Last Hope is a single-player side-scrolling shoot 'em up video game for the Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, and Sega Dreamcast systems. It was developed by German indie developer NG:DEV.TEAM in 2006. While the Neo Geo version was self-published, the Dreamcast version was released by redspotgames in January 2007, as an unlicensed title.
The game is highly reminiscent of "old school" epics like R-Type and Gradius, but especially of Pulstar, with its "tactical" gameplay and pre-rendered backgrounds and sprites.
An evil empire from another galaxy is heading towards Earth. Barely 24 hours ago, 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 has reported 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.
- 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
- High quality CD Digital Audio soundtrack
- Constant 60 fps with up to 4 parallax layers
- Lighting and transparency FX
- Smooth plasma FX
- Pixel-perfect port, with 240p scanlines in progressive mode
- Dreamcast VGA, NTSC and PAL systems on 60Hz are supported
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.
The game has been severely criticized both by western and Japanese players for featuring very hard to distinguish enemy-bullets which are almost the same color as explosions/debris. Opinion is divided on this point; the bullets are claimed not to be an issue for some players.
The ratings range from 54% (MAN!AC, Germany) to 80% (GamesTM, UK) or second best score "good" (PC Action, Germany).
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