(Thanks to Timm Hellwig for the info!)
One of the great things about older arcade game boards like the NeoGeo MVS is where they work like glorified game consoles, they also happen to have a fanbase revolving around them years after the hardware is no longer supported. Of course there was the AES and other solutions to bring those games home, but I never knew anyone that had one of those as it was quite expensive to jump in on that hardware. Either way, due to the fandom behind something like the MVS, we occasionally get a “homebrew” effort where a new game is released for the system.As far as I know not many homebrews have been developed for the MVS but there is one group called NG:Dev.Team who isn’t giving up on the system.
The upcoming game they are working on is called Fast Striker. At first I thought it was going to be a soccer game but it’s actually a vertical bullet hell shmup which is not something that is terribly plentiful on the MVS. Here are the features as listed on their website:
- 6 Stages
- 3 Game Modes: Original/Maniac/Novice
- Elaborated scoring system
- Up to 180 Enemy Bullets Simultaneously on Screen
- 40+ Fully Animated CGI Enemies
- 6+ Huge Fully Animated Boss Enemies
- 3D Scrolling CGI Backgrounds
- Constant 60 fps
- Difficulty Rank System
- Online Ranking via Code
- MVS Multi Slot Compatible: 1-6 Slots
- Full use of 1560 Megabits
- 25+ mins Full Digitized Stereo Soundtrack
- In-System Software Updates via USB Port
- Up to Date Copyright Protection via Particle Streaming Chip
NG:Dev. Team developed their own cartridge for this effort, which is where the Megabit size, special copy protection and USB port come in. As you can see from the video below, it’s a very slick game graphically for the MVS, with the 3D backgrounds, tons of objects, color and a solid 60 FPS. The game is going to be released within the next two months according to the developer and from an interview I found on the NeoGeo forums, it will be priced below 1500€ (update: Tim informs me that the arcade version will go for “below 700€”). Also from the interview they explain how the scoring system works in the main mode, Maniac:
In Maniac mode, similar to DoDonPachi, you have to destroy enemies in a certain timeframe. There’s a bar on the left, which slowly decreases. If it’s empty, your chain is broken. You quickly have to destroy more enemies again to fill up the gauge again. An extension and feature of our game is the so called “grinding”. You get into “grinding”-mode when you’ve shot bigger enemies with your beam shot for long enough. Your ship and its laser become green, you weaken the enemy and during this time, you get twice as many points and the chain value doubles. Using the “grinding” technique is the most important way to score in this game.
You can read the whole interview here. Keep in mind that there is a novice mode which could prove to be nicer for players not so attuned to playing bullet hell titles. That’s always the problem I have with bullet hell games, is that they aren’t very accessible to most people so it’s harder to get them to try it out, so I applaud the team for inserting an easier, selectable mode like this.
Here is the trailer video (or click here for a higher quality version):