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ACS - Logo

The current logo of ACS, used from 2006 onwards

ACS Visual Entertainment LLC.
, also known as simply ACS is a Japanese publisher of video games. Founded in 1969 as A.C.S. Manufacturing Ltd., as a manufacturer of arcade attractions such as kiddie rides, toy cranes and coin pusher games, the company later officially changed its name to ACS Co., Ltd. in 1980 following the company's full-time shift into video game development, eventually changing it again into ACS Computer Entertainment LLC. in 1995, before changing into its current name in 2006. ACS is best known for its fighting game franchises, Fight or DieCode ChronosSentoki and Crisis Moon.

ACS currently owns several development studios for their games such as ACS Production Studios Tokyo and Osaka, as well as Orange Soft (fighting games), Digital Revolution (racing games), Spunk Project (platformers) and Team Beats (rhythm games). ACS also currently owns the San Jose, California-based development studio Innovision Softworks.

ACS once served as the Japanese distributor for In-Verse games following the success of their crossover Cross Code: Project Ultimate Versus Battle. In exchange, its subsidiary Shiny Star Games distributed ACS' games in the European PAL region.

ACS also currently holds the video game license for the professional wrestling company Ring of Honor, creating the yearly Ring of Honor: Unchained series of wrestling games. In the past, ACS has also made licensed sports games for the National Basketball Association the National Football League, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball under the ACS Sports label.

In 2016, ACS ecpanded their business module by indroducing their light novel publishing imprint, Yakeru Bunko. As of April 22, 2017, there are currently three ongoing series published by Yakeru Bunko: the slice of life NakaGei!, the sports-oriented Smasher-S and the action thriller Erase.

Their most recent title is Flip.

Arcade Systems

Besides being a game publisher, ACS has also made arcade system boards for its arcade games, the latest being the System 203: ATLANTIS, first released in 2016 as the hardware used for Blazin' Wheels: HyperDrive.

  • ACS V-16 System (2D) (1986-1990)
  • ACS S-16 System (2D/Sprite Scaling) (1989-1993)
  • ACS P-16 System (2D) (1989-1995)
  • ACS Supra P-32 System (2D) (1994-2001)
  • ACS TGX Modeller System (3D) (1994-1998)
  • ACS TGX2 Modeller System (3D) (1997-2001)
  • ACS NOVA System (2D/3D) (2000-2004)
  • ACS System 200 (2D/3D) (2003-2008)
  • ACS System 201 (2D/3D) (2006-2011)
  • ACS System 202: ENDYMION (2D/3D) (2010-2017)
  • ACS System 203: ATLANTIS (2D/3D) (2016-present)

Games

A list of games created by ACS through the years.

Released from 1979

Released from 1980-1989

  • Starblazer (Shoot 'em up) (1980; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Ladder Lappin' (Vertical Scrolling Game) (1981; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Mr. Slither (Snake Game(1981; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Milky n' Cheese (Maze Game) (1982; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Starblaster (Shoot 'em up) (1982; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Firefighter Fred (Vertical Scrolling Game) (1983; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Rev n' Ride (Racing game(1983; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Mr. Slither Plus (Snake Game(1983; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware, Various consoles)
  • Hi-Jumper (2D Platformer) (1984; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Milky n' Cheese II (Maze Game) (1984; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Starbreaker (Shoot 'em up) (1984; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Fred to the Rescue! (Vertical Scrolling Game) (1985; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Rally Racer (Racing game(1985; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Dragon Fist (Beat 'em Up) (1985; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Kumite (2D Fighting Game) (1986; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Ladder Lappin' II (Vertical Scrolling Game) (1986; Arcade (Dedicated Hardware), Various consoles)
  • Odysseus (Shoot 'em up) (1986; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Dragon Fist II (Beat 'em Up) (1987; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Slither (Snake Game) (1987; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Starblazer IV (Shoot 'em up) (1987; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Spunky's Adventures (2D Platformer) (1987; MSX, Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • AttackForce (Run n' Gun Platformer(1988; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Bloxx (Puzzle game) (1988; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Spunky's Adventures 2 (2D Platformer) (1988; Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Odysseus II (Shoot 'em up) (1988; Arcade (ACS V-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Bloxx2 (Puzzle game) (1989; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Kurokage (Beat 'em Up) (1989; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Terry the Treasure Raider (2D Platformer) (1989; Nintendo Enterntainment System)
  • Top Speed GP (Racing game) (1989; Arcade (ACS S-16 System), Various Consoles)

