How many compilations can we make to the glory of the Irem studio by simply slipping three games into each cake? A question that the businessmen in charge of this initiative have already asked themselves, especially since Strictly Limited Games is always on the lookout to compose all kinds of PS5, PS4 and Switch physical editions on its shop. It is this same store that actually tells us that five volumes are in preparation and that a bundle bringing together these five volumes in their collector’s edition is already on pre-order at the price of 429 euros. The retro, a matter of preservation, of passion but above all of dough.
Ported to PlayStation, Xbox and Switch by Tozai Games, the three titles in this compilation are named Air Duel, GunForce And Gunforce 2. Released in March 1990 on arcade M-72, Air Duel is a seemingly classic vertical-scrolling military shoot’em up, except that the player has the option of changing ships at the start of each level, allowing them to alternate between the fighter plane and the helicopter which do not have the same type of shots and improvements. The two machines, however, share the same three bombs that clean up everything on the screen, including enemy attacks.
The missing link between Contra and Metal Slug
If you are familiar with the subject, about twenty minutes may be enough to complete GunForcerun & gun released in arcade M-92 in 1991 and ported a year later to Super Nintendo in a softer version which is still difficult to see the year when a certain Super Probotector on the same platform. For the record, many of the developers of these three titles then left Irem to form Nazca and give birth to Metal Slug on behalf of SNK.
And it’s in the GunForce 2 of 1994 that the kinship is felt the most. Players control Max and Lei through five levels in a post-apo world against armies of soldiers, mutants, machines and other aliens while rescuing hostages and collecting medals to increase their score. The possibility of shooting in different directions while holding a weapon in each hand and of boarding different abandoned vehicles complete this pretty supercharged title also developed on the M-92 arcade system and known in Japan under the title of GeoStorm. It will also be one of Irem’s last arcade games.