Aksys Showering North America With Deathsmiles

By Spencer . January 18, 2010 . 10:10am

The impossible just happened. Deathsmiles is on track for release in North America, thanks to Aksys. “With Deathsmiles, you’ve got little girls flying through a gothic otherworld to destroy the horrific, necrotic Imperator Tyrannosatan. Really, what could top that,” said Cherie Barker, PR Specialist, on the news.


Deathsmiles was released first in arcades before Cave made a console port. The Xbox 360 version polishes the graphics, includes online co-op, leaderboards, and a replay viewer. Save your best runs and download videos of the top twenty players to discover better ways to blast Gilverado’s nightmarish creatures.


deathsmiles_02 deathsmiles_06 deathsmiles_03 deathsmiles_04 deathsmiles_05 deathsmiles_01


On Friday, we broke the news about Deathsmiles, and subtly announced the publisher. The clues were at the end. “Yummy” was a reference to the infamous sausage picture Aksys used to promote Record of Agarest War.  There was also a hidden mnemonic in that sentence…


“They Are Keying Some ‘Yummy’ Script in their PCs right now.” They (are) AKSYS.

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  • thaKingRocka

    if i had tried to guess the answer based on those clues, i would never have gotten it. i’m glad i’m a patient type who usually just says, “i’ll find out when i find out.” good news all around and thank you, aksys.

  • superdry

    Oh, Aksys…how you surprise us. I do hope the sales of Deathsmiles is good enough to warrant Aksys to bring over other Cave shooters.

    Spencer – Do you know if the US release is going to contain full-voice over and Mega Black Label version?

    • Mega Black Label is on disc, it won’t be sold as DLC. I’ll have to ask about the voiceovers.

      • neo_firenze

        What about Mega Black Label 1.1, which has been announced as DLC coming in Japan in 2010? This could be relevant even to those who already have the Japanese release and MBL, as they make the decision of whether to buy MBL 1.1 from Japanese Xbox Live when it is available.

        For anyone who needs some clarification of this somewhat confusing mess of versions:

        On the Japanese disc:
        – Arcade (original arcade Deathsmiles, in true low-res which looks like ass on an HD set in “Arcade” but is the most true to the original arcade release)
        – Xbox 360 (the original arcade game, but with nicely redone graphics so it looks acceptable on an HD display)
        – 1.1 (Revised version with tweaked scoring/combo system, some enemy placement/bullet patterns, and new option control – a lot of people like this version the best)

        Then for DLC, Mega Black Label was released (with Arcade/Xbox 360 graphics modes as in the original Deathsmiles on the disc). MBL is based on the separate arcade MBL release. It adds a new playable character, a new stage, and again tweaks the scoring/combo system and enemy/bullet patterns. It doesn’t have the same scoring/option control changes from 1.1.

        MBL 1.1 is coming to Japan in 2010 as DLC, and is a new revision that incorporates some of the new features of MBL (new playable character, new stage), but plays with the game system of 1.1 version.

  • Brilliant move. Hope this opens the floodgate to more Cave SHMUPS!

    If you do interview them about Deathsmiles (and you will), I’d like to know who or what changed at Microsoft so that this one was green-lit. Recall that AKSYS tried to bring Castle of Shikigami III as well but their efforts were rejected in the end.

    • Aoshi00

      So it was MS that didn’t green light Shikigami 3 (like Sony forcing games to be dubbed) huh? A shame.. since the 360 ver. blew the Wii port out of the water. It would be good if it gets a 2nd chance w/ Deathsmiles breaking the barrier.

      • Is the Xbox 360 version of Shikigami no Shiro 3 really that superior to the Wii version? In what respect?

