Top 10 Canceled Dreamcast games

The Dreamcast was a system of contrasts. Take for example, the optimism and fervor around the system in 1998 with the sinking feeling of 2000 (despite a ton of great titles) and the abandonment in 2001. I recall how the magazines of the times would categorically state that that much anticipated title was indeed coming, and only delayed, only for the game to sink without further trace or mention.
 
What a fantastic list of upcoming games. Sadly, many were never released

It is today some of the games I want to take a look look at. As the title says, this is a list of games which were never released for the Dreamcast system for one reason or another; although usually economic. These titles may not have been enough to save the Sega Dreamcast, but they definitely could have help lengthen the console’s fleeting life. Anyway, here are my own personal top-10 most wanted, but ultimately, canceled Dreamcast games. See if you agree.



Agartha
Agartha is a cancelled horror adventure that was planned by the French software house No Cliche who had had previous success with Toy Commander. Development began in 2000 and it was considered somewhat along the lines of an Alone in the Dark, or Silent Hill type game with players exploring snow-laden mountains and villages, resolving puzzles and fighting against monsters that lived in there. The game progress was influenced by the players’ choices, which could have decided whether to help innocent people and seal the evil town, or let them to die and help demons to destroy our planet. The game featured a number of times in the preview section of the Official UK Dreamcast Magazine.
 
 
No Cliche’s horror adventure could have been an awesome addition to the Dreamcast’s library, however in 2001 made the decision to withdraw from the console market and No Cliche axed the project, laying off most of its staff. You can read a short interview with the game's producer on the back ground of the game here.

 
 
Black and White
Despite being confirmed relatively early on in the Dreamcast’s life, Lionhead Studios’ god game where players take the role of a deity supervising a civilization was constantly delayed due to technical issues and ultimately canceled upon news of Sega’s withdrawal from the hardware market.

The game was constantly held as a system seller and proof of the hardware’s ability (only top PCs of the time would run the game) by magazines of the era. Personally, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to form my own civilization and raise my own titan to protect/cause chaos on the world. So much so that I even went hand in hand to my local Electronic Boutique with a five pound note to place my preorder. Two months later and I was using that credit to pick up a copy of Skies of Arcadia as Black & White went on to be subsquently canceled due to "economic conditions".
 
 

Capcom vs SNK [Beta Vers.]
Okay, I'm kind cheating with this one as e Capcom's fighting game did in fact get a port the Dreamcast in 2000. However, being a huge CvS fan I had to give the much publicised beta version a mention on this list. When it was first announced, the characters of the Street Fighter series had the same visual style as the Street Fighter Zero series, which was somewhat different from the style used in the final game.

The backgrounds were also quite different (with references to the Capcom games of the era such as Power Stone) and while the tailor-made ones in the final game were ultimately superior, it would have been a suiting nod to the Dreamcast had a variety of backgrounds from what were system exclusives been included. Furthermore, if Capcom felt they weren't up to scratch then why not include them as secrets, or even downloadable stages? The Capcom of 2015 would never have thought twice.

 
Castlevania: Resurrection
Originally intended to be a launch title for the Dreamcast in America, Castlevania: Resurrection was delayed until March 2000, then until later that year when Konami made the decision to cancel production for Sega's new system (they weren't the system’s staunchest supporters).

It appeared as an impressive looking fully 3D Castlevania title with the focus on Sonia Belmont and Victor Belmont, an 1800’s vampire killer who had abandoned his lineage, in 1666, directly before Simon Belmont’s mission in the original Castlevania title. It is rumored that Castlevania: Curse of Darkness uses some environments that were originally in this game.
 
A beta copy was offered for sale for 3,000 Euros around 10 years ago but the price was never met and the contents have never been confirmed. 
 
 
Gunvalkyrie
Gunvalkyrie was released for the Xbox, but it was originally intended as a final swansong for the Sega Dreamcast. It’s visual style was very similar to the final Xbox version (although there are rumours that though the characters were rendered using a cel-shaded style this is untrue as the screenshot clearly shows) but was originally intended to offer much more intiuative controll system.

