The search for Arcade Boy.

"I found myself on a hunt to track down somebody I played at Street Fighter Alpha 3, 10 years ago, half way up a mountain range in India!" (Lee Bradley)

So the story goes, a British man was in India on his way to Tibet when he found a makeshift "arcade" in the Himalayan hill station of Darjeeling.

"When I say “arcade,” what I really mean is a collection of old televisions wired up to PlayStations, arranged across a battered formica tabletop. Covering the entire back wall was a massive cabinet stuffed to bursting with pirated PSOne games, complete with poorly photocopied boxart. For just a few rupees the young boy that ran the arcade would grab the game of your choice, pop it into a PlayStation and keep you topped up with cups of Darjeeling’s finest. After days of travelling, catching snippets of sleep on noisy, dusty trains, this was exactly what we needed." (Lee Bradley)

The best part of this story? If Lee Bradley finds the kid who ran the arcade someone is going to give him the best gift anyone can give. A Sega Dreamcast and games.

"As a result of that post a mysterious benefactor contacted the editors at Bitmob and offered to send a Dreamcast and a box of games to the arcade." (Lee Bradley)

I hope they find that guy so they can provide some awesome arcade gaming to travelers. Who wouldn't want to play some Marvel Vs Capcom 2 after traveling through the Himalayas?

Full Story

Radilgy / Rajiruji / Radirgy

Radilgy or Radirgy, shortened from Radio Allergy, the proposed North American release (Rajiruji in Japanese ラジルジ) is a vertical shooter released late into the Dreamcast's official life; February 16 2006.

In addition to the game, which could only be bought through SEGA Direct in Japan in 2006 (how I ordered mine) is a phone card for use in Japan. This was quite frequent with releases in Japan through SEGA Direct, but seems more fitting in this game as you essentially play a girl (or boy) that has to rescue her father from terrorists so she (or he) can get the medicine for their radio allergy. Mental I know, but this is Japan!

So, how does it fair with the other Dreamcast shooters? (what shooters I hear you ask??). Well, it's pretty solid, but it's no Ikaruga - but what is. The styling of the game is pretty unique; cell shaded graphics (think Jet Set Radio) over VGA really make the Dreamcast seem like it was released in 2006. If you're a collector, or just into shooters; I would heavily recommend this game. There's a really fun soundtrack to the game as well - which is a refreshing change as many shooters decide to go down the 'dark and dismal' route.

There's a variety of button commands, including shoot, bomb and a like of sword attack. This adds hugely to the strategy of the game. The casing of the game shows off some of the attention to detail given within the game. It's hard to think a title of this quality was released so late in the [official] life of our beloved Dreamcast.

So sure that this would be a great title; I bought two. Yes, that's right, I have a sealed copy up for sale on eBay and you can bid on it here. I'll leave you with a little gameplay video. Enjoy!

Tickets Please!

Right. Listen up you 'orrible lot. Things have been getting out of hand around here the last few weeks. Too much frivolity if you ask me. Frivolity and fun. And that's the problem with the youth of today. If it's not playing Dreamcasts, it's raping OAPs and smashing up bus shelters whilst under the influence of cheap cider. To address this problem and restore the equilibrium, today we're going to have an educational session.

Ever heard of Isambard Kingdom Brunel? Yep, it's a ridiculous name, but I'm guessing most of you enlightened DCJY followers have read many, many volumes on Brunel's genius - but for those who haven't, here's the science bit.

But why, pray tell, am I bringing Mr Brunel to your attention? Well, it's because he has something to do with my latest Dreamcast-related purchase. Sort of. You see, Brunel built railways. Not personally of course - he employed yokels and vagabonds to do it for him (and paid them in broken dreams and dysentery, or so I'm told); and with my latest acquisition - you too can indulge in a bit of railway building 'action':

Railway Tycoon 2 has arrived at platform 758!

Exciting, I know! It's a game...that lets you build railways! Across fields! So you can transport textiles and passengers to different towns! Not only that, but the back of the box states:
  • All new 3D game engine!
  • Addictive and deep gameplay spanning from 1804 to 2000 and beyond!
  • 60 Engine designs!
  • Realistic stock market enabling take-overs, mergers, stocks, bonds and bankruptcy!

A REALISTIC STOCK MARKET! STOCKS! MERGERS! Take 2 Interactive - with this number of insanely exciting features you are spoiling us!

So, Railway Tycoon 2 then. It's a bit like the bastard lovechild of Sim City and Command & Conquer. With trains. You start the main game in the early 1800s and have to build rail connections between various little towns. As the game goes on, you'll be given more arduous tasks such as transporting goods (like milk, eggs and flour - now there's a recipe for disaster and/or pancakes) and building bigger and better stations. As the years 'fly' by (not in real time, you understand) you'll be able to buy more advanced diesel and eventually electric engines. The game also promises to yield 'futuristic' flying trains with machine guns, lasers and matter displacement cannons on them, but in all honesty you'll either go bankrupt before you reach the 1930s (something that happens with alarming regularity in Railroad Tycoon 2) or just lose interest altogether, turn the Dreamcast off and go for a shit/piss/pint (delete as applicable).

Should really think about reducing their carbon footprint

As far as I'm aware, there are only two real time strategy games on the PAL Dreamcast - this and Conflict Zone, and even though I've been a tad critical of Railroad Tycoon's subject matter (c'mon, trains are hardly exciting), it's probably the better of the two. Graphically it's pretty accomplished - especially when played in VGA mode. The landscapes roll impressively and the building and train models are superbly detailed - you can zoom in and out and rotate the view to your heart's content and it never stutters or slows down. The sound is a little less impressive, but you'd never expect to have SUM 41 or Nine Inch Nails blasting out whilst your steam locomotive struggles to get up a hill.

If only the DLR ran this smoothly

If you're the kind of person who shuns human contact in favour of the scale model representation of South West Trains' rail network in your attic, and you also happen to own a Dreamcast - then get a bit of Railroad Tycoon on the go. You won't be disappointed.

"New" Dreamcasts Not Really New? Who Knew!

Well it turns out that there seems to be a few bad apples thrown in the bunch.

Not really New...

It seems like some of the "new" Dreamcasts being sold at Think Geek were not really new at all. (Probably returned items)

Ever vigilant wraggster from DCEmu alerted me to this in his most recent article after he read all about it in Gizmondo.

Gizmondo ran the article about the matter after they read one from the Consumerist.

The Consumerist ran the article derived from a Rumors article written at Destructoid by Nick Chester.

So lets run down the list.

Destructoid originates story.

Consumerist grabs story.

Gizmondo gets story via Consumerist.

DCEmu reads story on Gizmondo.

I read the story from DCEmu.

I knew a guy in college who was an extra in a movie starring Kevin Bacon! Yeah!

I hope this doesn't lead to people thinking that we aren't really on top of all the Dreamcast rumors flying around. I mean we were kinda in the top ten of the people who first reported this (At least we were when I first started typing this out).

All kidding aside the Think Geek Monkeys replied to the Gizmondo article with the following comment.

"Hello from ThinkGeekland!

We emailed Destructoid's editors [where this post originated] late last night but haven't seen the posted amended, so here's our Official Apology, in blog comment form.

First, a little backstory: We came upon an amazing cache of new-in-box Dreamcasts not too long ago. We had a bunch of units shipped to us to inspect them, and indeed, though the boxes were a little worse for the wear on the outside, the consoles had nary a scratch and even the wire twists that bundled the cables had never been undone. It was like magic--magic that had been hiding in a warehouse, unknown, for years.

So we asked our source from whence these beautiful Dreamcasts came, and they didn't know--could've been a liquidator, or a Circuit City that had closed shop. (Hear that? It's the sound of a plot thickening.)

But we'd seen them with our own eyes and figured it was best to share our discovery with the world. Hundreds were snatched up quickly and squees were heard 'round the internets.

So far we've had 2 instances of not-so-new-in-box Dreamcasts. The individual who received the one reported here contacted us via email (which never appeared in our inbox, for some reason) and Twitter (through which we've taken care of the situation) has already been issued a return shipping label. We're more than happy to refund him for the Dreamcast as well as shipping.

We're very sorry about the whole thing--we never meant to ship used Dreamcasts. We know our customers are smarty pants and could tell if they'd been duped with a stale Dreamcast; we'd never get away with taking advantage of you guys, so why would we try?

And now we have 3 options: 1. Stop sharing the gift of new Dreamcasts; 2. Have them all shipped to us and inspect each one individually and then ship back to the warehouse; and 3. Continue spreading the (mostly) untainted Dreamcast love and working with the very few customers who get lemons.

We hope you'll understand why we're continuing to offer them on our site (when we get our grubby little paws on more, of course). And again, we apologize to the 2 customers who ended up with what appears to be returned merchandise.

--The ThinkGeek Monkeys"

This was their response to the original Destructoid article.

Personally I did order a Dreamcast from them (Though I would have had seconds thoughts if I knew that Monkeys were processing my order...damn dirty primates.). It was in a beat up box that smelled faintly of bananas but it was NEW.

If I had gotten a used Dreamcast I would have known and I would have been a bit upset. But really folks. It's a console that's ten years old. You are always rolling the dice when you order stuff online. Still it looks like Think Geek is gonna back up their reputation and work with the people who got screwed over on this deal. It also looks like the number of people that did get screwed over might be very small.

-All Hail the Undead Console!

P.S. - In the article about ThinkGeek's response blogger Nick Chester used the word "Debacle" to describe the situation. It's my personal opinion it was more of a Kerfuffle or perhaps a Snafu.

Shenmue PAL vs NTSC-J

Where are the sailors船員はどこですか? Whether you ask this pertinent question in English or Japanese, one thing is true... you're talking about Shenmue (hopefully). This game is without doubt one of the best games ever made. Hailed throughout the gaming world, Shenmue is an RPG with a difference. If you haven't played it, go and buy it.

The differences between the Japanese and PAL versions are quite subtle. Obviously, the PAL version also includes some interesting voice acting - but aside from that, the games are near identical.

Not so when it comes to package presentation...

The Japanese version of the game clearly has a larger focus on the excellent artwork and less about brand recognition and an 11+ rating. Online functions are advertised on the PAL pack as this was a big pushing point in Europe.

The backs are largely different too. Similar use of graphics - I prefer the PAL version this time. A nice little blurb in each language, followed up with all of the other info. One thing I think the Japanese versions always win on though, is the column on the right - showing number of players, game type, accessories etc...

Jewel case vs. the PAL format... looks like there's 3 CDs in the NTSC-J version??

Why yes! We not only get the game but also a "Shenmue Jukebox" CD for our aural pleasures, with the following tunes:

What a treat! Typical of a Japanese release  - extras that the fans will love are thrown in. As so often is the case - probably in a cost-cutting measure or just because the West "doesn't get it" (SEGA Europe or SEGA Japan deciding?? Take your pick), we were left short without this great little extra. 

Here's one of the songs:

Upcoming Homebrew: HyperTension

Want even more homebrew FPS goodness on your Dreamcast? Well I've just been informed about this project by TDGMods called Hypertension. It's based on and the Monolith series Blood, and is being developed with an engine called EDGE, which is based on the Doom source code. Here's the video preview:

The game is unfinished so all the bugs haven't been ironed out yet but either way it looks interesting. The game has some RPG elements including an inventory so you can combine items to make weapons. Looks like theres some good fun to be had setting enemies alight with a lighter and spray can, reminds me of Dynamite Cop/Die Hard Arcade!

Kiss Psycho Circus - Videogame Torture

I've played some great games on a variety of systems so far this year - Resident Evil 5, Gears Of War 2, Left 4 Dead, God Of War, Resident Evil (remake), House Of the Dead Overkill, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, and so on... But in every gamers life comes the need to reconnect with his Dreamcast, and most recently I decided to do this via the unholy game mentioned above.

Thus, I've played/endured a Dreamcast game called Kiss Psycho Circus: the Nightmare Child. And what a fucking nightmare it was...

If you look at the sidebar of the Dreamcast Junkyard, you'll see a section devoted to Tomleecee's Dreamcast reviews. In there, is a review of Kiss Psycho Circus, which says: "This game is appalling. Rubbish graphics, rubbish design, just plain rubbish." I should have heeded the words of our leader, instead I chose to recklessly ignore them.

I'd played it a little way back in the day, and my hazy memory recalled it as being a little bit different to anything I'd seen before. It was, in fact, the first the first FPS I'd ever played. But some sort of software or hardware glitch had cut my playing experience short. Six or so years later, I decided to give it a go for the second time...

So what is this monstrosity all about then? Ostensibly a first person shooter/mythical quest type thing, the game has very tenuous links to the rock legends Kiss. In fact it's got more to do with a comic: "KISS: Psycho Circus chronicles the adventures of an unusual traveling circus. The macabre stories focus on exploring the deepest, darkest corners of the human soul." (according to Image Comics.)

So what's it got to do with the band then? (initially the main selling point for me - who doesn't like spandex and stage make up???)

Well, fuck all really! You might find a jukebox or stereo which will play a Kiss song. As the player, you go around collecting pieces of Kiss costumes... Ace Frehley's platform boots, Gene Simmon's shoulder pads or Peter Criss's cod-piece. There are rumours on the internet that if you put the GD rom in your PC that you'll get a Kiss pinball game - not true. There are also rumours that if you put the GD rom in a CD player, it'll play a few classic Kiss tunes -also not true. You do, however get a very snotty sounding English lady telling you take the disc out of your CD player, as it's only compatable with the Dreamcast (!) which is quite surreal...

The game ends up being a very tedious run through of a middle of the road, dated, FPS. Some of the game's monsters are pretty well designed, some of the landscapes boldly coloured in psychedelic hues, which make it alright to look at for a while, and graphically lies at a kind of cross between Half Life and the more trippy boss levels in NiGHTS. Having said that, why when some publishers were able to come up with graphics as good as Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Code Veronica or Headhunter, did so many Dreamcast software publishers settle for knocking out games which look average, like Death Crimson OX, or this one?

