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  1. #1

    Retro|Spective 081: AM2

    Here we go, a slightly belated developer special but this time it's time to look at the desert island gems of...

    Now, many of AM2's hits spawned or were part of franchises so this instalment of the thread is a highlights reel of the titles AM2 produced that didn't become franchises within their own right.

    Entry 01 - Dynamite Dux
    Other Formats:
    Released back in 1988, Bin and Pin are tasked with travelling six worlds to save their owner Lucy through real world locations. Using just two buttons for character actions the player can throw a punch to attack in straight or diagonal directions. The characters proved to be inspirations for Bean the Dynamite who later appeared in the Sonic the Fighters and Fighter Megamix games.

    Entry 02 - Power Drift
    Other Formats:
    This kart racer delivered a similar moulded race experience as several other Sega titles but the key visual difference was the way in which tracks snaked in a roller coaster manner. Most home versions of the game were cut down in some manner except the Saturn and Dreamcast versions that still contain the arcades tilting action.

    Entry 03 - Burning Rival
    Other Formats:
    AM2#s first fighting game and produced by Yu Suzuki, this was an attempt to cash in on the craze created by Street Fighter II. The game offers the usual method of control and one v one fighting with a focus on close combat.

    Entry 04 - Scud Race
    Other Formats:
    The arcade racer Dreamcast owners hoped in vain for. AM2's shiny looking arcade racer was the first to use Model 3 and featured four courses. The games DC release was abandoned though the courses from the game exist in some form in a version of Outrun 2 on Xbox. An update was produced by the Model 3 emulator is the only way to play this game in the homes.

    Entry 05 - F355 Challenge
    Other Formats:
    Dreamcast and Playstation 2
    This arcade racing sim was a stand out in arcades thanks to its triple screen display and its attempt to bring a simulation experience to arcades. The game offered just one car and aimed to be as realistic a recreation as possible with the current tech. The game was very well received in terms of critical reception but the nature of a limited content simulation stopped the games commercial success in the homes.

    Entry 06 - Outtrigger
    Other Formats:
    Crossing third person with first person action, Outtrigger offered a choice of four players along with a limited set of weaponry in a stage set combat game. The Dreamcast port would increase player support for up to six players.

    Entry 07 - Beach Spikers
    Other Formats:
    Building on the foundation of the Virtua sports series, Beach Spikers had players charge their moves in a game of volleyball. Two on two, players could work through Arcade or World Tour modes in the home version and unlock teams and new characters including Ulala from Space Channel 5.

    Entry 08 - Border Break
    Other Formats:
    Playstation 4
    AM2 moved on to the RingEdge board for this third person mech game that focused on robot battles across networked machines. Teams battle one another to destroy the opposing teams reactor core. Players could communicate with each other via a touch panel and the machine supported data cards to remember your progress.

    Entry 09 - Virtua Quest
    Other Formats:
    Gamecube and Playstation 2
    This was not the Virtua Fighter RPG fans had imagined since Shenmue first entered development. Instead this was a kids friendly action RPG with players taking on the role of a child in a virtual world trying to hunt data chips that sometimes held data and moves tied to well known Virtua Fighter characters.

    Share your thoughts and memories of AM2 as well as its one off titles

  2. #2
    I really don't like Dynamite Dux.

    Power Drift looked amazing back in the day. I still enjoy going back to it on the Saturn or Dreamcast.

    Scud Race is such a great 90s racer. It's such a shame the Dreamcast port was canned.

    I loved F355 Challenge on the Dreamcast -- the graphics really blew me away. It's a hard game to get to grips with but I had a lot of fun with it.

    Beach Spikers is such a fun game. It's the only volleyball game that I've played a lot and always go back to.

    I thought Outtrigger looked really nice and played well. Had quite a lot of fun with it at the time. I really need to go back to it.

  3. #3
    Not so much love for AM2's offerings

    Clue for 082 - Claiming Alterra

  4. #4
    Scud Race looks good from the videos I've seen of it.

    I like the idea of Power Drift, but in practice it just doesn't do it for me.

    The only other one I've played is Ferrarri F355, which I didn't like.

  5. #5
    My local arcade had a sit down Power Drift cabinet but it was rarely occupied. Can’t say it was all that great.

    F355 was great on the DC. It’s razor focus on the one model of car wasn’t going to wash as a home title but it was probably the most hardcore driving sim on console at the time and I really liked that.

    Scud Race was probably as close as we got to a genuine Daytona successor back then. Bright, fun and a thumping soundtrack. Sega really should do an arcade racer compilation for home consoles so more people get to experience great games like Scud Race.

  6. #6
    Like others not a big fan of AM2 wares, I got and import F355 on the DC but gave up as it was too difficult for me. Only played Powerdrift on the Amiga but wasn't impressed at all - maybe down to the conversion?

    Outrigger though I really enjoyed and was great for a quick burst for thirty minutes or so.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CMcK View Post
    F355 was great on the DC. It’s razor focus on the one model of car wasn’t going to wash as a home title but it was probably the most hardcore driving sim on console at the time and I really liked that.
    I played it a lot back in the day -- to the point where I got quite good at it. I remember having to spend loads of time working out how to set the car up and how to race properly. You really have to focus and not make even a slight mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anpanman View Post
    Only played Powerdrift on the Amiga but wasn't impressed at all - maybe down to the conversion?
    The Amiga version is terrible -- far too clunky. The only decent ports are on the Saturn and Dreamcast.
    Last edited by Leon Retro; 13-03-2019 at 12:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Am#2 are amazing and nobody makes a better racer than that team Power drift OutRun, Outrun II and Daytona USA were and are incredible. Also, the flack the team got for the Daytona USA port was the making of them in so many ways.. They never looked back and pushed the Saturn to insane levels over system life span,


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