One thing that has been bugging me while playing DC games in Dad's record room on a lovely big screen (I have two Dreamcast’s set up in two separate rooms in our house. Why? Because GJKHJKGHKGGK!) was the length of the controller cable: it simply isn't long enough to reach over to the futon sofa thingy, so I've had to sit on the floor instead. Luckily, while doing my weekly Ebay browse for Dreamcast and Neo Geo Pocket stuff, I came across an extension cable. This guy has a shop on there that sells nothing but video game wires, and lots of them. This Dreamcast one was Buy it now for a quid, with a quid postage, so I nabbed one. I came through the post 3 days later and works a charm. I have yet to try it out on all types of controllers, but while the bog-standard controller work, the fishing controller did not. Good thing that one has a long wire to start with, then.
You know when you need to get out more when you start spending your nights in taking photos of wires. To make myself feel a little better after that revelation, I snapped my current collection controller thingys for the console as well. That's 4 controllers (one still boxed), 5 VMU's, 2 unofficial memory cards, a rumble pack, 2 mircophones, a keyboard, an arcade stick, a light gun and a fishing controller.
See as the House of the Dead actipn figure gezzer look on in sheer terror. That big old lightgun is after him. Mine one came out of a Gamestation in the lovely House of the Dead 2 box for £20, with Phantasy Star Online Ver.2 tossed into the deal, and they have a few of theseun-boxed in my local Gamestation now for a fiver each (would buy a 2nd one for 2 player if they had Bog off stickers on them) The one thing I love most about it, other than the hole so you can watch the VMU animations, and the cute little d-pad on the back, is the message sega have printed on the side of it (click to re-size):
That and it doesn't look remotely anything like a gun in the first place, unless you take guns from rusty old Sci-Fi programmes into consideration. The real disapointment with the Dreamcast gun is the lack of games made for it: in Europe we got just the two. There both great games per say, but even the Saturn had more lightgun games. If you take Amercia into account, there's also a rather dull port of Virtua Cop 2 on Sega Smash Pack, and there's also some other game out there called Death Crimson that uses it, but I haven't much good about that. Shame.
Now the arcade stick, there's a controller to be proud of. The choice of colour scheme is a bit odd (green?), but this is just about the most robust arcade stick controller outside of actually yanking out the controller lump of an arcade cabinet and attempting to link it up to your console. What's more it works with lots of games, almost any that were originally conceived in the arcades, and it is brilliant for fighting games, especially Capcom's mass collection of Street Fighters which just are not the same on a regular controller. This is HARDCORE, baby. I bought this back around 2000 from a boot sale, I believe, and paid good money of it, money that still holds up for it as it's hard to find now unless you go on Ebay, on which you would have to pay massive postage costs due to it's sheer bulk.
Now I don't care what anybody else says, but I think the fishing controller is the best invention since that contraption that gets Wallace out of bed and make's his toast. This may not be the official one, but it stills does it's job. While Sega Bass Fishing doesn't have a whole lot to keep you coming back, I am absolutely addicted to Sega Marine Fishing (which didn't see a European release, but can be picked up cheap online). Somehow they have taken the world's most boring sport and turned into something magical. God bless you Sega!
Sadly, the controller doesn't make the levels where you play Big in Sonic Adventure any less tedious as it doesn't work properly for that, which means that Sonic Team didn't put those levels in as an excuse to use the controller. A total of 5 games officially use the controller: Sega Bass, Sega Marine, Sega Bass 2, some other 3rd party fishing game and....Soul Cailbur! Yes, I'm not joking, although I haven't been able to try this out for myself yet as my copy of the game is so scratched up it doesn't even run anymore. Weep.
Now the Keyboard is looking a little redundant now the Dreamcast isn't online anymore (Or isn't it?), but it can be used for a few games, such as Phantasy Star Online, Worms World Party, those FPShooters that combined with a mouse are just like playing on the PC (The whole point of these console ports is to get away from the PC style controls?) and the real highlight: Typing of the Dead. You can get this game over here on the PC cheap now, but if you really must have this for your Dreamcast, it's readily out there online on American import, although this brings about one annoying fault: some of the keys on American keyboards are swapped about, so you have to learn which ones are the other way around! Annoying. Oh well, these Dreamcast keyboards were even in he pound shop near me a while back, which is where mine has come from, even though I did buy one at launch for going on the internet.
Finally I shall have a looksie at the Microphone. Again with the odd decision to use green, luckily this barely used gadget comes with the games it was made for: Planet Ring (online only game, probably not up anymore), Alien Front Online (the mode the Mic is used for is online) and Seaman. While Alien Front is a great offline game too, Seaman is the only game you will really be using this device for, a game of which can best be described as more of a very strange experience than a game. Think a virtual pet game, but without all the cutesy Japanese graphics, but instead a miserable looking fish with a human face that talks to you like your some bird shit on his head. Oh, and the game also has Jean Luc Picard doing narration, so you just can't not check this odd game out.
That's my lot to tonight, soon I will be posting more about Bleemcast, and some of the wonderful things you can do with a VMU. Ta.