Cancelled Dreamcast games that looked awesome


When I was in middle school, all I did was read the Official Dreamcast magazine and look at the long list of upcoming games. There is always something about seeing new information about a game before it hits the store shelves, especially when those games you are looking forward to never make it to the shelves. You are stuck wondering what those games could have been, if they came out.

Here is my salute to the most awesome looking cancelled Dreamcast games.

Geist Force


I’m going to be honest, any game with the word Geist always makes me think about this piece of turd. But this game has nothing to do with the Nintendo published Geist video game, this was in development long before that game was even conceived. Geist Force was suppose to be a launch title for the Dreamcast and one of the first SEGA of America developed games for that platform.

Was the game cheap? Probably not, since they did hire Netter Digital Entertainment, Inc (NDEI). NDEI is a Hollywood special effects company that worked on shows like Babylon 5 and helped create the cutscenes for this game.

Why it was cancelled

This is a good question, why would SEGA stop working on an incredible looking game, especially if it was slated to be a launch title and was shown off to the press at 1998’s Tokyo Game Show? According to Ben Fischer, who worked as a digital texture artist on the game, it was just too short and according to him it wasn’t fun. Which is already not good, especially if this is one of the first games the public will see when they buy their white machines that think for themselves.

Fair enough reason not to make the launch window, the game obviously needed work. If they went this far, they should have delayed it to make it an awesome game… right? I guess not, since the game was costing them money and of course, SEGA was really careful at the time not to spent too much.

Why it looked awesome

When you saw the footage for this game, what did you think it reminded you of? To me, it looked like Star Fox. Yep, one of the only Nintendo franchises that I will openly admit to liking, especially the one on the Nintendo 64. Wait, that was the last great Star Fox game, now that I think about it. This game is like that, if it was set in a more real looking sci-fi tone. Also, it doesn’t have this.

Not to mention the graphics looked really good for a Dreamcast games, look at the ship going down next to the water. Incredible stuff. The scale of the creatures was impressive as well. It is a shame this game will never see the light of day. But even though its gone, its not forgotten. Is it bad that this looks a ton better than both Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault?

Hellgate


Well, another game that has a name that reminds us of another game. Remember that overhyped PC game called Hellgate London? Well, this is nothing like that. This game was developed by Horny Dog and was to be published by Jester Interactive. The concept of the game was that you were a dude on a motorcycle that killed demons. Now that is awesome. The game was in development for 15 months before it was laid to rest.

For those who wanted to test drive the incomplete game, now you can. On March 2009, someone got a hold of the image for the incomplete game. So you can now download it, burn it and play it on your Dreamcast.

Why it was cancelled

The game’s production had some issues. First issue was that SEGA had decided to announce that they where going to pull from the console business. That is never a good sign when your making a game for a dead console. The second was that two of the developers working on the game, didn’t have much interest in the project. The team spent 15 months developing the game and in the end, they weren’t far enough along to keep the project going.

It is hard, when your a small studio and your hit with a ton of bad news regarding your title. They could have always pulled a SEGA and took the game to another platform.

Why it looked awesome

If slaying a ton of demons, while driving crazy motorcycle does not sound freaking awesome, then you don’t know what awesome is. I always have had a thing for horror movies and games, even games that are darker and grittier. This game definitely falls into that and I thought it was looking awesome.  The concept was there, all they had to do was execute it and they would have had my $49.99.

Though if you played the ‘leaked’ alpha version of the game, the motorcycle controls are a bit tough to nail down. I mean, you can see it from the video. Even though the concept is awesome, the motorcycle is too fast and you have to stand still and shoot a ton. If they could have gotten the controls perfect, this would have rocked. Those driving parts look awesome.

Quark

Quark name sort of looks like Quake if you are drunk and just got off public transportation. No problem, the title looked nothing like Quake. The game was being developed by French Developer Quantic Dream. Who are now known for making QTE games like Heavy Rain. The game was being developed after Omikron: The Nomad Soul, which was a darker game and seemed to be the concept of the rest of the developers games. Dark and gritty.

Well, unlike that, this game was more light hearted and fun. Something that might be weird coming from the studio that does games about serial killers kidnapping and killing children. Unlike most games on the list, this one was in development for PC and PS2 as well.

Why it was cancelled

Actually I never found an explanation as to why the game was cancelled. At the time, two games by the developer didn’t make it out, one being this one and the other was a sequel to Omikron (which has been confirmed to be in the works again). But most likely, the reason was because in 2002 they started to work on Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy). The game did not come out till 2005, meaning they worked on it for roughly 3 years.

Given that the game was their first ‘critically acclaimed’ game, maybe they did the right choice in going that direction? We will never know, CEO David Cage sure did hype up Quark though.  Maybe they where scared that people would confuse it with that one TV show with the hot barnstable twins?

Why it looked awesome

Well, if you seen the screenshots posted around here, you will know the game had the looks and I quite liked the ‘joyful’ art style. The concept of the game was that it had two worlds, which you would be able to switch from and solve quests, puzzles and that sort of thing. One of the worlds was a bright beautiful fantasy world with strange creatures and the other is a gritty real world London.

For the game, David Cage said their main competition was Outcast (DC port was cancelled) and SEGA’s own Shenmue. The game would even let you use animals to gain new abilities and let you access new areas. IGN even had the balls to suggest this title might be the next Shenmue. How couldn’t I think this game looked awesome!?

