A roll of the DICE.
Back in the forgotten, misty year of 1994, a game called Hardcore (developed by Digital Illusions, now better known as DICE) was previewed in game magazines for Mega Drive, Mega CD and Amiga. Then, thanks to the encroaching next generation of consoles, publisher Psygnosis canned the title when it was borderline completed. And now, with the new name Ultracore and following a period of hardware exclusivity as a pre-loaded title on Analogue’s Mega Sg and a proper, physical release via Columbus Circle in Japan, this lost 16-bit run n’ gun title has finally seen release on modern consoles. The question is, should it have stayed in limbo?
Thankfully, the answer to that question is no. Ultracore was absolutely worth preserving. Finding out it was developed under Psygnosis’ watching eye wasn’t any kind of surprise; the look of the game absolutely recalls the aesthetic of the company’s beloved Amiga titles, such as Blood Money and Leander. As a result, it’s comfortingly familiar at first play. This is no faux-retro title; this is the real deal, for better and worse.
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