The internet, they say, is a wonderful thing. When you can get it, of course. That said, I have been scrounging other, more God-fearing people’s unsecured wireless connections for some time now and as such, thought it only decent to put said free bandwidth to good use and come on here to inform you, the great washed, of my recent (and not so recent) addi
tions to my bulging – nay burgeoning - Dreamcast catalogue of games…
But before I continue my diatribe - a gripe. Gamestation. What the fuck has happened there then? Once the last bastion of Dreamcasters everywhere, the Helms Deep of retro gamers, Gamestation has ceased to stock Dreamcast games!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK?! I went into one branch – that shall remain anonymous for it’s own sake, but lets just say it’s in the south of
And that’s where this story starts. Ebay. I remember a time when I simply refused to buy anything off ebay because of the postage costs sellers forced upon me. £3.50 to send a game in the post is not unreasonable. IT’S FUCKING SCANDALOUS. Ahem. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. So I’ve swallowed my ‘pride,’ bitten the proverbial bullet, and coughed up a lung to pay these ‘postage costs.’ And what has this behavior merited? Games galore, my friends, GAMES FUCKING GALORE!
So let’s review the situation, Fagin stylee: But before we do, go and make a brew and grab a packet of hobnobs. This may take a while…
Evil Twin: Cyprien’s Chronicles
Has anyone ever even heard of this? I hadn’t until I bought it. For twenty quid. Most I’ve ever paid for a DC game I think. I’m pretty sure that this was one of the Dreamcast’s final releases, and you can tell. Graphically, it’s quite superb – think Rayman 2 but with a more mature feel. But I’m jumping the gun. You play as a young orphan dude called Cyprien who must venture into a strange world called Undabed and kill stuff. Not original, no – but quite unique on the DC. Think Mario 64 with nicer, darker visuals and swearing – yes, swearing!, and that’s Evil Twin. Quality. 8/10
Le Mans 24 Hours
A bit legendary this. A racing sim that allows you to race for 24 hours. Yep, 24 HOURS. Who the fuck is sad enough to sit there for 24 hours, you might be thinking. No one. So you can go into the pits and save your progress. Genius! Le Mans 24 Hrs is basically a tarted up port of the PSX game of the same name, and by tarted up I mean overhauled. The graphics are simply astounding, the handling of the cars sublime and the loading times ridiculous. Verdict: One of the best looking and best playing games on the DC. There are loads of real life cars and plenty of tracks to race on, but let’s get to the point: The visuals are far and away the best thing about
Launch game alert! Dodgy lifespan alert! Buggy Heat. The world and his (fat, ugly) wife have played this. 4X4 sand buggies racing around boring, grainy tracks. Yawn. Limited play modes, basic graphics, crap music. Now rewind to 1998: WOW! This game looks IN-KER-EDIBLE!! Look at the in-game gear shift view! Look at the pseudo real time headlight effects! Look at the AI! Quite. Cost me all of 1p. No, Really. And I got what I paid for. Not that it’s not fun to have a blast on – it’s just not MSR. 5/10
Launch game alert! Dodgy lifespan alert! Snow Surfers. The world and his (bespectacled, obese) wife have played this. It’s a snowboarding game. It’s slow. It’s impossible to pull off tricks without landing on your face. It’s not a patch on 1080 Snowboarding, and even that is gash – so what hope for Snow Surfers? None. It’s endorsed by some nondescript ‘boarding company though, so it’s got that going for it. Next! 4/10
Q. Can I be bothered looking for decent pics of Snow Surfers?
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Lara, Lara – where for art thou Lara? She may have disappeared in recent times thanks to a series of shit films with Rimmer in them; and a load of wank PSP/PS2 ‘games,’ but back in the day, Tomb Raider was the business. Chronicles is the second, and best, TR game on the DC and pretty much goes back to the roots of the first couple of games: You play as Croft and run, leap and roll around various maze like levels. Granted, only a few of them are actually tombs (mainly cities, sunken ships, (badly guarded) military bases etc), but it’s still good fun nonetheless. Furthermore, Chronicles actually looks as if it was programmed for the DC rather than just ported from the PSX – the visuals are quite good and Lara’s animation is spot on. Not as good as Flashback, mind - but good all round effort from Eidos. Which makes a change. 7/10
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Fuck me. I’ve personally never experienced an epileptic fit, but after playing Rogue Spear I can pretty much guess what it must feel like. Put simply, no matter how good the PC version may be, the DC version is unplayable because of the screen update issues. Imagine playing ANY other game and getting your mate to shake the telly up and down. That’s what Rogue Spear is like. Actually no – imagine taking 3 ecstasy pills (not that I’d condone such activity). You know when your eyes suddenly start flickering? Rogue Spear. Avoid. 2/10
Exhibition Of Speed
Titus’s spiritual sequel to Roadsters, Exhibition Of Speed, or E.O.S as it likes to call itself, is an abysmal game. From reading these mini reviews anyone would think this was an anti-Dreamcast site, but being the impartial resource that we are, it is our prerogative to give you the truth. And here it is: E.O.S stinks. Even more that the kebab I threw up last night – and that stank to high heaven. To be fair, E.O.S has some good ideas thrown in – you can choose a driver and a car to make different combinations of handling; there are loads of customization options and loads of gameplay options…it just looks and plays like a spectrum game. The slowdown whilst playing in the 3rd person view is horrendous – even worse than the Saturn version of Doom. It’s a real shame because E.O.S has all the ingredients of a fun, San Francisco Rush-esque racer. It’s just the graphics engine that lets it down. And the graphics engine is an essential part any game…so it’s goodnight,
Youguessed it. ANOTHER stinker! Ducati World. One of only 3 motorbike games on the Dreamcast, and possibly the worst. I’m actually getting a bit bored of slagging DC games off. Short and sweet: PSX quality graphics, laughable menus, hideous hideous hideous HIDEOUS. 128 bit? AAAAAAAAAARGGH. It’s shit like this that killed the DC. Lets move on quickly. 1/10
Fighting Vipers 2
Ah! This is more like it! The sequel to the Saturn’s 5th best fighting game (after Fighter’s Megagmix, Virtua Fighter 2, Last Bronx and X Men: Children of the Atom), ighting Vipers 2 is your bog standard 3D scrap ‘em up. There are very few bells and whistles here, people. It’s nowhere near as good as Soul Calibur, but as a fighter it’s hard to fault. Gameplay is solid, visuals are crisp, options are plentiful. Downsides? The voice over that announces “Fighting Vipers…TWO” is a bit cringeworthy, and it’s a bit limited when it comes to characters…but overall a decent fighter. Can’t really think of owt more to say about it. 7/10
Cleaning Up Vomit (AM R&D #2)
Top game this. Basically, you play a mid twenties binge drinker who goes pissing it up at the weekend. Using the well implemented VM facility, you can mix large quantities of Bulmers, Magners, Carling and Blue WKD with a large donner kebab and then throw it all up at 4am. All over your bed or carpet – it’s totally up to you! The graphics are a bit blurry and the sound it a bit muffled, but the gameplay is brilliant. I played it –not for the first time – last night, and it’s still awesome. Xbox 360 update please. 9.7/10
In the next exciting episode, when I can be arsed:
Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern! Bust A Move 4! Iron Aces! Conflict Zone! Silent Scope! Looney Tunes Space Race! And more!!!!! Exclamation!
Bet you can’t wait.