Released from 1990-1999

  • Airhawk (Combat Flight Simulator(1990; Arcade (ACS S-16 System), Various Consoles)
  • Bloxx3 (Puzzle game) (1990; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Odysseus III (Shoot 'em up) (1990; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Spunky's Adventures 3 (2D Platformer) (1990; Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Spunky's Pocket Adventures (2D Platformer) (1990; Game Boy)
  • Urban Warriors (Beat 'em Up) (1990; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Warlands: 1941 (Run n' Gun Shooter(1990; Arcade (ACS P-16 System, Various consoles)
  • Hyper Moto (Racing game) (1991; Arcade (ACS S-16 System), Various Consoles)
  • Kurokage's Revenge! (Beat 'em Up) (1991; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Starblazer: Enter the New World (Shoot 'em up) (1991; Arcade (ACS S-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Super Bloxx4 (Puzzle game) (1991; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Tenshi: The Sky Guardians (Shoot 'em up) (1991; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Sharp X68000, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear)
  • Terry the Treasure Raider II: The Blue Diamond (2D Platformer) (1991; Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Urban Warriors 2: The Beatdown (Beat 'em Up) (1991; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis)
  • Warlands II: The Path to Victory (Run n' Gun Shooter(1991; Arcade (ACS P-16 System, Various consoles)
  • Airhawk II: Ace Pilot (Combat Flight Simulator(1992; Arcade (ACS S-16 System)
  • Fighting Champions (2D Fighting Game) (1992; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), MS-DOS, Sharp X68000Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Phillips CD-i, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, Game Boy, Game Gear)
  • Mega Bloxx5 (Puzzle game) (1992; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Odysseus Force (Shoot 'em up) (1992; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Various consoles)
  • Spunky's Pocket Adventures 2 (2D Platformer) (1992; Game Boy)
  • Super Spunky's Adventures (2D Platformer) (1992; Super Nintendo)
  • Tenshi 2: Return of the Sky Guardians (Shoot 'em up) (1992; Arcade (ACS P-16 System, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis)
  • Top Speed GP II (Racing game) (1992; Arcade (ACS S-16 System)
  • Urban Warriors 3: The Battle for Justice City (Beat 'em Up) (1992; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis)
  • Aces of Ice (Ice Hockey Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Bodyslam Busters (Wrestling Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Bugs! / Gokiburi! (Light Gun Shooter Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis)
  • Fighting Champions II (2D Fighting Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), 3DO, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega 32X, Game Boy, Game Gear)
  • Hardcourt Heroes (Basketball Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Home Run Hitters (Baseball Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Monsters Arena: Chaos Unleashed (2D Fighting Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), 3DO, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Game Boy, Game Gear)
  • Kick-Off Kaisers (Soccer Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Knights of Knockout (Boxing Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Odysseus G (Shoot 'em up) (1993; Game Boy)
  • Power Putters (Golf Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Racket Smashers (Tennis Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Super Spunky's Adventures 2 (2D Platformer) (1993; Super Nintendo)
  • Tenshi III (Shoot 'em up) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis)
  • Terry the Treasure Raider III: Quest for the Seven Wonders (2D Platformer) (1993; Super Nintendo)
  • The Curse of Kurokage (Beat 'em Up) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis)
  • Touchdown Titans (Football Game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System)
  • Xtra Bloxx6 (Puzzle game) (1993; Arcade (ACS P-16 System), 3DO, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear)
  • Aces of Ice 2 (Ice Hockey Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System)
  • Blazin' Wheels: Super High-Speed Racing (Racing game) (1994; Arcade (ACS TGX Modeller System), PlayStation, PC)
  • Bodyslam Busters 2 (Wrestling Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System)
  • Bushi no Ken: The Feudal Arena (2D Fighting Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System), Super Nintendo, Sega 32X, Game Boy, Game Gear)
  • Fighting Champions II MAX (2D Fighting Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System), 3DO, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
  • Hardcourt Heroes 2 (Basketball Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System)
  • Home Run Hitters 2 (Baseball Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System)
  • Kick-Off Kaisers 2 (Soccer Game) (1994; Arcade (ACS Supra P-32 System)

