The Dreamcast First Aid Kit

I must admit that I only came across this image while lazily searching Google. It originally comes from the legendary but long abandoned UK:Resistance, and there's no other real information about the item's origins anywhere else on the internet. But here it is - a Dreamcast-branded first aid kit:
Is this an official Sega product? If so, why on Earth did Sega think it was a good idea to brand a bunch of plasters and cotton buds with a console logo? That said, I can totally see the point of marketing materials like pens, pencils, frisbees and hats - there's always loads of throwaway console-branded stuff at gaming events...but the thought of an Xbox One or PS4 first aid kit at E3 or Gamescom? Can't see it myself.

Maybe Sega was anticipating hoards of people literally falling over themselves/each other onto the pavement (also known as a sidewalk in America, apparently) to buy a Dreamcast and thought it best to cover their arses (so to speak) by issuing these kits incase a lawsuit came along? Who knows, but if you have one of these or know anything else about it, please leave a comment!

Caleb Tries to Play Baldr Force EXE

Is this game about fighting robots?  Or is it about pressing the "A" button to skip dialog?  Find out below.

New Dreamcast Kickstarter To Launch - Alice Dreams Tournament


Hey does anyone remember that awesome demo for Alice Dreams?  I certainly was disappointed that it never launched.

But now those same guys are making a NEW game.  And it will BLOW YOU AWAY!


Did you see that Dreamcast VMU Support!? Amazing!

Full details can be found here!

Good Dreamcastic Morning!

Are you looking for a regular Dreamcast YouTube show full of news, interviews and guest appearances? Well you're in luck, because Good Dreamcastic Morning has debuted. Check out the pilot episode from pcwzrd13 below and look out for a special guest appearance from yours truly!


 
Hopefully I didn't make too much of an idiot of myself in that little section - the rest of the show is full of interesting information (I didn't know you could eat the food in Dynamite Cop, for instance!), and we look forward to seeing where this series goes. The Dreamcast community is apparently expanding in 2015 (see our previous post) and all these new Dreamcast owners will undoubtedly be subscribing in their millions. Or billions. 6 billion in fact.

MCV Reports Spike In Dreamcast Sales

Games industry website MCV has reported that UK sales of used Dreamcast hardware have increased drastically since Shenmue III was revealed at E3 2015. The article, published on 27th August claims that independent retailers have recorded a dramatic upturn in demand for the hardware due to people who never experienced the first two games in the Shenmue series taking an interest.

"We sold 20 Dreamcasts in the last week alone. All of sudden, people are asking where they can play the original two Shenmue games. The announcement of Shenmue III really piqued everyone’s interest." - Alex Bowness, Level Up Games

Naturally, due to this sudden demand prices have started to slowly increase. On the one hand, this is foreboding as it may herald the start of the Dreamcast becoming one of those systems where every game and knackered yellow console on eBay also comes with a vastly inflated valuation. But on the other hand, it means maybe more people will enter the world of the Dreamcast and come to appreciate how many great games the format boasts. Quite ironic considering how neglected the system was during those brief glory days of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The search for a cheap, used Dreamcast continued...
Dreamcast sales have come from nowhere almost, what’s exciting now is that young gamers who perhaps didn’t even know what the Dreamcast was are interested in it.” - David James-Turvey, Retrobution

Check out Alex Calvin's full article at MCV here.

New Dreamcast Racer On The Horizon?

A very talented guy by the name of David Webster has been working on Dreamcast homebrew projects for the past few years and uploading his tech demos to his YouTube channel. Among his works on the Dreamcast are some rather cool real-time lighting and environment rendering demonstrations (complete with adaptive tessellation - whatever that is!); but by far the most impressive of David's creations is the 'Dreamcast Engine,' a 3D first person demo that shows the beginnings of some truly impressive lighting effects and architecture. Check out the video:


Sadly, it seems that work on Dreamcast Engine has been placed on hiatus as of now, but all is not lost - David has turned his attention to another project. This project is still in the very early stages of development, but judging from the two YouTube clips below the Dreamcast could soon be playing host to it's very own sprite-based, procedurally generated take on either Rad Mobile or F-Zero. Exciting stuff indeed.



