Splatterhouse Dreamcast Trilogy Released

Pulled from DCEmu

Yet another collection of Beats of Rage homebrews for the Dreamcast has been released.

This time it's all three games in the Splatterhouse remake.

It's the classic Sega game remade for the Beats of Rage engine.

It's amazing how much effort people are putting into these mods.

Check out the special moves for just one of the characters in the game.

*down, up, attack (Head attack)
*forward, down, attack (Slide attack)
*forward, down, forward, attack (Spinning Razor)
*forward, down, up, spacial (Brutal Combo)
*back + attack (Back Punch)

*forward, forward (hold) (Run)
*forward, forward, attack (Shoulder Attack)
*while running press: jump, attack (Long Flying Kick)

*while jumping press: up + attack (Flying Spinning Razor)
*while jumping press: down + attack (Knee attack)

*while grabbing press: up + attack (Kick Blast)
*while grabbing press: down + attack (Heel Attack)

SH part2 Special Move
*back, forward, attack (Special Combo)

SH part3 Special Move
*back, forward, special (Critical Combo)

More about the mod.

Amazing really.

Download Links

DC Evolution


Custom Cover and Art

The Dreamcast Birthday video to end them all.

So how did you celebrate the Dreamcast's 10th anniversary last month? Well, some Japanese guys decided they would buy theirs a cake and have it's side-fan blow out ten candles, which somehow actually worked, as seen in the most pointless video you'll see for quite some time below.

Wow, updates can't get anymore worthless than that.

Top Tens?

It's an endless exercise in naval gazing, and completely subjective to boot, but I've recently been hit with three different 'top ten' Dreamcast software lists and in my humble opinion none of them quite actually hit the spot....

I'll tell you about each of them, and then await your own personal input and fave lists. I actually can't give a comprehensive favourite list, because I actually haven't played all titles yet... Maybe Alone In The Dark, Silver, MDK II or Slave Zero could actually be fabulous... I wouldn't know.

OK: List one, perhaps the most controversial, came from Games TM Magazine (Issue 77.) You may remember I bigged up this particular publication (justifiably) as it gave massive column space to our lovely Dreamcast in the closing overs of 2008...

But here's the top ten from them... They actually sensibly put in a disclaimer, which reads thus:

"Games TM runs lists all the time, but this has been one of the most difficult to compile. Dreamcast has so many essential titles we could probably fill a top 20 with those published by Sega alone. As such, you will notice some inevitable omissions from this rundown. Please don't hate us. We haven't the space to fit them all in."

That's a great cop out, and the sort of thing I'd say whilst hot footing it from a situation where someone had just glassed Mrs. K and I was too weak/fat to fight.

So OK here's the list: (And it's in no particular order)

1.) Shenmue I/II
2.) PSO
3.) JSR
4.) Outtirgger (?????) Not bad, but in the TOP TEN????
5.) Samba De Amigo
6.) Space Channel 5
7.) Crazy Taxi
8.) Chu Chu Rocket (?????) I've always found it pants...
9.) Powerstone (Presumably 1 & 2) Again, I can see it as a good game, but I was always shit at it, so I'm saying hell no!!!
10.) Metropolis Street Racer... OK now I look at it it's actually not that bad... *Cough!*

But!? Ahem??? Exqueeze me??? Where is Soul Calibur? DOA2? Marvel Vs. Capcom? Headhunter? RE: Code Veronica?

OK, now, here's the Retro Gamer 'Dreamcast Special' Top Ten: (And this is in order...)

1.) Soul Calibur
2.) Samba De Amigo
3.) Resident Evil: Code Veronica
4.) Ikaruga
5.) MSR
6.) Shenmue I/II
7.) Caution Seaman
8.) PSO
9.) Skies Of Arcadia
10.) REZ

Apart from the order, and it's not THAT wrong, I'm not gonna grumble about this list... Obviously there's no Blue Stinger in there, no Sonic Adventure, no Headhunter, no House Of The Dead 2, Virtua Tennis or Crazy Taxi, but it seems a more... in keeping with Father K's list, so I'll let it go...

And now the list from Gagaman(n)'s fabulous video post, from G4TV... (and again it's closer to my list so I'm letting it go without a scathing comment...)

10.) Virtua Tennis
9.) HOTD2
8.) Powerstone 1 & 2
7.) Skies Of Arcadia
6.) JSR
5.) PSO Online
4.) Crazy Taxi 1 & 2
3.) Shenmue 1&2
2.) Sonic Adventure 1&2
1.) Soul Calibur

OK! It's there! And I'll sneak back to the first and most controversial list's disclaimer and state that it's virtually impossible to boil down that list to ten essential Dreamcast games.

