Under Defeat

Under Defeat

Under Defeat

No, you're not dreaming.

If we had a new Dreamcast game for every time someone said, "That was definitely the last new Dreamcast game," we'd pretty much be in the situation we are now. Hrm. Anyway, Under Defeat is Japanese shoot-'em-up developer G.Rev's latest attempt at a eulogy for Dreamcast, a system still doggedly scratching at the inside of its coffin - at least in native Japan - five years and two months after Sega pulled the plug.

Despite the intervening years, the 98 vintage Dreamcast is still technically a current-gen machine. Indeed, as Under Defeat's helicopter gunship lurches across grey skies, blades nicking at swaying tree tops, a trail of black billowing callcards marking where each of your catastrophic explosions wrenched enemy gunship pilots into airborne oblivion, it's every inch pretty and PS2 - an enticing postcard from an alternative present where Sega hardware still matters.

Of course, it doesn't still matter one bit and to the vast majority of gaming's onward-marching consumers, Under Defeat is of no consequence - something hardly helped by its comprehensive lack of innovation or evolution. As traditional an expression of videogame's eldest genre as we've seen this century, Under Defeat dodges all its rivals' ideas with startling single-mindedness: no bullet hell (a la Ibara), no scrape bonus (Psyvariar), no learnable attack patterns (Gradius V), no augmentable main weapon (Radiant Silvergun), no 360-degree craft control (Zero Gunner 2), no delicately balanced multiplier (Radirgy) and all '80s muddy tanks, camouflage paint and white explosion.

Read more