I’m a pretty big shoot-’em-up fan, but one of the worst parts of liking these games is finding good releases. It’s not that designers have been creating crappy games — it’s that some of the big-name developers enjoy releasing limited runs of arcade versions. With digital distribution now being a normal thing, I just don’t have the patience for this antiquated idea of a game being difficult to locate and play.
One of the most notorious shoot-’em-up developers guilty of limited releases is Cave. Luckily, it seems to be coming around to the idea of digital distribution. With the help of Japanese e-commerce and publisher Degica, Cave is gearing up to release Deathsmiles on Steam in the spring of 2016.
Deathsmiles is a horizontal bullet hell shoot-’em-up, featuring a cast of five magical little girls defending their Halloween-like fantasy world from a bunch of bullet tossing demons. Bullet hell is a subgenre of shoot-’em-ups that features intricate waves of screen-filling bullet patterns. These require tighter precision on the player’s part than normal shooters. Cave is one of the more popular developers that design games around this concept.
This isn’t the first Cave game on Steam. Degica released Mushihimesama in November. Deathsmiles also isn’t exactly the rarest Cave title ever, what with it seeing a wide North American release on the Xbox 360.
Yet Deathsmiles showing up on Steam is a good sign for shoot-’em-up fans. Maybe this a sign that limited releases are slowly being phased out?