Released from 2000-2009

Released from 2010-present

Upcoming games 

  • Rave Channeller: Tokyo R.E.D. Phase-II (TBA; Arcade (ACS System 203: ATLANTIS), PlayStation 4, XBox ONE, PC)
  • Rosa (TBA; PlayStation 4, XBox ONE, Samsung Zeo)
  • Spunky the Squirrel: Clocked and Loaded! (TBA; Samsung Zeo)

Compilations and Remasters

ACS Arcade Anthology

  • ACS Arcade Anthology Vol. 1 (1997; PlayStation)
    • Contains Ladder Lappin', Milky n' Cheese, Mr. Slither, Starblaster and Starblazer.
  • ACS Arcade Anthology Vol. 2 (1998; PlayStation)
    • Contains Milky n' Chesse II, Odysseus, Rally Racer, Hi-Jumper and Starbreaker.
  • ACS Arcade Anthology Vol. 3 (1999; PlayStation)
    • Contains Attack Force, Bloxx, Kumite, Dragon Fist, Starblazer IV and Tessaract.
  • ACS Arcade Anthology: Greatest Hits (2004; PlayStation 2, XBox, Nintendo Gamecube)
    • Contains Bloxx, Fighting Champions, Milky n' Cheese, Odysseus, Peacekeepers, Rally Racer, Rumble High, Mr. Slither, Starblazer, Tenshi: The Sky Guardians, Urban Warriors and Warlands: 1941.
  • ACS Arcade Anthology: Extra Play (2005; PlayStation Portable)
    • Contains Bloxx, Fighting Champions, Fight or Die, Ladder Lappin', Odysseus, Peacekeepers, Rally Racer, Mr. Slither, Starblazer, Tenshi: The Sky Guardians, Urban Warriors and Warlands: 1941.

Series Compilations

  • Fighting Champions Battle Recollections (2006; PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable)
    • Contains Fighting Champions, Fighting Champions II, Fighting Champions II MAX, Fighting Champions III and Soul of the Fighter: Fighting Champions IV.
  • Odysseus Saga (2006; PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable)
    • Contains Odysseus, Odysseus II, Odysseus III, Odysseus Force, Odysseus R, Odysseus R² and Odysseus R³.
  • Peacekeepers Anthology (2008; Wii, PlayStation Portable)
    • Contains Peacekeepers, Peacekeepers II, Peacekeepers III, Peacekeepers IV and Peacekeepers V.
  • Fight or Die Anthology (2009; Wii, PlayStation Portable)
    • Contains Fight or Die, Fight or Die II: As Daylight Dies and Fight or Die III: Fatal Vengenace.
  • Half*Dead: The Blood-Stained Diaries (2014; PlayStation 4, XBox ONE, Samsung Zeo)
    • Contains remastered versions of Half*Dead and Half*Dead II.
  • fade.: Mysteries Unsolved (2017; PlayStation 4, XBox ONE, Samsung Zeo)
    • Contains remastered versions of fade., fade.II and fade.III: Left Behind.

Crossover Apperances

ACS' characters have also crossed over with other companies. The most notable ones are with In-Verse, whom ACS used to share a long-standing working bond with.

Yakeru Bunko

Yakeru Bunko is ACS' flagship light novel publishing imprint. Introduced in 2016, Yakeru Bunko's first title is the slice-of-life series NakaGei. There are currently two titles publiahed by Yakeru Bunko, both of them ongoing.