For me it goes like this...

10.) Blue Stinger... Not 'cos it's great, but perhaps (or because) it's NOT that good, but along with Ecco 2, it was the game that I got bundled with my first Dreamcast... (This was in 2004 peeps, and ashamedly a good two years after I bought my kids a PS2.... But I fucking love Blue Stinger... It's a Dreamcast classic!!!)

9.) Headhunter. Have I ever completed it? NO... Is it a completely gratifying game? NO! But look at the gaming world it furnishes you with... Look at the graphics! Look at the fake advertisements that build the game up in it's alternative fascist America! I t's a master-piece! And it's always got me wondering about how great GTA could have been on the Dreamcast....

8.) Sword Of The Beserk: Gut's Rage. Well the graphics aren't that great, the story is somewhat erratic, but the sum of the experience puts it in at number 8... It was the last Dreamcast game I completed ( I think in Autumn 2008). I enjoyed it immensely! This was a period when I barred myself from current gen consoles, forced myself to bask in the glory of the Dreamcast and enjoyed completing a game that had languished in my DC collection for far too long.

7.) Crazy Taxi 1&2! Well, whilst I love this game and have played it many times on the Dreamcast and indeed in the arcades, the simple and crushing truth is that I'm not that good at it. My desire to hold a class 'A' license and make pots of money have never been realised...
I now whore it out to the kids at my school as this Check it out and enjoy!!!
  • 6.) Caution Seaman! Although many websites will advise you that this is not a 'game', I'd defy you not to know and love this as one of the most essential Dreamcast experiences out there...
Apart from anything else, you get to plug in the Dreamcast microphone into your controller and talk to your human/fish like progenyBulleted List for weeks at a time... What other console would furnish you with the opportunity to raise a anthropomorphic amphibian, from birth till death, and have him remember your vocation, birthday and gaming preferences???? It's a man-fish, that talks back to you... Come on!!!

5.) Sega Rally 2.... OK, maybe I stand alone in thinking this was one of the most essential driving games on the Dreamcast, but after spending years (right up until this one) playing Sega Rally on the Saturn, it might come as no surprise that I loved it's successor. Not as good as it's Saturn dad, and far inferior to it's 360 son, it's still a great driving game that deserves it's place in my top ten...

And now we get down to the big Dreamcast faves...

4.) Sonic Adventure 1&2 : OK, let's be honest! I never completed either of these two titles, but I spent many happy hours titting around with my Chaos on my VMU! And let's face it, Sonic never looked so good as he did running away from the whale that he was determined to escape in the eary stages of SA1...

3.) Resident Evil: Code Veronica: If I had to sum up this game, I'd say it made me beam and cry in equal measure. Beam with joy at the story-line, graphics and game-play and cry at the... erm... story-line, graphics and gameplay. Having picked this up, just after playing RE4 on the PS2, I found this title both enthralling and frustrating. I could wax lyrical on the subject for hours, but as anyone who's been around here for a while will know, I never finished it, watched the closing sequences on Youtube and have been bitter about it until this day.... *COUGH!*

2.) Soul Calibur: Surely the best ever fighting game on any console ever!!! Soul Calibur brought home the magnificence of the Dreamcast to me, not only in how great it looked, but how easy it was to kick the ass of any 'pro' who dared to step up to the plate... I'm still aroused by Ivy's assets to this day and the 'Mission Mode' kept me hooked and collecting art cards and collectibles' for weeks....

1.) No surprises here for anyone that knows me. It's Shenmue I and II. Surely the greatest videogame of all time. I've spent weeks and months in Ryo's world, and hanker for it to this day.
When I first got the 360, this was the second game I played. Having sadly never owned an Xbox, I had even sadlier bought the Xbox version. (BTW I made the word 'sadlier' up to describe how sad I am/was...) It had been sitting there with it's lovely Shenmue 'catch up' DVD.

I could not resist re-living my Dreamcast glory days through on my new 'next gen' console. I'm even thinking of resetting my Dreamcast's date and time so I can wander into Dobuita and bump into Father Christmas....

Anyway, the long forgotten purpose of this post was to invite you all to name your favoutite Dreamcast top ten... I'm intrigued to know your answers!!!

Lame Dux

So December has rolled around and 'quel surprise' so has another announcement from Hucast, namely that the 'new' scrolling shooter for the Dreamcast, Dux, has had it's release date put back again. (It was originally supposed to be issued in July...)

