[Dreamcast] Under Defeat

  • Under Defeat
  • Dreamcast
  • 2006
  • Top down vertical shooter

Under Defeat was one of the very last commercial releases for the Dreamcast - made well after the machine had officially been discontinued. I bought my copy from Play-Asia as soon as it came in to stock back in late 2006. It's now quite sought after. There were two versions of the release; the limited edition one like I have with a bonus Audio CD, as well as another which just had the game disc.


The game has multiple video modes available, including a rotated tate mode. The normal display modes have a vertically letterboxed playfield with artwork either side. In tate mode these are replaced with a full-frame display.

The visuals are really nice and extremely clear in 480p mode although on the small side when not in tate mode.


Sound effects are good, although there is the usual problem of distortion when there are a lot of explosions going on - the usual problem of most Dreamcast games using samples that are overly amplified.


A fairly unique rotating mechanic is used in the game to allow your helicopter to pivot slightly as it moves, or to lock it into position and strafe. It's not a massive amount of movement; probably no more than 30 degrees, but it works okay and seperates the game from the multitude of other vertical shooters on the system.

Whilst Under Defeat is not a bullet-hell game as such, it's still fairly tricky to navigate some of the boss patterns and some of the larger enemies.

The game tries to punish you for the normal shooter technique of constantly hitting the fire button. You gain power-ups and special attacks from certain enemies as is common in the genre, but these can only be deployed once you stop firing and allow a small charge meter to build up, the next time you press the fire button the special attack launches - it could be a drone with an extra vulcan gun, a smart missile or a highly destructive bomb. But you need to balance your attacks and your specials with when you hit the fire button (you might let the meter charge in anticipation of the next sub-boss appearing, but then have to deal with a swarm of one-hit enemies as well… do you dodge those enemies so that you have your special shot ready for the boss, or do you waste it by taking out that swarm?).


Stage 1-1, 1-2, 1-3

  • blog/video_captures_dc_under_defeat.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/04/09 14:36
  • by john