Valis Collection pre-order campaign confirmed by Retro-Bit Publishing

Yuuko Asou from Valis: The Phantasm Soldier.
While there are many great anime-inspired lead heroines in video games, we should never forget that Yuuko Asou was one of the first! Pic credit: Pic credit: Telenet Japan/Edia Co., Ltd.

Retrogamers and fans of the Valis series will like the news we’re about to share. Retro-Bit Publishing has three key titles from the series in the works and will reissue them soon. The company also stated the following in its press release:

“Yuko Ahso’s Trio of Adventures on the SEGA Genesis® Return in One Epic Collector’s Edition Box Set

POMONA, CA, October 20th, 2022 – Retro-Bit® Publishing, a publishing imprint of Retro-Bit® is thrilled to announce the limited release of the Valis Collection which features three critically-acclaimed action/adventure collectors edition cartridges for the SEGA Genesis® and Mega Drive – Valis, Syd of Valis and Valis III. Pre-orders will be available until  November 27th at $144.99/€169.99 for the full collector’s box including all three games and exclusive acrylic diorama or $49.99/€64.99 for each individual game.

The Valis Collection tells the story of a seemingly normal Japanese schoolgirl named Yuko whose life is turned upside-down when she is chosen to lead the fight against the Dark World and its many power-hungry rulers. Spread across various action-packed side-scrolling adventure games, this legendary journey plays out through a series of anime-inspired cutscenes that are full of memorable twists and turns. Yuko will need to unleash her inner strength in order to defeat the monsters of the Dark World, wield the iconic sword, and become the true Valis Warrior. 

First released on the Sega Genesis by Renovation Games, Valis made an immediate impression on both critics and fans. It combined hack-and-slash action with a deep storyline,  complete with inventive level designs and a full cast of menacing villains. Released one year later, Syd of Valis gives Yuko and her Dark World foes a fresh, Chibi-inspired facelift and unleashes them in a brighter and more colorful world. Yuko’s third game, Valis III, sees the warrior team up with Valna and Cham, two new playable characters who bring unique weapons and magic spells to the fight against the monsters of the Dark World.

The Valis Collection from Retro-Bit Publishing honors what makes each of these games unique and special. Each Collectors Edition will feature a reversible cover sleeve that will allow fans to switch between the original Japanese artwork or the North American designs. Each game will also come with an embellished slipcover, full-colored instruction manual, a specially colored cartridge, collectible art cards, and a certificate of authenticity. 

Exclusive to the Valis Collection box set is an acrylic cartridge display stand featuring the likenesses of Yuko, Valna, and Cham from Valis III.”
Complete Valis Collection with a collector's slipcase and exclusive acrylic stand by Retro-Bit
The complete Valis Collection should satisfy even the most diehard and pickiest of fans. Pic credit: Retro-Bit/Edia Co., Ltd.

“Thirty years after it was first released, the three Valis games make up one of the best trilogies on the SEGA Genesis®,” explains Andres Ordonez, Product Specialist at Retro-Bit Publishing. “An irresistible mix of fantasy, adventure and royal drama, this series has something for everybody. It seamlessly blends fast-paced action with an exciting and surprisingly emotional story told through some of the very best cinemas of the 16-bit generation. With the Valis Collection, we’ve managed to fit Yuko’s complete adventure into one stylish collector’s edition box.

A portion of the proceeds generated by Retro-Bit’s Valis Collection re-release will be donated to the Video Game History Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and teaching the history of video games.

Retro-Bit® Publishing previously released the well-received Toaplan Collection box set for SEGA Genesis®. Past officially-licensed collectors cartridges have included Gaiares, Mega Man: The Wily Wars, Battletoads & Double Dragon, and Avenging Spirit.

Pre-orders run through November 27th via participating retailers found on Retro-Bit’s website. North American pre-orders can be placed through Limited Run Games and Castlemania Games, while European pre-orders will be available in the upcoming weeks and can be found at Spel & Sant, DragonBox Shop, and more. The Valis Collection box set pre-orders are $144.99 in North America and €169.99 in Europe and comes with all three games and an acrylic cartridge display. Valis, Syd of Valis and Valis III are also available individually at $49.99/€64.99 each.”

Retro-Bit Publishing also released a trailer of the collection, which you can view below:

And, if you want a more detailed rundown of these impressive reissues, check out the video by Sega Lord X below:

But what if you don’t own a Sega Genesis?

Then, you’re probably in the same boat as most gamers out there. Apart from game collectors and retrogamers, few still hold onto their older systems. And these reissues by Retro-Bit Publishing are aimed primarily at that niche audience that collects and enjoys classic titles.

Of course, there’s a good reason why this audience craves such releases. And that’s because there’s no better way to enjoy classic games than by playing them on the hardware they were intended for in the first place.

Everything from the controller layout to the video refresh rate of the original console impact the experience. And even though modern emulation techniques and ports do wonders to recreate these classic games on current hardware — it never feels quite like the real thing!

A collection of screenshots from Valis: The Phantasm Soldier.
Valis: The Fantasm Soldier combines punchy storytelling with solid side-scrolling action. Pic credit: Retro-Bit/Edia Co., Ltd.

Nevertheless, this bit of news shouldn’t dishearten you if you still want to play any of the Valis games. As Edia — the Japanese company responsible for the Cosmic Fantasy Collection — will sell downloadable versions overseas. And this is part of their Valis Revival Support Project to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the series.

Furthermore, a North American release of Valis: The Phantasm Solider Collection for the Nintendo Switch was available for pre-order in February 2022 via Limited Run Games. And the downloadable version of “Mugen Senshi Valis COLLECTION” is already available in the Japanese Nintendo eShop. So, we can only speculate that future downloadable versions will likely come out for the Switch in overseas territories.

A collection of screenshots from Valis III.
Valis III has Yuuko, Cham, and Valna take on Glames and his minions of baddies! Pic credit: Retro-Bit/Edia Co., Ltd.

But are these Valis games any good?

Well, that depends. If you enjoy side-scrolling action games, you’ll probably like most of the entries in the series. Valis: The Phantasm Solider is solid, while Valis III is incredibly fun with considerable depth for a 16-bit action platformer. And that’s because the player must switch between the three main characters: Yuuko, Cham, and Valna — and use their abilities effectively.

However, Syd of Valis may disappoint some, as it is the weakest entry of the lot. The graphical style and gameplay are a bit below par, especially compared to the other two titles. But this is a spin-off that parodies the series, hence the use of chibi characters. It’s also the funniest in the series, so don’t ignore it completely, especially if you’re a long-time fan.

A collection of screenshots from Syd of Valis.
The chibi characters give Syd of Valis a completely different look and feel from the other entries in the series. Pic credit: Retro-Bit/Edia Co., Ltd.

So, if you already own a Sega Genesis (NA), Mega Drive (EU), or a compatible system — be sure to pre-order before November 27, 2022, to avoid disappointment.

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