This latest delay announcement came with the following message:

"Another Delay

As the trailer shows DUX has almost reached its final state. So the game itself is pretty much finished but it takes more time to get the game run flawlessly on the Dreamcast - that's the main reason why this game has yet to be released. Currently it's not easy to give an exact release date so you can expect the game early next year.

We hope everyone who has a pre-order for the game is not discouraged by the many delays and understands that we want to make and release an flawless product."

Well I'm afraid I am very "discouraged" by the latest delay. Developers Hucast were quick to take my pre-order money when I was expecting a new Dreamcast game back in July. I don't understand the complication. Of course I wouldn't want a flawed game, but contrast the development process with that of the very slick Redspot Games who delivered us 'Last Hope' and 'Wind And Water Puzzles'.

Personally, I now couldn't give a flying fuck whether or not Dux comes out. I've written off the cash I assigned as a down payment, and any enjoyment I might have had from the game has been forever tainted by the bullshit and bollocks spewed forth from the turds at Hucast.

Sorry if this seems unfair/unreasonable, but it's how I feel. Bah! Humbug!!!

More than just an orange swirl

こんばんは! OK, that's the last Japanese I type unless someone asks me to. Good evening, dear readers. For my first post on the hallowed 'yard, I thought I would bring something special. Something from a distant land. Over here, for whatever reason it is (though I have my opinions) we don't seem to give much of a damn about limited editions. Over in Japan, there have been limited edition game consoles and peripherals since the early 90s. Typically, if someone says they've been playing games from Japan, it'll usually be chipped or modded native hardware, playing 'backup' games/CDRs. Rarely, do people import consoles themselves. There's the large postage cost, the language barrier and the question of power sources (see my reply to "modded DC goodness"). There is, however, a beautiful and rarely seen world of limited edition consoles and peripherals...

This is my Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) Dreamcast system. Sakura Wars is one of the largest RPG and anime franchises in Japan. In 2006 I went to the Sakura Taisen café in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Inside, the waitresses were dressed as the very characters printed on this limited edition Dreamcast. For those of you interested in Sakura Wars, I plan on doing a special feature at some point. There have been many limited edition games, including goodies ranging from calendars to music boxes, included with the games. Anyway, this one is pink (yes, girls either love it or worry about your sexuality), there's a matching controller and VMU too. All boxed. Lovely.

Doesn't this thing look evil?? It's my Regulation 7 Dreamcast. This is my console of choice. Sleek, sexy and very rare. Regulation 7 is related to the Pachinko (Japanese slot game) restrictions on gambling. These Dreamcasts were made for pachinko parlours (in the UK these are seedy "arcades" - think Piccadilly Gardens bus stop arcade), for people to get a feel for what the Dreamcast was about. Showing the "edgy" side of gaming, this black limited edition console really has character. Again, matching black VMU and controller. All boxed. Lovely. Running out of room; I will include my Hello Kitty Dreamcast in a Hello Kitty special in the future :)

Now, a weird peripheral this one. The Densha de Go! controller! Yes, you drive a train in the game. Yes, this is the controller. Yes, that space in the middle of the controller is for your pocket watch. Yes, I feel a bit weird owning one, but the plethora of DC stuff I own hides this weirdo controller... which is actually brilliant for Densha de Go! An often overlooked game, "Let's go Train!" is an excellent arcade conversion. More on that another time though... but you'll love it I am sure.

Anyone reading this on a MacBook, iMac or MacBook Pro? How about anyone owning a phone with a 0.3MP camera on it (VGA)? OK, well, the Dreamcast had a webcam years ago. It is a stand alone digital camera; a webcam and also part of a series of games and 'foto-fun' on the Dreamcast. Again, this is pretty rare folks. The build quality is astounding and it genuinely makes me wonder how the Dreamcast didn't crush the PS2 and DC2 (*we wish*) kill off the PS3 and rival XBOX 360 consoles. Only problem with this is that there's no memory card. That means, you have to upload photos to your Dreamcast and email them. Of course, you can save it on your VMU if you have one...

Which brings me onto my last photo and set of comments. Visual Memory Units. Look at them all. So cute. Why aren't we all walking around now, with something similar to a PSP/iPod Touch that plugs into our 360s? The potential of the VMU was huge. Plugged into arcade games, around a friends. Take your gamer profile with you... again, huge potential. As you can see, the bottom left VMU is the dull generic and UK only model. The others are, clockwise from top left: Godzilla VMU; SEGA direct black; SEGA direct camo; SEGA direct leopard; Astro Boy VMU; Reg 7 VMU; Limited Ed Green; Limited Ed Blue; boring-UK-why-the-fuck-don't-we-do-limited-editions VMU.

So there you have it. My first post and hopefully a little colour into the otherwise drab world of western gaming experiences. There's more to import Dreamcast gaming than an orange swirl...

And then there were six...

Hello world. We've got a new team member here at the 'Yard - a gentleman whose collection of DC stuff is nearly (but not quite) as impressive as my own collection of twigs and tin openers. Ladies and Gents - please welcome マーティン - and for those who don't speak all 572,785,398,003 of the known galactic languages, that's Japanese for Martin. A long time Dreamcast nut, マーティン spent this summer in Osaka and has actually been to Akihabara (rather than just reading about it in dog-eared copies of CVG, like, erm, me) so that more than qualifies the guy to write about his vast DC horde here at the nerve centre of trans-dimensional Dreamcast activity.

マーティン - Welcome! Now show us your awesome custom Dreamcasts!

We're Three!

¡ Hola mi amigos! I realise this post is about a week too late - but it just dawned on me that The Dreamcast Junkyard is now officially entering it's third year of existence! Wow! Who'd have guessed that three years after it's conception, the humble 'Yard would be the most powerful Dreamcast-related interweb thingy/Empire in this arm of the galaxy?!
For this reason, I would like everyone reading this right now to go to the kitchen/cellar/local Netto, pour yourself a pint of vodka/gin/paint thinner (my tipple of choice, these days) and quaff a libation to the memory of the Dreamcast and to the future of the Dreamcast Junkyard. Finished? Good. As a special birthday treat, here's a picture of a Dreamcast travel clock I found on eBay several weeks ago but then forgot about and so never got around to posting before the auction ended:

Reviewing all the officially liscensed guff that we've seen here at the 'Yard over the years (you know - the jackets, shorts, towels, watches, tissue holders, hats etc), it makes me wonder whether Sega's financial and PR teams were actually run by Baldrick from Blackadder (above left, yesterday). Picture the scene:


Shoichiro Irimajiri: Right people, let's hear your strategy for world domination

Baldrick: I have a cunning plan, sir. It involves mass producing Dreamcast branded swimming shorts and alarm clocks. If my predictions are correct, Dreamcast domination is guaranteed

Shoichiro Irimajiri: Fuckin' mint - right, lets wrap this up and get down the pub. I'm buying


Anyhow, after my recent adventures in trying to download and burn my own games (something I failed at spectacularly, even though I can't actually see what I did wrong - I followed the instructions down to the letter and wasted TWO packs of high quality CD-Rs*), I went with my tail between my legs and aquired more games off one of our esteemed long-time supporters. Now, some say his favourite meal is carpet-tack and drawing pin pizza and others claim to have seen him at the controls of United 93 before it ploughed into a field in Pennsylvania. All we know is he's called The Sti...erm...Gary**. And here are the fruits of my loins of purchasing stuff (hmmm, not sure if that works. Ah well.):

Capcom Vs SNK 2
Oh. My. God. I'm by no means a beat 'em up fan - especially when it comes to the 2D variety; indeed the last one I actually bought at full price was X-Men: Children of the Atom on the fucking Saturn, and that must be about 15 years ago now...but this is simply awesome. I hate to say it, but I am what would probably be considered a 'newbie' when it comes to 2D beat 'em ups like this. Never held a Neo Geo pad and never played an SNK game before either, but after sampling the delights on offer here I can truly appreciate the appeal. For a start, the presentation is possibly the best on the DC - I'm talking DVD interactive menu style here, and the gameplay is unbelievable. The roster of playable characters is fucking ma-husive and features all the old favorites from the Street Fighter canon, as well as a shit-load of ones you might have read about in Sega Saturn Magazine but never had the cash to be able to sample (King of Fighters, I'm talking to you). And don't get me started on the fantastically camp announcer, who is possibly the gayest in-game voice over dude since Guy Smilie agreed to commentate for Ridge Racer. Oh, and the post fight faux news reports are quality too...I could go on forever. Quite simply, this is possibly the best 2D fighter I've ever played. But there's more...

