Although the last PAL Dreamcast titles were released in mid-2002, over in Japan the system keeps on going. In fact, nearly nine years after it was launched in Japan, the start of 2007 will see no less than three new titles reach the hands of hardened Sega fans. Do we need to mention that all three are 2D shooters? Nope, didnâ€™t think so.
Horizontal affair Last Hope is being developed by German studio NG:DEV.TEAM and is due out at the end of the month through â€˜redspotgamesâ€™. Itâ€™s said to be comparable to R-Type and Gradius, featuring a hovering protection unit that can be swung 360 degrees around your craft.
In addition to the standard edition, which will retail for around the Â£20 mark, there will also be a limited edition available only at Play-Asia selling for a tenner more. Only 500 copies will be made of the latter, half of which have been pre-ordered already. Thatâ€™s nothing though: when it was first released on Neo Geo only 60 copies were ever produced. As such, on a good day a used copy can easily go for Â£500.
Warashi – who we believe had a hand in Steel Dragon EX on PlayStation 2 – are readying the excellently named Trigger Heart Exelica. This isnâ€™t a brand new game either, rather a conversion of a Naomi arcade game first released in 2006. This one is due in February and should stand out from the rest, due to the ability to capture enemies and use them as either shields or turn them into bombs.
No less than four versions are being released: standard, limited edition with soundtrack CD, Sega Direct version with an exclusive phone card, and Sega Direct limited edition version with both the soundtrack and phone card. The last will retail for around Â£50, the cheapest Â£30.
You may have heard of MileStone before, as they brought Chaos Field and Radiligy to the GameCube and PlayStation 2. Much like Radiligy, Karous – which translates to ‘Crow’ in English – has a cel-shaded look, only this time thereâ€™s a black and white gothic vibe. It should be out in early March. Only a Â£30 standard version has been announced so far, but that could change.
Play-Asia is your best bet for getting hold of all three, although there are other sites currently offering pre-orders. Take a look at Sega Gaga Domain – theyâ€™re offering a free Sega plastic bag with Karous. Tesco would approve.