Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei remakes


The internet was recently awash with Sega fans falling over themselves discussing the recent announcement about the return of Panzer Dragoon. Now there are two things you won't find within this article;

A) Any news strictly relevant to the Dreamcast (you can also spare the 'slow news day?' comments. It's a Dreamcast blog in 2018, we have no concept of any other type of news day) 
B) Any sort of explanation about the newly announced game at all. As none really exist. Other than the same statement reported everywhere.


Insert Coin launches new Shenmue range

It may be the 20th year since the Dreamcast launch. However 2018 is proving to be one of the most bountiful years for merchandise and Dreamcast related gear. The launch of the official Sega shop in Europe bought with it a host of DC related goodies, and this has now been complimented with an additional collection from UK designers Insert Coin.

No strangers to either Sega or Shenmue wear itself, having previously released Shenmue branded t-shirts and coats in the past. The new range comprises a Ryo inspired Leather coat, as well as a themed hooded zip up coat, before finally being rounded out by a classic looking white Tee emblazoned with the Shenmue tiger on the back. The coats both look perfect for avenging your fathers murder in, keeping warm in the British drizzle or for just generally showing your nerdy Sega fanboyism as you strut about your retro gaming life, no doubt filming yourself reacting to all and sundry.

Check out the images below and let us know what you think in the comments. And check out the range on Insert Coin here, as well as their other Dreamcast range that Tom previously spotlighted here.











20 Years Of Dreamcast: The Past, Present & Future

It's hard to believe that the Dreamcast has been with us now for two whole decades. Twenty years since that November day back in 1998 when Sega finally unleashed its successor to the Saturn on the world. I can't recall a console launch prior to the Dreamcast launch where fever pitch was at such a level, and the initial reports - at least the ones I read in magazines, being a young oik at the time - all pointed to a system that heralded the dawn of a new age in gaming.
The Dreamcast reveal at The Sega New Challenge Conference 1998
An age of arcade perfection in home ports, and one which ushered in the widespread adoption of online console functionality. As the Dreamcast reaches this milestone, we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the coming of age of the system with the a brief look at the past, the present and the future of the Dreamcast scene. Happily, this will not include the coming of three ghosts, and will not include one of those ghosts having two small children under his coat. Also, you're well within your rights to feel like a bonafide old git when it sinks in: yes, the Dreamcast really is twenty.

The Past
I think at this point most people are pretty well versed in the history of the Dreamcast. As alluded to earlier, it was launched on 27th November 1998 in Japan, and the following year in the rest of the world. Initial sales were strong, and the system had an air of technological prowess about it. Graphics were far ahead of the console competition at the time, and in some cases superior to what PC gamers were enjoying too. But it wasn't just about the graphical capabilities; as the hardware too was new, fresh and exciting. The VMU in particular turned the humble memory card into a standalone console in its own right, and the controller, while it still to this day splits opinion was interesting, with its analogue triggers and aperture for a second screen of sorts. And of course, the modem that came packaged with the console as standard (apart from some very early editions) opened the door to a whole new way of playing on consoles - against people over the internet.
Eager gamers spy a delivery of Dreamcasts on the morning of the launch
The modem also offered access to the Dreamcast's Dricas service, which was an online portal designed to allow Dreamcast owners to communicate, earn loyalty points and even see on a primitive map where other gamers were located. All of these services are pretty much the norm in today's climate, but back in 1998 these online options were a huge deal. Of course, we now know how the whole party turned into a bit of a shit show after the initial wave of euphoria, and the Dreamcast wasn't long for this world as a fully-supported hardware platform.

The utterly boring debates still rage to this day about why the console failed, and why Sega decided to ditch the console after a relatively short period in the west at least (the last official game was released for the Dreamcast in 2007 in Japan); but the main reason is that many people were more interested in the PlayStation 2 and waited for Sony's new machine rather than buy a Dreamcast. Yes, there are boring debates about software support from certain publishers, and there are boring debates about the ease with which games could be pirated and the lack of a DVD player...but the main reason is that the PlayStation 2 came along and stole the Dreamcast's thunder. It happened, let's all move on.

A Brief History Of ChuChu Rocket! In Your Pocket

ChuChu Rocket! is a puzzle game that is undoubtedly a product of a struggling Sega. Imaginative, innovative, insane - one of the many one-of-a-kind experiments that was thrown at a wall in the Sega headquarters in the hopes that something would eventually stick and save the Dreamcast once and for all. Maybe this attempt to stand out was what led Sonic Team to create not just one of the most memorable puzzle games on the Sega Dreamcast, but one of the best and most memorable puzzle games ever made.
For the uninitiated, the premise of ChuChu Rocket! is simple. You place directional arrows on a checker board to guide mice (the titular ChuChus) to rocket ships, all whilst making sure they don't get eaten by giant orange cats that look like they are perpetually tripping on acid.
The guiding brainless animals to safety thing had been done eight years prior by DMA Design's Lemmings, but Sonic Team managed to take the concept and push it to the brink of madness whilst also throwing in a bonkers multiplayer mode and online play (that's still available today thanks to DreamPi). It serves as a high quality break for any Dreamcast fan who has sunk hours into deeper experiences like Shenmue or Phantasy Star Online who just wants to play something simple whilst also having an absolutely cracking time.

These days, with smart phones being in everyone's pockets, puzzle games that are easy to pick up and play function as perfect time wasters on a morning commute or even when we just can't be bothered to do anything else. Sadly, as I'm sure many of us can all agree, the vast majority of smartphone puzzlers are trite, micro-transaction ridden nonsense. But what if we could take a stellar puzzler like ChuChu Rocket! and play that in the palm of our hand instead? That would make perfect sense, right? Well it turns out that Sega did see ChuChu's portable potential...



DCHDMI Versus 480p 'HD' Dreamcast Cables

As I'm sure you're aware by now, there are a range of 'HD' options now available for the Dreamcast. What it's important to note though, is that all of these so-called HD cables are not actually delivering a true high definition image. Yes, they use a HDMI connector that plugs into your display, but this image is 480p and is being drawn directly from the analogue VGA output of the Dreamcast. Regardless of what you've probably seen or read on some other websites, the various HD cables from Pound, Hyperkin, Beharbros etc., are not magically transforming Dreamcast games into high definition experiences. That's impossible.
Now, that's not to say that any of the devices from the aforementioned brands aren't worth your time. They totally are, with both the Pound and Beharbros options being perfectly acceptable ways of connecting a Dreamcast to a HD flat panel display with the minimum of fuss. The thing is, while the games still look fine using these cables and boxes, there is an alternative device that really does improve image quality immeasurably without the need for an external upscaler. That device is the internal DCHDMI mod from citrus3000psi and chriz2600; and we reviewed it recently here at The Dreamcast Junkyard.

One of the most important benefits over the 480p cables though, is that the DCHDMI is putting out the correct screen aspect ratio. See, the VGA signal the cables use only uses the inner 640x480 of the 720x480 frame. So the TV displays the the whole 720x480 in a 4:3 format. This basically squashes the entire image. All of the VGA to HDMI cables have this porblem, but the DCHDMI doesn't do this. There are both VGA and 480p options built in to the DCHDMI menu, and the 720p option because some homebrew titles use the extra 80 pixels.
What I've seen from some commenters though, is a desire to actually see some kind of comparison between what the 480p 'HD' cables offer, and what the DCHDMI in 1080p mode (960p windowed) is kicking out. The DCHDMI, it's worth noting again, is an internal board that also packs an FPGA and which is wired directly into the GPU of the Dreamcast. It's taking the digital image directly, and there is no analogue conversion, so naturally it will be doing things the HD Link and Gekko or Akura are not built to do. That's not the point of this article and video though. This is simply a comparison...and seeing is believing. Here you go:


It's probably worth viewing the video in the highest quality available to get the full effect, but the superiority of the internal mod is pretty clear. Naturally, the DCHDMI will be more of a faff (and markedly more expensive) than just plugging a cable in to your console, but it's good to know that the options are available.

You can pre-order the DCHDMI here, should you so desire. The Beharbros Gekko is available here, and the Pound HD Link is available here.

Related articles:

So What Exactly Are Those Weird Anime Games In Your Dreamcast Collection?

Avid fans of the Dreamcast are most likely already aware that the console enjoyed a much longer life in its home country of Japan (the last officially licensed Dreamcast game, Karous, was released in 2007). For this reason, as well as the fact 90s console developers had a track record of thinking Western gamers were frightened of anything even slightly unconventional, there is an extensive list of Japan-only Dreamcast games just waiting for fans to import. The best part is that so many are playable without knowledge of the Japanese language. All you need is a boot disc or a modded Dreamcast and voilà! you've unlocked another section of the Dreamcast library. Check out our A to Z of Dreamcast Games if you want to know the best Japan-exclusives to get your mitts on.

However, for every playable game, there are just as many that are unplayable for anyone who isn't fluent in Japanese. Anyone who is insane enough to try and collect a full Japanese set will soon realise that there is plenty of "filler" - the kind of stuff you only buy for the sake of checking another game off the list and not because you are actually going to be able to play it. You know, those games with the anime girls on the front. Crap like this:
 
Some might mistakenly call these things "dating simulators", but that's a different kettle of fish entirely. No, these are "visual novels", and they do exactly what they say on the tin, they are novels with visual elements. Boot any of these up and you'll be greeted with nothing more than walls of Japanese text and images of anime characters making various expressions. They are a very niché style of game that have never had a big following outside of Japan, especially back in the early 2000s (hence their Japanese exclusivity). Some may debate whether or not they are actually games at all, but they're still something I'd recommend to keen readers and anime fans alike. 

Their "gameplay" more or less consists of reading text and occasionally answering a multiple choice question on how the main character should react or respond in a certain situation. That might not sound all that interesting to some, but I like to look at visual novels as a more visual version of a choose your own adventure book, and being a fan of anime, the artwork contained within is something I'm familiar with. A lot of the stories are enjoyable, and believe it or not, the plots aren't always romantic; there are visual novels that focus on genres like sci-fi and mystery, for example. I'm such an advocate for these anime-centric pieces of flashy reading material that I even wrote a whole article on my website Alt:Mag defending their case.

TR Fight Stick & Beharbros Working To Bring Custom Dreamcast Console Shell To Market

There is a market for custom Dreamcast console shells, and we all know it. The standard white ones yellow like crazy after a few years, and even with a nice peroxide bath they still go yellow again in time. Yes, there are the black special editions such as the R7 and SEGA Sports models; and there are the official and unofficial aftermarket coloured console shells, but they now fetch silly money on certain auction sites, so for the average Dreamcast gamer they aren't a viable option.
We recently ran an article here at The Dreamcast Junkyard asking whether a new run of official coloured console shells from SEGA would be a viable money spinner, and the general consensus was a deafening yes, but obviously no-one at SEGA gives a flying toss what we - or the Dreamcast fan base - has to say, so it obviously fell on deaf ears. Fret not though, as somebody else has heard the aforementioned call.
SEGA says "no!" - or rather...nothing.
Enter TR Fight Stick, a firm known for creating top quality custom fight sticks. Working in conjunction with Beharbros, the fine people behind the Akura, Toro, Hanzo and Gekko Dreamcast display adapters, TR Fight Stick might well have the answer to all of you custom Dreamcast console shell needs.
TR Fight Stick have previously created - as the company name may suggest - a range of high quality, metal-cased custom fight sticks and arcade cabinets. Their pedigree is pretty much confirmed at this point, and if you need any proof of this please feel free to visit their website and take a look. That they are working with one of the Dreamcast community's most highly regarded hardware creators on this project fills us with optimism.
We spoke to Yunus Emre Soğukkanli from TR Fight Stick to get the low down on this exciting new project. Here's what he said:

"My regular job is as a stunt coordinator and action director, but game consoles - and especially arcades - are my lifestyle. It's a special hobby for me. I've always made arcade stuff for myself as a hobby. But this year I decided to produce things for other people, simply because so many people ask me to sell my projects to them. So I produced the TR Fight Stick, and people loved it.

"I love the Dreamcast and I've always wanted to build a good quality Dreamcast shell. I think it will be a good introduction to my work for other people. I will produce it in both metal and wood. It will be look better and be more effective in terms of colour degradation and heat transfer I think."
- Yunus Emre Soğukkanli - TR Fight Stick

We can't wait to see how this project pans out, and that Beharbros is also involved fills us with a lot of confidence. BBS Products are always of the highest quality and if SEGA won't step up to the plate and give us genuine replacement shells for our consoles at a reasonable price, we hope TR Fight Stick and Beharbros can step in to their shoes.

