I reported a while back that, after trying out dozens of games with it, I've discovered another game that uses the motion sensors in the Fishing controller, and while Soul Calibur's fishing compatibility had been known by a select few since it's release (see the review of the game in Official Dreamcast magazine #2), as far as I know no one has never uncovered this one, and you smack yourself other the head like I did when you see what it is, especially as we could have known about this SEVEN years ago...
Yes, Virtua sodding tennis. With motion controls. In the year 2000. I kid you not.
"So what you're saying", I bet you're asking, "is that we could of been playing Wii tennis seven years ago?". In a sense, YES. Now, I was testing my way through though as many games as I could one night for a laugh to see what would maybe work, and while most didn't work at all, and others didn't work very well (most racing games will, using the reel, only let you move at 2 MPH) but then it hit me, what about Virtua Tennis? Like Soul Calibur, it's a game where all the buttons more or less do the same thing in different ways.
Lo and behold, it works like a charm. Swinging the rod in certain directions will do exactly that, and the speed of which you swing effects how hard you hit the ball. UNLIKE Wii Tennis, in which you could simply be lazy and shake the remote to hit the ball, giving the fishing rod a small shake will lob th ball (which is the B button normally). Also, UNLIKE Wii tennis you have control of your character and can move him around with the analogue stick on it. The best way to do this is to hold the rod in one hand, and keep your thumb on the stick. After a while it becomes second nature.
A disadvantage other Wii tennis however is comfort. While the Wii remote is a tiny, light, comfortable little thing with no wire, the Fishing controller is bigger, about twice as heavy, and not very compatible to grip (of course, I'm just going by the unofficial "fisson" controller I own so I'm not sure if the official Sega model is any better), so if you thought Wii tennis wore you out, this will bring some REAL PAIN to your wrist, especially as the game is less forgiving than Nintendo's counterpart. The thing also has a wire, so you wanna make sure that thing doesn't fly up and smack you in the face while playing.
So here's a quick summary:
Wii Tennis: Forgiving sensitivity, so can be played without to much welly.
Virtua Tennis: Unforgiving sensitivity,makes you really swing that rod hard.
Wii Tennis: Character movement? We do that shit for you!
Virtua Tennis: You have a thumb stick don't you? Get to work!
Wii Tennis: Create custom character in the Mii Channel to play in-game, or play a generic Mii made by the CPU.
Virtua Tennis: Create custom character in the World Circuit mode to play in-game, or play as real-life pros (and Tim Henman).
Wii Tennis: Train your custom character up in mini games.
Virtua Tennis: Train your custom character up in mini games, championship tournaments, and buy new gear for him/her.
Wii Tennis: Deliberately simple graphics that do their job..
Virtua Tennis: Realistic characters and beautiful backdrops that still hold up well today.
It's pretty amazing just how much in common with the Wii Tennis game this has considering it was sitting there as a un-noticed feature since 2000. I sometimes wonder if Sega put in features like this and the Dance mat compatibility in Space Channel 5 on purpose, but kept these secrets to themselves for some twisted reason, and that they are probably burying their heads in shame for not taking these motion controls further after seeing the success Nintendo have had so far with them. Nintendo have, in a sense, taken the best elements of some of our favorite novel controllers: the gyro sensing of the fishing controller, the pointing features of a light gun (sort of), and the 3D-space recognition of those maracas. There are so many "what ifs" about the Dreamcast it keeps me awake at night sometimes (well, not really).
(Note: I'm guessing Virtua Tennis 2 can use the fishing controller too, but like so many copies of Virtua Striker 2 before it, it has mysteriously stopped working. It's not too scratched up or anything, it's just died. Unlike Virtua Striker though, this game as isn't easy to find cheap ;_;)
So why do you think I held off a few weeks to tell you this? Well, coursework aside, this video below is why. It's the first proper Video Feature for the Dreamcast Junkyard Video site! As Caleb has proved, hiding off screen and not making a peep is a boring way of showing of a game with motion controls, so for he first time, here is your hairy , spotty hunch-backed presenter the Gagaman (optional extra n), showing you how it's done! There's also a bonus piece of game play from another game using the fishing controller at the end. Sorry it's so long!
Speaking of Virtua Tennis with motion controls, take a look at these rather ridiculous optional Sixaxis controls for Virtua Tennis 3 on the Playstation 3. If you thought swinging about like a tennis racket looked daft, I can't even begin to imagine how deranged playing the game like this would be..