Showing posts with label Konami. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Konami. Show all posts

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection heads to Dreamcast

Image credit: k-do / Dreamquest

For those few people who frequent this blog who are not also members of the awesome Dreamcast-Talk forums, allow me to say this: you are missing a trick. See, so many interesting and cool Dreamcast-related projects are borne out of those hallowed threads that it's actually pretty hard to keep up; and I start this post in a such a manner that I might give full and unadulterated credit where it is due. To wit: this is a tale which starts life over at the aforementioned forum - Dreamcast coding legend Ian Micheal is porting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection to the Dreamcast. Sort of.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection released on current gen systems in the recent past and is essentially a potted history of the heroes in a half shells' Konami-developed titles from the late 1980s through to the mid 1990s. Perhaps a little disgruntled that this trip through the halcyon days of the Turtles' domination of arcades and home consoles isn't officially Dreamcast-bound, Ian Micheal has turned his considerable talents to cramming a handful of 8 and 16-bit Turtles titles onto a Dreamcast disc, complete with a proper front end selection screen, music, VMU compatibility and even a few original Dreamcast-specific extras for good measure.

It's still a work in progress and while the project will fetaure SNES, NES, Megadrive and Gameboy titles, Ian has expressed that Gameboy Advance games will not be included due to the Dreamcast's ability to emulate said system being lacklustre: "No GBA games - please don't ask again! I don't want crap running. Not even I can make a GBA emulator worth a shit run well enough..." And to be fair - he's not wrong. Quality over quantity and all that.

No word yet on when The Cowabunga Collection will release on Dreamcast, but like the Technodrome, we'll be keeping one massive mechanical eye on the Dreamcast-Talk thread, and so should you. You can also find more videos of different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games from the collection running on Dreamcast over at Ian Micheal's YouTube Channel.

Castlevania: Resurrection playable build finally released online!

If you've been keeping an eye on the internet in the last month or so, you will be very aware about the discovery of the long thought lost Dreamcast Castlevania entry, Castlevania Resurrection. This game from Konami is one of the most infamous 'lost' games for the Dreamcast, and the internet was understandably psyched to learn that it truly did exist after all these years of speculation!

As is usual with a lot of these game preservation cases, there were concerns that the GD-ROM containing this undumped game would fall into the wrong hands, and when an eBay auction went up and started racking up hefty bids, all was thought to be lost. But in the early hours of this morning, Dreamcast preservationist Comby Laurent messaged us to let us know the news we all wanted to hear: he has communicated with the owner of the original GD-ROM and with the assistance of a team, has worked to release the game files onto the internet for us all to experience for ourselves! Check out some gameplay footage from us below. It's finally here!

It turns out that this demo was originally intended for distribution to journalists and VIPs at E3 only, which is why this release is known as the "E3 Pre-Demo". For some fascinating details about this game and its release online, check out Comby's page. Comby and his team has compiled an archive that contains not only the original GD-R dump in raw format, but also many playable formats, such as a CDI - allowing you to burn the game to a CD-R and play it on your Dreamcast - or alternatively a miniaturised GDI for those of us out there rocking something like the GDEMU or MODE. For those without access to real hardware, playing on an emulator is of course also an option. You can download Castlevania: Resurrection by clicking the link below. Have fun! 

Download Castlevania: Resurrection (E3 Pre-Demo)

Castlevania: Resurrection playable build discovered!

Castlevania: Resurrection is one of the most infamous 'lost' games for the Dreamcast - a hi-res 3D update of Konami's beloved vampire-slaying, castle exporing gothic horror series, built from the ground up for Sega's (then) new system. Back in the early days of the Dreamcast's life, screenshots were shown off in magazines and the hype train had left the station and was pelting along nicely...but then said train entered a tunnel and disappeared - much like Konami's support for Sega's system (well, outside of Track & Field, Deadly Skies, Pop 'n Music and, erm, The Grinch).

