Rapid-fire legend Takahashi Meijin supervises Star Gagnant, a retro-style shmup for the Switch

Regista has announced vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up Star Gagnant for the Nintendo Switch. The game is being developed under the supervision of Japanese gaming legend Takahashi Meijin, and a crowdfunding campaign for the project will begin on September 5 at 5 p.m. (JST).

*The footage above is from an in-development build.

Takahashi Meijin is a former employee of Hudson Soft who currently works with companies like MAGES. Since the Famicom era, he has championed the shmup genre, and became well-known at the time for his rapid button pressing speed that allowed him to fire 16 shots per second.

Takahashi felt that “the shmups of today are too difficult and can’t be enjoyed by everyone!” so he set his mind on creating a “retro-style, rapid-fire shmup that anyone can enjoy.” Regista shared this view and that’s what led to the birth of the Star Gagnant project.

Regista is a game developer that has created titles in a variety of genres including escape games. It also has experience working on shmup games such as Moon Dancer, RagingBlasters, and MissileDancer.

Star Gagnant uses a simple yet traditional 2D vertical scrolling gameplay system, something that was common among shmups that were created during the genre’s heyday (1980-1990). Furthermore, in order to let players fully enjoy the appeal of the shmup genre, the game will include the following three modes:

1. An Arcade Mode where the goal is to clear each stage and reach the ending.
2. A Caravan Mode where players compete in a two-minute score attack.
3. A Challenge Mode where players compete using pure technique.

Details on the gameplay system are still scant, but the game will include a modern take on the rapid-fire aspect as well as techniques that appeal to advanced players, like obtaining bonuses from combos. The background music aims to enliven the experience while also fitting the game’s setting, and the main theme will evoke memories of “caravan shmups” of the past (this song can be heard in the video at the beginning of this article).

The crowdfunding campaign for the game will be held between September 5 and October 5 (JST) on crowdfunding site Ubgoe. The initial funding goal is one million yen (around $7,000), but the project is adopting an All-in (keep-it-all) approach, meaning that development will go ahead even if this goal is not met. The game is expected to be released in May 2023.

There are a number of backer tiers on offer that range from 1,000 yen (around $7) to 300,000 yen (around $2,000) and include rewards such as the privilege to give food or drink to Takahashi Meijin and the development team, having your name added to the credits, a limited-edition T-shirt, and the ability to design an enemy or boss that will appear in the game.

It is interesting to note that unlike with most crowdfunding campaigns, there are no backing tiers that include the game itself. Instead, all backers of the project will receive a sticker made to look like a “Star Gagnan-ist Certificate.” Additional details can be found on the Ubgoe campaign page.

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-09-02 13:36 JST)