Yakeru Bunko titles

Trivia

  • ACS - Logo (1988-2006)

    ACS' old logo, used from 1988 to 2006

    The meaning of the acronym ACS has remained inconsistent over the years. Several historical books claim that ACS stood for the initials of the company's founding members: Atsushi Tabata, Cole J. Howard and Satoshi Tabata. However, recent official promtional materials states that ACS stands for "Amazing Computer Software" instead
  • The ACS logo used from 1969 to 2006 features the words "ACS" written on a red background. The updated 2006 logo is the same, but with the red box removed, and the text itself recolored red with a white border. Both logos use the Ethnocentric font.
  • The company's slogan is "Come Join the Fun!", which appears in various ACS-related products.
    • In ACS arcade games starting with Sentoki: The Strongest Warrior, the words usually flash on the top left or right corner of the screen, when the player side is left with a credit (or a controller) and unattended (e.g. PRESS P2 START BUTTON/COME JOIN THE FUN)
    • ACS-related anouncements are usually appeneded with the words "ACS: COME JOIN THE FUN! ;)", usually near the end.
  • ACS' CEO Katsuyuki Tabata used to be best friends with In-Verse's owner Pauly-kun. This strong bond carried on for years until December of 2016, when In-Verse had filed for bankrupcy.
    • ACS' recent title Cross Chaos was created as a dedication to Pauly-kun.
  • Though not the first arcade system to run using PC hardware (Andamiro's MK3 Hardware, known for its use in the first few Pump it Up games, predates it by several years), ACS' System 200, released in 2003, was the one which popularized the use of PC-based hardware on an arcade system. Later PC-based arcade boards include Taito's Type X (2004) and the Namco N2 (2005)
  • ACS has its own proprietary online arcade service in the form of Amaze.net. Like Konami's e-AMUSEMENT service, Amaze.net uses specialized cards that store the player's data in order to access special online-based services, from Internet rankings, to Amaze.net-exclusive offers, like exclusive customization options in the Sentoki games, exclusive songs in To the Beat and DrumMaster/GuitarMaster, and exclusive cars in the Blazin' Wheels games.
    • The first ACS title to use Amaze.net is Sentoki 3, released in 2003, and since then, Amaze.net has been used for most of ACS' major arcade titles.
    • As of this writing, the Amaze.net service is only available in Japan and select Chinese and Korean arcades.
  • ACS' least well-recieved game is 2008's Legendary Blades: Ressurection, which was lambasted for its poor gameplay implementations, dated graphics and a controversy surrounding one of the stages that caused the game to be pulled out of stores and rerelased to remove the offensive imagery.
  • ACS' company mascot is Sofu-tan, a young and cheerful girl wearing a red shirt with the ACS logo that bares her midriff, white shorts and red sneakers. Sofu-tan appears in most Japanese advertisements for ACS games, and stars in her own Japan-only quiz game: Sofu-tan no Kyuyoku no ACS Quiz (translates to Sofu-tan's Ultimate ACS Quiz).
    • Sofu-tan's name comes from ACS' acronym of "Amazing Computer Software".
    • In most of her appearances, barring her first appearance in a 1994 ACS commercial, Sofu-tan is voiced by Noriko Hidaka, who also voiced Yuko Amano of the Fight or Die series.
    • It is commonly believed that the character design of Twilight from the Crisis Moon series was created as a tribute to Sofu-tan, mostly bevause of the identical looks and color.
  • Several ACS games were infamous for their awkward translations. The most notable ones are Fighting Champions (1992), where some of the lines and endings are translated awkwardly, the most prominent example being Dirk's winquote of "I am strong, you weak", and Fantasia of the Forbidden (1995), where the female main character was given the name of "Dorosy", a butchered translation of the English name "Dorothy".
    • ACS has since improved its translations, but there are still occasional appearances of awkward translation in ACS games, like in fade. (2000), in the part where Darryl discovers the hidden door to the underground passageway, he will utter the words 'Is that a door right there? Looks like a door.", which has been parodied several times since.