, The Dreamcast Junkyard: December 2009

A Last Wave to 2009



Another year has passed for the Dreamcast Junkyard, and what a year it has been! The Dreamcast turned ten years old, we received a number of independent releases (DUX, Last Hope Pink Bullets, Rush Rush Rally Racing), the beloved Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram saw an HD release, Space Michael left us, Gagaman brought us the awesome Dreamcast 100 and countless gaming websites jumped on the Dreamcast bandwagon. If you had to pick a year that the Dreamcast made a comeback, 2009 would be it.

What will 2010 bring? Who knows! Happy New Year!

Oh, the video was made while I was on vacation (or "on 'oliday" to the English readers) in Florida. I found a bunch of soft spongy red coral on the beach, so of course I had to build a Dreamcast logo.

No, they aren't turds

Shoecast

Seasons greetings an' all that shit. Anyway, on to more pressing matters. I'm pretty sure I've read something like this elsewhere (quite probably UK Resistance to be honest), but I have to show you this. Background: I'm a bit of a tight twat and so have been visiting clubs, bars etc in a pair of shitty old Vans trainers (see below) for the last 6 months; but recently one of my friends got married. I entertained the idea of wearing my trainers with a suit, but after testing the notion in a mirror, decided against it. So I jumped in the car (it's a Lamborghini*) and found a shoe shop. I bought the first pair of black shoes I saw:

Snow! On Christmas!

I wore them.

A week later I dropped a contact lens next to them, bent down to find it and cast a glance inside the shoe. This is what I saw:


There! Next to the Game Gear!

A Dreamcast joypad!!! How unbelievaby, utterly randomly glorious is that?!

* - Lie

Erm...


The Dreamcast Junkyard would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Primitive Nightmare Inbound!

Word. Sorry for the complete lack of an Aerowings 2 review. The truth is that I still haven't really been able to get enough free time to actually sit down and play it properly. I could cobble together a review from the five minutes I've spent doing the training missions and the other reviews I've read elsewhere on the internet, but that ain't how we roll down at the 'Yard.

It's not all bad news though, oh no. I have recently been contacted by a reader who goes by the name of Fuseki. Why? Because Fuseki is releasing a brand new indie DC game, that's why! Planned for a January 2010 release (as a free, downloadable disk image, no less), Primitive Nightmare is an original-looking shoot 'em up that, to me at least, looks a bit like a retro Atari game. His words:

"The game is called Primitive Nightmare. It's an old-school style shooter
that combines elements of classic 80s arcade shooters with some strategic elements. The game is currently in the late WIP stage (I need to do a little more tweaking, and add instruction screens) but the gameplay itself is 99% finished. I hope to have it out as a freely downloadable disc image in January 2010 (a website should be up by then as well)."

Screens? Why, yes:



It's always good to hear from DCJY readers, and it's especially good when those readers are pumping out new software for our favourite undead console. All Hail...you know the rest.

Yukawa Prepaid Cash Cards Are Not Worth $90

...unless of course they have $90 on them and are unexpired.

I'm not one to post ebay auctions, but I thought this was a unique enough one to mention and the seller offered a high res image worthy of sharing. The auction is for a set of six QUO prepaid cards featuring Senior Managing Director of Sega Hidekazu Yukawa. During the Dreamcast days, Yukawa appeared in commercials, had his own video game and appeared on a variety of products such as phone chotchkies and the aforementioned prepaid cards.

Middle row, right column is my fave

While I myself have a variety of other Sega things that I would rather blow my money on, I invite any Sega fan who reads this to buy it just so that said buyer can give us high res scans of each card.

The seller's image is great, but I'm looking for something so high res that I can just print it on heavy card stock and have essentially the same thing but at no cost. ;) Until then, enjoy the image above.

Wonder how these cards were distributed? Check out this nifty article on Yukawa's Sonic Adventure Sweepstakes!

12/16 Update: The cash cards are still unsold. However this item was just sold to me for $14.50. I already had the Yukawa Dreamcast box, the Yukawa game and the Yukawa What's Shenmue? demo, so a phone dongle was the next obvious purchase.

This Is My Dsmbr

Wooo! It's December! Which means it's nearly Christmas. Wooo! Just think - we can all spend hours upon hours walking around shopping centres, battling crowds and wracking our brains on what to buy for that special person, only for them to receive the carefully selected gift on the big day, rip the wrapping paper off and say "...oh, er, that's nice." Well, to that shit I say NAY! For this year, dear reader, I will be buying exactly nothing for exactly no-one. Now, I realise that's a massive double negative and actually infers that I, Tomleecee will actually be buying something for everyone...but you get my drift. Right?

Just as well I'm not buying in to the festivities this year really, as it leaves me with more money to buy firkins of moonshine (which will no doubt be consumed alone, in a cold, bare room on Christmas Day)...and Dreamcast games. The latter of which are things I've been snapping up with alarming regularity of late. The reason it's taken me a week to get around to writing this diatribe though is that I've been patiently waiting for all of these games to be delivered, as they were mostly purchased off of that there popular online auction site...as the BBC may refer to it.

These days I tend to go for the more unusual, harder to find games that were released for the PAL system, and this week I got hold of a game that I've been trying to get my hands on for ages. I realise that there are other, much more highly sought-after titles out there in NTSC-land, but I don't really dabble with the US/Jap side of things - I leave that stuff to the more learned amongst the DCJY team. And speaking of more learned team mates, Happy Birthday to Gagaman! It was his birthday on Monday but he kept it quiet, so feel free offer your condolences via the comments section. Cough. Getting back to the point, I tend to go after the blue boxed rarities rather than the orange ones, and this week's haul has united me with one such gem...but before I get to it, here's a quick run-down of the other stuff that arrived this week. Cheers postie! No more strikes, please!

