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The Dreamcast Collection VERSUS My Dreamcast Collection


A package from SEGA arrived in the mail today! In it were two copies of the 360's Dreamcast Collection. One for me to review, one for a certain contest I keep hinting at. While a proper review will turn up Monday, I thought I'd have the Dreamcast Collection face off against my Dreamcast collection. Is the compilation disc worth it for a Dreamcast collector? Which version of the games will I come back to when I need my fix? Let's find out!

CONTENT

The Dreamcast Collection contains four games: Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, SEGA Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5 Part 2. The Dreamcast Collection version of Sonic Adventure is actually a port of the PC version of the game but with the original Dreamcast menus and the Gamecube content stripped away (available via DLC). 360's Sonic Adventure has an aspect ratio of 4:3, just like the original game, so unfortunately no widescreen. However the game runs at a very solid frame rate and loading times are much faster. Despite not being as great as it could have been, you'll never see a smoother or crisper version of Sonic Adventure than here. The 360 version does not feature the Chao Adventure VMU game, however the chao garden has been beefed up as it was in Sonic Adventure DX. That means high polygon counts on the chao, more ways to raise them and a black market where rings can be traded for items.

Crazy Taxi is a mixed bag. While the gameplay is there, as is all the modes from the Dreamcast original, the iconic Bad Religion and Offspring songs were swapped out for different music. It's a drag, but it's understandable that music rights would change over time. Despite this, the game runs in widescreen AND has a very solid frame rate. Plus, if you have the original soundtracks on your 360 hard drive (or stream from your computer) you can play all the original music and more via the 360's custom soundtrack option. Personally, I play the soundtrack from all three Crazy Taxi games while playing this one. It really does make the game feel complete.

SEGA Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5 Part 2 are the winners when it comes to comparing content. Everything from the original games are here, plus the games run in widescreen, have a solid frame rate AND are crisp. The only drag (fishing pun) is that SEGA Bass Fishing isn't as good without the fishing controller. Still fun, but not as fun as it could be.

On the 360, all four games feature their own achievements and avatar awards, providing an incentive to replay the games. I cannot wait to earn my Moralian costume.

CONTENT VERDICT: 360 and Dreamcast Sonic Adventure are a tie, Crazy Taxi Dreamcast is preferred for the original music but widescreen on the 360 is worth it for Crazy Taxi fans, 360 SEGA Bass Fishing wins (unless you own a fishing controller) and 360 Space Channel 5 Part 2 wins.

PRICE

The Dreamcast Collection retails for $29.99. According to videogamepricecharts.com and ebay: Sonic Adventure can currently be found for around $9, Crazy Taxi for around $5, SEGA Bass Fishing for $3 (around $20 with fishing controller) and Space Channel 5 Part 2 for $80 (game only) and $200 (box set). Assuming you have both systems, you can either spend $30 for the 360 compilation or between $97 and $234 for the Dreamcast originals. There is also a version of SC5 Part 2 on the PS2, and that will run much cheaper, for around $15. Replace the Dreamcast version with the PS2 version and we're looking at $32. About even with The Dreamcast Collection.

PRICE VERDICT: In an all Dreamcast vs. 360 battle, 360 wins. In a Dreamcast and PS2 tag team versus 360, it's a tie. Space Channel 5 Part 2 saves the Collection.

CONCLUSION
And the winner is: Everyone's a winner! HA! Didn't see that coming, did you? But seriously, it's great to have these games on next gen consoles. While Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi don't beat the originals, the achievements and avatar awards give an added bonus for playing through those games once again. The fact that the two recent releases, Bass Fishing and SC5 Part 2, are far better ports is hopefully a sign that upcoming Dreamcast Collection releases will follow suit in providing widescreen support and minimal cut content. I'd love to see a widescreen version of Jet Set Radio or Sonic Adventure 2. 

Coming this Wednesday, a contest!

Classic Game Room: Dreamcast Collection vs. Genesis Collection


If you haven't figured it out yet, the DCJY loves Classic Game Room. Heck, we even gave it a tag! In the above video, Mark compares the boxart of the Dreamcast Collection to the boxart of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. As always, it's humorous and all in good fun. No ranting, no cussing, just good ol' CGR. Enjoy!

