Saturday, 2 July 2016

Retro News - The N64 Shmup That Nearly Was!

I meant to post about this quite a while ago now and I thought I had, but it seems not - oops! Anyway, it's long lost game time again, this time for the N64 - a system many retro gamers bemoan for its lack of 'proper' shoot 'em ups. I imagine it may well cause many rankles among them, therefore, to hear that Sammy Corp were in the process of developing just such a title at the tail end of the 20th century.

As most of you are probably aware already, the original Viewpoint was an isometric shooter, developed by Aicom, published by Sammy, and released first for the Neo Geo and later receiving conversions for the PS1 and MegaDrive, but it seems Sammy later decided to release a sequel of sorts for Nintendo's 3D powerhouse as well. Appropriately enough they switched the titular perspective, making their game an into-the-screen blaster in addition to the original isometric. It sounds promising, I'm sure you agree; kind of like mixing the first game with Star Fox, and indeed it looks promising too - just check out the video below which shows the game in what seems to be a near-finished state which includes some epic-looking boss battles. Sadly, despite showing it off at Nintendo's Spaceworld expo in 1999, Sammy pulled the plug shortly thereafter due to what has been described as 'development issues', and that, as they say, was that.

But wait! Recently surfacing from some deep, dark, spooky dungeon (or something) was... something glorious. Could it really be? Yes, it could indeed, for the hidden treasure was a working, playable prototype of... Viewpoint 2064! Huzzah! Not only does it exist but it was soon listed on eBay and sold to what I can only assume is a very serious (and/or rich) collector for the princely sum of $3,000!

Splendidly, the lucky owner of what must now surely be the rarest of all N64 games then uploaded video footage of the game being played, and as mentioned, it looks like it could've been a mighty sweet ride. It looks like we will have to be content with just this for now but who knows - perhaps some day the gracious, noble collector might even see fit to release the rom so we might all partake in the glory of Sammy's almost-lost shooter. Keep your fingers crossed - I certainly will be...



  1. Didn't know Viewpoint was on the PlayStation as well! Not much of a fan of the Mega Drive game, but this one looks like a lot of fun...

    I'm sure there was a Star Soldier game on the N64, wasn't there? And a Robotron as well?

  2. Yes there was. Robotron 64 was pretty good, Star Soldier not so great. Aside from stuff like Star Fox and Bangai-O, that was about it for shooters. The PS1 version of Viewpoint isn't popular but I quite like it. The music is great and the visuals are a bit sharper too.