ExA-Arcadia has listed their 25th game up for pre-order, P-47 Aces Mk. II. Originally released to arcades by NMK/Jaleco back in 1995, players take control of a propellor plane and go to war against tons of flying enemies. I do not believe the game was ever ported to consoles and as such it might not be as well known as some other 90s shmups, particularly since arcades here in the States mostly gave up on the genre once all of those 3D driving and light-gun games started to flood the scene. One other game that seems to have been influenced by P-47 would be Capcom/CAVE’s Progear no Arashi. Here’s the Japanese promo trailer for the new version:

(Quite the energetic and fun soundtrack accompanies this too)

For the new exA release, there are many enhancements given to the game to make it, once again, the ultimate version of the game. To quote from the sales page:

 Up to 4 players can join the battle in highly detailed terrain from deserts to tundra. Choose from 8 different ships/pilots and take the fight to the front line! Power up your ship’s anti-air and anti-surface weaponry to decimate enemy forces. Use your secret Hyper weapon to temporarily become invincible and deal even more massive damage! A special FEC difficulty setting is available for more casual locations to ensure all types of customers have a good time.

3 modes are available: ORIGINAL (a beyond perfect port of the the original ACES game with the ability to play as the 4 new pilots), WIDE (a rebalanced version of the original game presented in true 16:9 widescreen) and MARK II (a spectacular remake with faster response times than the original game and new stages, new arranged soundtrack by NMK alumni Manabu Namiki & new game features).

I put some emphasis on one line there to highlight something that they mentioned to me when I previously played this game. Shmups have a bit of a reputation for being tough. It’s great for hardcore fans but terrible for most casuals in keeping them engaged with a game. This is particularly true of 4-player shmups; I’ve had a Dariusburst Another Chronicle since 2011, a 4-player shmup. While it allows players to pick between Easy/Normal/Hard (and has an Infinite Lives mode), I’ve witnessed many greenies play on easy and already hit the Game Over screen within 15-20 seconds as they just don’t get what to do, they get rekt, and they walk away to never play again. I’ve also seen that happen a lot on Infinite Lives mode, sadly.

Anyways, back to P-47. Here’s an earlier look at this game from Summer 2021:

The game is listed for around $1500 on the kit, which comes with the cartridge and artwork; European customers can purchase the game via Red Sun systems. The game should begin shipping here pretty soon – the website mentions September so I would guess first week of September. Speaking of September exA releases, their NES adaptation of Astro Ninja Man is also slated to pop up for order here soon, so here’s the Japanese trailer for that. Also, stay tuned for a similar announcement for Samurai Shodown V Perfect.

What do you think about these releases?

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