Dreamcast Game Price Drop...

I've already posted about this over at the Saturn Junkyard, but I'm a little traumatised by recent events over at Gamestation. To cut a long story short, previously Retro friendly Gamestation, has been bought out by Blockbuster and the much blander Game... The high street stores are now owned by Game and the ones nestled in the back of Blockbuster video stores have been bought out by Blockbuster...
Now, my local Gamestation was one in the back of a Blockbuster. It holds many happy memories for me, it's where I collected most of my Dreamcast software. Its where I bought Shenmue 2, when I knew nothing about it, only to be entranced by it for the following year.

It's where I picked up my Dreamcast steering wheel, keyboards, light guns and mouse... where I bought my replacement Saturn when the last one conked out, where I bought my entire Master System software collection and my Game Gear. Its been the mainstay of my expansive video game collection and a place I knew I could always go to browse and maybe score the odd bargain.

Now I know that Caleb recently scored an extensive Dreamcast haul from a major US videogame emporium that had claimed for years it didn't stock Dreamcast stuff. But what I saw on my last visit to 'my' Gamestation, that this place was now dead as a source of Retro Treasures. For there, in a lowly basket was every last piece of Retro kit that the shop had, just dumped and with prices slashed for a quick sale... No dignity, no display, just a random skip full of Dreamcast, Saturn, Megadrive, Gameboy software etc... Had you walked into the store a couple of months before, you would have seen a 'Dreamcast section' and occasionally amongst the mass of WWF games, the plethora of Chu Chu Rockets, the score of Tee Off Golfs and the host of Soul Fighters, you could pick up a pearl...

So what was in the basket then? Well uniformly priced at £1.99 was the following selection...
Loads of Virtua Striker 2, Pod Racing, Virtua Athlete 2K, Aerowings, Sega Bass Fishing, Tomb Raider: Last Revelation... But these weren't always in there boxes... Some were bundled in a plastic sleeve with an elastic bands wrapped round them... One of the interesting items was Aerowings at £1.99... In June that would have cost you £9.99... Now they have decided it is worth £8 less... Go figure!
Now I had been told by the shop's staff that Retro section would still be a feature, but when I saw the devestation layed before me, I was forced to ask what the future of Retro gaming at Blockbuster would be... The answer was that there would not be one... and for me that's just sad.
Sure there's Ebay... we can always go online and boost our collections... But for me personally that's not the same as going into a shop, checking out and thumbing through the selection and walking away with a much coveted title or a piece of hardware... For me it's the end of an era, and another nail in the coffin for our favourite undead console...

Even more worrying, is the fact that a similar fate has befallen the Dreamcast (and Saturn) at Chips, a smaller independent franchise, that previously boasted a Dreamcast and Saturn section, has now moved the games to a Retro cabinet, locked behind glass and unavailable for 'hands on' perusal... That means that in my town, there is no longer a shop where I can pick up Dreamcast goodies... And that's bad...

I know that both Tomleecee and The Gagaman(n) have enjoyed the bounties of Gamestation, but it seems that our shared experience is coming to a close... Let's kick a 40 oz to the curb in honour of our fallen hero... On a positive note, (I always look for a positive spin to any negative situation) on my last visit to Chips, I got a burnt copy of 'Rival Schools' from the nice guy behind the counter, in exchange for the burnt copy of Ikaruga that I gave him a few months before...

So its all good! This is Father Krishna signing out, and saying "Goodnight Children, Wherever You Are..."

Another Game using the Fishing Controller!

Despite not being able to read most of it, Sega Support Site is a very handy resource site with a lot of screen shots of unusual Japanese Dreamcast games (including the dodgy hentai games, so this site isn't completely work safe) and all sorts of other bits and bobs. On my weekly trek of anything with the keyword "Dreamcast" on Youtube I discovered this video that links back to the website, a video of yet another game being played with the fishing controller! Can you guess what other game could possibly use the motion sensing of the Fishing controller? How about the little known Japanese fighter Psychic Force 2012? Yeah, bet you didn't see that coming! To be honest, neither did I, so as soon as I saw the video I went to give it a shot for myself.

Going straight into the game won't give you any results though; you have to tinker a bit with the control settings first. All you have to do is Set the L Trigger to "Light Attack" and the R Trigger to "Strong Attack" and you're all set! Seeing as the motion sensors in the fisher replace those buttons, it makes perfect sense really.

So how does it work? Well, it's not in par with Soul Calibur and Virtua Tennis, that's for sure. In fact, where those games almost felt like proper Wii games (though not quite), this feels more like one of those lazy PS2 ports with rubbish "waggle" controls slapped on. Nothing that you do really translates into the game properly, and it doesn't seem to make a difference which direction you shake the thing, they'll always do the same attacks (of which they're not many in this game anyway). Just about the most satisfaction you'll get from this is swinging to throw projectiles. So I wouldn't exactly go out of my way to buy this game just for the motion controls if I were you, but it's interesting to see another game working none the less.

(Oh yeah, and on the front page of Sega Support Site at the moment is a hell nice Chu Chu Rocket port for the...Mega Drive! Yeah, I'm not kidding! Download the demo ROM and stick it through Gens. Also, here's a link to the website for the new follow up to Dynamite Cop that has just been released in Japanese arcades. Just because.)

Your Dreamcast is still alive *art*

Your Dreamcast is still alive by ~BiBiLeTanuki on deviantART

Sweet Dreamcast art from BiBiLeTanuki (aka Blinky).

I don't know if this has been featured before but I wanted to share it because it was so sweet. Once again it proves how inspiring and artful the Dreamcast can be.

Truly, the Dreamcast is still alive!

Now...say it with me...


Playstation controllers...on my Dreamcast?

It's strange enough that I often buy cheap Playstation games from car boot sales, just so I can test them out using the Bleem beta, and end up sticking to playing them though it (despite the glitches you often have to put up with), when I actually own a Playstation which cost me a measly 5 quid that just sits there waiting to be used, but now I've gone and got me one of these:

I found this on Ebay with a Buy it now of £8, but it also had a "Make Offer" option. I made an offer of £5 and it was accepted, which is nice. They don't often show up on there, but Play Asia sell a few different ones (that look to be a bit better) for about £12 a piece, including one that lets you use Saturn controllers on your Dreamcast. Very handy if you've got, say, the rare Saturn Twin Sticks for Virtual On but don't want to buy the also very rare Dreamcast twin sticks for Virtual On 2. Unlike most of their Dreamcast stuff, they still have these in stock.

Anyway, this one I got is a "Mullennium 2000 (yes, it's actually spelt like that) Magic Converter" that rather poorly states on the back of the package: "Connects DreamCast, PSX controller, your TV as shown. Watch when you want to watch! Play when you want to play!" (What?) It was being sent all the way from Hungary, so it took a little while to arrive (not helped by the Post Office strike we had last week.) but it came through the post as I was chomping on some Corn on the Cob about 12 today.

As the packaging illustrates, you can use a standard PSone Dual Shock, along with a Playstation Steering wheel, of which there is a switch to go between the two (along with a DC plug adaptor hole. Did the PSone steering wheels need a separate plug?) I only have one Playstation controller on me (the one that came with my PSone) so this is all I have tried on it so far. I'll be sure to pick up some cheap bits and bobs to also try on it as well, though.

All the Dreamcast buttons are mapped to the a like parts on the PSone controller, with the left analogue stick on a Dual Shock becoming the analogue control. L2, R2 and the right analogue are not used for anything. I'm not sure if these buttons will function when playing a PSX game via Bleem, though, so I'll have to check that out.


* For many, the Playstation controllers are generally more comfortable than the Dreamcast ones, especially thanks to the nicer buttons and analogues. personally I'm still not used to the shape of these controllers, but after playing Soul Calibur with it for a while I'm growing to like it.

* The button layout is more or less the same (except the D-pad and Analogue being swapped) so playing Dreamcast games with it shouldn't disorientate you (the ultimate test for this will be Crazy Taxi, though, as I have that game down to a art, not even having to remember what button does what).

* Makes playing Playstation games through Bleem a lot easier. Parappa the Rapper with Bleem for example was impossible for me because even with the PSX controller I haven't quite figured out where each shape named button are (seriously, what was they thinking when they named the buttons triangle, square, circle and X?). You can tell I've rarely ever played on a Playstation before can't you?

* The rumble in the Dual Shock will work with rumble pack compatible Dreamcast games, which is nice.

* If you have a mate around for a multiplayer session who is more used to Playstation controllers than Dreamcast ones, than they'll feel right at home if you give them this. Mind you, do you really want to give them an advantage?

* Instead of forking out on a Japanese DC Dance mat, you could pick up a cheap Playstation one for a couple quid and plug that in instead. I'm not too sure how compatible other PSX accessories are with this particular one I have is though, I'll get back to you on that one.

* You could also pick up a better steering wheel. The Dreamcast didn't have many of these but the Playstation had bloody hundreds of them.


* For Dreamcast games, you're gonna have to stick a DC controller in the 2nd port for your memory card much like you would with the Fishing controller, which is a pain when some games can't even read the memory card from the 2nd port.

* This is more a snag with the Dual Shock itself: having to keep turning the analogue stick on. It has a habit of turning itself off in loading screens too, which can be a tad annoying.

* No light gun compatibility. Bleem Time Crisis with the gun is still a no no then.

* According to the packaging, when using a Steering wheel the Brake and Accel triggers are reversed for some reason. I can imagine this being a bit bizarre.

Phew, that's a long post. I presume the "Total Control" converters at Play Asia are better than this cheap one I have, but so far it's doing it's job nicely.

Sega’s new console to be powered by the crushed dreams and tears of Sega fans?

Sega is making remakes and sequels to awesome Dreamcast games!!!!

Sega is NOT making remakes and sequels to awesome Dreamcast games.

In an impressive “fake out” someone released a huge list of beautiful lies. Beautiful beautiful lies

Of course it was false.

My only hope is that this display of the average Sega fan’s ability to create hope and then have that hope dramatically ground into the dirt will show that Sega can indeed create a console that can be powered by sadness and longing…

...so much sadness and longing. I need to go home, listen to emo music and hug my Dreamcast.

(I was just kidding about that last line.)

Media Monday! House of the Dead 2

A quick little media clip to brighten your day. Using the grenade launcher in House of the Dead 2 doesn't make saving victims easier, but combined with the rotten meat/big head mode it can be very entertaining.

Makes me want to pull out my HoD2 disk and "Suffer like G did" all over again.