Features and Story
Taken from the Last Hope website:
- Free 360° rotary protection unit for shooting and dodging enemy fire
- Six stages with checkpoints
- Four difficulty levels
- Handdrawn NEO·GEO style backgrounds
- Fully animated CGI enemies
- Superb video game style soundtrack
- Constant 60 fps with up to 4 parallax layers
- Lighting and transparency FX
- Smooth plasma FX
-> The evil empire is rushing at light-speed across the galaxies, heading towards Mother Earth. Barely 24 hours ago, they penetrated the last defense line of our galaxy, the Arsion Laser Belt. Millions of innocent people perished in outer space colonies. 70% of our fleet was destroyed during first contact. Our intelligence has now extrapolated their arrival within six days. Conventional weapons cannot stop them. Our last hope is in your hands: The Z-42 Warpstar. Warp into their territories and destroy their leader before they reach Earth.
-> Last Hope is a shooting game with rotating satellite system and heavy influence by tactical game play. Memorizing level architecture and enemy patterns are necessary for further approaching. The satellite and the beam are the most important components of the game mechanics. You have to learn to deal with both techniques in interaction with the other. It is possible to rotate the protection unit in 360° around the playership and to engage it in 8 gradations. Just press "X" to shoot, "R-Trigger" to rotate clockwise and "L-Trigger" to rotate anticlockwise. The protection unit mainly serves the defense of enemy plasma projectiles and to fire a stronger plasma shot. There are four difficulty settings: very easy, easy, normal and hard. Less experienced players can enjoy the game on very easy and easy, while experienced players will enjoy the game on normal or challenging it on hard. There are a total of 6 stages. These vary from a sandily space laboratory, a channel fulfilled with muddy water, a idyllic landscape with floating continents, a soul melting enemy factory on fire to an eerily and muggy alien stage.
-> Last Hope is comparable to classics like R-Type and Gradius. Yet it has it's own visual impressive graphic style and fresh game play. It also features a superb 16-bit digital audio soundtrack, which suits perfectly the games atmosphere.
Dreamcast Review by Dreamcast-Scene.com
Dreamcast Review by SegaGagaDomain.com
Official NEO·GEO AES Review by Daddelkingz.de (Translation)
NEO·GEO AES Mini Review by Shawn, Admin of Neo-Geo.com:
-> I received the prototype of Last Hope from the developer in May of 2004 and considering the unknown source my expectations were quite low. Not 11 meg Digger Man low, but I wasn’t expecting to be wow’d, no pun intended.\\ I was immediately impressed with the graphics, sound effects, and the music. My 1st thought was that this must be some sort of port or rip from another system. No way would someone invest this kind of time into developing a game for the Neo without any solid reassurance of a release.
-> Last Hope is a challenging shooter, not a game you can beat in one night, not even if set to easy mode. The play style is in the category of R-Type, Last Resort, and Pulstar, requiring a strategy to progress (memorization of patterns). When you die, you are ported back to a restart point, and there are multiple restart points per stage. I also remember power ups and add-ons for your ship, but not a life bar, so there is not much room for many errors. This is definitely a game that will require a long while to master.
-> I also didn’t experience any glitches, which says a lot of time was already spent debugging. It’s clear that some talented programmers were involved in developing this new game and it would be a shame if it never saw some form of release.
Exclusive features only available in the Dreamcast™ version:
- 16-bit CD soundtrack
- VMU support (saving + visuals)
- DC joypad + arcade stick support (R- and L-trigger support)
- Use of DCs soundchips (64 channels/stereo)
- Highres title screen
Exclusive Dreamcast™ Game Modes:
- Adjusted difficulty (Reduction of shoot frequency and flight velocity of enemy bullets / no ranking)
- Explosions / particle effects reduced for more clarity on screen
- Better hitting response for hit enemies
- Improved visualization of boss hit zones
-> Straight from the NG:DEV Blog:
As the NEO·GEO AES cartridge did well, we're now preparing a release of Last Hope on NEO·GEO CD and Dreamcast for December 2006*.
Both versions will feature a high quality CD Digital Audio soundtrack. Dreamcast version will be a pixel perfect port with scanlines on 240p in progressive mode. Be sure that the game will run on NTSC and PAL systems on 60hz; Region Free. Just like every original Dreamcast game you can play Last Hope without any additional requirements.
Currently we're negotiating with an publisher for world wide release.
More words on this when time is given, so be prepared and subscribe yourself on one of following mailing list to stay up to date.
Timm & René | firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: The FAQ on the official site currently shows the release date (Dreamcast version) as January 31, 2007 .
The Last Hope Limited Edition is strictly limited to 500 units and comes as a white multi-pack containing a extra soundtrack Vinyl-CD (with remastered full-length versions of the game's OST) and with an additional 4-page booklet with liner notes for the OST by Rafael Dyll.
There's a special spine-card for the multi-pack box, and the game's manual now has 12 pages instead of the ten of the standard edition. The game's CD-ROM itself also features a different label.
The excellent soundtrack for the game was composed by Rafael Dyll:
- Last Hope Medley @ SoniqFactory.com (3:59 min)
- Last Hope DC Audio Sample @ LastHope-DC.com (4:17 min)