Personally, I like the Dreamcast Collection cover more. I could see a few more volumes coming out in the same style. I never was a fan of the Ultimate Genesis Collection having that wonky looking Sonic on the front. Plus, you got a big Dreamcast console and controller right there on the cover!

Dreamcast Collection (360, PC) releases today! Contest to come...


The Dreamcast Collection is now available to purchase in the USA for the 360 and the PC! The collection will be available in Europe on the 25th. Are you planning on picking it up? Did you pick it up? Sound off in the comments section!

Keep visiting the Dreamcast Junkyard in the coming weeks, as there is a contest with Dreamcast Collection prizes (courtesy of SEGA of America) in the works. What is the contest and what are the prizes? Stay tuned.

Personally, I'm very interested in seeing how Space Channel 5 Part 2 plays. If it is a solid port, it could be the selling point of the collection. SEGA Bass Fishing, while lacking the fishing controller, also has the potential to be good as it will be in widescreen and is presumably uncut. Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure have already released on PSN and XBLA.

Classic Game Room's Fast Striker Review!


...Part one of two! This is the kind of attention this game really deserves: the game has been selling out since it was reduced on Play-Asia temporally and in my opinion it's the best indie shooter on the Dreamcast to date. There will be a 2nd video to this review soon.

Love Hina Limited Edition Survives Explosion in Japan

From Kotaku comes an odd story about a gas leak explosion in Japan, and the limited edition Dreamcast game that survived. Check out the original story:


Over the weekend, an explosion completely blew off the wall of a one-room Kyoto apartment. The occupant was not seriously injured, and fingers crossed, neither was the limited edition Dreamcast game he owned.


A nearby resident said the walls shook, thought it was an earthquake and opened his window to see a fire. TV Asahi reports that it is possible that the explosion was caused by a leak in one of the 5 gas cans that power a portable stove that ignited. The 35-year-old tenant made it out of the apartment with light burns to his hands and feet. “I fell asleep with the stove on,” the man told investigators.
As evident in the destroyed structure, the build quality doesn’t seem to be of the highest order. For many years, especially after World War II and right on through the 1980s, buildings in Japan were thrown up quickly. The buildings from right after the war were of especially low build quality, due to scarce materials and an overwhelming demand for construction. They did improve, but it’s still common to find even later buildings like this that seem to be held together with glue and gumtack. Another reason for the less than solid quality is that it was believed that a powerful earthquake would hit Tokyo and not Kansai (Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto), which is why stronger structures were built in the Tokyo area.

Kobe, however, was hit by the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 and many old, shoddy buildings fell in on occupants, often killing them. It was after this tragedy that the vast majority of the construction industry really began to take building very, very seriously, resulting in the sound, strong structures that are built today.

As serious as this explosion is and as dangerous as it could have been, Japanese netizens were quick to point out that in the tenant’s room, there is a copy of Dreamcast love simulator Love Hina: Totsuzen no Engeji Happening. But not just a copy of the game, a limited version of the game, which came with a limited edition Love Hina wall clock, a Love Hina towel, a stuffed animal, a shrine tailsman for good luck. The box appears to be in tact, but no word on whether the game made it out okay or if the wall clock was affixed to the wall that was blown clear off.


Love Hina was originally a manga, and it was quite popular, selling over six million copies and spun off into an anime. Besides the Dreamcast game, Love Hina was also turned into Game Boy colour and Game Boy Advance games as well as PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles.

Check out the original story here.

Dreamcast Collection gets Pre-Order Bonus Vinyl in Australia !

Does anyone remember that Vinyl LP that some people were lucky enough to get as a pre-order bonus with Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on PS3 and 360? Well looks like they are doing a similar deal again for the 360 release of Dreamcast Collection! So far though this only appears to be in Australia, but if it turns out anything like the Mega Drive one it *might* show up in areas of Europe too, I manged to pick up the mega Drive LP on Ebay in the end and only paid a tenner for it. Either way see where this offer has been first spotted here. Turns out the LP contains 3 Crazy Taxi tunes (not Offspring I'm presuming so er...kind of pointless IMO) 1 Sonic Adventure track (Open your Heart surely?) 1 Space Channel 5 part 2 track and one Bass Fishing track. Will make a cool collectible none the less if just for the design of it.

