Little publisher Dangen Entertainment landed at BitSummit in Tokyo yesterday with a swarm of exciting trailers in tow. Among their lineup at the Japanese event was the freshly announced Minoria (latest from the creators of the excellent Momodora series) and Thunder Force-inspired shmup Devil Engine.
They also had trailers for speedy platformer Renaine and its sizzling soundtrack, NES-styled fantasy adventure Astalon: Tears Of The Earth plus a new look at tribute brawler The TakeOver. Check out all of these below, and crank up your volume – there’s some good tunes.Minoria – Bombservice
We’ve not covered the Momodora games too closely in the past, so I’ll just say that if you have any interest in metroidvanias (especially Souls’y ones), go play Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight right this second. Described as a “spiritual sequel”, Minoria looks to be building on that stylish gothic foundation, although it’s not officially part of the series. It’s still relatively early in development, but the wait should be worth it. All four Momodora games have been excellent so far, and I don’t see any reason to doubt Bombservice now. You can find it on Steam here.
Renaine – Octosoft
Kickstarted earlier this year and billed as a “high paced platformer”, Octosoft’s Renaine looks solid in its trailer above, with some nice flow and heft to it, but it’s hard to get a broader feel for it. What IS striking is the music used in the trailer, apparently a taster of an eclectic mix including hip hop and “anime-inspired” rock from a bunch of talented artists. Much as I love some good chiptunes, this is exactly the kind of freshness I need in my life. Check out its official page here.
Astalon: Tears Of The Earth – LABSworks
Successor to Matt Kap’s clever little platformer Castle In The Darkness, Astalon has you switching between three characters with different abilities – a fighter, a rogue and a wizard – to explore a cursed tower. It’s familiar NES-era stuff visually, but without the arbitrary limitations of the creaky hardware. Astalon features art from the creator of old comedy-adventure manga Dragon Half, which I fondly remember from way back in the day. Also in development is a Game Boy-styled side game – Astalon: The Crystal Sword – a multi-pronged nostalgia assault. Its page is here.
Devil Engine – Protoculture Games
‘Bullet Hell’ may be in vogue, but I’ll always have a place in my heart for Genesis/Mega Drive styled fast-moving shmups like the Thunder Force series. Despite coming from a western studio – Protoculture Games – Devil Engine looks like it captures the soul of the old games. It also helps that they’ve got Thunder Force 5 composer Hyakutaro Tsukumo on board. Expect fast-moving bullets, solid defensive options, huge boss sprites and a focus on big manoeuvres over ‘threading the needle’ through dense walls of bullets. You can find its publisher page here.
The TakeOver – Pelikan13
Streets Of Rage-styled brawler The TakeOver has been on Steam in early access for ages now, though I’ve yet to try it, despite hearing good things. After seeing the trailer above (accompanied by some very Initial D Eurobeat), I really have to. Right now, The TakeOver stands as direct competition to Streets Of Rage 4, and will even feature music from Streets Of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro. It may not have the official Sega license, but the spirit is there. I also can’t help but notice a cameo by the increasingly ubiquitous Zubaz. Some day, he’ll have his own game, I’m sure.
And this was just their fresh trailer lineup. Dangen are also due to publish Team Sorcerobe’s delightful dungeon-pummeler Fight Knight (publisher page here) and Brave Earth: Prologue (page here), a Castlevania-ish platformer from I Wanna Be The Guy developer Kayinworks. It’s surprising to see so many games I’m excited for assembled under a single banner – Dangen are clearly doing something right. Either that, or they’re reading my mind.