Dreamcast Magazine Issue 17

Issue 17 of Paragon Publishing's unofficial Dreamcast Magazine was available to purchase in UK corner shops from 28th December 2000. Costing just £2.99 and nestled in amongst the Buckfast and Wham Bars, issue 17 featured Ubisoft and Darkworks' Lovecraft-inspired horror adventure Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare on the cover; alongside Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Tomb Raider Chronicles. The biggest draw for buyers of Dreamcast Magazine issue 17 though, was the infamous cover-mounted free gift.
The Blaze Xploder DC Cheats CD was intended to be a sample of the full product, which allowed users to activate cheats in Dreamcast games. Promising exotic treats such as infinite lives, the removal of in-game timers, and naked characters (probably); the demo version bundled with issue 17 allowed gamers to implement certain 'pokes' in a limited selection of 'titles.' However, it quickly became apparent that while the disc did indeed work as intended, it also bestowed upon users the ability to completely bypass the regional lockout of the Dreamcast and thus opened the door for UK gamers to play NTSC-U and NTSC-J games on their PAL systems.
Imagine for a moment that you answered an innocent knock on your front door, only to be confronted by Professor X who proceded to explain that you were the heir to Stark Industries and were now the new Iron Man. Yes, I know I'm mixing franchises, but this is the kind of power we're talking about. Sort of. It isn't. Anyway, this wasn't the only time such a blunder glorious fuck up was made by a magazine in the UK (as this recent Eurogamer article from former DC-UK editor Keith Stuart will testify); but it was certainly the first time it happened with a disc given away by Dreamcast Magazine, and it probably didn't help Paragon's relationship with Sega Europe either.

Elsewhere, issue 17 has its fair share of interesting news items and previews. Most notable of the previews is a look at the subsequently cancelled Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, and here it is reported as being 60% complete. Not sure how true that is, but be sure to visit Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds for some fascinating shots of the cancelled Dreamcast port. Interesting news snippets report the development of Midway's Arctic Thunder, that Shenmue 2 would span a massive 6 GDs (it didn't), and that Sonic Adventure 3 was already in development for Dreamcast despite Sonic Adventure 2 not even being finished at the time of publication.

Virtua Striker 3 shots are shown for the first time and there is an interesting story in the Japanese news section that details Sega's plan to incorporate a 'special chip' into DVD players that will allow them to play Dreamcast games. Whether this is a slightly misinformed nod to the ill-fated Pace set top box (read our previous article here for further info on that) is unknown, but if there's any truth at all in the report, it begs the question: why not just add a DVD drive to a Dreamcast rather than try to do it the other way round? It's a moot point now, of course...but it just beggars belief if there's even a modicum of truth in the story. Oh, and you can see our Sega Spud Dive article here.
The main feature in issue 17 is a Dreamcast versus PlayStation 2 face-off, which naturally appeared in the magazine due to the impending launch of Sony's black slab of total destruction. Obviously, it was deemed that the Dreamcast was a better purchase at the time...and who could argue, looking at the contemporary libraries? That said, we all know how history panned out, but in the long run the result was probably right - after all, you don't see many new PlayStation 2 games these days do you?! It's all a bit tongue-in-cheek and we know the PS2 is a stellar system when all's said and done, but as the world's premier Dreamcast destination, we couldn't possibly root for the other guys. Moving very swiftly on...

Other previews in issue 17 cover Alien Front Online, Headhunter, Crazy Taxi 2, Sega Marine Fishing, Sonic Shuffle, Black & White and Skies of Arcadia; while reviews cover Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Tokyo Highway Challenge 2, Mr Driller, Army Men: Sarge's Heroes, 102 Dalmatians, Chicken Run, Capcom Vs SNK, Tomb Raider Chronicles, Frogger 2, MTV Skateboarding, KISS Psycho Circus, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Donald Duck: Quack Attack. Anyway, enough bollocks from me in text form - your reward for getting this far is even more bollocks in audio/visual form:

Once again, apologies that it isn't HD. I spent 24 hours (literally) trying to upload in both 1080 and 720 but my terrible Sky Broadband would allow it. Moving providers in a few weeks so hopefully the next video will be 1080.


fanat said...

This is the Dreamcast DVD they're talking about http://i.imgur.com/Pwu38fZ.jpg
Of all people, Tom, you should know this.
Shame on you!

Tom Charnock said...

No. If you read the snippet I uploaded, you'll see that it was a third party DVD player with Dreamcast tech inside. This is something totally different.

fanat said...

I do not see how that mockup conflicts with the idea presented in that snippet. It looks like a dvd player with a dreamcast logo slapped on the disc sledge. It's, literally, a materialisation of the idea of dvd + dreamcast. Unless I'm missing something while staring right at it?

Tom Charnock said...

I always just assumed the thing you originally linked to was purely a DVD player, maybe something they'd give away with the console instead of the Encore thing. Never seen anything to suggest it was more than just a DC branded DVD player, but if I'm wrong, I apologise. I'm just a guy making daft videos and writing rubbish out of boredom!