Otomedius Excellent Gets an American Release Date

The goofy girlie shoot-em-up has a real North American release date, and will come in standard and collectors' editions.

Announced last year at Konami's E3 presentation, the sequel to Konami's less-than-serious shoot-em-up Otomedius, is now, for real, coming to America. What seemed like a simple game to get finished was repeatedly pushed back, leaving many hardcore shooter fans to believe that Konami was ready to give up on American release. Not so, shmup-heads -- it's headed to retail on July 19.

Otomedius is an off-shoot of Konami's long-standing series, with a not-so-serious approach similar to the Parodius games. In it, a squadron of schoolgirls from St. Gradius High School are selected to be superheroic soldiers piloting miniature jet fighters. The girls are loosely based on the ships and characters from Gradius and other Konami games -- including newcomer Kokoro Belmont, whose whip-wielding style is all too familiar.

Otomedius Excellent will also come in a standard edition for $29.99, or a $49 "Special Edition" that will include a "2-sided pillowcase featuring the girls of Otomedius," plus an art book and soundtrack CD. Konami did not provide images of the Special Edition bonuses, but our features a large view of the game's final box art. And the biggest shock of all? It somehow managed to get a "T" rating.