The Dreamcast version’s unique control scheme used both a lightgun and a controller to aim and shoot but dropped when development shifted to the Xbox version and replaced with a rather akward control system which only utilized the controller. Check out this awesome beta trailer on YouTube.

House of Dead III
The House of the Dead III was intended to be released on the Dreamcast to appease the hordes of fans who had had little reason to dust off their lightgun since the release of The House of the Dead II. It was going to be the first title ported over from the little used Chihiro arcade hardware based on the Microsoft Xbox.

It’s difficult to assert exactly how much of the game was actually completed for Dreamcast but the game certainly did feature heavily in Dreamcast promotion at the time. Personally, as a big fan of the prequel I was absolutely gutted at the time that the game was given the chop and then ultimately given a release on the Xbox.
 

Planet Of The Apes
Dubbed an action-adventure title by Fox, POTA put you in the role of Ulysses, a human survivor who crash-lands a spaceship on an uncharted planet one thousand years in the future where the apes rule. The game was going to be a 3D adventure game and would have been a great coup for the system considering the amount of nostalgia concerning the movies. Being a big fan of the movies I was disappointed that Planet of the Apes never saw the light of day on Dreamcast.
 
 
 
Propeller Arena
Propeller Arena was to be one the showcase titles for the system and one of those titles that would show the potential of the Dreamcast as a  console for online gaming. The plot was simple: in 2045, would set up a championship fights between aircraft of the Second World War. The game included a Championship mode, where by choosing one of the playable characters, you could face the fighting and move forward in history, a quick battles, where you could challenge up to 4 players, or the computer, and even an online mode which was the base of the game.
 
Sadly, the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre the US and subsequent tragedies led to the cancellation of one of the Dreamcast’s last remaining games. Sega’s PR department released the following statement that, “Although the game content does not deal with terrorism in any way, it is possible for a determined individual to deliberately play the game in a manner that generates images similar to those we have seen on the news” and the game was never given an official release. It can however be found online in its full entirety.
 
 
Streets Of Rage 4
Streets of Rage 4, or Streets of Rage DC as it is also known, appeared very early in the Dreamcast's lifespan as a technical demo. This tech demo showed a character similar to Axel fighting off a group of enemy characters. Various changes in gameplay had apparently been planned, including the introduction of new team attacks and a new first person perspective.

However, much of the demo is unfinished, and it is assumed the project was scrapped shortly after being shown. There are also rumours that that the source was sold to Eidos who went on to develop a SOR clone of their own with the somewhat mundane, Fighting Force.
 
 
ToeJam & Earl 3
A big hit on the Megadrive ToeJame & Earl was going to be an exclusive for the system and a game that Sega US thought could be a system seller. However, but, after Sega discontinued the Dreamcast, the game was moved to the Microsoft Xbox. A three-dimensional platform game, it was released in October 2002. The gameplay is primarily based on that of the original ToeJam & Earl, though elements from Panic on Funkotron were also included.

The game presented a more adult approach, full random 3D levels and would eventually go on to being leaked after an Assembler forums member found the code on the hard drive of a Dreamcast development kit. I'm still yet to play it but it is on my list for 2015.

Comments

  1. Good article i guess when Sega started announcing mounting losses the writing was on the wall. One curious was Half-Life if the game was supposedly 98% complete why not just release it. Some money is better than no money and this was a highly anticipated title. I think if Sega would of just hung on to the end of 2001 some of these games might of been released.

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    Replies
    1. petition for sega to possibly release a dreamcast 2

      https://www.change.org/p/hajime-satomi-bring-back-the-dreams

      Delete
  2. Yes, Half-Life is a curious one which like you say probably would have at least recouperated a little money back from valve. Especially when you consider trash such as Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern was still being released.

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  3. I believe what ultimately prevented the DC version of Half-Life from going to retail was that Sony Secured an exclusivity to have the game released on their platform, the PS2.

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  4. I see, that would explain it.

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