Showing posts sorted by relevance for query the games that never were. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query the games that never were. Sort by date Show all posts

The Games That Never Were: Episode 8

We've dutifully shared Pcwzrd's fantastic The Games That Never Were series here at the 'Yard ever since it first hit YouTube, and the reason for this is twofold. First, the videos are a fantastic insight into the Dreamcast titles we were promised back in the day, but for whatever reason we never got the opportunity to sample. Second, Pcwzrd works his ass off on this series and we feel they deserve more views. And while we're on the subject of videos that deserve your eyes to be cast over them, go and watch Dreamcast Hub's latest video review of Puzzle Fighter 2X here.

Back to the matter at hand though. The Games That Never Were is a series focused solely on the multitude of games that were promised for Sega's final console but were never released for public consumption. As Pcwzrd explains in the intro, there were a staggering number of projects in the works when the plug was pulled on the Dreamcast and many of these were either switched to other platforms or simply cancelled and lost to the fiery mists of development hell, never to be seen again.
Hellgate. Image credit: Unseen64
I make no secret of my obsession with cancelled games, and I'm forever scouring awesome sites like Unseen64; and my favourite part of reading old magazines is undoubtedly searching for the slightest mention of an unreleased Dreamcast game, no matter how vague the reference. With this in mind, you can probably see where my love for this series stems from!

The Games That Never Were: Episode 7

Episode 7 of Pcwzrd's The Games That Never Were has arrived, and as is the norm I'm happy to share it here at the Junkyard. The series - as the name suggests - is an insightful look back at a selection of titles that were announced for the Dreamcast but for various reasons never made it out of the door. Episode 7 looks at another batch of promising games we never got the chance to play in their intended guises (I say that because many people - including myself - have played one of the games discussed in this new episode), and explores possible reasons for their disappearance.

The video is embedded below, but if you'd rather read my drivel instead that's cool. Games covered include the ambitious space-based RPG Jump Runner from Glass Ghost Games, Worms Pinball from Team 17, Armada II: Exodus from Metro 3D, Treasure's Gun Beat and Sega's cancelled homage to Star Fox, Geist Force. This is short and sweet because an intro to a video doesn't really need to be any longer, and I need to go and tidy up my disgusting tip of a flat. Enjoy!

Thanks once again to Pcwzrd for putting this together. The previous episodes can be viewed by visiting Dreamcastic Channel on YouTube or by following the links below.
Previous Episodes:
The Games That Never Were: Episode 1
The Games That Never Were: Episode 2
The Games That Never Were: Episode 3
The Games That Never Were: Episode 4
The Games That Never Were: Episode 5
The Games That Never Were: Episode 6

The Games That Never Were: Episode 6

Episode 6 of Pcwzrd's The Games That Never Were has dropped, and naturally we thought it was only right to share it here at the Junkyard. Episodes 1-5 have been featured here, so why break the habit of a lifetime? This time around, Pcwzrd takes a look at cancelled Dreamcast games from a number of genres and these include speedboat racer Thunderboats, an adventure game based on the cartoon series Roswell Conspiracies, arcade racer Midnight GT, real time strategy game Star Trek: New Worlds, and also offers further information on the Dreamcast version of Renegade Racers from our old pals at Promethean Designs. Enough from me though - here's the excellent video:

Remember to subscribe to Dreamcastic Channel and if you can, support Pcwzrd's Patreon here.

Previous Episodes:
The Games That Never Were: Episode 1
The Games That Never Were: Episode 2
The Games That Never Were: Episode 3
The Games That Never Were: Episode 4
The Games That Never Were: Episode 5

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...

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!

The Games That Never Were: Episode 9

It's been a while, but the latest instalment of Pcwzrd's excellent The Games That Never Were has dropped. Episode 9 continues the popular YouTube series in which unreleased Dreamcast games are examined and the reasons for their cancellation are explored and speculated on. Episode 9 is just as cool as the previous videos in the series, and as ever Pcwzrd goes into great depth describing numerous titles that were promised, but were either never started; or were in full production at the time of  cancellation and have never been leaked.
A lot of the Dreamcast's most promising announced games did actually see the light of day, but only on the PC and episode 9 of The Games That Never Were is heavy on these. Arcatera: The Dark Brotherhood, Independence War 2, Black & White, Dark Eyes and Max Payne are all given a going over and hint at the ease with which Sega intended PC games to be ported to the Dreamcast hardware. Maybe if the Dreamcast had sold the units it deserved and it hadn't dies so prematruely, then we'd have gotten all of these games and more. Here's the video:

If you'd like to see more of Pcwzrd's videos, you can find his YouTube channel here, and he's also the administrator over at Dreamcast Live - the number one source for getting your Dreamcast back online for multiplayer action. His Twitter is here and his Patreon is here. Oh, and you can find all of the previous episodes of The Games That Never Were by clicking here.


