How Raiden Fighters Aces Flew To North America

By Spencer . May 15, 2009 . 2:11pm

imageSuccess published Raiden Fighters Aces last year and Valcon Games brought it here this week. A pleasant surprise for shooter fans and solid package for around $20.


The keyword is “surprise”. How did Valcon bring Raiden Fighters Aces over and what do they think about the shmup market? Colin Gordon, Co-founder of Valcon Games, shares his thoughts.


Is Raiden Fighters Aces is Valcon’s first Xbox 360 game? When did Valcon become an Xbox 360 publisher?


Colin Gordon, Co-founder of Valcon Games: Actually Raiden Fighters Aces is our 2nd Microsoft Xbox 360 title.  In March 2009, we released Ski-Doo Snowmobile Challenge for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PS3.  We became a 360 publisher late last year.


Why did you choose to localize Raiden Fighters Aces?


I loved the Raiden games back in the coin-op era and thought it would be a fun project to work on.  We had a relationship with the folks at Success in Japan from working with them on previous titles, and we knew they had this for the Xbox 360.


Was it difficult to get approval to publish Raiden Fighters Aces domestically?


Luckily for us, and fans of the game, we had a really good reception to the game within Microsoft.  The game has some strong fans there, which really helped get the title approved quickly.


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I was amazed by all the dip switch-like options in Raiden Fighters Aces. Some of these like the Game Speed (i.e. 54FPS (BLEND) vs. 54FPS (WAIT) ) are pretty technical. Could you explain them?


All those options were implemented by the development team at Guilti. They did an amazing job on the emulation of the arcade machines.  From what I know, the BLEND option runs the game internally at 54 FPS and then blends frames to create a 60FPS result. The WAIT option displays the frames individually and effectively holds a frame every few seconds to stretch it to 60FPS.


Does the US version include the patch Success released in Japan?


Yes – this build is based on the patched code.


Were any changes made for the US version?


Just some minor bug fixes and tweaks.  We enabled English text in Raiden Fighters Jet (which I think is the first time it’s ever been seen). We debated over fixing the text, but the Japanese told us it would be really tough to change the text, as it was all baked into the ROM files, so we left it.


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Do you think there is a market for shooters in North America?


I hope so!  This is our 3rd non-mainstream Japanese release (DaiSenryaku & Sheep Village being the other two).  From the reaction we’ve had in email and on our website, it seems to be popular.


How can a publisher like Valcon expand the market?


One step at a time.  If this title sells well, then it will help us determine our next steps.


Does Valcon plan to publish any more shooters on the Xbox 360? A lot of games like Shooting Love 200X, Deathsmiles, Raiden IV, and DoDonPachi are out in the wild.


It really depends on how well Raiden Fighters Aces does for us on the Xbox 360.  Personally, I’d love to do more Xbox 360 shooters.


What about DS shoot ’em ups like Ketsui: Death Label?


I can’t really say one way or another at this point.


Can you tell us more about your relationship with Success? Is Valcon optioning more titles from them?


We have a great relationship with Success, and have been really happy working with them on these first two titles.  I think the same holds true for them.  We’ll see what the future holds.

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  • TurkeyPotPie

    My copy of the US release is in the mail. I really hope this is successful for Valcon so they (or another publisher) can bring over some other titles. The price point is good for the US market as well; once of the reasons I think Senko no Ronde was a failure was the full price release. Maybe if the game does well Valcon can bring Raiden IV over.

    The bit about running at 54fps is odd though. I guess that was the refresh rate of the original arcade monitor? I hope the blend option works well as I am sensitive to framerate, and the wait option of holding frames would probably annoy me to no end. The Gameboy Player on the GC used to do the same thing because of the slight difference between the NTSC refresh rate and the rate on the Gameboy. Some people never noticed it, but it drove me crazy since every few seconds there was a slight “hitch” in the display.

  • Malek86

    It sucks that this doesn’t work on PAL consoles. They said the reason for that was they wanted to try and get it published out here too.. but what if that doesn’t come to fruition? We’ll be stuck with no game at all.

    If this one is successful enough for them to bring out the other ones, I hope they’ll at least make them region-free. I want me some DoDonPachi.

  • LordGeo

    I’d love to see Raiden IV and DoDonPachi brought over. I bought my copy at my local GameStop, which might have been the only one that the store got, and I am really enjoying this collection.

  • vertical shooters makes my nice HDTV cry. so much wasted real estate. I can only play raiden fighters aces when i sit really close to the tv.

    hint hint, bring Deathsmiles to the US!

  • Happy Gamer







  • fallen

    Well, that does it. I’m buying this to support their initiative in hopes of more shmuptasticness in the future.

    ….. like fucking anything by cave, please.

  • This thing is a fantastic little bundle of joy! Power to Valcon, may they bring more games like this.

  • Aoshi00

    I’m not that good at vertical shmups like Raiden, couldn’t even finish Ikaruga on normal mode… but I want Death Smiles too at a more reasonable price range, i.e not $80. Senko no Ronde was dropped to $10 in no time, and that god awful cover…

    • fallen

      Ikaruga is on the “friggin’ hard” end of the spectrum. I wouldn’t let that be the determinant of your skill level.

      • Aoshi00

        Yeah, Ikaruga was crazy hard, I ran out of lives when I get to the last stage on normal..

        I just tried the Raiden demo again and it was fun as heck, just ordered my copy from Amazon too. Hopefully more support would get us shmups like Deathsmiles and Otomedius.

  • jarrodand

    AWESOME. Just got my copy, fingers crossed it’s a success for Valcon. I’d love to see Deathsmiles, Ketsui, DDP, Raiden IV or (if we’re really REALLY lucky) Otomedius make it too.

  • LordGeo

    Well, this only indication of sales I can tell is from, where RFA ranked #56 in overall video game sales yesterday and as of this morning, since the ranks update hourly, it is now the 54th best-selling video games at, as well as the #1 selling “Action-Fighting” game on the Xbox 360 at

    I’d say that it’s certainly better than I thought it would be.

  • Zefiro Torna

    Snagged this one up, go Valcon!

    In addition to the sweet looking 360 shooters still in Japan, I wonder if Valcon could still pursue some PS2 shooters? STGs like Thunder Force VI and many others would still be very welcome.

  • thaKingRocka

    with a price point of twenty bucks, i didn’t hesitate for a moment. i pre-ordered it from amazon and grabbed the ultimate shooting collection for wii to get free shipping. raiden fighters is damn good.

    i’ll give my own consumer approach to shooters for future reference.
    ten bucks (a la xbla) = instant buy
    twenty bucks = instant buy
    thirty bucks = hmm, maybe. well, very likely…
    forty bucks = wait for price drop unless it’s an awesome new game like deathsmiles

  • hitokirix

    please bring it to pal regions or make them region free in the future we love shumps too!

  • I really hope they end up bringing more of the 360 shmups to the US, only time will tell though

  • James

    I ordered my copy! Thanks for bringing this over. I am a huge shmup fan so I already have senko no ronde. I heard UFO is bringing Raiden 4 to the US. I hope this sells well and you guys seriously consider localizing all 4 of the cave games that are coming to 360 as well as the new G.REV game, shooting love and otoemeus g. Thanks again for localizing this.

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