March 27, 2014 12:30 AM | Lena LeRay
In 2010, WaterMelon Co. released Pier Solar and the Great Architects, a massive 16-bit RPG which was only available in physical form for Sega Genesis and Master Drive systems. At the end of 2012, WaterMelon ran a successful Kickstarter allowing them to finish development of an HD version which is to be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStaton 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Android, Ouya, Windows/Mac/Linux, and Sega Dreamcast. It's been announced that the game is coming out sometime in the second quarter of 2014, and WaterMelon is now taking pre-orders for physical editions of the game and accepting beta applicants.
Pier Solar is a classic turn-based RPG built from the ground up starting in 2004. The project grew in scale until it reached 50+ hours of gameplay and over 800 NPCs. Over time, they've added localizations into several languages, with Japanese being added as one of the stretch goals for the Kickstarter project.
The standard definition version of Pier Solar, having been made for 16-bit systems, was entirely pixelated. For this HD version, they've opted to update the graphics by mixing pixelated elements with HD painted background art. You can see how well things mesh together in the video above, but there are some direct still comparisons on the original Kickstarter project page.
WaterMelon is offering both physical and digital editions of Pier Solar, where applicable. They're taking preorders for the physical editions for PC and Dreamcast for $50, with Dreamcast versions available for three regions (USA, Europe, and Japan). The only thing the developer will say about digital prices is that they will be "announced on release", but since the physical versions are currently priced $5 higher than the equivalent tiers were in their Kickstarter, it seems reasonable to think that the digital versions are likely to be around $20. The soundtrack will also be available for digital purchase at an undisclosed price.
People interested in beta testing Pier Solar HD can apply online. They're asking for information on things like what languages applicants can speak, their computer specifications, how many hours they can dedicate to testing and whether or not they have prior beta testing experience.