<-- -!>

Featured Article

Bitsocket celebrates #DCember, reviews project Justice



Bitsocket, an excellent Youtube gaming show if you haven't seen it already, has started a Dreamcast themed month on their channel (or half a month I guess) called #DCember (now why had I never thought of that one?) and have kicked it off with a review of Project Justice: Rival Schools 2, a proper underrated Capcom fighter that is still only available on the Dreamcast today. With any luck we will see more Dreamcast love from them throughout the month!

EDIT: Turns out #DCember was kicked off by the blog Midnight Resistance, who have a whole bunch of Dreamcast related articles you should check out here. They talk about Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, Virtua Tennis 2, Soul Calibur and Confidential Mission.

Gunlord named game of the year by Classic Game Room



Mark of Classic Game Room has named indie Dreamcast game Gunlord the game of the year! Check out the video above to see an increasingly drunken Mark go through his list of favorite games before deciding that the Dreamcast is still very much alive. Was it the beer? The SEGA fan in him? Who knows. But the DCJY salutes Classic Game Room!

Missed Out On The Pier Solar Kickstarter? Don't Worry!


If you weren't able to get to the kickstarter in time but still want a copy of Pier Solar for the Dreamcast then you are in luck!

Watermelon Co. is selling preorders for the regular edition of the Dreamcast version on their website (scheduled to be released 5/13).

http://www.magicalgamefactory.com/en/factory/shop/


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.

NullDC...On Your Phone

We've all seen the Treamcast and the other unofficial portable Dreamcasts created by very talented gamers with perhaps a little too much free time on their hands. They're pretty nifty little(ish) contraptions in the main - I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to play Spirit of Speed or Championship Surfer on a crowded train?! Sadly, the electrical engineering skills required to fashion such a device were not bequeathed unto us all, fellow Dreamcasters. For instance, I recently tried to replace the fuse in the vacuum cleaner's plug and ended up setting the curtains alight (long story, only 3% factual). But wait! What's this? Somebody has come to our aid! No longer do you need a doctorate in soldering in order to take your Dreamcast experience out of the dingy bedsit you call home:



That's right - now (or at least sometime soon) you can play DC games on your Android device! As you can see from the video, this new incarnation of the NullDC emulator for Android is in an early stage of development, but I still think it's pretty impressive. If they can sort out the frame rate issues, then this looks like a very interesting little app. Sadly, this particular Dreamcaster won't be able to experience it first hand due to the fact that I have a BlackBerry phone and tablet thingy, but it's definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Retro Core gets their mitts on Geist Force


Retro Core (The video series from Segagaga Domain) has received it's copy of the much anticipated release of the Geist Force playable ported build, and shows us all of it's contents in this 22 minute video. As the length of the video suggests, this game is in a very early state and only has some basics to check out. The first level is more or less complete with enemies and a boss, the second is fine up until the boss when it glitches you back to the start of the level, and the rest of the levels are more or less just some scenery and an eventual smack into a invisible wall. Those expecting this to be a full or even close to beta game will be a bit disappointed, but it's still quite something to see this running at all on retail standard Dreamcasts.

13th Anniversary of 9/9/99

13 years since the Dreamcast launched in America. On October 14th it will be the same anniversary for when us Euros got it, and on November 27th, it will be the 14th Anniversary of when it launched in Japan. To think in just over a years time the Dreamcast will have been a purchasable item for 15 years. That's pretty crazy, and makes me feel a bit old.

Sadly, I won't be able to do a Dreamcast livestream marathon today, simply because I'm not at home. However if I get time to I will make sure I do one marathon this year, wherever I'll do it on the PAL launch anniversary or the Japanese one I'm not sure yet, but will let you know when I do.

If you really wanna check out a livestream of Dreamcast games today, there will be one run by Blazehedgehog in about 9 hours from now over at Let's LIVE Videogame. He has a list up of games he owns and intends to play there. There is also going to be a 12 hours marathon over at Cornerb0y's twitch.tv account too, and I am sure there are bound to be others going on over the next day or so (if you are doing one, let us know and we'll edit the link into this post).