I can just about remember looking at a copy of CVG in late 1998 (can't remember the exact date - but thats what drugs and alcohol tends to do to the fragile human mind after years of mild to heavy useage), and being enormously impressed with the lineup of games that were intended to be coming for the brand new Sega Dreamcast. Obviously, most of them arrived roughly a year later (at midnight on October 28th 1999, if my aforementioned and recently defragged memory serves me), and were for the most part excellent. BUT - and this is a fucking huge, Rick Waller sat on a Hippo-style BUT - what about the games that we all saw in the lovely magazines but never fucking came out eh? I ain't talkin about Half-freakin-Life here, either peeps. That's old news I'm afraid.

I'm talking about the other stuff that would have made the DC an even better prospect than it already was - and still is!

Lets look at some of the titles were were promised, but never got. Just like when you asked your mum for a pair of Nike, Reebok or even Ascot trainers...and all you got were a pair of plastic soled Zee from the charity shop that had a SEAM that ran down the middle because they were MOULDED from the tears of lost children.

Anyway, enough about the traumatic childhood that will inevitably come back to haunt me and turn me into a serial killer. Let's get on with the show!

Castlevania Resurrection
Oh, how I loved Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on the PlayStation. It proved to me that, contrary to popular belief, 2D games are not shite and do not belong on the MegaDrive were they came from. Furthermore, they do not steal the jobs of honest, hardworking 3D games - they just get up earlier and work harder to achieve more from life. Ahem.

Castlevania Resurrection, not to be confused with a clinic for the impotent, was meant to be a true 3D update of the classic game and be set some years before the original adventure (1666, to be precise). You were to be able to play as one of two characters (Victor and, er, Sonia) and waft through Dracula's castle like a garlic flavoured fart, (re)killing any undead minions and generally raising hell (heaven?) until the final showdown with old Drac himself. It was never released, I belive, due to a fall out between different factions of Konami's internal dev team and also the waning popularity of the Dreamcast as a whole. The graphics look pretty decent (if a bit angular) and it looks about a million times better than Castlevania64 (which isn't really that difficult - Gauntlet on the NES looks (and sounds) better than Castlevania64). An intriguing title, but alas one we'll never see. More info? look here.

Aha! Now this looked amazing. The PC game was well recieved by the press and featured some amazing-for-the-era Voxel based graphics that meant the undulating terrain could stretch for miles into the distance. You played US Navy SEAL Cutter Slade in this 3rd Person action adventure, who was sent to a parrallel universe to help a group of scientists recover a probe sent there by the US government to prove the place existed (?!).

It was Slade's mission to sort the mess out and then get them all back home, Quantum Leap style (only without the help of Al, or indeed Ziggy). The PC game featured over 50 hours of gameplay, 1050 NPCs to engage in conversation and 6 large 'continents' to explore - each with it's own unique flavour (technologically advanced, primitive, warlike etc). A version was planned for the Dreamcast launch and the sytem could quite easily have handled the Voxel engine. Evidently, the game wasn't ready for the console launch and still wasn't ready by mid 2000. Eventually Outcast DC was cancelled, mainly because of the PC version's low sales and the poor sales performance of the console. Damned money-grabbing swines.

Scud Race
A name (to me anyway) synonymous with intense arcade racing and the ill-fated (I fucking hate that phrase, but it's the best one to use really. It's a bit like the word 'Reveller,' meaning 'party goer' - you never actually use it in conversation. Tsk), rumoured and never released Sega Saturn 64-bit add-on/booster cartridge.

Scud Race was reportedly going to be one of the games to make use of the upgrade, along with Virtua Fighter 3. The upgrade rumour was dead in the water before long, the DC came along and apparently work was started on a conversion of Scud Race. Of course, it was never completed and was washed away by the ever-lapping tides of the Sea of Time, dragged under by the current and then deposited on the Beach of the Forgotten (aka Blackpool), never to be seen again.

