Sega Dreamcast
Sega Saturn
Sega Genesis
Grey Matter
About dEX
The Creator

Newsletter from 05-17-1999
Latest Newsletter Newsletter Archive Subscribe Unsubscribe

05-17-1999 { E3 Wrapup: Internet Strategy, Titles To Hit, Comments, and more... }

Hi all,

With the ending of this year's E3, much information has come out. The competition against Sega has again increased, along with Sony's PSX2 comes Nintendo's 'Project Dolphin.' The upcoming system is expected to have similar capabilities to the PSX2. That is not to say that the Dreamcast did not turn heads at the E3. Before we get to the games, lets talk about the DC launch outside of Asia this September...

Now, games were great at the show, but big news comes with launch details for the US and Europe. The key thing here is that SoA and SoE have revealed information on their respective Internet Strategies.

Both the US and European models WILL include a 56K modem in box. The difference, is that the US version most likely will not come with any pack in games. Fifteen games are expected to launch with the system according to Sega's press release. Still, Electronics Boutique lists several other titles for launch, and some that Sega lists as launch games with later dates. I trust Sega for now, since EB's list is old.

So, why do Europeans get to foot a much higher cost of a DC? Well, in Europe DC owners will be blessed with FREE Internet access available at launch on Sept 23, 1999. British Telecom will be responsible for setting up the pan-European network. The company along with ICL will work to provide local dial-up services across Europe. At launch, e-mail, web and chat features will be available. Shortly thereafter, online gaming and shopping will also be available.

Overall mainly previously known titles were shown...including demos from several games. One fairly impressive demo was that of an 45% complete version of Metropolis Street Racer.

The game allowed some racing in time attack mode. Bugs aside, its looking to be extremely impressive, with visual quality as high as Shenmue (others make comparisons to the PSX2 Grand Turismo demo). There were some minor bugs, and the control needs tweaking, but such problems are sure to be ironed out by the time the game debuts later this year.

One surprise at the E3, is a new game adding to the classic Ecco the Dolphin series. The game is visually incredible, not only in the richness of the undersea environment, but the smoothness (ie realism) of the animation is incredible. Gameplay from the Genesis series has been brought into 3D, though since only a video demo of Ecco: DC was shown, no details are available. Appaloosa expects the game to be ready late this year or early 2000.

Konami has released a little more on Castlevania for the DC. The game will be in full 3D. The storyline follows the battle between the ancestors from the the Belmont tomb and the classic enemies: Dracula and the Countess. The game is planned for a Winter release in the US. Konami's other game happens to be a US launch title: Airforce Delta. Written from the ground up for the DC, the game includes over 30 different planes ranging from the old F-4 to modern F-22 and MiG29. The game has a large amount of strategy, leaving it up to players to make the call when it comes to completing their mission. Full (de)briefings and tactical evaluations will also be present. Another nice feature is Replay Mode where an entire mission will be recorded and can be played back from various camera angles...and the movies can be saved and edited for later viewing.

The snow boarding game, Cool Boarders is still early in development, but UEP Systems is doing an incredible job with the DC's graphic abilities. The snow is extremely impressive, as are the models of the characters in the game. Game control is in good shape...though player AI has yet to be implemented. The game is set for release sometime in June in Japan though this may change. The game will also be published under a different name by SoA sometime later.

Many other games were shown by third parties, all looking very good. Just about every known title that will be hitting the DC outside of Japan was on the floor in some way or another. Warp's long delayed D2 was there....a Japanese demo that had a little more than the original D2 Shock GDRom, this time letting you explore the outside, snow environment. In it, you encountered random and preset battles and fought them in the first person perspective. Again, the environment was well detailed, and the snow 'acted' accurately, crunching beneath Laura's feet, and making it difficult to walk. No word on its progress percentage-wise.

Sega's NFL and NBA titles are looking great, the quality of 3D models and the fluid animation is wonderful...Midway is not left out of things, with their NFL Blitz 2000 looking arcade perfect. Their boxing game, Ready 2 Rumble is also coming along well. Midway's disappointment comes with Mortal Kombat Gold. Not to step on any toes of those MK fans, but the series hit its apex way back when MK2 was all the rage. The game's popularity declined with MK3, and never quite made a good transition to 3D with MK4. MK Gold is pretty much the same as the arcade version...nothing impressive visually or in terms of gameplay. I do not know how they will add depth to the game so that it can begin to compete with VF3 and probably other titles from Capcom and Namco's Soul Calibur.

More games will be coming from Japan to the US under different titles, CRI's Aero Dancing and Genki's Shutoku Battle will be published as Aerowings and Tokyo Xtreme Racer by Crave Entertainment. Both are stated to be available on Sept 9th.

Overall E3 was pretty impressive...a good showing for Sega. That's all for this week..I've midterms and projects due starting this week...many more in the next few weeks as professors try to cram in everything possible before finals in mid-June. Again, thanks for your support! For those going, enjoy Star Wars: Episode I on Wednesday!


All products are trademarks of their respective companies.

Questions or comments? Contact dEX.