Bewitching in both incarnations, Cotton's Reboot! is a fanfare of zany ghouls and ghosts, inventive and inimitable bosses, and a superbly catchy soundtrack in both original and remixed forms. Never being released in the west and prohibitively expensive today, it's something of a blessing for retro gamers to be able to dip their toes in Cotton's enduringly impressive X68000 outing. Of all the "cute 'em ups" out there, it remains one of the best, while the new Arrange mode – with its impressive overhauls and remixed ideas – has cast a rare spell of resurrection.
If you can't stand the thought of tackling a game through an arduous process of restarts, walk away now. There are points in the campaign where Fujiwara comes close to overstepping the mark, and you do wonder why sections like the disappearing platforms of Zone Five need to be quite so drawn out, or why the hell he threw a Red Arremer into the mix at the start of Zone Four when you're already being assaulted from every direction. But we're here to criticise the game's architectural makeup and not necessarily its palatability to a broader audience. Although its difficulty isn't going to be for everyone, it remains solidly coordinated, upholding the series ethos of practice-based progression via old disciplines and new processes.Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection is Tokuro Fujiwara's love letter to a thirty-five-year-old series that's famous for burying mortal men, and it's a job done exceptionally well. By ignoring it, we risk having to wait another thirty-five years for a new entry, and, in a world where so many games have become cinematic, one-button-does-all 3D picture books, that's an unacceptable prospect. If challenge is what you live for, toughen up, don that mental armour, and take up the mantle like a lance. If you put in the time and effort, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection will see you reap the most valuable of gaming accomplishments: the prestige of victory.
Despite some re-release shortcomings, SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium remains not only a charming piece of history, but a comprehensive fighting game with impressively taut elasticity. Bursting with move-sets that accurately mirror the arcade counterparts from which they're derived, it represents the moment that a legendary rivalry thawed out and shook hands, and a fanfare for SNK's excellent but ill-fated handheld. There also remains something special about having so many faces from so many different series occupying the same screen space, and in such good spirits. Seeing pocket-sized Kyo and Chun-Li battle it out on her Great Wall stage or Ken and Ryu's fireballs trailing across Krauser's cathedral is an experience worth revisiting. It's an object of both its time and format, and you need to be prepared for that; but SNK versus Capcom? That really is the match of the millennium.
Despite its unconventional structure, Starship Project X is an undeniably creative endeavour. It's clear that the developer has enjoyed making it, and it manages, against all odds, to do something new and interesting with the often tired shoot-em-up premise. Once you learn its catalogue of obstacles and sync with its immediacy, it gets a lot more manageable and enjoyable, and trying to finish stages unscathed is a fun pursuit. Unfortunately, no matter how skilled you become, the experience is occasionally marred by unexpected attack overlaps and ensuing ship positioning struggles. While the balance isn't perfect, and its longevity in terms of holding your attention is questionable, it deserves applause for its originality and its short, fun, adrenaline-fuelled nature: the kind arcade gaming was designed for.
Although The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny is an excellent little thing, one must keep in mind that it is still a 2001 handheld fighting game, and very much of its time. On its original hardware, it was heaven-sent, but on your Switch you might be somewhat disappointed if you're going in blind. For SNK aficionados and Last Blade fans, it will delight purely on historical value, but those with no experience of the Neo Geo Pocket or the SNK library will likely feel better served buying the actual arcade ports of Last Blade 1 and 2, which are also available on the eShop. To that end, this is a better bet for fans, collectors, and those enamoured by gaming curios. It's dinky, it's charming, and it's a testament to the craftsmanship of old SNK. And, while imperfect, it plays like The Last Blade should. For certain gamers, that will be more than enough.