It has been a while – a little over two years – since Exa-Arcadia opened up pre-orders for a special, limited-edition run of their EXA board platform. The units would sport a Strania EX skin, come with the game cartridge and some other goodies. I did not catch when those pre-orders closed, but for those who did jump aboard that train, they’ve been patiently waiting for news on that front.
Today, Exa-Arcadia announced that the units are “nearing completion and will ship out to all preorders soon.” This precedes the commencement of a location test for the game in Japan at WGC that will have begun by the time I publish this post. That test runs for 7 days, and may lead to any last minute adjustments that the game requires before they are completed and shipped out to those pre-orders and made available for sale for anyone else. Per the photo below, you can see what these kits look like; They are signed by G.Rev CEO Hiroyuki Maruyama, they will be individually numbered, and they will come with a “unique photo.” Since it is an Exa board, it will have 4 cartridge ports, so it can play additional Exa titles. They also appear to be using the same cartridge color scheme as Aka & Blue Type-R (one half blue, one half red):
Per the tweet from WGC, they also reveal a little bit more about what the Exa version of the game will add to it. 4k resolution for one, which is something that all Exa games are promising now (although very few cabinets out there feature such a monitor, it’s great for those few who do have it, or those looking to upgrade down the road); Balance adjustments made to “all modes;” and the addition of HELL mode, a brand new and exclusive mode that players will get to enjoy. What that entails I can only guess, although from the sounds of it, I’m guessing it’s for expert players who enjoy a real challenge from their shoot ’em up games.
For anyone who didn’t catch it, here is a video I shot in July of 2018 showing the version of Strania EX that had been brought to the California Extreme event. I don’t recall seeing any mention of the Hell Mode there, but they certainly did have time to work that all out. What do you think about this from what has been shown so far? I also wonder whether or not Exa will do something similar with CAVE and the upcoming release of DoDonPachi Saidaioujou EXA.
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