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Showing posts with label Unreleased Dreamcast Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unreleased Dreamcast Games. Show all posts

Where Are They Now? Official UK Dreamcast Magazine's '100+ New Games'

Who remembers the July 2000 issue of Official UK Dreamcast Magazine (Issue 09)? The cover was adorned with its usual demo disc, sporting demos for Resident Evil CODE: Veronica, Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding and Silver (plus an interactive tour of the Dreamarena website), but rather than a single game gracing the front as usual, brown paper was torn away to reveal the headline ‘100+ New Games: Exclusive shots and insider information the the games you’ll be playing for the next year… and beyond!’

This was a bold, simple cover, aiming to reassure readers that things were all good in the world of Dreamcast, that many new games were on the horizon. Of course we all know how this story ends, but at the time we were still over 6 months away from the announcement of the DC’s discontinuation and the PlayStation 2 was already out in Japan. With more and more people choosing to wait for the launch of Sony’s sophomore system in Europe, sales were slowing and confidence was starting to wane.

I recall at the time that the issue did its job. I picked it up ostensibly for the CODE: Veronica demo disc, having only just gotten a Dreamcast myself, but the promise of so many new games on the horizon certainly shored up my belief that the Dreamcast was going to be around for some time to come. Hindsight is 20/20 though, right? Sigh...

Looking at the issue while doing my continued research for ‘Dreamcast: Year Two,’ almost 22 years after it was first published, I found the most interesting thing about the ‘100+ New Games’ feature to be the stats. You see, readers, I took it upon myself to start a spreadsheet and list every single game mentioned in the 22 pages of this feature (written by Ed Lomas, Warren Chrismas and Steve Owen - Ed even mentions it in my interview with him for ‘Dreamcast: Year One’). I then worked out which of the mentioned games actually released on Dreamcast, which of them released in PAL territories, if any of them were released elsewhere and whether any that didn’t release on Dreamcast had any sort of playable version in existence today.

I’ll end this piece with a link to the spreadsheet for you, but first those sexy stats. Check out this bullet-pointed list of factoids that stand out all these years later:

  • In actuality the feature mentions 153 games, although only 99 are given their own sections (of various sizes). The other 54 are listed on one page under the title ‘And There’s More...’. These were games known of, but not seen by the ODM team.
  • Of those 153 games, 104 saw a Dreamcast release.
  • 17 of the released games were home platform exclusives, meaning they never saw release on any platform besides Dreamcast or in arcades. These are: NBA 2K1, POD: Speedzone, Illbleed, Sonic Shuffle, Super Runabout, Outtrigger, WWF: Royal Rumble, Alien Front Online, Tokyo Highway Challenge 2, Magic: The Gathering, Cannon Spike, Max Steel: Covert Missions, NFL 2K1, Super Magnetic Neo, D2, Floigan Brothers and Draconus: Cult Of The Wyrm. Who says the Dreamcast has no exclusives?!
  • 17 of the released games never ended up being released in PAL territories. These were: NBA 2K1, Illbleed, Sega Marine Fishing, World Series Baseball 2K1, Prince Of Persia: Arabian Nights, Alien Front Online, Magic: The Gathering, Seaman, Bang! - Gunship Elite, NFL Blitz 2001, Max Steel: Covert Missions, NFL 2K1, D2, Namco Museum, Demolition Racer: No Exit, Frogger 2, and Ms Pac-Man: Maze Madness.
  • Evolution 2 was very nearly a Dreamcast exclusive, apart from a PC port released only in Taiwan.
  • Of the 49 games from the feature that never saw release on the DC, 10 never saw the light of day on a home system at all (though Jambo! Safari and Brave Firefighters were released to arcades).
  • A fair few of those that never saw release were due on both DC and PC, but a heist game titled Picassio started development on Dreamcast before moving to PS2 and finally GameCube before being shelved. The only one we know was only ever destined for Dreamcast in this list was Take The Bullet.
  • The other 39 games originated on other systems or were eventually released on other platforms.
  • Of the unreleased games in the ‘100+ New Games’ feature, 4 have some kind of version playable on Dreamcast today. You can download a fully working version of Half-Life thanks to review copies that were sent out before the completed game was ultimately pulled. Versions of Take The Bullet and Heroes of Might & Magic III have been found over the years, in various guises, though neither game is complete or fully playable. Colin McRae Rally 2.0 is known to have a version that is around 30% complete, though this isn’t available to the public (our own Tom Charnock was able to give it a go though).
  • There are some games with either limited or no information known, such as Legend Of The Blade Masters, M.O.U.T.: Urban Warfare 2025 and Gorkamorka. It’d be great to find out more about titles like these.

