Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Unconventional Ramblings

I went to Comic Con at the weekend. It was the first time I've actually been aware of such an event happening in my immediate vicinity, so naturally I jumped at the chance to attend...and I have to admit that it was a bit of a mixed bag. I don't really know what exactly I was expecting, but I'd seen various photos and tweets over the years about Comic Con events happening in other parts of the world so I was curious...but I wasn't as blown away as I thought I would be. Don't get me wrong - from the moment I arrived at the venue I was massively impressed by the number of other attendees who had put some fantastic amounts of effort into dressing up as characters from various comics, anime and games...but the actual event itself felt like little more than a massive table top sale where traders got to peddle their wares to the game and comic-loving public at inflated prices. I did see the guy who played Vaas Montenegro in Far Cry 3, and I also purchased this rather excellent squashy, handmade monitor from Sonic (which goes quite nicely with the early 90s plush toys that I have)...but I can't help but admit that I was a little underwhelmed by the whole experience.

Beats watching Big Brother I suppose
Maybe Play Expo in October will be more up my street, as I'm definitely more of a retrogaming nut than a comic reader. That being said, I still have to give kudos to all the guys and gals who dressed up in some frankly awesome cosplay outfits.

Moving back towards something vaguely related to the Dreamcast, last weekend I managed to pick up a used Nintendo Gamecube at a boot sale for a mere £5. What's that got to do with Dreamcasting? Well, I also got a copy of Wave Race Blue Storm...and what a lovely little game it is too. This got me thinking about the Dreamcast's only entry in the jet-ski racing genre, Surf Rocket Racers. So I knocked up a little comparison video:



I fully appreciate that Wave Race is a much better looking game than Surf Rocket Racers, and they both came out in the same year (which just demonstrates the technical gulf between the 'Cast and 'Cube)...but if you take out the water effects, Wave Race doesn't look that much better than SRR...right?! I mean, just look at the character models and the jet-skis themselves, and also the trackside details and you wouldn't really think that SRR is running on hardware that is vastly inferior to Nintendo's newer Gamecube. OK, this video doesn't really do much to fight the Dreamcast's corner, but I thought it'd be interesting to see how well our favourite Sega platform holds up against the last 'proper' Nintendo machine!

I finally got my hands on an S-VHS cable for my Dreamcast last week, and I'm very impressed with the image it kicks out on my CRT television. I do have a VGA box too, but both of the LCD televisions I have still give a fairly crappy image when I use the VGA adaptor (I'm guessing a contemporary CRT computer monitor would be the best thing to use with it). In the absence of such a display device in my abode, the S-VHS is probably the best option right now, and it has the added bonus of being compatible with all of the games I have in my collection. I did receive an email from a reader called Henrique regarding a Dreamcast VGA and Scanline Generator (thanks Henrique!), but as I haven't got one I can't really vouch for the quality of the thing. Reading the posts on that forum though, it seems pretty clear that the device is pretty nifty, so maybe I'll look into acquiring one in the future.

To wrap up this spectacularly random DCJY post, here's another short(ish) Youtube video I uploaded the other day. It's just a little bit of footage from an odd version of Doom I have on a CD-R I probably mentioned ages ago: Doom Classic Collection. It's Doom 2, but with the weapon and enemy artwork from Doom64 grafted in, and the file is simply called 'Requiem.' Enjoy.

2 comments:

CD ageS said...

LOL! at 4:30 in your vid ;)
Anywho, I currently don't actually own WaveRace on my Cube (I do for the N64), but I have had Surf Rocket on the DC for little over a year (purchased in minty condition for only $4 and was curious about it for sometime). I was quite surprised by this purchase mostly because of the high visual polish and thinking i'd experienced every visually impressive game the console has to offer. The game has an almost NAOMI arcade visual quality to it (it was developed by CRI which in essence is SEGA which may explain its quality graphics). WaveRace def has the game beat with its more realistically impressive water effects and the higher texture models. But to be honest Surf Rocket looks DAMN good when displayed in VGA mode. Here is one of a few gameplay videos I've done for this game (Vizio LED TV/VGA 480p).
http://youtu.be/1WEEGXLZUAU

I'm happy to see someone talk about this game for once. Good stuff :D

Tomleecee said...

Thanks for the comment, CD ageS. Yeah, I agree that Surf Rocket is a pretty good-looking game, I especially like the New York stages with the taxis going past!