Whatever Happened To? Part 8 : Black & White

In this installment of our alternative reality look back, we pick a game which is almost never discussed. Set your minds back, it’s 2001, arguably the Dreamcast is set to have it’s most interesting year for PC based ports. Rather than the lazy PS-one conversions that gamers had become accustomed to, we were looming on more carefully planned out releases to compete with the other systems from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. One such game was Lionhead’s Black & White, this game was to be released on the Dreamcast in 2001 shortly after a proposed PS-One version of the game, with 2001 coming and going, neither of the games materialised, why is this?

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We can’t comment on the PS-One release, perhaps that was to do with the PS2 being the console to own by then, taking away the buzz from Sony’s aging hardware. The Dreamcast version most likely was canceled due to Sega’s decision to pull out of hardware manufacture in January 2001 and the development of the game taking too long according to Peter Molyneux, let’s not forget that for its day, this was a massively ambitious game to port to consoles, it’s worth noting that PS2 and Xbox versions of the game were canceled too after 2002.

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So how far did we get to getting this once promising title on the console? Well, not very to be honest. I would expect that aside from porting over some assets, Lionhead probably didn’t pursue the idea of a Sega version for long, no actual evidence of the game running on the system has ever been shown, and should it exist in any form, we’ll bet it is locked away safely where it’ll never been seen again, curiously enough, the game was mentioned in a retail point of sale hand out alongside Half-Life which one would presume is where the pack shot for both games came from.

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Unlike Half-Life though, Black & White was later removed from the 2001 games flyer found in first party software, as seen, there are notable canceled games on the list already so perhaps Sega already knew that progress wasn’t commencing on Black & White.

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Where can you play the game today?

Well, as we mentioned above, only a PC release actually happened in the end, so that is the only way to play this game, as is often the case, the game play mechanic is perhaps a little basic by the standards of today, but to serve as a what could have been, check it out.

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More Dreamcast games coming!

Hot on the heels of Battle Crust being shown off in a JoshProd Youtube video this week, it turns out that more games are heading to the system this year, as is the nature of JoshProd’s releases, there is usually a batch of games released around the same time and offered in a bundle.

The news first broke via Dreamcast News and then later The Dreamcast Junkyard lifted the lid further with a detailed rundown of each of the games. What we have this time around is an eclectic mix of old and newish starting with Steam’s Battle Crust which we talked about recently the next on the list is Escapee which as described by the above DC sites, plays like Flashback which was already released on the Dreamcast in the last batch of JoshProd games, a trailer for this can be found below :

The Escapee is by Invictus Games and was originally released on Amiga with ports to Apple TV, Android and iOS later.

Next up we have Okinawa Rush, this fun looking scrolling brawler boasts a ton of cool moves with a levelling system for the player’s character in addition to this, a deep parry mechanic allows the player, with the right timing to parry most oncoming attacks, this game looks right at home on the console. Okinawa Rush was a Kickstarter in 2017 for PC, Xbox One and PS4 where it met it’s target, we can’t wait to play it on the Dreamcast.

Next up is Fade to Black, does this game sound familiar to you? It should do! This was the follow up to Flashback and was released in 1995 on PC and 1996 on PS-one, ironically the game was published by Electronic Arts so would never have made the Dreamcast even in it’s ‘day’. The game is Gauraud shaded on PC and texture 3D on PS-one so it’ll be interesting which version the Dreamcast gets, it’s certainly an odd choice to release it all these years later with 3D ageing far more drastically than two-dimensional games but a welcome addition since with have Flashback already on the system now.

Of course we also have Battle Crust as well which no doubt will find a natural home on the 128 bit Sega console, we have a feeling that JoshProd may very well have other games yet to be revealed too, history has told us so far that there is usually 5 games to each batch and Saber Riders is most likely the 4th game here, we’d predict that perhaps there is a racing game  yet to be shown fully aside from a few teases here and there.

Make sure you head over to the mentioned Dreamcast sites as well as JoshProd’s Facebook page to keep updated and spreading the word, let’s keep these releases coming!

Battle Crust is your next Dreamcast purchase.

JoshProd, the published behind last years slew of PAL designed Dreamcast games is continuing into 2018 with another publicly announced shoot em up for the system, Battle Crust, upon some quick research of the title, we found it to have been released in 2016 on Steam originally, it’s a 90’s inspired shooter featuring 6 levels in which you’re able to pick up assist items on the way to help your mission such as the charge shot.

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From what we can see of the game in the trailer, the game looks to be fun and features a vertical playing field unlike Sturmwind and Dux which scroll horizontally, the original developer of the game is Picorinne Soft whose other work is Infinos Gaiden – a horizontal shooter released this year .

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By catching the teaser on JoshProd’s Facebook page, you can catch a glimpse of the game on the DC as well as the cover art too which is looking fantastic as usual.

