I still remember the day I discovered that SEGA were going to stop the Dreamcast. It was early 2001 and the PlayStation magazine I was reading (we used to read magazines back then) covered the death of the Dreamcast before immediately moving on to the victories of the PS2. Because of those successes and the gigantic taste for PlayStation within the SEGA Saturn the creation past, Sony had almost single-handedly driven SEGA from the games business leaving them to focus on software just from this day forth.
If you had said to me that day in 2001 that we would still be watching new games released for the Dreamcast on a fairly regular basis in 2016 I would have only smiled and nodded while I backed away slowly. So in case you’ve still got one of these crafty white boxes tucked away in the attic somewhere, or even if you’re just considering getting into retro gaming for the first time, there is likely something on the horizon that is well worth having a look at.
Inspired by the Amiga puzzle game Gem X, Leona’s actions the player with progressively, erm, catchy colour based puzzles like this handheld Lights Out game of this mid-nineties which you may remember. Leona’s Tricky Adventures is available for purchase since you are reading this on Steam, but the Dreamcast version includes a complete jewel case including art.
Looking to the Animal Removal New York, the long in development Elysian Shadows is supposed to hit the roads at some point in 2016. After coming into the public consciousness by means of a collection of YouTube development videos in 2007, and then a successful Kickstarter effort in 2014, Elysian Shadows is a role playing game featuring customisable characters, a lively day/night cycle, and an eye-catching 2D/3D hybrid art fashion. Set in a fantasy universe akin to the one observed in classic JRPG Final Fantasy VI, Elysian Shadows tells a story of conflict between religious zealots handed magical powers from The Creator and atheists compelled to rely on contemporary technology. While there is no solid release date yet and evolution of the game has hit a few snags recently, programmer GyroVorbis maintains that the name will see launch in 2016, and who are we to argue?
Players must traverse the 2D mazes with their bombs to clear paths and destroy the other players at the stage, while also searching for power ups to increase the amount of bombs they can fall or the harm their bombs do upon detonation. The game comes with a strong multiplayer mode including seven different game types which range from the conventional death matches into more elaborate modes involving mathematics puzzles.
Hypertension: Harmony of Darkness is a horror first person shooter that began life as an extension of the Hybrid franchise but morphed into it’s own narrative as development moved farther along. After some disputes with Atari because of resources from Blood used in the creation of Hypertension, in addition to a brief cancellation of this project for this, development of Harmony of Darkness has improved with the game expected to see a release at some stage in 2016.
Hucast Games are searching to launch Redux 2, the sequel to their remake of the scrolling shoot-em-up DUX at a certain stage in 2016. Pre-orders for the sport are already live and there is a fancy collector’s edition with a soundtack CD and a DVD of extras if you are inclined to cover up for that type of thing. The vanilla game features seven new phases and a two player co-operative mode for those players that like to perform their arcade shooting with a friend in tow. If you are a lover of R-Type or other boat shooters of the ilk then Redux 2 may be a game worth keeping an eye on.
If you’re looking for something a bit more from the ordinary, from the 2D shooters and puzzle games, then the Dreamcas t indie scene can serve your needs with a name like SLaVE from Isotope and Jay Townsend. SLaVE tries to net the gaudy aesthetics of’80s arcade games with the addictive first person gunplay of names like Doom and Wolfenstein. If the mixture of eye-popping colors and punishing first person shooting rubs you the ideal way, then SLaVE might well be a match for you. If you are interested in it you may want to move quickly though; the game is intended to be ultra-limited variant with no more than 484 copies of game destined for launch.
SEGA gave up on the Dreamcast at the face of ultra-stiff competition from the Sony PlayStation 2 after a mere couple of years on the current market, but there is a community of committed indie developers who just refuse to proceed. It has a cult following that are still generating new content fifteen years following the console’s commercial death. So perhaps the next time you are in the loft and you spot your older Dreamcast tucked between a Furby and a Spirograph, think about digging it out, dusting it off, and seeing what the old woman can do in 2016.