These are just games listed in one article too. We know there are many more games that were due to arrive on the Dreamcast but never did, however it’s very interesting to take a look back in time and see what might have been had the console's lifespan not come to such an abrupt end.

See the full list of games mentioned in ‘100+ New Games’ via this link, or grab the PDF of the magazine (which we used to recreate some of the feature pages) here, and let us know which of them you would like to have seen come to fruition in the comments. If you have any information about any of these ‘lost’ games too, please hit us up!

New Dreamcast Prototype Found: Panic World

If you've had your eye on the Dreamcast community as of late, you'll probably agree with us in saying that 2021 is definitely the year of Dreamcast prototypes.

The latest unreleased game to enter our collective attentions comes courtesy of Mike Mika, the studio head at the California-based game studio Digital Eclipse. Last night, Mike tweeted a string of tweets that I presume came about as a result of him looking through a treasure trove of Sega stuff. The tweet that peeked everybody's attention, however, was one of a GD-R for a mysterious unreleased game 'Panic World.' "What is Panic World for Dreamcast?," asked Mike (source). Unlike many other legendary unreleased Dreamcast titles, this is one that we've never heard of before. Much speculation occurred as a result. Was it somehow related to Hello Kitty: Garden Panic? Maybe the unreleased Sega puzzler Aqua Panic? Many people hoped it was some kind of sequel to the trippy-as-hell point-and-click title Panic! for Sega CD. Basically, we were all pretty eager for Mike to answer his own question for us.
Luckily, Mike had a System Disc 2, which would allow him to boot the GD-R up on a normal Dreamcast. A few hours later, Panic World was unveiled to the world, for the first time ever. 

Turns out Panic World was a 2D puzzle game (in the vein of something like Tetris Attack) that Digital Eclipse had been developing for Dreamcast that had reached the prototype phase. Mike shared some gameplay footage, then two screenshots of the title screen, as well as what appears to be a character select screen (source). It definitely looks like it could've been quite interesting. The game's aesthetic makes me think less of a Western-developed Dreamcast game, and more of one of the odd but fascinating titles that might have been released exclusively in Japan. Check the gameplay footage and screenshots below:


Rather amusingly, Mike's fellow Digital Eclipse colleague Chris Kohler tweeted "lol let's finish it and ship it" (link). While pretty obviously said in jest, we'd still like to see this game released and preserved in some manner, even if it's just a prototype for us to tinker with on a GDEMU to see what could've been. We're sure the community are already reaching out to Mike to see if he'll dump it online for us all to take a look at, so watch this space!

What do you think of this prototype? Does it look like something you might have enjoyed back in the day? Let us know in the comments below, or on our various social media pages!

Dee Dee Planet: Beta of Cancelled Dreamcast game Released Online!

Do you like ChuChu Rocket!? Of course you do. Anyone who has ever picked up a Dreamcast controller enjoys Sonic Team's insane grid-based space mouse puzzler. It's a classic, and for some, was an introduction into online console gaming. But not everyone is aware that ChuChu was actually supposed to be the first in a series of Dreamcast network-enabled games. The second game, Dee Dee Planet was actually completed by developer Dori Dock and ready to be released, but due to a bug in the online mode, was unfortunately cancelled at the last second. Ever since then, it has remained yet another intriguing mystery in the Dreamcast's (never-ending, it seems) legacy.

PC's photo of the GD-R. Nice Ultimate Collector's Guide in the background!

But thanks to the hard work of one of the Dreamcast scene's biggest stalwarts, and our good buddy, PCWzrd13, the final beta for the game has been found. PC spent a long time trying to find anyone who worked on Dee Dee Planet, and after a long search, was able to contact an individual in Japan (who won't be named for legal reasons) involved with the game. This person intended to send PC a GD-R containing the beta a year ago, but those plans were delayed due to the pandemic. But we're now a year on, and PC finally has the disc in his possession. And yes, it's been dumped online for you all to enjoy!

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.

Streets of Rage 4 is out now...but do you remember the cancelled Dreamcast version?

