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Showing posts with label Test Drive Cycles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Test Drive Cycles. Show all posts

Start your engines - a Dreamcast Test Drive Cycles prototype could be released soon!

The internet is still reeling from the epoch-making news that the long lost Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might & Magic III has finally been dumped, but the potential releases of lesser-spotted cancelled Dreamcast titles don't stop there. The same collector who released Heroes has now started a Go Fund Me in order to release Infogrames' canned motorcycle racer Test Drive Cycles.

As you can see from the footage uploaded to YouTube by FatalistDC (below), Test Drive Cycles for Dreamcast is barely a game in truth - there's only one playable course and it is very early, and is thus full of graphical glitches and bugs. That said, it's still cool to see yet another game dragged back out of the abyss and now tantalisingly close to being dumped online.


The story of Test Drive Cycles is a familiar one. It was released for the Game Boy Color as a full retail game, but the PlayStation, PC and Dreamcast versions were all scrapped in mid 2000 according to Wikipedia. No real reason is given, but it probably came down to money in the end - there's no evidence to suggest the Dreamcast would have had any issues playing what looks to be a fairly bog standard arcade racer; unlike with Heroes of Might & Magic III, which was apparently cancelled due to technical limitations of the Dreamcast hardware.
As a motorcylist in real life, I'm always keen to see any digital recreation of the act of riding bikes - especially so it they also involve the Dreamcast in some way. That said, the very early nature of Test Drive Cycles doesn't fill me with too much enthusiasm. It's doing some interesting things - I especially like the  rear view mirrors effect employed...but there just doesn't really seem to be a lot to do in this prototype as is (although the way the rider appears in various bizarre seating positions after a crash is probably worth the entry fee alone!).
The GoFundMe for the release of the Test Drive Cycles is set at a rather modest €160 and is similarly being run by Jan Baumgartner - the same man responsible for the Heroes of Might & Magic III campaign and also the awesome CF modded Dreamcast we reviewed a while back.

Are you intrigued by this Test Drive Cycles prototype? Willing to chuck some cash at the GoFundMe to get your hands on it? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Hark! The lost Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might and Magic III could be released soon...

Heroes of Might and Magic III is another one of those PC ports us Dreamcast owners were promised back in the day, but which was then pulled from release lists and chucked into the big wheelie bin in the sky. As with any wheelie bin, this hypothetical trash receptacle was raided and the contents squirrelled away into a private collection. And there Heroes of Might and Magic III stayed for several years until Dreamcast collector FatalistDC purchased it for $600 back in 2005.

For those not in the know, Heroes of Might and Magic III is a turn based strategy game that features armies of the fantasy/Medieval persuasion, lots of knights of the realm and horses and stuff. And probably trumpets. And shields. Oh, and knaves. Probably.
It transpires that FatalistDC is now looking to release this long lost Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might and Magic III, and is about to launch a fundraiser in order to do so. This is most probably because he paid $600 for the disc in the first place and while this is likely to incense some people, we'd rather see a fundraiser than see the disc go back into another private collection.

Update: the fundraiser is now live on GoFundMe, with a target of €250.

All things considered, the Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might and Magic III is - not unlike Ron Burgundy - kind of a big deal, and is one of those mythical cancelled games that hitherto has never seen the light of day. Here's some Dreamcast gameplay FatalistDC uploaded to YouTube:


The game FatalistDC is looking to release is actually a beta version and as such isn't 100% complete and not totally free of the odd bug (random crashes and freezes), but for many Dreamcast fans the opportunity to get their hands on yet another 'lost' game is a pretty exciting prospect, regardless of how complete the build is.
The full story of this potential release can be read over at the Obscure Gamers forum, and you can find the fundraiser at GoFundMe. There's also talk of FatalistDC releasing a very early build of the similarly 'lost' Test Drive Cycles, which will apparently also be released following a fundraiser. More on that when it happens, though.

Thanks go to Jan Baumgartner, creator of the Compact Flash-modded Dreamcast, for this information.

Will you be backing this fundraiser? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.