Battle Crust will be released this summer which we’d assume will be via RushOnGame.

40 Winks possible for Dreamcast after all.

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Since the recently launched Kickstarter for the Nintendo 64 version of 40 Winks was created, there was buzz and rumour surrounding a possible Dreamcast port of the game being a hidden stretch goal, 40 Winks was originally released for the Sony PlayStation in 2000 with an N64 version to follow, this latter version never happened due to GT Interactive hitting financial turmoil which was a shame considering the Nintendo version was due to have a multiplayer mode not found on the 32 bit incarnation.

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Well, it turns out today that after the runaway success Piko Interactive has been having with it’s Kickstarter – the game has been souring through it’s stretch goals, the team have now revealed that should the game reach 200,000 dollars, a ground up version will be developed for the Dreamcast meaning it’ll use the FMV from the PlayStation version in addition to the N64’s multiplayer. One would hope the graphics will be cleaned up slightly but this is all very exciting and really goes to show that in 2018, stranger things truly do happen in the world of Dreamcast. Although 200,000 dollars does seem a fair chunk of wedge, we think that it could very well be achievable.

Piko Interactive are no strangers to retro gaming, they’ve worked on Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar and other systems, bringing unreleased games and re-released software back from the dead, this marks the first time they’ve potentially working with the Dreamcast but it’s not their first time crowdfunding, some may remember the Super Nintendo 4 in 1 cartridge from 2012/13 which was successful and released in a timely fashion.

What’s your views? Could you see yourself playing 40 Winks?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/retrogames/40-winks-a-new-nintendo-64-game?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=40%20winks

 

Whatever Happened To? Part 7 : Max Payne.

In this instalment of ‘Whatever Happened To? ‘ we look at a man with nothing to lose, Max Payne, this game was in development in 1998-99 and was initially announced for the PC with a DC version to follow, Remedy and Take 2 were quite enthusiastic about working on the Dreamcast but multiple delays and push backs meant that with the Dreamcast business losing steam and the looming PlayStation 2 release, it was soon time to put the idea of a conversion to Sega’s console to bed.

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It’s widely acknowledged that the game wasn’t seen running on Dreamcast hardware according to one of the developers at Remedy, however, we reckon there is a playable version out there, somewhere and one day – maybe, just maybe we will see it’s release in some form, from the early demo videos of the game (most likely running on PC hardware) we reckon the Dreamcast could have run the game without sweating too much, the lack of a second analogue stick may very well have been an issue though,

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Where can you play the game today? Well, the smartest choice is naturally the PC, but should you have a PlayStation 2 or even better, an Xbox Classic, these serve up as a good reminder (albeit, graphically more enhanced) of what could have been on Sega’s poor, neglected box of tricks.

Agartha Release Incoming.

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You may remember in recent times that cancelled 2001 No Cliche horror game, Agartha had been found in a semi-playable state and shown off from it’s slumber for over 15 years – there was romancing around the time of it’s discovery that one day, we could see the game actually see a release across the Internet, well, that day is coming very, very soon,  January 15th to be exact! That’s right, you’ll finally be able to see what all the fuss is about.

This is a fantastic way to start 2018 for the beloved Dreamcast console, We’ve been waiting for this game in particular since it’s original reveal all those years ago, so for those involved in making this a reality, we thank you; the sense of community is fantastic in the Dreamcast fanbase these days. What a time to be alive folks!

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What we have to keep in mind is the sadly wasn’t near completion, so the offering is no doubt really just going to be a taster of what could have been, from what we’ve learnt, there isn’t a more complete version of the game out there unlike many other Dreamcast cancelled leaks over the years, but we aren’t one to look the gift horse in the mouth.

The article involving the release of the game can be found here :

http://x-community.grafbb.com/t2190-exclu-mondiale-agartha-bientot-disponible

Intrepid Izzy Looks To Seek Funding Via Kickstarter

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Many of you are most likely already aware that Senile Team, the developers behind Beats of Rage and more recently, Rush Rush Rally Racing, have been working on a new game for the Dreamcast which was recently announced to be Intrepid Izzy, a platform game which saw the reflexes and timing of the player tested in a modern yet retro inspired adventure game. Intrepid Izzy has taken to Kickstarter in the last 24 hours or so to seek €35,000 of funding to see the game released on both the PC and the Sega Dreamcast with the Playstation 4 being a stretch goal due to the expense of the development kit.

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Fans of the Dreamcast can pick a fairly standard release at €35 or go for some rather interesting special edition versions in the higher reward tier.

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What’s worth looking at here is the video teaser shown on the game’s main campaign, it does actually look pretty fantastic and the animation is very very impressive.