Marvel Vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Holy Christ's undead corpse on toast! This is even better than Capcom Vs SNK 2! It's got Jill Valentine in it! At this point, I must apologize for my ignorance and total denial that the 2D beat 'em up genre even existed. I have been living in the gaming closet, clearly. Last time I disclosed my virginity when it comes to shooters - this time my virginity in fighters. The shame is unbearable, people. Moving swiftly back the MvC2, gameplay features the ability to assemble a team of three familiar characters (granted - something you can also do in Capcom Vs SNK 2) and then use their individual special attacks, combining them into one humungous super-attack powerful enough to level a continent, nay a planet. All of the familiar Capcom characters are here (and also a few unfamiliar ones for good measure), as well as the usual Marvel ones too (the X-Men etc), but its the general pick-up-and-play nature of the game that made me fall instantly in love with it. The presentation is simply awesome (the music is amazing), and the selection of playable characters is inspired (as mentioned, you can play as Resident Evil's Jill Valentine; Wolverine; Spiderman; Venom; Strider and even Mega Man (who you would think would be invincible...))...what's not to love about the Marvel vs Capcom 2? Dazzling, in every sense of the word.

Power Stone 2
Everyone's favourite early DC game, Power Stone was a 3D beat 'em up with a difference - you could run around freely within the stage, pick up weapons and the titular 'power stones' and dish out some serious cans of whup ass in full-blown polygonal glory. Power Stone 2 ups the ante by several folds, adding such delights as a four player mode (an aspect missing from the original that SERIOUSLY damaged my Dreamcast's appeal recently), bizarre side-scrolling single player stages and a horse-box full of new characters and weapons. In layman's term, Power Stone 2 is basically more of the same, but with 4 characters battling to the death rather than just two. This may sound like a bonus on paper (screen), but in reality it's about as confusing as that sudoku puzzle in the Metro (erm...I'm thick). You can barely see where your character is at times and you're constantly being attacked and then told (courtesy of big flashing arrows) to run or jump to a new area of the level. What was wrong with smashing someone's face through a wall ala DOA2, to reveal a new arena? Here, you have to outrun Indiana Jones style boulders, mid-bout, just to carry on your scrap! Don't get get me wrong - Powerstone 2 is a wicked fighter, and the absolute pinnacle of pissed-up four player gaming 'mayhem'...but it just gets too complicated for it's own good at times. The twat.

Alien Front Online
The premise here is cooler than Samuel L. Jackson locked in a meat freezer in the local branch of Farm Foods. Earth as been overrun by hideous alien invaders who have set up camp in our major cities. You are a rookie tank commander who is tasked with blasting the shit out of said alien scum and allowing the druggies, chavs and benefit scrounging single mothers to move back into the decrepit inner city slums once they're cleared. It's called 'democracy,' people. Anyhow, you get to enforce this notion by driving a hoofing great tank through E.T.'s newly acquired living room and unloading a 40 Lb shell into his face with extreme prejudice. Alien Front Online essentially plays like a tank-based version of Spawn: In The Demon's Hand. The levels at first appear to be massive open-plan cityscapes, full of destructible tower blocks, but in reality are rather small, enclosed arenas. The controls are also rather annoying - the strafe command is ever-so-slightly Red Dog-esque and overly cumbersome meaning you'll be blasted by alien tanks more often than you should - and you can't turn the turret and body of the tanks independently...but the graphics are fairly decent and the music is rousing so I'm not going to be too harsh. Obviously, as the name suggests, Alien Front Online was originally intended to be played over t'interweb with teams of humans battling teams of aliens for global domination. Alas, as with most online DC titles these days, the servers now presumably lie unloved and AIDs ridden in a gutter in Dehli. Sigh.

Demolition Racer: No Exit
You remember Demolition Derby, right?! That ancient PS game where you smashed cars into each other in an attempt to bed the opposing redneck's teeth into their dashboard? Yeah? Cool. Demolition Racer is a game that follows the same template, albeit with vastly superior graphics. Apparently a port of an older PSX title, the first thing you may notice about Demolition Racer is its outstanding soundtrack. Whilst today's games (most notably those released by EA) often feature soundtracks by real-life bands, back in the day it was quite unheard of (for the first, see crap top-down shooter Loaded), and that's why Demolition Racer's is so unique. Granted, the bands on show are fairly obscure ('Cirrus' and 'Coffee Shop Boys' to name but two), but their tunes are really rather good and fit the mood of the game perfectly. Unlike that hideous creation blaring out during the first stage of Sonic Adventure 2. Rolling Around at the Speed of Sound, indeed. So, it's a redneck simulator where you can race against other cars and smash into each other to earn points; or you can take part in a proper destruction derby in a 'bowl' and, erm, smash into each other to earn points. It differs from Destruction Derby in that the tracks are strewn with power-ups and the like, and the damage models are quite basic considering it's whole focus is on destruction...but it's good fun and like I said, the soundtrack rocks. Good stuff overall. Why it didn't get a PAL release I'll never know, but it may have something to do with the above Baldrick situation.


