If you appreciate Japanese retro games, then chances are you're already familiar with the work of Japanese studio M2, which has been the industry leader when it comes to adapting vintage games for modern systems. It worked with Nintendo on the original Wii Virtual Console, and has also been involved with Sega's recent efforts to open up its back catalogue to new players via the 3DS and Switch. It also developed the software side of things on the Mega Drive Mini and the upcoming PC Engine Mini.
However, while M2 clearly has a talent for adapting the work of other companies, it also creates new games. It was responsible for the underrated Gradius, Contra and Castlevania ReBirth on WiiWare, and has just announced that it is releasing a brand-new vertically-scrolling shooter in arcades.
Currently known by the temporary title of Ikusaba [EDIT: we've since been told that the game's Japanese name, #戦刃, is actually closer to 'Senjin' or 'Senzinit' when translated] will launch in Japanese arcades later this year and runs on Sega’s arcade platform ALL.Net P-ras MULTI Version 3 (APM3) – try saying that twice as fast, we dare you.
The other titles confirmed to use Sega's new arcade standard are:
- Guilty Gear Strive
- Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Ignition APM3 ver.
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]
- Otoshoo DX
- Umihara Kawase Fresh!
- Rolling Gunner
- Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai Version3
- Goonya Fighter
- Sega Classics (1st game: Fantasy Zone)
Given M2's close relationship with Nintendo – and the massive popularity of the Switch – we're hoping that a Switch port of Ikusaba will be forthcoming in the future. After all, the console is becoming the go-to platform for shmups, so it would make sense.