Or so you thought.

Apparently, there is a half finished version of Dreamcast Scud Race floating about, but it's virtually impossible to find and only a few really grainy pics of it exist on the net. And now here!

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2
Raziel, oh Raziel - where for art thou chin, Raziel? Yep, old scarf face's first adventure on the Dreamcast was an absolute stormer of a game. Amazing graphics, great game play, top drawer level design and more fun than there are superlatives in the English language. Soul Reaver is one of the best games on the Dreamcast, without a vampire's shadow of a doubt (is it reflections or shadows they don't have? Hmmm...). But there was intended to be a sequel, Soul Reaver 2, developed concurrently for the PS2 and the DC.

Early screens featured in EGM at the time showed that the two versions were practically identical and coming along well, and any Dreamcast owner would have been forgiven for rubbing their mud covered hands at the prospect of more soul devouring, zombie impaling, wall climbing action. But suddenly - gone! Yes, virtually overnight Eidos and Crystal Dynamics decided that the Dreamcast wasn't powerful enough to accomodate the 'complex' architecture featured in Nosgoth's further reaches, and prompty ceased development. And that's clearly because the PS2 is obviously so much more advanced than the Dreamcast, right? Exactly. I mean, look at those shots...

Is that the sound of a cash register I hear?

Daytona USA 2
I know what your gonna say: "Daytona was released on the Dreamcast, you complete twat!"
Calm down, count to ten, put your pint of Smirnoff down and look at the title. It says Daytona USA 2. The version of everyone's favourite super-camp Nascar racer released on the Dreamcast was, for all intents and purposes, little more than a rehash. A Daytona Remix, if you will.

Yes, Daytona 2001 - awesome as it was - was just plain old Daytona CCE picked up, dusted off and given 3 new tracks and a few new secret cars. Daytona USA 2, on the otherhand was a full blown arcade sequel to Daytona USA and I have actually played it. Granted, my experience with Daytona 2 was in a motorway service station and I couldn't get full satisfaction out of the game because I was still reeling with disgust at the asking price of nearly £5 for a 3 day old cheese sandwich in the station shop. The graphics were mind blowing though and the tracks featured some really nice background details (I seem to remember a massive pirate ship for some reason) and top notch smoking tire effects when you skidded. Quite why Sega never brought Daytona 2 to the Dreamcast isn't clear, but it was featured in an issue of Games Master Magazine as an upcoming Dreamcast release. Go figure.

Colin McRae Rally 2.0
The rally game to end all rally games - Colin McRae was one of the best games on the PSX and it's sequel threw in more of the same - wicked car handling, real-time vehicle damage, new gameplay modes and more tracks than the London Underground. A Dreamcast version of Colin McRae 2.0 was very much underway when it all went quite down at Codemasters HQ. Screens in the magazines showed a game that looked very similar to a high-end PC version and one that promised to be much more of a rally simulation than V-Rally 2: Expert Edition.

Much in the same way that Soul Reaver 2 was canned, McRae 2.0 simply vanished because Codemasters didn't think it would generate enough revenue to warrant a release. Judging by the screens that are availible, the Dreamcast version looks as though it was very close to completion - it's a massive shame it never saw the majesty of a sunrise on crisp winter morning. Sniff.

Here's a press release from Codemasters:

"Following careful consideration, including consultation with external parties, any further development on the Dreamcast version of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 and any future projects on the aforementioned platform has ceased. We continue to optimise resources by focusing teams on appropriate platforms."

The motherfucking cunts.

Geist Force
One of the very first games I ever saw running on Dreamcast Hardware, Geist Force was meant to be Sega's answer to Lylat Wars (that's StarFox 64 to the rest of the world) in that it appears to be a sort of 3D space based shoot 'em up.

Very, very little is known about Geist Force simply because it was cancelled before the Dreamcast even launched. One rumour I remember reading was that the game's designer and Sega's quality control department wasn't happy with how it was coming along and scrapped it, with the game 50-60% complete. Whatever the truth, one question remains - if Sega's quality control dept are so strict, how did Zombie Revenge get released?! If you'd like more info, click here to view a video of Geist Force in action.

Max Payne
Detective, nutter, family man and apparent expert in facial reconstruction (the Payne in The Fall of Max Payne is an IMPOSTER!) - yep Det. Maxwell Payne was originally meant to take a one-way ticket to Dreamcastville to carry on the hunt for answers. Again, little is known about the DC version of this predominantly PC-centric shoot 'em up, but I'll wager it was gonna be a direct PC port. And who can say fairer than that? Max Payne is a classic shooter and would have been right at home on a console is pretty much just a slightly tweaked PC in a box.

Naturally, there are literally hundreds of games that were announced but never released but I feel that here The Dreamcast Junkyard has covered the main ones. Just for the hell of it and you want to do some more research, may I a) suggest you get a fucking life; and b) suggest you type any of the following into Goooooooooooogle, prefixed with the words 'dreamcast version of':

Black & White
World's Scariest Police Chases
Shadowman: Second Coming
UFC Tapout

Right. It's sunny so I'm going out to drink Newcastle Brown - like a real fookin' man. Later.

Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

As the amount of online articles and Tweets around the recent anniversary of the North American 9.9.99 release date illustrates, the Dreamcast is still very fondly remembered. While the scene continues to grow at a steady rate in terms of bootleg and independent game development, there are still a fascinating number of Dreamcast areas that remain either untouched or that haven't had their rich historical veins fully exposed. One of those areas that myself and others in Dreamcast fandom are fascinated by is the story of bleemcast!.
A bit of a throw forward, I have another article in the works about ‘Why I Dreamcast’ even though it’s fast approaching 2020; and a large part of that is a deeply personal and nostalgia-fuelled longing and sense of clinging to a certain place in time. The Dreamcast, as much as I love it, and despite my role here at The Dreamcast Junkyard is a console I am wilfully ignorant on compared to the other staff members. The main reason for this is that I had only owned the console for a mere 8 months when I packed up and left home for the bright lights of university. The console, therefore, existed for me during a stage of enforced self poverty. New (well, pre-owned) games I still managed to justify occasionally, but instant noodles and supermarket value bread were prioritised over games magazines; and the internet was something I went to the library to check for roughly 1 hour a week when hungover and between lectures (and even then was mainly to email friends who had gone to other universities...and nearly almost always simply to tell them how hungover I was). Anyway, what I am trying to paint a picture of is that my finger during the 2000-2004 era was hardly on the pulse of information about anything...let alone Dreamcast.

So for me, I didn’t learn about bleemcast! until way after the events of the Dreamcast had long transpired, and it was years later still that I actually discovered this had been an actual retail product, and wasn’t like my copy of DreamSnes that had been created and uploaded from some shed somewhere. This was instead a full-fledged and commercially available product release promoting legal emulation that allowed you to load PlayStation game discs on the Dreamcast, adding a load of graphical improvements along the way.
What all this leads up to then, is that I tracked down Randy Linden, a member of the original PC bleem! and Dreamcast bleemcast! team. I fired off some questions and Randy was kind enough to answer. Hopefully you will enjoy reading them as much I did, and will give an interesting insight into the development of one of the most notorious releases on the Dreamcast...

Exploring EMAP's Lost Official Dreamcast Magazine: An Interview With Dave Kelsall

Magazines are an important part of gaming history.

They were the only way that regular people could absorb all the news from the industry and get opinions on games before they spent their hard-earned cash on them. Like much physical media though, they have become increasingly niche as the internet and digital technologies saturate the market. News can be fed right to your phone as it happens, while user and influencer reviews are taken on board just as much, if not more, than the professionally written ones of established journalists.
For many of us who revere retro (and especially Dreamcast, of course), physical media and good-old-fashioned games journalism feels sorely missed. Personally, I can find a place for the old and the new in my life, but when flicking through old magazines I never fail to stumble upon that one thing that made them special - magic.

Okay, I don’t mean magic in the make-believe sense (and most definitely not in the Dynamo sense either), but rather that feeling of holding in your hands the key to a world that is beyond the norm. They were a guide to all of those computers, consoles and games that you had no idea were coming. They held updates on things you were eagerly awaiting, and reviews of games you’d seen in the shop but had no idea if it was worth paying £39.99 for.
When I wrote my first book, Dreamcast: Year One, I took this very specific love of gaming magazines and injected that into the pages - both in the style and also the content. Specifically, I interviewed three people involved in that scene from the time of the Dreamcast; Caspar Field (editor of DC-UK), Ed Lomas (reviews & deputy editor of Official Dreamcast Magazine) and also David Kelsall (graphic designer at Official Saturn Magazine).
The latter of those interviews was more than just a chat about the good old days though, as David had a never-before-seen pitch from the magazine publisher EMAP for the Official Dreamcast Magazine. I therefore decided to share an edited down version of his interview, along with a few of the images he shared with me, in the book itself.

I had always intended to share a longer version of the interview with the images I didn’t use, and as we approach the launch of my campaign to fund Dreamcast: Year Two I figured this was the best time to do that. So here it is!

Andrew Dickinson: David, could you please tell us a little bit about how you got into games journalism?

Dave Kelsall: It’s quite a long story! I’ve always been obsessed with games magazines (and games of course). I used to buy everything available, even books with type-in BASIC listings. I wouldn’t necessarily type them, but I liked to read the code and look at the artwork.

I was on an art trip to London with my Sixth form college and I spotted Julian Rignal (renowned games journalist and editor) sitting in the buffet clutching a camera. He was off to do one of his seaside reports on the latest arcade machines, so I went over to say hi. I didn’t live that far from Ludlow (where Newsfield, the publishers of Crash and Zzap! 64, were based) and so he invited me down to take a look around the offices whenever we were both free.

A few weeks later I went down for a visit and he very kindly showed me around, took me to the pub, and we of course played games. Fast forward a few years and I had just finished my HND in Graphic Design and I was on the train accompanying my girlfriend who was going for an interview in London for a job in the fashion industry. I happened to be reading a copy of Mean Machines and there was an advert in the News section looking for a designer. As I remember it, I turned up to the EMAP offices and enquired about the job. I think I spoke to Julian beforehand and mentioned who I was, and I was promptly shown upstairs and told to design something. They must have liked what I did as I was offered the job the next day and that was the start of a career in magazines, and initially games journalism. I absolutely loved my time there and I only left the games division when EMAP sold it to Dennis. I moved on to other titles within EMAP.

Guest Article: Expanding The Dreamcast Collection Part 1 - The Naomi Connection

Ross O'Reilly is no stranger to the world of NTSC-J Dreamcast collecting or arcade gaming. Not least because he lives in Japan and his apartment is stuffed full of arcade machines and Dreamcasts. Here in this first of a series of guest articles at The Dreamcast Junkyard, Ross explains why the Dreamcast collection you have may seem complete, but is in actual fact far from it. The Dreamcast's history is intertwined with that of the Naomi arcade machine, and here Ross explains how you can expand your library of Dreamcast-style games by getting involved in the Naomi scene. At this point, I'd also like to point out that all of the quality artwork is the work of the author. Cough.

Ross, over to you...
I’d assume that many of you reading this already own a substantial Dreamcast collection or have at least played a wide variety of games on the system. It’s been almost 18 years since the console was first launched in its home territory of Japan, and while it’s still getting support (unofficial at least) to this day, the number of new titles has of course dwindled since its heyday.

Most gamers, even fans of the Dreamcast, moved onto greener pastures long ago. But what’s the hardcore Dreamcast fan to do?

Support the indie scene: A worthy cause no doubt, but let’s be honest, the quality of these titles are rarely anything special and never up to the standard of the Dreamcast’s best Sega developed games.

Import: Finding games that were unreleased in your home territory can be great fun. Whichever region you’re from, I can guarantee that there are a tonne of great games that never came to your shores. Many of us have already done this for years though; the list of import games we’ve yet to play is diminishing fast. What next?

Complete sets: The hardest of hardcore collectors can go for a complete set, but if we’re honest, the Dreamcast wasn’t that good; there were still a tonne of crappy games that came out for it. Do you really want a shelf half full of absolute rubbish you’ll probably never play and certainly not enjoy? Oh, you do? Well, even if that’s the case, I presume you wouldn’t turn down the chance to find some new 'good' games to play.

But don’t worry, there is still hope! In this series of articles, I’ll detail how you can expand your collection and find more than enough fresh content to keep you happy and out of the whisky bottle for at least another year or so. All you have to do is ever so slightly redefine the meaning of 'Dreamcast game.'

Trading in Dozens of Dreamcast VMUs at GameStop

The wind howled through the crack in the window pane, and a crackle of lightning illuminated the room as a cat hissed and fled from the encroaching storm. There was spilled Diet Dr. Pepper on the large cardboard box filled with retro video games, temporarily framed by the flash from the approaching storm. Actually, none of that happened. I just wanted to begin this tale with an over dramatic intro. Everything else here is factual, though.

I was filled with self disgust as I feverishly cleaned up the very small spill which I was sure would get me labelled as "that guy" by the employee who would have to go through the box later on and tell me what pittance they would bring for trade in. We all know who "that guy" is, the disgusting loser who at the age of 35 is trading in over a decade's worth of gaming detritus so he could justify getting a new console that was clearly manufactured with a younger, more attractive audience in mind. Of course I thought I was that guy, but I didn't want anyone else to recognize that fact. So I checked every single game to make sure there was no telltale brown dot of diet soda that would out me as a loser. That was my mindset as I left my condo.
Earlier I was digging through other cardboard boxes and comparing VMUs to each other. I didn't want to be a dipshit and try to sell broken stuff to GameStop but at the same time I couldn't bear to part with immaculate Visual Memory Units with their caps firmly in place that had probably never been used. The irony of course was that the bulk of the VMUs had been purchased from a GameStop for 50 cents each when they were clearanced out. My local store in Watertown, NY had told me that they had no Dreamcast items left. A month later I was in Syracuse, NY and they had a huge double rack of Dreamcast items on deep clearance. When I had asked where they all came from they told me that had been sent from the Watertown store. Now they would be sold back to GameStop for $2.25 each. A true example of the gaming circle of life. As a VMU hoarder, the volatile video game market had finally swung into my favor...

Dreamcast Vs Wii U: Which Failed Harder?

Nintendo has finally revealed that the successor to the Wii U will be released worldwide in March 2017. This is good for two reasons. The first is that my birthday is in March so I might try to coerce my nearest and dearest to contribute some cash towards an NX as a present. That said, I usually don't get much more than a card written in feces/blood and a voicemail reminding me that I owe somebody a tenner when the anniversary of my birth rolls around, so I won't get my hopes up too much.

Update: we now know this console will be called Switch, so probably ignore the NX logo below. Ta.
The other good thing about this announcement is that finally, the Wii U has been handed a respite and the agonisingly slow death of the console looks to be coming to an end - euthanised, even.  Let's not beat around the bush here - the Wii U has been a bit of a disaster for Nintendo in comparison to past hardware releases, and while the system does play host to some fantastic games that simply ooze typical Nintendo quality, no-one can deny that the thing clearly occupies the 'also-ran' spot in both of the console generations it straddles.

For me, the Wii U was cursed from the start simply because it confused the fuck out of the casual market Nintendo was aiming it at; those people who bought the original Wii thought it was an add-on, and those who had Xbox 360s and PS3s were shown a system with a dinner tray for a controller and a bunch of launch titles that were already available (for the most part) on the console they already owned. Now though, Nintendo has pretty much signalled its intent by announcing the NX (or whatever it ends up being called) and so, just four years after introduction the Wii U looks like it'll be put out to pasture quite soon. Inevitably this has lead to forum threads such as this one, where the question is asked: which system enjoyed a better time during it's contemporary lifespan - the Sega Dreamcast or the Nintendo Wii U?
Source: ZhugeEX Blog
The news came out recently that it took the Wii U nearly 3 years to match the 10 million Dreamcasts Sega flogged in 18 months, and there have been many, many comparisons drawn between these two glorious console failures. However, we wanted to go step further and take a more in-depth look at the Dreamcast vs Wii U topic. While it's obvious that the Wii U hasn't really made a dent in Nintendo's $10 billion fortune (whereas the Dreamcast pretty much killed Sega), the question remains: which console pushed more boundaries, had a better games and excited the gaming world the most?

Title Defense: The True Story of Why it Never Came to Dreamcast

Some time after the publication of our article on the lost boxing sim "Title Defense" last year, I was contacted by friend of the Junkyard and all-round Dreamcast super-sleuth PC Wizard. Intrigued by the promise of Title Defense after reading that very article, PC Wizard tracked down a member of the development team (who shall remain anonymous, as we weren't totally sure if any of this was still under some arcane NDA) and made them talk. No doubt with a lamp in their face, CIA style. That’s how I like to imagine how things went down, anyway. 

In reality, PC Wizard sent a polite email asking what our source remembered about Title Defense, and to our pleasant surprise, they actually replied and explained to us what the deal was with that particular pugilism sim, Climax Studios, some of the other canned Dreamcast projects, and why we never saw Title Defense on our Dreamcasts - or any other contemporary platform, for that matter. With all that out of the way, over to our informant...
How mysterious...
"OK, so the first thing to do is to frame this appropriately. At the time, Climax was a work-for-hire developer, which meant most of our work was either porting (often PC to console conversions such as Warcraft II, Diablo, Populous: The Beginning, Sim Theme Park/Theme Park World, etc.) or pitching for projects that publishers were looking for developers to do on their behalf. In addition to this we had our own original concepts that we would pitch to publishers and see if they were prepared to fund. 

So, on to Title Defense. I think the tl;dr on this - and which will probably be most disappointing to know - is that Title Defense as an actual game never really existed. From memory it was a fairly non-interactive PC tech demo to show physics-based dynamic mesh deformation - in this case the changing muscle shape of the boxers as they threw and received punches. 

Once we saw it internally, we decided that it could be the basis of a boxing game and came up with a high-concept design document. We then put out a press release to say that we had started development, naming every high-end system we could think of (including Dreamcast, naturally), as a way of gauging publisher interest and hoping to encourage a few of them to come to talk to us about the game and hopefully sign it. 

We’d just signed a PR agency to represent us to the press so a lot of it was their work, and to be fair to them, they did get us a lot of press! Also, given the interest in Dreamcast at the time, anything that mentioned it as a potential platform was guaranteed to generate hype.
I didn’t have much to do with the concept design of Title Defense as I had doubts about the viability of the project. At the time sports games really needed official licenses to work and Electronic Arts had all of the boxing licenses sewn up with their Knockout Kings series; a lot of the work was done by our Development Director - it really became his 'baby' from an internal championing point of view. 

I think I just gave some feedback, edited and generally knocked it into shape so we could give it to interested publishers. Beyond that we pushed the project to the press and potential publishing partners and the larger management team put detailed business proposals together. 

We did have some discussions with a few publishers and some of them came to see the demo, but in the end none of the discussions got very far. As I suspected, a game like Title Defense really did need official licenses to make much sense. We sent a few proposals out to Acclaim and possibly a few others, but certainly conversations never really advanced beyond that, so eventually the project was shelved as we moved on to other things. So yeah, not much of a story from a Dreamcast point of view but at least now you know why it never saw the light of day!
If memory serves, pretty much all of the titles in the DC-UK feature you showed existed in some form or another, either as paper design docs or demos, or were actual in-development titles on other platforms that either publishers requested or that we were trying to convince them to make. Stunt Driver was a playable PC demo that we pitched as a Dreamcast (plus other ‘next-gen’ platforms) title that came to be responsible for the formation of Climax Brighton, which was then sold to Disney and turned into Black Rock Studios - home of Split/Second.
Of the other titles in that article, Austin Powers Mojo Rally was a project we'd been asked to pitch to Rockstar who had the Austin Powers license at the time - I kid you not! Roswell Conspiracies was an in-development title on the Nintendo 64 for Red Storm based on an animation series, and I think Red Lemon Studios (who were involved in the cancelled Dreamcast shooter Take the Bullet) were doing a game for the Sony PlayStation that may have seen the light of day. Anyway, they asked us to pitch an enhanced Dreamcast port and shortly after cancelled the N64 game. As I recall through the mists of time, there were quite a few Dreamcast titles that we were asked to pitch for - we had very early access to Dreamcast dev-kits that nothing really happened on, mainly as the Dreamcast failed to take off in the way that everyone hoped - oh, what might have been!
I heard much later through the grapevine that was because someone at SEGA Europe thought we were related to the Japanese company Climax Entertainment (known for LandStalker, Time Stalkers and some of the Shining games), and so we were delivered kits in the first wave by mistake!"


So there we are - straight from the horse’s mouth (well... keyboard)! Title Defense was never really anything more than a glorified tech demo. And it's somehow linked to Rockstar so maybe also Grand Theft Auto. Yeah, I'm really reaching here. Anyway...mystery solved!

Huge thanks to both PC Wizard and our source for helping us shine a light on some of these forgotten Climax Studios games that never were. Maybe somewhere out there in the wilderness, playable builds of Austin Powers Mojo Rally and Roswell Conspiracies are waiting to be unearthed like priceless relics from some forgotten era. The truth, as they say, is out there. Cue X-Files music...