Limited Run Games Announces New Physical Releases of Grandia, Castlevania, Shantae and More

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Limited Run Games Announces New Physical Releases of Grandia, Castlevania, Shantae and More

Limited Run Games had its annual conference Wednesday, in which the company announced its latest batch of previously digital-exclusive games getting physical editions.

In an increasingly digitized age, Limited Run Games has produced official physical copies of games that didn’t initially receive physical editions since its inception in 2015. Instead of putting the games in traditional retail, its titles are only available through its website, which is certainly convenient for those who’d rather not spend more time than necessary in physical stores right now.

You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking the intentionally cringe-worthy performances by announcers and fake audience members on a crudely animated digital stage were a tongue-in-cheek byproduct of needing to go digital due to social distancing guidelines. However, this is actually how they’ve always done the conference since its first one in 2017. It’s just taken on a whole new context in 2020.

Here are some of the coolest games announced to be getting physical editions at the event:

Shantae

Developer: WayForward
Physical platforms: Game Boy Color, Switch
Physical release window: September 2020

Due to a small number of copies produced when it launched in 2002 and its subsequent growing popularity as the series gets more entries, genuine copies of Shantae on the Game Boy Color and exorbitantly expensive on Ebay and other corners of the web. But no longer! The belly-dancing platformer is now being rereleased on its original platform, as well as the Switch, in physical cartridge forms. The original run will likely still fetch a high price, but if you’ve been looking to play Shantae’s first adventure on its original platform, it’ll soon cost less than $400 to do so.

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge — Director’s Cut

Developer: WayForward
Physical platform: Switch
Physical release window: September 2020

Originally releasing on the DSi in 2010, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge is the final legacy Shantae game to be released on Switch, and in physical format too! The director’s cut version features new warping abilities and a new “magic mode” which decreases both magic consumption and defense, giving the game an appropriately “risky” playstyle.

A Boy and His Blob

Developer: WayForward
Physical Platform: PlayStation 4
Physical release window: September 2020

“Although it improves greatly on the original, A Boy and His Blob isn’t perfect. The levels are often too short, the puzzles repetitive, and it’s not much of a challenge until the very end. It gets by on its adorable aesthetic, from the beautiful art design that looks like hand-drawn animation, to the touching relationship between the boy and his weird alien pet. This is a game with a dedicated hug button; push that whenever you like, and the boy will lean over and give the blob a great big hug. That hug is as warm, sweet and comforting as the game itself.” — Garrett Martin

Castlevania: Anniversary Collection

Developer: Konami
Physical platforms: Switch, PlayStation 4
Physical release window: Q3 2020

“The earliest Castlevania games get bundled up together in this compilation, which features three NES games, three Game Boy games, an one game apiece from the SNES and Genesis. This is largely before the series was reborn as a Metroid-style backtracking adventure—although Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is legendarily obtuse. If you’re looking for some classic platforming that’s tougher and less forgiving than a Mario game, this bundle’s for you.” — Garrett Martin

Bloodstained: Circle of the Moon 2

Developer: Inti Creates
Physical platforms: Switch, PlayStation 4
Physical release window: TBD

“Meant as a short, retro-styled prelude to the Castlevania-inspired Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Curse of the Moon managed to find its own audience as well thanks to its closer adherence to Castevania’s roots. Now, the game has a sequel in the works, maintaining its 8-bit style with new locations and characters.” — Joseph Stanichar

Observer

Developer: Bloober Team
Physical platform: Switch
Physical release window: TBD

“The original game concerns a detective known as an “Observer,” part of a unit that has the police force to hack people’s minds. The game stars Rutger Hauer of Blade Runner and Kingdom Hearts III fame as the game’s protagonist, Daniel. Hauer passed away in July of 2019, and it’s unknown if he had anything recorded for any future Observer releases. The game was released to mostly praise, having some wins across several notable game awards processions, including Giant Bomb’s and Game Informer’s. There is a very clear influence from the likes of seminal cyberpunk pieces of media, including the original Blade Runner.” — Austin Jones

Gris

Developer: Nomada Studio
Physical platform: Switch
Physical release window: TBD

Gris begins with the protagonist running through a landscape that is entirely monochrome. She collects sources of light to help her explore different areas, with each one introducing one color back into her world. The first color is red, which dyes the scenery in rubies, scarlets and wines but lacks all other color. It’s not just about there being no color; it’s about Gris’ world lacking the diversity of color—of the various ways in which we must process hurt and treat our scars, of the various aspects of life that make it beautiful and worth living. As she progresses, she slowly re-introduces the other primary colors into her world. Greens, blues, pinks and the intersections between culminate to ultimately let her see the world for what it is once more.” — Natalie Flores

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Developers: Dim Bulb Games and Serenity Forge
Physical platform: Switch
Physical release window: TBD

