<-- -!>

Featured Article

Dreamcast is finally on Next Gen and Switch! (yes this is a clickbait article about Super Monkey Ball)

 

And yes, I felt dirty making that clickbait title, even as a joke.

For those of you not in the know, the Sega Dreamcast, as well as the Sega Saturn and Sega Game Gear are now DLC character skins on the Nintendo Switch, as well as the Xbox One, the PS4 and the PS5, although the last platforms I haven't sampled, as I am not made of money! Despite the fact I have willingly paid 3.99 to unlock the in-game skins you can feast your eyes on here. And now that I have had a tiny bit of a break in my stupid, boring adult life I am here to bring you this news, er weeks after it came out. Anyway!

Monkey Ball, the popular Sega franchise that first appeared in Arcades on Sega Naomi, and then later moved to the Gamecube and other platforms has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. And to mark the occasion it released a sort of compilation mash-up of most of its good games (in true Sega fashion there are some shockers in among its collective canon). Dreamcastery aside, the comp is very good bar the new Monkey Target mode and I would recommend it if you have liked any of Super Monkey Ball in the past, unless you only liked Monkey Target mode!



Go Tiny Dreamcast! Go!

Back of the console is represented too. No idea if it's a GDEMU compatible model though

In among the game, you have the option to unlock popular Sega and Dreamcast themed characters, such as Beat from Jet Set Radio and Tales from Sonic Adventure, Hello Kitty is also another Paid for DLC character who has Dreamcast links, although sadly doesn't come with the option to play as the Hello Kitty Dreamcast console. You can also unlock less popular Dreamcast characters like Sonic the HamsterMan.


You can recreate the Dreamcasts actual life by making an incredible start being crashing off the edge of the world

Sadly the characters are only available in the main game mode, so you can't be using your little Dreamcast to soar through the skies in Monkey Target, down the lane in Monkey Bowling or on any of the other mini-games. However, I for one did enjoy seeing the little Dreamcast ripping around in the main game or admittedly better playing as beat; complete with his associated skating animation.

Whilst only tentatively Sega Dreamcast related, it's still cool to see anything of this sort. And at £3.99 for what was already a cheaper than full price game it felt worth it just for the opportunity to grab some stupid screenshots. So feast your eyes on them here, and let us know if you grabbed the game and indulged in playing as a tiny little Sega Console from the past. 



Sonic's rings he inexplicably collects join him too

Petrol Panic! 6 of the best gas stations in Dreamcast games

For a relatively brief period in late 2021, the UK transformed from a miserable, grey, rainswept dystopia into a miserable, grey, rainswept dystopia that had no petrol at the vast majority of its filling stations. Many reasons were put forward for this phenomenon, but the general consensus was that some shitty 'news' websites were hungry for clicks, so they told everyone to start panicking and go and buy some fuel before it ran out...even though there wasn't actually a shortage. 

What ensued was an embarrasing display of idiocy on a national scale, with people fighting over diesel and miles long queues at forecourts. Meanwhile, Hexxus from Fern Gully was rubbing his oily hands at the prospect of another few decades of humans acting like assholes because they couldn't put some 4* in their Vauxhall Cavaliers.

Oddly, Crazy Taxi features no gas stations. I know, I've looked.

Anyhow, It occured to me - while I too was sitting in a 14 mile long queue for petrol, incidentally - that there are numerous games on the Dreamcast which feature equally queue-less petrol/gas stations. And here, for your pleasure is a rundown of six such virtual establishments. It's worth noting that none of the petrol/gas stations here feature a digital queue of Crazy Taxis or Afro Thunder punching people on the forecourt. Which is a crying shame, if you ask me.


San Francisco Rush 2049

It's actually quite a push to think that people will still need petrol stations in 2049 - surely electric vehicles will be the norm then? That said, one of the cars in Rush has an actual rocket engine on the back. Either way, If you travel to the Haight course in San Francisco Rush 2049, you'll stumble upon this double Shell garage that has perhaps the largest forecourt canopy ever constructed. Furthermore, the pumps appear to be emblazoned with acid faces, so maybe they aren't fuel dispensers at all, and are in fact tiny portaloos inhabited by local drug dealers.

Summary: Massively over engineered roof canopy, poor vehicle access, bizarre signage on pumps. Could be a front for more serious gang crime in the wider San Francisco area.


18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker

18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker is a game in which you drive trucks with 18 wheels, while pretendng to be an American. Unless you are an American. And a pro trucker. It's a passable arcade to Dreamcast port that is much less impressive when played on a 14" CRT television in a damp bedroom as opposed to on a huge multi-displayed big rig arcade machine with all of your nonexistent friends cheering you on. But enough of my childhood. On the first stage of the arcade mode (Key West), just after you come off the freeway theres a lovely little Texaco on the right offering various delicious fuels for a bargain price. Also, just beyond said petrol station there's an advertising board with a typo. Which is nice.

Summary: Nice looking, well kept and tidy Texaco branch. Intelligently located next to a busy arterial route. Occasionally an overly aggressive rival trucker buying beers will call you a 'greenhorn' and throw a cup of piss at you.


This upcoming Shenmue anime looks pretty good

The first teaser trailer for Crunchyroll and Adult Swim's Shenmue: The Animation has dropped...and it looks pretty damn good. First announced back in 2020, the animated version of Ryo's revenge saga will be 13 episodes long and is being produced by Telecom Animation Film. Have a look for yourself:

What's not to like? Gravel voiced narration; Ryo kicking ass; Lan Di looking like every bit the evil barsteward that he is...even though I'm hardly the most fervent Shenmue fan, I can appreciate how cool this looks. Still, a part of me wishes they'd have simply recreated Steamed Hams with Ryo and Lan Di, but you can't have it all.

All this talk of Dreamcast-related cartoons makes wonder when that Spirit of Speed 1937 anime is coming out...? Sigh.