*Please don't post any comments about my buying burned games, downloading ISOs, Discjuggler, or calling me a fucking idiot/shit-eater/retard/cum-guzzling bollock fondler etc. I did everything right and followed all the instructions at (the rather good) dcisozone.com site, but nothing I downloaded and burnt using either the aforementioned Discjuggler or Bootdreams would run in my DC. Again - I did nothing wrong. And just to emphasise the point, I've downloaded and burnt shit before and it worked perfectly. Don't hate the playa - hate the GAME, people. And if you must ignore this heartfelt plea, have the cojones not to post as 'anonymous.' That way, I can find out where you live, slip in through an open window at 3.15am on Christmas Morning and slit your fucking throat with my Soul Reaver. Cough. I would also like to add that, yes, the stuff that you can download obviously works for many, many people - it just didn't for me.

**Apologies if you're not familiar with Top Gear. That paragraph will have made no sense whatsoever.

***Not the real BBC, you understand.

And on that note, it's nearly Christmas, so I'm off to battle my way through the crowds of Primark-clad zombies in Woolworths to get some vastly reduced pick 'n' mix for my Xmas dinner. Oh, and spare a thought for these two poor bastards:

Yep, it's Woolie & Worth. Who's thinking of them during this festive financial crisis?

Top 10 Dreamcast Games show from G4TV

Now here's something I haven't seen before, and it's just shown up on Youtube by 'TheDarkStation88'. This is a half-hour show called "the Filter" from the channel G4TV (who also did that great History of Dreamcast show that everyone must of seen by now), that charts the top 10 all time Dreamcast games based on the votes from a message board, which I'm guessing dates around 2004 (judging how they reference Soul Calibur II being "last year") with the host even dressed up as Ulala (which is alright until she starts talking). Worth a look even if almost everyone that talks about the games is from one magazine publication and all the wonderful in-game sound is replaced with stock music. It's spilt into 3 videos below:

Modded Dreamcast Greatness (and much more)

Sometimes I think I spend too much money on collecting Dreamcast stuff, but then I think of that guy you owned every single Japanese game sealed up and how much he must of spent to get that lot only to not even play any of them. Last week I splashed out quite a lot of cash on a Dreamcast bundle of stuff: £120 (+£10 postage) to be exact. It all arrived yesterday and i must say though, I think it was a great deal.

This orange logo on start up is going to take getting used to, I've had a blue one all these years up until now..

For starters the Dreamcast is a Japanese model with it's shiny triangle by the light and big metal fan, possibly one of those early 1998 ones as it has no phone cable socket in that modem attachment. Unlike my previous ventures with Japanese Dreamcasts' (which both turned out to be broken), this one has a step down converter and best of all..it's had a mod chip installed so it can play games of any region without the need of a boot disc.

One of those broken Japanese systems I had also had a modification: someone had replaced the Japanese power board in it with a British one, which simply means it now took British plugs with no need for a stepdown converter. So not long after this new one arrived yesterday I popped the two open and swapped the power boards around and wala! My new system now had two mods to it. Now all it needs is a direct VGA socket hack and it'd be perfection. I'll use the stepdown for whatever other Japanese electronics I get (like a Japanese Saturn one day) and sell off the broken systems.

Another reason this bundle was a great deal was the games. A mixed bunch from every region, the games that convinced me to make offers on the set were Gigawing 2, Radilgy and Trizeal. All three of these games would cost me quite a bit separately, possibly around £40-50 each. The guy who owned it clearly had good taste: just have a ganders above at the 12 games that came with it. There was also two light guns in the box, a controller and a black VMU. Not all the games were in great condition (Power Stone in particular was pretty wreaked), but it's still a fantastic lot.

The system is a real joy to use. When you start the console up with a PAL or American game in it, you can hear it stop and start the disc while on the Sega screen, which must be the how the mod works, recreating the disc swapping in a second. It's also very quiet, so it must of been looked well after. To make sure it stays that way I won't be sticking any CD-Rs into this one, I'll keep one of my PAL systems beside me to swap in when I want to play homebrew or emulators and as for CD-R copies of games..I have so many of the games I want now I'm barely going to need them.

