Phase One of Junkyard Domination

Introducing three reasons why the Dreamcast ruddy well rocks.

Why did I just post those? Well, if you clicked the clips above to go to their full pages, you may of noticed something they have in common. But excluding the fact hat they are all clips of Dreamcast games ripped from DreamOn demo discs, check out the author name on them all.


That's right, mates. I've set up a YouTube account just for Dreamcast content! This is just the first phase to a big project involving the Junkyard I have started, that you may see within the next few months! Here's a link to the account:

You'll puke with pleasure! You'll vomit with excitement! You'll shit with fear!


Hello there me hearties! Captain Gessler here! 3 parts gut, one part sea dog - but all man. Grrr.

It's been a good few weeks, but today has witnessed the arrival of a new shipment of contraband in the Dreamcast Junkyard. Before you all start getting giddy, it's not the usual type of contraband - you know, Rum, Tobacco, Silk and other such luxury items. No, I'm talking about GAMES my friends!


But what are they? Come and have a look inside my bulging sack...


For the modest sum of ten gineas (pounds) I have managed to procure the services of four games, each with their own strengths but mostly fraught with ricketts:

  • Toy Commander
  • Dragons' Blood
  • Record of Lodoss War
  • Star Wars: Demolition
In reverse order, here are my views on each:

Star Wars: Demolition
Hmmm. A bit of a missed opportunity this. It's made by Luxoflux - the dude and dudettes behind the Vigilante 8 games, and it's quite apparent from the off that it's a basic whoring of the V8 engine (that's Vigilante 8 - not Chevrolet), only with slightly tidied up vehicle models. Basically, you careen around various Star Wars themed enclosed arenas (Hoth, Mos Eisley etc) and shoot other characters who are whizzing about in equally Star Wars-y vehicles like AT-STs and shit. Like I said, it's basically Vigilante 8 with Star Wars tacked on, and the graphics are really quite nice...but it plays like a drowned mongrel. The 'vehicles' float about with no real aim and the weapons on offer are totally uninspired - as are the majority of the levels. The Hoth one is quite cool, with AT-ATs plodding about but it begs the question - why didn't they just make a proper shoot 'em up, Shadows of the Empire-stylee instead? Rating: 5/10

It could have been so much better...

AT-STs on the Death Star surface? Do me a favour...

Record of Lodoss War
Not content with having one of the oddest names in the universe, Record of Lodoss War is also lumbered with being a complete miss-mash of game styles. Is it an RPG? Is it a really rubbish isometric scrolling beat 'em up? I'm not sure, but for all it's sins...I have to admit to really liking it. The intro scenes are a tad on the pathetic side (although never approaching the sheer horror of Soul Fighter's intro) and the graphics are quite similar to what you'd expect to see if you tried to draw a scene from Lord of the Rings on an Etch-A-Sketch, but it does hold a mysterious charm and has a story that is so contrived you can't help but be sucked in by it. Even the conversations with NPCs are shit - but it just begs to be played so you can see what happens next in the story. In layman's terms, it's the bastard lovechild of Dark Saviour and Crusader: No Remorse, but sadly doesn't feature a crow called Kaiser. DAMMIT. Rating: 7/10



Dragons' Blood
This was released to zero fanfare - I remember because it simply appeared out of thin air on the shelves of EB one lovely summer day in 2000. Known as Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm (what?!) in the US, Dragon's Blood is a 3D adventure game where you prance across misty fields and through castles and the like, slaying a whole bargain-bin full of cliched orcs, ogres, spiders, goblins and centaurs with either a sword, a boot or a bit of magic. You can play as either Cynric or Aeowyn (typical male/female warriors) although each adventre is pretty similar. The variation in the stages is quite good, as are the visuals as a whole, but it gets quite difficult as you progress and the amount of misting in the open areas approaches Turok levels in places. Also, in the later missions (as the architecture gets rather grandiose) the ugly face of horrific slowdown is reared - although we're not talking Shenmue Harbour, peeps. A decent adventure game overall. Rating: 6.5/10

Would you fuck with this geezer?

Hell Yeah! etc.

Toy Commander
Hell Fire! This is the kind of thing you expect on the Dreamcast. Sure, it was a launch title - but let's be honest - it's gotta be one of the best launch titles ever. I'd be amazed if there's anyone out there who doesn't own Toy Commander, but if you don't - get it. It sort of reminds me of Club Drive on the Jaguar (the house levels), only about a billion times better. You, as the title suggests, play a commander who over a number of different toy war machines (tanks, planes, trucks, choppers etc) and must wage war against the despot toys who hold various areas of the house in their respective iron (plastic?) grips. Missions can be completed in any order and range from destroying enemy toy subs in a flooded kitchen; to rescuing scattered toy soldiers from the top bunk in a child's bedroom. After all the missions in a particular room have been completed, you get to battle against the 'boss' of the area, who usually tends to be a big motherfucker of a toy with plenty of missiles and other nasty means of killing you tucked in his pockets. The graphics are simply amazing - better than many second and third generation DC titles and are packed with colour and detail, whilst the gameplay is well balanced and a lot of fun. Toy Commander is one game you should really seek out. Rating: 9/10

5 past 9? Waaay past my bedtime...

