Hello there, Dreamcasters. The recent and rather uncharacteristic spell of exceptionally clement weather (pictured, yesterday) has lead to this week being a bit quiet on the post front. This is no bad thing when the previous post is of such high quality, however. I had a look at those two VMU applications that The Gagaman discovered and have to say that they are both very useful and yet another example of how easy it is for talented programmers to write interesting utilities for our favourite defunct console. I managed to change my background on the bios screen to a rather lovely psychadelic swirl in about 3 minutes of messing around - and if my camera wasn't a complete and utter pile of puss, I'd illustrate with a picture. As it is, it just comes up with black lines so to compensate, here's a picture of a lemon:


My predictions about my changing opinion of Shenmue also appear to be coming true. It is indeed one of the best things ever - and that list also includes Mr T, Button Moon and the smell of freshly cut grass on a sunny afternoon - so it's not to be sniffed at (sorry). I still haven't got to the end of the first game, but I'm getting quite deep into the conspiracy at the docks surrounding the mysterious 'Mad Angels' gang...and there's even some swearing!! Amazing. Although I have been getting slightly annoyed at the amount of slowdown in some areas...

This is mostly when you're driving your forklift truck around and there are quite a few people milling about so it's understandable, but there are some other places where the frame rate grinds to a near standstill. Most noteable is whenever steam/smoke is visible on screen - e.g. go into the arcade/shop at the harbour and position Ryo so that the kettle thing near the door swings past the camera, and get ready for some epilepsy inducing screen juddering!! Literally seconds of fun to be had there then. Speaking of Shenmue, have a gander at this site, Shenmue Master, for some pictures comparing locations from Shenmue to their real-life inspiration.

Found this great site, Game Ads, that features a hur-uge collection of video game related TV adverts from around the globe. Of course, we're only interested in the Dreamcast section, so click here to go straight there. There are some great ads featured, but one can't help but think that the country-specific PAL Online Gaming ads are just a tad close to being classed as jingoistic; and I don't really think depicting the Germans as tracksuit wearing, sun-lounger hogging, mullet-sporting squares is the best way to get them to buy into your product...

The hunt for randomly placed Dreamcast swirls also continues. Here we have some NTSC style orange swirls that somehow managed to escape and set up home on a friend's living room curtains:

The cheeky young scamps.

Just a quick footer - I discovered some music by a talented dude called Jason Mraz (pronounced "Meraz" I think) this week. I'd never heard of him before but a local radio station bequeathed a shed load of promo discs to me and Mr Mraz's album 'Mr A-Z' happened to be included with the other non-descript, student-type crap. Unfortunatley, the CD wasn't in the box but a bit of internet 'research' allowed me to sample some of the songs on the album. It's a bit like James Blunt but without the suicide inducing depression that comes free with every copy of Back to Bedlam; and also a bit like Jack Johnson, but with more energy. Hmmm...not exactly an NME quality review. Verdict: Outstanding. Orders? Get it.


Tom Charnock said...

That VMU Tool worked fine for me - even with the 4 in one joytech vm. Got some more cool Shenmue things to come...I just dont want this to become my own personal shenmue diary...although, that gives me an idea for another blog...:)

Animated AF said...

Yeah, some random VMU's do crash when you open them on VMUTool, I have abour 4 that do that (including a 4-in-1 that I got today)