The last couple months have been quite busy with spending: I've been buying Dreamcast stuff a plenty. The lot above came from a ebay shop that has tons of sealed stuff selling cheap. I got a total of six VMUs (two of each colour) as well as Heavy Metal Geomatrix, Kao the Kangeroo and Charge N' Blast.

These second hand ones (top row) came from someone in America and were unfortunately in pretty bad shape (I-Spy has it's back pages of the manual ripped out and a cut out hole in the back cover) but playable. The two in the bottom row were found at a boot sale, although those have completely dried up for the year now, what with the cold weather. Probably why I've been going so Ebay crazy.

Here's another load of Japanese games I got cheap. I'm going to be digging out some translation guides to play Rent-a-hero and Sakura wars 3 (always wanted to see what the fuss was about with that series) and both Cool Cool Toon and Tokyo Bus Guide are quite addictive. I also have a japanese copy of Shenmue with the Jukebox CD, which means I know own Shenmue on every region. Oops! Probably best if I got rid of the PAL one then, to save shelf space.

Finally there's these two little oddities. These demo discs called "Dreamcast Express" were apperently only availble if you joined a Sega club of some sort, and come with two discs each. One of the discs has a full on interactive video tour of Tokyo Game Show '99, which is rather neat.

Now I just need to wait for my Segagaga box set to show up! Oh dear, my poor bank account.

Every Japanese DC Game in one video! Sort of.

The Dreamcast History Project is going to take some work, so to tide you over until I eventually get as many of the Japanese Dreamcast releases on the timeline as possible, here's a video containing almost all of them in chronological order (I cut out some re-releases). You most likely won't recognize a lot of them and to be honest I don't either: I'm actually quite surprised just how many there is, especially in the later years. There is tons of dodgy anime dating sim stuff in there that I mostly don't know the names of, as well as a lot of other junk that we never got, and there's quite a few games we know well that are missing because Japan didn't get them. Can you believe they never got MSR but did get Spirit of Speed 1937? What's that all about?

The Dreamcast History Project

Yesterday I stumbled across this archive on Sega's Japanese website that lists every single game released for the Dreamcast in Japan by release date with box art, so being the obsessive compulsive I am, I decided to save every single one of the 500 and something front covers. Then this morning I decided to hunt down this online program I saw used for something about the history of animation called Dipity, which lets you create a full interactive timeline with images, info, video etc. It's really simple to use and all of today I've been working on a timeline of the Dreamcast's many game releases, starting with for now all the Japanese ones which I have these cover images and release dates for.

Consider this my late present for the Dreamcast's 10th birthday. It's a work in progress but there is already quite a few entries there (all of 1998, most of 1999, some of 2000 and most of the latter years), mainly just showing the box art and on some a wikipedia link, but I plan to take the descriptions from the long dead Dreamcast Junkyard wiki and add them to the games info too. This may take quite a while so i might need some help with it, especially for hunting down the English language names for a lot of the games (most are on segagagadomain, at least). I'll see how I do.

So try it out, I've embedded it above. The further you zoom (I find the 1 month setting is the best), the more you'll see. There's also a flipbook which lets you look at the covers much bigger, and a list, it's all very clever how it works. It really does show just how quickly all our favorite DC games were crammed onto the market, with many weeks featuring about 3 great games at a time.

Credit Crunch?

Having read the quite spectacular Dreamcast tribute in the most recent edition of the wonderful Games TM magazine, I've got a little nostalgic for my little white box. That doesn't mean I've been playing on it, lord no! The ubiquitous 360 has killed off my regular excursions onto the Dreamcast in quite an alarming way.

Maybe the arrival of Dux will turn me back (Wind and Water Puzzles has not prised me away from GTA IV or Fallout 3 recently and maybe it's silly to put those games on the same page?)

However, I dabbled on the old eBay to check out the prices of Lack Of Love. You know 'LOL'???

It was the progenitor of Spore, an emotional 'evolution simulator' sound-tracked by that dude from the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Apparently a forgotten Dreamcast 'classic', it could have been yet another Dreamcast revelation that I probably would never have played.

But when I checked out the price it was asking between £60-£100+. Well you know what I thought? Fuck that!!! I want a new Shenmue, Crazy Taxi or Headhunter. Scratch that, I want some clever mod /emu type to deliver me Blue stinger 2!!!

Rant over, I promise. The point I was about to make was that I stuck around on the Dreamcast section of eBay and stumbled across what I considered to be a 'must have' purchase. In a nutshell I discovered two brand new, boxed up VMUs for £3 + postage.

