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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

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.

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...


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.

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!

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.

The Games That Never Were: Episode 4

YouTuber and friend of the Junkyard pcwzrd13 has come up with the goods yet again by posting episode 4 of the popular series The Games That Never Were - a look at some of the titles that were tantalisingly promised for our favourite beige, whirring and wheezing box...but for whatever reason were drop-kicked into the nearest bin. And then spat on by a tramp. Probably.

This latest instalment features such agonisingly-canned games as Castlevania Resurrection, D-Jump, Galleon and, Redline Arena. Before you ask - yes, that is an Oxford comma. Whether it's usage is warranted or correct here bothers me not one iota, however. I digress.

This video is particularly interesting as we plan to discuss some of the more promising cancelled Dreamcast games in episode two of DreamPod. Stay tuned for more information on that...but first, enjoy pcwzrd13's awesome (and thought-provoking) video:

As ever, please be sure to check out Dreamcastic Channel for the previous entries in the Games That Never Were series and expand your burgeoning knowledge of the alternative universe that is hinted at every time you are on the cusp of falling asleep. Lastly, it is (with gratitude) down to the video's auteur that I'm able to experience one of the games featured. Bet you can't guess what it is...

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...

The Murky World of White Labels

While I do consider myself to be a collector of all manner of Dreamcast related tat, I’m far from what most people would consider 'hardcore.' I do not have a full complement of any region’s library for instance, and while I do have around 95% of the PAL releases in my collection, I refuse to pay over the odds for the remaining few (mainly shit) titles required to call it a 'full set.' Furthermore, many of the peripherals and consoles I own are unboxed and or in 'used' condition – I generally buy Dreamcast stuff to play with it, examine it, record its existence in an easy to digest manner and upload it here for people to enjoy…or take it to events for other people to play with/destroy and cover in hand slime.

What I'm trying (and failing) to convey is that I'm not one who only collects sealed or mint condition stuff, and I'm not overly precious about stuff being kept in a nuclear bunker where radioactive dust clouds, sunlight or curious hands cannot get to it. Nor am I one who feels he has to collect absolutely everything with a Dreamcast swirl on it...and that's the point I'm meandering toward with this wholly unnecessary, rambling introduction.
One aspect of collecting for the Dreamcast that has barely shown up on my radar until recently is the collection of white labels. I have been aware of the things for as long as I’ve been aware of the Dreamcast itself but collecting these PAL-centric preview discs has never really interested me for some reason. For those who aren’t familiar with white labels, they were special sample versions of Dreamcast games that were predominantly sent out by Sega Europe to the press for preview purposes and – as far as I'm aware – also used in Dreamcast demo pods in stores such as GAME and Electronics Boutique in the UK. As I said, I’ve never really been very interested in collecting these preview discs, but Mike Phelan included a very comprehensive list of them - complete with serial numbers - in our recently outlawed collectors guide (you can still download it for free here); and several friends randomly donated a selection white labels to me over the last few weeks.

Top 5 Dreamcast Online Games...That Never Actually Existed

The Dreamcast’s online capabilities out of the box were no doubt somewhat revolutionary for a console back in 1999. Sega couldn’t have played up the fact that a modem was included much more than they did; with a heavy push on web browsing and emailing when the Dreamcast first launched.

The promise was that online gaming would follow shortly and whilst we did get some outstanding online experiences eventually, I think looking back now, it is fair to say that Sega didn’t really live up to their pre-release “up to 6 billion players” hype. There were some great games designed around their online features, but there were just not enough.

The sad part is that the Dreamcast was ahead of its time when it came to online gaming on console, and I can’t help but think that with a few more quality online-focused releases earlier in the Dreamcast’s lifespan, it could have turned an also ran feature into THE reason to buy Sega’s wonderful grey box.

Walk with me as I uncover the five Dreamcast online sensations that never actually existed, but I think wish really should have...

An Interview With Bernie Stolar

There are few people who are more intrinsically linked with the history of the Dreamcast than Bernie Stolar. Along with personalities such as Peter Moore and Hidekazu 'Mr Dreamcast' Yukawa, Bernie Stolar is extremely well known and was the man who kicked the whole party off. Here, in this candid interview we welcome Bernie to the Junkyard and pick his brains on the history of our favourite console and the current trends in the Dreamcast community.

DCJY: Hi Bernie, firstly let me just say how much of an honour it is to have you grace our site with your virtual presence! As huge fans of the Dreamcast, it’s quite awesome to have the opportunity to speak with you first hand. Never did I think way back in late 1999 when I picked up my first Dreamcast, that in 20 years' time I'd be conversing with the man who helped create the console!

Bernie Stolar: No problem, thanks for asking me. I consider it an honour that a product I helped create still has a loyal fanbase to this day. Thank you for keeping the 'Dream' alive.
Bernie delivering the Dreamcast keynote at GDC 1999
To kick things off, I wondered if you could enlighten those readers who may not be familiar with who you are and what your role was with the Dreamcast?

I was President and Chief Operating Officer at SEGA of America from July 1996 to August 1999. I was hired by SEGA of Japan CEO, Hayao Nakayama. I conceived the idea of Dreamcast and hired Peter Moore, Chris Gilbert, and the entire product development team.

You were at Sega of America from 1996 to 1999, all the way through the Dreamcast’s most important and formative years - can you recall the very first time you heard the name ‘Dreamcast’?

I believe it was called 'Dural' and later 'Katana' at one point. I want to say May of 1998 was when I first heard the term 'Dreamcast.'
On the topic of the early days of Dreamcast, can you recall which came first - Dreamcast or NAOMI? Or were they developed in tandem?

I believe NAOMI was released first. If I remember correctly, Dreamcast came about at a time when we were switching from Model 3 arcade hardware to NAOMI. I remember this because, I was disappointed with the fact that the Dreamcast would not really be able to support ports from both arcade units. I had wanted ports of several licensed units, including Star Wars Trilogy and The Lost World: Jurassic Park series. I felt these would be very popular, especially in the American market. To answer your question though, yes they were developed in tandem, definitely with the thought in mind that many of the games such as Crazy Taxi and House of the Dead 2 would be ported to Dreamcast. As a side note, I believe we also licensed the NAOMI architecture to Capcom, Namco, and Taito.
Early Dreamcast concept designs
Just sticking with the origins of the Dreamcast, were there really two different concepts for the Dreamcast in development? There are plenty of forum posts and articles online that state that there were competing projects - one from SEGA of America called Black Belt which was 3Dfx based, and another from SEGA of Japan called Dural which was NEC PowerVR based. Can you comment on these projects and how it was decided that the Dural concept was the one that won? If so, how different do you think the 3Dfx system would have been?

I believe SEGA of America wanted the 3Dfx version and SEGA of Japan wanted the NEC PowerVR. Both made sense for different reasons. With 3Dfx, there were more resources and documentation available for development in the US and Europe. That and it was understood that development would be easier, especially for PC ports. The NEC PowerVR made NAOMI ports simple and was easy to program, however, it was not as well supported (yet) in the US. I doubt Model 3 games would have worked too well on either. Although there was a PowerVR chip shortage when the Dreamcast launched in Japan, both chips had their pluses and minuses. In the end, I'm not sure it would have made too much of a difference.
Famously, you moved from Sony’s PlayStation division to work with SEGA of America in 1996. You're quoted in a VentureBeat interview as stating that the Saturn needed to be killed off as soon as you arrived. What were your initial thoughts on the fledgling successor to the Saturn? Did you envisage that the Dreamcast would become a huge success based on the hardware specs?

When I went to SEGA, they needed a new hardware system because the systems that they had were not selling – all eight of them. Saturn was not being supported by SEGA the way it should have been. When I showed up, it was my idea to develop a new hardware system that had the ability to play online. Before signing with SEGA, I racked my brain on a way to salvage Saturn, but it was just too far gone and too expensive and difficult to develop for. SEGA was nearly bankrupt, they needed a new console and they needed it quick. The only options were to go big or go home.