The year 2021 had been an exceptional year with the discovery of many Unreleased on the Dreamcast scene, remember : the retrospective of Dreamcast Unreleased discoveries for the year 2021 !
2022 would have been less generous in terms of Unreleased on Dreamcast. It was hard to do better. The more years go by, the harder it will be to come up with something new and exciting, but we're trying!
Where are hiding Soul Reaver 2 and Woody Woodpecker Racing on Dreamcast ? Maybe they will be discovered in 2023 ? I hope so!
The Dreamcast Unreleased for 2022 :
Tower of Babel tech demo (January 1, 2022): This impressive technical demo designed by Yu Suzuki was known for a long time. It could only be played on an emulator. From now on, it is possible to run Tower of Babel on a real Dreamcast after discovering this build in a Katana development kit.
The Grinch (October 3, 2022): It is a surprising discovery made, once again, in a Katana Dreamcast development kit acquired earlier this year by KF. After analysis of the Dev Kit files, it turned out that the development studio "Artful Mind and Movement" had started a Japanese port for the game "The Grinch" which will finally be cancelled.
Jeckyll and Hyde (22 November 2022): Nobody knew that French publisher Cryo Interactive was thinking of porting this PC title, developed by In Utero, to Sega's latest console. It was a real surprise. The 2 prototypes of Jekyll and Hyde give an idea of the atmosphere of this game inspired by the novel "The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde" published in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. The developers of In Utero have shared a lot of conceptual material such as sketches, artworks, level plans and the beginnings of 3D modeling of the title's environment.
Unreleased from other consoles in 2022:
The Red Star (February 13, 2022): This new prototype of "The Red Star, on the classic Xbox, is part of a group release of prototypes from publisher Acclaim done in two parts. The first part, Duffy's Dreamcast Collection, included about 50 different Dreamcast builds spread over 11 games (South Park Rally, Shadow Man, Fur Figthers etc). The second part, Duffy's Collection Part 2, offered about 40 Playstation 1, Playstation 2, PC, Xbox and GameCube prototypes.
Heaven's Drive Playstation 2 (September 4, 2022): If this strange name doesn't ring a bell, that's normal, as this is the Japanese Unreleased version of Burnout for the Playstation 2. Why it was cancelled is still a mystery. It's funny to see this title screen with Heaven's Drive written on it!
The major prototypes of 2022:
Jet Set Radio E3 (February 11, 2022): This prototype is dated April 28, 2000, about 1 month before the final Japanese version. The build starts with a Debug Menu allowing to choose, for example, the character or the level of your choice. Graphical differences are present (the colour of the taxis changes, different backgrounds etc.).
Shenmue 2 Game Jam: This prototype of Japanese Shenmue 2 (it is rare to acquire GD-Rs of Japanese games) dates back to April 14, 2001, 3 months before its final version. The disc must have been used to present the game during the Game Jame event in Japan in 2001. With some members of the Shenmue community, we spent 3 months analysing it. The differences are numerous, this build tells us more about Yū Suzuki's franchise including elements cut from the game like the Miao village. The major discovery of this prototype is the modelling of Yū Suzuki's face instead of Ryo's, we can even play him. The Japanese video game designer was supposed to appear as a hidden NPC which was eventually removed by AM2.
The articles and release/interview of 2022:
Ian Harrison aka "British Storm" as Punk versus Master Sega, the interview: The French Sega Megadrive "Sega c'est plus fort que toi" commercials have, over the course of three decades, become cult. It was only in 2022 that we learned the name of the actor playing the Punk for the needs of the Sega France marketing campaign. To our great pleasure, Ian Harrison had accepted an interview!
Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles memoirs: I had the chance to talk at length with some of the members of the French development studio In Utero, some fascinating testimonials. They shared with me a lot of sketches, artworks and assets (about 300) for their baby Evil Twin Dreamcast/PS2/PC and for their other unknown game Jekyll and Hyde (mentioned above). These articles, there are 5 dedicated to In Utero (some of them dedicated to downloadable prototypes), pay tribute to their work!
Headhunter Dreamcast and Playstation 2, the hunt for Amuze prototypes is open!!!: I had the chance to talk at length with some of the members of the Swedish development studio Amuze, some fascinating testimonials. They shared with me assets and sketches for their Headhunter Dreamcast/Playstation 2 game. An amazing Dreamcast prototype can also be downloaded!
We shall see what the year 2023 will bring!
Happy New Year 2023 and best wishes to all!