It's probably worth noting that it does look (at this point, anyway) that this mod is only for Dreamcasts without an optical drive, but hopefully this will change in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled for further developments on this exciting project.
What do you think? Will you be in the market for one of these console shells? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

Links:

Retro Surge Games - A New Dreamcast Software Publisher


The recent resurgence in the popularity of the Dreamcast shows little sign of slowing down, and a brand new publisher that will deal exclusively in Dreamcast games has recently been launched. Retro Surge Games is a subsidiary of retro game online store The Bit Station, and will be the publisher of upcoming Dreamcast isometric puzzle/RPG title Reaperi Cycle.

"We are so excited to see what this new venture will hold and to have the opportunity to help the Indie Dreamcast community continue to grow and prosper. Over the last 2 years, we have had the opportunity to serve one of the most devoted and friendly communities in the gaming world. If it wasn’t for the support of this community, we wouldn’t be this confident about expanding our involvement with the Dreamcast even further."
- The Bit Station / Retro Surge Games

We looked at the mysterious Reaperi Cycle some time ago, and this new development all but confirms that the Dreamcast will indeed be getting yet another brand new release in the near future. According to the Retro Surge press release, the publisher hopes to start putting out new Dreamcast titles in 2019 so we won't have to wait very long.
This latest addition to the stable of publishers putting out brand new Dreamcast software is encouraging, and alongside Josh Prod, Retroguru and Orion et al we hope Retro Surge Games can continue to breathe new life into the Dreamcast's indie library.

Source: The Bit Station / Retro Surge Games

PLAY Expo Blackpool 2018 - Show Report

The weekend of 27 - 28 October saw the return of one of the UK's biggest retro gaming events to the northern seaside town of Blackpool. PLAY Expo Blackpool was a dedicated retro showcase, with hundreds - possibly thousands - of classic consoles, computers, arcade cabinets and pinball tables available to be played by event goers. Naturally, as 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast, we were in attendance to promote the system, its games and some of the more interesting hardware to come out of the whole Dreamcast story.
A surprisingly quiet moment at the DCJY area
On top of our fairly sizeable display section where we had almost 30 consoles available for people to play on, we also took part in a panel talk about the Dreamcast. The panel was organised by The Retro Hour, which for those who don't know is probably the biggest weekly retro gaming podcast there is. The panel was also made up of myself (Tom), Mike Phelan (author of our awesome A to Z of Dreamcast Games), our good friend and YouTuber Adam Koralik, and the whole thing was chaired by Daniel 'DJ Slope' Ibbertson of the awesome Slope's Game Room. It was a great panel and we took a range of questions from the audience, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can view the panel below from the comfort of your own home.


I'm going to get the panel uploaded as a podcast with an introduction too, so keep your ears peeled for that aural treat. Basically, the event was a roaring success, and our section of the main hall was bolstered by the inclusion of a couple of rare Treamcast consoles and a super-rare Divers 2000 Dreamcast; both of which were supplied by Quang of Asobitech.
Me with Quang of Asobitech
Huge thanks go to Quang and we have to give him kudos for the sheer number of other outstanding and rare consoles he had on display in his area of the hall. The FM Towns Marty, an N64 DD and even a Nuon made up the numbers at the Asobitech display and Quang could quite easily have put his Dreamcast rarities on show alongside them, but he loaned to us and that was an awesome gesture.

SEGA Launches UK & European Online Stores

The SEGA Shop has been online for a while now in the United States, but now the United Kingdom and Europe both have their own dedicated web stores from which a range of SEGA-branded official merchandise can be purchased.
Naturally, the stuff we're interested in mainly features swirls and if you're in the market for PAL-branded Dreamcast tee shirts, socks, hats and mugs then you're in for a treat. All of the apparel looks to be of decent quality and - as stated - is officially licensed. Personally, I'd like one of the beanie hats complete with a light blue bobble on top and a nice clean Dreamcast logo across the front - that'd top off any outfit this winter.
The prices too seem to be perfectly reasonable, and if you sign up to the SEGA Shop newsletter you can also get 15% off your first order. Can't say fairer than that! Of course, there are other SEGA-branded items on offer too, with Yakuza and Mega Drive classics all represented. Check out the respective SEGA Shops at the links below, and let us know what you think and whether you'll be making a purchase this autumn/winter season.

