th-anniversary remaster of Nippon Ichi's flagship meta-grindy strategy-RPG ouroboros, first released for PS2 and eventually ported to several other platforms including a recent PC port, from which this remaster is derived.
Why should I care? In general? Search me. (t's the numbers, right? The big numbers? I hear this is the one people like for the story, maybe?) This version specifically? I'm reliably informed it's basically the PC version with a few Disgaea 5 sprite swaps and a $35 price hike, so perhaps you shouldn't.
Helpful tip: Disgaea is a popular and undoubtedly compelling series that I am absolutely unqualified to recommend, so please don't read my hollow snark as any sort of authoritative condemnation of Disgaea; if you want a game that lets you mainline the sensation of breaking Final Fantasy Tactics over your knee at the expense of everything else then there's every chance you'll enjoy this series.
Luigi's Mansion 3DS (October 12)
- Platform: Nintendo 3DS (North America)
- Price: $39.99
- Publisher: Nintendo
What's this? A comical horror-adventure game that launched alongside the Gamecube in late 2001, now available on 3DS with revised gyroscope-enhanced controls, local two-player cooperative play, the ability to replay boss fights, a touch-screen map and a raft of graphical tweaks, as well as the rare-in-2018 inclusion of stereoscopic 3D visuals.
Why should I care? Luigi's Mansion was originally conceived as a showcase for the unrealized stereoscopic 3D capabilities of the Gamecube, a feature that went unutilized due to the prohibitive cost or producing stereoscopic 3D displays, so if you play it for no other reason, play it as a final toast to Nintendo's support of stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS.
Helpful tip: You'll be able to play some of the gallery content with another player via download play but if you want to play the main game with a friend, you'll need two copies of the game.
The World Ends With You: Final Remix (October 12)
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
- Price: $49.99
- Publisher: Square-Enix
What's this? A HD remaster of Tetsuya Nomura's cult DS action-RPG, best remembered for its stylish Shibuya-kei aethetic and an ambitious and controversial battle system that combined touch- and button-based commands across both screens; along with HD visuals, remastered and additional audio and a new post-game scenario, this version uses the single-screen battle reconfiguration from the mobile port and offers a variety of control options, including touch controls in handheld mode and gyro cursor controls in TV mode, as well as a new co-op mode played with split joycons.
Why should I care? While the exclusion of the original battle system and control scheme keeps this version from being the definitive remaster many returning players had hoped for, Final Remix's variety of control options make it the easiest version to recommend to newcomers or players who couldn't come to grips with the game on their DS. (Whether there's enough new content to justify the price hike from the mobile version remains to be seen.)
Helpful tip: The "Final Remix" subtitle isn't just an indication that they're done porting the game, it's also sending the message that this is their last attempt to generate demand for a sequel, so if is the last the world ever sees of TWEWY, you'll know it's because this remaster bombed.
- Format: IPS patch for Famicom ROM
- Translators: Supper, TheMajinZenki, cccmar
NES collectors may recognise Natsume for releasing such admirable action games as Shadow of the Ninja, Abadox, Shatterhand, S.C.A.T. or Dragon Fighter, but Natsume's most renowned Famicom game is the 1989 game Idol Hakkenden, a command-based adventure game that became a cult hit thanks to a large variety of chiptune idol songs and a humorous plot that set it apart from the typical hard-boiled adventure games that were popular at the time, and now it's availble to play in English. Be sure to check the download for a full manual!