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Pier Solar Dreamcast Game Fully Funded!

Watermelon's kickstarter has been fully funded!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/573261866/pier-solar-hd-an-rpg-for-xbox360-pc-mac-linux-and

There WILL be a new Dreamcast RPG!

Huzzah!

More details about stretch goals will be coming out tomorrow.

I'll never be able to look at a Dreamcast controller the same way again..

To most people, this photo above is just a Dreamcast controller. To those who have been playing Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which just released on the PS3, XBOX 360 and Wii U recently, and has played that game quite far in, it probably means a extra bit more.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, and do not mind being spoiled probably the coolest unlockable in a Sega game for about a decade, and also need a solid piece of evidence why you as a Sega fan must own this game, check out the video after the jump..

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Zeit Geist

If you've looked at the comments for the previous post, there's a chance you've already copied and pasted the link to the following Youtube video. If you haven't, then get ready for a rather thorough analysis of the recently released (and unfinished) Geist Force. The Gagaman(n) did a post on the subject of this lost gem not too long ago, but I think the more exposure this newly released beta gets, the better. Geist Force is a game that really intrigued me when I saw it previewed in the games mags of the era - who wouldn't have wanted to see a Lylat Wars/Star Wing type game running on the brand spanking new Dreamcast hardware?

A reader by the name of DCeric has put together this rather cool video examining the various unfinished stages that make up Geist Force, and also looks at some of the debug levels that exist. Enjoy.

Dedication & Aberration

As I may have mentioned in some recent posts, the level of enthusiasm displayed by most of the Dreamcast community never ceases to amaze me. Even now, in 2012, there are multiple hand-helds, console mods and emulators popping up all the time, and the level of commitment to our favourite defunct system should be championed. To illustrate my point, I was recently (well, not that recently actually...I completely forgot to post about this but hopefully this will make amends) contacted by a DCJY reader known only as 'Aaron' who has, rather impressively, designed and built his very own bespoke DC arcade cabinet. Wanna see? Boom:



How awesome is that? According to it's talented creator, the unit is 47" tall and has a 17" LCD monitor strapped in. Aaron - the DCJY salutes the fruits of your labour...which was clearly actual labour, and not just clicking around on eBay after one too many beers as I am want to do on many a cold, lonely winter evening. Sigh.

On the subject of eBay and display cabinets, I have noticed quite a number of them popping up for auction - you know, the ones they used to have in GAME and EB back when the DC was en vogue? Weird coincidence or blood curdling conspiracy? You decide.

I finally saw the Angry Video Game Nerd movie trailer last night. Urgh. To use his own phrase against him: what was he thinking? I'm not gonna lie - it looks terrible. I think James Rolfe's AVGN reviews are fucking legendary and I was intrigued by the notion of a movie about the character...but just viewing the trailer made me slightly sad. What's with the stupid aliens and zombies and cliched army shit? Why couldn't it just have been a Napoleon Dynamite-esque tale of a nerd who loves talking shit about games in his basement? I realise the amount of work that must've gone into it, and that the whole project was funded by donations...but is this really what those fans who pledged money really wanted to see? More importantly, can the AVGN ever recover from this:


Again...you decide.

Art (Spin) Attack

Ever fancied owning a piece of game art? A hand-drawn portrait of Super Magnetic Neo perhaps? Or what about an original oil on canvas rendition of a scene from Crazy Taxi? Eh? Well, if you have - your luck is in. Well, sort of. Before anyone beats me to it, yes, I stole this story off the BBC News website, and to be fair it's only very weakly linked to anything to do with the Dreamcast...but the feature's title is Sonic and Lara: Video game concept art sold for charity, so I guess it's relevant. If you can't already guess from the aforementioned headline, there's going to be an auction of gaming concept art held at (well, after) the London Games Festival Art Exhibition. Here's one of the Sonic concept sketches that's up for auction:

Framed and signed by Yuji Uekawa. This'd look good in anyone's living room.

The range of stuff up for sale is pretty impressive, and covers all genres and platforms - the Arkham City stuff is particularly good, although not all of the art up for sale is of such a high standard: be warned Moshi Monsters do feature. From what I can tell from the website, the actual exhibition is over - they're just auctioning off the art in batches now. Be interesting to see what the Sonic art goes for. Might even make a bid myself, even more so if it's at £1.78 with 30 seconds to go. Ebay skills, don't fail me now!

Let's get back up to speed! News! News! News!

Yikes, looks like the Junkyard of Dreamcast has started gathering dust and there has been quite a bit of Dreamcast news lately! Apologies on my part for having seen said news but not having time to type it all up here, time for a catch up!

