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September 05, 2018 2 min read
Last year's sudden resurgence of Windjammers blew right over my head. I never owned a Neo Geo as a child, don't keep up with the crew at Giant Bomb, and am certainly not French. So when it reappeared in the spotlight last year, the news went in one ear and out the other. This was August and I couldn't really pay attention to some old game most people had never heard of before when I had a copy of White Day sitting on my PlayStation 4.
I figured I'd be content never bothering to try the game out and until PAX West weekend, that was true. It wasn't until I got a hands-on with its sequel that I realized what Giant Bomb and the nation of France had been raving about for all these years.
In a decent size hotel room not far from The Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Dotemu was giving the press an early look at two of its upcoming games. In years prior, we probably wouldn't have booked the appointment. Up until recently, Dotemu was only known for the various ports it had published over the years. In early 2017, it made its first stride toward the zeitgeist when it published Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, an absolutely stunning-looking remake of Wonder Boy III. It's a game I own for Switch and while I love the look of it, I don't particularly care for the actual gameplay.
After that, it ported Windjammers to the PlayStation 4 and Vita, putting a company on a path to where it is today. After years of dealing exclusively with the work of other developers and publishers, it would now start creating its own games from scratch, albeit without actually owning the rights to the game's they're creating. Nintendo revealed Windjammers 2 from Dotemu in an Indie Highlights reel on August 20, and several days later the publisher set the internet on fire when it announced it was developing Streets of Rage 4 alongside the team behind The Dragon's Trap.
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