Hardcore shmup specialist Cave could be about to have its extensive library released on Steam.
A new website called Caveshmups.com carries the slogan Steam can't dodge these bullets” as well as the name of publisher Degica. That company is behind a string of Japanese releases on Steam including fellow shmups Crimzon Clover World Ignition and XIIZEAL, as well as the likes of A-Train 8.
Even if this is legitimate, it's not known who will handle the porting duties for the titles. While Cave handled its Xbox 360 and iOS ports itself, other companies such as G-Gee – with varying success.
Current UK Cave fans are currently pretty much restricted to Xbox 360 or iOS to get their fix.
Three Cave shooters received an official UK release on Microsoft's console – DeathSmiles, DoDonPachi Resurrection and Akai Katana. A few more that were only released in Japan were made region free including Espgaluda II, Pink Sweets/Muchi Muchi port and Mushihimesama Futari. Guwange, meanwhile, was released on XBLA.
There are also a number of excellent Cave ports on iOS that work far better than you might imagine. These include Espgaluda II, DoDonPachi Ressurection, Bug Princess and Bug Princess 2 (Mushihimesama 1&2).
However, there are several excellent Cave titles that remain totally inaccessible in the UK via official means. Ketsui and Ibara, for instance, have never been released in the UK.
Some Cave fans have turned to emulation for help. While the latest official versions of arcade emulation software MAME had support for Cave's CV1000 chipset removed by request, versions that do support the format are available in the wild.
However, a chance to own Cave's catalogue officially will be embraced by most fans of the genre – especially if Cave itself handles the ports and the release prices are kept affordable (something it was accused of not always doing on iOS).
For those unfamiliar with Cave, they are arguably the specialists of the genre known as ‘bullet-hell'. That involves players dodging a seemingly impossible barrage of bullets while attempting to gun down enormous enemies. Take a look at this video demonstrating the final boss of Mushihimesama Futari for a taster of what it's all about: