A new year and a time for new resolutions. If any developers out there were resolving to blow the shmup community away with barrel after barrel load of explosive new titles and announcements however, they must have given up on it quicker than the rest of us drop our gym memberships cause January was hardly chockablock with news. That’s not to say there weren’t some nice surprises along the way though, and to find out precisely what, read on.
Illvelo S – RS34 has already brought the intriguing vert Radirgy Swag to Switch and, during a livestream at the start of the month they confirmed they’ll also be bringing their weirdly wonderful former Wii shmup Illvelo to the Switch too with a tentative Japanese release window of this summer. Illvelo S will be a port plus an arrange mode rather than a new game and a further interesting titbit to come from the stream was a hint that other NAOMI-era games, such as Chaos Field, Karous and the original Radirgy, may follow in the months and years to come.
Detana!! Twinbee – When you think of cute’emups, one of the first images that ought to pop in to your head is of the Twinbee series – also sometimes known as Bells and Whistles. The second game in the series dropped onto the Japanese eShop on the 16th ready to charm a whole new audience with its colourful sweetness.
Syder Reloaded – Studio Evil finally gave us a date for their hori Syder Reloaded when the game popped up on the eShop saying it’ll be available on March 13th. Watch out for more coverage of this one once we get our hands on it.
XX Mission – An old, old, old school shmup from UPL, XX Mission got the Arcade Archives treatment and hit the eShop on 23rd. This vert is one for fans of the earliest days of the genre, but more modern fans may also enjoy experiencing something of a history lesson.
Fantasy Zone – Already out for some time in Japan, M2’s port of Fantasy Zone for the Sega Ages line also got a western release on the 23rd. While not going to the lengths of a Shot Triggers release, M2 are always a safe pair of hands and this release comes with a host of extras making this something of a definitive version.
Psikyo Shooting Stars – The first of two collections, Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha was released on the 24th. Containing 6 classic Psikyo shmups, most notably the entire Strikers 1945 series, we have a full review of this one elsewhere on the site, so please do check it out.
In addition to this release, a new gameplay trailer for the second collection, Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo, dropped on YouTube, revealing a release date of 18th February.
Sisters Royale – It’s been a long, long time since Sisters Royale, Alpha Systems’ spiritual successor to their Castle of Shikigami series, arrived in Japan. On the 30th, it finally made its way westwards and, with a huge amount of Japanese text in the game, many people had been waiting for this release. In what could be construed as a slightly cheeky move, a physical for the game was announced the very next day by Strictly Limited Games and will be available to pre-order on their website from 23rd Feb.
So, no momentous announcements, no earth-shattering drops of news, but, in the end, a solid enough month to start the year. We do know there are a host of big titles already slated for some point this year so here’s hoping things pick up a bit of speed as we move towards the spring.