When factored in a £1 donation to the NSPCC, plus my complimentary festive Paypal voucher of four delicious pounds off any purchase on eBay, the whole package cost me £2 (inc postage).

That's a sum total of £1 each for two boxed up, coloured, see-through US VMUs. Only two years ago, I payed £15 for ONE. Point being, now that we are in full on credit crunch recession, (plus the 'current gen' has truly arrived), there are many, many sweet Dreamcast deals to be had...)

The batteries alone (to power a VMU) cost more than I paid online. Get surfing people and let me know what lovely bargains you have secured!

Dr. Robotnik still plays his Dreamcast

Look at that picture. Now look closer. Can you see a little white box of awesomeness? Okay, I'll help, it's right next to the old doctor's finger. The screen is from the new Sonic Unleashed and was spotted by the good folks over at Sega Nerds.

By the way, about the game, I have it and I've played a couple of stages already (one of each type of gameplay) and let me tell you, so far this looks like the best Sonic game that came out after Sonic Adventure 2. Surprising, I know, but really, unless something really disappoints me in the next stages, this is going to be a blast to play. The speed stages are simply made of awesomeness, the town stages are pretty much like they were in SA1, only a little less annoying, and the infamous werehog levels are...not so bad, actually. They're a little tedious, yes, but they add variety to the game and keep the speed levels fresh. Besides, even the SA games were not made of speed levels only.

Like I heard someone saying recently, the problem with a lot of people nowadays is that they don't even know what they want in a Sonic game anymore, and while Unleashed is not its best title yet, it's definitely a huge step forward in the right direction. It doesn't even compare to the disgrace that was the first Sonic game on the 360 and PS3...

Another excuse to pretend the DC2 is coming..

I'm sure you saw that Japanese project where someone had crammed a PC into a Sega Saturn, and if you browse about other blogs you have probably seen this already too but whatever...here is the same crazy bloke with a PC crammed into a Dreamcast. It even has a Blu-Ray drive!

It's quite amazing how this guy has managed to squeeze so such into the Dreamcast's shell. It must of been tricky enough with the Saturn, but the Dreamcast is mighty compact! The innards are insane!

Look at all those connections up it's backside! I sure would love to get a PC this compact and good looking, rather than a giant bulky block, mine of which is currently getting repaired as the darn thing decided to stop turning on.

And just to make sure it doesn't set on fire after five minutes it has a huge-arse fan in the bottom. I take it this means the system has to be layed on it's side when in use.

The controller ports are now USB ports. How cute. Yep, you could put me down for one of these! I'd get it emulating the previous Dreamcast, and scribble a "2" onto the logo.

Happy 10th Birthday Dreamcast

..and yes, this is the official birthday of he Dreamcast, not 9/9/99, which is the anniversary of the American launch. Today (or was it tomorrow? Whatever.) ten years ago the system was launched in Japan, almost a whole year before the west got it.

Admittedly they probably should have released it a bit later as the games available on day one weren't exactly all too exciting: they got Virtua Fighter 3tb (early versions of this game had some nasty bugs), Godzilla Generations (shit), July (shit), and PenPen (not bad, but not a system seller). That's it. Also, stocks were limited as NEC struggled to get the graphics chip produced in time, and it took at least a month for some great games to show up (when Sonic adventure was released that December, it was even buggier than the version we got, hence the re-release "Sonic Adventure International"). These reasons might be why the Dreamcast didn't quite click with the Japanese quite like the Saturn did (everything over there appears to be opposite land).

With this in mind it was a smart move of Sega to release the system in the West almost a year later, as it gave them plenty of time to prepare what could quite possibly be the best launch line up of games ever when it finally arrived in America, with the likes of Power Stone, Soul Calibur, Sega Rally 2 and House of the Dead 2 all there at day one, rather than a few months down the road.

Still, while the Dreamcast wasn't quite so hot in Japan as it was for a short while over here, there has been a small hardcore gamers market for it for many years after it's supposed shelf-death. Last year we saw two final retail releases in the form of Trigger Heart Exelica and Karous, and we also saw the debut for German-based indie publisher Redspotgames, who released Last Hope last year and has just released Wind and Water Puzzle Battles, just in time for this anniversary.

A pretty crummy way of celebrating this, but I did have a few things planned for today/tomorrow/even this week that I won't be able to now thanks to my computer conking out, including a ten minue long tribrute video featuring around 100 games, and my Rummage video for Wind and Water. Oh well, I'll be able to get back to work on them soon. =)