For starters: Oh hey two new Dreamcast games were announced recently! First off is the latest from our friends at NG:DEV TEAM.. NEO XYX!


This will be a TATE scrolling shooter, with six stages and bosses, and like all their other games will be appearing on both Neo Geo and Dreamcast! There is only one, off screen teaser video of the game which you can check out below.


Pesonally I can't get enough of these classic style scrolling shooters, but I can imagine some people would want something different from the indie Dreamcast scene once in a while, so how about an RPG?

Those in the Sega fandom may of already heard of Pier Solar: it was the most ambitious indie effort on the Mega Drive/Genesis, a huge classic style RPG that was sold in very limited supply and now goes for three figure prices. Well Watermelon Co. have set up a kickstarter for a HD remake, which they plan to release on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox Live Arcade and, most excitedly for us...the Dreamcast!

The graphics are being redone in high definition and while the Dreamcast is obviously not a HD console (by todays standards anyway), that version will be getting the same new graphics at 480p with VGA support. The disc will also include the original Mega Drive version too for those who missed out on the original (like me) and love the sprite art!

With 22 days to go the kickstarter is already 64% of the way and if you want to grab this game for your Dreamcast a $49 pledge will get you the standard edition, available in any Dreamcast region style packaging you choose to match up (PAL, US or Japan) with your shelf of games, and a $125 pledge will get you a collectors edition full of extra goodies in a big box set!



So er...how about those games still due? In the case of ReDux: Dark Matters, the other Dreamcast game that debuted on Kickstarter: it is apparently almost complete. According to the twitter account, anyway.

As for Sturmwind? Hmm, well, Redspotgames have not updated us about the status of that game since June, where they have a big Q&A about why the game is so delayed and the complications that have caused it's current 'TBA' date. It's a tad frustrating, but looking forward to the game when it's eventally released none the less. I just hope they update us on this soon.

UPDATE: According to Duranik's Facebook page the release date should be revealed in a few days as they are currently in the pre production test run. There is a new preview about the game here.

Immortals. Well, almost.

Well hello! Some good news arrived in my inbox today. It’s not really Dreamcast related, but it’s related to this, the hallowed Dreamcast Junkyard, so by tenuous association I suppose it is Dreamcast related. Kind of. Enough preamble though! Basically, a few months ago I got wind of a project being undertaken by the British Library, a project called the UK Web Archive which is trying to archive websites which may, in years to come, provide a valuable snapshot of life in the UK during the ‘digital revolution.’ Now, I know that we here at the DCJY are an international line-up, but I reckon with our blue-toned hues and PAL-centric banter, we are as good a games-related entry into the Video Games heritage category as anyone, what with our own irreverent brand of humour-tinged yet informative drivel. Cough. So anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the UK Web Archive accepted my nomination for the DCJY to be inducted into their...er...archive, and as such we shall live on forever like Gods of the interweb. More info? Of course! Go here.

The real reason for today’s post isn’t the immortalisation of our favourite Dreamcast portal though, oh no. It’s because I've got some new shit to drop off into the gaping chasm that is the ‘Yard. Four new games, to be precise. Here:

Midway’s Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 1

Midway. Remember them? Ah...halcyon days. Hydro Thunder, the San Francisco Rush series, Cruis’n USA...actually, forget the last one. And San Francisco Rush (although Rush 2 & 2049 weren't bad). Hydro Thunder was balls out awesome though. But before all that outrageousness, Midway was a powerhouse that released some of the most important games of the 1980s. And with Midway’s Arcade Hits Volume 1, you can play them all...well, 6 of them, on your god-damned Dreamcast! The games themselves (Defender, Defender 2, Robotron, Joust, Sinistar and Bubbles) are all pretty well emulated (I’d imagine, having never played the arcade versions of any of them), and Defender 2 in particular is a pretty fun game. I used to have Defender 2000 on the Jaguar so I knew how it played...and it’s still great even today. Bit infuriating at times...but not as infuriating as Flashback. The game that made me throw my only Jaguar joypad at the wall and smash it to smithereens, which then resulted in me having to order a new pad from some US mail order company and wait a month for it to get delivered. Damn you, Flashback. Damn you Conrad Hart and your inability to fucking roll under a barrier when I tell you too
Check out the particles on that! Particles!
Going back to Midway’s Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 1 though, there is one criticism I have with it: the presentation. I don’t mean with the actual games themselves – I expected them to look like ass compared to the average ‘proper’ DC game...but my God the menus are awful! I seem to recall Namco Museum on PSX having some kind of 3D arcade that you walked around in first person, and you could select which game you wanted to play by approaching the cabinet (am I imagining that?!), but here you just get a static screen showing an insultingly low-res bitmap of the arcade machines in a row. You just have to move the ‘highlight’ between the machines and press start. Jesus Midway – talk about bargain basement production values! If there was anyone still working for Midway I’d probably send them a strongly-worded letter about that. But yeah, the games themselves are all perfectly acceptable if you’re after some nostalgia. Apparently there’s a second edition of Midway’s Greatest Arcade Hits that includes Paperboy and Spy Hunter. Intriguing. Rumours of a third edition featuring War Gods and WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game are, thankfully, unconfirmed.