“While developer Johnnemann Nordhagen hasn’t played the self-described “myth-weaving RPG” Moon Hunters, somehow Where The Water Tastes Like Wine reminds me of it anyway. In both, the player is regaled by a campfire storyteller, with new details emerging as they encounter different scenarios and have new information to offer. But frankly Moon Hunters seems superficial compared to the rich experience of Where the Whiskey Tastes Like Wine, which draws upon the storytelling traditions of classic American folklore to deliver something I’ve never quite seen before. Add to that a chilling and amazingly well written blues soundtrack and a rich, deeply hued watercolor art style (again, not unlike Moon Hunters) and I’m mystified, in awe, and inspired. I hope one day I get to make a game as compelling as Where The Water Tastes Like Wine.”—Holly Green

Grandia HD Collection

Developer:Game Arts
Physical platform: Switch
Physical release date: Aug. 7

The Grandia series has been a cult classic since the original game launched on the first PlayStation in 1997, and its sequel carried the series to new heights when it launched on the Dreamcast in 2000. Now the HD collection of those JRPGs is physically coming to Switch.

Papers, Please

Developer: 3909 LLC
Physical platform: PlayStation Vita
Physical release window: July 2020

“Nearly everything that can happen to every character in Papers, Please is bad. As far as I can tell, even its cheeriest outcomes consist of the absence of a definitively depressing outcome. It deals primarily (and successfully) with the fact that boredom and desperation make people suggestible and error-prone. Boredom, suggestibility and error are usually things that games deliberately avoid, but Papers, Please confronts them head-on, and the end result is far more realistic and human because of it. I don’t know from Citizen Kane, but Papers, Please is probably the Bicycle Thief of games.” — Joe Bernardi

Return of the Obra Dinn

Developer: Lucas Pope
Physical platforms: Switch and PlayStation 4
Physical release window: July 2020

“Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn is a game about violence cleansed of meaning. In that way, it feels like a tonal companion to his previous game, Papers, Please, a game about meaning cleansed of violence. On the Obra Dinn, you will see every death intimately, and as a person, an investigator, you will naturally thread the storylines and see the ways that each death led to another. But that’s not really what insurance agents need. They just need the facts.” — Dante Douglas

TowerFall

Developer: Matt Makes Games
Physical platform: Switch
Physical release window: Q3 2020

Towerfall isn’t the only local multiplayer game that strives to balance accessibility with surprisingly deep strategy. Other games like Samurai Gun, Nidhogg and Divekick have attempted a similar balance. Having played all these games, I can say that Towerfall offers more customization, more options for a single player, and a larger variety of levels. What makes Towerfall great, however, is not just that it offers more content than those other games, but rather that it manages to offer a slightly more accessible experience. To put it crudely, I just don’t find any of those games to be as fun as Towerfall, and I can’t convince as many of my friends to play them with me. I am convinced that I will keep coming back to Towerfall because of how much care Matt Thorson took in making the game easy to play with others.” — Drew Dixon

Super Meat Boy Forever

Developer: Team Meat
Physical platforms: Switch, PlayStation 4
Physical release window: TBD

“Completing a level of Super Meat Boy Forever feels like a winning poker hand. The rush is intense. In this latest game, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl must rescue their baby Nugget from the evil Dr. Fetus. Each level starts with Meat Boy on auto-run, and as he dashes towards each platform, he must duck, dodge, kick and slide his way through every obstacle, dipping under low ledges, slipping through whirring buzzsaws, and punching through multiple enemies while sailing through the air. The game’s demand for precision, through its famously merciless placement of environmental hazards, creates a high stakes tension that becomes addictive very quickly.” — Holly Green

Samurai Jack: Battle through Time

Developer: Soleil Games
Physical platforms: Switch, PlayStation 4
Physical release window: TBD

“The game’s script is written by the same head writer from the show, Darrick Bachman, which is a good signifier for authentic suturing into the game’s story. Soleil Games is a smaller company, but a lot of the team worked on Ninja Gaiden and/or Dead or Alive, so this isn’t their first hack-and-slash title, as IGN points out. They’ve created multiple timelines for players to fight through, with different short-ranged weapon options for hacking and smashing, and some ranged choices, too.” — Jarrod Johnson II

Monkey Island: 30th Anniversary Collection

Developer: LucasArts
Physical platform: PC
Physical release window: October 2020

“Point and click through the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood, his love, Elaine, and his nemesis, the Ghost (then Zombie, then Demon, then…) Pirate LeChuck. These games are at their best when they focus on wordplay: insult swordfighting asks you to one-up your opponent in punning insults. The third game, whose animation still looks beautiful, has a moment where Guybrush, swallowed by a snake, frees himself with an emetic made by combining maple syrup and an ipecac flower. Syrup of ipecac is actually made from the roots of ipecacuanha, a Brazilian plant whose name is a Portuguese transliteration of an indigenous word for ‘duck penis’.” — Brian Taylor

Star Wars Episode 1: Racer

Developer: LucasArts
Physical platforms: Switch and PlayStation 4
Physical release date: Friday, July 10

“Now this is podracing!” — Anakin Skywalker

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