PlatinumGames’ Sol Cresta delayed until 2022. It will feature Caravan Mode and vertical screen support

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-11-03 17:45 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier

On November 2, PlatinumGames announced that their vertical shooter Sol Cresta is being delayed until 2022. The game was originally scheduled to release on December 9, but PlatinumGames says they will have more information about the new date after the new year and are working hard to release it in the not so distant future.

Sol Cresta is a sequel to Nihon Bussan’s Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta, which were released in the 1980’s. With the cooperation of Hamster Corporation, the rights holders of the previous two titles, Sol Cresta is being developed by PlatinumGames. The development team features Hideki Kamiya as the creative director and in charge of the story, Takahito Washisaka as the producer, and Takanori Sato as the game’s director. Plus, music is being provided by Yuzo Koshiro.

In the game, players will pilot the Yamato, Sol Cresta’s cutting-edge docking fighter, on a mission to take back the Sun from the evil Mega Zohar army, and thwart their plans to rule the galaxy. The Yamato is made up of three ships called Unit 01 Amaterasu, Unit 02 Tsukuyomi, and Unit 03 Susano, which can be freely docked together or split apart.

With Amaterasu’s lasers, Tsukuyomi’s missiles, and Susano’s drill, each ship has a different main weapon that changes the type of shot available when docked together, depending on how they’re combined. And when split apart, there are powerful Formation Shots that change based on the formation.

*The presentation begins around 17:54

The announcement was made during “Hideki Kamiya’s Very Sorry Stream,” which broadcast on November 2. They explained that the reason for the delay was that as development went on, more and more things came up that they wanted to put in the game. At first, they thought it would be a simple game, but to make a worthy sequel in a historical series, and to meet fan’s expectations, more stuff kept getting added. They also believe that crafting and polishing these features are connected to the overall quality, and have chosen to prioritize quality over the schedule.

The live stream also showed off stage 2 of the game with commentary from Kamiya and Washisaka (around 26:40). They revealed that they modified some of how formations work when considering ease of play. For example, when having the ships in a straight vertical-line formation, they would shoot wide shots to the left and right. Under the new system, they now shoot pinwheel looking shots to the sides that circle around the screen. They said this was based on the Cyclone Formation in Terra Cresta.

These images were captured from the live stream

It was also revealed that the game will have a Caravan Mode (around 36:50). Caravan Mode is a popular score attack mode in shooting games, and in Sol Cresta, the aim is to get the highest score you can within the 5 minute time limit. Furthermore, the game slows down when players change formations, but it won’t slow down the timer in Caravan Mode. How you line up your ships also impacts your score, so the mode will require players to quickly decide on their formations.

Sol Cresta will also contain achievements where players can acquire points for completing set tasks. New stuff gets unlocked after reaching certain amounts of points. There will be a vertical screen mode as well, where the playfield can be rotated 90 degrees to the left or right in the display options. In vertical mode, UI elements like formation information and the upgrade gauge will be simplified and split between the top and bottom of the screen.

Near the end of the stream, they showed footage of some sort of mode in the game being played that featured a retro-looking ship (around 50:40), but didn’t give any further details saying they would present more at a later time. They also showed the opening movie for the game (around 58:10) which introduces the story of the series.

“Thanks for watching the broadcast. In order to indulge ourselves and make a game we’re truly satisfied with, we are delaying the release of Sol Cresta. We’re sorry. But as for the content, we promise you’ll be satisfied with it, so please wait just a little longer.”

Sol Cresta is planned to launch on PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 in 2022. A concrete release date will be revealed after the new year.