Back in 2005, Sammy was still promoting their Dreamcast based arcade hardware Atomiswave, hoping that it could pick up enough development to become the next Neo Geo MVS. We’ve highlighted some titles that were developed but never released for the Atomiswave before. Today, thanks to arcade prototype collector extraordinaire ShouTime, the focus is falling on a fighting title called KenJu. Here’s the post showing the attract mode via off-camera:
KenJu was in development around 2005 by Dream Factory (their sole arcade title was Ehrgeiz, otherwise their roster favored fighting games for console) and it got far enough along in development that it was reportedly seen on test in London at one point. As a 1-on-1 cel shaded fighter, there wasn’t a lot of competition in this genre on the arcade market at the time, but this was still a few years before Street Fighter IV would bring a lot of fighting fans back to the scene. As it happens with many games, if they aren’t good enough to earn well on those tests, they either get reworked or cancelled. The latter seems to be the case for the ill-fated KenJu.
(Find more direct screenshots here)
Here are two more clips that show the game off. The first is a promo that Gamespot carried back when they sorta bothered with arcade games. The second is from a user that got his hands on the game a few years ago and captured some footage (shaky cam warning):
What are your thoughts on this unreleased fighter? Too bad or bullet dodged?
If you want to read more about KenJu I did a write-up on this game on my Capcom-Unity blog a few years back. http://www.capcom-unity.com/bigmex/blog/2012/02/27/the_sammy_fighting_game_that_also_never_was
The game itself looks cool but what a terrible boring attract mode. No wonder it didn’t do well. I feel like if it had something more like XRD SIGN’s intro to draw players in–and maybe more characters–it might have done a little better. Shame.