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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 Amazon.com 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 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 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 January 14, 2013
Under Defeat HD is not perfect. Visually it feels somewhat bland, and suffers from looking like a Dreamcast game only in HD. It's simple, the game is short (especially after running through enough times to memorizing it), and unforgiving to beginners. It's weapon system is not particularly complex when compared to other classic shmups. So why do I give the game 5 stars?

Under Defeat is what it is, and it's not ashamed by it whatsoever. The controls are tight, the visuals don't get in the way of the action (unless there's a ridiculous number of explosions), the sound effects are meaty, the soundtrack (both the original and the remix) is still enough to get me pumped for another go. It's hard as nails for me still, which only encourages me to keep trying, to keep improving. It's a solid shmup from the end of an era where these sorts of games were one of the most popular genres in arcades around the world. It's not the best shmup, and I readily admit my bias that favors Under Defeat and pretty much any game that falls within the genre, but I still love the heck out of this package.

I can't suggest this game to everyone, but if you like shooters, and never had a chance to play it on Dreamcast, I recommend that you give this a shot.
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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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on January 31, 2013
This game is awesome. There are plenty of reviews out there, so I'm going to speak to only one part in particular:

Is this game worth the price?

The answer, is yes. Also, if you have any interest in two-player co-op experiences (which I do), this game is awesome for it. You really can have fun with a couple of people playing this in New-World-Order Mode, strafing in unison and flanking one another's enemies. Very fun game. Comes with a soundtrack, some additional art, a variety of choppers to choose from (one exclusive to this release), but really, the core game alone is worth 30 bucks. Please support and enjoy, if shoot-em-ups are of interest to you.

Thanks!
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on March 30, 2013
I like the action in this game. I have the Dreamcast version of this and I think the graphics are better on this version. It is bascially a vertical shooter, meaning that you travel up to the top of the screen shooting enemies. The explosions are nice, good sound and the enemy units are different. What I didn't like is the use of the right toggle to control the shooting. There is an alternative set-up which I use. I think it would be better just using the buttons which the game won't let you do. As I mentioned before, this game first arrived on the Sega Dreamcast and I'm surprised this showed up on the PS3. Overall, a good military vertical shooter....4 stars.
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on December 15, 2013
Worth the price of admission just for the OST. It's short but sweet and intense, just like the game.

There's also gorgeous high resolution art included on the disc in PDF format. As with most shmups, you don't often experience the characters in-game, but their portraits do appear between levels.

The game itself is very traditional, more like Raiden and Raizing-style shmups than bullet hells like Ikaruga and Shikigami no Shiro.

This isn't really a bad thing, but the game can get really tough later on.

Still, given the lack of shmups on the PS3, this is easily a stand-out title. Make like stage one's song title and Don't Look Back.
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