Whatever Happened To? Part 10 : Virtua Golf.

Back in late 2000, many projects came and went again for the Dreamcast, what was once a dead-cert that a Naomi based arcade game would see a DC conversion, became sadly hit and miss at best, often resources were pulled from a quick Dreamcast port, to a more involved other console conversion due to the audience fading away from Sega’s machine. What would also occur is some games would be planned for home release and then be later locked away to be forever just an arcade board, one such example is game number 10 in the series; Virtua Golf.

761772-virtua-golf-arcade-screenshot-bunker.png

Announced in the late part of 2000, it was Sega who were planning to bring this arcade board (and perhaps the last in the Virtua sports range?) home to their own hardware, this was to be a good turn for the Dreamcast as golf games had been sadly lacking with mostly Tee Off seen as the main gap filler there. Virtua Golf was a gorgeous looking title that shared many graphical cues from Virtua Tennis 2 and Sports Jam (which in itself had a golf mode), it was developed by Sega WOW who had developed Sega GT, Bass Fishing and Alien Front Online to name a few, this sports game could really have done well on the machine, as it stands, golf is a quite popular sport and EA had success with it’s Tiger Woods series of games.

Being known as Dynamic Golf in Japan, and already running on Dreamcast derived arcade hardware, the game was up to 4 players and featured a roller ball which could control your power whilst rolling toward the screen would take the shot, this is a departure from the tried amnd tested shot guage found in all golf games before Tiger Woods revolutionised the control method with analogue stick control. Surprisingly in-depth were the modes of play, which unlike other arcade games at the time, featured most of the modes expected of a home title, even a full 18 hole endurance mode.

761757-virtua-golf-arcade-screenshot-putting.png

Typical Sega blue skies were found in this game, it looked great for a 2001 game, and seemed to have all the right mix for the home port treatment, so what went wrong? Well, to be honest I think Dreamcast Magazine were a bit premature in 2000, saying this was coming to the console – they later, in 2001 featured it on their missing games section, with that year coming to a close, and Sega seemingly less interested in persuing the Dreamcast, I’d be surprised if this made it past the ‘is it possible’ stage, which yes, it would have easily ported across but like many really impressive games from that era that were meant to be eyed with the Dreamcast in mind, it just wasn’t meant to be and this one is locked to the arcade without emulating the board. Such a shame.

761742-virtua-golf-arcade-screenshot-game-over.png

Advertisements

We Played a Broken Sword game…. on Dreamcast..?

Ah the Dreamcast, such a versatile little box of wonders isn’t it, capable of running lovely looking 128 Bit games, online capabilities, arcade ports, emulation…. Yes, that’s correct, we are talking about something that never came to the console being played on it.

This time around, we took a look at Broken Sword, a classic point and click series that started in 1997 and was locked behind either the PC on PlayStation or many years missing both the Saturn and the Dreamcast with Sega users, particularly on the Dreamcast, left out in the dark, in fact, Stupid Invaders is the only point and click we can think of to hand on the system.

Thankfully, many years ago, ScummVM was made to work with the console, allowing for many classic Lucas Arts stalwarts of this genre to come over unofficially, as well as both of the original Broken Sword games, Shadows of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror. We had a chance to give the first of these games a belated try, see how we felt via the video below.

 

Hidden Palace Have A Few More Dreamcast Surprises Planned.

If you follow our Facebook page (if not, why not?) you’ll have noticed we posted a Twitter screen grab about the Dreamcast Internet Pack being released, this was a bit of software that was to be given with Official Dreamcast Magazine that allowed parlour style games to be played via the Internet, we assume the execution would be much like Sega Swirl, where the software would have been given on the face of the magazine in a demo disc style execution.

Demul_2015-05-23_19-34-55-322

Quite why it never actually happened is a mystery really, but one would assume that perhaps the software was prepared for a 2001 release which would maybe coincide with Sega’s discontinuation of the console and eventually the services, also ODM (in the UK at least) was shelved in July 2001, with only Dreamcast Magazine continuing until the console’s last releases in 2002.

Demul_2015-05-23_19-34-52-003

The build date of this prototype is February 2001, so given the time frame needed to organise it’s roll out, it’s perhaps not surprising Sega decided not to go gold with it, the game can be played offline should you feel the need to give it a try and we are sure some clever users will be able to get it back online too.

It was through Hidden Palace that this prototype ended up, this website is run by gaming enthusiasts with the aim of preserving historic developments samples and beta software ensuring such precious materials aren’t lost for good, we’ll admit – it’s the first we’d heard of the site, but there seems to be chatter about more Dreamcast goodies coming soon so we are looking forward to seeing what’s next and thank whoever decided to allow us as gamers to experience the Internet Game Pack.  Check out their website, where these images came from at http://www.hiddenpalace.org it’s actually a very interesting page to see some games that never made the light of day and how some popular favourites were built and tested.

Screenshot 2019-03-15 at 09.59.35.png

 

 

 

RANDOM : A Dreamcast Zip Drive Came Up For Sale, Hardly Anyone Noticed.

Cast your minds back to the last year of the Dreamcast, in it’s official availability, there was talks of a few add-on devices in an attempt to keep interest towards the console, some of these devices actually were released (Sega Kara, DreamEye, 4X Memory Unit) whereas, others were shelved before release (DVD Add on, MP3 VMU and Zip Drive). It’s the Zip drive, a project that Sega that entertained in 2000 with Iomega to produce with the thought process that data such as download content, emails and web content could be stored on 100mb zip diskettes that perhaps holds the most interesting public history really, as there are apparently a few prototypes kicking about with one passing hands on eBay in 2007, that’s pretty much the last time one was seen on such a common garden selling method… Until December 2018 that is, where an example came up for sale In Germany, it’s unknown if this is maybe the same unit from ’07, or if this is a totally different prototype.

s-l16020

It seems to have flown totally under the radar of your usual suspects that report on this sort of stuff, we had only found some information in Russian about the eBay listing and having clicked the link, the Zip Drive ended up selling for €4225.00 which is a hefty chunk of cash but perhaps worth it for something so hard to obtain, some would say it’s the ultimate Dreamcast collectible up to this point…. Until a DVD add on comes up for sale, of course!

Untitled

Looking at the device, it isn’t far off the design for the Sega Kara unit, with the power supply acting as a passthrough from the main unit, and a similar metal heat shield (as seen in the Mega CD days) sandwiched between the two devices, on the front is where the discs are inserted and the modem is cabled from the console rather than attached as the zip drive requires the modem bay.

What’s your views on unreleased hardware? Do you think this justified it’s selling price?

Agartha Release Incoming.

Agartha-Dreamcast

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!

bg05-150x150

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