Some of the toughest shmups ever are coming to modern consoles next week with Irem Collection Volume 1

Step into a time machine.

3 mins read
A screenshot from Image Fight II in Irem Collection Volume 1.

Get ready for a nostalgia trip that is also the return of some of the most difficult shmups that ever existed with Irem Collection Volume 1, launching for modern consoles next week. The collection includes Image Fight, Image Fight II, and X Multiply. The three titles take players back to the golden age of Japanese video games, AKA the days of shoot ’em up glory. The collection includes modern updates line online leaderboards and global rankings.

In Image Fight, aliens have destroyed bases on the moon and begun to attack other military space areas. Humans build a spaceship, OF-1 Daedalus, to destroy the alien invasion. Each pilot requires rigorous training before boarding the ship to defeat the invaders – and earn eternal glory. This collection includes the original version, the 1990 PC Engine version (previously only available in Japan), and the 1990 NES version (sold in Japan and North America).

Image Fight II (see the header for a screenshot) introduces new alien invaders, returning after three years of peace. Become a pilot in the new OF-3 Garuda spaceship and fight off the aliens. The sequel features (compared to the original) improved animations, detailed lore, new visual scenes, and a timeless soundtrack. The CD version of the game features a storyline with anime cut-scenes, and the game features a stereo score.

Here is an older trailer (like six months old) that showcase off the collection’s games and limited edition:

In X Multiply, it’s the year 2249. A mysterious disease has devastated the human population of a faraway planet. Alien parasites have taken over people’s bodies, so humans create microfighters to battle in biological warfare. Control a miniature ship inside an infected body, using tentacles as both a weapon and a shield while destroying the parasites before they completely destroy the host body. There are seven levels set within blood vessels and arteries. The distinction between what is human and what is alien is unclear, which is rather unsettling.

Related reading: In the mood for a shmup? Try Raiden IV x Mikado Remix for PlayStation 5.

Physical copies for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch will be available exclusively through Strictly Limited Games. Collector’s editions include a visual compendium, soundtrack, manual, collector’s coin, marquee sticker, reversible poster, flyer reprints, and collector’s edition box. There are also Irem Collection Volume 1-5 bundles available that include (obviously) Volumes 1-5, not just 1; this collection won’t be released until late next year.

From ININ Games, Tozai Games, Irem, and Strictly Limited Games, Irem Collection Volume 1 will be released for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One on November 21.

Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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