Even with the next-generation of gaming lumps of plastic looming over us and our wallets, the Dreamcast is, at least in Japan and in the homebrew scene, diggin itself out of it's grave now and then for the odd new game every few months. This year we've seen, well, a lot of scrolling shooters, but very good ones at that, in form of Radilgy and Under Defeat, the latter of which was one of the best looking games the console has pumped out yet, and while i does get a bit tiresome that they all turn out to be "Shumps", it could be a whole lot worse: The Japanese Dreamcast could be getting nothing more than dodgy dating sims with zero game play and big eyed most likely under age anime girls. Oh, and if you didn't know already, I'm actually quite the fan of Scrolling shooters, so this situation suits me just fine.
But don't fret, as not everything being released in the near future is going to involve little space ships with a hell of a lot of fire power, as there is also plenty of other types of games coming out of the Home Brew scene. Here I'll give you a taste of the NEW Dreamcast games on the way.
This Neo-Geo port's pre-orders ended up being the 2nd biggest selling item on Play-Asia last week, just behind Japanese imports of Sony's $600 lump of impending doom. Yes, it's another scrolling shooter, a genre of which is hardly loved by everyone even here at the Junkyard, but the game has been compared to classics such as R-Type and Gradius, so show it some respect. It's released this December, is region free, and can be bought now at Play-Asia, ready to be shipped your way on it's release for just over £20. Just don't expect fancy 3D graphics, this is old school 2D all the way. Here is a preview video for you all:
TRIGGER HEART EXELICA
With names like 'Under Defeat' and 'Last Hope', you'd think these developers are hinting that their releases are going to become the Dreamcast's last ever release, but then this announcement comes along of yet ANOTHER scrolling shooter on it's way in February 2007. Like any good 'shump' as some people like to call them, Trigger Heart has a unique feature (Read: gimmick) that separates it from other shumps, and in this one's case it's the ability to grab enemy ships (even the ones 50 times bigger than you) with what looks like a tractor beam, swing them about then toss them at other enemies. With this in place, you'll actually find yourself spending more time spinning hapless foes across the screen the you will shooting them with millions of little bullets. Here's some footage of what to expect, submitted at Youtube by BlueNocturne:
This one hasn't been confirmed as of yet, but it would come as no surprise to me at all if this got itself a Dreamcast port sometime next year. Produced by Mile Stone, Karous (That's Japanese for 'Crows', apparently), looks like a spiritual follow up to the Dreamcast ported Radigy, with similar game play elements, but this time with a slightly less cartoon-y, darker feel. The game was recently revealed in Japanese arcades and like it's predecessor, it's running on Sega's Naomi system, so a port would be a doddle. Come on Mile Stone, you know you wanna! Here's a trailer submitted at YouTube by Indygamer:
This Home Brew release, being ported to the Dreamcast, is said to be available sometime around Christmas. There's not a lot to go by about the Dreamcast version as of yet, but it's described on the website as "a futuristic-styled 3D action/adventure game, using a third person perspective. The game features a total 16 levels with 3D environments in 4 different sceneries, a multitude of weapons, bonuses and upgrades and a nicely balanced game play." Hmm!
AGE OF THE BEAST
This is Senile Team's follow up to the excellent Beats of Rage, improving on everything that game gave us while also using completely original graphics which are looking stunning! This time around the fighting is set in a Sword & Sorcery land, complete with knights and shining amour and hobbits...well, maybe not hobbits. It's looking set to be like the Golden Axe sequel we never got (I know there were two sequels, but they didn't improve on the first much), with 4 player co-op, magic spells, throws, sheids, wolves to ride about on, and a slew of bad guys to slash! It even runs in wide screen! Release date is unknown as of yet, but this is going to ROCK none the less. Here's the trailer to wet your appetite: