<-- -!>

Featured Article

"Get a Life...Get a Dreamcast..."

Yes, that rather outlandish claim does exist somewhere else apart from above the Ivory and Platinum Gates that mark the entrance to the Dreamcast Junkyard. It exists here, as part of a UK Launch promo video.

Also, out of sheer boredom (right), this evening saw me try out Planet Ring for the first time. It's meant to be some sort of online theme park where you take part in various simple games with other players via the wonders of the internet. However, as I've stated elsewhere, my DC is not hooked up to the net so all that happened when I tried to play was a message that the console was looking for an internet connection... When it couldnt find one it just exited to the 'start' screen. Fellow Blogger son_et_lumiere made a comment about an 'infinity loop' in one of Jet Set Radio's levels a few weeks back...well, I think I've inadvertantly discovered a new one.

Next, here's a delightful Chu Chu Rocket advert. Why can't all games ads be as downright fucking lovely as this? If they were, I'm sure we'd all be much happier. Not only in our work, but also in our dreams. Cough.

Finally, stay tuned as I attempt to modify my DC by changing that grotesque orange LED to a more PAL-friendly blue one...results and pictures will follow soon. Fingers crossed I don't accidentally blow up a) my Dreamcast; or (less importantly) b) myself.

Butterfly Effect

Alternative realities are very cool. If any of the complete and utter bullshit published by 'Academics' on the internet has even a modicum of truth in it, there is a possibility that there are an infinate number of alternative Earths where me, you and even Noel Edmunds live totally different lives. In a similar way, there is probably an Earth where the gaming masses aren't brain-dead sheep who's minds are so susceptible to advertising and hype that they ignore truly revolutionary console design in favour of boring, EA funded Sony-manufactured white elephants. On this Earth, if you walk into Gamestation or GAME, you are likely to see the following adorning the shelves:



Good eh?! Also, in this reality there is no such thing as PAL and NTSC - everything is universal! The only problem is that the only edible substance on the planet is Fray Bentos pies. Still, you can't have everything.

Lost and Found

I've been doing some Google Archaeology (TM) today and have discovered some intriguing stuff...
I know I've mentioned the Dreamcast version of Half-Life in the past (see Profile), but according to Wikipedia - the online encyclopaedia, there was another pretty decent first person shoot 'em up destined for the Dreamcast...Halo!

It's true - go here to see for yourself. I loved the original Halo on the Xbox - it was one of the greatest games I've ever experienced. Halo 2 was aaalright, but not as impressive as the prequel in my extremely humble opinion. This is pure speculation, but I suspect that the DC version of Halo was cancelled (if indeed it ever got past the planning stage) due to the failure of the system - but to be brutally honest, the move from the DC to the Xbox was probably the best thing that could have happened to it. As much as I adore the Dreamcast, I just can't see the hardware being able to produce as smooth, seamless and graphically astounding title as the Xbox did.

Anyway, Wikipedia is worth checking out if only to glimpse some of the other titles that never emerged. Further to those, I remember being pretty excited about the Dreamcast's answer to Goldeneye - Take The Bullet (top left). I read about it in a mag...then nothing. Another such game was Picasso (bottom left), a cat burgler simulator with impressive graphics and interesting stealth elements...but alas, that too vanished without a trace. How appropriate...

Finally, what the hell happened to that good looking truck racer 4X4 Evolution?! Answers on a postcard.

Mags, Games & Buffoons

Over the years I have squandered a pretty large sum of cash on gaming periodicals. This is evident by the fact that I now have in my possesion something like 200 mags that chronicle my gaming tastes over the last 15 years. This journey of games-related prose begins in the early days of Amiga Power, Sega Power and Games World, continues through the Golden Age of the Saturn with Mean Machines Sega and Saturn Power, ventures into a land of unimaginable gaming greatness with N64 Magazine and then continues further with Dreamcast Magazine. The quality then takes something of a nosedive as we approach the more current mags, but I live in the hope that some day the Amiga Power team will reform - not unlike the Blues Brothers - and embark on a car chase through games land, crushing Nazis and saving the print mag industry from a slide into oblivion...

However, I digress.