Streets of Rage 4 has finally hit the...er...streets, and it absolutely rocks. The 2D scrolling beat 'em up genre has played host to some fairly decent pretenders to the throne in recent years (Wulverblade is probably the best of the bunch), but nothing has really ever come close to knocking Sega's iconic franchise off the top spot. Until now that is. And it is quite ironic that the latest instalment of Streets of Rage is not only that game, but arguably the best in the series yet.
Sublime visuals, nostalgic nods to the original games, superlative controls and addictive as hell gameplay. The music isn't bad either, with lots of toe tapping techno tunes and deep bass lines accompanying the ass-kicking action. But did you know the original Streets of Rage 4 was intended to launch on the Dreamcast? A tech demo is all that remains of Dreamcast Streets of Rage 4 (see the video below), and our friends over at SEGABits showed off some interesting concept artwork a few years ago (also pictured below).


Streets of Rage 4 for Dreamcast never saw the light of day beyond this tech demo though, and some may say that's a good thing. 3D polygonal beat 'em ups did come to the Dreamcast in the form of Zombie Revenge, Soul Fighter and Cannon Spike et al, but they didn't really set the world alight. We'll never know if Dreamcast Streets of Rage 4 could have bucked that trend, but from these images and video it looks like Sega were toying with the idea of implementing features such as co-op combo moves for multiplayer, and even a first person mode.
This tech demo has never been leaked online, and we don't even know if there's actually a playable build; but it's still interesting to see what Sega had in mind for the then-dormant franchise on the 128-bit system after it totally skipped the Saturn. The fact that Fighting Force almost became a Streets of Rage game makes us breath a deep sigh of relief, too. Urgh. As it stands, the actual real Streets of Rage 4 is out now on all platforms and is truly a great continuation of the series from Dotemu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games. I would suggest you snap it up asap and indulge your inner vigilante post haste!
Have you picked up Streets of Rage 4? What are your thoughts on this latest instalment of the franchise that rocked a million Megadrives back in the day? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

The lost Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might and Magic III has been released!

We recently covered the fundraiser that was set up to release the long lost Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might and Magic III for the Dreamcast. If you're not sure what that last sentence even means, here's an info dump: Heroes of Might and Magic III was a best-selling PC strategy game featuring a fantasy setting in which players could command armies across a vast campaign and was scheduled for a Dreamcast release back in the early 2000s before Sega ditched the Dreamcast, everything was cancelled and the entire house burnt down...or so you might think.

According to the developer it was actually because the game was too big for the Dreamcast system to handle:

"Heroes of Might and Magic III was not canceled because the Dreamcast was discontinued or anything, but because it failed due to the technical limitations. The game was technically too big for the Dreamcast, and since 3DO / NewWorldComputing and thus Ubisoft only wanted to see it published as a 1:1 conversion on the Dreamcast, eventually a point was reached at which the Dreamcast was basically just technically overwhelmed."

Read the full thread at Dreamcast Talk here. Regardless, Heroes of Might and Magic III was once categorised as one of the most famous 'lost' Dreamcast games - of which there are many - but now, thanks to the awesome Dreamcast community, it is now available to sample (in beta form, that is).
This is down to the work of Dreamcast collector and YouTuber FatalistDC and Dreamcast expert Jan Baumgartner. We salute them both, naturally. After a small fundraiser (which was achieved, again due to the Dreamcast community), Heroes of Might and Magic III has been dumped online after 20 years in the wilderness. And you, dear reader, can download it and play it either in your actual Dreamcast console, or using an emulator. Unfortunatley, I'm unable to run the game myself through an emulator as I use an Apple Mac, and lxdream seems to have been abandoned (it doesn't run on Catalina); while ReDream doesn't recognise the GDI or CDI version. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Update: As the links previously featured in this article have since gone dead, please go to the Dreamcast Talk thread about this release to get all the latest links.
The Dreamcast Junkyard is but a messenger in this tale, and takes no kudos for this release. That all goes to FatalistDC, Jan and those who donated to the fundraiser on GoFundMe. Awesome work indeed, folks!
If I manage to get the game working, rest assured you'll get a post-mortem review very soon! Have you downloaded the game and played it? Have you got it to run in an emulator or on Dreamcast hardware? If so, what are your thoughts? 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.

Real Racer IX: Cancelled Game or Student Assignment?

