Attack Of The Clones

Clone systems are nothing new and they're not going away any time soon either. If you don't know what a clone system is, let me enlighten you. A clone is a console usually manufactured and sold in countries where laws are lax and cheap electronic manufacturing processes are a way of life. Using the (nefariously reproduced) innards of older 8-bit systems such as an Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Master System, a clone invariably comes with roms pre-installed, a controller that is a piece of shit and a shell that looks like the bastard lovechild of Sloth from The Goonies and the morbidly obese red car from that old Milky Way advert.
The Chameleon refuses to die.
In truth, most clone consoles are utter crap, but in some places they're the only way to play games simply because owning a PS4 or any other genuine gaming machine just isn't financially possible. Please be assured that I'm not mocking the societal hardships of fellow gamers in less developed nations, but that's just how it is. Saying that, calling the UK a 'developed nation' is pushing it - I saw a human turd in the street the other day.

Now, the reason I bring up clones is that it's become apparent that there are a couple that borrow heavily from the shell designs of legit systems...and some of them even mimic the hallowed Dreamcast. There aren't that many (not as many as ape the PlayStation, for example) but I thought it'd be interesting to have a look at the ones I could find. And by 'find,' I mean copy from a Google image search. Cough.

Dorikyasu Game Corner
This contraption is basically a NES in the shape of a Dreamcast. According to the almost impenetrable description from the website it is listed on (after being translated by Google, natch), the Game Corner features a cartridge slot under the lid and a handy eject button. The bundled controllers are N64 rip-offs and it also comes with a knock-off Namco GunCon for some reason. Could be handy for Duck Hunt I guess. Sadly, the Game Corner is no longer available, but I think it's safe to say no-one will be losing any sleep over it. Interestingly, the same site also lists handheld Dreamcasts that are built to order, but those are no longer for sale either.

Mega Drive V
The Mega Drive V, as the name so cunningly suggests, is a Mega Drive/Genesis clone in Dreamcast clothing. This system appears to hail from Russia and the box has some rather nice yet totally unsanctioned Mortal Kombat artwork on it. As with the Game Corner, the Mega Drive V has the ability to accept carts via a slot under the lid and for some reason the creators of this shodtastic abomination decided to go with PlayStation controllers rather than the expected Mega Drive ones. Happily though, they're referred to as 'convenient horned turbo game pads,' so Sony's lawyers don't really have a leg to stand on should they wish to crack down on the V's manufacturer.

Dream Z Plus / Dream Z Plus Alpha
These Korean clones are perhaps the most faithful in design to the Dreamcast as they even take the controller model and copy them almost verbatim. Naturally, there's no VMU support and the little 'LCD screens' are almost certainly stickers but you can't fault the manufacturer for effort. There's precious little information on either of these variants of the Dream Z Plus, but the shells look like slightly stretched Dreamcasts with different controller ports on the front and an extra button. Again, due to the lack of information I'm unable to tell if these just have a load of crappy built in games or sport a secret cart slot for some hot Famiclone action. Still, they both come with two controllers plus a light gun, and the Alpha comes with an arcade stick type thing too. It looks like it would explode with the force of the Tunguska event as soon as it was plugged in, but it's a nice addition to the package nonetheless.

Handy Boy
There's even less info about this one online and the only real reference I can find to it is this thread on the mighty Dreamcast-Talk forum. Unlike the other clones listed here, the Handy Boy is an all-in-one and likely has all the games stored inside and offers some kind of menu system from which you can select your own path to gaming hell. I'm going to make an educated guess here and predict that the software contained within this pandora's box probably consists of the same broken 8-bit games replicated 10,000 times (but with a different colour palette), just like those godawful 250-in-1 Gameboy cartridges you occasionally see being sold by dickheads at car boot sales for £20 because they're 'rare.'

I know it's not really a clone because it allows you to play actual Dreamcast games, but I just thought I'd troll you dear reader. Because I love you. To be honest, I'm pretty sure nobody is even reading this, so I can type what I want. I might as well type Lorem Ipsum because most people will briefly glance at the pictures and go back to tweeting images of Megadrive games with a 'retrogaming' hashtag. I fucking hate Twitter, and it's because of the whole hipster 'I like games but I don't know what a 3DO is' crowd. One day, when the Earth has been scorched by a million nuclear missiles, a lone mutant will shuffle upon a broken VMU amongst the sand and bleached bones. They'll drool, pick it up with fused fingers and hold it aloft toward the super-expanded red giant that the sun hath become. And on the back of that VMU will be scratched the URL to this very post. But there'll be no internet. And there'll be nobody with the ability to read. Oh, the irony.

Anyway, I'm sure there are plenty more Dreamcast-inspired clones floating around out there, so if you find one please share it with us either in the comments or on the DCJY Facebook group. Also, you'll find a much more in-depth look at clone systems on Wikipedia here. Also, special thanks to Cauterize from RetroCollect for the link to the Game Corner.

Right, I'm off to cook some fish fingers over a burning wellington boot. Bye!


Auyx said...

Well that got weird, maybe if you stop cooking food over melting rubber the visions might stop.

Father Krishna said...

Utter brilliance.

KuroSaru said...

Lol. All hail the mutant overlords!

Manu Pärssinen said...

I'm pretty sure The Mega Drive V is also a Famiclone. So NES, not Megadrive.

Anonymous said...

Fish fingers? Silly Tom, fish don't have fingers!


Eric Johnson said...

Yeah, I hate Twitter, too.

Unknown said...

LOL man you smoke some heavy shit to write the part of the treamcast.

fanat said...

@Manu Pärssinen no that's a mega drive clone. That's why it's called "Mega Drive", duh. If a russian bootleg console is called "mega drive" then it is indeed a mega drive. This is because mega drive is very well known and loved over there and people actually know what it is. So when they see the words "mega drive" they expect to get an actual mega drive.