Retro-Bit Reissues
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Last year, Retro-Bit announced it was publishing licenced reissues of Hammerin' Harry, Hammerin' Harry 2, El Viento and Sol Deace – and we've been lucky enough to get sample copies of them.

Released in Japanese arcades in 1990 as Daiku no Gen-san: Beranmechō Sōdōki, Hammerin' Harry was ported to the Famicom the following year and was also released in Europe. A North American release didn't happen, which explains why prices are so high for the PAL version. The series would come to the Game Boy as Hammerin' Harry: Ghost Building Company in 1992 and would see sequels on the Super Famicom, Game Boy Color and PSP, too.

Its direct Famicom sequel, Daiku no Gen-san 2: Akage no Dan no Gyakushō, was never released outside of Japan back in the day – but Retro-Bit has localised the game for the NES under the title Hammerin’ Harry 2: Dan the Red Strikes Back.

Both titles are available in a double pack and come with full-colour instruction manuals and a plastic stand for displaying the cartridges.

Moving onto the Sega side of things, 1991's El Viento is the first in a trilogy of titles which also includes Earnest Evans and Anett Futatabi. Released in North America with massively different cover artwork (you can reverse the cover on the Retro-Bit release to get this artwork, if you're crazy), the game remains a cult classic with fans – especially the Japanese version, which has risen steeply in value over the years.

Retro-Bit Reissues
The Retro-Bit reissue is on the left, the original is on the right — Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Finally, we have Sol-Deace, the cartridge port of the 1991 Mega CD title Sol-Feace, which itself was ported from the Sharp X68000 original, released in 1990.

A launch title in both Japan and the West, Sol-Feace boasted anime-style cutscenes and a CD-quality soundtrack. The 1992 Mega Drive / Genesis version was only released in North America and was retitled Sol-Deace by publisher Renovation Products.

If you'd like to know more about these games, head over to Retro-Bit's site.