I was browsing the hellscape of Reddit the other day, looking for something to frustrate me, when I found a rather interesting photo featuring demo footage of an unreleased Dreamcast game called Real Racer IX. Despite being tangled up in the antics of the Junkyard, I'd never heard of it. Not even a murmur. Real Racer IX never saw any kind of release, whether it be official or unofficial. All we have is the photograph below to serve as evidence of its existence.
This photo was taken during the Spring Tokyo Game Show of 2001, which was held from the 30th of March to the 1st of April. It shows a chap doing his best Wesley Snipes impression in a trendy leather jacket, as he plays the demo of Real Racer IX. Next to him, a much smarter-looking guy is watching him play. Obviously the assumption here is that the guy on the right was probably someone who had some kind of involvement with the development of the game, and was overseeing the demo booth. The game itself, like its name suggests, is a racing game, appearing to be of the long-distance running variety.
The gameplay onscreen shows a female athlete running down what looks like the longest, loneliest highway in existence. Despite the woman being the only runner on screen, the HUD shows a position counter of 6 out of 6, meaning there was bound to be a mob of computer opponents lurking somewhere around the corner ahead. The guy playing was probably just a bit rubbish.
Doing a reverse image search on the photo in question, I was led to one result: this old article on a Japanese gaming website called "Game Watch", detailing the Tokyo Game Show of Spring 2001. Browsing through, there's some bits about presentations from Nintendo (showing off the upcoming Game Boy Advance!), as well as Capcom and Konami, and it appears that Microsoft were gearing up to unleash their first ever game console into the Japanese video game market, with what looked like a pretty heavy advertising campaign, featuring Bill Gates holding a Burger in one hand and an Xbox controller in the other. This can be seen in the photo below, trapped under the most unphotogenic bowl of Ramen I've ever seen.
Relegated to the end of the article, is the only bit of Dreamcast-related information, and that is where we find the photo that prompted this entire search...

10 PC Games That Should Have Been Ported To Dreamcast...But Never Were

We've touched on this subject briefly in the not-too-distant past, but I thought it was worth revisiting with a proper article. What am I talking about? Why, PC to Dreamcast ports of course. It's no secret that the Dreamcast was held aloft as some form of chimera, a home gaming console that could host arcade-perfect conversions from the NAOMI cabinets, but also a console that could mimic a decent, medium specced gaming rig of the era.
Thanks to the inclusion of Windows CE elements, the Dreamcast was almost viewed as the perfect system to which PC games could be quickly and easily ported, and for a short time during the console's early life it looked like developers were lining up to complement their computer-based releases with a Dreamcast version as standard procedure. The addition of compatibility with Windows CE is quite an interesting subject in its own right, and as discussed in this CNET article from September 1999 Microsoft was hoping that the inclusion of the operating system would actually be a catalyst for more PC software being brought to the Dreamcast.

"Microsoft's new [Windows CE 2.0] development software may help get game developers back on track in bringing Windows CE-based games to Dreamcast. The toolkit is designed to simplify title development and conversions from other system platforms, Microsoft said. The toolkit also provides improved graphics performance and other multimedia effects.

"The suite provides faster data transfer between the development hardware and the Dreamcast console, while technology borrowed from web page development tools aids in the creation of customized games."
- CNET, September 1999

Granted, before the Dreamcast was even released PC hardware was technically a good deal more capable (Intel had already released a 450Mhz Pentium III processor by mid 1999, for example); but the power of Sega's fledgling system outstripped the contemporary consoles by several degrees of magnitude, and Windows CE compatibility hinted that uncompromised PC ports were set to be a reality for the first time.
"Equipped with a high-powered chip, modem, and other PC features, Sega's Dreamcast - like other gaming machines coming to market - can ostensibly duplicate, and even improve upon, many of the core functions of home PCs."
- CNET, September 1999

Initially this certainly appeared to be the case anyway, not least because of the keyboard and mouse peripherals, and a number of high profile PC games were given a decent crack of the whip on the Dreamcast. Titles like Hidden & Dangerous brought a level of strategy to consoles that hadn't really been seen before, and Speed Devils showed how close the new system could get to emulating high-end PC visuals for a fraction of the price. Later came games like Rainbow Six, Star Lancer, The Nomad Soul, Soldier of Fortune, Stupid Invaders and (to a certain extent) Half-Life - all titles that started life as PC games. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, the floodgates never really fully opened and the deluge of PC ports failed to materialize.
The brevity of the Dreamcast as a fully supported system is the biggest factor in this, as many PC games that were odds on to have made the leap from the office to the living room were undoubtedly cancelled once the news of the Dreamcast's demise filtered through the industry. The history of the Dreamcast is littered with abandoned and half finished projects, many of which we're seeing come to light many years later.

However, with this post I wanted to explore some of the PC games from that halcyon era where consoles and PCs were pretty much level pegged when it came to graphical grunt; and explore some of the games that were rumoured to be on their way to the Dreamcast, but which never made it. To clarify/confuse things further, some of these games were actually in development for the Dreamcast before being cancelled, while others are simply titles I think would have been a good fit for the system. Let's get it on...