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Celebrate 22 years of Jet Set Radio with some licensed merch

It's June 29 2022 as I write this...and that means only one thing: it's exactly 22 years since Jet Set Radio was first unleashed on the world. Yep, on June 29 2000 Beat, Gum and Corn et al erupted onto the scene, taking on Poison Jam, the Love Shockers and Noise Tanks while grooving on down to the soothing choons pumped out by pirate radio DJ Professor K.

You could celebrate this event by playing Jet Set Radio. You could also celebrate by playing Jet Grind Radio. Or you could fire up your Xbox and play Jet Set Radio Future...but that would be pointless considering this anniversary is reserved for the original Dreamcast title's Japanese release. Soz.

One other way you could show your support for the cel shaded graffiti spraying hooligans of Smilebit's magnum opus (no, it categorically is not 90 Minutes) is by heading over to the SEGA Shop and checking out some of the interesting merchandise they have on offer. 

Personally I'm not a huge fan of the TUBBZ 'cosplaying duck' thing they have for sale (seriously, what even is that?); but some of the other stuff emblazoned with JSR coolness is actually quite...cool?

There's a couple of wearable items in the form of an officially licensed t-shirt and hoody, and a nice pin set. The item that does it for me though is the licensed water bottle that mimics the look of the paint cans that you need to collect in the actual game. Indeed, the blurb on the site says:

"Getting up to mischief in Fukuoka will certainly leave you thirsty! Why not hydrate yourself with this incredible Jet Set Radio Spray Can Water Bottle? The design of this water bottle is based on Beat's trademark graffiti spray can."

Quite. So now you can answer the call of Tokyo-To (not to be confused with the Call of Cthulhu under any circumstances) by filling an officially licensed Jet Set Radio receptacle with Frosty Jack cider and getting seriously fresh while spraying celebratory graffiti all over the city of Milwaukee. Actually, don't do that. Head to the SEGA Store instead and see if any of this licenced guff takes your fancy.

Bernie Stolar has passed away aged 75

Bernie Stolar has sadly passed away at the age of 75. The news of the former Sega of America president's passing broke over the last few days, and we thought it only right to mention it here on a Dreamcast-centric blog. Stolar was president of Sega of America from 1996 to 1999 and famously sat in the hotseat during the Dreamcast's formative years, before leaving the role to make way for Peter Moore.

Prior to working at Sega, Stolar was instrumental in the creation of Sony Computer Entertainment America, and later he worked for toy giant Mattel and then later gaming service ZOOM Platform alongside friend of the Junkyard Jordan Freeman (pictured below).

We were lucky enough to welcome Bernie to the Dreamcast Junkyard back in 2018 when he agreed to answer some of our questions about his time at Sega of America, the Dreamcast and - most importantly - his favourite Dreamcast games. Mentioning that Rush 2049 was one of his favourite games gave me a huge sense of vindication, waxing lyrical as I do about it being one of the finest games on the Dreamcast - if the former president of Sega of America and father of the Dreamcast agreed, that's good enough for me!

The sad news of Bernie Stolar's passing comes mere weeks after the news of former Managing Director Hidekazu Yukawa's death in 2021, and this marks a very poignant time for fans of the Dreamcast. 

Our thoughts and best wishes go to Bernie's friends, family and colleagues.

DCJY welcomes WAVE Game Studios & SEGA Powered

Episode 106 of our podcast DreamPod has landed, and it's a rather special one. This time, your regular hosts Tom and Andrew welcome Daniel from WAVE Game Studios and Dean Mortlock, editor of SEGA Powered magazine.

Anyone visiting this here blog will undoubtedly be aware of WAVE Game Studios as they are the Norwich-based publisher which is single handedly revitalising the indie publishing scene right here in 2022; while those who have more than a passing interest in SEGA magazines of yesteryear (and the present!) will recognise the name Dean Mortlock, as he was editor of the legendary SEGA Power and later Saturn Power before returning with SEGA Powered magazine in 2021.


