A Quick Look At Iron Aces

War is hell. So said General William Tecumseh Sherman way back in 1864, apparently. War was undoubtedly about as close to hell as human beings could get going way back to pre-history and antiquity, and still happens to be so in the modern day. With this in mind, the last major worldwide conflict was World War II, and this is the theatre which acts as a backdrop to the Dreamcast's only dogfighting, dive-bombing, kamikaze-preventing flight sim: Iron Aces. Sort of.
See, Iron Aces from Xicat is very much a game that is set during the height of the 20th century's most deadly conflict, but also one which takes place on a fictitious archipelago made up of islands which bear striking resemblances to Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Japan. These are the main belligerents featured in Iron Aces, but the names of the countries have been doctored somewhat, even if the geographic shapes of the islands haven't. So, Great Britain becomes Trincer, the United States is Valiant, Japan is Yamato and Germany is Blocken. This is initially quite puzzling - especially since the actual countries involved in WWII are name checked constantly, and the Royal Air Force constantly referred to; however, the slightly fantastical setting undoubtedly gave developer Marionette the freedom to create missions and scenarios which, in reality, did not take place.
With this in mind though, there are numerous instances where real life events are clearly the inspiration for mission types and objectives, so the puzzlement remains intact. Anyway, I'm jumping the gun a bit. Join us as we take a quick look at one of the Dreamcast's hidden gems in the form of a true Battle of Britain simulator - Iron Aces.
The Dreamcast isn't short of decent flight sims and flight-based arcade shooters. There are the outstanding Aero Dancing/AeroWings titles if realism is your bag; and likewise there are games like Propeller Arena, Incoming and Air Force Delta available if you prefer more arcade-styled aerial thrills. Iron Aces however, sits slap bang in the middle of these two styles. It really isn't a simulator and it has a couple of mechanics that prevent it being classed as an all out arcade experience, and so it's pretty fair to class it as both a sim and an arcade shooter at the same time. And also one that takes a few liberties when it comes to historical accuracy. Don't let that put you off though, as to write Iron Aces off due to its slightly fabricated pseudo-WWII setting would be doing it a disservice.

Shenmue & Shenmue II HD Remasters Announced By SEGA

It had to happen didn't it? After years of pressure on social media SEGA has finally announced that yes, HD remasters of Shenmue and Shenmue II are coming to current gen systems and PC in 2018. Revealed at the SEGA FES event in Japan, these new versions of the Dreamcast masterpiece look set to introduce a whole new generation to the annoying controls and awkward dialogue Dreamcast fans have endured for the past two decades.
From the SEGA Europe press release:

"SEGA Europe Ltd. is proud to announce that the pioneering epic saga Shenmue™ I & II is to be re-released for a new generation. Get ready to go on a thrilling voyage across faithful recreations of Japan and Hong Kong, China, in a timeless tale of revenge and mystery when Shenmue I & II launches both physically and digitally on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox® One with a PC release on Steam in 2018.

"Since their original release, Shenmue I & II have established a passionate following and are revered as one of gaming’s greatest series of all time. These revolutionary masterpieces deliver a gripping story of retribution as Ryo Hazuki sets out to avenge his father’s death and attempts to unravel the secrets behind a mysterious artefact known as the Dragon Mirror.
"Shenmue I & II comes complete with the original feature set that defined modern gaming, including enthralling jujitsu combat, investigative sleuthing, and RPG elements in addition to memorable mini-games. Shenmue I & II is set within engrossing real-time open worlds that feel truly alive thanks to day-to-night cycles and weather changes, with a population of civilians who follow their own schedules.

"This is the definitive version of these all-time classics and will be the best Shenmue experience to date. The re-release will stay true to the originals with modernised features including fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface and the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers.

The physical and digital editions will be available to pre-order from first party stores, Steam and US and EMEA retailers soon. Oh, and now all you nerds on Twitter can stop banging on about Save Shenmue this and Shenmue tweetathon that. Jeez guys. We get it."
- SEGA Europe

I do find it slightly odd that these games are coming to the Xbox One as well as PlayStation 4 when the third game is reportedly a PS4 exclusive, but this will undoubtedly only allow more people to enjoy the original instalments in the adventure. That said, I challenge anybody not to lose interest at the point where you have to get a job in a warehouse in Shenmue II, HD or not.
So there we have it. Shenmue is back. It seemed like a bit of a no-brainer when you consider that Shenmue III is on its way. Releasing the third part of a series into a world where the only way to really appreciate the originals is by getting a Dreamcast and then paying through the nose for original games on eBay (or...um...burning copies) seemed a bit daft. Anyway, I'm going back to bed now and hopefully I won't wake up to a nuclear dawn...