The game gives you nothing for your dogged completion of levels. No 'easter eggs', interesting cut scenes, hidden mini games or unlockables. If you die you get put back a long way, meaning the necessity of replaying of elements of the game over, and over, and over again. The story is literally one of the most convoluted pieces of bullshit ever, one that I can't be bothered to relate. The cutscenes that are in the game are minimal, there's nothing to collect and the boss battles are never really going to inspire. After literally hours of playing through seventeen, long, long levels, the game just fizzled out with one of the most boring and simple boss fights ever. Nothing memorable at all.

I was hoping for a Dreamcast revelation, a repeat of the joy I found when I played 'SOTB: Gut's Rage' last year, or completing Headhunter earlier this year. But the only joy I had from completing this game is knowing that I beat it, completed it and I'll never have to play this particular piece of crapola again!

A Shenmue promo pen - 1998

On my first trip to Japan in 2006, I went to a local little shop somewhere in Osaka that sold all sorts of computer games related stuff.

Somewhere way down there!!

I ended up buying a whole manner of things, which I am sure to talk about. One of which was a Shenmue Pen (shown below in a glorious photo I took). I've kept in the box the entire time, so I can't comment on how the little blighter writes... but I bet that if you tried to write with it, the little thing would only scribe "Do you know where I can find the sailors?" or "Umm...".

It's just a standard ball-point pen, but it's from the Japanese promotion of the game and as such is quite a rare item. I've never seen one before (a Shenmue pen, not just a pen). I know there's a lot of promotional material for games these days, but it's rare to see something from 1998 lurking around. The shop owner said he'd picked it up sometime in 1999, so it's original location is unknown to me.

I've decided to sell this little gem, so if you fancy a chance of owning it, go and get yourself a piece of gaming history.

EDIT: The original post lacked content somewhat, which was kindly pointed out by a reader and fellow blogger - have a read in the comments section. I respect the DCJY is a place for premium Dreamcast content and admit not meeting that requirement in my original post. My intentions the entire time were to allow an avid DC fan the chance to own this piece of history... I didn't want it going to some loser that'd mark it up.

There's a particular comment below that really got my back up, but we can take that offline, Ross.

Dreamcast History: System Shock 2. has an interesting system for looking up video games they have for sale. They list EVERYTHING including Dreamcast games like Half Life that were never released.

As a point of interest to me they listed something else too.

System Shock 2!!!!

Shodan on the Dreamcast!?!?!??!?!

Oh...what could have been...

This falls under the category of "I had no friggen' idea this existed." How awesome would this had been? As it is now I have to hook up a different PC to make my PC copy of this game to work (video card conflict). How great would it be to hook up the old Dreamcast mouse and keyboard and kill some Many???

Alas this never happened. Vatical Entertainment canceled the port.

One has wonder though... there a playable copy of this game floating around somewhere in the ether of the Internet?

If there is please let me know.

Some rarities for sale

Hello Dreamcasters! I'm trying to raise a bit of money at the moment, so I thought I would alert you to some Dreamcast related goodness I am currently selling on eBay. Each game/peripheral will be coming out of my personal collection - I have a few duplicates and I want these to now go to a good home.

Check out the post on mysegacollection if you wish to see everything that's for sale (Shenmue 1,2, Last Hope, Dreameye...), or jump straight into eBay if you wish to bid on my auctions. Good luck and I hope one of our excellent readerbase here at DCJY picks up a few quality items. 

More to come... such as Samba de Amigo maracas, limited edition VMUs, a Segagaga boxset and more!

DCJY Rummage: Zusar Vasar

Another new Rummage review! I would love to make one of these every month or so, though things don't always work out as planned. Possibly the oddest (and oddest named) game I've played yet. Robotic animal chariot racing awaits in this drab racer, a game that would be mind numbingly boring if it wasn't for the battle mode.

You could say Wind Squid of Classic Game Room's obsession with flame-throwers has rubbed off on me. Also next time I decide to doodle art for one of these, I'll make them actually fit the ratio of the video, me thinks.

ThinkGeek has new Dreamcasts in again!

I ordered one. I admit it. I REALLY wanted a Dreamcast new in box. Now in three days I will have one. Is it worth $107? Well considering that 2 new gen games would cost more than that I am just going to assume yes. Well no fast food or wasted money for the rest of the month then. I have to justify this purchase somehow.

Don't blink or you might miss them selling out of these again!

All hail the Undead Console*!

*Undead console term is © Dreamcast Junkyard 2009.

Yahoo Games talks about the Dreamcast's "Resurrection".

The undead console has risen! Quite a few online shops have been selling (out of) brand new Dreamcast's and this has led to the video above from Yahoo games. "It's a good thing consoles can't eat brains, because it's certianly the first time we've heard of one coming back from the dead!" Wahahaha!