RETRO

Retro Re-release Roundup, week of April 4, 2024


No, it has nothing to do with IGA.

Place your bets, dear readers: can the lateness of this week’s roundup be attributed to an incredibly feeble attempt at April Fools humor, or merely the real-world inconveniences that have befallen its author? Whatever the case, now that you’ve all been suitably informed that someone at Namco remembered they once ripped off Bomberman, the world can resume turning.

ARCADE ARCHIVES

Exvania

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
  • Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster / Namco


What’s this? An overhead fantasy-themed competitive action game for up to four players, originally developed and distributed in arcades by Namco in 1992 and never ported or reissued until now; players are tasked with eliminating their opponents via the placement of obstructive explosive orbs that will detonate into a cross-shaped explosion soon after being placed, with powerups hidden within the treasure chests randomly littered across each stage. (There’s also a melee attack that’s required to break open chests and can be used to knock opponents around, so it’s not just Bomberman, but it’s really close.)

Why should I care? You’re intrigued by the novelty of a Namco game that virtually nobody has played, for one, and you’re further perplexed by the fact that even Namco, pioneers of a good half-dozen arcade formats that continue to be imitated to this day, succumbed to temptation and bashed out such a brazen clone of a popular contemporary game. Street Fighter II scrambled a lot of brains, huh?

Helpful tip: This game was originally released internationally (or at least, there was an English ROM produced and dumped online), but it doesn’t seem to be present in this reissue, not that it’s materially different from the Japanese version.;

OTHER

The Brazil

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price: $3.99 or equivalent
  • Publisher: Happymeal Inc.


What’s this? A remake of a casual subterranean digging game themed aroud the Japanese trope of tunnelling through the earth and ending up at Brazil, originally developed and distributed on Japanese feature phones by Happymeal Inc. in 2009; ths is a score-attack game that challenges players to use simple tap-and-hold controls to steer their digger as they burrow through the earth in an attempt to emerge at various global locales, collect powerups and avoid and/or venture closer to the deadly core of the earth.

Why should I care? I mean, this is a decent enough time-waster packed full of innocuously stereotypical tidbits of many of the world’s cities and countries, but I mostly mention it because “The Brazil” has to be one of the least evocative localized titles I’ve seen in a minute and I feel like I’m doing a service to the developer by offering this incredibly basic rundown of their game.

Useless fact: The only reason this game’s on my radar is because I recognize it as the foundation of another game released as part of Bandai-Namco’s now-defunct Japan-only Namco Catalog IP initiative, in which indies were given a remarkable amount of freedom in producing and publishing indie games using dozens of classic Namco IP — which, in this instance, resulted as a Dig Dug-themed take on this game.

Originally posted by retronauts.com

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