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Dreamcast Mania! – Canceled games: PC Ports

posted on August 20th, 2007 by jay

The Dreamcast was home to many excellent games, but due to its early demise, it was also home to many canceled games. These games, though varied, can be broken up into three main categories – ports of PC games, games that made it to other consoles, and games that never came out. Today, we will look at the PC ports and imagine how things would have turned out had the Dreamcast lasted a few more years.

Black and White
What was it?
A very well received god sim by Peter Molyneux.

Would it have been good?
Probably but it would be infuriating without the Dreamcast mouse.

Would it have sold?
Yes but not nearly as well as on the PC. Complex PC games and console games have different audiences.

Would it have actually come out?
I doubt it. The DS Black and White was announced forever ago and nothing has come of it. Lionhead seems to be unwilling to actually port their games, or at least their Black and White games.

Half-life
What was it?
A high quality FPS.

Would it have been good?
Yes. The Dreamcast’s other FPS ports were pretty good, so it’s unlikely Half-life would have sucked.

Would it have sold?
Microsoft really tapped into fans of FPS on consoles with the Xbox. Before then, fans of the genre stuck to PCs. Half-life would have sold to curious console gamers but would not have been a big hit.

Would it have actually come out?
Half-life was actually completed but unreleased so if you poke around the net you may find a leaked copy of the game. Had the DC not been discontinued it seems certain that this title would have hit stores.

Baldur’s Gate
What was it?
The seminal D&D RPG by Bioware.

Would it have been good?
Another game that would require the mouse or be infinitely annoying. Besides that, it’s a gem of a game.

Would it have sold?
The Dreamcast only had a few RPGs and most of them were bad or terrible. A high quality Western RPG would have not only sold pretty well (the PC version sold under a million copies so this is all relative), it would have expanded the console’s game library nicely.

Would it have actually come out?
Probably not. Baldur’s Gate was already three years old in 2001 and the sequel had come out and done well on the PC (but still sold under a million copies – injustice!). If anything, Dark Alliance or some other action RPG would have ended up on the Dreamcast.

Heroes of Might and Magic 3
What was it?
The second sequel of the classic PC game, an offshoot of the Might and Magic series, and originally inspired by King’s Bounty, which was made by the same designer.

Would it have been good?
Yes, and this one wouldn’t even require a mouse as it’s turn based and grid based.

Would it have sold?
Probably not. Still, the Dreamcast lacked strategy RPG and strategy games in general, so it should have sold.

Would it have actually come out?
With the demise of 3DO, the departure of Jon Van Caneghem and the eventual farming of the fifth game in the series to a Russian developer, this port seems unlikely to have ever materialized.

Age of Empires 2
What was it?
A commercially successful RTS and, oddly enough, the sequel to Age of Empires.

Would it have been good? Another quality PC game planned for the Dreamcast that would have been torturous without a mouse.

Would it have sold?
As with every game on this list, the PC nature of the gameplay may have turned some off but the goodness of the game would ensure a decent number of copies sold.

Would it have actually come out?
Microsoft published this game, so even if the Dreamcast lasted another year or two, the Xbox would be out and would be the natural home for Age of Empires. Also, since the Xbox was out and still didn’t get a port of the title, I’ll go with there being no chance in hell this would have ever actually landed on the Dreamcast.

The demise of the Dreamcast directly resulted in the cancellation of these five titles, but really only one was certain to be released. The others are likely just ill-fated projects that happened to be announced on a prematurely canceled system.

7 Comments

  1. Matt said on August 20, 2007:

    I really wanted that Half-Life port to come to the DC. I even remember seeing a commercial for it right before it was about to be released. It really hurt to see it canceled. I also had a hard time figuring out the game’s controls. I’m sure it would have acted like Quake 3 Arena (which is what Turok originally did on N64), but there’s a few actions that I couldn’t map onto the DC’s controller. Anyone have an answer to that?

  2. christian said on August 20, 2007:

    I’ve never played an FPS on the Dreamcast, but I did play MDK 2, and if I remember correctly, that game mimicked FPS controls by mapping the face buttons like WASD and the joystick like a mouse. L and R were for weapons, and the D-pad covered weapon switching. Half Life can’t really do that however, because it has such wonderful features as jump, crouch, and flashlight, none of which can be really removed in the game. Damn, now I’m really curious.

  3. TrueTallus said on August 21, 2007:

    This isn’t exactly related to the article, but now I’m curious. What PC games DID come out on the Dreamcast? I’d always thought of the PlayStation line being the place to dump old PC ports (Diablo, Magic Carpet, Descent, Syndicate Wars, Giants:SK, Half Life, etc.) until the Xbox came along.

  4. jay said on August 30, 2007:

    I guess no one is going to answer so I might as well (geez, it’s not like I wrote this article). Here is a list of games that were on the PC before the DC. Note that most of them suck. I also may have missed a few.

    Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
    Hidden & Dangerous
    Incoming
    Omikron: The Nomad Soul
    Prince of Persia 3D
    Quake III Arena
    Railroad Tycoon 2: Gold Edition
    Silver
    Soldier of Fortune
    Starlancer
    Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
    Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
    Unreal Tournament
    Urban Chaos
    Who Wants To Beat Up A Millionaire?
    Worms World Party

  5. pat said on August 30, 2007:

    i still feel like silver should be at least playable. maybe we should try it again, jay?

  6. jay said on August 30, 2007:

    Browsing through the Wikipedia page for the game I couldn’t help but think the same thing. Yes, we will try it again.

  7. Zoya said on December 1, 2015:

    I didn’t like having to move like a sloth bucaese they give the option of picking up everything in sight to trade for money yet don’t give you an option to get rid of it with a merchant probably until way later in the game. I beg of you to grow a brain and at least try to learn how to read just a little bit before writing another comment on ANY review. Thanks

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