It might not be perfect, but if you have any affection for mecha and anime culture, classic action gaming, or shooters and run 'n' guns, Assault Suits Valken Declassified is very much worth strapping yourself into. The odd quirk aside, it's a very well-thought-through creation, defined by tight controls and movement, tidy level design, and a bounty of ideas. And then there's all those lovely archive materials. Tread carefully, though. This mecha is a beast.
While staying true to the series that it extends, Cotton Rock 'n' Roll / Fantasy brings so many different experiences in a single shmup that it may as well be a compilation release - and unlike the arcade versions, it is all presented in English language. The more time you give it, the more the replay value snowballs. The faults to be found are few and far between, while sharp level design and a joyful, even mischievous personality define Success' latest. Simply put, Cotton Fantasy has a lot of fun to give.
Thanks to the skill of the M2 team, two very important shmups have enjoyed a range of thorough and brilliantly authentic ports - as have two Toaplan oddities. But compared to many of the previous ShotTriggers releases, Toaplan Arcade Garage appears just a shade less ambitious. Still, if you enjoy purebred '80s 2D shooters, obsess over the shmup form, or have a soft spot for arcade preservation, it absolutely deserves to take up a little of your shelf space.
Yes, Raiden IV is not a typical shmup by contemporary standards, and won't be for everyone. Equally, all of these modes have been available in some form elsewhere. But as a single package, Raiden IV x Mikado Remix offers the Switch one of its best shooting game releases yet – and that is saying something on a console that has emerged as an unexpected star vehicle for the genre.
R-Type Final 2 makes an authentic if flawed contribution to an iconic shooting game series. Many of the problems seem technical, so hopefully an update could do plenty - especially if it lets you lock that camera pitch. All we can hope for, then, is that we are still in the beginning of R-Type's final phase, and that what Final 2 gets right is allowed to rise to the top.
Overall, Capcom Arcade Stadium is a very good package filled with brilliant games, each updated with modern functionality. It doesn't rival the quality of original hardware or the likes of M2's sublime individual ports of arcade masterworks as seen with the release of Esp.Ra.De Psi, but at £30 for 32 games, it is well worth the price, warts and all.