Pier Solar was a role playing game that was originally released for the 16bit Sega Mega Drive (and Mega CD) console back in 2010, yes you read that correct, it was released for 16bit console in a generation dominated by blockbuster HD graphics and online gaming. This wasn't some small scale fan project released as a ROM for Mega Drive emulators, no this was far bigger than that. Originally starting out as a humble fan project, the project kept growing and with the right team and expertise, it eventually shaped up to be a proper full fledged release for the Mega Drive.
The game itself was no amateur project by some fans with a lot of spare time, this was a full length role playing game with all the essential elements and more. The release itself was in a cartridge form, complete with an instruction manual and the official Mega Drive cartridge packaging. Not only the game was professionally produced, but it was released professionally as well. A commendable effort and release considering its humble origins.
Of course the game itself isn't very accessible, mainly because not everyone has a Mega Drive lying around the house anymore, not to mention a clunky retro television that supports it. Let's face it, as cool as it is to have a new 16bit cartridge video game see a release in this console generation, a game like Pier Solar deserves a much wider audience, as there are plenty of RPG fans today who would appreciate something like it regardless of whether or not they're into retro games and consoles. The developers obviously realized this as well, and so they've undertaken a new venture to bring Pier Solar to the modern gaming masses, in the form of a full HD conversion of the title.
The image above is the original 16bit version, which looks very impressive as there is certainly a lot of detail and color, really taking the old console to places it's never been. The HD conversion will be a far more ambitious undertaking, and it currently has a Kickstarter page that is having no trouble in attracting donations. The HD conversion looks really good and I've always wanted to play this game (I have a working Sega Saturn with me at the moment, not a Mega Drive). The image below is from the HD version.
The game is scheduled for a release in December 2013 for the Xbox Live Arcade (not as an indie release, but a proper release with Achievements support), PC, and even standard definition version for the Sega Dreamcast. Seeing new releases for the Dreamcast doesn't surprise me anymore, as the console continues to get new releases in the form of visual novels and 2D shooters (shmups), in fact the most recent 2D shooter release happened this year! But an epic role playing game for the Dreamcast in 2013? Now that's just so damn surreal and cool. I actually would love to see these guys release a version of Pier Solar for the Saturn someday, now that would send me into cloud 9.
The trailer for the HD version below gives plenty of information regarding the new project and a look back at the original release.
Check out the official webpage of Pier Solar, and the Kickstarter page for the HD version below.