Friday, August 15, 2008

Where are they?

Sega's arcade heritage has always been an important part of the company's allure in the home market. While at the time, it seemed like almost a given that these games would have a home conversion, it never happened. Other games were developed and worked on, sometimes to near completion, but never saw the light of day. What happened and where are they?

Daytona 2 - The original Daytona USA was one of the highest-grossing arcade games of all time. It was inevitable that a sequel would be made, but it never seemed to gather the attention that the original did. While a home port seemed like a no-brainer, it never materialized. As with Sega GT, Daytona 2 ran on Sega's Model 3 board and was lost during Sega's Saturn to Dreamcast shuffle.

House of the Dead 4 - Part four in one of Sega's larger franchises, HotD4 introduced automatic machine guns as the weapon of choice. Though never formally announced, the jury is still out on whether this one will find its way to a console near you. The popularity for shooters has been decreasing lately, but with the Wii's zapper and House of the Dead 2&3 Return appearance, there may still yet be hope for this game.

Indy 500 - Another Model 2 racer in the vein of Daytona USA, this one focused on Indy cars and included a polygonal version of the famous Brickyard. It would seem like a shoe-in to put another one of Sega's arcaders on the Saturn. It didn't happen and the only way to play the game to date is at the arcades.

Rent a Hero No. 1 - Out in Japan, the game was being translated and readied up for a Western release. Similar to Shenmue, the DC (and later X-box) game involved every kid's nightmare - running around as a super-hero for the summer. At the last minute the game was cancelled and rumor has it that nearly-finished copies of the English game are in the hands of collectors. Why cancel it? The game would simply not have been profitable. With little name recognition to the title and a lot of Japanese humor that may not have translated, the risk was not worth the cost.

Scud Race/Super GT - One of the first games to appear on the Model 3 arcade board, GT was another example of Sega's fine arcade racing history. Unfortunately, it never appeared on a home console. As with a few other Model 3 games, this one seems to have fallen through the cracks, being too powerful for the Saturn to handle yet unable to tap into the full potential of the Dreamcast. Though it never received a proper home port, Sega GT had been shown running on a Dreamcast before the system's launch.

Sonic the Fighters (Saturn) - In 1998, the Saturn was all but done in the eyes of Sega, making way for the Dreamcast. A few titles, however, were still in the bucket, including Sonic the Fighters, a home conversion of the arcade game. Even with a released date announced, the game was quietly cancelled. As consolation, a few characters and stages were included in Fighters Megamix. Sonic the Fighters eventually saw a home release as part of the Sonic Gems Collection, nearly eight years later.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park - Loosely based on the movie with the same name, this shooter had players wielding pistols to take out dinosaurs on the loose. Maybe the story is a little far-fetched, but the game was still good fun and managed to eat quite a few quarters at the arcade. With the Dreamcast's relatively low number of light-gun games, it would've made a great addition to the system's line-up.

Vectorman - Sega's 2D sidescroller was set to make a triumphant return to 3D on the Playstation 2 as a third-person shooter. Production took off, and Vectorman was given a new makeover; instead of floating orbs, he was an all-metallic robot, apparently rebuilt after being defeated in his past. The game made an appearance at 2003's e3 in a very early stage and reportedly needed some work. After a while, things went hush-hush, and the game was quietly canned.

Virtua Cop 3 - After an eight year hiatus, the Virtua Cop series returned in 2003, sporting a more futuristic look and new feature - a foot pedal to slow down time. Without a console of their own and the waning popularity of light gun games, Sega's VC3 never made it out of the arcades.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog, those games are all games I wish I could have played at home too. I've played many of them, such as The Lost World, Indy 500, and Virtua Cop 3 in the arcades, and It'll suck when Sega pulls them out of arcades and I won't be able to play them anymore.