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on December 1, 2012
As a fan of all things shooters and Dreamcast, I was pretty excited to get my hands on Under Defeat HD. I originally had this ordered from a competitor's website, then I pre-ordered on Amazon for the heck of it, which I'm glad I did since it's now an exclusive, so if you want it, don't hesitate, buy it ASAP.

First and foremost, it must be said how beautiful this game looks with its glossy HD makeover. Everything is crisp and has much more detail than the Dreamcast version. For the most part, it all runs buttery smooth, too. I've seen some complaints about "slowdown" on the Playstation Blog and some other places, however these people must not know that slowdown is a feature in shooters like this and not a technical issue. This is a vertical shooter and the gameplay feels as good as ever. Yes, compared to other shooters this has a different feel, however it doesn't take long to acclimate to.

Also, I feel it needs to be said that $29.99 for a retail shooter is an absolute steal. I've heard complaints that these need to be $10-$15 Xbox Live Arcade/Playstation Store downloads, but I just disagree. As a fan of old school games, specifically shooters, I like getting something physical, not having a game sitting on a hard drive with no guarantees. I like the peace of mind that I can play this 15 years down the road, which is important for classic games like this that have timeless qualities. For $29.99 you're getting the game, physical soundtrack w/ digital art book, all DLC and patches from the other region versions, and a brand new in-game chopper. In addition, unlike most games these days, you're getting a color manual included. The import price for this game on NCSX is $83.90, so its $29.99 price is nearly 1/3 of that of the import version. In other words, this price is awesome.

Under Defeat HD is a game that deserves your support. It's inexpensive, packed with goodness, and it's just a quality shooter, as well as being the first retail shooter to hit North American PS3's. Buy it.
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on November 29, 2012
Back in 2006, developer G.rev released Under Defeat on the Dreamcast in Japan. Obviously this was well past the point where Dreamcast games were getting regular releases in North America, so the game stayed off shore at the time. I managed import the game and spent a lot of time with it. And now with this release, it's finally available for everyone.

The PS3 version is, as the name implies, a high-definition remake. The arcade mode is very similar to the Dreamcast version. There are a few minor changes here and there, so a purist may want to stick to the Dreamcast version, however it's close enough for most players. Also included is the New Order version that includes a modified play field suitable for widescreen displays. You can also choose to play with dual analog controls, optimized for modern controllers, or stick with the original arcade rotation scheme. So we get the best of both worlds: A reasonable approximation of the original game and controls, and a revamped version to take full advantage of modern setups.

Under Defeat is a shmup. You fly a helicopter, shoot stuff, grab powerups, and avoid bullets. The field of play is an overhead slightly angled view, similar to Raystorm.

The 'twist' to Under Defeat is that your helicoptor can rotate slightly to shoot at different angles. There are also two planes of play, with air targets and ground targets. Your helicoptor normally fires forward, however when a ground target comes into range your angle of fire changes to lock-on to them instead. Powerups consist of small pods that fire along side you, with missles, chainguns, etc. These are activated by pausing your fire to charge them up; thus you often have better firepower by not shooting all the time. Planning which powerups to use and when to activate them adds an additional layer of strategy, and is often more critical than it appears at first glance. This also lets you target multiple enemies at the same time, or concentrate fire on more sturdy enemies.

The level design is where Under Defeat truly shines. From assaulting enemy bases, to battling fleets of ships, to assisting allied tanks on the battlefield, everything is placed well and makes sense. Often when allies are on the screen, you can choose to attack enemies firing at you, or assist those allies against enemies that are targeting them so they can continue fighting. It's really slick design that helps the game feel more like a battlefield.

Boss fights are huge and intimidating, with multiple parts to destroy. This gives a lot of flexibility in how you want to approach them: You can concentrate fire and go straight for the kill, or pick them apart piece by piece.

Under Defeat is a difficult game. Don't let modern "bullet-hell" shmups fool you, more bullets does not always mean harder. I've gotten single credit clears on several modern and old arcade shmups, however this one gives me trouble from time to time. Still, the learning curve is very much worth it as each level just gets better than the last.

