Shooters Fes began in Japan yesterday, loaded with game announcements to please shoot ’em up fans across the board. Since we’re into arcades here, naturally I’m going to cover what has been announced for the exA-Arcadia system – in one part because that’s the only platform bringing such games to arcades but also because it’s bringing these same games to the worldwide market and not just Japan.
In this video below, exA’s presentation beings about 3 hours in; There is live English translation going on during the stream, but it can sometimes be confusing as there’s both Japanese and English speech going on. If you don’t have the time to watch it all, or find it difficult to I’m going to summarize what I can in this post. Here’s the video:
General News updates:
- The exA Board has now been installed at over 500 locations
- They plan on launching 23 titles this year with 50 more in development
- They’ve been putting a strong focus on lowering input lag to as low as possible. Here’s a chart with games operating at 1, 2 and 3 frames of input lag
- Dodonpachi True Death Exa Label is getting a free software update to bring the input lag to 1 frame as mentioned above and bring some other fixes/changes
- Noisz Arc Coda will be holding a Location Test on April 7 at the Taito Hey
P-47 Aces Kai Update
The coders and the original sound programmer of P-47 Aces appeared on the stream to discuss this upcoming remake. From the stream they mention something we knew about previously (4-player co-op support), show the latest gameplay (which is looking fantastic) but also throw in:
- P47 Ace Kai Mode which adds new stage content, enemies, rebalanced playerships
- It will use a scoring system based on “Hyper Scoring” which was shown on test for the original game in the 90s but removed for that release. It has been revamped from that original to a degree to enhance playability
- All of the music is arranged by Manabu Namiki, the original sound designer of the game. It will feature both the Original and his new Arranged soundtrack
- 1 frame input lag.
- Launching this Summer (since it’s a “hot game!” they wanted to release when the weather is hot 😉 )
Here’s my footage of the game from almost a year ago when exA showed this to me at Amusement Expo 2021. Just note that a lot has changed since then:
Astro Ninja Man Exa Update
Also previously announced for the platform was this quirky shoot ’em up that has previously been launced on the NES/Famicom. Three of the game’s developers appeared on the stream to talk about it; I hadn’t been aware that RIKI developed this game kind of as an experiment to see how far he could push the NES hardware. Updates:
- Features a new Caravan mode (like Vritra Hexa has)
- This will feature new music not present in the NES version. There is a lot of focus being put into the music for this title, not just to make it good but also to make it sound like it would work on an NES.
- 1 frame input lag
- Development on the game is complete
Touhou Perfect Sakura Fantastica Update
Last in the upcoming STGs is the highly anticipated TPSF (it’ll be easier to abbreviate than constantly writing out :P)
- This will be shown at Reitaisai on May 8
- The music has been done by Keishi Yonao
- Programming is by Yugo Fujioka (ex-Cave, A2B)
New Game Announcements
Cambria Sword Another Cry
Originally released for PC in 2016, this is a horizontal shoot ’em up featuring ancient prehistoric sea creatures as the player character and enemies (and it is apparently quite accurate to the fossil record). Another Cry is a completely new entry in the series that will only be available for exA-Arcadia and it also enjoys 1 frame of input lag and will operate at 4K. New mechanics will be introduced, although like with the PC original the developer is aiming to make you feel like you’re playing an STG from 1992.
One thing I find particularly interesting for this one is how it uses parallax scrolling. That is one of my personal favorite elements to 2D games of the past, and when I see modern 2D games barely or not using it at all, everything feels so flat. The way this game pulls it off looks fantastic though, as it doesn’t just use it in backgrounds, it uses it on enemies and particularly bosses, which makes for a unique look. It’s not really noticeable in a screenshot though, so I took the liberty of capturing that small portion of the stream:
This has been designed in the Shooting Game Builder engine; the AC version will also feature multiple characters with different stats and abilities to choose from. It also features rebalanced gameplay(it will feel like a brand new game), new enemies and bosses and more. It will also feature a 2-player mode.
Jamjam’n Jelly Exa Lente & Shinorubi Pink Label
Little was said about these games other than the trailers shown; The first one will be a new exclusive shoot ’em up that is for 1-2 players; The second exists on PC but this edition will offer true TATE (vertical orientation support). I imagine that these trailers will get their own proper postings to YouTube soon, but since they’re not up yet I just grabbed this from the stream and posted as unlisted:
That is all that was revealed for arcades from the stream that I am aware of; If there is anything else that comes out of Day 2, I’ll be sure to post about it.
Is there anything announced that interests you?