Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Seven Years Too Late.

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..


27 comments:

fatherkrishna said...

WOW! WOW! and double WOW! again!
this nugget of DC/Wii information was well worth the wait!

Are you 100% sure this is valid? It's no maraca/baseball wrong turn?

Jeez this is the only thing that could have possibly picked me up after Liverpool's unjust defeat in Athens! god love you Gagaman(n)!

Hurrah Dreamcast! Hurrah Gagaman(n)!

The GagaMan(n) said...

I'm glad to say that no, this is certainly no mistake. I think the video proves how well your movements are recreated in the game.

Hmm, that makes me wonder if that Baseball game would work with the fishing controller...I'll go find out me thinks!

fatherkrishna said...

Holy Motion Sensors Batman!
Wow! I posted even BEFORE I watched the video!

Jeez! If I did not own a Wii I wouldn't even bother buying one!

I'm totally sold!

All hail the Undead Console! All hail the G'Man(n)!

fatherkrishna said...

This is gonna be all over Youtube any second now!

Good work G-Man(n)!

Excellent stuff!

:)

The GagaMan(n) said...

Just tried out the baseball game: It's a no go. The batter just gets stuck in a pose that makes it impossible to swing the bat even with the buttons. Never mind!

fatherkrishna said...

True brilliance!

There could have been no better distraction from tonight's proceedings!

I'm trundling off to bed a TRULY happy man!

The GagaMan(n) said...

You must of enjoyed it, as you posted about it 4 times in a row XD

Caleb said...

This is the most awesome video game video I have seen in awhile.

Thanks for the shout out!

I can't believe it. I mean I HAVE a copy of tennis 2k2 and I never thought to test this out! Why didn't anyone ever think of this!!!?!?!?!??!

Great video!

Australians are almost English!

NebachadnezzaR said...

I bet right now we're all thinking the same: why the hell did this passed unnoticed to this very day (i mean, month, year, whatever...)?

I mean, if there where people trying the fishing controller with a fighting game (!) why not try it with a tennis game, were the controller could be the racket?

Anyway, gagaman(n), you're "teh man", the dreamcast demigod that made father k happy again xD (and no with a face). Without you the world would be a sadder place...

And by the way, because of the pictures you posted of your collection i immediately recognised the cd cabinet behing you. :)

The GagaMan(n) said...

Oh yes, linked to on UK:Resistance! I've waited for this day to come! Get ready for all the "sad git" comments!

Caleb said...

What a bleddin' sodden' 'git ye are!

(How was my English accent?)

Bloody Hell!

gnome said...

As Father so eloquently put it... WOW!

MFMGW said...

TECHNOLOGY!

Sooty68 said...

No offence guys but it's not a select few that know about Soul Calibur, 7 years ago it was the majority of us.

Plus, why do people need to be told before they try something. The day the fishing rod came out me and a mate tried all my DC games with it. Quite a few were playable while some worked extremely well.

Dreamcast Master said...

Sooty why on earth did you have to spoil his bit of fun???

People like you should be shot with shit...

A lot of people did NOT know about Soul Caliber so why dont you go and sit in your room and cry because no one likes you , you festering pile of shit.Shove your rod up your arse.....I cant stand people who have to spoil a party ....daft get

BIG respect for finding out about tennis.......Keep up the good work and thank you for making me get my rod out !!! :)

Graham Atkinson and his gammy hand said...

Yeah sooty why dont you act like your puppet counterpart and not talk or post this sort of crap on the net....

We love these tips....so why dont you go and die you stupid little cock head

The GagaMan(n) said...

Sooty: because if they're not told, there's a very, very, very small chance they'll try it out? One of our aims here at the Junkyard is to bring up things many people will have not thought about: for example, many people don't even realize that the DC memory cards can have games downloaded onto them, stuff like this.

The fishing controller features could have only of been known to a "majority" if it was, say, a feature mentioned in the manual, and even then not many people could get their hands on the darn things when they first came out. All there was to indicate the feature in Soul Calibur was the odd magazine bringing it up.

If this was a feature was a major selling point on the box, people would of snapped those things up, there would of been more demand and hell, maybe other developers would pick up on it and base their games around it. Hense, we may of even had motion sensitive games much earlier (for example, the Gamecube could of been what the Wii is now? Just a thought.)

fatherkrishna said...

Wow! I knew this post would bring a few peeps out of the wood work!

As far as I'm concerned Sooty is a little mean spirited. There seems to be a certain type of person who just feels the need to smugly assert their 'superior' knowledge.

If Sooty had this knowledge prior to the post, why did we not know about the Dreamcast's Wii tennis potential from him?

Gagaman(n) 1 Sooty 0

;)

Tomleecee said...

wow - excellent post there GM, and extra kudos for actually putting a video of yourself on the net - that takes balls! lol

MA7 said...

That's fantastic! Good work that man :)

Dreamcast forevaaaaaa!!! etc etc

The GagaMan(n) said...

Hey, I've found another article from a French blog with a new video featuring this Virtua Tennis feature, along with the controller being used (vaguely) with Ready 2 Rumble! http://smallurl.co.uk/?1193

Jem said...

To be honest it was common knowledge quite a few years ago that Virtua Tennis worked with the fishing controller. I think the point that 'Sooty68' was trying to make was that the blogger seems to imply that this is a completely new discovery when it isn't.

Fair play to the poster though, as it publicizes what is a very neat feature.

Jem said...

Evidence: http://tinyurl.com/23525y

Again, though, well done for bringing it back to prominence.

Anonymous said...

WTF how can Nintendo be "7 years too late" when there was the Power Glove for NES?

And as for Aussie being like you Poms? Hell to that.

Ahh Brits... Your brains are as rotten as your teeth.

Anonymous said...

stunning discovery m8, I'm gonna try it out in a mo, since I own both virtua tennis, and the fishing rod :))))))))))))

ericss2009 said...

"WTF how can Nintendo be "7 years too late" when there was the Power Glove for NES?"

First, Nintendo didn't invent the Power Glove, it was a licensed third party accessory.

Second, the Power Glove was NOT the first motion sensitive video game accessory, you IGNORANT. Those were the Pantomation and the Smartland SL 6401, which came out a decade earlier.

Kamakazi20012 said...

Some people just can't tolerate the DC getting some impressive spotlight finds.

I used to have both before a divorce cost me all my gaming gear. I have since managed to get back most of it, but it has become hard to find Dreamcast games and accessories but I did find a console with a controller. As soon as I can locate the fishing controller again, I'll be giving this a try with a football helmet on.