The reason for this post is to showcase some of the Dreamcast Mags that I have been able to recover for the 'Yard. Here's a rundown of the different mags:

Official Dreamcast Mag; Dreamcast Magazine; DC-UK; Dreamcast
Monthly and the ubiquitous Mr Dreamcast. I also have a large number of Dreamcast launch related mags and for this reason have accepted them in (see Total Control and EGM in the above picture). And while they are obviously now defunct, there are some excellent reviews and features, although Official Dreamcast Mag's feature on the future of gaming (in the year 2050, no less) that still features Sega Hardware was perhaps a little optimistic...However, this buffoon (above) obviously still managed to glean some joy from it.

The 'Yard's games quota has also taken another boost - the new arrivals are Unreal Tournament and Rush 2049. Unreal is a wierd one, it's intended for multiplayer action but online gaming was left out for the PAL release. This is now irrelevant though due to many of the DC online servers being shut down and I don't have a Dreamcast Broadband Adaptor anyway (thanks to Diogo for the pointer) - dial up is sooo 1999, darling. Rush 2049 on the other hand is more of the same from the Rush series - big, bold, garish, FUN racing. Superb.

Reviews will follow when I get round to it. Shcnaarf.

Mr Newton I Presume...?

Today was a wierd one. An equal doseage of good and bad luck...and a brilliant advert for the remarkable (and previously scoffed at) claim that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. First, the Good - I picked up Ferrari F355 AND Star Wars Episode 1: Racer for the frankly unbelievable price of 79p. Yes, SEVENTY NINE PENCE STIRLING.

Granted, there was a bit of multiple Chu Chu Rocket/Toy Racer exchange action going on, but 79p? Awesome. If I'd been in Tesco and not Gamestation, I could have probably only got a Muller Fruit Corner and a can of 7up for that. Here's a picture of my reciept, with a strategically placed highlight to show the cash tendered. Apologies for the quality of the picture, but that's what passes for Macro when you pay £40 for a camera. Oh yeah - secondly, and perhaps slightly less important than anything Dreamcast related...I've got a job. Woo and indeed Hoo.


Now for the bad. My trusty mountain bike was stolen...

I wouldn't mind, but it had TWO thick chains securing it to a designated cycle park and it was outside a bank with LOADS of people walking past. This leads me to conclude that even though people exiting and entering the bank clearly saw this scumbag chewing through my chains with a pair of bolt cutters, nobody did anything about it. Why are people today such gutless fucking bitches?! If only Red Dog was around.

And to add insult to injury, Colin FUCKING Murray - that pretentious FUCK off Radio 1 (left), has managed to smarm his way into presenting Channel 5's football coverage. IS THERE NO JUSTICE?!?!?!

It's Official

Seeing as I am now an Official UK: Resistance Sega News Scout, I thought it only proper to emblazon my blog with this little beauty:

I had previously posted it fraudlently but was discovered and quickly removed it before the authorities found out. However, it's back - and the 'Yard will wear its badge with pride. Much Obliged Cmdr.

Role Reversal

I just thought I'd share this with you, the loyal Dreamcasters who continue to read my inane DC related ramblings: I have managed to aquire the world's coolest and unique mobile phone wallpaper -

Yes, I am that sad, but I can guarantee no-one else has got it. So There.
Also, in a sort of semi-interesting-for anyone-who-actually-gives-a-shit kind of way, there is a nice little sense of irony about this: The Dreamcast has an NEC PowerVR chip inside it; and now my NEC 343i has a Dreamcast inside it. Sort of. Oh, how I laughed...and then cried.

In other news, some loveable little rascals set a stolen car on fire at the back of my house on Friday night (see below). The explosion that took place was pretty loud and nearly (but not quite) as impressive as the explosions seen in passable PC - DC conversion/cash in Incoming.

Crime: always entertaining!

Reality...

...Incoming

To be honest though, It's becoming hard for me to tell the difference these days...

Oh, and here's a new review of 4 Wheel Thunder.

Shenmue...on a Saturn?!

My comments about Shenmue in a previous post, with hindsight, seem a bit on the harsh side. I still don't think it's the 'epoch making, genre defining' (sic) extravaganza that I was lead to believe it was by such magazines as DC-UK and Mr Dreamcast (which is by far the worst magazine to ever crawl off the drawing board (even worse than if you rolled Games World and Mean Machines Playstation up into one hideous lexicon of filth)).

Since then, I've been doing some research into Shenmue 2 and how much it would cost (i.e. looking on eBay and Google)...and I inadvertantly stumbled upon some rather interesting information - Shenmue was apparently going to be a Saturn game!

Heres a few shots from the unfinished Saturn version:
According to various websites, Shenmue started life as Virtua Fighter RPG (a name I actually remember from my Saturn playing / playground defending days), it then changed to a Dreamcast game called Project Berkley (I also remember watching a teaser video for PB on a disc that came with the Jap system a mate bought on import a few years back). Obviously, Project Berkley became Shenmue, but I find it fascinating that the Saturn could handle a game world like Shenmue's. Take a look at this video of the Saturn version of Shenmue. I know the fact that the Saturn version is called Shenmue and not Virtua Fighter RPG presents something of a paradox, but I dont write this shit...well, I do, but not that shit. You understand.

A Salute

In one of the biggest acts of generosity I have ever been privy to, I must explain the ins and outs of the 'Yard's most resent acquisition. Last week, I won an eBay auction for a copy of 4 Wheel Thunder and paid the bargain price of around 98p for it. When, after several days it hadn't arrived, I emailed the seller to enquire as to the game's whereabouts. The seller replied that he had forgot to post it, and to make up for it was sending me some other items too...





Anyhow, they arrived this morning. Not only was 4 Wheel Thunder in the box, but there were NINE Dream On demo disks (complete with boxes); Soul Fighter (fully boxed); Chu-Chu Rocket (fully boxed); WWF Attitude and a Logic 3 game rack!! All for less than a quid! To be fair, I feel a bit tight - I've waited much longer than a week for other stuff to be delivered that's come from eBay.

However, for this spectacular act of generosity, The Dreamcast Junkyard also satutes you, eBay member michaelcutajar.

Also, a special mention must, I feel, go to the amoebas who have been posting non-sensical and frankly grammatically pathetic comments on this blog. If you look at the comments on the previous post, you will be able to read a ridiculous monologue by a user called 'verbalabuser.' What point this idiot is trying to make is beyond me, but if you have any thoughts, please let us all know. As I now have the power to moderate which comments are published, please do not waste your time writing rubbish as it will never get past your spunk-ridden keyboard.

Thanks for reading folks!

Sacrilege

Regular visitors to the 'Yard will testify that the Dreamcast is still the greatest console that you can get for under 30 notes - the Gamecube just doesn't come close. Furthermore, the DC's games library is without a doubt one of the greatest to ever grace a console - why else would Sony have shamelessly plundered so may titles for conversion to the PS2? However, it would seem to this keen-eyed gamer that the folks at Microsoft are also guilty to some extent of raping the DC for their own ends...The 360 controller is a blatant fucking rip off!!! Look:


This isn't the only console similarity I've noticed either:


So what if the Pippin is pre-Dreamcast - just further proof that the excellence of the Dreamcast transcends not only space, but time too.
In the spine tingling and immortal words of Jeffry Maning: "...the Soul still burns."

Speaking of Space and Time, I watched Treasure Planet today. What a great film...and that ending...I was fighting back the tears. Oh, and yes...I've discovered how to do links. He He!

Tumours

Today I ventured away from the friendly vibrant Manchester suburb I call home and took a journey to Salford for a job interview. For the uninitiated, Salford is like a tumour growing on the side of one's face - ugly, festering and very malignant. Such is the relationship between Manchester and Salford.
However, due to my eagerness to find some sort of employ, I arrived at my foul destination an hour early. To avoid slipping into a boredom induced coma, I had a walk around the local shopping 'complex.' Imagine my shock when I saw a Gamestation! I went in and discovered not one; not two; not three; but FOUR shelves of Dreamcast games!!!! FOUR FUCKING SHELVES!

And there were some decent games there too - all as part of GS's terriffic Buy One Get One Free offer. Virtua Tennis, F355, Tony Hawk 2, Unreal, Quake 3...I could go on. Unfortunatley, I didnt have my credit card with me. Bollocks.

I left empty handed and took a wrong turn - this lead me to some sort of flea market/bring and buy sale (see right). I wandered around and the surgically implanted Dreamcast Case Spotter(tm) that resides in my cerebral cortex was switched from auxilliary power mode to full on turbo mode. Lo and behold - I spotted a familiar blue case peering out from inside a box of brick a brac under a table. Trickstyle and Chu-Chu Rocket, surrounded by copied versions of LeMans, Space Channel 5, 18 Wheeler and more. Upon enquiring as to the price of these items, the grubby urchin behind the 'counter' retorted: "four quid each." "Fuck that" was my reply.

So the moral of the story is this my fellow Dreamcasters - always be on the look out for DC related stuff, it's everywhere - you just need a keen eye and a Dreamcast Case Spotter(tm) embedded into your brain to find it.

However, never pay more than £3!

"Hmmm, I see..."

Having recently had my life status bumped down to Unemployed Bum, I have suddenly found myself with a bit of extra time on my hands. Therefore, in between fruitless trips to the Jobcentre, having pointless conversations with 'recruitment' agencies and whiling hours away in the gym, I have been playing Shenmue.

To be totally honest, while I'm very impressed with the graphics, the actual game leaves a lot to be desired. The game world certainly looks very lifelike and suitably 1980s, but when it comes to the crunch, it just isn't as good or free flowing as many would have you believe. Infact, it's nothing more than a very pretty version of Wolfenstein 3D. Let me explain.

There may appear to be endless rows of shops, houses and people to engage in conversation, but ultimatley no-one has anything to say and you are just directed towards the next point by plot specific characters. There are some nice diversions thrown in (like collecting the plastic toy eggs from the vending machines and stuff), but if you stripped all the superficial aesthetics away, Shenumue's game world would be a series of long grey corridors (streets) with lots of little empty rooms leading off them (the shops/houses etc).

Maybe that's a little harsh, but you'll see what I mean if you play it. There are loads of lovely little gardens just waiting to be trampled on - but wait! This washing line seems to be hindering my wantonly destructive progress. That'll be the cold, grey metallic wall.

Still, for the PS2 obliterating graphics alone - I love it.

Maybe I could get a job down at the docks like Ryo - all I need is a brown leather jacket and half a tub of shockwaves on my thatch. Salford Quays here I come...

Pictures...that move?!

Click on the links below to view some interesting Dreamcast related videos courtesy of Google Video.

Japanese Dreamcast launch advert
A brilliant Dreamcast documentary
View the unreleased Dreamcast Half-Life advert

Let me take you by the hand...

Recently, the Dreamcast Junkyard took a trip away from the gritty northern cess-pit it calls home (Manchester, left) to a promised land where we were told the streets are paved with gold and kerbed with blocks of diamond: Lahndan Tahn (London Town). Imagine our distress when the streets infact turned out to be pretty similar in construction to those in our own city. When the initial wave of disgust faded, we took a wander around and found it to be quite a pleasant place - except for the South African gentleman who called me a 'twat,' 'wanker' and 'dickhead' for leaving a Coke bottle on a table outside his 'cafe.' A thoroughly suitable ambassador for a country that may best be described as a 'Shithole.'

The trip was meant to be a little break from the familiar sights of home, but was actually a secret Dreamcast bargain gathering mission. However, the mission was almost a complete failure due to my complete failure to spot a single games shop in our fair Capital. Sure, you wouldn't really expect to find a game shop on Carnaby St or Downing St (er...), but we even ventured down to Whitechapel on the tube. One of the only games related things I saw was this shut down Sega Casino:
Other shut down games things included the legendary Gizmondo shop:
Of course, the trip didn't consist solely of looking for Dreamcast related stuff, but I was quite amazed by fact that I actually knew some of the road layouts simply from playing MSR!!! Who said games aren't educational?!Look! Is it London or is it MSR? Look! I've gained loads of Kudos blazing up and down this street and through that arch!

As you can appreciate, my insistence on stealing a Vauxhall Astra and doing a burnout next to the Houses of Parliament didn't go down too well...

Holy Shit

Somebody I know actually PLAYING HOUSE OF THE DEAD WITH TWO GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As Nickelback said: "A hero will save us...!"

It Lives!!!

By the power of Limewire, the ledgendary Sega MegaDrive lives on - on the Dreamcast! I've tried downloading Dreamcast stuff through Limewire loads of times, but every time it comes down, my trusty AVG pops up to tell me it's actually a Worm or a Trojan Horse cleverly disguised as a ROM for a defunct console. What an ingenius way of trying to infect the world. Here's a few poor quality shots of a DC immitating a MegaDrive, and not a sign of MacReady anywhere...

This download actually worked though (obviously) - 450 MD Roms and the emulator. It took about 2 hrs to download, but it was definatley worth it. All the classics are on the disk that I burned with Diskjuggler - All the Sonics, Flashback, Outrun...you name it, it's here. The people that created it (Obsidian) have even included a clever joypad converter that maps the MD buttons to the obscene DC pad. Cool.
The sound emulation in some of the games is very Amstrad (ie basic bleeps instead of the true sounds from the cart), but there are a few interesting things included, such as a Beta of never released sequel to Zero Tolerance, er...Zero Tolerance 2. for the uninitiated, ZT was basically the Mega Drive's answer to DOOM, but nowhere near as good.

On the evidence of this emulator, I wonder if a Saturn emulator/boot disky thing would be feasable for the DC. Something a bit like Bleemcast! but obviously with the added bonus that you could play NiGHTS...

The Ultimate Collection

I thought that my fledgling collection of DC stuff was pretty impressive, what with keyboards, mice, guns, microphones etc. However, it appears that there are at least a few people out there who also harbour a dark secret...a Samba-De-Fucking-Amigo sized secret...


Yes, this collection belongs to Gary, the genius behind the almost retail quality resurection of Half Life. This is a pretty impressive collection (check out the Sonic figures!) and I've also noted the presence of 3 PSX games - Metal Gear Solid, Tekken 3 and GT 2...this means only one thing - Bleemcast!
Gary, the Dreamcast Junkyard salutes you and your quest to keep us all Dreamcasting!

Quakecast

I've done it! I've finally got Quake to run on my DC! Heres the proof:

I had to download a Utopia boot disc and burn it with Nero, then I downloaded the Quake executable files and put those on a CD-R. It works great and is basically just the PC version. It has all of the intro hub levels (where you choose your chapter and difficulty etc) and can be played with either a keyboard/mouse set up or the joypad (the layout is like Turok's with the analogue for looking and the A,B,X,Y buttons for strafing. D-pad changes weapons, R is fire and L is jump.

Overall, the game has a very good frame rate and is pretty sharp, but I feel it looks a bit Quake64-ish due to the slightly blurry textures. However, it's another addition to the 'Yard, and my second successful DC download after the DivX player I got a few weeks back. If you want some Quake action on your DC, follow the link to QuakeDev on the right. Alternatively, if you send me two CD-Rs and an SAE, i'll hapilly burn you a boot disk and a copy of Quake. Email via my profile.

Testing 1,2,3 etc

Yep, here's the microphone. Wierd little thing aint it. Not really in the same league at the Xbox headset. The little softie on top comes off to reveal a tiny directional mic that can be twisted into various positions via the bendy wire. The whole mic bit also comes away from the 'base' which slots into the joypad like a VM with no screen. The jack only has a single band so I presume its a mono mic (my media degree coming in useful for the first time since I graduated 3 years ago). A very interesting little device. Not sure about the green 'softie' though - whats up with a blue one Sega?!










Most Played

Seeing as my new obsession with the Dreamcast is just that - an obsession, I find myself buying DC games whenever I see them...but not really playing them! I now have 35 games for the DC, but only sit down and play about 4 or 5 of them regularly. Indeed, some of them I've never actually bothered playing since I bought them (Rainbow Six, Shenmue, Chu Chu Rocket); and others I've played once or twice and them consigned them to the bottom of the pile (Carrier, Soul Fighter, Worms etc) simply for being shite. The only ones I do actually play are MSR, Jet Set Radio and Super Runabout. As the DC is the only console I have, I suppose I should play it more, but when do you get the time?! Not a real update, just a Sunday morning musing...

And there's more...


Seems like ages since I updated this thing but there's been a few additions to the Junkyard while I've been away. First of all, a boxed copy of Planet Ring, totally unopened with the Microphone. It's a bit of a curious one this as it's the only dedicated online only game for the DC and is only really meant to be played with people over the net. I hav'nt opened it and loaded it up yet so I'm not even sure if you can 'play' it offline, and since a) my DC isnt set up for online because I've got broadband and b) only about 3 people in the entire world still use their DCs to go online, I doubt there's any point. But it's nice to have in the collection as an added bonus I suppose.

Other new items are Shenmue, totally boxed up in the cardboard sleeve and in mint condition; a copy of Rainbow Six (that came free with Shenmue as part of Gamestation's Buy One Get One Free offer); Super Runabout - my new favourite DC game (and shows that the DC probably could quite comfortably pull off a conversion of GTA 3 or Vice City); and last but not least WWF Royal Rumble. I'm by no means a fan of the 'sport' - infact I think it's ridiculous - but its a decent multiplayer game when you can convince people to play on a Dreamcast! GOD DAMNED PHILISTINES!!