Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Edition Review: A Fantastic Shoot-em Up Title To Own
Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Edition
Platform: PlayStation 3
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Edition is a vertical shoot-em up title by G.Rev and saw its original console release back in 2006 on the Dreamcast. Originally released in Japan only, Under Defeat HD brings the game to the US for the first time and in full HD beauty. I must say that I was interested when it originally released on the Dreamcast, but thank goodness for a re-release and produced in HD. It’s absolutely beautiful and fun! Rising Star Games is starting something here. Earlier this year they brought over Akai Katana which is another fantastic shoot-em up title which might actually be my favorite and now they’ve brought over Under Defeat HD. I really hope they continue this trend and support more shooters like these.
Being a shoot-em up title, I was clearly interested as I get easily enticed by these games and completely hooked on the high score battle. This game does that very well and in different ways depending on the type of aircraft you select. There are a small number of aircraft and each handles differently which changes the way you approach the game. I found myself liking the standard aircraft the best and that’s the one I used to do the most damage on the leaderboards. Like any good shooter, there is a scoring system to learn. As I began, I would simply just play and shoot without worrying about the score just so I could get a handle on the game. I would get to the third stage having accumulated close to 350,000 points. Well, once I learned the scoring system using the option attack, by the end of the first stage I would usually have around 270,000. It always pays to know the scoring system and I love how this one works. (The way you score points will vary depending on the aircraft.)
I must admit that the gameplay didn’t thrill me at first as it was a bit difficult to get a handle on the aircraft; I didn’t like the control or feel. But, the more you play the more you get the hang of things and at that point it begins to be a lot of fun and you will begin to appreciate the gameplay more. You will also take notice of the levels and boss battles. Each stage is great and looks absolutely wonderful as well. I would think that those who imported this on the Dreamcast will absolutely fall in love with the HD visuals. They are so clear and beautiful, plus the action and explosions look fantastic. One thing about this game is that in addition to the arcade mode, there is also a New Order Mode, which makes use of the full 16:9 widescreen. This looks fantastic and became my favorite mode after a while.
At first I stuck with Arcade Mode with your basic vertical screen with the sidebars. Now, that makes everything smaller on the screen, but, it had the traditional feel and I could see a bit further up ahead of me. This gave me a slightly better reaction time and allowed me to obtain a higher score. However, I eventually did adapt to New Order Mode with the full widescreen use of the HDTV. First of all, it looks beautiful and you have a much wider range even though it seems as if you can’t see as far ahead of you. Once I became more used to it and each stage, I didn’t notice much of a difference at all and the New Order Mode quickly became my favorite. I don’t mind having to be a second quicker because it’s a fantastic way to play the game and again, it looks incredible.
Now, there is an associated difficulty with this game and it seems more likely that one will stumble into a shot by accident. I can clear the first stage without getting hit and if I do get hit, I usually restart. But again, it’s easy to stumble into a bullet and lose a life. Once I had a great round going and then somehow lost all of my lives within a few seconds of each other. I was probably disappointed by losing my first life which is why the second one came so quickly. Clearly this isn’t the first time I had this happen in a shooter as it’s quite normal. One thing I have to remember and you need to know is that you should always use your bombs to get out of trouble. It’s fairly easily to come across bombs and collect them through each stage, so don’t die and have a full set of four bombs that go to waste – use them!
Another way to change up the way you play is by changing the controls. Instead of turning and having to hold down the fire button to keep your aim in a certain direction, you can use both joysticks and have the right joy stick aim and fire with more ease. Some of you may want to change this up before you even play, but I would recommend you at least give both options a try. I certainly like the double joystick option a lot better though and that is now the only way I play.
Like any good shooter, there is an online leaderboard to compete with. Unfortunately, I hate the way this leaderboard is set up. Thank goodness they have one, but it only has an online leaderboard for normal mode. So, there is no online competing on easy or hard. Another thing is that you need to go to your local leaderboard to find out what your high score is so that you can search for it on the online leaderboards; that’s because it doesn’t have an option to find you or compare your score against your friends. Now, this isn’t a huge issue, but high scores matter and a lot of effort should be put into the online leaderboards because everyone who plays this will like to see where they rank. All shoot-em up titles should have better leaderboards than any other type of game.
Either way, Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Edition is a fantastic shoot-em up title to own. Everyone who likes shooters should take a look at this game because it’s absolutely beautiful looking and has nice music to accompany it. Also, the Deluxe Edition comes with the soundtrack and at $29.99 that is a lovely deal for a shooter. This game is a lot of fun to play and has great replay value to go along with it, even if you aren’t the biggest high score seeker. There are multiple modes including a practice mode and you also have the multiple aircraft to use.
Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Edition is a must own for shooter fans and a must try for anyone who may be slightly interested.