From humble origins as a suspected April Fools’ joke, PlatinumGames’ upcoming arcade-style shooter Sol Cresta is proving itself very real, with a release now set for next month.

Specifically, the game will launch on February 22, coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC. The release date was revealed in a lengthy Sol Cresta Release Date Forum livestream that took place on January 23 (as spotted by VGC). PlatinumGames is developing the game in collaboration with fellow Japanese studio Hamster Corporation.

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Sol Cresta marks the unlikely third entry in a series that began way back in 1980 with the arcade title Moon Cresta. That game saw an arcade sequel in 1985 – Terra Cresta, with both games developed by now-defunct studio Nichibutsu – and further Japan-only sequels on the PC Engine and Sega Saturn, but has largely flown under the radar since.

Its relative obscurity is part of the reason that many suspected that the April 2020 announcement of the game was a joke. PlatinumGames was forced to re-announce it in April 2021 to confirm it was, in fact, a real game.

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Like its predecessors, Sol Cresta will be a vertically scrolling shooter centred on piloting three ships at once, combining – or docking – them to unlock more powerful attacks. However, for the first time in the series, players will be able to mix and match their docking formations at will, uniting in different configurations for distinct abilities or controlling all three individual craft for wider area effects.

Hideki Kamiya – best known for Bayonetta and Devil May Cry – announced the new release date for Sol Cresta in the livestream. He will also be providing the story for the game and serving as creative director.

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Sol Cresta will also serve as something of a reboot for the series, with the game intended to be the first title in PlatinumGames’ “Neo-Classic Arcade” series.

In other news, Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has announced the creation of his new development studio, Nagoshi Studio. Wholly owned by China’s NetEase Games, it will focus on developing “high-end titles for worldwide release”, with an emphasis on creating games for consoles.

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