Pcwzrd13 did a livestream yesterday, which you can watch a back up of here, if you want your Dreamcast livestream gaming right NOW.

I didn't want to go without doing anything for the anniversary, though, so I do have something for you guys.

This is Dee Cee. I designed this character some time back to replace my stealing borrowing of Casko the Dreamcast girl for future Dreamcast Junkyard videos, and have today finally got around to drawing the character in Illustrator and building it up in Flash so it's animate-able. Did a quick idle animation thing for Dee Cee below!


Hopefully I'll find a video use for Dee Cee in the near future. maybe I should make a orange variant as well, now I think about it. Update: here we are, for the American and Japanese Dreamcasters:


Under Defeat HD - review

You're probably familiar with Under Defeat. Back when it was released it was hauled as the last Dreamcast game (how silly does that sound nowadays) and it was a pretty good one at that. You may know of my passion for shoot-em-ups, or shmups for short, and Under Defeat is actually in my Top 3 of favourite shmups from all time, along with the classic DoDonPachi and the Shikigami no Shiro series (of which the 2nd game I played for the first time on the Dreamcast).


Now, back to 2012, the game saw an HD re-release not too long ago. At the time I thought of posting something about it, but then decided to wait until I actually have played it. Well, that time is now, so here are my thoughts on it. For the time being the game is only available in Japan, and the Xbox 360 version is region-locked, so I had to go with the PS3. The game also came in regular and limited editions, but I can't elaborate on that  since I just got the regular one.

There are two game modes. Arcade is basically the Dreamcast version (which in itself was actually a home port from the arcade original). You can adjust the difficulty settings and number of continues (of which you only have 2 at the beginning, but earn more as you spend time playing), but other than that it's pretty bare bones. The game runs at a higher resolution, which makes for a smoother picture, but is otherwise unchanged, to the point that it frequently slows down when the action becomes too hectic. Now, I understand that purists might like that, but for me it's just annoying, and there's really no excuse for having slowdown on a Dreamcast game running on a current gen console.


The other game mode is called New Order and is one of the main reasons for getting this version. Since shmups are usually made for vertical screens, and most people won't be willing to turn their TV's sideways (the option's still there for the hardcore among you), these games can look somewhat awkward, occupying less than half of the screen. New Order was made with that in mind, and is basically a 16:9 version of the main game, filling the whole screen. I'm not sure how they did that, don't know if they actually remade the stages to fit the new aspect ratio or just zoomed in a lot. I can say that this game felt more challenging, but other than that I'm no expert to point out all of the differences from the original game.



The other reason for getting this HD version is the option for playing with a new control method, using both analog sticks. In the original game you could turn your helicopter at an angle, shooting the enemies while avoiding their fire, and I don't need to explain that this maneuver was absolutely essential to master in order to make some progress. The way this was done was by moving the helicopter to the side and keeping the fire button pressed, which would then lock the helicopter in that position, allowing you to move freely. Although practical, at times it just wasn't good enough, and so they came up with a more intuitive control scheme.

You can now control the ship with the left analog stick and the fire direction with the right one. Basically think Geometry Wars or Smash TV, although you can only tilt the chopper so much, not in full 360º like in those games. Now, I have to say that this system isn't perfect either. Since we can't fire freely but only in a few pre-set angles, it takes some getting used to the the analog stick's equivalent of those angles (it's somewhat hard to explain, I hope you're getting it), and because we have to keep the stick pressed in a direction to actually fire, it can become tiresome after a while. Still, overall I think it makes the game more intuitive and easy, so it's still a good addition.

Other than that there's practice modes, both for arcade and new order, and a gallery where you can unlock artwork from the game. It isn't a lot for a game that retailed at around $70/€50+, and I think that we really could use some more extra material. So, is it worth? To put it simply, no. The new game mode is sort of fun, and the new control scheme does add something to the old gameplay, but for the price and the hassle of importing it, it's only for the true lovers of shmups. Fortunately Rising Star Games, a company known for publishing a lot of niche Japanese games, just announced that they're going to publish it in Europe, and I think the US too (not 100% sure on this one), so if they release it at a reduced price, maybe then it'll be worth considering. Until then, if you already have the Dreamcast version, you're not missing out on much.

Geist Force is out

This one almost slipped by! Remember Geist Force? This game has already been talked about here in the 'Yard from time to time, usually when the theme is unreleased games, and the last post about it, dating back to last year, is actually about the blessed day when the guys over at assemblergames got their hands on a playable version of the game and promised to release it for free.

Time moved on and the game never got released, ending up forgotten by most people, but lo and behold, it finally resurfaced and in better shape then ever! It looks like the game was developed for Dreamcast hardware that wasn't final yet, so it couldn't actually run off the retail hardware we all have. That's why it took so long to come out, as the guys behind this release actually had to change a lot of the code in order for the game to be playable.



Now, from what I understand, it seems that in order to pay for their hard work, and the beautiful reproduction discs that we see in the video, you actually had to pay for one of these, and they made a somewhat limited run, making it extra hard to get. But I really hope that they, or someone out there, end up releasing the game for free, so that all of us Dreamcast fans can enjoy another piece of gaming history.

Senile Team releases a free Dreamcast game called Polyko



Senile Team, the folks behind Rush Rush Rally Racing, have ported an indie game by the super long name of "Polyko's Super Jelly Bean Quest in The Sketchbook of Illusion" to the Dreamcast. How much does it cost? Nothing, it's free! Where can you get it? Right here! The game is a simple platformer starring an artist named Polyko who has been magically transported into his sketchbook. The goal is to collect 31 jelly beans. There is no way to die, so no fear of falling into an abyss or having your head ripped off by a zombie. You can play the full game online here, or better yet burn it to a disc and play it on your Dreamcast. The cd image even contains printable covers, so it'll fit in on your indie Dreamcast games shelf. Enjoy!

Classic Game Room reviews Gunlord

He promised and he delivered, here's CGR's opinion on the latest game from NG:Dev.



Looks good! Personally I have yet to play it, but I'll definitely give it a try when I get the chance.

Mass Collect

How do. Thought it was about time for my bi-annual post here at the 'Yard. To be fair, I've been fairly busy trying to nail Liara in Mass Effect 3 for the last few weeks, so you can appreciate that I've had stuff to be getting on with...but since I've now sealed the deal and the thrill of the chase has evaporated, I thought I'd donate a few minutes to the DCJY and the ongoing fight to keep the Dreamcast firmly implanted in the psyche of, well, the inhabitants of the multiverse.

In my absence, I've been dipping in and out of our old ally eBay and purchased a whole slew of new games and will be casting judgement on them right here, over then next few weeks (hopefully...!). In the meantime though, I thought I'd share with you one of the more interesting and unusual DC-related items I've recently inducted into the 'Yard.

Now, I don't know if any of the other members of the team have a) got one of these; or b) mentioned it in a past post, but if they have - apologies. It's just that I don't recall anyone showcasing this:

An egg.
The contents of the egg. Which came first?
Size comparison.


Yep - it's a miniature 'Sega History Collection' Dreamcast console...and it's awesome. It's part of series of miniatures that I imagine were only released in Japan (isn't all the cool shit Japan-only?!), and it comes in a little plastic egg. Pop it open and you're treated to a superbly detailed mini console, complete with perfectly modelled joypad, VMUs (with lids that come off!), and a GD-Rom (Space Channel 5 in this case - I'm not sure if they differed or they all had the same game). The level of intricacy is staggering - right down to the opening console lid and removable modem. And as it's an early NTSC model, it's even got the liquid cooling system inside.

So yeah - it's the ultimate in Dreamcast geekery (well, besides that jacket I've still got stuffed in a cupboard somewhere. Oh, and the Dreamcast towel I STILL use in the gym - note to self: wash it), and it's quite a unique item. Nice.

I've also stumbled upon a fairly brilliant DC-related thingy this week. It's a mobile phone 'app' available on the Google Play store called 'DreamCollection,' and it's basically a kind of database of DC games that allows you to tick off the games that you own. It's such a simple idea, but really cool - and it's free! Perfect for tightwads like yours truly who also happen to be obsessive about Dreamcast. It's a bit like Pokemon. But with Dreamcast games. That you can't fight against each other...so not really like Pokemon at all. But I wouldn't know that because I've never played a Pokemon game. Not once. Even though my avatar image is a character from Pokemon. Fuck it: here's a really shitty picture I tried to take of my mobile's screen for illustrative purposes:

Huawei. Not quite a retina display, but does the job.
You can't really see much, but it's quite well put together and features little pictures of the games' covers and allows you to select whether you have a complete version of a game, or just the disk, booklet or case. The only minor issue for us PAL Dreamcasters is that it's geared towards US collectors...but it's still a pretty nice addition to the Android Market (and I think it's available for iPhone too). Go here for further info.

Right, I'm off to see Liara in her quarters.


Err. On second thoughts...maybe Garrus instead.

Some DC Racing Goodness from Classic Game Room

Classic Game Room, still the most constantly updated video review channel that's actually good, has been doing quite a handful of videos as of late of Dreamcast games, in particular it's many racing games.

First up, Metropolis Street Racer! This was without a doubt one of those games you were either sucked into for months, or like me just didn't get time to dedicate to it so just cheated by finding a complete save file to muck about in it.


Next up..Speed Devils! I think he is mostly right about it being a bit on the dull side, but it's still kind of fun and has plenty to do in it. Of course there are much better racers on the system but if you have played all the best already this is one of the better of the rest, as it were.

Finally the most recent is this one for Daytona USA 2001. I have to agree with what he says about the controls: they are very twitchy and a bit tricky to get used to compared to the Saturn and DLC versions of the game, but it's still well worth owning for all the extras and whatnot. Also at the end of this video we are teased that Classic game Room will soon be reviewing more indie games such as Last Hope and Gunlord!

Gunlord and Redux Promo Art!

Just purchased Gunlord and want to see the artwork from the front cover in it's entirety without logos, screenshots and text in the way? Well you're in luck as the artists who contributed to the games wonderful packaging have uploaded the full pieces on their DeviantArt accounts!

Halil Ural was responsible for the front cover art for both the standard and limited editions of Gunlord, which you can see below. Click on them to go see them in their full glory!


Gonzalo Ordóñez Arias, well known for his role as part of the UDON crew, also provided this stunning piece that is found as a two page spread in the Gunlord manual.


As a bonus, Gonzalo has also uploaded this (new to me) Redux: Dark Matters artwork!

DCJY InsideOut: Gunlord Limited Edition


Here is a unboxing and first impressions video of the first new Dreamcast game of 2012 Gunlord, the limited edition version with the extra soundtrack disc! This might be the most beautifully presented release NG:DEV TEAM have done to date, with lots of stinning artwork all over it. The game is great fun too, the first level is really quite large and can take up to around 20 minutes if you explore it fully.

Since making this video yesterday morning when it arrived i have played it some more and got up to the boss of the 3rd level. The 2nd and 3rd levels were not quite as long or as large as the 1st unless I;m missing the alternative routes and the 2nd stage was a rather kick arse (but also kinda short and easy) scrolling shooter stage!

So first impressions are very good! Look forward to playing it some more!

Gunlord release date!


Just got an e-mail from NG.DEV.TAm about the release date for Gunlord! There are also reprints of Fast Striker and Last Hope pink Bullets on the way, in case you missed out on those before. Here's what the e-mail said.

finally after a long wait we can announce the official release dates for the Dreamcast versions of Gunlord.

Newcomer Bundle DC      21.06.2012
Gunlord DC Limited Edition  21.06.2012
Gunlord DC Double Bundle  21.06.2012
Gunlord DC Regular Edition 21.06.2012

The collector's edition needs a few days more time due to more complex packaging and printing. The three movie size posters of the CE are shipped separately a week or two later rolled in tubes.

Gunlord DC "Dragon Box" Collector's Edition [CE]  25.06.2012

Reprints:

Fast Striker 1.5 DC Regular Edition [Reprint]    19.06.2012
Last Hope Soundtrack Bundle      19.06.2012
Last Hope Pink Bullets DC [Reprint]      19.06.2012
 Looks like Gunlord will be the first 2012 release for the Dreamcast in gamers hands! Looking forward to it!

Sturmwind features in latest Retro Core


Retro Core is one of my personal favourite web shows about video games and is produced by Yakumo, the same man behind the excellent website Segagaga Domain. For the latest episode he has something special for us Dreamcast fans: a exclusive preview of upcoming redspotgames release Sturmwind! We get around 10 minutes of gameplay footage here, so if you were still on the fence about pre ordering this game, now we have plenty of footage to get a gist of what it will be like!

Personal opinion: I think it looks stunning and appears to be quite a fun mix of elements from all sorts of shmups like Gradius, Thunder Force and R Type. The production values are are simply unprecedented for an indie dreamcast game. I can't wait to get my mitts on this!

2012 Dreamcast game #3: Dux sequel Redux!


With Gunlord and Sturmwind due to released at some point this year, who would have thought we would get an announcement for a THIRD release for the Dreamcast in 2012? Sure enough, here comes a sequel to the 2009 shooter Dux. It looks to be pretty similar to the previous game but with much more fire power. What's really unusual is how this one is going about being released: with a kickstarter project.
For the project they need $25,000 pledged in a month to fund both the Dreamcast release, as well as releases for iOS, Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Stream, and finally a 4 disc soundtrack. Pledging $55 will get you the soundtrack, $65 would get you the Dreamcast game and $100 would get you both. Only 1000 copies of the Dreamcast game will be made, and this is the only way to grab one!


What's more, the game will be bundled with another game...an update to the original DUX! So if you never bought the original this is not a bad deal if the new version is as much of an improvement as Pink Bullets was to Last Hope!

It's certainly a first for the Dreamcast scene to have a game funded by the fans in such a way. Could this be how future Dreamcast projects come to fruition? Either way the Dreamcast even in 2012 STILL refuses to die, thanks to these slightly batty but brilliant developers who love the console so much.



Update: The $25,000 target has been met in just 5 days! You can still pledge for a copy of the Dreamcast version for another 25 days so if you're planning to grab it make sure you do before them days are over! Congrats to the Redux team for hitting their target and well done Dreamcast fan base for supporting this so well! :)

It's a Dreamcast, yo!

Anyone following the blog should be familiar with that most interesting of hobbies that is spotting the Dreamcast, the Dreamcast logo or anything Dreamcast related anywhere, from movies to toilets and everything in between. Now, in a weird twist of fate, we actually got the artist behind a videoclip letting us know that it features a Dreamcast console, games and even a t-shirt. In case you've missed the single comment from the post below, UK hip-hop artist Nineties Boy released a song called Take Control, featuring a rather professional-looking videoclip that is basically a giant ad for SEGA and Wrestling (nice combination, I think I can see where he got his name from).


I got to admit that's not really my type of music, I don't listen to a lot of hip-hop, and when I do it's usually heavier (Mos Def), weirder (Aesop Rock) shit, but the video itself got me hooked right from the beginning when I saw a Jet Set Radio disc being popped in (being my very first game for the DC, excuse me if I get sentimental).

Props to Nineties Boy for reaching out to gamers everywhere ;)

Dreamcast Diva Ulala to Cameo in Crossover RPG


For those not following general gaming news, the story goes like this: For the past month, a project has been teased involving SEGA, Namco-Bandai, and Capcom. All that was known was that it was to be a crossover game on the 3DS. Japanese magazine Famitsu has finally spilled the beans, the game will be called Project X Zone (pronounced Project Cross Zone). Project X Zone will be a strategy RPG featuring “iconic” characters from all three publishers. According to Famitsu, the characters in the game will team up in pairs for fighting scenes. You can read the full report over at SEGAbits.

