Received my copy from Orion in the mail yesterday. I will see about doing one of my video reviews of it, but a few things I want people to be aware of and my initial impressions:
First the cart itself is using one of the generic genesis like snap together shells similar to what Piko uses. Additionally it uses the new flash boards that Krikzz designed so the PCB connector edge is a bit on the thick side since they aren't tapered. Be careful inserting them into your console as I've heard reports of these PCBs putting too much pressure on some pins and bending them down into the console. Game came in a universal game case with insert and small typed out manual that explains the basics of the story and game play in several languages. Unfortunately due to the snap together design of these carts, mine arrived mostly intact but soon came separated when I pulled it out of my genesis after my first play session. Found out later one of the snap tabs apparently had broken off internally but I didn't find any loose plastic anywhere so not sure when it happened. I took care of this by finding some small slightly larger diameter machine screws and tapping the posts on the inside to match. Then drilled out new holes through the back case through the centers of the molded mock up security screw heads on the case.
That is the bad out of the way... thankfully the game itself...is honestly? Excellent, and I was very pleasantly surprised by that!
The videos shown of the game pretty much display the game play in full. But the game plays out similar to the game Flashback in that you control a character and have inventory of items collected and move platform style from screen to screen. However, the actual mechanics of the game play out more like N+ released a few years back on several platforms. No wall jumping, but the character control is very tight and impressive for such a little sprite! Also, all the music is PCM recorded! It does suffer from some static in music that I notice especially on the title screen and during the in game music, but it could be my modded va2 model 1 Genesis to blame for some of that. But the music itself is really well done and I found to be very catchy! I don't know exactly how many different tracks there are, but so far I've heard two different in game tracks between levels 1 - 6 that I've managed to get through so far. Title screen and Credits. And I'm going to guess that the in-game music changes after each third level? At least that is what happened on my playing of the game last night.
The graphics are exactly as you've seen in the videos. That is, it is very much pixel art that I would call refined 8-bit style with 16-bit accents. It is hard to explain, but again if you seen the videos you've seen the graphics. I personally really like this art style and find that is suits this game excellently. It is also cool to see how much animation was actually applied to the main character sprite when he is pretty much the least detailed thing on the screen. And I honestly don't mean that in a bad way at all. It is impressive I think.
The game provides a very fair challenge in that it is tough in places, but if you're patient, you can eventually figure out the pattern needed to get past a certain enemy. Because of this and the other game play mechanic of hacking the terminals, the game is also similar to that wonderful classic game...Impossible Mission. So yeah...game play style similar to Flashback and Impossible Mission with enemy patterns, with the game character movements similar to N+. I've found the game to be quite addicting so far with that "Just one more time and I know I can get a bit further..." hook to it.
I have seen at least one graphic glitch and another small bug when I picked up the 3rd pass key on the first area of the game. But nothing game breaking. Additionally, only the 3rd pass key bit has been reproducible each time.
But yeah! I'm really digging this game and very glad I decided to pull the trigger on it. I do think that for the asking price of basically $60 USD including the shipping, that the cart should be in an actual Genesis/Megadrive shell and I wish these new PCBs has tapered edges on them. Luckily my 32x doesn't seem to have any issues with this cart edge, but yeah..just keep it in mind. I also hope that future versions of the game come with a more detailed manual with screen shots and illustrated cover. And while I'm not a huge fan of the universal game cases, I do think it would be cool to have the insert include additional graphics and art on the backside so it can be seen through the case since the uni cases are semi transparent.
So that is my initial thoughts on the game and again I'm glad to have picked it up!
If you haven't read up or heard about the game...here is Orion's video here advertising the game. The music you hear in the video is the same you hear on the Genesis but again at lower quality, mono, and at least on mine a bit staticcy.
For more information or to purchase a copy for yourself, visit Orion's website below: