Great news for everyone that's still playing Sega Dreamcast online multiplayer games in 2023 - Sega's F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa has had its online features restored by fans and is now once again playable online for the first time in over a decade!
F355 Challenge was originally released in the arcades as a deluxe racing cabinet, with some of these cabinets notably featuring three different screens to better simulate the experience of 3D space, with each screen positioned to simulate driving in a car via a first-person perspective. The game was produced and directed by the legendary Yu Suzuki of Sega AM2 and was heralded as a huge leap for realism in video games, as well as just being a fantastic racing game. And although it was an arcade game, it definitely falls under the simulation side gameplay-wise, with very realistic driving physics. The game was later ported to the Sega Dreamcast, which had online multiplayer where players could take part in a solo race and compare their race times with the other players. It wasn't real-time multiplayer, unfortunately, but it was a nice bonus feature that sadly had been lost to time when the official servers for the game were shut down in the early 2000's.
On November 30th, 2023, Dreamcast-talk user flyinghead posted a thread stating that he had been working on restoring the online functioning of the game, and on December 1st, 2023 testing was completed and everything was confirmed to be working. The online features can be accessed straight from the official GD-ROM with no special mods or hardware needed, although you'll obviously need a working internet connection to your Dreamcast to play it - it's been confirmed working on Dreampi and emulators, and should also work with the official Dreamcast dial-up modem as well.
It's yet another Sega Dreamcast game that has had its online multiplayer functionality restored through the efforts of fans. We're row reaching the point where almost every Dreamcast game that featured online play has been made playable again through private servers and reverse engineering. For a full list of games that have been brought back online, check out our list of Dreamcast games that are still online.