๐Ÿ”ฅ POSTAL Dreamcast Review 8/10 "An impressive port with a wealth of features" ๐Ÿ”ฅ@WaveGameStudios #IndieGame #GameDev

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Developer: Dan Redfield (Chinchilla Retro)

Purchase Link - Here

Wave Game Studios continue their impressive run of Dreamcast releases – I believe it’s one a month! - with this, the physical version of Running With Scissors’ 1997 title, POSTAL.

The result of a post from Running With Scissors back in 2016 requesting that POSTAL get a Dreamcast port, a request taken up by Dan Redfield, of Chinchilla Retro – who has delivered here, an astonishingly smooth and rich experience, with the huge bonus of co-operative play that caters for up to four players – an impressive addition.

For those unfamiliar with the original game, POSTAL is effectively about a man going bonkers and shooting everyone in his way. At the time of release, there was a lot of controversy in regard to the games’ focus on slaughtering innocents for no reason, but that period was very much a time for people to get over-excitable for no real reason, especially in terms of video games. An isometric action game, the stages in POSTAL are completed by blasting away a set percentage of hostile enemies in each level, which then unlocks the exit. This release also gives you extra stages, bringing the total up to 22, meaning there’s plenty of carnage ahead of you.

The physical package -as with the recently covered Xenocider – comes with a full colour, glossy manual and is currently available in European and Japanese style case variants. The menus in the game cover a surprising amount of ground in how you wish to play, with several difficulty levels – that REALLY make a difference to the challenge – and separate control setups for different styles of controller, such as twin-stick controllers and even the Brook Wingman SD (which I’ve just looked up for the first time, and looks amazing).

I’m a supporter of flexibility in controller style, especially due to the limitations of the Dreamcast controller, that said – Dan Redfield has woven some serious magic here, and controlling Postal Dude always feels smooth, with certain buttons allocated for lock-on and full rotation shooting, so you always feel in control of the character. As mentioned above, the difficulty levels really have a major impact on play as well – with the easy mode allowing you to smash your way through the first half of the game pretty breezily, but bumping up to normal mode gives a cheeky kick to the challenge, requiring the use of tactical gameplay pretty much from the get-go, so this is certainly a title that caters for all skill levels.

The art style is quite eye-catching, most of the levels are dark and moody, with nice use of shadow, and the hand-drawn backgrounds, vehicles and environments give an almost graphic novel vibe and a personal touch. The music is minimal but blends well with the extremely dark loading screen artwork and diary entries. 

The simplistic goal of needing to kill everyone on a level in order to proceed means that POSTAL is an easy game to dive into for a couple of stages, the satisfying gunplay and weaponry keeping the core mechanic fun throughout. 

As mentioned above, a huge boon to this specific release is in how Chinchilla Retro have added co-op, with support for up to four players, this genre of game can often shine in multiplayer, and I can very much imagine having a few drinks and smashing through this in an evening with some friends,  as we did a few years ago with Crimsonland.

Following on from Wave Game Studios’ previous releases, Intrepid Izzy, Xenocider, and Flea! - it’s interesting to see that the first ported game has extras beyond the original release, not just delivering a faithful version that runs at a solid 60fps for fans of the original, but adding in more that will assist in terms of longevity and accessibility.

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