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Posted on Sep 5th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under Shoot em Up, Indie, Dreamcast

Name: Sturmwind
Console: Dreamcast
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Shoot Em Up
Publisher: redspotgames
Developer: Duranik
Release Date 4-23-2013
How Obtained: Purchased
Where to purchase: Ebay as the publisher has sold out.

Originally starting development as 'Native' for the Atari Jaguar CD in 1997 Sturmwind would have a troubled development history causing many to wonder if the game would ever see the light of day. It would take another sixteen years of development before 'Native' now known as Sturmwind was released on the Sega Dreamcast. So is it worth the wait? Let's find out.

The graphics are amazing

Sturmwind has two modes, Normal and Arcade. As it's name implies Arcade mode gives players the chance to play through the game without any continues. The normal mode helps balance out the game by giving novice players a steady path of progression by saving progress at the end of a level and giving one the ability to select a cleared level once all lives are depleted. When a level is selected, the game refills your life, weapons and bombs suggesting that the developers wanted one to experience everything in the game.

Each level has a unique theme

Anyone who has played a title in the R-type or Gradius series will feel right at home with Sturmwind as it's slower design and focus on strategy separates it from it's bullet hell cousins. The weapon system is similar to Axelay with three distinct weapons that double as your life, which allows your ship to take three hits before you lose a life. Each weapon can be powered up two times by collecting the appropriate colored powerup when the weapon is active. Each powerup adds a drone, similar to the options in Gradius, that provides fire from either the front and back of the ship. A charged or powered up shot can also be fired, but care must be taken not to over do it as it will cause damage to the ship. A screen clearing bomb rounds out the arsenal and can be used to get out of sticky situations. The strategy of weapon switching combined with the in game achievements does a great job at keeping the loop of the game from becoming stagnant.

Mastering each weapon is paramount to success

The graphics in Sturmwind are the best I've seen on the the system and if you didn't know it was for the Dreamcast, you could easily be fooled into thinking it was an XBOX 360 download title. The 2D/3D hybrid graphics fit the game well and pump out a lot to the screen without any slowdown. I've lost more than one life as I stared at everything on screen. The VGA cable is supported and really makes the visuals shine.

The bosses are huge are varied

The music and sound effects are great. The techno club soundtrack provides a nice beat as you're blasting your way through waves of enemies. The sound effects, especially the explosions, sound great and when combined with the rumble pack, provide a nice sense of immersion.

The charged shot is great for clearing the screen but don't over charge or you'll lose the weapon

I have two small complaints about the game. First, even though it is a slower shooter, it can still get hectic with everything that is going on on-screen, which can cause confusion or result in you crashing into an enemy or obstacle. Secondly, the game is limited to a single player affair. I would have loved to play through the game co-op. However, these two minor complaints are only noticeable due to how good the rest of the game is.

The attention to detail is impressive

I've owned a Dreamcast since December 1998 and titles like Sturmwind have given it life well beyond it's expiration date. Its level of play and polish place it up there with Ikaruga as one of the best games on the system and a title that anyone who owns a Dreamcast needs to play.

Release Trailer

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Definitely a solid game.
I really like that song in the trailer. It has an upbeat, even happy, house sound that I'm way into. Very refreshing from the dark, ominous dance music of so many other shooters. It's a shame it's out of stock in the Redspotgames shop and there haven't been any posts since 2013 Sad
This looks right up my alley. Too bad I'll have to wait till the ebay bubble bursts.
I love this game! It really is a gorgeous sight to behold on VGA. Nice write-up!
The giant head boss it shows looks like the large alien head boss from Shinobi 3.  So rad.  A horizontal, old-school style shooty game for my Dreamcast?  Seems tailor made for me.  Too bad I was broke when this came out.  Looks like I need to put this one on my short list.  Nice review!
The DC was such an amazing machine that died far too soon. I love to see new stuff come out for classic machines. Nice writeup.
@noiseredux: What's your favorite part of the game?

@zophar53 & @NeoMagicWarrior : It's worth keeping an eye on Ebay as I've seen copies for cheaper than $50 but the current pricing is crazy. Keep an eye on Amazon as well as they had some earlier this year https://www.amazon.com/Sturmwind-Independant-Dreamcast-Game-Sega/dp/B00HEYGAHC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473426060&sr=8-1&keywords=sturmwind.

@Slackur: Thanks! I am really impressed with the game. It's not something I would have expected from a homebrew title. I have my eyes on a Toro box for my Dreamcast but I've been told that this works well as a VGA only solution http://www.ebay.com/itm/321974745475?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

@MetalFRO: Thanks! I highly recommend it. The giant head boss is the mascot for this game. There was a deluxe limited edition from play-asia that came with a plush. http://www.play-asia.com/sturmwind-windstrke-12-limited-deluxe-edition-w-krakor/13/70500n

Thanks to everyone for reading.

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