Recently though, after an investigation by renowned Dreamcast detective Comby Laurent (incidentally the same person who discovered the Agartha demo a few years ago), a video has appeared on YouTube titled 'Castlevania Resurrection Exists!,' which shows that yes...Castlevania: Resurrection indeed exists in playable form. Uploaded by a user by the name of cvr exists (obviously), it shows various portions of the game, along with a sort of debug menu of sections that are playable. Here's the video:

Now, it being pretty close to early April at the current time I was a little skeptical when I first learned of this video (which at the time of writing is about 10 minutes ago - thanks for interrupting my Snow Runner session, Lewis), but having watched it several times I can see no reason to think it isn't entirely genuine. The use of a Dreamcast System Disc 2 to boot a GD-R, plus the familiar hand written text on the Castlevania: Resurrection disc, along with a fairly consistent all looks legit. Plus, y'know, the guy is actually playing the game on the screen, with a controller and all that. So yeah.

Like other previously long lost games for the Dreamcast recently being brought to the fore, this is what might be considered something of a big deal for preservationists and gamers alike. Least of all because for the last 20 years Castlevania: Resurrection was thought to be nothing more than a concept; thought to be pure fugazi - nothing more than a collection of mock-up screens and thin air. This video shows it is not, and boy we cannot wait for this thing to be dumped online! Thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

Title image courtesy of Castlevania Crypt, main source Sega Dreamcast Info by Comby Laurent.

A Quick Look At Nightmare Creatures II

Every console library has its fair share of stinkers, and the Dreamcast is no different. For every Shenmue or Soul Calibur, there's an equal and opposite Spirit of Speed 1937 or Urban Chaos. As demonstrated by this continued, ill-advised usage of Newton's third law as a literary device, for every experience that propels you toward the very zenith of gameplay, graphics and sound design coming together in a crescendo of mind-bending brilliance; there's a nadir waiting to bring you back down to Earth with a city-crushing bump. Ladies and gentlemen allow me to present Nightmare Creatures II, a game so fist-clenchingly bad that it's almost comical.
As Dreamcast fans we spend an inordinate amount of time remembering the good aspects of the console and lamenting at its untimely demise. Just like when you sit and reminisce about how much fun you had during your school days, it's all too easy to filter out the bad stuff. So you selectively forget all the times you got bad marks in an exam, had to walk home in the rain, got detention for something you didn't do, or had a fight with your best mate; but recall all the laughs, sunny field trips and just how comparatively easy life was back then as a care-free school kid. The same is true with Dreamcast fandom - we all remember the Shenmues, Power Stones, Soul Caliburs et al...and we quickly forget that the Dreamcast played host to a hell of a lot of shit too.
You know you're in for a treat when the pre-rendered loading screens
are full of pixellation.
One of the main culprits here were the sloppy PlayStation ports that made no attempt to harness the extra power of Sega's newer hardware, and were simply put out in an attempt to boost sales figures. Don't get me wrong - there are a ton of exemplary PlayStation to Dreamcast ports that really enhance the base game: Soul Reaver is one such game that immediately springs to mind. But there were far more that were just simple, bare bones ports that really offered no real advantages over the original versions. Ducati World, any of the Disney movie tie ins, Star Wars Jedi Power Battles, Evil Dead...the list goes on; and sitting right at the top of that fetid, putrid pile is Nightmare Creatures II.

A Quick Look At Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu

Of all the popular American sports, ice hockey is probably my favourite. I know other countries (including the UK) play ice hockey and have domestic leagues, but for me the NHL is the go-to for fast, ice-based violence/fun; and the similarities it shares with soccer make it quite easy for me to enjoy. There are two teams, two goals, two goalkeepers, and a thing that needs to be put past said 'keeper to score a point. Simple.
At the other end of the spectrum, NFL - or American Football - is the least penetrable to me. To my stupid foreign eyes it looks like a chaotic mishmash of rugby and Gaelic football, two other sports I have very little interest in. Sandwiched betwixt these extremes like two slabs of pastrami are basketball and baseball. Basketball is alright, but it just seems like the teams take it in turn to score (yawn), and baseball is just rounders with a bigger bat and 90,000 screaming drunks lining the field (probably). Oh, and there was a film starring Kevin Costner about it once. I think it was called The Postman. But I digress.