, The Dreamcast Junkyard: June 2014

Social Networking

Thought it was about time the Dreamcast Junkyard got it's own Facebook page, seeing as that's what all the cool kids are doing these days. I'm not really sure what the benefits of having a Facebook page are (I don't really use the site, being a bit of a Twitter fiend), but lots of other console-centric sites and blogs have them...and generally I'll just be putting links there to stuff that you'd normally just find here anyway...but yeah. We're on Facebook now. Like us if you want. Or don't. It is a totally voluntary option - we're not in the business of forcing people to do things they don't like. Much. Here's the link!


Also, apologies for the lack of updates over the last few weeks. I have so much stuff I want to write about but my Dreamcast is currently under a pile of random controllers and other non-descript electronic components as I'm in the middle of yet another protracted house move. As well as that, The case of the broken Dreamcast I bought at Play Blackpool is now in the hands of a professional console modder and I am awaiting its return to me with a swanky new colour scheme. Pictures will be posted here as soon as possible! And leading on from that, the aforementioned Dreamcast will be accompanying me to London Anime Con on the 5th & 6th of July where it will be used to play host to one of RetroCollect's gaming challenges: A Trigger Heart Exelica score attack!


All will be revealed closer to the event (yes, I know it's only a week away!), but if you're in London that weekend and have tickets to the event, please be sure to come and say hello! I'll be at the RetroCollect motherbase invigilating and helping to coordinate the various retro-gaming challenges that we are running across the two days, and it'd be great to actually meet some people who visit the Junkyard on occasion. The Gagaman has already told me he might be frequenting the event and if he doesn't appear I'll be hunting him down, Jack Wade style. But that's a different story for a different post...! :D

Wild Metal: The Vanishing Game?

This was originally going to be a review of Wild Metal, DMA/Rockstar's tank-based strategic shooter. I have played Wild Metal quite a bit, as I owned it for a while back when I had my first Dreamcast in 2000. I recall it being a pleasant little shooter that allowed you to trundle around sparsely populated alien landscapes in one of several oddly-designed armoured vehicles, popping off shots at marauding robotic enemies. It wasn't a system seller, but it was relaxing enough to while away a few quiet hours if there was nothing more important to do; and the way you could change the angle of trajectory of your shots depending on how long you held the fire button down was quite interesting. So why am I not reviewing Wild Metal as originally intended then? It's because I can't play either of the two copies I own.

I bought my first copy (or rather, second - if you count the original one in 2000 as the first) of Wild Metal quite a while ago and and when I tried it in my system I had a real nightmare trying to get it to work. It loaded only occasionally - say 2 out of the 10 times I turned the system on and off - and on the rare occasions it did load up and allow me to play, the game world was full of black squares all over the terrain where the game hadn't loaded the textures properly. I didn't really give it a second thought and just assumed the disk was scratched or something, and just put the game to one side - I'd get another copy off eBay for a few pence when I could be bothered. Time passed and I totally forgot about my unplayable copy of Wild Metal...until a few weeks ago when I saw a boxed and mint condition copy on eBay selling for about a pound. I snapped it up, it arrived...and then it sat on the shelf until earlier today when I decided to finally put it in my Dreamcast, play it and review it here.
 

The Grinch

I'm not a fan of Dr Seuss. I know his stuff probably isn't aimed at 30-something blokes living in 2014, but I find everything about the twee, rhyming prose and creepy art-style of the books quite revolting. Not revolting to the degree that I'd have to projectile vomit all over a tramp's face if I had to sit and read one (I use the term 'read' in the loosest possible sense, by the way), but I simply don't care for them. It appears that I'm in a minority though, as the books featuring his bizarre creations (Kudos) continue to sell by the lorry-load, and there have been several movies based on them in recent times. There was that nightmare-inducing Mike Myers abomination The Cat in the Hat, the very recent Danny DeVito film The Lorax (which by all accounts had very little in common with the original story), and further back there was The Grinch Who Stole Christmas starring Ace Ventura...but he doesn't appear to do much Pet Detective work in that particular installment of the popular series. Of course, I jest...but yeah, it wasn't a particularly good movie in my opinion, even though it was a massive box office success and won an Oscar for the makeup. But anyway, enough history of the good Doctor's movie back catalogue. I'm here to tell you about the game of the movie of the book - How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Oddly, and even though it was released roughly at the same time and features story elements from the movie, the game is simply monikered The Grinch...there is no mention of the theft of the world's most commercial national holiday anywhere in the title. As well as this omission, there is similarly no sign of Jim Carrey's vocal talents.

Family Portrait

I'm a serial Tweeter. There - I admit it. I probably annoy a lot of people with my constant #RetroGaming crap. I posted this yesterday and it got quite a bit a bit of love in the Twitterverse...so I thought I'd share it here as well:


Mother, father, and two baby VMUs. What a lovely 2.4 children family! Oh, and while I'm on the subject, you can follow me @Tomleecee if you so desire. Likewise, feel free to follow the other members of the DCJY team - Barry is @SEGANomad or @SEGAbits, Gagaman is @theGagaman, Caleb is @CalebMoshier...and the other guys I'm not too sure of as they seem to have done a bit of a Lord Lucan, but if you're reading this let me know so I can follow you too! Oh, and you can follow @SEGAJunkyard for general DCJY stuff and random SEGA-based updates.

Elsewhere, I have acquired quite a few 'new to me' DC games in the past week, so look out for my thoughts on them here in the coming days, weeks, months, years, decades and (if the cryogenics Kickstarter I backed comes to fruition) centuries.