Deathsmiles Details Straight From Aksys

By Spencer . January 29, 2010 . 4:06pm

deathsmiles_06 This year’s biggest surprise so far is an English version of Deathsmiles. How did Aksys get the rights to Cave’s horizontal shooter?


“We asked,” Cherie Baker, PR Specialist at Aksys jokingly replied. “No, but really we’re big shmup fans here at Aksys, and we pushed for it. We also know that there are many Cave fans in the states that have been dying for something new and fresh. We asked, and Cave was all up for it!”


Princess Debut was Cave’s first game in North America, but the dancing/dating-sim is quite different from the intense bullet hell shooters Cave is usually associated with. “At Cave, they understand that shmups aren’t for everyone, but they could be with the proper learning curve,” Baker explains.



Don’t let the video intimidate you. It’s possible to get through Deathsmiles even if Gradius was the last horizontal shooter you played. “Practice mode includes a stage selection option for practicing any stage in the game. Players can change certain settings, including their item counter, number of bombs, and difficulty  level. This should help people interested in jumping back into the genre or people that are terrified at sucking from the get go and never gave shmups a chance in the first place,” Baker explains.


Cave fans can look forward to Mega Black Label as an on disc bonus. “Mega Black Label was previously only available in arcades. This mode features the new stage “The Ice Palace,” [above] the new character “Sakura,” and a more challenging scoring system that rewards you with big bonuses if you can make it from stage to stage without taking damage.” Mega Black Label was sold separately as downloadable content in Japan. Since it’s part of Deathsmiles I asked about other downloadable content. Baker said, “future DLC will be available.”


Deathsmiles is being localized for North America, but it won’t get Mobile Light Force-d. Aksys is sticking to the source material. “At Aksys we take pride in what we localize. We work very closely with Cave to keep the same feel of the J-version. Our fans would be disappointed if we did less. All of the girls hail from different parts of the world and our localization team had brought their dialogue text to life.”


deathsmiles_05 In addition to Deathsmiles, Cave has a ton of other Xbox 360 shooters. I asked Baker if Aksys will pickup their other titles such as Espgaluda II and Mushihime-sama Futari Ver. 1.5. “We rely on the support of the genre’s fans,” answered Baker. “To be honest, unconditional love doesn’t work for this niche genre. Deathsmiles needs your love, so go out and buy it!  When love is given, love will be returned.” Baker also assured Microsoft’s North American Xbox division is supportive of shooters like Deathsmiles and said approval was “pretty easy. The dudes and dudettes at Microsoft are awesome!”


“Last year we saw the year of the fighters with Street Fighter 4, Tekken, and Blazblue. We hope that 2010 is the year of the shmups! This is a classic genre that needs a revival, and we want to make it happen. We need support from diehards and new comers alike.”


Aksys’ revival starts this summer when Deathsmiles comes out in North America. How much will it cost? “That’s like asking the bride how much the ring was; just come to the reception!”


Take that as your official invitation. Oh, and the party might have gifts! “We are cooking up something special for a possible LE,” Baker teased. I hope whatever they’re making is as crazy as their limited edition for Record of Agarest War.

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  • malek86

    “Deathsmiles needs your love, so go out and buy it! When love is given, love will be returned.”

    I will give love if they make it region-free for PAL users.

  • I would support if I had the means of making a 360 game play on the PS3. :/

  • MisterNiwa

    Ill gladly buy it on my PS3. :)

    … Wait…

  • At first, I thought it read “intense ballet hell shooters”. Princess Debut doesn’t quite reach that level of intensity (as far as the dancing), but it’s still really fun.
    I’m not familiar with the new rep. at Aksys, but I’m really, really digging her style! It’s also very interesting Microsoft was supportive as well as Cave being all for it. Hmm, who would’ve thought!

    As for LE bonuses for DeathSmiles, telepathy made a thread at their forums about it, so a few ideas are being kicked around. Funny enough, DeathSmiles also has mouse pads that has the same features the Agarest one has. There’s even one of Casper- I know, I couldn’t believe it myself.

    • cj_iwakura

      Princess Debut would have made an awesome bullet hell shooter.

  • nyoron

    I hope they don’t pull that same “full voice” crap that Cave did.

