Showing posts with label shmup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shmup. Show all posts

Dreamcast shooter Trizeal has been Translated into English!

Only days after reporting the news that an English fan translation patch has been released for one Dreamcast shoot 'em up (Under Defeat), we've already received another, and this time it's for Triangle Service's 2005 vertical-scrolling shmup Trizeal. The patch was created by the one and only Derek Pascarella, and I must say, I'm feeling a bit of deja vu...

Fact about this game: the head of its tiny development team begged fans to purchase it upon release because the arcade game it is a port of didn't do that well financially. Despite this, Trizeal is definitely not a title to sniff at. While it isn't often brought up in conversations about Dreamcast shmups, and lacks some of the gimmicks seen in other more acclaimed DC shooters, it is still a high-octane romp that can be enjoyed by any seasoned genre fan.

While the game doesn't have anything in the form of a storyline, Derek's patch translates all Japanese in-game text/graphics, and even improves some instances of English text. Something cool that Derek has also added to this patch is a new unlimited continues option that can be toggled on and off during gameplay by pressing the L and R Trigger buttons simultaneously. A small asterisk will appear next to "1P SCORE" during gameplay to indicate unlimited continues is on.

To download Derek's fan translation patch, just head to its dedicated GitHub page to download it. For detailed steps on how to apply the patch for your desired method of play (i.e. burning to a CD-R, playing on an ODE), see the patching instructions section of the README.

Are you a fan of Trizeal, or are you going to give it a go now this patch has been released? Let us know in the comments below, or by hitting us up on one of various social media channels!

Radirgy De Gojaru! - Radirgy's Terrible 3DS Spinoff

The cover character of Radirgy on a 3DS screen

Ah, Radirgy. One of a handful of high-quality shoot 'em ups developed by MileStone Inc. to grace the Dreamcast in Japan, Radirgy boasts a colourful cel-shaded anime style, and a ridiculous plot that follows a protagonist who is allergic to radio waves. It's as Japanese as these shooters come, really, and I bloody love it. Radirgy has enjoyed a quiet cult following over the years, and has received various sequels and offshoots.

A few years ago, I was browsing Wikipedia (as neurodivergent gentlemen like myself tend to do), when I discovered that, sometime in 2014, Radirgy came to the 3DS. "Wow!" I probably thought to myself, "Handheld Radirgy! I need this right away!" When I investigated further, I sadly discovered that it was only available for purchase on the Japanese 3DS eShop, and there was no way for me to access that on my European region locked 3DS (thanks, Nintendo).

A meme where Sonic is showing Tails his hacked 3DS
Credit: Depressed Sonic

Roll on March 2023, and the 3DS eShop was about to shut down for good, with its final day being the 27th of March. The Wii U eShop has now also shut down too; news I'm sure was received with a resounding whimper (no, it doesn't matter how many times a day retro Twitter tweets it, the Wii U is not "the next Dreamcast"). In this hustle and bustle, I learnt about a certain homebrew application that aims to collect and preserve 3DS eShop games, applications and DLC from many different regions - something which Nintendo clearly has no interest in facilitating (thanks, Nintendo). Using a Wi-Fi connection, the app granted me the ability to download any of this content for free, straight to my hacked 3DS that has the means to install .cia files.

As the app collects games from various regions and bypasses any region locking on your console, I immediately headed to the Japanese section, and lo and behold, there is was: Radirgy De Gojaru!. A moment later, it was downloaded onto my 3DS.

Screenshot of the main menu for 'Radirgy De Gojaru!'
Screenshots taken with Luma3DS.

I booted up the game, and everything looked good at first. The startup menu screen featured the same bouncy electronic music and flat, 2D graphic stylings indicative of Radirgy. But this positive first impression all came crashing down when I actually started the game...

What I was playing looked liked Radirgy. It sounded like Radirgy. I was in control of a ship in a cel-shaded world, shooting at a painfully slow trickle of approaching enemies with the A button, or hacking at them up close with the sword by using the B button. For some reason, though, the background wasn't scrolling. Isn't your ship in Radirgy supposed to gradually move through a variety of constantly changing locales? Instead, I was just locked to a single static background, one which featured nothing exciting; just a load of trees and a grey building at the bottom of the screen. I thought at first that I was playing a tutorial level or something, but no matter how long I played for, this scenery never changed.

