There was lots of good news for retro gamers this week, as 3 cult-favorite classic games are being given a second chance on modern consoles.
The first game is Sony’s Tomba!, a platformer-RPG hybrid that was tragically ignored by most of the gaming populace back when it was released for the PS1 in 1998. While the game came out at a time when 2D platformers were considered old-hat, copies of the game now fetch insane prices on eBay as word-of-mouth regarding the game’s quality has spread over the last decade. Tomba! casts players as the titular caveman, who must travel the world in order to defeat an army of evil pigs (trust me, it’s cooler than it sounds.) The game has a pretty complex system of branching quests that was definitely ahead of it’ time, and anyone who holds any love for Symphony of the Night or classically styled 2D action games should definitely buy Tomba! when it hits PSN later this summer.
As for games you can play right now, SNK finally released Metal Slug 3 on the Wii virtual console this week. Yes, technically you can already play Metal Slug 3 on Wii via the Metal Slug Anthology that SNK released for the system a few years ago, but hardcore Neo Geo purists will probably prefer the Virtual Console release: not only is it more graphically accurate than the Anthology version (the games on the Anthology disc got rid of the screen flashes that happen when your shots connect with an enemy,) and superior controls — unlike the Anthology version, the Virtual Console ROM lets you control the game with the Classic Controller’s d-pad, rather than an analog stick. As for the game itself, Metal Slug 3 is often considered the best game in the Metal Slug series, so if you somehow missed it, you now have another opportunity to experience one of the best 2D run-and-guns ever created.
Finally, Sega continues to tease the upcoming HD remastering of Jet Set Radio, which was also recently announced for the PS Vita in addition to the Xbox 360 and PS3.
In addition to the Vita version, they also recently announced that they had managed to re-license “99.9%” of the tracks on the original game’s iconic soundtrack, including Jurassic 5’s “Improvise” and Guitar Vader’s insanely catchy “Super Brother.” Unfortunately, the soundtrack still includes Rob Zombie’s “Dragula,” which, while not a bad song in its own right, is one of the most overused songs in gaming history: it appeared in at least four different games in 1999 alone. Regardless of the unwelcome return of one of 1999’s most overplayed songs, I’m still insanely hyped for the new HD version of Jet Set Radio. It was one of the Dreamcast’s best games, and my DC recently croaked (the disc-drive finally gave out after 10 years of near constant use,) so it’s nice to know that I’ll still be able to play JSR on my newer systems.