Category Archives: Prototype

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles – PSP Preview Demo

Hey folks,

An interesting piece of Castlevania history popped up recently on the Assemblergames.com forums 🙂

Courtesy of member Getta Robo, we now have a preview demo of Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles on the PSP.

Dracula X being my all time favorite Castlevania, I had to have a try!

The demo only contains the first level of the game, both routes and bosses available. Quite a few differences compared to the release, no cinematic, different background music and graphical details.

The game came from a developer DVD and was likely used to show the title to the world.

Here’s a game play video, enjoy!

Unknown Neo Geo Fighting Game Prototype (Gameplay)

Hey Folks,

I’m sure you’ve heard about the recent release of an unknown NeoGeo fighting prototype. While there are a lot of talks and debates about its origins on NeoGeo.com, I’ve been quite eager to try it…

Looking at the Mame development page it seems that the support for this game isn’t coming out until Mame 0.173 is released which is at the end of this month.

Patience isn’t a virtue I always possess so I decided, after a little research to compile my own version of Mame 🙂 And here is the result of an hour of compilation:

The game really is at the prototype/beta stage… There is no sound for starters, although I’m not sure whether it is an emulation issue or an issue the game itself. Some of the sprites are unfinished or missing and there is no single player mode so it’s really player vs dummy… But that’s expected with this sort of material.

It is quite incredible to see prototypes released into the wild albeit a NeoGeo one. Thank you mucho to NeoTurfMasta for releasing this piece of history.

Enjoy the video!

Sabre

Let’s talk about Kuma Soldier..

Hey Folks,

Let’s talk about another cancelled PC-FX game today, Kuma Soldier.

The more I dig into the PC-FX history, the more idiotic the decisions NEC made about the system in terms of content seem to be. It’s one thing not to update your console architecture to compete with the likes of the PSX and Saturn. But at least give the system a chance to compete with a good set of AAA games, however 2D they are.

Every platform has its own set of franchises Sega has Sonic, Nintendo Mario and the list go on. The PC Engine was home to some great series as well, PC Denjin, Bomberman (although multi-platform), the Soldier series, the Thunder series, Tengai Makyo… Not a lot of these made it to Nec’s 32-bit offspring.

In a previous post we looked at Lords of Thunder FX and while there is little evidence to support its existence. Kuma Soldier on the other hand has been documented several times in the press from the announcement of the Tetsujin board and into the early life of the PC-FX. Even a video popped up on YouTube a few years ago showing it in action along with many other unreleased titles…

Legend has it (see article from Nekofan) that NEC rejected the Kuma Soldier project for the PC-FX, preferring to focus FX content on other things… Not letting go, Hudson Soft instead decided to give the beloved PC Engine a final send off and morphed Kuma Soldier into what we know as GINGA FUKEI DENSETSU SAPPHIRE on the PC Engine. Crazy right? Well if you know Sapphire you will see some similarities when you compare screenshots.

Truth to be told while I would have loved Kuma Soldier to come out on the PC-FX, apart from the cut scenes, it doesn’t look overly impressive graphically, compared to say Zeroigar or Zenki.

While the legend of Kuma Soldier lives on in the above video. I’d like to think that it inspired another game that was released back in May 2008 on the Wii, Star Soldier R. I actually played SSR to death for a long time, the online scoreboard made it quite addictive…

The similarities between both games, on the face of it are probably far fetched but Kuma Soldier is the first thing that came to my mind when I first played SSR, shiny cutscenes, fast paced… It also felt like this game should have come out in the 90s, instead of 2008. The PC-FX would have easily handled a 2D rendition of SSR.

So there you go, another missed opportunity for the poor PC-FX. Hopefully one day a prototype will surface somehow….one can hope.

Sabre

Geist Force Intro Movie now with a soundtrack

EDIT: Video file replaced on Vimeo with a new file containing the soundtrack professionally mastered by a studio 🙂

Hey Folks,

On top of being a video game collector, I’m a bit of a guitar/music nerd. If you’ve played Geist Force on the DC, you know that there isn’t any soundtrack on the intro movie. So I decided to give it one metal style… Obviously being a Thunder Force/Lords of Thunder and metal fan, I am a bit biased x) But hopefully you will enjoy it 🙂

This my first stab at making video game music, so be nice 😉 A lot of people will recognise the beginning of the intro… well that’s because of that damn ringtone that wakes me up every morning that I got the idea for the rest of the music… I couldn’t find any better replacement for it, so thank you Apple, I hope you won’t mind… Alea Jacta Est 😉

Enjoy…

Happy New Year!!!