Lovely carpet. Shame about the wallpaper.

Well, that's about enough excitement for me for one night. I need something really boring, dull, unimaginative, labourious and repetitive to help get me off to sleep. Where's that video of England's World Cup campaign got to...

The Joy of X

"Our mission is simple: to research and explore some of our favorite games and find out just what the developers originally had in mind."

That is the brave quote taken from the index page of this site, X-Cult.

It also goes on to state that "You won't fine any lame, half-assed theories or false info here, only the facts."

And quite right they are too. X-Cult are a group of gamers who look into the rumours, gossip and lore surrounding games development and try to find out any information on how various games were originally intended to play. The reason I have posted about X-Cult, though, is because they have a rather fascinating Dreamcast area that features screens of planned Dreamcast games you probably didn't even know existed, eg:

Midnight GT

Gun Valkyrie

Croc 2


the DC version of MAX PAYNE!!!

On top of that, they have a few videos of Max Payne, Geist Force and Castlevania Resurrection, and also a scan of an 'upcoming releases' leaflet thing (you know, those things that come folded up in the jewel case when you buy a game) that features a shit load of games that never saw the light of day (including Galleon) - so go there now and see these incredible sights for yourself!! Or don't.

It's entirely up to you. Unless you live in a country where the government watches your every move, in which case it's probably best to clear it with your area administrator first.

B+Q = Keanu!

That title will only make sense to you if you a) reside in the UK and b) are familiar with D.I.Y.

But your loss if your don't / aren't. Moving on:

Ever since it's epoch making release, it seems EVERYONE has been ripping off Jet Set Radio. But that's only natural considering it's a classic mix of funky music, great gameplay...and fucking astounding visuals. Yep - I'd go as far as saying JSR is possibly one of the best looking videogames I've ever played - even to this day. To illustrate this further, one of my housemates remarked at the brilliance of the Xbox whilst I was playing it...until the fucking cretin realised that the Xbox was lying dormant and it was a goddammed DREAMCAST I was playing on!!! DIE MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!

But why do I wax lyrical about Jet Set Radio you ponder...

It will all become clear very soon, but first, let's have a little gander at some games that have blatantly plagerised our old pal Jet Set for his/her (delete as applicable) unique cel shaded graphical style to earn kudos (K):

Wacky Races
(which is, in it's own right a simply brilliant Mario Kart style game, and one of the Dreamcast's better racing offerings by the way)

(that's Thirteen for the Roman Numerally-challenged reader. A really great game, and even better now it retails for 2.99!!)

Cel Damage
(Never played it, but apparently it sucks more ass than Jonathan (W)Ross interviewing a Lord of the Rings cast member. The tosser.)

(OK, not a rip off as such - but originally intended as a Dreamcast sequel. If only twats had bought more Dreamcasts. Tut. But still, a great game nonetheless)

You may be wondering why I am bringing this bullshite to your attention when it could so easily be preoccupied by a) making another round of cheese on toast; b) cracking open another can of Carlsberg (which is what I'm about to do...please excuse me); c) cracking one off to that new Christina Aguilera video (which is what I'm also about to do...thank GOD I got that tissue box holder); or d) cracking one off to a David Hasslehoff video...which is your own business. Cough.

Whatever your taste in (wo)men, the reason I bring JSR (or JGR for the NTSC crew) to the table after so many years of entertainment is that a new film that uses a familiar cel shading effect has just come to my attention.

Ladies and Germs - A SCANNER DARKLY:

OK - it doesn't feature a band of futuristic 'sk8ers' graffiti-ing up some lovely neighbourhood and being chased by a fat cunt with a dog (which is what generally happens to me when I don my turbo-skates and spray my 'tag' on next door's living-room window), but it looks remarkably familiar and also (whisper it) very good. Well done Keanu - although, sadly, it still takes a bit of fancy animation to stop you looking like a plank of 2 by 4.


Ladies and Gentlemen, when you purchase something from that eBay nonsense, you expect certain things. You expect to pay over the odds for postage just so the greedy twat selling the thing can get a bit more cash out of you. You also expect to be waiting ages for your item to arrive in the post. What you don't expect, is for your item to be covered in so many dog hairs, cat hairs and pubes that it resembles Captain Caveman. But that's what happened to me when I bought this:

Yes! It's a Dreamcast themed tissue holder!

I left the tea ring on the right to give you a sense of scale.

