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Review: Astebreed photo
Review: Astebreed
by Kyle MacGregor

The rising prominence of independent games has been oft described as meteoric. The center of gravity has shifted over the course of a single generation. As hardware becomes exponentially more powerful and development costs spiral out of control, small teams and virtual unknowns have stepped into the limelight, while the old guard recesses into the shadows.

Or at least that is what's happening in the Western world. Things are a little bit different in Japan, to put it mildly. While the country has a long history of independent development, it's one far more clandestine than our own. Bereft of a strong distribution network and mainstream notoriety, Japanese indies have largely gone ignored, save for a handful of outliers such as Cave Story.

The tides are beginning to turn though, with events like BitSummit and groups like Playism bringing these titles to larger audiences and the global stage. That's the case with Astebreed, a name you almost assuredly do not recognize, but also one that demands your attention.

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2:00 AM on 05.30.2014

Space shooter Futuridium EP Deluxe coming to PS Vita, PS4 in July

Arcade shooter Futuridium EP Deluxe looked like a good time last we saw it and here's another, better trailer to go with news of its impending Cross-Buy release on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. Developer MixedBag has announced ...

Jordan Devore

2:30 PM on 05.29.2014

Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser jets to Steam in June

Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser is pretty much love at first sight. A shoot-'em-up inspired by the cheesy animes of yesteryear, Vulkaiser takes place in an alternate 1977, where a bunch of kids in bizarre outfits and a giant ro...

Kyle MacGregor

4:00 PM on 05.28.2014

Wii U scores great-looking The Next Penelope

Former Arkedo co-founder Aurelien Regard's The Next Penelope is looking hot, a sort of top-down F-Zero-like racer that's also sometimes a boss-fighting shoot-'em-up. If you haven't yet seen the first footage, you'll want to g...

Jordan Devore

10:30 AM on 05.26.2014

Resogun DLC confirmed for a June release

Back in January, I was floored to hear that my favorite PS4 launch game Resogun had DLC in the works. But it's been almost five months since then with no word on when said DLC would actually drop -- until now, that ...

Chris Carter

8:00 AM on 05.24.2014

Japanese indie shooter Astebreed out now on PC

Astebreed, a resplendent shoot-'em-up from doujin circle Edelweiss, is now available via Playism. A throwback to the arcade classics with a modern twist, Astebreed features a dynamic camera that swings between vantage po...

Kyle MacGregor



Review: R-Type Dimensions photo
Review: R-Type Dimensions
by Ben Pack

I’ve always been drawn to games that make me mad. It started with Punch-Out!! and evolved through the years into games like God Hand and Dark Souls. The feeling of achieving victory after countless failures is the pinnacle of gaming to me.

If I’m determined enough, very few things make me rage quit. Among them, however, are R-Type and R-Type IIR-Type Dimensions combines these games into one fury-inducing package, and I loved almost every minute I spent with it.

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3:30 PM on 05.15.2014

Seraphic doujin shmup Astebreed launches next week

Amazing news, STG fans! Astebreed, one of the slickest and most stylish shoot-'em-ups around, is targeting a western launch next week, Active Gaming Media announced today. Though the premise, which sees a talented young pilo...

Kyle MacGregor

2:00 PM on 05.10.2014

Mecha shooter Gunhound now available on Steam

Side-scrolling mecha shooter Gunhound EX is out now on Steam for $14.99. Developed by doujin studio Dracue Software and localized by the folks at Playism, Gunhound EX is a throwback to the shooters of the 16-b...

Kyle MacGregor

5:00 PM on 05.07.2014

R-Type Dimensions finds new life on PS3 this month

R-Type Dimensions released several years ago on Xbox Live Arcade and hey, it's back in the news with a PlayStation Network version coming to PS3 later this month. Cool. This is a package combining R-Type and R-Type II with bo...

Jordan Devore







Review: Raiden IV: OverKill photo
Review: Raiden IV: OverKill
by Chris Carter

Back when the Xbox 360 was getting shoot-'em-up releases left and right, hardcore fans of the genre sprung at the chance to pick up Raiden IV for a whopping $40 price tag. The expensive nature of the game ensured that only the most dedicated of fans would pick it up, and as a result a lot of people missed out.

But that all changed this year when UFO Interactive decided to publish Raiden IV: OverKill -- an enhanced version of the game that comes in at a much easier to swallow price: $20. Like I always say -- shmups will never die.

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9:00 PM on 04.30.2014

Indie shmup Jamestown Plus targets summer launch on PS4

Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is aiming to launch on PlayStation 4 this summer, Final Form Games co-founder Mike Primo revealed over at the PlayStation Blog.  The stellar indie shoot-'em-up initially launched on ...

Kyle MacGregor

10:30 AM on 04.24.2014

The Wii U is getting one shmup richer soon with Gaiabreaker

According to a listing from the Australian Classification board, shoot 'em up Gaiabreaker will be heading to the west soon. This Wii U shmup looks pretty solid overall, and it'll feature vertical gameplay. It dropped la...

Chris Carter

1:30 PM on 04.22.2014

Design your own ship in Beat Hazard: Shadow Operations DLC

Out of all the places I could play Beat Hazard, I usually play on my phone. Beat Hazard on Steam, however, is packing brand new DLC. The Shadow Operations pack may just change my mind about which platform I choose to play on....

Brittany Vincent



Astebreed is a bullet hell shooter where you fight aliens as a janitor photo
Astebreed is a bullet hell shooter where you fight aliens as a janitor
by Brett Makedonski

There's no shortage of weird and unique game concepts at PAX East's Indie Megabooth. That's par for the course, though; show after show it goes that exact same way. Whereas some titles rely solely on their strangeness to make a name for themselves, others pair it with solid gameplay to strengthen their hand. Edelweiss' Astebreed falls into this latter category.

First and foremost, Astebreed is a bullet hell shooter, and it doesn't skimp on this aspect. At all times, the screen is full of imminent threats while you reciprocate. The arsenal at your disposal consists of two sets of ranged attacks each with a focused subset such as a conical strike, as well as a melee ability. Enemies constantly keep coming as the scene presented kind of twists and winds along in a "2.5D" way.

The most important aspect that Astebreed gets right is that while everything on-screen is completely hectic, the reference point always stays fixed enough so that you're in control of the character. Often times games like this will move in unpredictable directions, causing a frustrating sensation like it's resisting you. That's not the case here, as it all controls well.

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5:30 PM on 04.09.2014

PS4, PS Vita space shooter Futuridium looks like pure arcade fun

MixedBag's space shooter Futuridium looked rad on PS Vita, but when it comes to PlayStation games, one version doesn't cut it any more. Not when there's the possibility of Cross-Buy. Thankfully, the expanded Futuridium EP De...

Jordan Devore