The bit that matters to Dreamcast fans is the reveal of Ulala as one of the SEGA characters making a cameo! Pai and Akira of Virtua Fighter also appear. You can check out some screens and new art in the scan above. It's unknown if the game will get an English release, but I'm going to lean towards unlikely. It's just too niche a title despite the cameos. Space Channel 5 has gotten a bit of attention this year, with the Space Channel 5 references in the 3DS game Rhythm Thief and this title. Could these cameos point towards a 3DS Space Channel 5 game? I know I'd love a Part 3!

Phantasy Star Online 2 is free-to-play!!!


Not strictly Dreamcast-related news, but who among us has never played PSO? Not many, I dare to assume. I for once have really fond memories of playing the first game, having been the second title I owned for the system (the first was Jet Set Radio), and have since played it again in a variety of versions and platforms, including PSO ver. 2 on the DC, PSO: Blue Burst on the PC, and more recently PSO Episode I and II on the Xbox.

But I digress, so...back to the recent news of PSO 2 being free-to-play! Yup, according to this Joystick article, SEGA just announced that the new game will have a free-to-download, free-to-play model. We'll have to pay for extra stuff, which I hope won't break down the gameplay and make it unfair for those who can't afford it, but at least we won't have to pay to try the game, and with some great examples of other MMORPG's making good use of this system, there's reason to hope this is for the best. Let's hope SEGA has it under control and will deliver a great experience for everyone.

Shenmue: Mad Angels Brawl, on GT Level


Speaking of Shenmue, it just got featured on the GameTrailers-produced show Level! Now, GameTrailers may be a somewhat controversial website, seen by many as catering more to the masses than the dedicated gamers, and I won't argue with that (MW3 got a 9.3/10? Seriously???), but they really redeem themselves with some rather great shows (I can't recommend Pop Fiction enough, it's kind of mythbusters with video games). Level, on the other hand, aims to celebrate and analyze those memorable moments in a game, which leave the best impression on most of the people who play them.

When it comes to Shenmue there are way too many of such moments to choose from, but I think we can all agree that the section they chose is pretty damn good. Now, I won't take your time writing a long description, both because I don't wanna spoil it for anyone who hasn't played Shenmue yet (what are you waiting for???) and the video above just does a better job at it. So, yeah, if you want to relive an awesome moment in video game history just watch the video above.

Shenmue 1 & 2 HD


Wassup, fellow dreamcasters? It's been a long, long time without posting, but today I repent for my sins as I come to you with some rather delightful news (which I really hope haven't been posted before, I searched for a bit and couldn't fin anything).

It looks like that most beloved of Dreamcast sagas is getting an HD treatment. According to this site both Shenmue 1 and 2 have been ported already and SEGA is just waiting for the right time to release them on the XBLA and PSN.

Of course, by now what we're all thinking is: "And what about Shenmue III? Now that would be news!". Well, according to the same source, the delay in releasing these HD ports is tied to SEGA taking the time to decide whether or not they will continue to work on the franchise.

Yeah, I know, it could just be the same "Shenmue III rumours" all over again, but if these HD releases really come out and sell well, who knows? Maybe it could be our way of telling SEGA that we don't just wish for a 3rd game, but are actually willing to pay them for it. Let's wait and see...

New Sturmwind screenshots. Phew!

Sega Portal has got their mitts on some new details on Sturmwind, the upcoming indie shooter from Redspotgames and Duranik, including the fact that the game box will have dual cover artwork, so if the big green octopus thingy is not your cuppa tea there is the flip side art of a pilot's helmet. Take your pick I guess!


If that's not enough they also obtained a whole slew of new screenshots, showing the newly revised hud amongst other improvements. You can check out the rest of the screens over at Sega Portal. Safe to say this game is looking rather good. I mean look at this mean fella of a boss!

Pre-rendered for sure but still massively impressive looking, especially when you see it moving. here's hoping it is fun to match! Still no solid release date yet but we'll keep you posted when we find out!

Jet Set Radio HD to Lose Deavid Soul?



