Publishers ININ Games and Strictly Limited Games, and developer irem have released the debut trailer and new information for their recently announced irem Collection Volume 1 and irem Collection series, as well as opened pre-orders for Volume 1‘s physical editions.
Get the details below.
Some of the greatest and most requested action arcade games will be available to modern gaming platforms. With iconic action titles such as R-TYPE, Air Duel, or Hammerin’ Harry, irem shaped the games industry since the 1980’s and was one of the leaders in the arcade era. With very few exceptions many of these titles have never been brought to modern console platforms or remained Japan-exclusive. Most of them even have never seen a release on physical media up until now. So ININ, Tozai Games, and irem are finally joining forces to bring them to modern console gamers. Tozai Games and ININ will be responsible for Japanese as well as worldwide digital releases on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch.
The outstanding quality of these games often even used as a benchmark for others in the genre make the upcoming releases an exciting experience for both (modern) retro enthusiasts and casual players looking for new -or so far unknown- gaming adventures around the globe. With the outstanding history of irem as a studio and their iconic games shaping an entire industry, the collection is particularly interesting to collectors of video games and players interested in video game history and culture. To process the rich story of irem games, Strictly Limited Games will publish several Limited and Collector’s Editions for the upcoming volumes of the irem Collection.
Ready Volume 1
The first volume of the irem Collection is an updated homage to the Japanese-exclusive Arcade Gears series (released in the 1990s on Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation) and comprises three legendary shoot ’em up games Image Fight, Image Fight II, and X-Multiply.
- Image Fight first appeared in 1988 as a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up. It became one of the most successful table arcade games at that time in Japan and is still being regarded by many fans as one of the best shoot ’em ups ever made. In addition to this arcade version, the upcoming volume will also include the PC Engine / TurboGrafx version as well as the NES version from 1990. The game is set in the year 20XX, the moon collapses after an explosion caused by aliens which proceed their offensive against mankind. To settle the situation, the player must go through an eponymous training process called “Image Fight,” before they are allowed to join the combat to fend off the invaders and earn everlasting glory.
- Image Fight II was released in Japan in 1992, after the success of the first part. Unfortunately, the game never made it to the west (except for a Wii Virtual Console release, that is). It is set in the year 2051, the alien forces try once again to exterminate humanity. The player must take over the role of pilot Sho, the main character in the story, switching to a new generation of ships. The story is really outstanding in this game, the introduction of visual scenes reminiscent of animes especially intended for the PC-Engine SUPER CD-ROM version strengthen the story and add depth and a second dimension to this game, shaping Sho as a real hero in this unequaled approach to building a shoot ’em up storyline.
- X-Multiply is a side-scrolling shooter originally released in 1989 for arcade (M72). The combination of science fiction and biological elements makes X-Multiply extraordinary even though it flew under the radar of many gamers: The player is controlling a miniaturized ship getting ‘injected’ in an evidently humanoid body and is using tentacles attached to his ship to fight alien parasites killing humans in detailed as sinister designed stages located inside that corpse.
Limited Physical Editions of irem Games
The hardly rivaled quality of these games will be cumulated in outstanding Limited and Collector’s Editions exclusively published by Strictly Limited Games.
The Limited Editions of the irem Collection Volume 1 include Image Fight, Image Fight II, and X-Multiply, an exclusive title sheet design and an English manual and are limited to 4,000 individually numbered copies for Switch and 1,500 each for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, at a price of $34.99 / €34.99.
The Collector’s Edition will frame the games and complete them with their matchless original soundtracks as well as physical collectibles to deep dive even further:
The premium Collector Box will be realized in format 4:3 as an homage to the screen ratio at that time. The print quality and the magnetic closure collect all the items in a suitably exclusive way.
The Original Soundtracks will be realized on three CDs sitting in a Digifile. The format gives room to every game and its unparalleled music.
A Visual Compendium will include backgrounds on the games, their history, feature unique insights, and lay out level and character designs, from pixel sprites to context art.
A Collector Coin in a separate box will make another nice link between the different volumes of the irem collection. The design is inspired by classic arcade coins and includes not just both logos and key elements from the games’ visuals.
A package of Retro Print material will complete the collection. Next to reprints of flyers from back then which are now getting localized the first time into English, there will be mini-DIY reproductions in the style of the NES game box, a marquee sticker, a foil catching the vibe of arcade light panel designs, and posters showing the key visual in impressive size.
They will be limited to 2,000 individually numbered copies for Switch and 999 each for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, at a price of $89.99 / €89.99.
In time with Volume 1, Strictly Limited Games will offer bundles of both Limited and Collector’s Editions including the upcoming Volumes 1 to 5 of the irem Collection in an exclusively designed slip case. The Limited Edition bundle will be limited to 3,000 individually numbered copies for Switch and 1,000 each for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, at a price of $159.99 / €159.99 and the Collector’s Edition bundle to 1,000 individually for Switch and 500 each for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, at a price of $429.99 / €429.99.
The limited physical editions of irem Collection’s Volume 1 will be available for pre-order from April 30, 2023 exclusively on StrictlyLimitedGames.com.
Watch the trailer below.