        • HD graphics is my best bet. Then again it probably wouldn’t be much sharper than the PC version you showed me a couple years ago…

        • Aoshi00

          Well.. first the Wii ver’s native ratio was in 4:3, so if you play it on a widescreen TV, it would look even more blurry (in addition to being SD) when stretched out to fill the 16:9 screen, the alternative for a clearer picture is to have black bars on the side, in addition to the game being squished in the middle for shmups. I know graphics is not a big deal for a shmup, but it’s like Ikaruga, once you play it on XLBA, it’s hard to play it on GC or even on the Wii you know. Of course all the nice pics you unlock in the gallery look bad too. Also after I tried the 360 controller, all 3 Wii control schemes (remote, classic, or GC) just felt horrible and unresponsive to me, I’ve gotten an arcade stick since then but haven’t tried it on this game yet. Other than that no achievement (makes you go pairing all the possible chars to unlock their conversation and illustration) and leaderboard which might not be real important, but for those who like to strive for and compared high scores w/ others it’s good. And finally there’s no Jpn dub of course compared to the Jpn ver. Even though the original dialogue was tongue in cheek to begin w/, it’s still better than English (which was good because it was so bad).

          • cj_iwakura

            Shikigami 3’s dub was phenomenal.

            “Is it… here?”
            “No… higher.”
            “How about… here?”
            “YES! YES, THAT’S IT! The castle is there!”

  • Ereek

    It’s very nice that Aksys is bringing over so many obscure titles lately. Many thanks to them.

  • Pichi

    I was right about that yummy part for them, lol! Never would have got the clue the other way, now it looks so simple!

    Really glad they are bringing to this over! Hope it does well so we can have more of this genre.

  • I just saw the banner at the site (naturally came here, huh…). It sounds dumb, but I was like a deer seeing headlights and jumped back a bit since I wasn’t expecting that at all. Had no idea they would do it, but really glad to see it.I wonder if it was the forum members at their site that kept bringing it up with whatever they could perked Aksys’ interest. Well, I’m pleasantly surprised!Agarest, DeathSmiles, Cho-Aniki…. wow.

    “There was also a hidden mnemonic in that sentence…”
    Oh, I totally tried that! Just vertically.
    “Fun Dept Uptn”. Make that of what you will.

  • Kris

    Clever mnemonic! I should have thought of that.
    I’m a bit bummed that there’s no PS3 release, but I’m sure I can strongarm some friends into supporting this one.

  • jarrodand

    I can’t really handle bullet-hell (my shooter skills peaked with stuff like Blazing Lazers) but if I can credit feed, I’ll pick it up.

  • mikanko

    I hope this is region free like Battle Fantasia and I’ll double dip to support US Cave releases. BlazBlue on 360 is region locked so there’s no telling.

  • malek86

    Aksys? None of their games have been region-free for PAL consoles. This sucks.I hope some european publisher (maybe 505 Games?) will pick it up.

  • Xeahnort

    Damn Region Protection, I hope someone publish Deathsmiles in yurop.

    This just made my day because could be a reason to undust my 360 till I finish Mass Effect 2

  • superdry

    Hmmm…something seems to be wrong with Disqus.

    Thanks Spencer. Hopefully the voiceovers are included as it was a pre-order DLC in Japan if I remember correctly.

  • LOLI SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT THIS IS AWESOMEThis game better sell fucking MILLIONS.ps. I just ordered 2 copies of Espgaluda II Black Label Limited Edition. :)

    • Aoshi00

      argh! Where did you get your copy from, NCSX? I just got home and was so excited to see the pre-order open, been refreshing the page for days, and then see it’s “pre-soldout as of 3:11 pm”, major bummer! And you got 2 copies you creedy bastard lol.. I want my faceplate.. I should’ve ordered it from YesAsia when I had the chance too, I think they had it for ~$143.. but NCSX is safer, too bad I can’t access it at work in the afternoon..

      • Yeah, I’ve been watching the NCSX page 10 times a day for about a month now. I bought the first copy right away at noon on shopncsx.com (with shipping to Canada, it came out at $170, yikes!) then I checked Play-Asia just to see and they had it for about $110 (seems to be sold out there as well though…)

        • Aoshi00

          >,>, I’ve been doing the same thing ever since NCSX announced they would take pre-orders soon, never imagined they’d be gone in several hours.. Wow, P-A had it for even cheaper? I just sent an e-mail to NCSX to see if they could take my reservation, the allotment might go poof again the next time they start taking orders.. I just don’t want to miss out on the faceplate since you don’t know how rare it would get later, might end up for over $100 on ebay… though I’m not taking off my Magna Carta 2 one, that still looks the best. If I get the Espgaluda faceplate I’ll put it on my Jpn system.

          • Not to go off on a tangent, but do you ever try Yahoo Japan Auctions?I search for novelty game items every so often and I occasionally come across rare items for cheap.For example; Ghost ‘N Goblins little eraser figure set (complete), [email protected]: Live For You LE, Love Plus charm set, etc. all for under 1500 yen (separately).Just wondering since eBay is always gonna be more expensive. I mean, it’s really hard to get a good deal there most of the time.

          • Aoshi00

            I do check out the Jpn yahoo auctions for some rare stuffs, and see good prices on many things, but the problem is 99% of the time the Jpn sellers would not ship overseas (even if I ask them in Jpn, since if you write to them in Eng. they’ll reply they don’t understand), so… also, since I don’t have Jpn bank acct or their paypal equivalent, the only way to pay them is by mailinng them international money order from the post office which isn’t the most convenient either. Over the years I’ve only managed to buy two games from Jpn Yahoo auctions, Shadow of Memories (Shadow of Destiny Import) for PS2 and Jpn Operation Darkness for 360.. how do you convince them to ship outside of Jpn, any easy way to instant-pay them?

  • HPN

    What Aksys??? I was so wrong in my guessing, but I’m just happy Deathsmiles is coming stateside. Now only if we could get Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta, Shooting Love 200X and Otomedius Gorgeous.

  • “Tyrannosatan”?

    • neo_firenze

      Hehe, yep. Great last boss name, isn’t it?

      I giggled the first, oh, thirty times I saw the name as I was playing the game. I still giggle if I actually think about it.

  • cj_iwakura

    Let’s be realistic, guys. This will be lucky to sell a few thousand copies, much less a few million.

    That said.

    DAY ONE.

    I can’t help but wonder how this got an OK, but Shikigami 3 didn’t.

    • Witch girls are in and Castle of Shikigami 3 didn’t have enough/too many at the time?

    • I dunno. I could see American sales rivaling Japanese numbers! Within my close friends/immediate family, I can think of 6 copies already.

      Hate to say it but it’s going to depend on the price. Knowing Aksys, it’ll probably be something like 39.99$, which would be great.

      • Aoshi00

        I’m thinking $40 too, can’t be Radien Fighters Aces $20 or Wartech Senko no Ronde $60 (we all knew how that did), I think this is the only price that would move copies. Well, they could count on me buying another copy again, nothing speaks more volume than shelling out some dough to show our support.

  • Hows the soundtrack on this game? Any good?

    Oh, and once again, great news.

    • Aoshi00

      The soundtrack of the game is AWESOME, right next to Dodonpachi Daioujou’s. Pls include the soundtrack Aksys!

    • The music is fantastic. I’m really not familiar with the artist/composer, but the whole OST is a great listen. It’s versed without going all over the place (even has Bach’s “Toccata” – awesome!). Not generic at all.

      A OST with the game would be really welcoming if they decided to do that, as it deserves one.

  • KK

    I knew it had to be either ATLUS, Xseed or Aksys. :3

  • tsukasa1288

    Seems like Aksys is really getting into bringing over obscure titles from Japan. There are a shit ton of visual novels for the PSP and 360 just dieing for an American release (hint hint Aksys). Clannad, Toradora Portable, Memories Off, Chaos Head Noah, ect…

    The day those games see the light of day in North America (or Europe) will be the day that I consider myself to be truly surprised.

  • fallen

    Color me very excited about the release date announcement.

  • Hraesvelgr

    I missed that hint entirely, but still pretty much expected it to be Aksys. After grabbing Agarest Senki and Cho Aniki, nothing would really surprise me coming from them. I didn’t think I’d be too interested in games from them initially (back when all they had on their site was Eagle Eye Golf and Hoshigami Remix), but they’re actually becoming one of the more interesting publishers. The fact that they give hilarious interviews and listen to their fans doesn’t hurt, either.

    • Ah, Eagle Eye Golf. I remember when their site was so …white. Well, you got to start somewhere!

      And Siliconera was the first on the scene! Actually, the reason I came across Siliconera was because of Aksys’ rumored “Guilty Gear Series” game and, conversely, the only real info on Aksys was only mentioned here on Siliconera.

      The flutters of fate, they brought us together.

  • OldManMonkey

    This is truly wonderful news. AKSYS quickly becoming a new favorite publisher.

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