Cult Classic Space Harrier is Coming to Switch’s Japanese eShop

Cult Classic Space Harrier is Coming to Switch’s Japanese eShop

Space Harrier, cult classic third-person rail shooter, is coming to the Japanese Nintendo Switch's Sega Ages collection for eShop.

Space Harrier, a third-person rail shooter developed by Sega Enterprises and originally released in December 1985 for arcades, is coming soon to the Nintendo Switch’s Japanese eShop as a part of their Sega Ages collection of classic old school titles. Since its initial release the game has been ported to over 20 PC and home consoles in Japan, North America, and Europe.

Originally it was conceived as a realistic military-themed game played in the third-person perspective and featuring a player-controlled fighter jet. However, technical and memory restrictions resulted in Sega developer Yu Suzuki redesigning it around a jet-propelled human character in a fantasy setting. With an analog flight stick and a cockpit-style cabinet that tilted and rolled during play, it was advertised by Sega as a taikan (“body sensation”) arcade game.

Critically praised for its graphics and gameplay, Space Harrier is often ranked among Suzuki’s best works. It has made several crossover appearances in other Sega titles, and Platinum Games director Hideki Kamiya cited it as an inspiration for his entering the video game industry. Two sequels followed in Space Harrier 3-D and Space Harrier II, both released in 1988.

You can check out some screenshots of this colorful and quirky rail-shooter in the gallery below.

Other titles that have already been released for the Sega Ages line include Out Run, Puyo Puyo, and Puyo Puyo 2.

Meanwhile the first Space Harrier has been released in the West as a part of the SEGA Genesis Classics collection late last year, while Space Harrier II will be launching with the upcoming Sega Mega Drive and Genesis Mini consoles this September.