We first played Otomedius Excellent, Konami’s 2.5D shoot-em-up, at this year's E3 convention. Since then, Konami has steadily updated the game’s Facebook page but hasn’t otherwise spoken about the game too much. This has been mostly due to a few delays as they worked hard on preparing the English version of the game for release. Retailers Amazon and GameStop have been playing the guessing game with Otomedius’ release date, giving it a November 1 placeholder release date. Co-Optimus has some good news for shmup fans today: Konami has informed us that the November 1 release date is now official!
Otomedius Excellent is a sequel to the Japanese-only Xbox 360/arcade title Otomedius Gorgeous. But more than that, it’s really the latest entry in both the Gradius and Parodius shoot-em-up series. Gameplay-wise, it plays exactly like a multiplayer Gradius game (specifically Gradius Gaiden), with a few additions and tweaks, of course. But it’s also a continuation of the Parodius games’ lighthearted spin on Gradius, with lots of jokey enemies (penguins, turtles, etc.) and humorous twists on traditional Gradius levels and bosses.
Of course, Otomedius is best known for its unique playable characters. Each one is an anime girl riding atop a Konami-themed ship. Since they’re people, they have plenty of voice lines and personality that you wouldn’t get from the ol’ Vic Viper, whose pilot has always been nameless and faceless in the past. Speaking of which, the girls’ ships will be instantly familiar to Konami fans. They consist of the Vic Viper, the Lord British, Twinbee -and Xexes-themed ships, and more. Future DLC ships will reference Castlevania and Getsu Fuma Den as well.
Otomedius Excellent will be available in both a value-priced standard edition ($29.99) and a special Collector’s Edition ($49.99). The Collector’s Edition includes the game, a 2-sided pillow case, art book and CD soundtrack. No matter which version you buy, it’s also got 3-player local and online co-op! Otomedius Excellent lands on Tuesday, November 1. We’ll have a full co-op review soon.