Limited Run Retail - Audi’s Retro Picks
By Audi Sorle
Hello fellow earthlings! This is Audi Sorlie, fresh off the raft and onshore here at LRG. As you can imagine, things are quite busy here for all of us, with numerous secret projects coming together, but perhaps the biggest of all recently was the grand opening of our brand new retail store in Cary, NC: Limited Run Retail.
Limited Run Retail bursts at the seams with many desirable Limited Run releases, new and old. Visitors embark on a nostalgic trip through shelves and display cases.
The retail experiences of our youths helped color the overall gaming experience. Memories of going to the store and picking up a game shine as vividly in my mind as playing the game itself. As we enter a fully digital age, we’ve lost a lot of those experiences. But now, the neon-lit, popcorn-scented, and cheerfully staffed Limited Run
Retail can bring back the magic of searching, discovering, and purchasing your very own, new, and shiny, interactive video game disc or cartridge.
Alongside the new and beautiful reside the old and charming: Retro games, my love and passion living side by side with Limited Run's fantastic output. When you step into the store in Cary, it can be overwhelming. Stroll down to the corner and you find the Pre-Owned section, where many of the finest and most sought after, retro games can be had for a very generous and competitive price compared to what you see online.
I felt it could be fun to highlight some of these finds at Limited Run Retail, a small, sporadic series of retro highlights and suggestions for those wanting to make the trip and in the market for adding to their retro collection as much as their LRG collection. So I've picked a few games for this very first iteration of... uhm I didn't come up with a name yet for this blog series so let's just say Audi's Retro Picks.
1. Ice Climber (Famicom Mini #3) - Game Boy Advance
Now, what is this? Audi from DF Retro suggesting an outdated and somewhat underwhelming Famicom emulation option on the GBA? Yes, but this suggestion is mostly due to the packaging itself and the reasonable price. In the North American market, these titles were released under the "Classic NES Series" moniker, given quite a plain box art. These Japanese Famicom Mini releases have a much more detailed and expressive packaging, making the series much more fun to collect and display. The manual is done in a 1985 Famicom-era style, the cartridge label as well, and it just so happens that as Ice Climber mostly scrolls vertically, it doesn't really suffer from the issues that would plague some of the later releases in the Famicom Mini series. It's a fine little addition should you like the game and be into the Famicom aesthetic, and it is language friendly to English speakers.
2. Front Mission 3 - PlayStation
Now, this is a woefully overlooked classic from the heyday of Squaresoft's incredible PlayStation output, and perhaps the finest in the Front Mission series. While the first titles were not made available outside of Japan, the combination of strategic warfare simulation and role-playing elements proved quite alluring to Japanese audiences, and its incredible spin-off Gun Hazard was one of the greatest imports ever for international SNES players. Front Mission 3 was not just the very first North American release for the series, but one of the most impactful updates to a game series. Front Mission 3 takes players much deeper into the character and soul of warfare and delivers drama and gameplay mechanics that are very much in line with Squaresoft circa 1999. It features one of the best soundtracks in the series with veteran game music legend Koji Hayama (i) alongside Hayato Matsuo (Rayearth) to deliver an absolute banger. For anyone who sees themselves enjoying Final Fantasy Tactics, Gundam, and a good dash of rock 'n roll, this is among the finest you can find on the original PlayStation.
3. Detana!! Twin Bee - PC Engine
Now there are a few things in life that go together in perfect harmony. Peanut butter and jelly, La Parka and steel chairs, Bubsy and childhood. But no marriage in video games is such hot fire as that of Konami and the PC Engine. This was truly an era for the Japanese gaming juggernaut, creating some of the best games of all time on the nifty system. Often, the conversation goes to games such as Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, but games such as Detana!! Twin Bee is just as impressive on a different scale. It's hard to go wrong with any entry of this cute shoot 'em up series, but should you be new to it, this PC Engine version provides a nearly arcade-perfect experience with some absolutely gorgeous use of color, a magnificent soundtrack, and a forgiving difficulty that in my opinion makes it one of the most fun vertical shooters of all time. I say near arcade perfect because some effects such as the parallax scrolling layers are missing, but don't sleep on this one, this game gets the highly valued "must-have" recommendation of a certain Mr. John Linneman.
4. Illbleed - Dreamcast (SOLD!)
Illbleed indeed... I dunno what that means BUT I do know that the market for horror gaming in the retro game space is now at a fever pitch, and Illbleed lies there on the outer rim, a gaming cult classic inspired by cult movie making. The introduction of V-Cinema in Japan in the 1980s and the easing of restrictions on films from overseas being shown in the actual cinemas inspired a wide range of game designers to create some of the greatest game horror experiences with the PlayStation. Illbleed is a natural evolution of a classic game horror premise, lifted in part by SEGA's brilliant hardware to provide something truly special, set within the world of film and b-movie cinema. It's a game that very much focuses on survival, and a must-have for retro horror game enthusiasts. Sadly, Illbleed is very much a legitimately rare find and is becoming more expensive by the day, but at Limited Run Retail you will find it quite competitively priced so if you see it and are in the market for a true "hidden gem," Illbleed might be one of the best purchases you can make for your collection.
And that is it, four games that inhabit the Limited Run Retail display cases for you to find and experience. Of course, no guarantees that the game is still available by the time you make your way to the store, but I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about these games, and should you find your way to Cary, North Carolina and have a deep desire to make your friends and family question your spending habits, Limited Run Retail is the store that will bring you back in time. And with that, I will go cry in the shower realizing how old I am.
Limited Run Games:
is a subsidiary of “Freemode”, an operative group comprised of gaming and entertainment companies owned by Embracer. Limited Run Games is the industry leader in the production and distribution of premium physical video games. Limited Run seeks to celebrate the legacy of gaming through its award-winning collector’s editions. Founded in 2015, they have published over 1,000 physical games, exclusive merch, and collectables. Limited Run is the gold standard in bringing digital games to physical form and now re-releasing retro titles on modern platforms via their proprietary Carbon Engine. Visit limitedrungames.com for the latest offerings and to learn more about Carbon Engine development. Follow the brand on your social media platform of choice for all LRG-related updates:@limitedrungames.