Fans of shoot ’em ups and particularly versus play can rejoice, as a fun new title that fits both of those categories is now available to pre-order for exA-Arcadia systems. Called Rival Megagun XE, this one is similar in nature to Twinkle Star Sprites, but with some twists of its own. From the pre-order page:
Not your traditional shooter, RIVAL MEGAGUN XE pits pilots against each other to see who is the best! Designed in the vein of competitive fighters and Twinkle Star Sprites, choose from 7 different ships with unique attacks and the ability to transform into a boss like Megaship to overwhelm your opponent! Combine your shooter skills and strategic choices to become the best! Completely redesigned characters and masterfully arranged music from famed composer, Keishi Yonao, with rebalanced sound effects bring the ultimate RIVAL MEGAGUN XE experience for arcades only. Includes A1 poster, instruction sheet and instruction strip (Japanese and English).
I was fortunate enough to play this one in 2-player mode at Amusement Expo 2021, but it is one of those games that I was unable to film said gameplay thanks to my own tripod snafu. I hadn’t played Twinkle Star Sprites before so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I had a lot of fun with it. The main component that sets it apart from TSS is where you can turn into a boss ship on your opponent’s screen, being able to use a variety of boss-style attacks to keep them on their toes (and hopefully destroy them 😉 ).
UPDATE: For those curious about additions to this that are exclusive to the arcade edition, and are not coming to consoles since they were funded by exA for the specific purpose of enhancing this release, here they are: The game is “basically a remake” of the console version, as the 2D rendering has been changed bringing new visuals to the table & the gameplay completely rebalanced. Some of that rebalancing comes from a reduction in input lag, which is “reduced by over half from the Switch version.” It also comes with all new music/sound effects & voices; The new music was composed by Keishi Yonao, who has a long history of composing game music since the early ’90s.
Per the exA game page, this will begin shipping in August and the price puts it on par with releases like Blazing Chrome AC, Gimmick!, and Nippon Marathon Turbo. There is no game trailer for the exA version yet, and the footage I have of it is a bit old at this point (not representative of the final product, which has had various graphical changes/upgrades), so here are a few screenshots:
After their debut at AEI2021, I’ve heard of a few places grabbing exA cabinets for their venues in the US, although apart from one in Wisconsin, I’m not sure which games they’ve grabbed for it. If you find out there and you want to see games like this, then let the owners know!