If you’re a seasoned fan of arcade games, particularly of the shoot ’em up (“shmup”) genre, then the name Toaplan likely conjures up some warm gaming memories. The company was a trailblazer in the genre, essentially giving birth to the “bullet hell” style shooter and they are also fondly remembered for the music that their games featured.
The last time that the Toaplan logo would have graced arcades with a new game was back in 1994 with their final release, Snow Bros. 2 – the company went bankrupt shortly after that but many of the staff went on to make another little company you might have heard of called CAVE, which carried the aforementioned bullet hell torch. That fire was essentially lit by one scrolling shooter in particular called Batsugun, although that game was the second-to-last release for the company.
Now Batsugun is making a comeback with the announcement of Batsugun EXA Label. As that title suggests, it will be made available worldwide via the exA-Arcadia platform, which has single-handledly revived the shoot ’em up genre for modern arcades, among others. Details are a little light on this new game at the moment, although fans should expect the game to receive a similar treatment to what exA did with CAVE’s DoDonPachi True Death EXA Label (meaning that this will serve as the “ultimate version” of the game, likely with a new mode or two, super low input lag, 4K support, etc.). Interestingly enough, today marks two years exactly since that DDP release took place.
Here’s the teaser for now (game page, but nothing special is there yet) – more details will come along when the game will debut at JAEPO 2023 next year