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Showing posts with label cosmic smash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cosmic smash. Show all posts

Cosmic Smash Secret Characters Discovered After 16 Years

Cosmic Smash: simply the finest minimalist squash game where you get on a 'cosmic bus' and whack a glowing ball at neon cubes. No, I haven't been at the vodka again - that's just the best way to describe Sega's 2001 NAOMI and Dreamcast release. The game was only ever released in Japan and has become quite a sought-after title for the Dreamcast, and not least because of the unorthodox packaging - it being one of the only official Dreamcast games to be released in a DVD-style case.
We covered Cosmic Smash quite some time ago here at the Junkyard, and I also heaped praise on it when I wrote a Dreamcast-themed Minority Report for Retro Gamer Magazine a couple of years back (issue 146 if you're interested). One thing I certainly missed in all my time playing the game though, was the inclusion of several secret characters. Secret characters that until now have pretty much never been seen or even mentioned anywhere on the internet.

Enter fellow blogger Jeremy Hobbs, curator of Ribbon Black. As he explains in his excellent article, Jeremy inadvertently unlocked a secret playable character he had never seen before - one of the 'worker' characters seen in the intro sequences. Initially, Jeremy thought he had unlocked the new avatar because he'd followed a certain route through the game, but this wasn't the case.
After going down a rabbit hole to discover just how he did it, Jeremy then learnt (after much internet and forum digging) that there are several other secret characters locked away in that retro-futuristic neon subway system of nightmares. One of them is a bear holding a fish (see above), but I won't spoil the story any further. As someone who knows what it's like to stumble upon something and then become embroiled in trying to find the answers (remember the whole 'Dreamcast Barber' thing?), this topic really piqued my interest; that a game - albeit one as obscure as Cosmic Smash -  can withhold its secrets for almost 16 years is nothing short of staggering to me.

Head over to Ribbon Black here to read the whole fascinating story, and also how you too can unlock the wacky extra characters. Thanks to my Junkyard co-writer Aaron Foster for alerting me to this.

Having A Blast With Cosmic Smash

There are some games on the Dreamcast that I'm pretty sure would not have translated well from their original Japanese to the West. Only recently we looked at a dating sim from the land of the rising sun, and while it did look intriguing, I think it's safe to say that it would probably have sold less units than a DVD boxset of a wall of wet paint drying. With this in mind, let us turn our attention to another title that never saw the light of day outside of it's native homeland - Cosmic Smash. The reason I draw a comparison between it and the aforementioned dating sim is that Cosmic Smash is a game that by it's very nature transcends all of the usual barriers for localisation, and yet it is glaringly absent from both PAL and NTSC-U libraries.

Cosmic Smash making a comeback?

As I have been saying all along, the Dreamcast's line up of games seems to keep showing up in some form or another on the current generation of consoles at an alarming and increasing rate. By the year 2022 gamers who never owned a Dreamcast may have finally caught up with its entire line up across dozens of systems. At least for now, it looks like one more could be on it's way, and this is a game even many Dreamcast owners have missed out on.

Siliconera are reporting of a new trademark registered by Sega of America for Cosmic Smash, a game released on the Dreamcast in Japan only. For those who have yet to play it, it's like a mix between Virtua Tennis and Super Breakout, with the visual flair of Rez. The game was released in limited numbers in a fancy DVD case for a budget price (about £20), and was a direct port of a even harder to find arcade cabinet of the game, with no console extras. Short, but very, very sweet. I still need to make a article about it at some point.

Yes, we know what happened last time: Sega got out a new trademark for "Dreamcast" just so they could sit on the name for longer without anyone using it for a dishwasher or something, and we have had rumors of Sega franchise revivals up the wazoo in recent years, many of which have gone unfulfilled (New Space Channel 5 and Skies of Arcadia games being the most painful to not get) so don't get your hopes up for this just yet until we hear more. Stranger things have happened though, and Sega do seem to be on a remake sugar rush at the moment.

If this does end up being on Sega's upcoming production schedule, the real question lays in what system will it land on? Cosmic Smash was quite a short game to begin with on the Dreamcast, so my bets is going to go on one of the many download services out there like X-Box Live Arcade, the Playstation network or Wiiware. There's no doubt the gameplay style would just suit some motion controls, but a HD version of the game ala Rez HD wouldn't go a miss either. I'm personally rooting for Wiiware myself, seeing as I probably won't be buying a HD console any time soon. We shall see!