, The Dreamcast Junkyard: February 2015

Respect

We're not ones to jump on a bandwagon here at the Junkyard. We pride ourselves on reporting on the lesser-known stories surrounding our favourite over-looked system. But the passing of Leonard Nimoy is an event that cannot be ignored by any media outlet - especially one influenced by the talents of such an iconic entertainer.

Mr Nimoy, as you probably know, was the voice of Caution: Seaman for Western gamers - at least for those whom SEGA deemed worthy. As a resident of the United Kingdom, I personally never experienced a PAL version of Caution: Seaman but I have played the NTSC-U game, and the reassuring dulcet tones of Leonard Nimoy eased me into a game released in an era way before celebrity voiceovers were even a recognised marketing tool. The Dreamcast Junkyard, regardless how unimportant we are, would like to recognise Leonard Nimoy's contribution to games and his outstanding career as an actor and icon.

Abandoned Dreamcast Needs A Home

Once upon a time, a guy out walking in the woods finds an abandoned Dreamcast amongst the grass and bushes covered in mud, leaves and - quite possibly - dog excrement. What happens next is just pure magic, and - I won't lie - brought a single, swirl-shaped tear to this gamer's eye. Click here for the full story, as detailed on imgur.
Thanks to friend of the Junkyard PCwzrd13 for the heads up - be sure to check out his YouTube channel for some great Dreamcast and general gaming-related content.

The Rarest Dreamcast Hardware On Earth?

Sega Dreamcast SFL-20001P Control Unit
*Updated! We have new info on this. Scroll to the bottom for the update*

Allow me to be presumptuous, but I'm going to guess that if you're here at the Junkyard reading articles about a console that has been out of production for well over a decade, you're either a) a Dreamcast enthusiast; b) a retro-gaming enthusiast; or c) both. For these reasons alone, I'm also going to presume that you dear reader, know a thing or two about so-called 'rare' hardware; and more specifically rare or lesser-spotted Dreamcast hardware. You know the kinds of thing I'm talking about - the Divers 2000 and the various special edition consoles that occasionally pop up on eBay for astronomical sums of money. Think the Resident Evil STARS edition, or the Hello Kitty variants that surface every now and then. Hell - you might even own one or two. There's something that I can guarantee the vast majority of people reading this don't own though. Not only that - I would wager that the vast majority didn't even know of the existence of this Dreamcast variant - I certainly didn't until I stumbled across DreamcastGaga's article a few days ago. Allow us to present the Dreamcast SFL-2000P1 Control Unit.
Sega Dreamcast SFL-20001P Control Unit
As mentioned in DCGaga's original article, the Control Unit originally surfaced on eBay in late 2014 and was snapped up for a mere $123 (that's about £80) by an eagle-eyed bidder. This was probably down to the fact that the item was listed rather ambiguously as 'Vintage Sega Dream Cast Japaneses Metal Console,' [sic] and not (as I would have listed it) 'Rare as Rocking Horse Shit Hitherto Unknown Dreamcast Box Thing.' 

Indie Review: Powder

I'm going to level with you: I don't particularly like RPGs. While I can totally appreciate why a lot of people love them, I've just never got on with sprawling story arcs, random battles, item collection and all of the other aspects one would generally associate with the genre. I'm also totally aware that there are many, many sub-genres within this particular channel of gaming and that to say I don't like RPGs is probably a little bit short sighted on my part. I mean, I really enjoyed Link's Awakening on the Game Boy and Ocarina of Time on the N64, have battled through all of the Mass Effect games and even got pretty far into Virtual Hydlide on the Saturn before the desire to vomit explosively enveloped me...but those aren't really the kinds of game I'm talking about.

I'm talking about learning spells, calculating hit points and wading through loads of text. Frankly, I just find traditional RPGs boring. That's just my (admittedly ignorant) opinion and I totally respect that people reading this may have just spat either cornflakes or a Pot Noodle (or both?) all over their computer or phone screen, but I haven't even attempted to play Skies of Arcadia yet because I just know what I'm going to get in that particular package; and I spent about 8 minutes playing Final Fantasy 7 before I removed it from my PlayStation and stuck Alien Trilogy back in. You can take a horse (me) to water (RPGs), but you can't make it drink (play them). Brackets were used in that last metaphor to clarify what I was trying to convey with my cack-handed grasp of wurds and stuff. Keeping that last sentence at the forefront of your cerebellum, allow me to explain that very recently I was made aware of a home brew roguelike RPG that has been ported to the Dreamcast and can be played using an SD Reader.

