Dreamcast Love On The Eve Of The Wii...


Well it’s about time I put ‘pen to paper’ (so to speak), and make sure I don’t find myself sacked off from the Dreamcast Junkyard team for lack of effort, in the wake of the Gagaman(n)’s recent Herculean posting odyssey...

Much has happened since my last epistle. Man Utd. saw off Man City in an embarrassing 1-0 Derby defeat at the City Of Manchester Stadium, which I had the misfortune to watch in an Australian Bar in Barcelona. It was full of Reds and there was a bigger cheer when City missed their penalty, than when United scored theirs.


Man Utd of course went on to win the Premiership, whilst City managed to clock up their first record in many years... fewest goals scored at home in one season. DOH!
This has ultimately lead to the sacking of Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce, whilst Fergie and his boys strolled triumphantly around Old Trafford last Sunday. BAH!
I have solved one Man United mystery that had always puzzled me though… Apparently the letters "A.I.G" on the United shirt stand for "Almost In Greece…" :)



But I digress… It’s at dark times like this, that one seeks solace in the little box of wonders that is the Dreamcast. I’ve been feeling super-love for my Dreamcast recently, since I committed to buying a Wii. (I’m getting it tomorrow, May 16th , for my almost top secret 40th birthday….But DOn’t tell anyone, I DOn’t want a fuss.)

It’s as if I need to prove my love for my DC, as if I’ve been caught by my significant other, with a pert young super-model on my arm. I need the Dreamcast to know it’ll always be ‘the one’, even if there’s another in my life…

So here’s a quick round up of some of the games I’ve been playing over the last few months, in a sort of "micro-review medley" type thing…


Last Hope: This fiendishly difficult side scrolling 'Shump' (I’ve become a bit of a shump fan of late…) comes to us courtesy of Germany’s NG:Dev team and is a 2007 release. That fact in itself, is one which fills me with a rosy glow, knowing that there are still brand new Dreamcast releases coming out. Then my rosy glow dissipates into icy water flushing through my bowels, as I remember that the announcement of the cessation of GD Roms, that could put pay to Dreamcast development forever…


Still the game is fantastic. Originally and (very costly) developed for the Neo Geo, the game was ported to the Dreamcast and released this January. The graphics are fabulous and the gameplay somewhat hypnotic. As your ship glides smoothly into the oncoming landscape, you must blast away at alien foes whilst, attempting to fly through power-ups and avoid the oncoming mines and missiles pitted against you. I’ve only managed to get as far as the first boss, but I’ve enjoyed it so far. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the game is its musical score, (available as a limited edition CD release bundled with a special game pack). The music is like ambient-trancey Kraftwerk and builds as your ship progresses through the game. Quite beautiful really. Oh and its region free. Games TM Magazine reviewed it recently and gave it an 80% score and I’ll agree… 8/10 Why not buy it here?


In total contrast to this frenetic kill-fest is Virtua Athlete 2K. This decathlon based sorts sim is a more serious update of Sega Sport’s ‘Athlete Kings’ which appeared on the Saturn. The gameplay involves a lot of speedy button mashing and split second timing as you power your athlete through a variety of track and field events. This is not a game to be played on your own, but is an ideal party game for up to four players. It must be good, as it has even enticed the two biggest Gingers to pick up and play. The ideal game for non-gamers and a great laugh after a couple of drinks! For the fun factor alone, 9/10. For a more considered review look here…



Moving on to Silent Scope, the best Light Gun game that never was… This arcade port was made for the Light Gun, but due to the legacy of the Columbine shootings, it was only released to be compatible with the standard controller. A shame, because this really is a great shooter! As the name suggests, the scope is the key, allowing you to ‘nail far away targets with pinpoint accuracy’ (according to the back of the box…)


You play as a former special operative in the British Anti-Terrorism force (very adept at killing innocent Brazilians no doubt…) currently residing in Chicago. Your foes include the quite wankily titled: Cobra The Iron Man, Hornet The Sniper, Tom & Jerry ( the genetically spliced mutated Killing Machine), Scorpion The Butcher and… Wait for it… Monica The Armoured Secretary… No shit! Un-fucking-believable!
What tosspot came up with these characters? I don’t bloody know… This game is excellent arcade style shooting fun, but I’m only going to give it 7/10 because it screams out to be played with a gun… So there! Wanna know more? Look here…


Head Hunter: The moment I started to play this game I knew it would become a lifelong favourite, up there with the likes of Shenmue 1 & 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica… Graphically lush and with fabulous gameplay, this game is something of a futuristic bounty hunter odyssey, set in a bleak, corporate, fascist America. (A little like today's USA then...)



Spanning two discs and with a brilliant storyline (interspersed with fake video news bulletins and product commercials), this game has been likened to Metal Gear Solid due to it’s stealth missions. However, it’s fusion of motorbike riding and assassination had me thinking of the Vice City franchise and the untapped potential of the Dreamcast…



The character you play is Jack Wade, a cross between Dirty Harry and Snake Plisken. He’s quite literally “cool as fuck”! Having lost his memory it’s your job to train him up again using the L.E.I.L.A virtual training facility, gain experience in riding your bike and regain your bounty hunter license and then go out an kick motherfuckin' ass in the criminal underworld…

It’s an utterly fabulous game, but can be a little frustrating when it comes to bike riding, as the streets are cluttered with other vehicles which you inevitably hit… this then causes your experience points to drop, which is a killer when its taken you so long to build them up… I’m not the first one to notice this, have a look here… Overall Score? It would have got a 10/10 but due to the bike crashy thing, it only gets a 9/10. Still very definitely recommended…


Resident Evil: Code Veronica- This is an excellent game, but one with which I definitely have a love-hate relationship with, that has oft been chronicled on my other blogs. Like Marmite or Shenmue, you’ll either love it or hate it. At times I felt both emotions about the game… I played right through the whole thing and then left it unfinished with about 40 minutes to an hour (if that) of gameplay to go. I ended up watching its conclusion on Youtube, I just couldn’t be arsed any more. ( I also bought RE:CV Survivors Guide and Light Gun for the PS2, enabling me to whizz through the stages of the game AND shoot Zombies in House Of the Dead Style… Which is nice...



You see the problem with this horror survival classic, is that failure to pick up items at the start of the game, can impact on your ability to succeed, way into the second disc (even with a walkthrough). Still fabulously plotted, stunning graphics and some great gameplay make this one of my all time Dreamcast favourites… 8/10! Intrigued? Look here… and here… (and I know the video is from the PS2 port, but it shows the graphic spleandour of the original and goes very nicely with the music!)




As well as these games I’ve also been playing some classic Dreamcast lovelies, oft discussed on this hallowed forum… Soul Calibur, Powerstone, Crazy Taxi, SWWS (Euro Edition) and Jet Set Radio. This is because I’ve sneaked a Dreamcast into the traditionally console free ‘little living room’, where we have a 60HZ TV, and I’m currently enjoying the improved graphics and smoother frame rates (or whatever it is that a 60HZ TV does for your DC). It’s made me think of investing in a new scart lead or even a VGA adaptor…



Finally to offset a disastrously poor purchase of three Japanese games from Play Asia, (I’m no Gagaman(n) when it comes to making wise choices…), I was delighted to receive my own copy of Half Life from the wonderful Gary from Dreamcasting@btinternet.com This legendary piece of un-published vapour ware was first brought to the DCJY’s attention by the great Tomleecee a while back. To own my own copy however is a sublime experience. The quality of the packaging is just amazing, coming in a PAL Dreamcast case, with glossy front and back cover, printed disc and even a glossy covered manual, replete with cheats! I cannot recommend Gary’s work highly enough! Check him out and BUY STUFF… Like a Dr. Feelgood of Dreamcasting, he can get you what you need… Have a look here


Well that’s me for now! I’m off to enjoy my last evening of being 39 and anticipating a new Wii flavoured chapter of my gaming life….

Goodnight dear children… wherever you are…

13 comments:

The GagaMan(n) said...

So what were these "unwise" Japanese game choices, I ask? I love reading about oddball import games, and have a few myself (including one in the post at the moment that can be simply described as looking "so bad it's good").

I haven't bought a copy of Last Hope yet (Not paying that much!) but I do intend to get it at some point for sure. I'm also glad and/or worried that you are, like me, getting sucked into the world of shmups. Many of them are costly, though. If you want shmup action on the cheap, hunt down Giga Wing, GunBird 2 and Bangai-O. Great stuff.

fatherkrishna said...

LOL! Erm yeah! My impulsive Play Asia purchases were... Pro Yakyuu Team De Aoubou which is a nice little cartoony baseball sim (the only potentially playable one of the trio...)
I'm a little in the dark about how to actually play though...

The next is a capcom title called Eldorado Gate vol 2. It looks a tad like Zelda: A Link To The Past... all Gnomes and elves and stuff, purly in Japanese, despite an English title and them song.

Thirdly there is J League Pro Soccer. I think its a manager game and as my japanese is not that great, it's a bit of a dud! Still the packaging is rather lovely and they were all about a fiver or less so I didn't break the bank!

In future I'm going to purchase off Dreamcasting Gary for rarities... :)

NebachadnezzaR said...

Virtua Athlete for the win!!!

Ok, sorry for the explosion, but me and "the gang" (my friends, not a street gang) have a thing for this title. When we had 4 controllers it was the sickest shit, full afternoons spent playing that finger-hurting game.

Ahh, good times...

Btw, let me introduce myself since this is my first post. I'm a portuguese (that explains the crappy english...) dreamcast fan, with a collection of over 135 titles and an intense love for the system and the "junkyards" blogs, both this and the saturn's (yeah, i have 2 loves n my life).

Continue the great work, maybe i'll start to comment more often now that i've exposed myself xD

fatherkrishna said...

Nebachadneazzar! How very fantastic to see you here!
Thanks for the comments, and particularly for mentioning both Junkyards!

We love it when people let us know what they think of the Dreamcast Junkyard and appreciate when people share their thoughts on our efforts!

Virtua Athlete is a great (and under-rated) game!

Why not take a picture or two of your Dreamcast collection, email it to us and we'll post it up here on the 'Yard!

NebachadnezzaR said...

I looked all over the site and couldn't find any emails (call me a n00b...).

Anyway, i really could use some mails, for both junkyard related ramblings and, for this day only, celebrating this most special date when our beloved Father K. enters the realm of the Wii (and the 40's, of course)

The GagaMan(n) said...

Krish: for import recommendations, I'd suggest http://www.segagagadomain.com/

That, or just ask me about them, as I may (or may not) have played them at some point. With so many PAL games ow I'm currently building up my Japanese collection.

fatherkrishna said...

Nebachadnezzar! Thankyou for your kind thoughts! You can always get me at revsimonearly@aol.com! :)

Gagaman(n) I appreciate the help thanks a lot! :)

The GagaMan(n) said...

As for that service Gary is providing I still can't say I'm for it..I'd rather not fill up my shelf space with pirated games, glossy cases or not, and especially not at those prices! =P

Caleb said...

Some people were talking about Dreamcast stuff in the retro video game store.

There are some many cool video games for the Dreamcast that I gotta collect.

Hopefully I will live to the ancient age of 40 and be able to do that.

fatherkrishna said...

I'll let you into a little secret.
We played Wii Sports and Wii Play last night, even a little Monster 4X4 World Circuit with the
Wii-mote steering wheel peripheral.
It was all good, but after all my friends went home and the house was quiet, I put on Soul Calibur and played for an hour and a half straight!

The Dreamcast still has the upper hand in my house...

Ross said...

If you have an Xbox, you can buy the Silent Scope sniper and Silent Scope Complete, which contains every game in the series. I rented it but wasn't such a huge fan... it's one of those things that are fun in the arcade but once you bring them home for a bit, they get old...

Great post by the way!

Lyris said...

Hey there,

Nice work on your blog - I need to point one thing out though, "Gary" is using Half-Life custom cover art I did. Is he selling this stuff? Part of my conditions for downloading the custom covers from my site are that they can't be used for profit.

This back cover is mine:
http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dreamcasting@btinternet.com/detail?.dir=/c619re2&.dnm=3457re2.jpg&.src=ph

As is this CD label, but he's pasted something over the American Dreamcast swirl. Don't know why the ESRB M logo has been left on for a Japanese game though!

http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dreamcasting@btinternet.com/detail?.dir=/c619re2&.dnm=554bre2.jpg&.src=ph

Nice work he's done on the prints though, they look to be of high quality.

fatherkrishna said...

Oh dear! There seems to be some confusion! Lyris, the cover illustration I put up on the post was not the one Gary used for my copy of the game (which was an arrangement between friends not a commercial transaction). It was simply something that I pulled off Google image search to provide a pictorial context for the post!