Hey Folks,

Happy New Year, all the best for 2014 and lots of Retro Gaming happiness stuffs!!! Another year has gone by and not the least exciting one in the gaming world, after a nice long break from work which included a whole week bed bound with flu… I am back in action and ready to post… a long one…

The biggest news of December was the Christmas release of ToeJam & Earl III Beta on the Dreamcast by ZakhooiTM from the ASSEMblerGames forums. The Dreamcast shows again that it can surprise after all these years. The game itself feels very much like the first TJ&E on the Megadrive, it’s very playable and there’s even a 2 players mode. Most people can get up to level 9-10 before the game locks-up but someone managed to get to level 25! I’ve only played through to level 3, it’s quite a fun game, it feels much better than the Xbox version. Head over the ASSEMblerGames forums to download your copy. The release had the blessing of Greg Johnson & Mark Voorsanger, the original makers of the game but not SEGA, obviously…

Big ups to ZakhooiTM for the release, the guy didn’t even ask for any donations to cover his costs, which we all appreciate!!! His only ask is to donate whatever people can to a special school, the Mardan School in the US.

Yakumo from SEGAGAGA Domain made a Retro Core Special on the game which you can view here:

Also below is an interview with Greg Johnson made by SegaNerds, the beta is mentioned at 36:30, worth watching for TJ&E fans.

While we are on the subject of Yakumo, the man has been busy over the Christmas period:

Retro Core 4 – Volume 14

In this episode, Yakumo is reviewing:

– Pulseman on the Megadrive
– A+m+o+k on the Saturn
– Appleseed on the SuperFamicom

Battle of the Ports – Golden Axe

As you guessed in this BOTP episode, Yakumo-san reviews various ports of Golden Axe, including the awful PC Engine port ;( can’t believe they messed it up that much, still hurts as of today x)

Finally if you are a fan of fighting games on the Saturn, Yakumo has uploaded the RETRO CORE SUMMER SPECIAL 2010 – Sega Saturn Fighting Special, show on Youtube, featuring 65 games and with a Total Running time of 2 hours 39 minutes, no less!!! The show is split in 5 parts, enjoy!!!

RETRO CORE SUMMER SPECIAL 2010 – Sega Saturn Fighting Special

That’s all for now, more to come on NEC stuffs, stay tuned!!!

Unreleased Racer from Bizarre Creations – Blur 2

Hello folks,

Some Blur 2 development footage was released by Bizarre Creations former art director Chris Davie, a couple of days ago on his Blog. The video(s) show what could have become the follow-up to 2010’s epic racing game Blur. Particularly one of the video(s) shows a level in Dubai which looks quite impressive and another one another one shows a level called Brighton Storm. Now, Activision didn’t seem to like that at all and shut down the videos on Youtube, meh!!! Chris erased any traces of the posts on his blog… Don’t we like Activision… More COD and chips, please, NOT!!! I salvaged what I could for your enjoyment. I will add more to the post if I can get more off Tumblr 🙂

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The Brighton level was in Blur already, this is what Chris had to say on the first video:

‘We took tech and assets from Blur, and used them to try out some new ideas. This video shows us trying out some new visual effects, partly just because we thought it would be cool, and partly to see how more intense effects would effect the player’s experience (i.e. is driving through a storm shooting and dodging weapons fun and exciting or stupid and annoying),’

One of the videos, the Dubai level, survived on YouTube, there are quite a few copies lying around, here is one of them, Kudos to the uploader 😉 :

The Dubai level looks really impressive, shame nobody will ever be able to touch it 😦

“We were using a whole new engine at this point that had been developed internally, it was really nice tech that we sadly never got to ship a game with. When we were told the project was being canned and that the studio was facing closer, I bloody mindedly decided to keep working on the art on this track, so much work had gone into the game already, it seemed a shame that nobody would get to play a finished track, even the dev team, so my goal was to get this Dubai track as close to final as I could before the lights went out for good.”

More screenshots:

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That’s all I have for now, I think looking back at the footage and the screenshots, it’s a real shame Blur 2 never saw the light of the day, I did Beta test the initial Blur, found it really fun but for some reasons I didn’t end up buying it… Shame on me… As soon as I get a chance I will get a copy though… Time to dust off MSR and PGR, Bizarre you are sorely missed ;(

Happy New Year!!! More Forsaken 2!!!

Good morning,

I wish you all a happy new year and I hope you all had a great festive season!!!

To start off the year… I stumbled upon some old video rushes I made years ago on Forsaken 2 and decided to compile a new video out of them. So here it is, about 4 minutes of Forsaken 2 goodness for your enjoyment. Soundtrack is made by Nine Inch Nails, video is made on Windows Live Movie Maker, I don’t think it will be up for an Oscar but who knows? Enjoy 😉

Sabre