It's not every day a shmup gets a disc-based release on PS3, and this is one of the better ones on any console. With added features to take advantage of HD displays and modern controllers, and an original version for the arcade experinece, you really can't go wrong. And at the retail price, it's a steal compared to what the Dreamcast version goes for.
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on December 8, 2012
Under Defeat is a great shoot that original came out on the Dreamcast a couple of years ago. Now, this great shooter has new modes, an exclusive chopper, and HD graphics. I played this game on the Dreamcast, it suffered from on screen lag time. Now on the PS3 the HD graphics are beautiful (you must have a HDTV to truly appreciate it). The gameplay is very solid and hard at times (I have not tried the easy mode but will not cause I am true gamer). Once you have completed a level you can go back in practice mode to master that level. I have been playing for about 2 weeks now and I am very satisfied with this game. If you are a fan of the classic overhead shooter Under Defeat is a game you must have in your library. For $32.00 you can't go wrong with that.
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on March 11, 2013
Under Defeat is an interesting story. It started out as one the final releases for the Dreamcast in the midlate 2000s, in which the system was already dead everywhere else outside Japan. The fact that not only did G Rev rereleased it modern consoles, with Rising Star Games releasing it in the U.S., this really makes it a gem for the current generation. One can only hope if RS Games will release more in the U.S., after all, they did help release King of Fighters 13 in Europe!

Here's to every shmup gamer across the globe!
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on March 20, 2014
As a fan of the original Dreamcast game, this is a fantastic port.

Usually I find these HD, deluxe, reimagined games of old to be a wast. Rehased ideas, with little flare of what made the originals the retro gaming darlings we know of today.

This is proof that sometimes a gaming company can get it right.

For those of us who can't affored the highly over priced cost of a Dreamcast copy of this game, I HIGHLY suggest picking up this one.

The sooner the better, becasue this is a Amazon exclusive, you won't be seing it at a Gamestop, and the price will only jump once this is no longer in print.

Dont' let this become another Xenosaga for the Wii, buy now, be happy, and roll your eyes when other's complain a year later that the game cost to much on the secondary market. Because you were smart enough to buy it when it was going for retail.
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on May 18, 2013
If you are a fan of the Toaplan military shooters of the late 80's/early 90's, get this game. It hits the right notes. Excellent soundtrack(s), new features not in the original DC version such as dual stick mode and redone HD graphics, and and accessible challenge set this shmup apart. Don't expect Cave bullet curtains. Don't expect Ikaruga's level of design. Under defeat is just pure old school arcade fun,
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on April 24, 2013
I'd never played the original, but this game is well worth the price for anyone who loves classic shmups. The inclusion of the original Arcade layout along with the new 16:9 mode is really nice. The overall difficulty curve combined with the number of continues you get worked well for me to force me to improve while still being a challenge. Great game! I love having this on disc: it also came with a soundtrack CD. If you can't find it here, get it on the Playstation Network.
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on February 3, 2013
Under Defeat is fast action fun with a dash of difficulty( the DLC helicopters make it a breeze). Widescreen HD mode is definitely where the game graphically shines, but it also includes the original. Mirrored modes add replay value and I am always excited and grateful for co-op, but online play would have been appreciated (Lack of online play is the only reason i didnt give it 5 stars).

$30 is a steal for this great game.
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on December 4, 2012
The other reviews already cover this excellent game in plenty of detail, so I'm going to add some extra notes rather than write another full review.

If you want to play the "tate" vertical screen arcade version of Under Defeat then get the Dreamcast or Naomi version. Under Defeat HD does include a vertical arcade mode, but it has numerous bugs and inaccuracies added, related to scoring, the behavior of your option pod, and the areas at the top and sides of the screen where enemies become "active" (vulnerable to fire). This version is still perfectly playable and enjoyable, but you cannot use it to compare scores with arcade and Dreamcast players.

The selling point of this port is the New Order arrange mode, newly designed for widescreen 16:9 displays. Here you rotate and fire with the right analog stick, similar to in many popular XBLA and PSN games, and certain extra modes in Cave's shmups. This will not be to everyone's taste, and I personally prefer the original control method, but it's all but a necessity in handling the swath of enemies across the newly enlarged playing field. Aside from the controls and display size, some enemies appear in greater numbers and have been moved around, though it's nothing drastic. There is also a great remixed soundtrack, included in CD form with the package.

Aside from the enhanced resolution, extra details have been added to the already amazing graphics, such as dynamic shadows and spent rounds shown falling from machine guns.

The two extra choppers that were originally DLC in the Japanese version are included on-disc here, as well as a new one made for the Western release. One is simply a faster version of the default, but the others offer overpowered new shot types, although they're not useful for scoring well. Other than fooling around, I found the best use of these choppers is to offer a handicap to a less skilled second player in co-op.

A 360 version of this port exists, but it is region locked and exclusive to Japan and Europe, apparently due to the excessive fees of releasing a game on Microsoft's console in the States.
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on February 11, 2014
Only a die hard fan would notice the very minor differences between the original DC version and this PS3 port.
This version can be had at a fraction of the price, and has a few new features such as two additional helicopters and widescreen mode with it's own soundtrack.
Everything you love about the DC version is intact, including the option to rotate your monitor.
For those who haven't played Under Defeat; it's a fantastic vertically scrolling shooter, set in a military world with an awesome soundtrack and addictive play mechanic.
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