I managed to get most of the hairs off (after projectile vomiting several times in the process), but due to the simply stupid dimensions of the thing, and the bits of fire encouraging foam inside, you can't actually put any kind of tissue box inside it! The question remains - why does this thing even exist?- it's like the games merchandise equivalent of the wasp. More troubling is the follow-up question: WHY THE FUCK DID I PAY FOUR POUNDS FOR IT?! That's 4 cans of Carling I could have been supping right now.

Damn you, cruel fate.

Anyhow, since mankind can create such marvels as the space shuttle; perform sextuplet (sex...hehe!) heart bypasses; and build towers that reach to heaven (probably), yet do not have the capacity to invent a tissue box that fits inside the Dreamcast Tissue Box Holder(tm), I have taken it upon myself to discover what other everyday items could prove to be a worthy substitute (unlike Owen Hargreaves):

A Shoe!

A Spider Plant! (note to self: it needs watering before it dies.)

If you remove the foam and add a hand, you get a rather spiffy hand puppet! At last, a real friend!!!

A REAL DREAMCAST! Oh, the irony:


Anyway, I'm just nipping to the shed to shoot myself in the face with the antique Remington shotgun I got from a car boot at the weekend for 80p. Gagaman, the car boot bargain hunt has just been blown wide open... :-D

Totally Ridiculous Comparisons: No. 3

I figured that after Totally Ridiculous Comarisons: No. 2, enough was enough because, just like a bird who is that fat she also has tits on her back, you simply can have too much of a good thing. But fear not! There are no fat birds here - in fact, there are no females here whatsoever...but I digress.

In the past we have seen Super Runabout trade haymakers with Charge N' Blast; and we've witnessed the spectacle of F355 Challenge take one hell of a Maggie Thatcher-style beating at the hands of Star Wars Episode 1: Racer - but now it's time to stop fucking about. It's time for the big boys to step into the ring...

So, without further ado, gents and gents, put your wank mags and pot noodles down - and give a warm Dreamcast Junkyard style welcome to the new contenders (drumroll please):

"Are you ready? Are you ready? Let's GET IT ON!"
Daytona 2001 Versus Shenmue

Round 1: Graphics

Whoa...where to begin? Daytona's visuals are something else. It's simply arcade perfect - you know, if Daytona 2001 had actually ever been in the arcades. But first things first - the vehicles. Each car is really well modelled and super shiny. There aren't any real-time reflections going on, but you get the idea as the clouds glide over the bodywork like Swiss Tony(above left)'s hands might glide over the soft thigh of a 19-year-old blonde. Cough. The framerate is consistent and the draw distances are pretty spectacular at times - check out the entire track laid before your eyes as you disappear down the hill and under the bridge on the Mermaid Lake track - it's a really impressive sight, especially with 39 other vehicles battling for position all around you. Trackside detail on some of the courses is a little sparse (Circuit Pixie and National Park Speedway for example), but on the whole, Daytona 2001 is an almost perfect example of the Dreamcast's technical superiority.

A totally different visual style to Daytona, Shenmue is again arguably one of the best looking games on the DC. Everything is modelled with such meticulous detail you have to wonder about the sanity of the developers. Go into a shop and look at the shit on the shelves - it's all labelled up - no N64 style masses of colour here, guv'nor. Peoples faces, bikes, doors, kettles...even the inside of the freaking bus to the's all immaculatley m
odelled. And it's not just the things you interact with either - the actual environment looks so realistic due to the overbearing use of drab colours. Where Daytona jumps through the retinas with overbearing joyful garishness, Shenmue heaps on the atmosphere with a colour palette similar to the one used in the Grim Reaper's bedroom. Don't ask how I know - just take my word for it. And then there are the little things you don't notice at first, like the proper shadows and the real time lighting. It ain't perfect (some slowdown and the way shadows don't fall on snow(odd)), but it's still an exceptionally good looking title.

Winner: It's a Tie, folks.

Round 2: Sound

Daytona on the Saturn featured music so cringeworthy that it is said one unhappy punter stabbed knitting needles through his own ear drums just so he could play it without breaking down in tears. Bit drastic, I know - but apparently he'd lost his TV remote and couldn't turn it down. That is probably a lie, more than likely concocted by me - but who can forget "Blue, blue skies..." AAAAARGH! It's worse than Eurovision. Daytona 2001 isn't quite as bad, you'll be pleased to hear, although the soundtrack is made up of remixes. They're nowhere near as offensive as the original choons, but still, not really up to scratch - and what happened to the top notch menu music from CCE?! Oh well. Elsewhere, sound effects are pretty much by the numbers - the odd throaty engine growl here, the odd tire screech there - all perfectly acceptable, but hardly amazing. One nice extra I noted is the way you can now hear the crowd as you whizz past the grandstand corner on 777 Speedway, which is nice, but overall Daytona is pretty average in the speaker/ear collaboration department.

