Under Defeat HD: How a cult Japanese shoot ’em up made it to European PS3s


As a small Japanese developer specialising in a niche genre, it is a great pleasure to be able to release one of our games internationally. Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Edition (available for PS3 via PSN from tomorrow and in stores on 9th November), will be our first PlayStation 3 title distributed outside of Japan, and our first international release since WarTech: Senko no Ronde in 2007.

Old-school. Retro. While we do use those terms to describe the titles we develop, fundamentally we hope to make games that are of the same cloth as the classics we played and loved in our youth. Our studio was built on the concept of creating “game-like games” – drawing from the dynamics and style of past favourites.

We feel that the number of similar games on the market has dwindled, particularly in recent years. Though we are a small team – and plans do not always go as we hope – our intentions to continue producing what we believe are “game-like games” has not changed.


The concept for the original arcade version of Under Defeat could be simplified to ‘developing a realistic wartime shoot ’em up’. At the time, the team that would become the core creators of Under Defeat were idle as they had just finished a previous project. The rest of the company was focused on Senko no Ronde, and though we considered having the team merge in with the others, I decided to give them time to think of designs for a new game instead.

They initially conjured up plans that were not even in the same genre. Despite taking on characteristics of what some might describe as an ‘overly enthusiastic’ appreciation of historical weaponry, I thought that giving them the freedom to create what they want would encourage the team to really take control of the project and, moreover, produce something new and innovative.


After releasing Under Defeat in the arcades, we naturally considered porting it to a console. As the Dreamcast was already in the twilight of its lifespan, we first looked at bringing the game to the PlayStation 2. Unfortunately, as we intended to outsource the project, the quotes we received from developers were well over three times the budget we used in making the arcade version. So plans for a PS2 build were scrapped, and we consulted Sega to see if we could squeeze in to the Dreamcast line-up as the last official new title for the hardware.

In retrospect, porting Under Defeat was likely made possible as there were other companies that also hoped to put out the last Dreamcast game as well. While we were not able to have the distinction of being the closer for the system as a few other titles were released after Under Defeat, we are thankful for the opportunity to bring the game to the system. And, of course, we harbour no ill will to the guys who put out games afterwards!

Earlier this year, in response to a large number of requests from domestic and overseas fans, we released the HD version of Under Defeat for current generation consoles in Japan. At the same time, we were in discussions with Rising Star Games to bring the title to the North American and European markets.

We had known Rising Star for carrying a good line-up of hardcore Japanese games and felt they would understand a 2D shooter like Under Defeat. More specifically, we believed they would appreciate and respect the core nature of the game. We certainly hope that the project will be successful and that we can build a continuing relationship with the publisher.

Final UD Main Front

Since we set up shop in 2000, G.rev has maintained and championed the aforementioned policy in terms of approaching game development. And while we will continue to strive to create “game-like games,” times have changed, and we must take on new challenges.

In a lot of ways, we have basically done what we pleased these past 12 years. Hopefully in the future, we will be able to show fans and gamers growth as a company. It would be nice to look back a few years down the road to see that we have made progress since the release of Under Defeat HD.

More than likely, however, we will probably still have some kind of hand in producing and making shoot ’em ups!

1 Author replies

I really want to get this game!!

If this kind of stuff is getting onto the EU PSN, what’s happening with Dokuro & Closure ? (both available on JPN and US stores)

I have the strange impression that an essential detail could be missing … like the price for instance.

Does anyone else look at this and instantly think “Vita”?

Wow, they named a game after the constant position of cats in a home.

I love old school shooters. Will give the demo a try if there is one.

@firm3demon Yes this screams Vita.

Me too. seems perfect for VITA. Developers should think more about a cross-play between ps3 and vita for PSN titles. Motorstorm RC was an interesting example.

I don’t understand one thing: the retail version will include all DLC and patches, so this means the PSN version will not be patched and not getting DLC anytime soon?


See below for clarification from Yen at Rising Star!

Looks great. I’ll buy it for sure if you get rid of the Singstar icon from my XMB that you forced on me.


Will you be making demo on the xmb under games we cannot remove?

Just to clarify on the DLC bit, all previous DLC and patches for the JAPANESE version has been included in the code for our release, making this the definitive version. It doesn’t matter whether it is the boxed or PSN version, you will still have all the DLC and patches previously released for this game.

Sweet, didn’t realise that this was coming to PSN. Can now finally put my dreamcast to rest.

This game does look very cool and I had never heard of it before. It is a slight worry that there is no mention of a price and as it’s a retail release aswell, does that mean it’ll be priced as a full on blu ray title? Or will it be priced as per other PSN shooters??

It would also look and suit the Vita perfectly but I guess that isn’t going to happen.

So price permitting I’ll will buy this.

Also is there any news on Dokuro coming to the Vita in europe?


totally agree this should deffo be released on vita looks awesome

@ 3: The price is around $ 29.99, so I’m guessing 29.99 euros for us.

infernalmonkey1 31 October, 2012 @ 02:28

Very excited about this, have had it pre-ordered for a while now. Thank you, Rising Star, for localising all these shoot ’em ups lately. It’s especially incredible to have them as fancy retail releases! You can tell a lot of love goes into them.

Hope this does well for you guys, I’d love to see G.Rev and Rising Star work together on more localisations in the future (like Kokuga!)

Would rather have Ikaruga.

Game looks good but way over priced at £29.99


Bought this last night.

It’s class, really good job. Bit pricey, but I’ll probably get more gameplay out of this than I would many other games at the same price- and would’ve paid the same for a DC version.

Border Down next please!

I do have an issue with the trophy support though.

While the trophy notification pops up in game as is usual, the game isn’t listed in the trophy list and none of the trophies show on my profile.

The price is outrageous. US is getting this for THIRTY dollars. And we have to buy it for FIFTY-TWO dollars, or 40 euros.

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