An exciting snippet of news if you’re into traditional shoot-’em-ups: the Aleste series is getting a new entry thanks to Japanese developer M2.
The news comes to us from Famitsu (thanks, Hardcore Gaming 101), who’ve unveiled its title – Aleste Branch – as well as an early sketch of series heroine Ellinor Waisen. Further details are a bit thin on the ground at present, but there’s more news to come from the game fairly soon: Ellinor’s new-look ship will apparently be revealed at Japan’s Wonder Festival on the 28 July, while a second event in Akihabara, Tokyo will provide a more detailed announcement on the 7 September.
The Aleste series was originally developed by Compile, and began with the original game – simply called Aleste, or Power Strike in the west – released in 1988. Sequels and spin-offs followed, including the terrific Musha Aleste for the Sega Mega Drive and Super Aleste for the Super Famicom. The games were marked out by their intricate ship designs, speedy movement and toe-tapping synth-metal soundtracks; sadly, when Compile keeled over and died from a fatal loss of cash in 2003, it really looked as though we’d seen the last of the series.
That M2’s taking over the reins is pretty spiffing news all around: the studio’s quietly made a name for itself as a dedicated porter of classic games to modern systems, while its own contributions to the action genre, such as the download-only Gradius ReBirth for the Wii and a belated arcade version of Fantasy Zone II for System 16 hardware, were clearly labours of love. With such a glittering track record in shooters and action games, Aleste will surely be in safe hands.
If you haven’t heard of M2 or its work before, My Life In Gaming’s exhaustive documentary on the studio provides an engrossing primer:
Wireframe issue 18 is available now.