Another Dreamcast First?

The Virtual Console on the Wii is rather nice, isn't it? I especially like it for N64 games as I never owned one of those and the games look better than they did on the original console. Legal emulation seems to be the way to go if companies don't want people emulating games behind their backs, although I think they might be over pricing some of the games..

But did you know Sega actually experimented with a similar idea in Japan for the Dreamcast? Yeah, either did I, but I bumped into this video on Youtube, where the descriptions reads:

"Dream Library was video game download service for Dreamcast.(Similar to Virtual Console for Wii.) It was possible to play by downloading the games of MegaDrive(Genesis) and PC Engine(TurboGrafx-16).Only five trial versions that can play for 15 minutes by using Dream Passport 3(web browser software for DC) can play now."

Judging by the video (which demonstrates 5 Mega Drive games including Ghouls N Ghosts, which shows they must of had some third party agreements on this other than Hudson), it runs on the same emulator as the American release Sega Smash pack, which played and looked perfectly fine but has shit sound emulation, making the games sound a lot worse than they actually were. No TurboGrafx games are shown so my guess is they never got around to emulation for that (otherwise there would of been a leak). I like the idea of a free 15 minute trial version though, Nintendo should probably set something up like that themselves.

I can't think of any earlier cases of consoles letting you download emulated back catalogs of older systems like this (Sega Channel doesn't count as that was for downloading games for the same system). Looks like this would of been another one of those things Sega could have expanded on if the Dreamcast kept going. Another "what if", if you like.

Resident Evil 2

Oh my gosh! I'm sitting here, with that rare feeling of satisfaction that one can only get from the completion of a videogame that you have loved every minute of... The fact that I'd amassed (a not too respectable), 36 hours, 35 minutes and 4 seconds to do so (on the easiest option) is testimony to the old adage, "Time flies when you're having fun..."

Let's put things into perspective... I had reached what I can only describe as 'gaming impotence' recently; despite having nine consoles to play on, and a plethora of unplayed and unfinished games to choose from... Plus the, as yet, untapped potential of my Wii, but nothing was doing it for me...

Then came a sustained period of sobriety, which as you may or may not know, is unusual for the Father... In a rare moment of clarity I knew what game I should be playing, and what console I should be playing it on... I dispatched one of the gingers upstairs to fetch RE2 for the Dreamcast. Since playing RE4 and RE: Code Veronica, plus RE1 in various guises (with varying degrees of success) the franchise had become a firm favourite. I'd had RE2 for years, and besides, I needed to gen up on the whole Umbrella saga before my most anticipated Wii release, Umbrella Chronicles...

From the moment I popped into that little white box of dreams, it was "love at first bite". Now, for those of you who've played the RE franchise chronologically, your first introduction to Leon. S. Kennedy and Ada Wong will have been in RE2... But I started at the most recent and worked my way backwards. Meeting Leon, Ada and Claire Redfield in RE2, was like meeting an old group of friends... and they were all in the same game! (Plus Leon looked so dashing in his Raccoon City Police uniform! (LOL!)

Now, for those of you in the know, RE2 was ported to the Dreamcast from the PS1. At the time (and indeed since) people were unhappy to receive inferior ports which despite some polishing, did not utilise the full graphical potential of the Dreamcast. This might be an issue for some, but not for me... You see, as someone who can still be 'wowed' by graphics on the Saturn, these graphics looked pretty hot! They were pretty much somewhere between the quality of the Saturn original and RE:Code Veronica...

Oh! But the best was yet to come! You see as a feature of the Dreamcast release, the player was given the option of the 'Arrange Game', where you can play as a Rookie... This option allows you access to more type writer ribbons (save potential) and both a machine gun and rocket launcher with unlimited ammo... Hoo-fucking-ray!!!

Now I know that will appall some of you more experienced and skilled gamers, I expect you'll accuse me of cheating... but for me it was like Christmas come early! It meant that I could gain access to the excellent storyline, characters and cut scenes, without the infuriating prospect of the frustration of playing for hours and then dying before a save point, or having to fight insanely tough bosses with the equivalent firepower of a pea shooter! The whole experience has been sublime from start to finish...

Now, my Dreamcast horror survival options are many, I've got Blue Stinger (with official strategy guide), Half Life (with official strategy guide!), RE 3 Nemesis, Ill Bleed and finally... Da da... D fucking 2!!!!

All these lovely titles to cram in before November the 3oth when Umbrella Chronicles comes out and I remember why I bought a Wii in the first place! Any way my lovelies, its late and I'm still reeling from an unexpected (free) trip to Old Trafford, where I saw the mighty MUFC knocked out of the Carling Cup by minnows Coventry City FC! Happy Days!!

So I'll love you and leave you, but expect another Shenmue post from me soon! This is FK signing off...

Good Night Dear Children, Wherever You Are...

I've revived Sega Freaks, now 'Sega Memories'.

Just to let you guys here know, I've decided to revive my old Sega Blog project, under the new name of Sega Memories. Having a rummage in my loft, sorting out all the odd Sonic stuff I collected as a kid inspired me to bring it back. Before I felt the blog didn't have a key focus, like how the Junkyard family of blogs each focus on a Sega console, and I think that's why I ended up leaving it behind. Now, the blog will mainly focus on the non-gaming side of my Sega obsession: the culture, music, merchandise, advertising...anything. If you missed my articles about Sega World, the Sega Tour Bus, Sega Trading cards and that Educational film starring Outrun, they're all back up. New articles will be up soon! End Plug!

"Amercian Dreamcast" Lets go buy a Dreamcast 9-9-99

I will admit it. I openly wept while watching this.

Oh Dreamcast! How could Sega stop supporting you?!?!?!?!!?

Ah well. That Dreamcast he bought 8 years ago lives undeath.

Corn on the cob cat? How about Dreamcast cat?

Just found this last night on Youtube. I have a perfect excuse for posting this!

Someone make a GIF out of this ammediantly!

D2 Video Review. Rummage! American Style!

My first attempt at a game review video and it shows.

I didn't cover everything I wanted to and the voice-over sucked. Plus the video game footage is poor quality.

Points I couldn't get in:

1. The music in this game was kick ass.

2. The ending movie in this game has a timer showing how much time has passed since 2000. Or I suppose if you played the game in 1999, how long until the new millennium.

3. This game was protested in America by feminist groups, which makes NO sense since it has a female protagonist facing down the ultimate evil all by herself. There is a cut scene where an insane dude shoots a helpless woman IN THE FACE, so it was a pretty intense game. But there really wasn't any anything blatantly misogynistic. Except for the tentacle oral rape of course. But I am sure that monster would have done that to any victim regardless of gender.

4. I wasn't clear on the whole "bootleg" version thing. Due to the insane amount of FMVs in this game copied versions are mostly scaled down graphically and don't look as good as the real thing. Hands down D2 is the most difficult Dreamcast game to copy. Which means you should be like me and get a real copy.

I hope you get the general point. I really liked the game.

X-box Live arcade gets some updated Dreamcast goodness.

See that picture?

The cat represents the X-box 360.

The corn represents Dreamcast games like Rez and Ikaruga.

As you can see the X-box 360 is really enjoying the Dreamcast goodness. And I am sure gamers will too.

...Ok fine. I just wanted an excuse to post that .gif. But really a HD edition of Rez and an updated version of Ikaruga are being released on X-box Live. Rejoice.

-Articles linked from Kotaku.

EDIT: Racketboy has a much better article up about this that I somehow missed before. Go. Read. It.

Btw: One of these games (Rez) was mentioned in an article that Gagaman(n) wrote awhile back. Of course he said it should be remade for the Wii, not the 360. Still I think 1/2 points should be awarded.

9-9-99...was yesterday.

It seems me of all people forgot what yesterday was! Only the 8th anniversary of the Dreamcast's American launch! Of course, I won't be celebrating till October 14th, when it was launched in the UK, but this is the day many people class as the Dreamcast Birthday, even though it was out in Japan in November of 1998, which makes it NINE years old for those guys. Just a reminder of how good the American launch line up was though, which we'll probably end up doing every year. I found this rather helpful guide which even has the average scores for each game, from the blog Modern Geek.