Screenshot of 'Radirgy De Gojaru!' on the 3DS
On the 3DS' touchscreen, amongst a variety of icons, I could select one of four different weapon options: a wide shot, an x-shot, a shot that shoots from both the front and sides, then finally, the "sword" option, which would make the sword attack more powerful than the bullets I was shooting. While I could freely switch between these options, doing so was weirdly unresponsive, and I often found myself having to hammer the touchscreen just to register my choice. Turns out I needn’t have exerted myself so much, as I soon figured out that just sitting at the bottom of the screen and mindlessly spamming the default wide shot takes care of oncoming enemies with ease. It didn’t take me long to decide I’d had enough. What on earth was I playing?

For you see, dear reader, this game was, in fact, not a port of MileStone's shmup for the 3DS (which is something I would've known if I'd spent just a few minutes with Google), but instead a small, eShop-exclusive spinoff game. Think something in the same vein as DSiWare or PlayStation Minis. This release was not developed by MileStone, but by Klon Co. Ltd., a company formed by ex-MileStone employees after the company closed due to the president getting arrested for violating Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (he was being shady with money, basically). Klon acquired the rights to previous MileStone properties, and this title, Radirgy De Gojaru!, was released as a result of that.

Screenshot of 'Radirgy De Gojaru!' on the 3DS
I'd love to give you a better variety of screenshots. But this was all the game had to offer!
So Klon had the Radirgy license, and they produced... this? Radirgy is beloved for its high energy and zaniness, but what they created here is frighteningly dull. I'm not sure what "Radirgy De Gojaru!" translates to in English, but I can only imagine it means something like "Radirgy: Shed Defender!" Because that's all you do here. Defend a shed. Or a bunker. Or whatever the hell the grey cube at the bottom of the screen is. The game is basically one of those old flash tower defence games with a Radirgy skin, although even those flash games were more enjoyable than this… and they ran better too. I hate to say it's true, but even on my New Nintendo 3DS (the more powerful, upgraded 3DS) this game suffers from slowdown. When the larger enemies are on screen and bullets are flying, the game chugs. Badly. Not even Ryo Hazuki running through Pigeon Park on a rainy day had frames dropping like this.

Screenshot of the scoreboard on 'Radirgy De Gojaru!'
Believe it or not, this wasn't Klon's only game for 3DS to feature a previous MileStone license. They also released a spinoff of Karous, called Karous: The Beast of Re:Eden, which was actually a more fully-fledged release, featuring multiple levels and modes. It even went as far as to receive a physical release, exclusively in Japan. While I haven't played this one myself, I did find a very informative video about it by Briareos Kerensky, and, despite Klon's best efforts to flesh it out a bit more, Karous: The Beast of Re:Eden is pants too.

Klon folded in 2016, before being succeeded by RS34, Inc., who went on to release the excellent Radirgy Swag for Nintendo Switch in 2019, which is a much more faithful Radirgy title. If you're really looking for a portable Radigy experience, I'd probably just go play that instead. Or, for the diehards, there will always be the original on Dreamcast...
Photo of Radirgy for the Dreamcast

Have you played Radirgy De Gojaru! before? Had you even heard of it? Let us know in the comments below, or by dropping us a line on one of our various social media pages.

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Dashy no Blast - Halloween-themed Dreamcast Demo released!

It's spooky month, people. While I personally have made little to no effort to acknowledge it whatsoever this year (I literally put a pumpkin emoji in my Twitter name, and that's it); retro game developer Voxel definitely has with a brand new demo just in time for All Hallow's Eve...

Voxel is no stranger when it comes to developing for the Dreamcast, as evidenced by his previous projects, such as proof of concepts RUINS and Unfungused Game

Voxel's latest project, Dashy no Blast, is a Halloween-themed 3D multi-directional shooter where you take control of a witch flying around on a broomstick shooting an assortment of fiendish ghoulies. 3D graphics in Dreamcast projects are always a welcome sight, and Dashy no Blast is looking really good visually, especially coupled with the spooky aesthetic. Voxel says he's been working on this game's engine for a while, which leverages "the powerful open source KallistiOS and GLdc libraries."

While the game doesn't currently support twin sticks, the left stick is used to move, and holding the right trigger will lock on to an enemy, in a similar vein to Cannon Spike. Basically, Dashy no Blast is like if Cotton met Cannon Spike, and I'm totally here for it.
Getting Jersey Devil vibes from these pumpkin heads... Anyone remember Jersey Devil? No one?