Choose your region below:

DCHDMI: Full Speed Gameplay Footage

It became apparent after I uploaded the review of citrus3000psi and chriz2600's internal Dreamcast mod - the DCHDMI - that the footage included in the video was actually throttled to 25fps due to the introductory part of the video (the bit with my hands). Naturally, this caused quite the drama in the comments section on YouTube. And so, as a result of the ensuing cold sweats, night terrors and feeling like a total twunt; I decided to rectify said issues by recording a load of gameplay direct from the DCHDMI, eschewing an intro, and slapping the results on YouTube.
So here, for your enjoyment, is 18 minutes of pure gameplay. Recorded in 1080p mode (which is 960p windowed...which is itself 480p doubled by the FPGA on the board) at full speed 60 frames per second where applicable. I haven't altered anything, just recorded some gameplay from a range of titles. Here you go:


The full list of games in the video is:
  • Ferrari F355 Challenge
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Shutokou Battle 2
  • Dead or Alive 2
  • Sturmwind
  • Daytona USA 2001
  • Virtua Striker 2
  • Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves
  • Le Mans 24hrs
  • Quake III: Arena
  • V-Rally 2: Expert Edition
  • Virtua Tennis
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Marvel Vs Capcom 2
  • Metropolis Street Racer
  • Sega Rally 2
  • Soul Calibur
I apologise for how shit I am in some of the footage but I'm sure you can see that the DCHDMI is pumping out some seriously sharp images. I'm anticipating that people will still complain in the comments section (on YouTube) about something...but hey. What can you do?
Read our full written review here, and find the DCHDMI modification for sale at citrus3000psi's dedicated web store here. It costs $150 and will be available from mid November 2018.

Will you be getting involved in the DCHDMI? If you'd like a closer look we'll be showing it off at Play Expo Blackpool at the end of October. Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter. If you want to leave a negative comment on YouTube,  please feel free to join the other 367,000,000 people doing that daily. Cheers!

Hardware Review: DCHDMI - The 1080p Dreamcast

Playing older games in higher resolutions than they were ever intended to be played in is all the rage these days. Be it through emulation, or via the relatively recent trend of the remaster, getting titles of yesteryear to play on modern display screens in the best possible quality is a prize many are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to attain.
The Dreamcast CD player in 1080p (960p bordered)
Here in our little corner of the gaming sphere, things are no different. There are some people who will never plug their Dreamcasts into anything but a CRT television through an RGB SCART connection. Others champion the clarity of a good old fashioned CRT computer monitor and a VGA box. And for those who simply don't have the space for the luxury of a proper old television or monitor, there's the HDMI passthrough boxes from Beharbros and Pound Technology.
The Akura and Gekko are both well built, high quality devices
The limitations of these HMDI boxes and cables are well documented, but for those with either limited space or on a budget, simply connecting a Dreamcast to a flat panel HD display and enjoying their favourite games in 480p is a perfectly acceptable and affordable way to continue gaming on Sega's old warhorse in the modern era.


Of course, what the Pound and Berharbros adapters do is simply take the VGA signal from the Dreamcast and spit it out through a HDMI cable. There's no upscaling at all, and the larger the screen, the poorer the image. It isn't really true high definition gaming, in all honesty. Things are about to change though, as a new contender has entered the ring: DCHDMI.
The DCHDMI board is an internal mod replete with an onboard FPGA
The DCHDMI is an internal board that is slotted into the Dreamcast shell, beneath the main board and is connected directly to the Dreamcast's GPU. What this means is that a digital signal is taken directly from from the GPU and is output in true HDMI through a mini HDMI port on the back of the console. The results are truly staggering, and as we'll see in this review, outside of emulation, the image quality and clarity afforded by the DCHDMI is leagues ahead of anything ever seen before from a Dreamcast console...

Play Test: After The Fall

Recently, we broke the news that one of the more elusive Quake total conversions, After The Fall, was finally being ported to the Dreamcast after years in the wilderness. The reasons for this were numerous and included technical limitations related to the Dreamcast's RAM, amongst others. A talented programmer called Pip Nayler stepped forward to resurrect the game however, and we have been lucky enough to sample the fruits of his labour.


