Back in May 2012, a Kickstarter project was launched to finance a re-imagining/sequel of Dux. It was baptized Redux: Dark Matters and scheduled for a release on PSN, XBLA, Steam and iOS, and most importantly, Dreamcast. This last version was supposed to be limited to 1000 copies worldwide, and only available as a Kickstarter exclusive. The project reached and more than doubled its funding goal of $25,000 (it ended up at $53,121), with the support of 649 backers.
Unfortunately for me, I was one of them. Not only the December 2012 deadline was repeatedly pushed back with little to no information about the reasons for it, but the end product feels cheap, rushed and a step backwards compared to Dux 1.0.
So to sum this up, the biggest disappointment of Redux Dark Matters isn't the horribly managed Kickstarter campaign for which I pledged $ 100 and was treated by Hucast like an annoyance to be dispatched as quickly as possible, but the end-product quality which is overall appalling.
First thing first, the packaging of the Steelcase Special Edition is cheap and lacks any kind of attention to detail. The steelcase itself is very generic and only has a mere sticker on the front of the case with the name of the game. No cool artwork anywhere, nothing.
The inside of the steecase in even worse, with a poor 4 pages manual hanging loose and the almost defective CD holders which require a lot of effort and manipulations in order to seat the CDs in the case properly without damaging them. A nightmare.
Other than that, the poorly made sticker thanking Kickstarter backers is also on the same level of lameness. It must be noted that no mention to Kickstarter backers is made in the actual software, even in the end credits.
Moving on to the game itself now, Redux is a blurred fiasco which inexplicably screwed up the otherwise excellent visuals.
I tried the game on VGA, SCART RGB and regular composite, and let me tell you, there is no way around the blurry mess. I would advise playing the game on SCART RGB or VGA though because in composite, Redux is simply unplayable.
I do not comprehend how the product could be released in such a terrible state after being over a year late. This is beyond description.
The game itself is basically what Dux 1.5 should have been in the first place since it really only adds a very short 7 th stage, a useful graphical effect showing the range of your soaking bullets ability, redesigned ships and an overall tuned down difficulty level (like for instance, crashing onto backgrounds is now almost impossible because a lot of tolerance is allowed before you actually explode).
Hard mode includes a different ship and no pods, meaning no soaking ability and an exponential increase in the difficulty which is punishing because of the poor clarity of the graphics and because of the ridiculous hit box of the ship.
In short, Redux offers very little over and above Dux 1.0/ Dux 1.5.
Redux 1.1 - Update 02.06.2015
Around Feb / March 2015, Hucast offered a revised version of Redux called Redux 1.1 for € 5,60 including shipping to Redux backers. Redux 1.1 promised to fix the blurry graphics together with a boss-freeze bug. I never experienced the boss bug so I can't comment on that but regarding the visuals, I am happy to report that they have actually been fixed. I tried the game using VGA and the visuals are now a lot crisper.
Redux 1.1 sharper graphics make the game a whole lot better on the gameplay side as well. Tackling hard mode is now possible with the clearer visuals. For this improvement alone, Redux 1.1 is in my opinion probably worth like a 7/10.