Showing posts with label KenJu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KenJu. Show all posts

Lost Atomiswave fighter KenJu ported to Dreamcast

The number of Atomiswave games ported to the Dreamcast continues to grow, and one of the latest offerings from developer megavolt85 over at Dreamcast-Talk is one we thought deserved a bit of attention. 

KenJu is a 3D fighting game from DreamFactory which was intended for release on Sammy's arcade system, but was apparently cancelled before it could be launched into brick and mortar arcades. The KenJu story has a happy ending though, as you can now get a glimpse at this fairly enigmatic polygonal scrapper either on actual Dreamcast hardware or via emulation! Here's a video of some (ham-fisted) gameplay by yours truly:

There's not a great deal known about KenJu, other than it was in development by DreamFactory (of Tobal No. 1 fame), who for unknown reasons decided not to release the game and consign it to the dustbin of history. Until now, that is. As far as I can ascertain, KenJu was due to hit arcades in 2005 before it mysteriously vanished without trace. KenJu did resurface in 2016 when a collector of Atomiswave boards released footage of it running, and then it slipped back into obscurity once more. The game has a fairly appealing visual style, with psuedo cel-shaded polygonal characters fighting in some nice looking 3D arenas.

The general consensus is that KenJu looks a little like Project Justice: Rival Schools 2, but for me that's pretty much where the similarities end. It has some interesting characters and plays pretty well, but it seems to be missing that certain something...which may hint at the reasons for why it was quietly canned. That said, it's quite good fun and the fact that the Dreamcast is able to recreate the game so flawlessly opens up the door for even more ambitious Atomiswave games such as Premier Eleven. Who thought we'd ever see the day the Dreamcast got a decent footy (soccer) game?!

It's worth noting that as with the other Atomiswave to Dreamcast ports released so far, KenJu is only available as a GDI file, so you'll need some additional hardware to play it on an actual Dreamcast. Personally, I had no joy getting the game to run under either DreamShell or RetroDream using both a Compact Flash modded system or an SD Card reader via the Dreamcast's serial port. It did however run using a GDEMU, so you may want to give that method a go if you're determined to play KenJu on original (well, original modded) hardware. That minor hiccup aside, KenJu seems to be perfectly playable and also mostly complete.

If you'd like to download the game for yourself, visit the Dreamcast-Talk forum thread here. Huge thanks once again to megavolt85 and other forum members who not only continue to expand the Dreamcast collection, but are also preserving some of the Atomiswave's most intriguing and lesser known titles.

Have you played KenJu on your Dreamcast or on an emulator? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Cancelled Atomiswave Fighter KenJu Discovered

This is only very tenuously related to the Dreamcast, so apologies if it offends your eyes. That said, Ross recently posted an awesome analysis of the Atomiswave here and Sammy's arcade hardware is linked loosely to the Dreamcast and I won't lose any sleep over it. What am I on about? Well, it looks as though a long lost Atomiswave arcade fighter has been discovered. As reported on both the Assembler Games forums and hardcore fighting game site Shoryuken, 3D fighter KenJu was in development by Ehrgeiz and Tobal No1 creator DreamFactory before it dropped off the radar and was never seen again. Details on how the game was discovered by collector ShouTime are a little hazy, but we're not really that bothered - it's just cool to see yet another forgotten title come to light.

As you can see from the video, KenJu is aesthetically very similar to Capcom's Project Justice Rival Schools 2, and the stage demonstrated in the clip is uncannily reminiscent of the sports arena seen in the aforementioned high school-based brawler. Twelve interesting characters appear to be available to the player initially, and it's probably safe to assume that more would become playable after meeting certain gameplay milestones. Visuals appear to be pseudo cel-shaded and on the whole it looks to be quite a competent entry into the genre. There doesn't appear to be much information online regarding KenJu or the reasons for the game's cancellation, but we're sure you'll agree it's very cool to see hitherto unknown games still coming to light.