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.

Basic rules
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]