Why have we got both of these fine gentlemen on one episode? Well, that's because issue 5 of SEGA Powered magazine (set to be avaliable in early July 2022) will feature a cover mounted Dreamcast demo disc, full of bitesize (and bespoke) game demos and videos! This partnership between WAVE and SEGA Powered represents the first time a Dreamcast demo disc has come on the front cover of a magazine since the early 2000s - and you won't want to miss it.

A look at the demo disc sleeve!

Listen to our chat using the embedded player above, or you can grab the episode over on Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts...or wherever else you usually get your podcasts from.

Follow SEGA Powered on Twitter here (and look out for our gander at issue 5 here in the near future); and follow WAVE Game Studios here.

Retrospective: The Flashback series on Dreamcast

With the recent announcement that a true Flashback sequel (imaginatively titled Flashback 2) is heading our way in late 2022, we thought it appropriate to cast our minds back to the recent past and take another look at the officially sanctioned Flashback titles released on the Dreamcast. 

It's not really common knowledge that Flashback was given a full physical release, complete with a hyper fragile PAL case, back in 2017. Well regarded publisher JoshProd was behind this fantastic edition of Delphine Software's sprite based action adventure, and the release was even given a full seal of approval by original creator Paul Cuisset.

We reviewed the game at the time, and gushed at the lovingly crafted package. From the excellent (and authentic) box art and printed disc, to the additional extras lavished upon the Dreamcast remaster, it really was excellent and packed with content.

This included such notable features as a full and uncut intro cinematic (previous console versions featured a cut down intro from the Amiga version), the option to enable pre-rendered cut scenes from the PC release, full voice acting, alternative soundtracks, 16-bit emulated versions, and quick saves using the VMU. 

Furthermore, quality of life improvements came in the form of numerous graphic filters and fully customisable controls. Underneath all the polish though, Flashback for Dreamcast was/is just plain old Flashback...but when 'plain old' Flashback is as good as it is, that's no bad thing.

The release of Flashback on Dreamcast went almost unnoticed by the mainstream gaming press though, and it was quickly forgotten about as the game was subsequently ported to modern platforms such as the Nintendo Switch. Naturally, the Dreamcast is a bit of a niche system these days so that's understandable, but the fact remains that the Dreamcast port of Flashback is as solid as they come and could arguably be viewed as the blueprint for the current gen re-releases that came after it.

What hapenned next was similarly seemingly ignored in the main - the 1995 follow up to Flashback, titled Fade to Black, was also given a fully approved 'official' physical release on Dreamcast. Fade to Black first came to the PC and PlayStation in the mid-nineties to some moderate success, eschewing the prequel's side on, rotoscoped gameplay for a more modern (for the time) leap into 3D. 

Once again assuming the role of main protagonist Conrad B. Hart, players of Fade to Black were thrown into another sci-fi adventure involving the wanton shooting of old foes the Morphs, solving of simplistic puzzles, finding keys and getting hopelessly lost...but this time from a pseudo over-the-shoulder perspective.

Again released by JoshProd and given full approval by the rights holder and designer Delphine Software and Paul Cuisset, Fade to Black on Dreamcast was released in 2018 to very little in the way of fanfare outside of the Dreamcast community. The Dreamcast release, in a similar fashion to the prequel, is a sort of mash-up of the other versions of the game, with the main bulk of the game seemingly based on the PC iteration. 

This is especially evident in the comparatively clean visuals and relative lack of severe pixellation and texture warping associated with a lot of PlayStation titles. Something that sets this game apart from the other indie Dreamcast releases of the era is that it is indeed a fully 3D game, that runs well on the Dreamcast and showcases just how well the Dreamcast might be used for the porting of other classic DOS or Windows games (something that has come to further fruition with the recent release of Postal). 

Controls can take a bit of getting used to, especially since the game employs a Soldier of Fortune style 'hold down a button to access a secondary menu' type system; and you can't manually aim Conrad's sidearm making for some frustrating firefights. Overall though, Fade to Black is a decent third person adventure, albeit one that is very much of its time.

There are a couple of interesting asides about this Dreamcast re-release of Fade to Black that are worthy of note. The first is that the game was originally published by Electronic Arts, an organisation which famously went on to completely ignore the existence of the Dreamcast. Does this make Fade to Black the sole Electronic Arts game to be officially released on Dreamcast, then? 

Also intriguing is a rumour abounds that the Dreamcast game has totally redrawn box art (drawn by Philippe Dessoly, see above) because the original high resolution versions of the Fade to Black artwork are lost to the mists of time. How true that is, I can't be sure, but it makes for a nice bedtime story.

So there we have it. Not one, but two Flashback titles came to the Dreamcast in an official guise. Most people reading this probably already knew this, but for those who didn't...well now you do. Both releases are superb renditions of their respective source material, and are well worth seeking out (go here for Flashback and here for Fade to Black - note these are not affiliate links). 

It's probably worth mentioning here that I am more than a little biased in my views as a huge fan of the series, having owned or played pretty much every single release of Flashback across numerous different plaforms over the years. Of course the Atari Jaguar version is the best (and has the superior variant of the box art), but the Dreamcast version gives it a run for its money. Fight me in the comments.

World Cup Qatar '22 lands on Dreamcast

The Dreamcast never played host to an official FIFA World Cup title for a couple of obvious reasons - namely that the console lived and died in the four year gap between the France '98 and 2002 Korea & Japan competitions; and that Electronic Arts held the licence for the official simulation of the tournament. Yes, we know there was also a Konami-produced World Cup '98 game, but they were too busy vomiting out Grinch games onto the Dreamcast to bother porting any of that ISS goodness.

I suppose the closest we ever came to getting an official football tournament tie-in game was Sega Worldwide Soccer 2000: Euro Edition, which aimed to capitalise on the 2000 European Championships; and while that game is decent enough, it doesn't really come anywhere near the best football offerings hosted by contemporary platforms.

Things are about to change though, as a fan-made 'official' World Cup Qatar '22 game has now launched for Sega's retro beast, bringing all the thrills and spills of the 2022 Qatar World Cup to the Dreamcast...sort of. When this title was first announced a few months ago, I was quite rightly very interested. I'm a huge fan of football and football games, and so to get a new indie developed football game on the Dreamcast sounded like mana was finally being delivered from heaven. Then the news filtered through that this 'new' game was little more than a fan mod of one of the most lacklustre efforts on the Dreamcast - European Super League - and my anticipation was replaced with the normal background disappointment that only a Manchester United supporter can truly understand. Sigh.

So then, I write this news piece in two minds. On the one hand World Cup Qatar '22 (or D.E.S. / Dreamcast Evolution Soccer, as it sometimes refers to itself) is simply Virgin Interactive's European Super League in wolf's clothing. It plays the same essentially - and I hate to say this - but it's a bad game. On the other hand though, one can't help but be impressed by the effort that has gone into this release. Meu Dreamcast, the team behind World Cup Qatar '22, have gone to great lengths to add all manner of cosmetic changes to the base European Super League game, with an impressive FMV intro, up to date international squads, kits, new pitch textures, crowd effects and even play-by-play commentary (of sorts) - something the original game oddly lacked. 

Strangely, there are lots of remnants of the original base game left unedited though, such as team names during gameplay and player likenesses - I'm pretty sure Edgar Davids never played for England, for example. The game is still only a 95% complete beta according to the file name though, so maybe these things will be ammended in time.

