|Release date(s)||Unpublished (2001)|
Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship is a video game for the Dreamcast console. It was originally titled Propeller Head Online, and was to be released on 9/19/2001. The game was trademarked on 8/14/2001. It was developed and completed by the development team Sega AM2, but the game was never officially released. The release was cancelled just days after the September 11 attacks, citing both similarities in game packaging and design to the events of that day as well as the Dreamcast's declining market share resulting in projected low sales numbers.
In a near future, there will be an air combat tournament with planes from the WW2 era. From the game's intro:
- This is coming to you from Aviation Radio Station. The year is 2045. Who thought of this? I don't know! But it's a crazy tournament of cool battles in the sky. Aviation Battle Championships begin! Proud Warriors of the world's skies gather in hopes of winning the prize!
Several pilots join the tournament, each with their own reasons.
- Eagle Jam: Gary Hamilton is a USAF pilot and leads a team of ancient aircraft restorers. In a time of peace, he wants to try his skill in real combat.
- Shameless Cats: Emily Williams is an actress who enters the competition to honor her beloved late grandfather, an adventurer and pilot, who taught her to fly at an early age.
- Muscle Brothers: Tim Golden is a bodybuilder and former Air Force cadet who was tricked into getting in the tournament.
- Pizza Fat: Michael Cantrelle is the heir of a large pizza franchise, a military item collector, and a slouch. He is promised a tank by his father if he wins the prize.
- Pengo Jets: Rally Miller is an actor, aircraft aficionado, and narcissist, who thinks his fighter will attract women even more than his jet plane.
- 8-Bit Beat: Silver Boy is the mysterious leader of a German techno act. The character may be a parody of Zack from the Dead or Alive series.
- Hex Candy: Lucy Walman is a singer in a girl band, enrolled in the tournament by her manager as a promotional stunt.
- Golden Knife: Peter Goldsmith is a Gulf War veteran who was seen as a cheater by his peers for going after enemy planes that had already been damaged by them, and wants to prove his worth as a pilot.
Propeller Arena can be roughly described as "Quake in the skies": it is not a typical flight simulator, but a series of quick dog fight deathmatches in rather limited areas, in a way similar to a multiplayer first-person shooter.
The game has four modes: the main game, Championship, which is a sequence of dogfights; Quick Battle, a single dogfight; Training Arena, a number of training missions and minigames; and Network, the online mode. Beating the game and the training missions unlocks extra characters and levels.
The game also supported the Dreamcast rumble pack.
Online Voice Chat
The game featured online voice chat (if you had a dreamcast with internet support). While Alien Front Online was the first console game to have online voice chat, Propeller Arena was to come out right after it.
The game's soundtrack, all consisting of punk rock, was prepared by both "branches" of Sega: a Japanese team (Sachio Ogawa and Tomoya Koga) had 12 songs composed and produced in-house, while an American team arranged a deal with the Fat Wreck Chords label to license 9 songs from the bands Consumed, Zero Down, No Use for a Name, Mad Caddies, and Rise Against. Some of Sega's original songs were remixed as instrumental versions and reused in their 2006 sports game Virtua Tennis 3.
Wing Arms for the Sega Saturn can be seen as this game's predecessor.
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