Joystiq is reporting that Jet Set Radio's HD rerelease will not retain the full soundtrack. While I expected the HD version to shed a few tracks, I had thought the losses would be limited to the US and Euro additions. However, Joystiq points to even more cuts, most notably four tracks from Deavid Soul and Idol Taxi's OK House. JSR fans will immediately recognize Deavid Soul's tracks: Miller Ball Breakers, On the Bowl, Up-Set Attack and Yappie Feet.

Now I'm not saying that the game will be ruined without these tracks, it'll be a blast to have the right stick FINALLY controlling the camera and 60fps widescreen in HD will look stunning. But with a game like Jet Set Radio, where music is a major element of the game and story, the loss of five tracks is a big deal. Up-Set Attack and OK House define Shibuya-Cho, the former track serving as the introductory music for the first stage. Miller Ball Breakers and On The Bowl ARE the sound of Benten-Cho.

As the game has yet to be released, the best course of action is to hit SEGA up on Twitter and Facebook and request that they do all they can to bring Deavid Soul and Idol Taxi's songs to the HD version. In the meantime, don't sell your Dreamcast copies just yet.

New Gunlord trailer and release date of 14th June!

NG: Dev Team have released a new trailer for their upcoming run and gunner Gunlord. Once again we get tons of gameplay footage (which if you rather be surprised by some of the level and enemy elements you may wanna skip through like I did) as well as the hilarious opening cut scene. You'll see what I mean. The release date is now confirmed for June 14th. Rather looking forward to this!

In other news Redspotgames have also announced that they can get back to work on Strumwind now that they have solved the issues they had with the production. So that's two DC games for 2012 on the way still! :)

Which Version of Jet Set Radio is the BEST?


In the latest edition of my weekly article series for SEGAbits, I compared three regional versions of Jet Set Radio to find out which version was the best. Those unacquainted with the US, European and Japanese versions of Jet Set Radio may be thinking: “whats the big deal? A ton of Dreamcast titles were released in three regions.” Well, unlike most Dreamcast games, Jet Set Radio had rather notable differences between regional releases. Each version features unique graffiti tags, unique songs, different stages, different character names and voices and even different titles. Of the three, which is the best? That’s what we’ll try to decide today, by comparing five aspects of the games and choosing a winner! 


Check out my full article over at SEGAbits!

Jet Set Radio Coming This Summer!


SEGA Blog has just shared some VERY exciting news regarding the next Dreamcast rerelease. The game being released is Jet Set Radio,as if there was any doubt. They also confirmed that the game will be known as Jet Set Radio, so say goodbye to the original US title “Jet Grind Radio” (and good riddance!). Also, the game will be in beautiful widescreen, as seen in the screen shot above, and the game is coming to XBLA, PSN, and Windows PC Digital Download this summer! SEGA has also announced a contest where fans can get there art in the game and win prizes for doing so. Reminds me of when the game originally released, I recall SEGA having a similar contest. So far so good! Now SEGA just needs to confirm that there will be no music cuts. 

A Sneak Peek at the Dreamcast's Smithsonian Debut

For quite some time, Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution has been planning an Art of Video Games exhibit. The show began with an open vote allowing gamers to choose the 80 games which will receive representation at the show. In the end, a number of Dreamcast games made the cut, including ChuChu Rocket!, Sonic Adventure and Shenmue. Now that the games are picked, the show is under construction and employees have offered up a sneak peek at what will become the kiosks. Looking forward to seeing these up and in use! Check out more photos here and learn more about the show here.

Half-Life Dreamcast Comes To the PC?

In Dreamcast news that can only be described as somewhat odd the unreleased Dreamcast version of Half-Life has been released for the PC.

It's a bit interesting, I thought the only major differences were from the High Definition pack which was already available for the PC version. However, the creators of this mod state that there are many other differences including additional graphics, NPC models and Dreamcast easter eggs in the game.

Personally I only noticed one little extra thing when I played the Dreamcast version but it did run very nicely.

More info here:

http://www.moddb.com/mods/half-life-dreamcast



If you have the Steam version of Half Life you can run the Dreamcast version as a mod.