Powder started life as a Game Boy Advance project and is the brainchild of programmer Jeff Lait. Writing on the Powder website, Jeff explains that the game was borne out of his desire to play a roguelike RPG on his handheld:

"I created POWDER for one simple reason: I wanted a roguelike on my GBA. The standard RPGs were annoying me with endless battle screens against weak enemies to unfold a drug induced plotline. I wanted a game I could just jump into, and start killing things. Having had more hours than I'd care to log playing Nethack, ADOM, and the Diablos, I knew the exact type of game I wanted. The problem was I didn't see anyone publishing it any time soon."

Since the GBA original, Powder has been ported to various other formats including the Nintendo DS, Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Recently though, Dreamcast.es forum admin Indiket successfully translated the source over to the Dreamcast and the source has - rather helpfully - been turned into an SD Reader-compatible ISO file by DCeric so that morons like me can get involved and begin dungeon crawling.

Having A Blast With Cosmic Smash

There are some games on the Dreamcast that I'm pretty sure would not have translated well from their original Japanese to the West. Only recently we looked at a dating sim from the land of the rising sun, and while it did look intriguing, I think it's safe to say that it would probably have sold less units than a DVD boxset of a wall of wet paint drying. With this in mind, let us turn our attention to another title that never saw the light of day outside of it's native homeland - Cosmic Smash. The reason I draw a comparison between it and the aforementioned dating sim is that Cosmic Smash is a game that by it's very nature transcends all of the usual barriers for localisation, and yet it is glaringly absent from both PAL and NTSC-U libraries.

500 Likes!

Just a little update to say thank you to everyone who has clicked the 'like' button on our Facebook page (it's here incase you're interested). There's not been much activity here at the 'Yard in the past week due to real life commitments getting in the way, but normal service will be resumed from tomorrow...so stay tuned. Once again - thanks to everyone who reads and supports the site/Facebook page.

Strafing, Not Stirred


I make no secret of my love for the Doom franchise - as I've stated here and on other sites many, many times previously, Doom is one of my all-time favourite games and it's sequels and spin-offs are games I hold in extremely high regard. Due to this slightly worrying affection for all things Doom, I have amassed quite a collection of variants of the game and have pretty much every iteration of it for consoles - the only one I don't have in the collection is the 32X port and that's only because I don't actually own one of those mushroom-shaped monstrosities anymore. I have waxed lyrical about my penchant for id's sprite-based (and polygonal, the the case of the 3rd instalment) shooting series here at the 'Yard in recent months, but in this post I wanted to share some images I took from within one of the best mods I think I've ever seen for Doom...and one that I have had the pleasure of sampling via my Dreamcast SD card reader: the GoldenEye 007 total conversion.

Sports Jam: The Devil's Playground

That odd title will become clear soon enough, but first let's get down to business. Sports Jam is a conversion of an arcade game that is really little more than a collection of short and sweet mini-games based loosely on a plethora of different sports. Developed by Wow Entertainment for the NAOMI system and then converted - almost perfectly - to the Dreamcast, Sports Jam encourages players to pick one of twelve events to try their hand (or some cases feet) at, in an attempt to get either high scores or meet the criteria to move on to the next of four rounds.

Complete each round successfully, and you win the game...and that's pretty much the entire game in a nutshell to be honest. Unlike most other arcade-to-home conversions of the era (Crazy Taxi, Virtua Tennis, Virtua Fighter 3tb et al), Sports Jam doesn't really add much bespoke content to the mix and so the replay value is somewhat limited...especially when you take into consideration that a lot of the 'events' on offer here actually only last for around a (Swatch-sponsored) minute and a half each, or a set number of 'tries.'
Sports Jam Baseball

Living with a Lack of Love


How can you live the good life?


Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates believed that knowledge was the key. Study hard in the natural sciences and the knowledge it would bestow upon you would free you from the petty shackles of human problems.


Seneca, the famous Roman stoic, believed this too, but also stressed the importance of active participation in mundane human affairs, be it politics or business. For Seneca, isolated reason alone could not lead a person to live a good life.
Your life in Lack of Love begins when this robot arrives on the alien planet. What is his mission?
Equally Thales of Miletus, one of the Seven Wise Men of Ancient Greece, believed that the good life came from observing moderation in all things. Always checking oneself so that ideological and practical extremes were never reached.