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Last Hope
File:Last Hope Coverart.png
Developer(s) NG:DEV.TEAM
Publisher(s) NG:DEV.TEAM (Neo Geo)
RedSpotGames (DC)
Distributor(s) RedSpotGames (Dreamcast)
Designer(s) Timm Hellwig
René Hellwig
Composer(s) Rafael Dyll
Platform(s) Neo Geo
Neo Geo CD
Dreamcast
Release date(s) Neo Geo
July 10, 2006
Dreamcast
January 31, 2007
Genre(s) Shoot 'em up
Mode(s) Single player

Last Hope is a single-player side-scrolling shoot 'em up video game for the Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, and Dreamcast systems. It was developed by German indie developer NG:DEV.TEAM in 2006.[1] While the Neo Geo version was self-published, the Dreamcast version was released by redspotgames in January 2007, as an unlicensed title.[2] In 2009 The Dreamcast version received a reprint in the form of a Directors Cut called Last Hope Pink Bullets. This edition features improved on screen visibility in comparison to its 1st print due to pink bullets etc. That and various other features make the game easier to allow a more accessible gameplay experience with emphasis on scoring.[3]

StoryEdit

An evil empire from another galaxy is heading towards Earth. Barely 24 hours beforehand, they had penetrated the last line of defense in Earth's galaxy, the Arsion Laser Belt. Millions of innocent people perished in outer space colonies. 70% of earth's fleet was destroyed during first contact. Intelligence reports six days until their arrival. Conventional weapons cannot stop them. The last hope is in your hands: The Z-42 Warpstar. Warp into their territories and destroy their leader before they reach Earth.[4]

FeaturesEdit

  • Free 360° rotary protection unit for shooting and dodging enemy fire
  • Six stages with checkpoints
  • Four difficulty levels
  • Hand-drawn backgrounds
  • Fully animated CGI enemies

TechnicalEdit

  • Both CD versions feature a high quality CD Digital Audio soundtrack
  • Region-free
  • Constant 60 frame/s with up to 4 parallax layers
  • Lighting and transparency FX
  • Smooth plasma FX
  • Dreamcast version is a pixel-perfect port, with 240p scanlines in progressive mode
  • Dreamcast VGA, NTSC and PAL systems on 60 Hz are supported

Pink Bullets editionEdit

Last Hope: Pink Bullets
Developer(s) NG:DEV.TEAM
Publisher(s) NG:DEV.TEAM (Neo Geo)
Distributor(s) RedSpotGames (Dreamcast)
Designer(s) Timm Hellwig
René Hellwig
Platform(s) Dreamcast, Neo Geo MVS
Release date(s) Dreamcast
September 4, 2009
Neo Geo MVS
February 21, 2011
Genre(s) Shoot 'em up
Mode(s) Single player

As a response to criticism regarding the game's difficulty, the developer released an updated version titled Last Hope: Pink Bullets for the Dreamcast on September 19, 2009. This edition features improved on screen visibility in comparison to its 1st print due to pink bullets etc. That and various other features make the game easier to allow a more accessible gameplay experience with emphasis on scoring.[5]

Unlike the previous release Last Hope Pink Bullets came in a Pink DVD Case instead of a Jewel Japanese Style Dreamcast casing.[6] Some of the changes are:

  • Instant respawn
  • Permanent rotary protection unit
  • Higher ship speed from beginning
  • Reduced difficulty
  • Changes in background and bullet colors for higher visibility

ReleaseEdit

File:NG.DEV.TEAM.jpg

July 10, 2006 NGDT Produced 60 Units of the game for NeoGeo and sold it directly via their website.[7] January 30, 2007 RedSpotGames published 2500 Units of the game (500 copies were reserved for sale with the limited edition) [8] May 3, 2007 The limited edition of Last Hope was released with 500 Vinyl Style Compact discs containing the soundtrack.[9] November 19, 2007 NGDT Produced 500 units for NeoGeoCD [10] September 4, 2009 NGDT Produced 1000 Units of Last Hope Pink Bullets which were distributed Internationally by RedSpotGames.[11][12]

PricingEdit

Only 60 copies of the Neo Geo AES version were produced, making this is an extremely rare and collectible title. Since that, and the high cost of producing the cartridges, the game was sold for 550 (around $730). It was only available from the developers.

In contrast, the Dreamcast version sells for $40, and the "Limited Edition" with bundled soundtrack CD was sold for $80. Van Basilco and Play-Asia were the only online stores approved to sell Last Hope for the Dreamcast. The Limited Edition was limited to only 500 units and is already a highly sought after item. It sold out 5 days after the release day and currently prices up to $259.

Currently Last Hope Pink Bullets is retailing for 25$ via NGDev Direct[13]

ReceptionEdit

Comparisons were drawn to "old school" shooters like R-Type and Gradius, but especially of Pulstar, with its "tactical" gameplay and pre-rendered backgrounds and sprites.

The game has been criticized[14] for featuring very hard to distinguish enemy-bullets which are almost the same color as explosions/debris.

Some reviewers have commended Last Hope as technically impressive for Neo Geo standards, while others focus criticism on gameplay issues.[15][16][17]

The NeoGeo CD version of this game features higher visibility due to pink colored bullets, which are better to distinguish between explosions/debris. In response to the criticism Last Hope Pink Bullets was released in 2009 for Dreamcast. The ratings range from 54% (MAN!AC, Germany) to 80% (GamesTM, UK) or second best score "good" (PC Action, Germany)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External links Edit

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