NFL Blitz 2000

Keeping with the Midway theme, the next game is the rather bizarre NFL Blitz 2000. A strange re-imagining of American football, where the rules have been tweaked (I think/hope) to allow for a more surreal experience. I don’t know the first thing about American football other than it’s a bit like rugby and all the payers dress like they’re in Legion of Doom...and they don’t really kick the ball with their feet very much. There’s something called ‘first and down’ (so I hear) and it stops every 20 seconds for a time-out. I've seen plenty of really good films about American football – that one with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Scorpion King in it was rather good, as was the one about the guy who gets shot on the pitch...or are they the same film? I can’t remember. Speaking of American sports I don’t have a clue about but made a good movie, I watched Money Ball the other day. Jonah Hill doesn't do anything funny in it and Brad Pit isn't playing Tyler Durden, but it’s a good film. I reckon if the real-life version of NFL was like Blitz, I’d be more inclined to seek out and watch a few games – it’s full of over-the-top tackles, flaming footballs and ridiculous...er...football. Probably one for people who know how the game actually works, but still fairly entertaining if you persist with it.

See - 3rd and 21. Makes total sense.

NFL Quarterback Club

Urgh. More American football. But without the flaming balls. From what I can tell, NFL Quarterback club is simply a conversion of the N64 game of the same name, but because the graphics have hardly been updated (just hi-res-ified), it actually looks worse. Acclaim did some pretty impressive stuff with the N64 hardware (just look at All Star Baseball, Turok and the Extreme G series*), but all they've done with NFL QBC is take the N64 game, remove the fuzz and add a bit of extra commentary. And it shows – the graphics, while sharp, are horrible. And again, while I reiterate my complete ignorance when it comes to American football, I know what a good game looks like. Look at NFL 2K – it looks incredible compared to Quarterback Club. I can’t really comment on how it plays as a simulation of the actual sport because (yet again...sorry) I find it impenetrable...but the aesthetics appal me. Be gone, NFL Quarterback Club.
Charlie, I know how you feel

Kiss Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child

A first person shooter in which you play as members of the metal band Kiss. Is there anything more to say? I think Father K reviewed this little oddity a few years back, but what the hell – here’s another look at it. The story is pretty stupid and the manual features several introductory chapters that explain everything...but it’s a cringe inducing trip to cliché-ville in which your band arrives at a club to find it deserted...and some demon has spawned a ‘Nightmare Child’...and you have to stop it by wandering around punching and shooting demons in the face. You play as the different members of Kiss and get to do all this whilst rocking out to actual Kiss music, which is nice if you like that sort of thing. I'm more of a Motion City Soundtrack kinda guy myself, but I don’t think they released Motion City Soundtrack Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child in this dimension or any other, so I'm left wanting. Probably wouldn't feature demons either – it’d just have you wandering around punching and shooting pretentious students in ‘cool’ clothes. The graphics aren't bad in Psycho Circus and the frame rate licks along at a decent and consistent speed...it’s just that the whole game is a little boring. 

Better ring DIY SOS
The environments are a little sparse and the range of weapons is pretty limited, and compared to other DC shooters it feels a little flat (especially next to say, Outtrigger or Soldier of Fortune), but yeah – there’s nothing massively offensive about the game as a whole. Interestingly, on page 5 of the manual there’s a little diagram of a joystick called the ‘Panther XL,’ but I‘d never heard of such a device. Upon Googling it though, it appears that there was such a monstrous thing actually constructed and available to buy:
"The Wii U Tablet Controller ain't got shit...on me"

How I’d never heard of this thing, I don’t know. I looks a little cumbersome, but Take 2 Interactive obviously thought that it may improve the average gamer’s Kiss Psycho Circus experience enough to include it in the manual, and who am I to argue? Nobody, that’s who. Maybe if I had a Panther XL, I’d be raving about how great Kiss Psycho Circus is, instead of just nodding, smiling politely and then moving on to find something more interesting to do. Like make a cup of tea. Which is what I'm off to do now.

* I know these games were actually developed by Iguana...but Acclaim/Iguana...same difference.