Nomad Service Resumed

How do. Whilst it’s true that since my last (proper) update (the last one was shite – I know) I’ve bought more Dreamcast games than were released in total for the pile of decomposing hog remains that is the Tiger, my ‘working’ erm ‘life’ has been quite ‘hectic,’ and as such my Junkyard related duties have been neglected somewhat. However, this will be rectified posthaste. How so? By telling you what the fuck I’ve been spending the equivalent of a good piss-up on over the last few weeks, that’s how! Well, I say ‘good’ piss-up. What I actually mean is ‘good’ if you’re a ketamin addled, illiterate 16 year old abortion of a child from Salford. Y’see – the total sum of money spent on expanding my already burgeoning archive of Dreamcast games is roughly the same as the amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance that the average hoodie-wearing scrote blows on White Lightning or Pulse Cider over the course of a weekend. So, for those unfamiliar with the rampant social decay in inner-city modern day Britain: about 20 quid. But anyway – The Dreamcast Junkyard is an impartial source of information and as such, all previous comments on chavs, cider, dole and Salford are null and void.

In a revolutionary overhaul of the way I bleat Labrador shit about what I’ve recently bought, I’ve decided to dedicate individual posts to said games. Not only does this allow me to update (almost) daily – it also allows me to wax lyrical in more depth about the game in question, blowing away the notion that maybe, just maybe, I haven’t actually bought the game but merely lifted gameplay details from Wikipedia, bastardized the article and offered it up as my own experience. As a side note, I’d also like to point out that this has never happened in the past. On this site, at least…

The Nomad Soul
PC ports. Bizarre creatures that were touted as being commonplace in the early days of our favourite console’s life. Hidden & Dangerous, Monaco GP2, Incoming…all PC ports. All wank, I hasten to add. But what of The Nomad Soul? A game developed in part by none other than Ziggy Stardust himself. The PC version was quite well received by the gaming press if I remember rightly, so a DC conversion seemed on the cards from the off considering the Windows CE…er…stuff inside the Dreamcast. Quite weird bearing in mind it’s hardly the kind of thing console gamers usually want to play. For that, read Poke-fucking-mon. Or Need For Speed: Underground 9 - Sponsored by Road & Smack (your be-atch up) Magazine.
Giggidy Giggidy - Allll Riiiight!

So, Nomad Soul. You play – strangely – yourself. Yourself invited by a dude called Kay’l (snigger!) to inhabit his body and basically take over his existence in order to discover why his life’s gone to shit in recent weeks. Geez - If I could’ve done that circa August 2003, there’s a strong possibility I’d be approx 87% happier in life right now. The difference between me, circa August 2003, and Kay’l though is that he’s a cop residing in the futuristic alien city of Omikron and I was an unemployed bum living in a gun-crime ridden district of Manchester.

Upon answering Kay'l’s call for help – simply by turning your Dreamcast on, I might add – you are told virtually nothing except that his world is under threat and that you are the only one who can help. Not to put you on the spot or anything. After that, you’re thrust into Kay’l’s 3D, fully explorable world. Forget that the world into which you are ‘thrust’ is a dystopian, segregated, fog ridden metropolis and you’ll be fine. Welcome to the city of Omikron. A city that runs to the dulcet tunes of David Bowie and is encapsulated by an enormous crystal dome – minus Richard O’Brien – that protects its inhabitants from the harsh winter blowing a gale outside. Well, probably more than a gale, but you get the (world destroying) idea.
So, you’re in a foreign body, no idea what the crack is and you’re in a strange alien city. First thing I’d do is hit the bars, check the manhood and then pull a bird - but for the sake of videogame coherence, you are instructed to seek out Kay’l's apartment in order to piece together what it is you’re meant to be doing. From here, you discover that Kay’l is a member of the fuzz (that is, a police officer), disappeared a week ago whilst on duty with his partner, his partner has since turned up brown bread (dead) and that he’s a prime suspect for the murder. Oh, and he’s been assaulted by a demon. Cue much running about trying to find out what happened to your partner, quite why you’ve become Derek Acorah, completing side missions and shagging Kay’l’s missus. Rock on!
Shit jokes and innuendo aside, The Nomad Soul is quite a unique game on the Dreamcast. It’s a sort of paranormal detective story with you cast as the detective. You start with no knowledge of where you are, but through clever use of the in-game computer system (known as the ‘Sneak’) you can piece together a coherent idea of what’s going on and what’s required of you. At heart, The Nomad Soul is a 3D third person adventure but in certain situations the perspective switches – sometimes to first person for shooting sections; and sometimes to side-on for the fighting sections. Shenmue Lite? You bet your ass.

You start the game in a sort of Blade Runner-esque cityscape full of police droids and impolite citizens, but rest assured that the game progresses out of the futuristic squalor. This is because Omikron is quartered into different sections that have their own cultures and technological styles, all of which are completely sealed off from the others to control population. Inevitably, you will get to venture into these alien environs and you’ll also get to migrate bodies – hence the name The Nomad Soul. In an effort not to destroy the storyline for those who have yet to sample the delights of the game, I will desist from revealing all.

Basically, The Nomad Soul is a kick-ass action RPG with slight frame rate issues and crap first person shoot ‘em up sections. Its story is original and the music is supplied by David Bowie. Anything else…? Oh yeah – you get around by calling cabs called Sliders. You can’t actually drive them, they’re controlled by the CPU. Which is a bit shit, hence:


Verdict: The Nomad Soul ROCKS!
Next up? The slightly less impressive Dino Crisis


fatherkrishna said...

Stunning appraisal of a very unique and intriguing game. I had this (by accident, it arrived in an eBay bundle) played it a bit and then lost it. Bastard! Now I wish I knew where it was...

Good work fella!

Tom Charnock said...

Thanks FK - Yeah, Nomad Soul is a quality little game, I was quite suprised by how good the DC version is. Something I forgot to mention was the annoying way the game loads in real time, so you get little Half Life style jitters along the way. It's nothing major though.

Anonymous said...

Whats up with that TIME cover about UK youth getting violent and stuff, sooner or later they are going to end up like our American youth!!

Caleb said...

I have this game in shrink wrap at home. I never had a chance to play it yet...I dunno if I want to open it since NIB Dreamcast stuff is getting rarer.