Redline Arena


Redline Arena is actually Redline 2, a sequel to the PC only game from 1999. The game is a post-apocalyptic shooter and combat racing game. Redline Arena was being developed by French developer and publisher Infogrames.  The game set to bring both car combat like Twisted Metal to Dreamcast with first person action of Quake to mix things up.

Why it was cancelled

Apparently the project was dropped from the Dreamcast due to the Dreamcast’s network setup, it created tons of lag and it would have taken serious man power to fix out all the kinks.

“The Dreamcast’s networking setup was not in sync with the Redline networking code. Lag and latency were going to be serious buzz-kills. Addressing this incompatibility was going to be a monumental task, and ultimately, the project was dropped” –Stolen from Unseen 64.

The game was then moved on to the Playstation 2, where the game turned into a car combat only game known as Motor Mayhem. The publisher thought it would have been a great idea to release it when Twisted Metal: Black came out. I mean, who has heard of that game, right?

Why it looked awesome

The game’s promise of delivering a Quake III Arena with car combat is already an amazing promise. You see, I was very addicted to Quake III Arena on Dreamcast and would spend hours and hours online fragging random strangers. Try telling your parents what you did all day, they somehow think fragging strangers is a sin. Dirty minded people.

Even though the online system was the game’s downfall, it was what sold it. Even though the Dreamcast came built with a online modem, the system sadly did not have too many games that took full advantage of this. So, like most Dreamcast owners, I was always on the look out for games that had online modes. Back then it was rare since it was just starting for consoles, now every game has some sort of online mode.

Propeller Arena


I saved the best for last or more like the most obvious. Propeller Arena (with Half Life) are possibly the most popular games that got cancelled for Dreamcast, mostly because they where basically complete. Propeller Arena (or also known as Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship to the hip folks) is a air combat game developed by AM2. Anything developed by AM2 is obviously worth everyones time.

The game was mean’t to support online with online voice chat. The only other game on the Dreamcast that supported Online voice chat was Alien Front: Online.

Why it was cancelled

Actually the game wasn’t really cancelled, it was just not released. So I guess its release got cancelled? I don’t want to think too much into it, I will just get a headache. The game was not released due to a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. You might have heard of it, it was on September 11th 2001?

Even though I think its a bit of a shit reason not to release a game, especially since I always look forward to anything AM2. Also sucks that a bit later they decided to drop support of the Dreamcast and the game never made it to other consoles. Even though the game died with the Dreamcast, it was not lost forever. Some kind soul decided to leak the game online.

Why it looked awesome

Like I stated about Red Line Arena, I was always looking forward to more Dreamcast games that supported online play. This one supported it and it even supported voice chat. You know, I had to make full use of that Seaman microphone! The game even featured punk rock artist like No Use for a Name, Rise Against (who are now pretty popular), Zero Down , and more. Even though, today, I’m not into this sort of music, I appreciate it. You can listen to all the MP3s here.

The game also had some great graphics and it was actually quite fun. It is quite sad that we couldn’t enjoy the main selling point, the online mode.

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17 responses to “Cancelled Dreamcast games that looked awesome

  1. crackdude says:

    Heavy lack of Half-Life in there.. But nice read!

  2. crackdude says:

    Wasn't Halo also initially developed in the Dreamcast?

    Also just remembered about Max Payne and System Shock 2.

    And Streets of Rage 4!! Though that was just conceptual..

    Maybe in a part 2 😀

  3. MadeManG74 says:

    I think Halo was orignally for Mac actually.

    But yeah, Great article George, very interesting read! I hadn't heard of many of these games before.

  4. George says:

    Half-Life was just a port of a PC game, that is why its not included.

  5. Halo was designed for Mac, it was a followup to Marathon.

  6. Centrale says:

    Propeller Arena still looks so cool. Maybe it'll actually get released now to XBLA and PSN.

  7. crackdude says:

    In our politically correct society? No way.

  8. Centrale says:

    I think the issue back then was that it was originally scheduled to come out within a couple of months of 9/11. Enough time has passed that people wouldn't still be apalled by a game, if they ever would have. And if the issue is the chance of flying airplanes into buildings… why not just drop that map and make a different one? It could happen.

  9. Sega Uranus says:

    Propeller Arena is very fun, but honestly the only other game here I want to even try is Geist Force.

  10. DarrenIndeed says:

    I know it's just a small thing, but you seem to have forgotten about Planet Ring from the list of games that supported voice chat. I quite enjoyed that game, even though the games weren't exactly AAA killer apps.

  11. AshleyAshes says:

    I think Sega should seriously considder Propeller Arena now. No one's gonna care that you can fly the plane into a sky scraper by accident in ONE level in 2010. They completed the ENTIRE game, a working ISO even got leaked ant it's entirely done. Sega spent the money ten years ago to develop it and never got a penny earned for their efforts. Why not port it to XBLA and PSN and give us a game that we were meant to have and a nice air plane death match shooter to enjoy?

  12. Orta says:

    Needs more Agartha because I said so.

    http://uk.dreamcast.ign.com/objects/012/012489.ht

  13. wonderful post, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector don’t understand this. You should proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  14. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very great post.

  15. cube_b3 says:

    Well we are glad that you all have enjoyed this article, even a year after publishing it.

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