While Dashy no Blast is just a pre-alpha with one level for now, Voxel has asked on Twitter for people to let him know what they think, as he's "seeking as much input as possible before deciding on the future direction of this game." I know for certain I'd definitely love to see more. A game like this could definitely be a perfect candidate for an indie release once it's complete. If you give Dashy no Blast a go and like what you play, please let Voxel know!

To play Dashy no Blast, just download the .cdi from the page. It is playable on real hardware (VGA only) and emulators. Happy Halloween!

Rainbow Cotton now has an English Translation!

The ever-busy Derek Pascarella, alongside the same talented team who also worked on Sakura Wars Columns 2, is back with a brand new English fan translation, the cute as heck Rainbow Cotton!

Developed by Success, and released exclusively to Japan in the year 2000, Rainbow Cotton is a 3D rail shooter in a similar vein to Panzer Dragoon and Space Harrier. But instead of playing as dragon riders or space soldier dudes, you take on the role of the titular witch character Cotton, flying and shooting your way through very aesthetically pleasing 3D fantasy stages. While the visuals are an absolute joy to behold, and have been praised highly by many, Rainbow Cotton unfortunately suffers in the gameplay department and has been heavily criticised over the years for frustrating controls and gameplay quirks. 

But if there was ever a time to forgive this game for its flaws, it's now, because it's now fully translated into English! That's everything: in-game text, graphics, and even the anime cutscenes that tell the tale of Rainbow Cotton. Now you can understand what's going on properly. 

If you fancy a peek behind the curtain of how Derek and his team hack and translate these games, then tune into DreamPod episode 93, which features Derek and his collaborator Burntends as guests. Podcast plugs aside, below are all the relevant links you'll need to learn more, and ultimately play this translation. As always, read the Release Notes before playing, and be sure to thank Derek and his crew for another job well done!

To be used with the Universal Dreamcast Patcher.

Tom is the Enemy

Greetings Junkyard Nation,

As you should all now be well aware, Retro Sumus' Xenocider Kickstarter campaign is well underway, and 3 days in it has so far reached 18% of it's $92,000 funding goal. We hope those pledges continue to roll in and that the community gets behind it, especially when you consider that those stretch goals look particularly tantalising. If you haven't done so yet, you've only got 27 days left to make your pledge and secure your copy of what looks to be one of the most advanced Dreamcast indie games to date. 

In addition, we here at the Junkyard have a proposition for you all. While the $600 pledge tier "YOU ARE THE ENEMY" (which offers the chance for your likeness to be recreated in the game as a secret boss character), is out of the reach of most of us mere mortals, we'd like to take this opportunity to run a mini-donation drive within the broader context of the Kickstarter campaign to get our beloved mascot Tom Charnock into the game as well.
Hurry! There's only 4 spots left!
If everyone reading this donates just 50p to the Dreamcast Junkyard donation box, we'd have more than enough Denaro to get that smug limey face of his on your telly so you can blast it to kingdom come. And as a happy side effect, your donations will go towards helping Retro Sumus reach their Kickstarter funding goal as well...

But, to be honest, it's mainly about shooting Tom in the face.
Artist's impression. Not representative of final version
And when you think about it, that 50p is very good value. It equates to just 0.04p for each article posted in this blog over the last 10 years, or just 0.02p for each minute of scintillating podcast banter we've recorded so far. I'd say that's very good value indeed. Go on, you know you want to. 
And while your at it, leave us an iTunes review as well, it seems to be the only way for us to 
climb higher up the podcast charts where we belong. Cheers.

DreamPod - Episode 31: Shmup Special featuring Dreamcast Hub

UK Podcast Directory

You can find guest host Stephen at Dreamcast Hub and on both Twitter and Facebook. A minor correction is that Shikigami no Shiro was released on consoles, having received PlayStation 2 and Xbox ports. Even the professionals don't get everything right, so if you'd like to slag us off in the comments please keep that in mind!

The 'Dreamcast VR' video mentioned can be found here, and Ross's video detailing his Rez Infinite PSVR experience can be found here. Music in this episode comes from Sturmwind, Giga Wing and Mars Matrix.

As ever, if you like what you've heard please consider leaving us an iTunes review as it really does help the podcast get noticed and improves our chart position. It only takes a few minutes but means a great deal. Thanks in advance!

For Whom The Bell Tolls...

