Happy Birthday Dreamcast Junkyard...

Well I was kind of waiting for the great Tomleecee to make his triumphant return with this post, as the 'Yard is his creation. However we are now two thirds of the way through this most festive of months, and so far no word... So I feel it is my bound duty, to mark this occasion in his absence, and raise a celebratory glass to my favourite website of all time, about the best console ever made!

Just looking back at the December 2005 archives, it is amazing to see how this place has grown, from it's humble beginnings to it's current Heavyweight Champion status. A small collection, including a console, two controllers, a couple of light guns and VMUs, and a handful of games, were the initial stash that inspired the site, historically and pictorially documented on Tom's technically challenged digital camera.

Since then through the magic of bloggery, we've been shown a stunning array of Dreamcast images, had an informative tutorial on the console's history, been linked to a host of fantastic sites and blogs, been shown a cinematic Dreamcast journey, courtesy of Google and Youtube and seen a plethora of games reviewed, dissected and compared. Added to that it's all been posted with a brilliant sense of humour, some eloquent prose, and some hilarious asides.

All of the Dreamcast peripherals have been considered and assessed. Unfinished Dreamcast developments of both hardware and software have been uncovered. Mods, emulation and homebrew have been flagged up, and highlighted. Dreamcast related humour, art, photos and film have all been promoted. What a blast!

If you're a regular visitor to the site, spend a few minutes trawling the archives for hidden gems you may have missed, or key in a few words of interest into the sites search facility. So many topics have been considered and presented, that it is becoming increasingly challenging to add new stuff!

The addition of the Gagaman(n) to the site's team, opened up an encyclopaedic world of knowledge about the console's hardware and software to the 'Yard. At once Tomleecee had a partner who was able to double the quantity of posts, providing excellent and insightful articles, but with a very different style of writing. Thus the range of documentation of this great console was increased.
His much coveted Dreamcast collection, also boosted the collective amount of Dreamcast exhibition items on display in our Virtual Museum.

I was lucky enough to become the third member of the team, at the end of August. Having discovered the 'Yard by simply typing 'Dreamcast' as a search word into Google, I was immediately hooked, on it's down to earth, Mancunian humour, occasional cynicism, but overall burning love for Sega's finest.

I became a regular commentor (more about this later), checking regularly and hungrily for each new post. Reviews helped me to make some informed choices as to which games I should buy.
Discoveries such as Bleem, the VMU tool (and indeed the fact that games could be played on the VMU), the hidden uses of the fishing rod peripheral, etc. were revolutionary for me in my awareness of the console's potential.

The comments of the site's readers and contributors have been an integral part of the DCJY's growth. Heroic names such as... son_et-lumiere, Pierre La Stank, Caleb, Deitrix, J, Gamer C, Ross and of course DCJY stalwarts Gnome and The Elderly Gamer (amongst others -BTW if you feel you deserve a mention, post a comment and I'll amend this epistle...) have fleshed out the bones of the articles posted on the site.

Highlights for me have been the afforementioned VMU tool post, the fact that a fishing rod peripheral can produce 'Wii' style gameplay on Soul Calibur, my first mention on a 'Yard post, (and indeed my first post on the 'Yard), finding links to the Elderly Gamer and The Gnome's Lair, watching all the good stuff posted on video links, Gagaman(n)'s post about oft repeated theme's in DC games, and above all the silliness factor... like Tom finding DC 'swirls' everywhere. Oh! and some of the frankly horrendous merchandising that accompanied this most wonderful of Sega produce.

And if none of the above makes sense to you, I urge you, nay command you, to check out a whole year's worth of blogging in the archives.

So at the end of this historic year, thanks to the DCJY's insight, I am able to come up with my top twenty Dreamcast games of all time... Apart from the top 3, they're in no particular order...
I hope that anyone reading this post will take the time to flag up theirs... They are as follows:

1.) Shenmue 1 & 2
2.) Soul Calibur
3.) Caution Seaman

4.) House Of The Dead 2/Typing Of The Dead
5.) Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

6.) Blue Stinger
7.) Super Runabout
8.) Sega Worldwide Soccer
9.) Crazy Taxi
10.) Virtua Tennis 1 & 2
11.) Sega Rally
12.) Jet Set Radio

13.) Dead Or Alive 2
14.) Confidential Mission
15.) Rez

16.) Vitrua Fighter 3tb
17.) Sega Marine Fishing
18.) Marvel vs. Capcom
19.) Outtrigger

20.) V Rally

But that's only the story so far... Hopefully, posting on the 'Yard will continue to shape and change that particular perspective.

Tomleecee took a chance making me a team member. Hopefully the gamble paid off. Being able to post has opened up a whole new world for me.
Fellow Bloggers have become comrades and colleagues, a few even friends. From being a team member on the 'Yard, I have also become a co-contributor to Gnome's Gaming On the Go, and finally spread my wings to produce the DCJY's little brother...the unimaginatively conceived Saturn Junkyard.

However, my favourite website of all time will remain this hallowed 'Yard.

And so , without further ado, raise your glasses and receive a toast for Tomleecee and his most esteemed of creations... "The Dreamcast Junkyard"....

Happy Birthday!

The Saturn Junkyard

It must be the lamest idea for a new blog, but I felt that the
'Yard might need a little brother for it's most esteemed of website topics. Plus, I've been posting all sorts of nonsense about other systems on this Dreamcast specific site.

So in order to invent an outlet for my more
Saturn related leanings, I've come up with the Saturn Junkyard, basically a complete rip-off of Teeleecee's original idea, but about the Saturn. For fuck's sake....

Now this post is not just a plug for my new
'innovative' site, fuck no! 'Cos quite frankly, at the moment, in it's infancy, it's shite... But I just thought it might enable me to access it (and post) on Mozilla Firefox if I put a link on it! I can't upload images on AOL or IE, so right now it remains a piss poor foetus of a site.

I might also post a link to my
blogger dashboard in the vague hope that it might facilitate the same thing.

For all of you regular readers please excuse this self indulgent piece of shite...

In order to qualify this frankly very self indulgent post, I thought I might show you a picture of my
Dreamcast 'looky likey'.

Why it's
Don Niu from Shenmue 2!

Fat, bald and not that good at posting... we're one of a kind!

Thanks for your patience dear readers, let me know what you think of the concept...
Is it a worthwhile venture...????

By the way... I've just found out that the
Sega Saturn is the favourite console of Lara Croft actress and serial ethnic baby adopter Angelina Jolie... who'd a thunk it??

Good night patient children wherever you are...

P.S. I need a new site 'cos you can almost count down the days till I'm kicked off this one....

A Christmas Wish....

Well, my house is now looking like Santa's grotto, festooned up to the rafters with tinsel and other shiny stuff.
Hackneyed old decorations have been dragged out of the loft, and I've resorted to crying like a baby at nostalgic old favourites such as
"It's A Wonderful Life" and "Scrooge".

Whilst I tried to pretended in my last post that I hated Christmas, it was just a thinly veiled tissue of lies.

In fact, like the executives and software developers at
Sega, I love this time of year! Now before you throw rocks at your monitor and beseige me with hate mail, let me qualify this frankly 'puffy' post.I've decided to write a Christmas list. In the hopes that the old fat fucker in the ill fitting red suit, might somehow magically pick up on it, and drop the whole shitload down the chimney. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it...
So sit back, as I regail you with those things that would truly make my baggy, bloodshot eyes light up on Christmas morning, if my festive wishes came true...

No.1 on my wish list...
Death Crimson OX. This light gun game was a U.S. only release, and the only game utilising my favourite peripheral, that I do not own. (As previously mentioned on this esteemed site the others are HOTD2, Confidential Mission and Virtua Cop 1&2 on the Sega Smash Pack...)A late entry to the Dreamcast's software range, D.C.OX was released in 2001, pretty much towards the end of the Dreamcast's life. It was also universally panned as being a load of shite. I've not read one good review of this game since I first heard about it. IGN gave it 4.3 as a score...four point fucking three!!
The screenshots and video I've seen look pretty good, however... and the way I figure it, it's a lightgun game... where you shoot swordsmen, monsters and living skeletons...
WHATS NOT TO LIKE?At the end of the day you shoot things , on your telly, with a gun. You're going to have a laugh, however crap the game is... Or at least I will! Guns! Shooting! Monsters! Fun???? No shit, Sherlock!No.2 on the list is Daytona USA 2001. I love driving games. My all time favourite is SegaRally- the original Saturn version, although I also love it's successor SR2 on the Dreamcast.
Having played the original
Daytona USA in a museum-like arcade over the summer, (you can't beat sitting in a static car seat, pushing fake acceleraotrs and trying to wrestle a heavily weighted steering wheel whilst staring at a video monitor...) I then purchased the 'home play' version for my Saturn. That too was an excellent experience, thundering round each track, knocking other cars out of the way, and staring at Mount Rushmore-like visions of Sonic carved into the rock face.
And according to my esteemed colleague
Teeleecee, the Dreamcast version is even better!

Better graphics, better gameplay, beter features... It's his favourite game, and thats a good enough recommendation for me... Onto the next...

Fighting Vipers 2! Again another title I've secured for the Saturn, is the pre-cursor to it's Dreamcast progeny. The original Fighting Vipers had very innovative gameplay for a fighting game. It's characters hit each other with items such as a guitar or BMX. Buxom lady fighters rollerbladed about before opening a can of 'whup ass' and beating the shit out of you.

The best feature however, was that if you knocked your opponent out of the ring, they would land on the floor only to be blown up! Although this does not result in lots of blood and guts, you do get the double satisfaction of delivering the killer blow, then seeing your opponent launched into the air with a bang!

I'm waiting for the Gagaman(n) to write a full review of this title, 'cos he was lucky enough to have procured it recently... (Come on Gagaman(n) put me out of my misery!!)
I can only imagine that the Dreamcast FV2 offers more great gameplay with distinctly better graphics. Plus I like owning both Saturn and Dreamcast versions of great titles...

No. 4 Recently discovered is this beautiful leopard skin edition
DC controller. Can't tell you much about this, but I've always had a thing for leopard skin. In fact, I'm currently posting this article, wearing only a very tight leopard skin thong.

Hey! Now that mental image is a Christmas treat for all you readers! Don't say I never give you anything...

'The Divers 2000' Dreamcast edition. This little beauty was discovered by Teeleecee a few posts back... I've never seen anything like it... A complete unit with T.V., DC, Keyboard, mouse and DC camera for internet video conferencing.

They're as rare as rocking horse shit and cost a fortune... So it's unlikely that I'll ever own one... But this is a wish list after all!

No.6 Huge chested, compulsive lying, Big Brother contestant and sad celebrity wannabe, mad African ex-nurse,

Festively attired, with a stack of
Strongbow Super and a big vegetarian fried breakfast. Well a man can dream can't he???Before I go, can I also mention the new collaborative blog produced by Gnome and featuring the odd rambling post by me... The most excellent 'Gnome's Gaming On The Go.' You can find it at http://pocketgaming.blogspot.com/

Well I'm off now dear reader, worrying about how I've turned Tom's baby into a sad version of 'Loaded'- featuring the
He'll be back soon to see how he trusted me to look after the 'Yard and I've turned it into a wankfest for lovers of large chests. Oh well, I'll probably be drummed off the team soon...

But until then,
Goodnight dear children, wherever you are...

I'm Dreamcast Of A White Christmas...

Well it's that time of year again...

A time for trudging through rain soaked, piss stained, agraphobia inducing streets, full of angry shoppers.

A time for hearing the same old tired, shmaltzy tunes, cranked out on a loop, in every venue you have the misfortune to go.

A time for avoiding annoying relatives, and maxing out your over strained credit card on uneccessary presents, so that you can line the pockets of multi-national chain, stores offering poor quality goods. (PS3 anyone?
Oh no I forgot... you can't get one yet can you?)

A time for stuffing yourself full of so much sugary, fat laden gack and booze, that a bout of projectile vomitting and soiling yourself, inevitably ensues. (Well it does for me anyway.)