Grand Theft Auto 2
Yep, long before Tony Whats-his-face or Nico Bellic were mincing about a fully 3D Liberty City, car-jacking and shagging hoes in alleys, GTA was firmly rooted in the realms of the 'top down shooter.' GTA 2 diverts from the original PSX game in that it's set in a sort of semi-futuristic world where several major gangs rule over the city, and you have to please each gang leader in turn to unlock new missions etc.

Let's be honest here - every man and his dog has played GTA in some form or another, so there's little point in me bleating on about how it works. What I will bleat on about though, is just how badly this game seems to have aged. Back when GTA 2 was released, nobody knew that the 3rd installment of the series would lead to a semi-revolution in the way all games were created, and the humble origins of today's titles seem a million miles away from the GTA we know and love.


From the top-down view (I still reckon the DC has enough grunt to handle a fully 3D version of this game, just look at Crazy Taxi for proof) and non-existent storyline, to the slightly bizarre control set up (the button configurations are ker-azy) and the disorientating way the vehicles handle, GTA 2 feels just plain odd to play nowadays. It still holds a lot of charm in a 'this-is-how-it-all-began' kind way, but to be honest I'd much rather play GTA 4 than this anyday.

MTV Skateboarding Feat. Andy McDonald
Hands up if you've ever heard of Andy McDonald? At first I thought this was a skateboarding game featuring that bloke who used to be in Coronation Street (sorry non-UK readers who haven't got a fucking clue what I'm on about), but it transpires that Andy McDonald is a skateboarder! Who'd have thunk it?! Hot on the tail of old war-horse Tony Hawk, Andy McDonald's title tries so, so hard to trump the master at his own game...but sadly (and rather inevitably) falls slightly short of the railing, bails and then smashes his teeth out by landing face-first on the pavement (or as Andy would probably say, sidewalk).

You know, I actually bought a real-life skateboard earlier this year, along with all the relevant gear (helmet, pads, trendy Vans trainers etc) because I somehow got it into my head that I wanted to learn how to do it properly. I went down to the local skate park and it quickly dawned on me that I was the only 27-year-old there...and that I couldn't ride the board for shit. The reason I tell you this slightly embarrassing anecdote is because if you took my skateboarding skills and made a game out of them, MTV Skateboarding is what you'd end up with: it's got the best intentions in the world (brilliant soundtrack, decent graphics, nice front end), but it hasn't got an ounce of the finesse of the professionals.

It actually looks quite good y'know. Shame about the Slow-mo pace.

And by this I mean that the controls suck beyond belief (there's about a 3 second delay between you pressing 'A' and an 'ollie' being performed on-screen), the frame rate makes it look like you're playing the game in half-speed (like on a DVD when you press pause and then play) and the various game-modes are hard as nails to actually get anywhere in. An example: in the 'Collect' mode, you have to collect MTV logos. Collect 10 and you'll open the next skate park. The thing is, if you collect a logo and then fall off your board (which you will - constantly), you lose it and it magically flies off back to where you collected it from! How unfair is that?! Bah - go away Andy McDonald and take your lame-ass Tony Hawk rip-off with you. Leave the soundtrack though, cock munch.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I gave the skateboard to a friend's 13 year old son. Kept the Vans for playing Speedball in though.


NBA Hoopz
Basketball. Never really been interested in it to be honest, although I gather it's all the rage in the territories...erm, sorry 'America.' Anyway, before I cause a bigger outrage than that time when half of Liverpool wanted me dead for calling John Lennon a chav, let's get back to the task in hand: NBA Hoopz. Anybody remember NBA Jam? I had it on the Atari Jaguar many, many moons ago and back then - being a person of simpler tastes - I found it quite enjoyable. Well, NBA Hoopz is quite similar in that it features teams of 3 players 'balling' and 'letting rip' with outlandish special moves and dribbling skills. For me, the real life sport offers little because to my eye it just looks like a load of massive, muscly men running back and forth across a badminton court - but NBA Hoopz does offer some entertainment simply because it adds an air of ridiculousness to proceedings.

Reflections, motherfucka! Mr Ronseal's work is done here

The players themselves are slightly super-deformed, so you can pretty much tell from the off it's not going to be another super-serious NBA 2K2-athon - and you'd be right. The action is frantic and sometimes a bit hard to follow as the possession of the ball constantly switches sides and the size of the court leads to shots raining in constantly...which in turn leads to some very high-scoring matches. NBA Hoopz has everything you'd expect from an NBA title - licensed teams, squeaky sound effects and OTT play by play commentary. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the game...so if you're a fan of the subject matter then you'll probably get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Fair enough?

Aerowings 2: Air Strike
Oh yeah. Now we're talking. Remember 10 minutes ago before you read all that shite about my skateboard and Nico Bellic? Those 10 minutes you'll never get back? Remember? I was on about a game I've been after for ages. This is that game! Aerowings 2! It's even got a cool sub-title: Air Strike. Just rolls off the tongue doesn't it? Don't answer - that was rhetorical. So here we are then, the last great Dreamcast game that I've been searching for. Oh, there are others I don't yet have in my collection, but they can wait; Airstrike appears on ebay but once in a blue moon, so to actually win the auction was quite a momentous occasion for me. Yes, maybe I do need to get out more, but I'VE FINALLY GOT AEROWINGS 2!!! So how does it play? Well...

Watch this space very shortly for a full-scale 'proper' review. Natch*.

*Credit to Amiga Power, circa 1994.