Question: What is the greatest piece of video game music ever written?

Answer: The Justice Ray, by Hyakutaro Tsukumo
This is the face of unparalleled musical genius. Truly.
What do you mean you've never heard of it? It's Tsukomo-san's magnum opus, and its legacy is entwined with Sega's own destiny. Before we skip ahead though, lets start at the beginning - the very beginning.

Cancelled Dreamcast Game Coming Soon to Steam

Yesterday (Boxing Day 2015), an event was held in Akihabara, Japan known as Transition 2015, which showcased some shoot 'em up games for the PC market. While the Android and iOS mobile markets get the most attention, the event was designed to get Japanese developers more interested in spreading the shmup love to the PC master race. In attendance was Triangle Service, who had an exciting announcement: Shmups skill test was coming soon to Steam.
Wish I was there
If those names don't mean anything to you, allow me to illuminate. Triangle Service is a very small boutique developer specialising in old-school arcade gaming, notably for their retro style shoot 'em ups that eschew the modern curtain-style bullet-hell gameplay for a more traditional style of shooter. They were notably the last developer to score a third party development license from Sega (catalog code T-479), and the 'company,' if you can call it that, consists of only one man - Toshiaki Fujino

Review – 式神の城 (Shikigami no Shiro 2)

Release date: March 25, 2004
Developer:  Alfa System
Genre: Shmup (Vertical scrolling)
Current retail: £70-75 (eBay)

‘Right, number one, fuck you Jeff! Number two, yes Neal you are right as ever, a shoot-em-up necessitates a fucking spacecraft and three, if I hear another fucking teenager saying that Sine Mora is the best shmup ever...’ – Steve, Super Red Green Blue

Depending on how much of a shmup purist you are – in my case I would say I'm now a kind of Guardianista shmupper – either one or both of the latter two assertions in the quote above will resonate with you. Technically speaking, at least according to some of the more hardcore areas of the genre fan base, a shmup has to have a flying craft to be considered cannon.  No ifs no buts. If you aren't flying some hunk of heavily armed metal then that’s fine, we can hang out and enjoy blowing stuff away, down some beverages and chase score, but that title is never going to enter the historic halls of the shmup guild. You either have it or you are dead to the genre.
Each character has a primary and secondary attack. They vary in usefulness.
At one time I counted myself among these chosen brethren. The purity of the ideal was powerful. You either have it or you are dead. It helped reaffirm my gaming identity, putting down a marker that separated those who were in-scene and those who were casual, pretenders, far younger than me and had missed the shmup golden years. No fucking wanna-be hipster teenager was going to gate-crash my party and start expounding how Sine Mora was the best shooter ever. How could this moron understand? When you've ridden the fever dream dragon of Radiant Silvergun and drunk the milk of paradise, how do you even explain what you once saw? Far from bullet hell, it was bullet heaven.

DCJY InsideOut: Fast Striker Limited Edition

Hurray, the latest new Dreamcast indie release has arrived! Here's a quick video of the packaging of the limited edition which includes a bonus soundtrack disc, as well as rather a lot of footage of my first playthrough of it. first impressions are it's a much more accessible shooter than Last Hope and Dux what with it's four different game modes, I manged to play through to the 4th level on Novice in this first ever go without even grasping all the games techniques yet so that's cool.

New Redspotgames release announced: 'Sturmwind'!

Well this came out of no where! Redspotgames have announced a new game for the Dreamcast during an interview on a German TV show (about five minutes in)! Their website is down at the moment but I found the news via Dreamcast Scene. When the site is back up it should be up for pre-order. Can you guess what genre it is?

Why of course it's another scrolling shooter! There is very little footage of the game at the moment but this video does show a bit of it.

There has also been two screenshots via the DCemu forums. I must say it sure looks pretty!

Some details revealed about the game:
- 16 Levels
- 3 selectable difficulty levels
- Configurable Controls
- Adjustable screen position
- Different weapons selectable
- More than 20 giant enemies
- Hundreds of different enemies
- Introduction FMV sequence
- 2D/3D hybrid game engine
- Resolution: 640x480
- PAL50, PAL60, NTSC and VGA (with adapter)
- Region-free (universal)
- Works with any Dreamcast compatible with MIL-CD
- Sound CDDA
- Supports: Joypad, Arcade Stick (Analog / Digital), VMU, Rumble Pack (configurable)
- Hiscore tables with WebCoder to internet
- System of unlockable content awards

Behind the scenes with DUX - an interview

Remember my post about an up-coming shmup for the Dreamcast? Racketboy just published an interview with one of the guys behind the game, so if you want to know more about the oddly named DUX, just follow this link.

