If you're in your thirties then chances are that the name Saber Rider And The Star Sheriffs may trigger a flash of recognition in your addled and aging brain. Based on a Japanese anime series called Sei Jūshi Bisumaruku, Saber Rider was picked up for western localisation in the '80s by World Event Productions (the same guys who adapted Voltron for western audiences) before being redubbed, re-cut and retitled. It wasn't quite the smash-hit success that Voltron was, but it nevertheless still has that all-important nostalgia factor for many people.
A video game adaptation of Saber Rider has been in development since 2010, with German studio Firehazard doing the heavy lifting. The original intention was to release the title on iOS and the 3DS, with a 2011 launch being mooted. Firehazard even went as far as releasing some fairly impressive work-in-progress demo footage, which you can view below.
However, 2011 came and went with no release, and things fell worryingly silent, leaving many to speculate that the game had been canned. However, developer Chris Strauss has recently broken that silence and delivered an update on the project, assuring fans that it is still very much alive. However, Firehazard as a studio no longer exists, and the team is now known as "Saber Rider Game Team".
Speaking to Siliconera, Strauss said:
We had some [major] hurdles to take on. There [were] some problems… not on our side, and I can't say much about it, but they affected us very much. We had to put development on hold for a long time because of this.
The game is now facing the prospect of seeking alternative funding via Steam and Kickstarter. The plan is to produce the PC version first and then port to other systems — and that still includes the 3DS, which appears to be one of Strauss' personal goals for the project.
To remind people that the game still exists, Strauss and his team have released footage of the Ramrod Equalizer Unit which will feature in the final product. Fans of the series will no doubt recognise this iconic robot, but do you think this game has what it takes to make it to retail after such a troubled development? Are you interested in playing it on the 3DS? Let us know with a comment.