Clearly, these videos show off some very early builds of a work in progress, but we can't wait to see where this new racing project goes. Any new Dreamcast software gets us excited and either a traditional car-based racer or a futuristic space-themed one is fine by us, but in the meantime you can view David's other development videos by clicking the links below.

Dreamcast homebrew - winter terrain and light bloom
Dreamcast homebrew - dynamic shadows and lighting
Dreamcast homebrew - depth of field

Special thanks to friend of the 'Yard pcwzrd13 for alerting me to David Webster's impressive work.

The Ultimate Ikaruga Run

Think you're good at Treasure classic Ikaruga? Well it's time to think again!

Check out this video from the recent Summer Games Done Quick 2015 event, where a simply insane Ikaruga run was demonstrated by TASBot, a machine that specialises in completing tool-assisted speedruns.

Running for maximum score, TASBot proceeds to run two-player Ikaruga while hitting Max Chain bonus all... the... smegging... time! Yes, its a machine executing code ripped from emulators but, just, god-damn!

If you are at all into shmups then this will blow you away. Some of the movement patterns on display are simply insane and, when both the Ikaruga and Ginkei team up for some high-level bullet eater tactics, things just get beautiful.

You will never be good enough to play like this, however if you want to get better at Ikaruga, then watch this spectacular run. Excellent commentary is supplied too for the uninitiated. The run proper begins at 3:00.



We're aware the version being played is the Gamecube port, but Ikaruga will always be associated with the Dreamcast too!

Did You Know Gaming? Tackles Sonic Adventure

YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming? offers a wealth of information on topics from across the gaming board, and I for one regularly check their uploads for interesting and often little-known facts about various software and hardware releases. We recently shared the Dreamcast video they published, but Did You Know Gaming? have since delved back into the world of Sega's magic white box by investigating one of the system's most infamous titles - Sonic Adventure.


Many of you reading this will no doubt be all too familiar with Sonic Adventure (it was one of the first games many early adopters experienced - including me), but as this video shows there are still things to learn. Prior to watching it, I had never heard of the Sonic Adventure AutoDemo mentioned in reference to the Casino 'cow girl' billboard, and a quick Google search later opened up a whole new world of wonder to me.
The AutoDemo was an early rolling demo of Sonic Adventure (dating from October 1998) that was used to show off the game's engine - it basically shows a load of cut scenes using in-game assets. Turns out a group of Sonic Retro forum members (headed by a user named 'Orengefox') managed to hack the game though, and released a whole load of previously unseen development assets and pre-alpha levels. It's a fascinating story and you can read all about it here and here. While I was aware of the recent Windy Valley discovery, I was previously ignorant to how deep this particular rabbit (echidna?) hole went...

Ghost Blade Release Trailer Hits

Hucast Games' long-awaited vertical shmup Ghost Blade launches on 27th September, and we can't wait to find out how it measures up to previous shooters in the studio's back catalogue. The game was playable at the recent Gamescom event in Germany and we heard some good things. 

According to the Hucast website, features include:

  • Beautiful, detailed High-res Graphics
  • 5 Stage with HUGE Boss Enemies
  • 3 Player ships with different gun types
  • Instant Respawn
  • Auto-bomb enabled novice mode for beginners
  • Arcade Gameplay and Addictive Scoring System
  • Incredible Soundtrack composed by Rafael Dyll
  • 2-player mode for addictive fun

It will also be compatible with the VGA box and arcade stick.

The wait is almost over, but in the meantime Hucast has released a trailer showing off some of the features you can expect once Ghost Blade hits a Dreamcast near you. Enjoy:


Be sure to visit the official Ghost Blade site for more info!