There's not much we didn't know already, like the fact that it's an horizontal shooter like Last Hope (but supposedly easier) and it's almost finished, with a planned July release and an estimate cost of about 20 euros (you can't buy much with that amount of money nowadays...). Still, this is an interesting read, so if you're even slightly interested in the game, I encourage you to read the whole interview (it's not that long).

More shmupping action on the way...

Tired of every new Dreamcast release being a shmup? Well, I got to admit, it gets a little annoying sometimes, but as long as there are new projects for our console that's a good thing, I guess. To cut to the point, all this talk is because I've just discovered a new shmup being developed for the Dreamcast by the same guys that brought us Last Hope. Remember Last Hope? Neo-Geo quality graphics? Hard as hell? Well, this one is also going to be a horizontal shmup (I prefer vertical ones myself), and it's probably going to be as hard, since the guy admits that it's going to be a "memorizing shooter" (that means, forget reflexes, you need to know exactly where the next enemies will come from or you won't survive), but this time around this is going to be a Dreamcast game and not a Neo-Geo port, and the graphics really show that. Just see for yourself:

Nice, huh? According to the developer (I think this is not really a project by NG:DEV.TEAM, but a side-project from some of its members) DUX will be released as soon as June/July with a price of about 20 euros.

Zero Gunner 2

While I'm preparing my first DCJY-exclusive write-up, Father K suggested that I could repost stuff I had written for my personal blog, the badly titled NebachadnezzaR's Place of Awesomeness, which is a rather great idea since here my posts will have a much broader audience. So, what follows is a copypasta of my ramblings regarding Zero Gunner 2, exactly like you can read on my blog (no changes made). Enjoy:

"After the blast I had while playing Zero Gunner, I couldn't wait to try out its sequel, now on a real console instead of an emulator, so I popped the game in, turned on the Dreamcast, and...well, I liked some things but there's also some stuff that I really hate, so in the end I guess I have mixed feelings about this one.

To start with the good things, this game is beautiful. Really. Sometimes I end up forgetting just how powerful the Dreamcast is, and when I see it in action it blows me away. The textures are very detailed, the models have a great design to them, in that arcade fashion that only the Dreamcast seems to show, and the stages are really unique and impressive.

The gameplay is also very enjoyable for the most part, but the rotation system just fucks it all up. Unlike in the original ZG, where you would first lock onto an enemy and then rotate around him, here there's no lock-on system and you freely rotate your choopper. So far, so good. The problem is in the way this is done. To rotate you have to hold a button (thus stop firing) and then use the d-pad to rotate your ship. Now imagine doing this when all hell is broking loose around you! It's confusing, unintuitive and worse, it will most certainly make you loose lives, because you'll get so disoriented you'll loose any sense of direction and invariably run into enemy fire.

Unfortunately this is necessary, since enemies (and sometimes bosses) come from all directions, and sometimes the screen moves sideways or down instead of up. Shit... To make things worse, although this game offers many difficulty options, even the easiest setting is hard as hell. After two unsuccessful tries where I would always end up running out of credits in the last level, I thought "fuck it" and resorted to my life-saver, the Code Breaker cheat disc. With unlimited lives I eventually was able to beat the fucking game, but I immediately put it back in the shelter, since there's no extra modes to keep you busy, only a replay mode where you watch a previously saved game.

I may seem angry at this game for being so hard, but that's not the case. Hey, Under Defeat it fucking hard, I was never able to beat it, and I still love it. My problem with Zero Gunner 2 is that it's not only hard due to unforgiving enemies, but also due to a fucking control scheme that makes no sense! You don't loose because you suck, you loose because the control scheme to rotate the damn chopper is insanely unintuitive and impractical, and that's basically my major complaint about this game. Of course you can eventually get the hang of it you practice enough, but I doubt it's worth it when the Dreamcast as such an awesome library of shooters.

I would still recommend it to shmup fans, but be prepared for a challenge."

PS - As a bonus here's a picture of my (somewhat) customized Dreamcast. The picture is a little old, and right now the console looks a little different (I won't say exactly what I did to it because you would call me crazy...), so maybe I'll take another photo sometime, if you guys are interested of course.