What do you think? Will you be backing the game? Share your thoughts and check the link to the Kickstarter below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/senileteam/intrepid-izzy-pc-dreamcast-ps4/description

What Ever Happened To? Part 5 : Agartha

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Okay, let’s return to our ‘what ever happen to’ segment and have ourselves a little look at Agartha. What’s Agartha you’re wondering? Well, back in 2000/2001 survival horror games were pretty big business, everyone wanted a little slice of the Silent Hill and Resident Evil pie, the Dreamcast itself had it’s fair share, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Evil Dead, Carrier, D2 and others graced the machine. Regardless of this, Sega and No Cliché decided to get their heads together and make their own take. Agartha was based around a small village in Romania, the year would be 1929. You would play Kirk, an adventurer who would discover a subterranean village which is called Agartha, from here you’d have to face off against undead beasties treading a good or bad moral path whilst interacting with other villagers.

The game sounded and looked like a great addition to the Dreamcast’s library of games and it’s such a shame that it never saw the light of day, No Cliché sadly closed shop in 2001, around the time Sega pulled out of the hardware business.

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Where can you play this game today? Well, with No Cliché going out of business, and no other format announced aside Dreamcast – it looked as if Agartha was lost in time forever. However, as of August 2017,  The Dreamcast Junkyard recently got the scoop that there is actually a playable build of the game which has recently been cast over the public eye, sadly the game’s development was evidently quite far away from completion but all the same, it’s great to see the game ‘exist’ in some form of playability, maybe, just maybe there is a chance we’ll see this game in our consoles one day.

Another 5 titles heading to DC via JoshProd!

Dreamcast fans rejoice! Remember earlier in the year when JoshProd and Rush On Game brought us 5 PAL region games to add you our collections? Well, in an exclusive scoop announced by the guys over at the Dreamcast Junkyard this morning, it’s now known that another 5 games are coming with the possibility of even more later down the line.

What we have this time around is actually more daring one would say, last time we had 3 games that had already been released on Dreamcast (Dux 1.5, Alice’s Mom’s Rescue, The Ghost Blade) and two were semi-new to Dreamcast (Rush Rush Rally Racing Reloaded and Breakers) the line up of titles in this batch seem like really good choices and I’m sure many Dreamcast owners are going to want the whole set.

Zia and the Goddesses of Magic has already seen a release on the console recently, but we can’t help but feel it’s going to gain better exposure this time around, it’s not the most fantastic DC game out there, but well worth adding a PAL version to your collection rather than the generic original release.

Sturmwind again, has already seen a release on the console a few years back now, but if one title was deserving of a second (third, Dragonbox Shop handled the second) wind, it’s this one – perhaps one of the most impressive Dreamcast games in recent memory, if you missed out on some of the other editions, now is the time to grab it.

Flashback – this is a reworking of the classic 90’s game using the original source code to enhance the game slightly for the more powerful hardware, JoshProd actually got the licence to make this game, so that in itself is pretty significant.

Ganryu – A NeoGeo title which is being developed by Visco, much in the same way that Breakers was released on Dreamcast, we could see a trend of NeoGeo software finding a more affordable home on the system.

4X4 Jam – By far the most important release on the list here, this game is actually an existing game on PSP and mobile platforms, the source code is again being used to port it to Sega’s hardware and one would hope that we could see other mobile or handheld games coming across to fill out the Dreamcast’s software roster. It doesn’t look half bad either from what we’ve seen Tom at TDCJunkyard play of it.

So there you have it! New games to play on your console, you can catch us playing Dux 1.5 and talking a little about the PAL style version in the linked video, also there’s a link to the breaking story from The Dreamcast Junkyard and also the pre-order page on Rush On Game’s website which will go live on August 4th 2017, the games are said to retail for around 30 Euros each and no doubt there’ll be a bundle like the first wave of games.

https://www.rushongame.com

 

http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2017/07/4×4-jam-flashback-ganryu-head-up-new.html

 

 

Replacement Dreamcast Power Board Seeks Funding.

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As many of you are probably aware, by owning a few stockpiled Dreamcast units, us as owners are always looking to keep playing our beloved Dreamcast units but this can become an increasingly hard task with various components getting tired and worn as the years progress, well fear not! There’s a guy that’s got your back if your power supply unit (PSU) has decided it no longer has the power to make your 128 bit dreams come true – the DreamPSU is a device which is currently seeking funding through Indiegogo, this compact device reworks the way the power is handled through the console whilst retaining the original 4-pin configuration meaning you can simply plug it in where the old unit once lay.

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The benefits to this new revised design is mainly that the amount of heat that would usually be generated by the original unit is now drastically reduced making for a cooler, and probably more efficiant running of the system in general, naturally this can also free up room inside the plastic casing of the console for more activities. The console however would then run on a 12V power supply unit, so in theory any potential buyer could use a power plug from their own country without the need to physically step down the voltage (or change the original power supply, which most do).

You can take a peek at the funding campaign here :

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dreampsu-making-your-dreamcast-cool-again-power#/

Seems like a brilliant idea to us!