For the good folks at
Sega however, it's a time to rejoice. Apparently they love it. As long as they've been producing consoles, they've been producing seasonal games and themed packages for their lovely machines.
Indeed, since the clever inclusion of an internal clock and calendar into the lovely
Saturn and Dreamcast respectively, games which transform into Christmassy themed packages when this special time of year rolls around...

Let's have a look at some shall we? Back in
Megadrive/Genesis days there was the cutesy 'Daze Before Christmas'. A 2D platformer where you had to help a beseiged Santa make it through a variety of hazards to deliver presents on Christmas day...

Saturn gave us one of the best games of all time with the Sonic Team opus Christmas Nights. This was a seasonal spin on the excellent Nights Into Dreams, a psychedelic, spaced out vision of a game, where heroes Elliot and Claris had to battle nightmarish creatures to defend the land of Dreamtopia.
Dreamcast owners eagerly anticipated Nights 2 for the best console ever, but it never appeared. Bah! Humbug!
But what of the
Dreamcast? Every December the 25th unsuspecting gamers would see a magical change occur on certain games. They would literally all of a sudden, be adorned in bunting, tinsel, Christmas trees and seasonal costumes. I've endevered to get you screenshots for each of these games, but unfortunately I've only managed to get you some... Damn you Google Image... Damn you TO HELL!
"Where the fuck am I?"

Shenmue... Perhaps my favourite title ever, a sprawling epic RPG, drawing heavily on the passage of time as our young hero Ryo Hazuki walks, talks, fights and works his way throughout the days in a quest of honour to avenge his Father's death at the hands of the murderous Lan Di. Oh and feeds kittens...Shops... And ignores the advances of saucy looking, buxom, oriental beauties...
As Ryo enters the streets of
Dobuita on Christmas day, who should he see but...
FATHER CHRISTMAS!! Whoop-de-fuckin'-do! Meddle with your Dreamcast's time/date system and you can see for yourself... 'Cos try as I might I just can't pluck an image off the net for you. Sorry.

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing on that most wonderful of days, threw up a festive treat for it's players.
This excellent cartoony arcade favourite suddenly saw Christmas trees spring up at the ringside...
Ready 2 Rumble 2 took it a step further by providing seasonal outfits and a large snowman to fight. And as throughout the rest of the year, Michael Jackson could always turn up to 'give the kids one'. A present that is.... Honestly! See my frankly piss poor illustration of this phemomena, hijacked on my camera phone, from the wonderful Games TM magazine article on this very subject...

Survival horror RPG,
Blue Stinger will also hold a special place in my heart. It was one of the first DC games I ever got really stuck into. I never completed it of course, I rarely do.
Elliot got to battle a plethora of mutant man beasts in a super market complex verily bedecked in festive trimmings and featuring large billboards with Kris Kringle and other seasonal images. And he battled these multi-limbed nightmares to a soundscape of jingley Christmas music. Beautiful really... (Sniff!)

The wonderful
Caution Seaman took the anniversary of the birth of Our Lord to another level.
Not only was there a Christmas edition of this most wonderful of games, but there was a beautiful see through red edition of the
Dreamcast itself released. Take a look at these beautiful images... and by the way, if you ever see one of these babies available on eBay, snap it up. There were only 850 of these lovelies ever made...

Free stickers and gift tags came with the game to help you wrap your presents....

Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, a quick visit to the Dream Arena on the Internet could allow you to dress up Sonic and his immediate environment. Our favourite Hedgehog and Sega mascot loves Christmas as much as the Japanese people that spawned him, despite him being erm.. a Hedgehog, and Japan being a nation of Shintoists. Go figure...

Now, you know I've taken to cheaply including images of my favourite eye candy in recent posts, and who am I to break this tradition?
However, this time it's one of the
Dreamcast's own lovely ladies and a personal favourite of mine. Ulala! In a festive outfit! Crikey!

Ivy off Soul Calibur, I haven't forgotten you, you're always number one imaginary lust object in my heart, even if it's wrong to fancy videogame characters...Nurse! Medication! It's happening again...")

By the way, I just found out that Christmas is the favourite time of year of devout Jehova's Witness, nipple flasher and person who featured Dreamcast clips in her video, Janet Jackson!!
Who'd a thunk it???

Good Night children and a Merry Christmas to you all, wherever you are...