Cannon Dancer release confirmed by announcement trailer, key visual revealed

Illustration of Kirin initiating a martial arts move in Cannon Dancer/Osman visual.
Kirin is the super agile and deadly protagonist of Cannon Dancer. Pic credit: Mitchell Corporation/ININ Games

One game that deserves a re-release on modern platforms is none other than Cannon Dancer. Also known as Osman, it’s an obscure arcade masterpiece by Kouichi Yotsui, the designer behind Capcom’s 1989 smash hit — Strider.

Kouichi Yotsui and several ex-Capcom staff founded Mitchell Corporation and eventually released Cannon Dancer in 1996. And, given that this title remained an arcade exclusive for almost three decades, few gamers got to play it.

But that’s about to change, as Stuttgart-based ININ Games will bring it to a worldwide audience in Q1 2023 for the following platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox. Sadly, there won’t be a PC release — a huge oversight given the platform’s prominence, even for retro titles.

Gamers seeking a physical release should head over to Strictly Limited Games on September 18, 2022, at 12 AM CEST. Pre-orders will begin then for the Limited Edition and Collector’s Edition available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

The Cannon Dancer Collector’s Edition comes with many cool extras, which makes it comparable to the GrimGrimoire OnceMore Limited Edition.

Cannon Dancer's Collector's Edition comes with plenty of extras.
Strictly Limited Games will release a comprehensive Collector’s Edition for gamers who order on time. Pic credit: Mitchell Corporation/ININ Games

The stunning key visual revealed

The bold, colorful, and psychedelic in-game graphics make an impact and also serve as inspiration for the phenomenal key visual shown below:

The key visual of Cannon Dancer features Abdullah the Slaver and Kirin.
The impactful key visual of Cannon Dancer features Abdullah the Slaver and Kirin. Pic credit: Mitchell Corporation/ININ Games

What’s the deal with Cannon Dancer?

Agadan stage in Cannon Dancer.
The opening stage features a futuristic neon-lit cityscape in the background. Pic credit: Mitchell Corporation/ININ Games

It’s a single-player action game featuring jump-and-run and beat-’em-up mechanics. The player takes control of the mercenary Kirin and must assassinate the evil sorceress, Abdullah the Slaver. To top it off, it’s not only Abdullah that poses a threat but so do the countless minions that terrorize a dystopian world set in the 22nd century.

Kirin negotiates the wild waves of the Indian Ocean.
Cannon Dancer has stunning art direction, as shown in this ocean stage. Pic credit: Mitchell Corporation/ININ Games

All this leads to an action-packed romp across exotic-looking locales split into six stages. However, it’s the creative and over-the-top boss encounters that truly impress. Fans of anime from the 1990s will appreciate the stylistic choices found in Cannon Dancer.

Kirin grapples a beam in the Prague stage in Cannon Dancer.
The stage set in Prague allows for more verticality. Pic credit: Mitchell Corporation/ININ Games

But, more importantly, Kirin is such an insanely fun character to control. He can pull off high-speed slides, initiate devastating fatal attacks, and grapple on a wide variety of platforms. Kirin’s moveset also makes the player feel overpowered, even though the game offers plenty of challenging moments.

Ultimately, Cannon Dancer’s fast-paced and almost rhythmic gameplay makes it incredibly addictive. If you’re looking for an action title that rewards skillful play, then add Kouichi Yotsui’s hidden gem to your wish list.

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