Shenmue is a game that has had hundreds, maybe thousands of man hours poured into it. You can see this in the graphics - and the sound is no different. Again, you don't really notice it while you're playing, but the little incidentals that chime in, and the atmosphere building crescendos during cut scenes should be applauded. There are some areas that are marked out by their music (for example, I know for a fact that everyone reading this who has played Shenmue for any length of time will remember the music in Ryo's house and garden - that sort of drummy, slow melody). The voice acting of the NPCs (and Ryo, for that matter) can be a bit grating in places (especially that cretin Tom at the burger bar, with his faux Jamaican twang), but lets look at the bigger picture - it's head and shoulders above most games in this genre. Individual character's personalities can be picked up through how they speak and emotion is well conveyed through the dialogue. So, pretty good then.

Winner: The Hero of Hazuki's Shenmue

Round 3: Gameplay

Daytona is one of those games you'll either love or hate when it comes down to gameplay. By gameplay, I primarily mean how the cars handle, but will also wax lyrical about the other aspects of the way it plays. But first: handling. You can tweak vehicle set ups in Daytona 2001, but in truth it doesn't really make much of a difference to the car's classification: some are fast with shit cornering, some are slow with good cornering. The generic Hornet car (let's be honest - it's the one we all use, all the time) bobs about under the strain of the engine like it's got a see-saw underneath it and cornering can be a nightmare unless you get a feel for the way the game wants you to play it. Daytona, believe it or not, is a game in which braking is essential - if you don't, you'll be seeing that comedy car flip more times than is healthy. To successfully navigate the more hideous turns, it is imperitive that you know how to drift the cars without spinning out and unless you can do it, you'll probably think Daytona is an unplayable, difficult and ultimatley shite game. Give it time and you'll see the error of your ways - mark my words, young Jedi. Elsewhere, there is a generic championship made to battle through and the usual array of single races etc. Cars are unlocked by winning championships and, wierdly, by playing for set periods of time. The overall concensus with Daytona 2001 though is this: have patience.

Shenmue is very much something of an aquired taste in gaming. The slow, but ultimatley intriguing plot takes time to bear any real fruit and many people may lose interest before the story really kicks off. As with most RPGs (although, Shenmue is more of an action-rpg), the very nature of the adventure is plodding. But lets talk about controls first. I didn't really like the control set up - using the D-Pad is a nightmare at times and I was forever pushing the analogue stick by mistake and fucking the camera up. The fighting controls are OK, but again, using the D-Pad is a bit wrong, and you can never really execute the move you want to becuase button presses and actions being taken is so inconsistent. I'm nit picking, I know. Another thing that really annoyed me was the constant waiting around for the time to pass - sometimes you have to wait till 7 in the evening to meet someone or go somewhere...when Ryo gets up at 8.30am, that's a long time to wait around. It's a storming game, but sometimes you have no choice but to leave it running while you go off and do something and then come back when the virtual time has passed sufficiently to progress the story. Bah.

Winner: Due to the infuriating D-Pad and waiting around, it's gotta be Daytona

Round 4: Longevity

Daytona has 8 tracks, a minimal numer of initial cars (although as mentioned, some more can be unlocked) and only a few different play modes. Nevertheless, you can play the tracks in reverse, mirror or reverse mirror so it jazzes things up a bit. However, you have to consider that Daytona is an arcade racer at heart and is intended to be played in short, hi octane stints - it ain't Forza Motorsport afterall. That said, beating lap records and perfecting your drive is still a lot of fun, so there is some longevity here.

Ah. Here Shenmue shines. The overall quest in this first installment of the Hazuki revenge story isnt overly long - but it kept me going for a good while. The game spans 3 GDs (the fourth is a graphics showcase/mess about disc) so you do get an idea of how long you'll be playing - but the real clinchers are the side quests you'll often be asked to complete, but don't have to. For example, helping an old codger find a particular address. Other sidelines include collecting toys from the slot machines and finding the audio tapes and Saturn games for the console under the telly in Ryo's gaff (you'll save a pretty penny in arcade trips y'know). I personally didn't even bother with all that stuff, but I still got a lot of play out of it. Just don't mention the slightly gay handing out of prizes after the forklift truck race at the docks. Shudder.

Winner: It's gotta be Shenmue again - if only for the sonic toys.

Overall Winner: Shenmue

Scores on the boards: Daytona 2001: 2 Shenmue: 3

There it is. The scores don't lie - it was a tough one, and the closest match up thus far, but Shenmue took it. Daytona needn't be down hearted though - it was a mammoth task. Like England winning the world cup. But what the HELL am I talking about? They're inanimate bits of pressed plastic. I need to lie down.

And on that (slightly surreal) bombshell, here's a picture of a prototype Dreamcast that hasn't already been copy and pasted to death from some other, inferior website or blog:

Cool eh?

Soul Calibur + Fishing Controller = Wii!

, hRemember the "wii-style" game play made possibly by combining the Maracas with World Series Baseball that turned out to be a mistake on my hand? Well, this time it's real. The closet thing to game play like what you get on Nintendo's Wii has been available for six years. Good old Dreamcast.

This isn't a new discovery. In fact, being able to play Soul Calibur with the fishing controller was revealed back in issue 2 of Official Dreamcast Magazine UK in their review of the game. They even interviewed a Kendo expert who was impressed with the accuracy possible with the controller. Here's the scoop, click 'em:

Now, I've been meaning to try this out for a long time, but only just got myself a fishing controller (the third-party "Fission" one, from Game Station for £3) recently, and only just this weekend finally got my hands on a working copy of Soul Calibur from a boot sale, as I played my original copy so much that it wouldn't even run anymore. I've missed this game so much, as it's easily the best game on the Dreamcast full stop, but the first thing I did when getting the game home was plug my fishing controller in with it.

The controls work pretty darn well, I must say. Unless you want to block attacks, you don't have to press any buttons in-game, and the analogue to walk about is not a problem to use. It depends on the character, but certain swings of the fisher' do register directly into the game, albeit flashier. Only thing in the controls you will want to change is the R buttons config. You will want the default "free style" setting, but change the R button setting to anything but P+A+K , which makes you charge up a whole lot, which ends up with you getting a pummelling. The most realistic setting is to change it to A+K, as this makes it so most characters will spin their weapon about if you spin the reel.

Certain characters with this setting use the reel for different moves. Taki uses it to somersault over the opponent, where as Yosimitsu uses it to stand on his blade which he jumps on by flicking the Fisher upwards. Pushing the analogue in different directions while swinging will give you even more moves to work with.

To save me describing all the things you can pull off, I've gone to the bother to filming footage showing how moves can be pulled off with some characters. The quality isn't brilliant (I really shouldn't of picked the lighter levels, as this caused those annoying black lines) but it should give you an idea of how it works, and yes, you do look like a prat when playing this, so only my hands are seen =P

So the best characters to play as with it seem to be Yosimitsu, Kilik, Seung Mina, Hwang, Cevanties and Mitsuragi, although it works pretty well enough with all of them. On the subject of Wii style game play on the Dreamcast, check out this early Dreamcast concept controller design found at Kotaku:

Hmm. Now all I need to complete this post is another "old hat!" image.
Eh, I'll just use the same one again.

UPDATE! Found another clip showing the game running with the fishing controller on Youtube. It comes from a DVD given away with the infamous Japanese magazine Famitsu, and shows some guy playing the game in ultra hard mode with it. I'm a bit dubious about this one though, as all he appears to be doing is shaking the controller up and down the whole time. No skill whats so ever, I could wupp him at this. However, it does show a much better demonstration of how it works at the start.

Edit: Forgot the Kotaku image I meant to post. Oops. It's in there now.

The DaSega Code

Finally got the see The DaVinci Code this weekend. Hmmm. Not that impressed to be honest - it was pretty much identical to the book (as one would expect), and due to this it actually seemed as though I'd already seen it - everything was pretty much how I'd visualised it myself. Except for the pudding faced Audrey Tatou, that is. Anyway, this isn't a goddamned Dan Brown discussion forum - the reason I brought up said church scaring, conspiracy whipping tat was this: It's got a Dreamcast in it!

Not an actual Dreamcast console, you understand - that'd never go down well with Sony Pictures - but a DC logo. Sort of.

In the scene where Langdon (Hanks) is giving his piss poor 'lecture' on Religious Symbology at the Paris Ritz, have a look at the background on the big screen. Just incase you missed it - here's an Official Dreamcast Junkyard Screengrab (tm):

Even Robert Langdon plays Jet Set Radio. And if it's good enough for him...

SEE!!! IT'S THERE! I have to give full Kudos to my Dreamcast-Logo-Spotting cerebral inplant, but come on people - how good of a spot is that?!

This got me thinking about the actual logo itself and the meaning behind it. Whenever a piece of marketable shite is launched - be it a stereo, a car or a brand of yoghurt - the firm usually spend hundreds of thousands on brand development. How and why did Sega come up with the swirl?
Well, after much digging (aka Google), I discovered that the swirl is a religious symbol of some sort (hence Dr Langdon's useage for his slideshow) that has been found carved into the walls of Celtic tombs and other places where ancient civilisations are thought to have practiced some form of religious ceremony. Experts aren't entirely sure what it represents, but the most popular theory is that it represents life, death and rebirth. A sort of life-cycle, if you will.

So, were Sega cheekily marketing the Dreamcast as their 'rebirth'? It would make sense looking at the meaning behind the 'swirl,' it's just that, obviously it didn't work. It's also a Wicca symbol for 'goddess.' Sega and the occult? No wonder the Dreamcast flopped. Maybe they should have stuck to something less likely to upset an Elder God - like (cue clouds gathering) Sega Thunderbox.


You lied to me, World Series Baseball!

