HORA HORA HORA everyone! By now you should know that here at That Damn Pixel we’re not that fond of reviews, also considering our non-interest in scores, but sometime, some games, are worthy to be discussed a little further and this is the case of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle, released last year on PlayStation 3 and exclusively for the Japanese (and Asian) market.
Few weeks ago we received from Germany our press copy of Sturmwind! What is it? Easy, it is a brand new homebrew shooter game for the SEGA Dreamcast (obviously not an official release approved by SEGA) by Duranik.
Sturmwind is an old school shmup, a very traditional one indeed, where you don’t have to think a lot, just follow one simple rule: if it moves, shoot it!
Behind this little masterpiece there is Duranik, a German indie development team, known for its previous attempt to create a shooter game on a dead console: Native for the Atari Jaguar.
It is very likely that Sturmwind has born from that failure, trying to make a better game, more accessible even to modern players, but sticking to the great classics guide lines.
That’s why Duranik has chosen the Dreamcast, that despite its premature dead, it is more widely available and more powerful than any other cool retro-console (no, ps2 isn’t cool, nor powerful).
Sturmwind tries to take advantage of every bit of the Dreamcast hardware and supports a wide range of effects, indeed we can call it a perfect mix between 2D and 3D, leading to an astonishing visual impact.
We surely can’t hide out excitement playing a bran new game on our favourite console of all times, and it’s safe to say that Sturmwind could have been released on XBLA and PSN without any problem.
The game is pretty straightforward, you can play the normal mode with all 16 levels or the arcade mode with only 6 levels and no continues. In normal mode your progress will be saved with every finished level (obviously you’ll need a VMU to save your progress).
Speaking of pure gameplay, Sturmwind is very enjoyable (despite the CG intro with german voiceover or the unreadable german names of the weapons and levels) and once you start to play you’ll quickly understand every game dynamic, as the three weapon selection, the backfire and the point system. Duranik guys said that the game is designed for all Dreamcast fans, it is no hardcore maniac or score shooter. Even average players are able to see more than the first level. There is a good bit of memorization involved as with most of this type of games but that is part of the fun.
We said that Sturmwind is a game for everyone, so it’s not hardcore? Don’t worry, it is a highly addictive and a very challenging game; it could not be like a modern bullet hell game from Cave, but we prefer this way…even because on the Dreamcast we want to breathe a sort of old school flavour, and Sturmwind perfectly accomplish this job! (if you want to go crazy, just set the hard mode!)
And guess what? Sturmwind has also online leaderboards, but you won’t need to connect your dusty DC to the internet: in fact, your copy of the game will generate an unique code for your highest score, then you’ll just have to put that code with your nickname in this site…done! Online leaderboards!
So here’s some specs:
- 16 Levels
- 3 selectable difficulty levels
- configurable controls
- adjustable screen position
- different weapons selectable
- More than 20 large boss enemies
- Hundreds of different enemies
- FMV intro sequence
- Hybrid 2d/3d game engine
- Resolution 640×480
- PAL50, PAL60, NTSC and VGA (with Adapter) compatible
- Region Free
- Works with any MIL-CD compatible Dreamcast
- CDDA Sound
- Supports: Joypad, Arcade Stick (Analog/Digital), VMU, Rumble Pack
- Internet WEBcode Hiscore Tables
- Award Trophy System with unlockable content
If you got a working Dreamcast at home and you feel like this could be your next must-play (we feel it) you can preorder the game on Redspot Games, even if the release date is still set to TBA.
Check out the official trailer!
**UPDATE (14 March 2013)**
Here we go folks! This blog starts with a post about our beloved Suda51 and his Grasshopper Manufacture and I can’t imagine a better subject for a bombshell start!
But first thing first, on February 1, 2013, Grasshopper Manufacture will join GungHo Group, both companies have announced earlier this morning. Is this a good or a bad news? Let’s find out!
Grasshopper Manufacture is a critically acclaimed software house based in Tokyo, founded by Goichi Suda in 1998, best known for video games masterpieces such as Killer 7 (GCN / PS2, 2005), No More Heroes (Wii, 2008), Lollipop Chainsaw (X360 / PS3, 2012) and the upcoming Killer Is Dead (X360 /PS3, 2013). The company, and particularly his CEO and head designer Suda51, is noted for its original and imaginative titles, ones that are also fraught with financial risk. Anyway, if you don’t know it, probably you’re reading the wrong blog (just saying).
On the other side, GungHo Online Entertainment is a leading Japanese company specialized in online game services, primarily known for hosting the Japanese server of Ragnarok Online (PC, 2001), as well as their development of Ragnarok DS (NDS, 2008).
“GungHo is fusing the planning and development power of Grasshopper Manufacture with the power of managing online games cultivated by both companies to produce higher quality content.” said GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita on his official announcement.
On the other hand, Suda51 had been more concise (as usual) just dropping a status update on his Facebook “I’d like to inform you that as of Feb 1, 2013, Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. will be joining GungHo Group.”
Both parts invite readers to take a look at the interview made by 4Gamer.net for further details, but it’s in Japanese…so just trust us 😀
At THAT DAMN PIXEL we love Suda’s games and we don’t know if this partnership (well, more an acquisition than a partnership) is driven by any financial problems (Grasshopper doesn’t always make amazing sales outside Japan) or something else, but as long as Goichi keeps doing great, creative, crazy (weird?) and awesome games we don’t really mind.
PUNX NOT DEAD
We are pleased to inform you that “THAT DAMN PIXEL” is born!
As you can imagine, this will be a video games blog, but in a different way. We will talk and report news and facts (and other random stuff) from video game world, but also from the industry and everything vg-related. We like them all (well, most of them).
BE AWARE, we like to go indie, weird and creative! Don’t expect rumors on the next CoD.
LIFE IS SHORT, PLAY MORE
PS. Obviously the blog still needs some esthetical and graphical adjustment. Be patient. We won’t hurt your eyes for too long.