A Quick Look At Virtua Cop 2

There are lots of Saturn franchises that could and probably should have been re-made for the Dreamcast. Imagine if stuff like NiGHTS, Sega Touring Car or Fighters Megamix had been given a bit of a revamp in the graphics department and then re-released as budget games for the Dreamcast - it would have been great and allowed for more gamers to experience these titles. Obviously, in the case of Touring Car it would have taken a bit more than increasing the resolution to sort out the eye-watering jerkiness of the engine, but you get the idea. Remakes of last-gen titles are all the rage today, and there's no real reason that the Dreamcast couldn't have played host to a plethora of upgraded Saturn ports. This did happen at least once though, as Virtua Cop 2 can attest.

Jet Grind Radio Vs The City Of Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a city that not only boasts a brilliant name (although still not on a par with the small hamlet of Shitterton in Dorset, England), but it is also the largest settlement in the US state of Wisconsin. I have personally never been to either Wisconsin or Milwaukee (or the United States, for that matter), but I have no reason to doubt that they are lovely places to live, work and play. So lovely even, that once upon a time the city council decided to team up with an organisation called Keep America Beautiful in an effort to take down their common enemy. Was this common nemesis crime? Invading aliens? Zombies? No. Nothing as malevolent as those: it was a video game.
Milwaukee. Probably.
A video game that, at the time was set for imminent release on the Sega Dreamcast - Jet Grind/Set Radio. The story goes like this. Upon learning of the upcoming release of Sega's graffiti and rollerblading title, the Milwaukee Common Council passed a resolution petitioning Sega to cancel the release of the game, citing that the glamorisation of tagging walls and trying to evade cartoon cops would inevitably encourage the youth of the city to immediately rush out and start spraying every piece of street furniture and bus with the help of a neon curly arrow. As reported in the October 2000 issue of Dreamcast Magazine and on Spong.com in September 2000, Suzanne Brier of the Milwaukee Common Council warned that Jet Grind Radio would "...lionize taggers as creative artists."
There are 9 million bicycles in Tokyo-To.

A New Lick Of Paint

Since inception in 2005, The Dreamcast Junkyard has undergone a number of redesigns. The very first incarnation (during which we had a black theme with white text) has been lost to the mists of time, but via the ever-wondrous capabilities of the Wayback Machine, I've managed to capture all of the subsequent page headers and site designs for your enjoyment below. The reason I bring this up, is that you may have noticed the slight redesign of our header image up there. Just point your eyes up a bit. There you go. Looks fantastic no?

This new header image intends to capture the aesthetic of the PAL, NTSC-U and NTSC-J Dreamcast game packaging by incorporating elements of them all. The PAL 'Online Functions' bar that runs along the bottom of the majority of the online-enabled game covers; the 'half-moon' from the US cases; and the orange 'corner segment' from the Japanese covers. I cannot take credit for this work of design genius though, oh no. That credit goes to a certain Mr David Heaton, the creative director of Bristol-based professional graphic design agency Never Know Defeat. With a portfolio representing a plethora of high profile clients, NKD are the real deal and you can find more of David's work here.
On behalf of the team here at the Junkyard, I would like to thank David for creating the new header template for the Junkyard. As the universe's premier destination for original Dreamcast-related content, we thought it was about time we spruced the place up (not that Barry's previous header isn't iconic (it will make a return occasionally)). To this end, David's new template gives us the ability to 'drop in' artwork and images from any Dreamcast game we desire, so let us know which titles you'd like to see represented in the comments section.

DreamPod Episode 12


iTunes
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If you like what you hear, please consider voting for DreamPod in the final nominations for the UK Podcasters Awards for best Video Games podcast. Thanks!

10th Anniversary Competition: Part Three

Parts One and Two of our Sega Europe-supported 10th Anniversary Competition have been overwhelmingly successful and have seen two lucky winners each walk away with a highly prized Dreamcast Collection vinyl record. As previously stated, these limited edition LPs were given away in Australia only as part of the promotional activity surrounding the launch of the Dreamcast Collection for the Xbox 360, and only 2000 were ever produced. Due to this, they are pretty damn rare...and we have one left to give away.

In part one of our competition we asked you to explain what the Dreamcast meant to you on a personal level, and while we had lots of brilliant and varied entries, James Steel won with his fantastic (and rather clever) pastiche of game titles woven into a brief description of his love for the system (click for a bigger version, or just download it):