An update now on the maraca compatibility with World Series Baseball 2K1 that's going to make me look rather stupid.

I noticed yesterday that even though with the Maracas I end up playing both teams, it boos at me if I let one of the teams win and cheers if I let the other team win. With this in mind I decided to try and make sure the team it cheers for me on wins, by deliberately playing crap with the other team. When it came to the 'Boo' team, I just shook the maraca lightly, hoping to just tap the ball. For some reason doing this made me get a homerun. What the hell?

Next time the team was on, I just sat the maraca on the floor, to see the character totally miss the ball. But he hits it. I leave it again, he hits it a different way. It was then it started to haunt me: was I even playing this game in the first place? I exit the game and go back into quick start mode and look at the options. Both players were CPU. I wasn't even playing this game the whole time, it was just making me think I was playing it. Shit.

Ok then, I thought, I've been playing a game that's just been doing what it likes and fooling me into thinking I'm actually swinging the maraca about to hit the ball, fine. So I made sure 1 Player was picked this time, to see how it really plays. Sure enough, the proper in-game layout is now in place, with the little square on the screen and the target. Moving the maraca about does indeed move the target about pretty well, if a little slow (but not as slow as in Rez) but here's the rich part: you can't hit the ball. Shake the maraca, anything, it just didn't let me hit it. What's more, you have to control the other players on the pitch, which is impossible with the maracas. Shit shit shit.

So in other words, the maracas are not compatible with the game. All that stuff I said about it being just like Wii's baseball game is tripe now, but it really did have me thinking I was playing it, the bastard. But hey, maybe I can fool people who come around into thinking the same and play 2 player anyway. hell, it's still hella fun if you ignore the fact that you're not really making any difference to how they hit it. It would explain the delays when you hit it sometimes though. I least I discovered this before someone else tried it and pointed it out to me, that would of been even more embarrassing.

Ignoring this, I've been playing Samba De Amigo ver.2000 (haven't found an English back up of the version I own, so this will do for now even though it‘s in Japanese. Besides, it's even better than the original version with the hustle mode) religiously recently, mainly trying to beat this one level in Challenge mode of this odd song called S.O.S that I just can't beat, mainly because you have to get a 98 or above percent ranking on it, and the highest I got so far is 97%. I still say this is one of the greatest games on the Dreamcast, though.

I'm also still playing Sega Marine Fishing to death, trying to earn all the items for the Aquarium. Unlike the dire Sega Bass Fishing (and it's even more dire sequel, in which you simply can't catch anything), Marine has turned out to be one of the most additive games I've played on the Dreamcast, as sad as it may sound to admit. If only real fishing was this fun, everyone would do it. Mind you, you don't get Great Barracudas and Mako Sharks in your local little ponds, in which your most likely to catch a boot or a shopping trolley.

I also got some more cheap games from a boot sale last week. Both MSR and Quake III were games that I owned a while ago, but sold due to lack of interest, although I've been playing MSR a lot since I got it. The music ranges from the average to the downright ear-bleeding (Those rock songs are so cheesy and cliqued they make me want to vomit) and the game has it's frustrating moments but this time I'm going to play it properly rather than giving up a few levels in and just nabbing a complete save file like last time, which sucked all the game play out of it. Quake III is enjoyable with a mate over, but is annoying on your own as the first difficulty setting is too easy (because the enemies don't even shoot at you) and the one just after that is close to impossible. Maybe I just suck at it, although I didn't seem to when I used to own it and completed it. Eh, at least it's a bit better than Unreal Tournament. man that game is dull.

One last thing: I have something big planned for the Dreamcast Junkyard, which I’ve just started developing a couple days ago. Tom knows what I’m talking about, but it’s top secret for now, and probably won’t be ready for some time yet. Still, it’s big, I tells ya.

MSR: "It's not about how fast you drive, it's about DON'T TAP THAT WALL YOU ARSE MONKEY."


Four score, and several posts ago, I introduced many of you to the delights of the Dreamcast Gallery. Like a true web-based Indiana Jones though, I have been doing some digging around to unearth some more information on one of the more intriguing items featured in that very post: The Sega Swatch.

Contrary to my earlier postulation surrounding said dish-like device, I have discovered that it wasn't a prototype motion sensor masturbation aid - infact, it's something even more interesting.
It seems that with the Dreamcast, Sega not only had machinations to create the greatest videogaming device known to man, but also a sort of information hub that could deliver movie show times, restaurant table booking, online diary management and a whole host of other 'lifestyle' features.

Is that Doc Oc holding the pad?

HA HA HAAAAA...sigh.

How so? By hooking up with swiss watch firm Swatch, who were pulled in to create a sort of data-bank wristwatch that was capable of communicating with the Dreamcast console and the internet through the joypad add-on, and the console's internet connection.

Clearly, the blueprints and infrastructure for Sega's domination of the videogames market was already in place before the Dreamcast was flushed down the toilet - it appears they were planning on installing 'connection point' type things in cinemas, museums and the like so you could connect to your DC via the net - from anywhere!

