Update [Mon 6th Feb, 2023 10:00 GMT]: It's happening — City Connection has announced BATSUGUN Saturn Tribute Boosted for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam, and it's launching worldwide on 25th May 2023. (Thanks Gematsu!) This is following reports last week that the game was rated in Korea.
Saturn Tribute Boosted is reportedly a brand new series from City Connection, which are a step up from S-Tribute. The game is getting a physical release, but in Japan only so far.
Here's what Batsugun's Saturn Tribute Booster version will bring in May, straight from the game's official website:
A Toaplan classic is back!
Batsugun is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game released in 1993 by Toaplan. The game attracted attention for the large number of bullets shot by both enemies and allies. This led many games to adopt the same kind of play. Batsugun thus became the pioneer of the bullet hell genre. The "Special" version of the game was then released on home consoles. The Special version offers new features with a better sound.
The player can choose between 3 types of aircraft. The goal is to destroy all approaching enemies with your shot and bombs. By doing so, you can collect power-ups and experience points. When the experience gauge reaches a certain point, the player's aircraft evolves and become more powerful. There is no difference between the types of aircraftin terms of performance, but the aircraft changes between Player 1 and 2. Likewise, the dialogues and endings change according to the pilot you choose.
About "Original Ver." mode
This is the original arcade version of the game. The game consists of five stages with one ending.
About "Special Ver." mode
The Special Ver. mode is a revised mode of the game. The balance is better and various features have been added. The game repeats itself from stage 1 to stage 5 (14 stages total).
This title is the first installment of the new "Saturn Tribute Boosted" brand, which is a port and reproduction of the previous "Saturn Tribute" series using the Zebra engine, but with more new features and additional elements. The "Boost Up HUD" is a new UI that displays the experience gauge, the current score (+hidden bonuses), and the title of the BGM currently playing. The game also features an online ranked mode and the maximum score has been increased for more challenges.
You can find out more about the game in our original article below...
Original Article [Fri 3rd Feb, 2023 13:00 GMT]: Batsugun S-Tribute has been rated in Korea on Switch, Gematsu reports. This is potentially the next entry in City Connection's S-Tribute series, which focuses on a number of arcade and Sega Saturn titles, enhancing them for modern audiences.
Batsugun is a title from 1993 developed by Toaplan which was later ported to the Saturn in 1996 in Japan only. Batsugun might look like your typical bullet hell shooter, but the game introduces experience points that allow you to upgrade your main gun, and after two upgrades, you use the experience for extra bomb stock. The game is also often considered to be the first 'manic shooter' with its ridiculous bullet patterns and complex enemy waves.
This was the last shooter Toaplan made before the company filed for bankruptcy in 1994, and the developer is often considered one of the most influential within the genre. So Batsugun's potential rerelease is an important piece of history. A sequel had been planned but never materialised, with many of the ideas rolled into Capcom and CAVE's 2001 shooter Progear.
Batsugun S-Tribute has yet to be officially announced, but we expect we'll be hearing something soon. City Connection has been releasing S-Tribute games for a few years, with the most recent — Puzzle Bobble 2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute — launching just a few days ago. The S-Tribute series often adds a number of quality-of-life upgrades including improved controls.
Check out some gameplay of the original arcade release below!
Have you ever played Batsugun? Would you be happy to see this on the Switch? Let us know!
[source grac.or.kr, via gematsu.com]
Oh I'm always eager to add to my shmup collection on Switch. Here's hoping Strictly Limited opt this for a western release.
Pretty sure it's Toaplan not Toplan?
I just wanna say I love the switch. As a shumup and SRPG fan this system has been divine. Been really getting into Toaplan games I missed.
(It’s Toaplan, btw)
On the heels of the Toaplan Arcade 2 announcement for Evercade, where this game (and Truxton 2 and Outzone) is sorely missing, this is great news! Here’s hoping for a good port with minimal to no input lag.
I got a tidy packet for selling my Saturn copy...could be a good excuse to add it to my shooter collection on Switch! Been waiting for more Toaplan goodness to make its way over.
To A Plan. Toaplan.
I got excited and then saw it's an "S-Tribute" version and not M2...
I'll just wait for M2. Playing Batsugun wtih 6 frames of input lag is a nightmare.
@Edd-O Yes, it's Toaplan. Toa Plan.
There's an interesting pattern here.
City Connection has been responsible for bringing Saturn ports of arcade games. So far, they've handled Layer Section+Galactic Attack, Cleopatra Fortune, Elevator Action Returns, Puzzle Bobble compilation, and Metal Black.
Out of those titles, M2 has handled the arcade version of Layer Section (among the Ray'z pack), and Arcade Archives handled the arcade Metal Black as well as at least two of the Puzzle Bobble arcade games.
What's with one group handling the Saturn port of an arcade game, and another group handling the arcade original?
@gojiguy yeah "s- tribute" is a pretty big red flag for me as a shmup fan
@FunGuy I've always pronounced it as Toe-a-plan.
In the latest Shmup Forum annual poll, Batsugun was voted the #11 best shmup of all-time.
Layer Section was decent, nothing like Cotton or Guardian Force in lag terns.
I'd also prefer M2, but at the rate they're releasing, could easily be 2 years yet until Batsugun. Plus, this will have Special.
M2 probably have an amazing port of this collecting dust while they wait for the funds to program an included Batsugan dating sim and Master System de-make.
There's something new in this video that I've never seen before in an S-Tribute title: a remap option that doesn't swap Saturn buttons. Unlike Cotton Guardian Force (https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/nintendo-switch/cotton-guardian-force-saturn-tribute).
Oh good the spelling error has been fixed.
You’ve got to be kidding me! This is my all-time favourite shmup! And it’s on Steam?! Insta-buy from me!
Holy moly, this port is packed with features. Even has “gadgets”.
More Toaplan on Switch!
This needed to happen
Oh snap, it has rewinds! Dope!!!
That's what make Progear in Capcom Stadium Collection so good. Rewinds in classic shmups elevate them to timeless re-releases.
We're only missing a few key titles after this, notably Ketsui, Mushihimesama Futari, Dangun Feveron and Guwange from CAVE, and Battle Garegga from Raizing. Maybe throw Gradius V from Treasure on that list as well.
So basically 6 more games to have the ultimate, complete, perfect shmup system of all time.
Offering 4 versions in 1 is just too good. Console, handheld, tabletop and TATE mode, playable at home and anywhere else... there's just no reason to play shmups anywhere but Switch. It may take a couple more years but I'm convinced we'll eventually have everything on this system.
Batsugun and Akai Katana news on the same day - so many shoot ‘em ups, it’s hard to keep up! I only dabbled in titles like R-Type, Sky Shark, Truxton, Raiden and Sol Divide back in the 80s-90s. Games were expensive and I was too intimidated by bullet hell games to risk my 100 yen coins in the arcades. But the Switch hosts so much of what I missed out on! I’ve bought more than a few, and now Batsugun is tempting for its historic value. This is an expensive hobby! 😵💫
This is great news
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