Cave's manic horizontal shooter Deathsmiles 2X will arrive in North America much sooner than many shoot-'em-up fans likely anticipated -- in four days, actually! The game will be available via Xbox Live's Games on Demand service on May 17th.

In contrast with the original Deathsmiles' deluxe, faceplate-bundled retail release published by Aksys last year, Deathsmiles 2X will be published by Cave itself, and will only be available through digital channels. In addition, Deathsmiles 2X will be a direct adaptation of last year's Japanese retail release, meaning that the U.S. edition will feature no localization or translated dialog.

To its credit, the release will be competitively priced -- Deathsmiles 2X will be available for $29.99, making it a better deal than, say, Raiden IV. Still, the translated text in the original Deathsmiles played a large role in making the game as charming as it was, and it remains to be seen whether the unlocalized sequel will be as fun to play.

Interestingly, the strategy here is a unique solution to Cave's desire to release more of its shooters stateside, which was at odds with Microsoft's stringent retail and Xbox Live Arcade release policies. "Xbox 360 producer Makoto Asada mentions that we were approached by Microsoft with the opportunity," reads a post at Cave's Facebook page, "and we will be giving this format a try for getting some of our Japan-only shooters released overseas."

Could we soon see North American releases for Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu, Espgaluda II, and Ketsui via Games On Demand?

[via Siliconera]