Way back in March 2015, the development group behind such modern Neo Geo MVS releases like NEO XYX, Gunlord, Fast Striker and others announced their next project: Kraut Buster. This was an ambitious project that sought to provide their own take on the run’n gun genre, drawing comparisons with SNK’s Metal Slug and Konami’s Contra.
Today, NG: Dev Team put up a lengthy post on their Facebook page, and via newsletter, to announce that the game is available, with pre-ordered units shipping out “2-3 weeks from now on.” As of this writing, the status on the “Gamecenter” kits are listed as SOLD OUT, although it looks like you can still add the game to a cart and order. I just imagine that you’ll have to wait a little longer than the 2-3 weeks for the package to arrive.
While NG: Dev Team did issue occasional updates, it has been a hard and long process for the group to get to the point of offering a release build. As you can read from that post above, a ton of features and character abilities were built into the game, from dash slides, to ability masks, to co-op special moves to weapon position locking and more. The sales page mentions that a playthrough on normal route can take about 40-60 minutes, with more to come back to in other modes, characters & routes.
The game is also only available on the Neo Geo MVS system at this time, with an AES version looking to be complete a few months from now. While some fans are clamoring for a Dreamcast version, I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys make the jump to the Exa-Arcadia platform, which will be launching in 2019.
As to other future plans for NGDT, here is what they said in that long post:
The Kraut Buster pixel artists finished their work on our first exclusive(?) Switch handheld game and already moved on to our next pixel art NEOGEO+arcade game.
While Kraut Buster was made the render gfx team worked on a couple of Shmups, that will be revealed and released over the next 2 years.
We also expect to expand the team further in the next year(s) and maybe add a new hardware platform to our portfolio.
Maybe the Exa is that new hardware platform…or maybe not. We’ll wait and see. Either way, congratulations to the team for reaching this milestone; if you get your hands on the game, let us know how it plays!