If you want to know more about After The Fall's history, please check out our previous article here, but for this play test we'll be focussing on the current build Pip was kind enough to let us experience. First things first - this is still pretty early and as such there are a few rough edges. Also, it's running on Mankrip's Makaqu engine, so it doesn't look like a first party, official Dreamcast game. However, if you can look past the low resolution, occasionally low frame rate and the stock Quake sound effects and gameplay elements, what you'll discover in After The Fall is a very enjoyable and pretty engaging first person shooter.
From the off, you'll feel acquainted with the set up if you're a Quake veteran. After The Fall offers you a familiar hub level that acts as a way to select which difficulty you'd like to play. It's probably worth stating at this point that choosing 'easy' is your best bet initially, as the game is brutally difficult from the off - not that this is a bad thing...just don't accidentally chose the 'nightmare' option by pressing the button by the slipgate!

As mentioned, the Quake engine origins of After The Fall are pretty clear to see, with architecture blatantly taking cues from id's original blueprint. That said, After The Fall does take things to some fairly unorthodox places almost out of the gate...

Stampede: The Lost Dreamcast Sheep Herding Sim

Of all the aspects of being a Dreamcast fan, discovering lost and cancelled games is by far the most fascinating to me. Yes, the games we actually got are numerous; and a large proportion of them are pretty darn good, but the merest glimpse at titles that never made it give us a tiny peek into an alternative reality. A reality where the Dreamcast was the commercial success it could have been, and a reality in which all those titles that were unceremoniously shelved received full retail releases.
There are some cancelled games that are widely known about and that have even been released in some form or another. Half-Life, Propeller Arena, Hellgate, Geist Force and PBA Bowling are famous examples; and more recently titles such as Agartha, Deer Avenger and Millennium Racer: Y2K Fighters have shown us that there are still lost games waiting to be discovered. We can now add another to that ever growing list: Stampede.
You'd be forgiven for scratching your head at this point, as Stampede is likely a title you've never heard of. But there's a reason to be excited about this one - Stampede for Dreamcast was running well on Dreamcast hardware when it was cancelled, and now a playable build has found its way into the hands of Xeno Crisis developer Bitmap Bureau. What's even more interesting, is that the guys who make up Bitmap Bureau (developers of the upcoming Xeno Crisis) were part of the development studio that originally worked on Stampede all those years ago.

With this in mind, there's a very real chance that Stampede could finally see the light of day, nearly 20 years after it was canned. But what exactly is Stampede? And why should you care? Read on for the answers, and an exclusive interview with the game's creative director...

Revisiting the Aesthetics of TrickStyle and Dreamcast 20XX Futurism

You can tell a lot about a society’s hopes and fears by how its fictitious works depict the future. In this regard, the Dreamcast is a fascinating time capsule of our most prevalent insecurities at the turn of the millennium. As we’ve come to view the Dreamcast through a retro lens, we can also try to understand the historical context behind its own brand of retro futurism.

Revisiting a smattering of early Dreamcast games on the console’s 19th anniversary, I’m reminded of some of the common themes and aesthetics imbuing many futuristic Dreamcast and PC titles of the late '90s and early aughts. Notably, these games depicted vaguely dystopian futures that were all at once gritty, vibrant, desolate, and shrouded in a thick fog, both literally – to mask pop-in due to hardware constraints – and figuratively in their perturbed sense of uncertainty.
For me, this aesthetic characterized a fair share of the Dreamcast’s library, propagating a trend of worn, sterile, and heavily-industrialized future settings. I feel compelled to interpret this style – let’s call it “Dreamcast 20XX” for now – as a reflection of our most prevalent cultural anxieties at that time, both real and embellished. In other words, it is easy to imagine late ‘90s game developers – particularly western ones – depicting a future where the Y2K bug could’ve actually fucked up some shit. These themes manifest themselves in numerous games across a variety of genres.
They feature prominently in action titles like MDK2, Slave Zero, and Red Dog; but also in first person shooters Quake and Unreal Tournament; the open-world adventure game Omikron: The Nomad Soul; even racing games like the spectacularly boring Magforce Racing. Although these depictions vary in their degrees of cynicism, they broadly portray the toll that years of industrial and economic disrepair could take on the world in the wake of vague, societal catastrophe.
Towards the surprisingly bleak end of this spectrum is one of my favorite Dreamcast racing games, Criterion’s TrickStyle. Its chief conceit surrounds an international community struggling to rebuild itself following worldwide, war-torn devastation. In TrickStyle’s post-war future, society pulls itself up by its hoverboard binding straps and instills racing as a shared cultural tentpole, both as a means to stave off boredom and to strengthen global stability by way of awesome fucking hoverboards. It’s Marty McFly’s new world order.