A bit sinister methinks - but hey - I bet there'd be no 'terrorism' if Sega could keep tabs on all of us, all the time!

We could be living in a Sega created Utopia if this had come off - and we could have renamed Europe 'Mobius.'
10 out of 10 for effort, Sega. And 0 out of 10 for attainment, CRETINS.

Tell me more.

Also, as today marks the opening ceremony of World Cup 2006, may I wish your country the best of luck in the tournament. Unless you come up against the mighty England, that is. At which point may your soul be fermented into the elixir of the damned, and your body decay to such an extent that is is indistinguishable from a Donner kebab - That cup is OURS!


I can just about remember looking at a copy of CVG in late 1998 (can't remember the exact date - but thats what drugs and alcohol tends to do to the fragile human mind after years of mild to heavy useage), and being enormously impressed with the lineup of games that were intended to be coming for the brand new Sega Dreamcast. Obviously, most of them arrived roughly a year later (at midnight on October 28th 1999, if my aforementioned and recently defragged memory serves me), and were for the most part excellent. BUT - and this is a fucking huge, Rick Waller sat on a Hippo-style BUT - what about the games that we all saw in the lovely magazines but never fucking came out eh? I ain't talkin about Half-freakin-Life here, either peeps. That's old news I'm afraid.

I'm talking about the other stuff that would have made the DC an even better prospect than it already was - and still is!

Lets look at some of the titles were were promised, but never got. Just like when you asked your mum for a pair of Nike, Reebok or even Ascot trainers...and all you got were a pair of plastic soled Zee from the charity shop that had a SEAM that ran down the middle because they were MOULDED from the tears of lost children.

Anyway, enough about the traumatic childhood that will inevitably come back to haunt me and turn me into a serial killer. Let's get on with the show!

Castlevania Resurrection
Oh, how I loved Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on the PlayStation. It proved to me that, contrary to popular belief, 2D games are not shite and do not belong on the MegaDrive were they came from. Furthermore, they do not steal the jobs of honest, hardworking 3D games - they just get up earlier and work harder to achieve more from life. Ahem.

Castlevania Resurrection, not to be confused with a clinic for the impotent, was meant to be a true 3D update of the classic game and be set some years before the original adventure (1666, to be precise). You were to be able to play as one of two characters (Victor and, er, Sonia) and waft through Dracula's castle like a garlic flavoured fart, (re)killing any undead minions and generally raising hell (heaven?) until the final showdown with old Drac himself. It was never released, I belive, due to a fall out between different factions of Konami's internal dev team and also the waning popularity of the Dreamcast as a whole. The graphics look pretty decent (if a bit angular) and it looks about a million times better than Castlevania64 (which isn't really that difficult - Gauntlet on the NES looks (and sounds) better than Castlevania64). An intriguing title, but alas one we'll never see. More info? look here.

Aha! Now this looked amazing. The PC game was well recieved by the press and featured some amazing-for-the-era Voxel based graphics that meant the undulating terrain could stretch for miles into the distance. You played US Navy SEAL Cutter Slade in this 3rd Person action adventure, who was sent to a parrallel universe to help a group of scientists recover a probe sent there by the US government to prove the place existed (?!).

It was Slade's mission to sort the mess out and then get them all back home, Quantum Leap style (only without the help of Al, or indeed Ziggy). The PC game featured over 50 hours of gameplay, 1050 NPCs to engage in conversation and 6 large 'continents' to explore - each with it's own unique flavour (technologically advanced, primitive, warlike etc). A version was planned for the Dreamcast launch and the sytem could quite easily have handled the Voxel engine. Evidently, the game wasn't ready for the console launch and still wasn't ready by mid 2000. Eventually Outcast DC was cancelled, mainly because of the PC version's low sales and the poor sales performance of the console. Damned money-grabbing swines.

Scud Race
A name (to me anyway) synonymous with intense arcade racing and the ill-fated (I fucking hate that phrase, but it's the best one to use really. It's a bit like the word 'Reveller,' meaning 'party goer' - you never actually use it in conversation. Tsk), rumoured and never released Sega Saturn 64-bit add-on/booster cartridge.

Scud Race was reportedly going to be one of the games to make use of the upgrade, along with Virtua Fighter 3. The upgrade rumour was dead in the water before long, the DC came along and apparently work was started on a conversion of Scud Race. Of course, it was never completed and was washed away by the ever-lapping tides of the Sea of Time, dragged under by the current and then deposited on the Beach of the Forgotten (aka Blackpool), never to be seen again.

Or so you thought.

Apparently, there is a half finished version of Dreamcast Scud Race floating about, but it's virtually impossible to find and only a few really grainy pics of it exist on the net. And now here!