Here's the reveal trailer:


Find out more about Shenmue and Shenmue II remasters here: https://shenmue.sega.com/

Thoughts? Overjoyed that Ryo is back to kick Lan Di's ass all over again in HD? Or could you not give a rat's ass about all this and just wish World War III wasn't about to start? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

SG-1000 Vs Dreamcast: The Games That Appeared On Sega's First And Last Consoles

With the creation of 'The SG-1000 Junkyard', I've had my mind on Sega's first console as of late. Members of our Facebook group may have seen that I recently posed a question to our members: which Sega series appeared on every single Sega console? The short answer is none, but there were a number of games, series and characters that appeared on both the SG-1000 and the Dreamcast, so I had the bright idea of setting up a comparison of sorts for shits and giggles, while also shamelessly plugging our new website.
Lancia Stratos
Lancia Stratos - Safari Race (1984), Sega Rally 2 (1998)
While not one of the starting cars in the original Sega Rally, the Lancia Stratos is famous for being the faster but less wieldy unlockable car in the subsequent Saturn port. As all good Dreamcast fans should know, it graced the cover of Sega Rally 2 in all regions. What's less well known however, is that the car was licensed to a game much, much earlier in Sega's history.
Unfortunately, no rhinos are featured as hazards in Sega Rally 2.
Unlike Sega Rally, Safari Race wasn't a port of a state of the art arcade game, but instead a simplistic 8-bit racer released exclusively for Sega's first console. In the game, the player must drive along a desert track avoiding other cars and wild animals, while paying close attention not to run out of fuel by periodically stopping at petrol pumps to refuel.

The Original Quake and Doom are soon to be playable Online with DreamPi


The man responsible for bringing the vast majority of Dreamcast games back online with DreamPi, Shuouma has announced, he will soon release versions of Quake and Doom compatible with dial up online play via DreamPi.
While fan-made Dreamcast ports of both Quake and Doom have been around for years now, and Dreamcast Online has helped support Doom online play via the broadband adapter, this will be the first time our community is able play Doom via DreamPi, and Quake online in any form.

The World's Tiniest Astro City Arcade Cabinet

OK, so this isn't exclusively Dreamcast related, but it does involve the Dreamcast and so that's all the reason I need to knock up a little news peice about it. For those who don't know, the Astro City is a model of arcade cabinet introduced by Sega in the early 1990s and is pretty prevalent in Japanese arcades, even today. Seems one talented chap named Adam McAmis decided to turn a 1/12th scale model Astro City cabinet into a working one designed for ants...sort of:

In truth, the model is running off a Dreamcast that's connected to a tiny screen installed into the Astro City, which in turn was salvaged from a dashcam, and (as you'd expect) the teeny tiny controls on the Astro City aren't actually controlling the game...because they aren't real controls. Still, it's very cool to see this type of thing and while Adam states that his creation seems to get nothing but derisory comments from people passing his desk in real life, we have nothing but admiration for this little project. Well done Adam - haters gon' hate, but we love it!

Source: Twitter

Don't Pelorian!


We return to our regularly scheduled programming...

Red vs. Blue: The Definitive SG-1000 hardware guide

**UPDATE** This article has been cross-posted on our new sister site: The SG-1000 Junkyard

Did you know that Sega's logo used to be red? Back in the 60's and 70's, it used to look like this, and was proudly displayed on their early electro-mechanical arcade machines.
While the blue Sega logo we all know and love would be introduced in the late 70's and early 80's, the first version of the SG-1000 would eschew a blue colour scheme, and instead featured a bold black, red and yellow motif.
This design featured in the early promotional material, and first went on sale on 15th July 1983 (although it was rumoured to have been test-marketed in isolated prefectures as early as 1981). The original SJ-200 joystick originally came hardwired to the console for player 1, with a port for a second joystick for Player 2 (sold separately). 
The original packaging for the first black-stripe model