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Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol.3 from Bitwave Games / Toaplan is another 4-pack of classic games, and a nice clear example of how to bring retro games the right way to modern platforms. With full Linux and Steam Deck support too, thanks to their work from the first and second collections.

Some of the additions included thanks to their emulation:

  • Minimal Input Lag: Emulation, input processing, and rendering all complete on the same frame.
  • Online leaderboards for Single Credit, No Assist, and Assisted plays.
  • Instrument panels with extra gameplay information and artwork.
  • Rewind the game between 10-18 minutes, depending on the action.
  • Experience the game in Mirror Mode.
  • Assist Features such as auto-fire at multiple rates.
  • Very Easy Mode: Lower the difficulty to breeze through the adventure.
  • Rotate the gameplay in 90-degree increments.
  • Choose between Raw Input on Windows or Steam Input.
  • Hone your skills in the ultra-customizable practice mode.

The individual links for games from this collection are:

Tiger Heli

"Tiger-Heli marked a revolutionary moment in 1985 as Toaplan's pioneering bomb-based vertical shooter, a true innovator of its time. Despite its unassuming appearance, its lifelike gameplay resonated with fans, earning widespread acclaim in Japan and around the globe. Its legacy lived on through Twin Cobra, released just two years later, and even today it remains a cherished gem among retro gaming enthusiasts worldwide."

Vimana

"Toaplan's Vimana invites you to a thrilling space showdown! This vertical shooter boasts breathtaking graphics, an epic soundtrack, and a captivating journey through Indian mythology. Crush your foes with mighty shots and utilize eight rotating shield orbs for ultimate defense. With accessible controls, players of all skill levels can dive into Vimana's exhilarating action!"

Batsugun

"Set out on a breathtaking journey with Batsugun, Toaplan's shoot-'em-up swansong! Choose your hero from a roster of six charismatic pilots and three distinctive ship types, each brimming with personality. Immerse yourself in a world of dazzling graphics, devastating firepower, and an enchanting soundtrack, creating a sensory experience you won't soon forget. The accessible gameplay ensures that seasoned veterans and newcomers alike can revel in the unmatched thrill of victory!

In addition, the rebalanced Batsugun Special is also included, and features a visual overhaul with new colors and altered enemy behavior. A smaller hitbox and a shield protecting the ship from one hit, makes it easier which is needed as the barrage of enemy projectiles ups the ante for the true bullet hell factor. Batsugun Special introduces multiple loops, increasing difficulty with each completion. Can you master all four loops?"

Fixeight

"Head out on an unforgettable adventure in Toaplan's FixEight, the spiritual successor to Out Zone. Pick your favorite hero from eight exceptional super soldiers, personalize them for ultimate freedom, and brave seven different hells. Immerse yourself in the heightened excitement, immersive storytelling, and awe-inspiring explosions that redefined the run-'n-gun genre back in 1992!"

While all three of the collections may be quite a niche thing, it's still great to see many classics given a new life like this. Bitwave Games / Toaplan clearly love what they do and it shows. What you're getting here is basically a third helping of a gaming time machine, to go back in time and see some true classics. They can be quite difficult too, but thanks to all the quality of life additions, you can play them how you want making them more accessible than ever.

There were a few issues at release, but like with the previous collections, their team have been quick to put out patches to address them so they're supporting them well. Another worthy set of retro games to add to your desktop, Steam Deck or perhaps you have some fancy arcade cabinet?

You can find the full list of their games included in all packs on Steam. There's some of them on GOG too but only Steam has the Linux / Steam Deck support.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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10 comments

Wolfenprey Feb 19
I bought them all day one. All 3 packs. Tiger-Heli was my chidhood on arcades and NES, and love all the Toaplan games, (Anyone remember the awesome Snow Bros. or the terrific Demon's World?)

I have it on GOG too, and worked OOTB installing it via Bottles, no problems at all, working controllers, etc.

Bitwave worked a lot in this games and launched a lot of updates, including solving a bug, 35 years old, on Twin Cobra. Yes, im agree, thats how to do retro right and the example to follow.
Linux_Rocks Feb 19
I've got the first two packs already, but I'm waiting for the third to go on sale to buy it on Steam.
whizse Feb 19
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Well, I can't speak for my fellow compatriots, but I personally never visit the loo without a carefully made toaplan!
Pengling Feb 19
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Quoting: Wolfenprey(Anyone remember the awesome Snow Bros. or the terrific Demon's World?)
Love Snow Bros.! It's a shame that the remake of the first game didn't come to Steam*, though the upcoming remake of the second will be.

*That said, the emulated arcade original is available on one of the Toaplan cartridges for the Evercade console, which is a Linux-based platform.
Craggles086 Feb 20
So I have a wide screen monitor and my gaming experience gets reduced to a narrow vertical bar up the centre. If you can let me stretch the horizontal axis I am in. I grew up with the C64 version of 1942 and that is how I like my vertical scrollers.

Unfortunately not enough in this category on Linux or anything else.


Last edited by Craggles086 on 20 February 2024 at 6:56 am UTC
Pengling Feb 20
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Quoting: Craggles086Unfortunately not enough in this category on Linux or anything else.
I've been digging into emulated PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 titles for this, in recent times - that console had a ludicrous amount of shooters to its name (still the most of any console ever, to my knowledge), and many excellent vertical ones are among them. I'm quite fond of Star Parodier and Blazing Lazers, myself.
Craggles086 Feb 21
Capcom Arcade Stadium is now Steam Deck verified.

1942 and Commando can both be stretched to fill up the screen. Almost makes it feel like you are playing on the C64.

Think some of the sequels to 1942 can be played this way.

Have also been enjoying Skyforce and Skyforce Reloaded. Both vertical shooters.
Pengling Feb 21
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Quoting: Craggles086Capcom Arcade Stadium is now Steam Deck verified.

1942 and Commando can both be stretched to fill up the screen. Almost makes it feel like you are playing on the C64.

Think some of the sequels to 1942 can be played this way.

Have also been enjoying Skyforce and Skyforce Reloaded. Both vertical shooters.
Unfortunately, Capcom has been going back and adding undeclared DRM ("The Enigma Protector") to their older releases, and that includes Capcom Arcade Stadium and Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. I was enjoying them until that, though!
Bestia Feb 25
Quoting: Pengling
Quoting: Craggles086Unfortunately not enough in this category on Linux or anything else.
I've been digging into emulated PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 titles for this, in recent times - that console had a ludicrous amount of shooters to its name (still the most of any console ever, to my knowledge), and many excellent vertical ones are among them. I'm quite fond of Star Parodier and Blazing Lazers, myself.

There is a great two part history of that console by Shmup Junkie on YouTube. He mentions in the first part that 20% games for that console were shooters.

History of the Amazing PC ENGINE! Book I

History of the Amazing PC Engine! Book II
Pengling Feb 26
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Quoting: BestiaThere is a great two part history of that console by Shmup Junkie on YouTube. He mentions in the first part that 20% games for that console were shooters.

History of the Amazing PC ENGINE! Book I

History of the Amazing PC Engine! Book II
Hehe, thankyou! I've actually seen and posted about these before, too - it's an absolutely amazing documentary, and easily the most well-researched one I've ever seen about the console.

Everyone with even the slightest interest in shooters and the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 itself should give it a watch!
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