A lot of folks have heard about CAVE, the niche game developer that basically dominated the shoot-em-up genre last generation and the one before that. With classics such as DoDonPachi, Ketsui and Mushihimesama, it’s easy to see why so many fans love the studio’s bullet hell shooters. Nevertheless, CAVE wasn’t, and isn’t, the only kid on the block specializing in SHMUPs. Developer Moss, while arguably not as “popular” as CAVE, has been in the proverbial game for a number of years, and has put out some equally as impressive titles, two of which are Raiden IV and Caladrius.
Back in 2010, Moss released Raiden IV exclusively for the Xbox 360 to some pretty decent praise from both critics and fans alike. And then just last year in Japan they unleashed another 360 exclusive, Caladrius, which is one of the lesser known SHMUP gems out there, but a gem all the same. While this type of thing happened quite a lot last generation — shoot-em-ups only being available on Microsoft’s console, that is — we’re beginning to see a paradigm shift now, with various developers digging into their back-catalog of games and porting them to the PS3. First it was G.Rev’s Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta! and then CAVE’s Ketsui Kizuna Shigokutachi, and now it’s Moss’ Raiden IV and Caladrius.
The good news here is, neither game will be a straight port of their 360 brethren. The PlayStation 3 version of Raiden 4, aptly dubbed Raiden 4: Overkill, will boast a brand new gameplay mode when it launches next spring, while Caladrius will include an additional stage and a new character not seen in the 360 version when it releases sometime later in 2014.
As of right now, there’s been no word on an international release of these two titles — and we don’t really expect one to be honest. HOWEVER, SHMUP fans have been importing the genre for the better part of two decades — and for others, even longer! Meaning to say, these are some of the most import-friendly games on the market, with very little story to follow and (most of the time) English menus for easy navigation. So, if they don’t see the light of day here in North America, just know that it’s still possible to play the games and practically enjoy them fully.
Regardless, be on the lookout for Raiden IV and Caladrius next year; it’s great to see the genre staying alive and reaching more people via the PlayStation 3. We’ll have more details on concrete release dates when they drop. So check back for more info in the future. Now here’s just hoping both get a limited edition comparable to the ones Japan usually gets for these games. Fingers crossed!
For a look at what each game has to offer, scope the videos below.