Remember arcades in the ’90s? Filled with great fighting games like Mortal Combat and Street Fighter II; Rush and Cruisin’ USA racing rigs off to one side, and most of the time, a big red NEOGEO cabinet somewhere semi-prominent, loaded with variety of fighters, a puzzle game or two, and maybe a Metal Slug or Aero Fighters game.
HAMSTER Co. remembers. They’ve been bringing classic NEOGEO games back with their Arcade Archives series for download on modern consoles for a while now, and their latest is ACA NEOGEO AERO FIGHTERS 2, a modern port of AERO FIGHTERS 2 optimized for today’s systems. For those who missed out on ’90s arcades, AERO FIGHTERS 2 is a vertical-scrolling shooter, sometimes referred to as a SHMUP or “bullet hell” game that features eight unique aircraft and nine pilots representing America, Japan, France, Great Britain, and an international coalition (which happens to fly American aircraft). For aviation geeks, it’s one of the few videogames that ever used the Northrop-Grumman YF-23 Black Widow II advanced fighter which lost to Lockheed-Martin’s F-22 Raptor.
The new console port adds adjustable game difficulty, and display settings to mimic ’90s arcade CRT systems. A global high-score system allows players around the world to compete against each other, rather than fighting to be kings of their local arcades. The game is available on the Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation®4, and Microsoft Xbox One consoles.
HAMSTER Co. is a Tokyo-based international publisher with an impressive number of classic arcade titles localized in North America. With the Arcade Archives and ACA NEOGEO series, they’ve brought games ranging from Contra, Metal Slug 2, Magical Drop 2, and Fatal Fury to be playable on modern consoles. With modern streaming capabilities, it represents the easiest way to play and broadcast classic ’90s arcade titles that might otherwise have been stuck in time forever.