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Pen Pen TriIcelon Game Sample - Dreamcast

Vysethedetermined2 Follow
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  • 5 years ago
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NOTE: Game has very high volume! Lower volume accordingly.

Sooo... we have some good news for fans of our channel. On our ever-changing quest to improve the quality of our videos, we finally got a progressive scan / VGA box for our Sega Dreamcast (The "Hanzo" to be specific), a VGA-to-HDMI convertor box, multiple HDMI cables, and the proper connectors to output the signal through our Hauppauge 2 to reach our greatest DC video quality yet! This means that in addition to cranking out new DC videos from original hardware from our (slightly larger since) DC collection, we'll be re-doing some of our old videos to catch up with the times (primarily some of our favorites like Power Stone 1 /2, Project Justice, Maken X, Illbleed, Time Stalkers, etc.). It's still a little experimental right now, so we're testing out different games (and I couldn't get "TrickStyle" to boot up by default, so... yah.)

Pen Pen TriIcelon is a wacky kids racing game by "General Entertainment" (founded by Masanobu Tsukamoto who worked with Sega on past games as a composer for Puyo Puyo, Dragon's Fury, etc.) and presented by "Land Ho!" (who were founded in the late 90s) and "Infogrames". It was one of four launch titles in Japan for the system and was met with lukewarm reception due to its lack of courses (only four stages) and luck-based race outcomes on more difficult runs. Considering it was marketed as a kids game, I think a pretty good effort was made... it is true that the game could've used at least twice as many courses, but the courses available are pretty fun and have four different routes and five different challenges for each course, so they vary at least a little. It's also noted that they rushed the game out and it spent only about two months in development (which is believable since the overseas version has Japanese screenshots), so in a sense, it shows the excellence of the devs for churning out a game of this quality in that time-span.

The premise of the game is also pretty creative, posing as an aquatic Triathlon with three race styles: sliding, running/jumping, and swimming. When sliding, players' speed is determined by how they stroke across the ice; timing how they press the "A" button helps them pick up speed and holding it down helps you pick up speed going down steep/icy slopes. When running and jumping, players wobble about while dodging obstacles and attacking other players with the "B" button; attacking is very risky as missing imposes a huge penalty similar to getting hit. When swimming, players have the most range of motion and controls for moving up/down are reversed. The only power-up of sorts are rainbow whirlpools that offer speed boosts, but as players glide about (since they spend a lot of time on ice), accessing them isn't always easy.

For what it's worth, the graphics are decent. The characters are blocky and there is occasionally flicker/clipping, but the game is colorful with a few neat environmental effects and the game runs at 60FPS when only a few characters are on screen. When there is too much going on (which tends to be often), the game automatically drops to about 30FPS. For the purpose of this video, I interpolated the menus and kept the races at 30FPS (with the exception of the late replay, so you can see the rise/drop in framerate more clearly). The music is upbeat and pretty neat, and the gameplay is more or less standard racing fare beyond the different racing styles. The game's saving grace is four player fun, where the game's hazards are a bit more interesting since you're not dealing with the CPU.

Ultimately, I would've probably been a bit upset buying this new back in the day, but it should be dirt cheap these days, so there's little reason not to get it if you're a classic gaming enthusiast. This is a video of the game in action. Enjoy.
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