Aerowings 69
Airforce Delta 65
Blue Stinger 71
CART - Flag to Flag 64
Expendable 61
House of the Dead 78
Hydro Thunder 80
Monaco Grand Prix 70
Mortal Kombat Gold 55
NFL 2K 91
NFL Blitz 2000 80
PenPen TriIcelon 64
Power Stone 84
Ready 2 Rumble 84
Sonic Adventure 87
Soul Calibur 97
TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat 60
Tokyo Xtreme Racer 71
Trickstyle 72

Average: 73.8
Top 5: 88.6
# of games scoring 80%+: 7
Number of games: 19

That's the officially proven best launch line up for any console...ever. The Japanese launch in comparison was pathetic. It had everything: sports games that sell like hot cakes and were actually good, the best fighting game of all time, and Sonic the god dam Hedgehog. If that's not evidence that there is something wrong with A) the gaming industry and/or B) the general public when a console with a day one line up like that still manages to be a commercial flop. Still, there's no point crying over it (really, there isn't), all the more great gaming for us real gamers who saw a good thing when it happened.

I must admit the Dreamcast has taken a bit of a back seat in my house recently. In the last 2 weeks I've blown quite a bit of money on three other systems: a GP2X (homebrew handheld that can play of emulated stuff, which is ace), and most ironically both a Playstation 2 (great deal: sliver slim model with 14 games and a bunch of other stuff for £55) and an X-Box (with 3 games and a Crazy Taxi like yellow and red sticker-job that is not as tacky as it sounds for £20). This doesn't mean I've forgotten about my all time favorite system though: while buying a accessory for my GP2X at Play Asia I also decided to purchase Last Hope, which is currently being sold for just £15 there. Redspot Games deserve all the money they can get for supporting the Dreamcast all these years later.

At this time of celebration though, Sega have ecided to remind us that they are soon to stop supporting the Dreamcast for good by cancelling their repairing service. This is Sega, who we have all seen plummet ever since they quit making games for the DC, hammering the final nail into the coffin.

But remember, the Dreamcast is an UNDEAD console. It will punch it's way out of that coffin Kill Bill Vol.2 style and eat the flesh of all the Sega execs that did it wrong! The Dreamcast is a reminder of what Sega used to be about, before they became about nothing but rushed-out-the-door Sonic games and movie licenses. This was Sega at their creative peak, and a golden era for gaming. Gaming hasn't been quite as exciting since.

Ok, so it may be a day late, but there's my little tribute. I'll finish it off with a probably rather obvious Youtube embodiment...

Dreamcast Hangover.

I am feeling a bit blue this morning.

You see I was celebrating the Dreamcast's birthday last night with a few rounds on the off-white box.

Yep. In North America 9-9-99 only meant one thing...the Dreamcast (and stocking up on canned goods and bottled water for no good reason *Y2K*). And now so many years later the Dreamcast is still a wonderful gaming device enjoyed by many.

Yet this auspicious occasion was marred by this article that reminds us of of the sad truth that soon Sega will no longer support it's greatest creation. You should still read that Kotaku article though, the comments people listed below it are a testament to how great the Dreamcast truly is.

So go to Sega's website while you can if you need to grab a manual for the Dreamcast or a Sega Dreamcast game (Scroll down to the bottom of the manual's page). Or consider sending in your Dreamcast in to Sega to be fixed if it's a limited edition one.

I currently have 4 Dreamcast's in the house. One mint condition one hooked up to my VGA adaptor at my computer desk. My Sega Sports limited edition is in secure storage in my closet. Down cellar I have Dreamcast that has been professional repaired and a beater Dreamcast that I use the most. The only thing that has ever gone wrong with any of them was the control board blowing up the F1 fuse in my beater model. But a quick fix and that Dreamcast is still going strong. If you make sure that they are on a cool hard none-carpeted surface Dreamcast consoles can keep working for a long time... But it would be nice if I could send in my Dreamcasts to Sega to get professionally repaired after this month is over. Too bad.

Still it's not all bad news. While I was at a game store recently a young gamer who looked about 14 years old was buying Dreamcast games. I heard him tell the store clerk that he had only recently got a Dreamcast and that it was his favorite console. It's nice to know that the system keeps getting new fans even as Sega keeps trying to pull the plug on it.

But Sega can't end the Dreamcast. It has a life of it's own and it will never die.

All hail the undead console. All hail the Dreamcast.