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2
Raziel, oh Raziel - where for art thou chin, Raziel? Yep, old scarf face's first adventure on the Dreamcast was an absolute stormer of a game. Amazing graphics, great game play, top drawer level design and more fun than there are superlatives in the English language. Soul Reaver is one of the best games on the Dreamcast, without a vampire's shadow of a doubt (is it reflections or shadows they don't have? Hmmm...). But there was intended to be a sequel, Soul Reaver 2, developed concurrently for the PS2 and the DC.

Early screens featured in EGM at the time showed that the two versions were practically identical and coming along well, and any Dreamcast owner would have been forgiven for rubbing their mud covered hands at the prospect of more soul devouring, zombie impaling, wall climbing action. But suddenly - gone! Yes, virtually overnight Eidos and Crystal Dynamics decided that the Dreamcast wasn't powerful enough to accomodate the 'complex' architecture featured in Nosgoth's further reaches, and prompty ceased development. And that's clearly because the PS2 is obviously so much more advanced than the Dreamcast, right? Exactly. I mean, look at those shots...

Is that the sound of a cash register I hear?

Daytona USA 2
I know what your gonna say: "Daytona was released on the Dreamcast, you complete twat!"
Calm down, count to ten, put your pint of Smirnoff down and look at the title. It says Daytona USA 2. The version of everyone's favourite super-camp Nascar racer released on the Dreamcast was, for all intents and purposes, little more than a rehash. A Daytona Remix, if you will.

Yes, Daytona 2001 - awesome as it was - was just plain old Daytona CCE picked up, dusted off and given 3 new tracks and a few new secret cars. Daytona USA 2, on the otherhand was a full blown arcade sequel to Daytona USA and I have actually played it. Granted, my experience with Daytona 2 was in a motorway service station and I couldn't get full satisfaction out of the game because I was still reeling with disgust at the asking price of nearly £5 for a 3 day old cheese sandwich in the station shop. The graphics were mind blowing though and the tracks featured some really nice background details (I seem to remember a massive pirate ship for some reason) and top notch smoking tire effects when you skidded. Quite why Sega never brought Daytona 2 to the Dreamcast isn't clear, but it was featured in an issue of Games Master Magazine as an upcoming Dreamcast release. Go figure.

Colin McRae Rally 2.0
The rally game to end all rally games - Colin McRae was one of the best games on the PSX and it's sequel threw in more of the same - wicked car handling, real-time vehicle damage, new gameplay modes and more tracks than the London Underground. A Dreamcast version of Colin McRae 2.0 was very much underway when it all went quite down at Codemasters HQ. Screens in the magazines showed a game that looked very similar to a high-end PC version and one that promised to be much more of a rally simulation than V-Rally 2: Expert Edition.

Much in the same way that Soul Reaver 2 was canned, McRae 2.0 simply vanished because Codemasters didn't think it would generate enough revenue to warrant a release. Judging by the screens that are availible, the Dreamcast version looks as though it was very close to completion - it's a massive shame it never saw the majesty of a sunrise on crisp winter morning. Sniff.

Here's a press release from Codemasters:

"Following careful consideration, including consultation with external parties, any further development on the Dreamcast version of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 and any future projects on the aforementioned platform has ceased. We continue to optimise resources by focusing teams on appropriate platforms."

The motherfucking cunts.

Geist Force
One of the very first games I ever saw running on Dreamcast Hardware, Geist Force was meant to be Sega's answer to Lylat Wars (that's StarFox 64 to the rest of the world) in that it appears to be a sort of 3D space based shoot 'em up.

Very, very little is known about Geist Force simply because it was cancelled before the Dreamcast even launched. One rumour I remember reading was that the game's designer and Sega's quality control department wasn't happy with how it was coming along and scrapped it, with the game 50-60% complete. Whatever the truth, one question remains - if Sega's quality control dept are so strict, how did Zombie Revenge get released?! If you'd like more info, click here to view a video of Geist Force in action.

Max Payne
Detective, nutter, family man and apparent expert in facial reconstruction (the Payne in The Fall of Max Payne is an IMPOSTER!) - yep Det. Maxwell Payne was originally meant to take a one-way ticket to Dreamcastville to carry on the hunt for answers. Again, little is known about the DC version of this predominantly PC-centric shoot 'em up, but I'll wager it was gonna be a direct PC port. And who can say fairer than that? Max Payne is a classic shooter and would have been right at home on a console is pretty much just a slightly tweaked PC in a box.

Naturally, there are literally hundreds of games that were announced but never released but I feel that here The Dreamcast Junkyard has covered the main ones. Just for the hell of it and you want to do some more research, may I a) suggest you get a fucking life; and b) suggest you type any of the following into Goooooooooooogle, prefixed with the words 'dreamcast version of':

Black & White
World's Scariest Police Chases
Shadowman: Second Coming
UFC Tapout

Right. It's sunny so I'm going out to drink Newcastle Brown - like a real fookin' man. Later.