Via SegaBits and TSSZ

Arts & Crafts: Make your own DUX spine card!


Any Dreamcast fan should know what a spine card is. But for those who don't, it's that little strip of paper that wraps around the left spine of Japanese Dreamcast CD cases. You'll also find these on Japanese Saturn games and nearly any other Japanese thing in a CD case. Why do they do it? Well, I'd assume so they can cram even more information on the front cover without littering the actual cover with all that information. Also, the Japanese LOVE little bits of paper. I remember when I first opened my sealed copy of Jet Set Radio, it was like a confetti parade with all the inserts that fell out.


Anyway, I decided to give the indie game DUX its own spine card. Why? Well for one thing, DUX is the only retail indie game in a DVD case that does not feature the Japanese Dreamcast style spine. Instead it's a very stark (but stylish) white. While the special edition of DUX did feature a orange and white spine, it was limited to 500 copies, so you're sure to never see one of those unless you pre-ordered one at the time of release. Another reason I made one was so that anal retentive fans, like myself, can have a more orderly game shelf. I also added "Dreamcast" on the front bit of the card so that you know what system the game is for. Also, I designed two versions: Japanese and English. So you have a choice of language (DUX is such a simple word, that I'm surprised the Japanese translation is twice as long).

Let's get to the arts & crafts! First off, download the DUX spine cards here.

Next, print the file out on a piece of paper, preferably a slightly glossy, thicker (but not too think) paper stock so that you cannot see through the paper. I used 32lb premium choice laserjet paper, and printed it on a laserjet printer to create solid bits of color.


Now, with an x-acto knife and ruler, use the guides and cut out the spine card you wish to use, or just cut them both out. If you're using scissors, be careful and create a straight cut.

Finally, lay the DUX case out flat (like the picture at the top) and slide the spine card in over the cover art. Carefully line up the card so that the spine is in the correct spot. Finally, close the case, adjusting the card if needed. The result should be a clean, convincing spine card.


Enjoy! If you have any problems with the uploaded files, let me know and I'll see how I can help.

Classic Game Room Reviews DUX


Classic game Room, by far my favorite video reviewer on the web, has finally got his teeth stuck into some Dreamcast indie goodness, starting off with DUX and hopefully more will follow. He does a much better job at reviewing this than i ever could simply because I couldn't even beat the first level in it! Lord Karnage has been reviewing a lot of Dreamcast games recently that you should also check out, such as Capcom vs SNK 2, Mortal Kombat Gold, Street Fighter Alpha 3, the Rumble (or Puru Puru) pack, and the Blue VMU. oh, to do this for a living..

Wind & Water Puzzle Battles Arrives on PC for Free! Also free on Wiz and GP2X!


Thanks to Wind and Water Puzzle Battles developer Hao via a reply to my article "5 Indie Dreamcast Games Worth Your Time" over at SEGAbits, it was revealed that the great indie Dreamcast game Wind and Water Puzzle Battles has been released for free on the PC! What more, the Wiz and GP2X handheld versions are also now free. Even more what more, if you scroll down on their main page you'll find that they have knocked down the cost of a custom sprite for a limited time. $10 for a custom avatar sprite, and $15 for a full animated set of four avatar sprites! The sprite can be used in the PC version, as well as on the handheld versions. I'll be picking one up, if only to fund potential future Dreamcast projects (Little Ninja, please?). Hao also mentioned that depending on the feedback for the PC version, they will develop W&W Online with netplay.

You might be asking "where does the Dreamcast play into this?", well I downloaded the PC version and spotted Mr. VMU himself! Finally, an anthropomorphic piece of SEGA hardware on my computer screen. So give it a download, buy a custom sprite and give the Yuan brothers your thoughts!

Note: While I only operate on Macs, I was able to get the game running flawlessly via the Mac application CrossOver. I'm certain other PC emulating applications will also do the trick.