SHMUPS Roundup: September 2019
Welcome to the second edition of our monthly ‘roundshmup’ of shmup related news and releases on Nintendo Switch here on JP’S SWITCHMANIA. September didn’t offer up quite the level of bounty as our bumper first edition in August, but what it may lack in volume it more than made up for in quality with one announcement in particular offering a glimpse of what may be some glorious days to come. To find out what that is, read on!
4th: The early days of September were dominated by Nintendo’s own Direct, which took place on the 4th. Main Directs are not usually known for their preponderance of shmup announcements and this one was no exception (more’s the pity). However, with SNES games being announced for the online service during the presentation, NSO subscribers now have Jaleco’s hori Super EDF available to them. The SNES wasn’t exactly a shmup powerhouse, but if any more do appear from this direction, we’ll be sure to let you know.
7th: As reported last month, M2’s port of Cave’s ESP Ra. De. will be arriving on the 19th of Dec, but there was further news this month as, on the 7th, M2 provided information on a new fourth playable character, called Alice Master, being added to the game. M2 have already forged a formidable reputation for themselves as port masters and it will be fascinating to see how they work this new character in to the arcade classic.
10th: We've known Ghost Blade HD was coming for ages, but on the 10th PlayAsia confirmed it will finally be here in October. No specific date has yet been given for this bullet hell vert but you can pre-order a standard or collector’s edition from PlayAsia now.
15th: The middle of the month saw the Tokyo Game Show take place and, after a quiet few days shmup-wise at the start of the event, Hamster was there on the 15th to announce a new set of games – including several shmups – for their ACA range. In this case we got news of: Kaitei Daisensou (In the Hunt), Scramble and Detana!! TwinBee. Exact dates for these games are usually announced very close to release, so keep your eyes peeled.
On the same day we saw potentially one of the biggest shmup announcements it’s possible to imagine. I say potentially because a lot of mystery still surrounds the details and, in fact, we don’t even have 100% confirmation it’s related to the Switch yet – although it would be a huge surprise if it wasn't. What exactly is it we’re getting so excited about here? Well, on the final day of The Tokyo Game Show, Cave, in collaboration with City Connection, announced a multi-platform release of both Deathsmiles and Deathsmiles 2. And, as if that wasn’t big enough, these were given a subtitle of something roughly translatable as 'chapter' or 'volume' one, meaning this may not be the last we hear from this incredibly promising partnership. No dates were given and specific consoles were not even named, but if this all adds up to what we're hoping, this could be the start of some very, very happy times for Switch shmup fans indeed. 'If' is currently the operative word, but we'll be sure to let you know when anything more concrete is announced.
16th: On the 16th Habroxia was announced by eastasiasoft. Developed by Canadian studio Lillymo Games, the game features 15 stages of both hori and vert retro action and is available on the eShop right now.
26th: In one of those completely out of left-field announcements that make following shmups so fun, on the 26th Sturmwind EX developers Duranik announced on Facebook that a Switch version of this beautiful hori is "just around the corner". Based on other comments they made, that would heavily suggest we'll be seeing it within the first week or two of October and, with the game having been very well-received when it first arrived on DreamCast back in 2013, this is definitely one to watch out for.
27th: Ending the month with a bang, we had Wide Right Games drop their rude, crude, kick-ass hori Freedom Finger on the 27th. This features a stellar voice cast (including the actors who portray Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and Bender from Futurama as a boozed-up American general and his crazed Russian counterpart respectively) as well as a double-sided album’s worth of indie rock songs to accompany you on your journey to take on Chinese forces on the moon. I had the chance to try this one out early so check out this video review for a more detailed look.
August may have spoiled us with its veritable cascade of shmup news announcements, but September hasn’t been a bad month either, and if we do see Cave’s shmups start coming in numbered volumes, we may very well look back at that initial Tokyo Game Show announcement as being the start of something truly wonderful.
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