    • Aoshi00

      Yep, that stupid stunt cost me 30 big ones on ebay.. damn myself for being a completionist (those grayed out options really bug me! It’s like the DLCs yelling “buy me buy me to get the full game”). What sucked was you couldn’t even buy the DLC even if you want because it was on a card included as a pre-order bonus..

      • nyoron

        Oh I know, it’s total BS. I didn’t even know that there was a special edition when I bought it, and later when I found out about the voice thing I was pissed. Then I figured, well they’ll sell it on the marketplace eventually. Still waiting…

        I never bought the MBL either, so if this version includes the voices too I’ll probably double dip.

        • Aoshi00

          The worse thing was the “full voice” DLC card only came w/ the first print copies, of both regular and LE actually. So if you buy the $130 LE later that is not the first print, all you get is just the soundtrack and slipcase, and still no full voice. I was hoping they would put it on marketplace and I would bite even if it’s 800 pt, but I doubt they would do it at this point, as if to strictly keep it as a “pre-order bonus”. I actually got MLB too and it was worth it (more so than Mushihime-sama to me at least). Hopefully the Aksys ver. would include full voice as well, which is ironic because there really weren’t that much spoken dialogue in the first place, see how they screwed w/ us..

  • Vino (Tim N)

    360 sure gets lots of love for these things. Good thing I have both systems.

    I picked up Princess Debut. For my sister, not me. If I have the money, I’ll pick this up for fun.

  • Aksys ❤
    Sign me up for that LE (no lame booby mousepads/f-ck pillowcases, plz)

    • Aoshi00

      Don’t be embarrassed you know you want them lol.. they actually would be good bonuses to move copies.. just throw in the awesome soundtrack and maybe an additional in-game gallery and I’d be happy to give you $60 Aksys.

      So what’s the deal w/ MS being supportive of shmups now, Shikigami no shiro 3 wasn’t approved because of them right?

      • It was made available for the Wii, though, wasn’t it?
        There isn’t much of a difference that I could find in either Wii or 360 version other than online ranking for the latter.

        • Aoshi00

          yeah, Wii is the only option here. Other than online ranking, I just thought everything was better for the 360 ver, HD in 16:9 instead of SD in 4:3 (you either stretch it out or have the black bars on side on a widescreen TV which I assume everyone has by now), better controller than all 3 wii control schemes, and achievement.. and the Wii ver. didn’t have Jpn track.. If they do go back to release it on 360 here w/ dual track at around $30, I will double dip again (actually triple dip..)

          • Ah, I didn’t know that, but could have guessed. I haven’t tried many shooters on the Wii other than Ultimate Shooting Collection (with Karous). It felt okay, but I could imagine the 360 making improvements all around even if it’s slightly marginal.
            Well, here’s hoping something may come this, then. I haven’t seen too many people talk about Shikigami 3 on the Wii, so I wasn’t sure if there was a demand for it on the 360.

          • Aoshi00

            I actually haven’t played Shikigami 1 &2, 3 was my first one in the series. It was a pretty good game, not in the same league as Cave’s of course, but still fun, and better on 360 of course. The Wii ver. just looks blurry you know, even though graphics is not important for a shmup.. and the galleries that you unlock later look much better in HD too. I got USC and just couldn’t get into any of the 3 games, and later sold it on ebay.. the port was poorly done too w/ simple menus and top and btm parts of the in-game screen cut off.

  • superdry

    A pretty crazy, albeit expensive LE would be bundling the game with the deathsmiles arcade stick hori created.

    I’d totally be purchasing this when it comes out. Mushihimesama was pretty good and played it for a good week straight (I’ll have to download the black label version at some point to continue playing).

  • thaKingRocka

    I never needed any convincing, and the price was never even a concern. Such is my dedication to the greater cause of reviving the genre. I’m a god damned hero. :P

  • OldManMonkey

    Awesome. Really looking forward to this.

  • gabrielwinebrenner

    Day One Purchase! Meanwhile, I’ll play my Mushihimesama Futari until you port Deathsmiles Aksys. Thank you so much. Please port Espgaluda II after this one since I’m pretty sure it will be region locked since there has been no announcement. Either way, you will definitely get my cash for Deathsmiles.

    • Aoshi00

      I hope NCSX would be able to get more copies of Espgaluda II LE, I missed it as it was pre-sold out.. And Ketsui seems to finally get a release date, I’m getting the LE for the OST. Pray that 5pb wouldn’t mess it up like Dodonpachi, w/ Cave on their side this time.

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