In summary then - World Cup Qatar '22 is a game that can't really be faulted when it comes to sheer dedication on the part of the modding team. It's a free update for an existing game that adds a whole lot in terms of aesthetic upgrades; but when the engine underneath is so lacking in terms of quality there exists something of a dichotomy. It's like buying a Lamborghini only to discover someone has replaced the engine with that of an Austin Princess. 

That said, it is totally free to download and try for yourself, so there's nothing to lose in giving this spirited upstart a trial. If the squad behind this release have the inclination to turn their attention to a superior base game (say, UEFA Striker or Virtua Striker 2), then things are looking promising for the future. If they give it 110%, naturally. Back to the studio.

At this point allow me to apologise for all of the piss poor football cliches included in this news report. And now you've forgiven me, feel free to grab World Cup Qatar '22 for Dreamcast over at the Dreamcast Talk forums, and/or check out some gameplay comparison footage here.

A Farewell to Hidekazu Yukawa (plus a round-up of all the Dreamcast games he starred in)

Yesterday, Yahoo News Japan reported that Hidekazu Yukawa, the senior managing director of Sega Japan during the early part of the Dreamcast's life, passed away from pneumonia in June of last year at the age of 78. His family had kept this sad news private until now, but it is reported that Yukawa had been sick for the past 5 years (source). Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Yukawa is nothing short of Dreamcast royalty, so this sad news has understandably led to many words of tribute from fans (and even former colleagues, such as Yuji Naka) across social media. 

Yukawa became an overnight success in Japan after starring in a series of very amusing and surprisingly honest commercials (watch them here) where he rises up from the depths of self doubt (and being bullied by PlayStation-loving children) to spread the good word of the Dreamcast and lead the fight as the senior managing director of Sega Japan. This bout of fame resulted in Yukawa's image being used on Dreamcast console boxes (pictured below), merchandise (such as the Yukawa keyring also pictured below) and print adverts.
Photo kindly taken for us by KingMonkey
We too wanted to pay tribute to Mr. Yukawa, and thought we’d do it in the best way the Junkyard knows how - by geeking out about Dreamcast games! After all, what's a better way to pay tribute to Yukawa than to boot up the console that he championed so mightily, and play one of the multiple games he starred in? Here they are:

Former Managing Director Yukawa's Treasure Hunt
Let's kick things off with Yukawa's very own Dreamcast game. This simple game was released exclusively in Japan near the Dreamcast's launch and was tied into a short-running competition. The game has you play as Yukawa himself, with the aim being to dig up various tiles to complete puzzles that make up images of Dreamcast-related memorabilia. During March 20th 1999 and April 11th 1999, players could submit their victories online to be entered into a raffle to win real-life Dreamcast goodies, or even ¥10,000. 

The servers for the game have since been shut down, so there's sadly no longer any prizes to be won, but the game is still playable. In fact, it's also now playable in English thanks to a translation team consisting of SnowyAria, EsperKnight and Mr. Nobody, who released a translation patch for it back in April. Go here to get that translation patch, and for a more in-depth breakdown about the game, check out Tom's article on it here.

Shenmue and What's Shenmue
What's a better game to contain a cameo of the man that sought to spread optimism about the Dreamcast than the game that was touted to save the console: Shenmue? Well, Yukawa makes multiple secret appearances in Shenmue, and a much more prominent one in the promotional demo What's Shenmue: Search for Yukawa (former) Senior Managing Director.
Image credit: Phantom River Stone
I always thought that Yukawa's inclusion in the regular version of Shenmue was limited to him appearing as a mascot on a point of sale display for batteries in the Tomato Convenience Store. But thanks to a great article on Phantom River Stone, I learnt that Ryo can actually meet Yukawa twice, although certain conditions must be fulfilled first... 

Retroachievements Now Supports Dreamcast Games

It’s been a while since I’ve written for the yard, so apologies to the rest of the team for barging in like this unannounced but I recently realised a fantastic development in the scene had slipped through the cracks of the global Junkyard news network. Since February 2022 RetroAchievements has supported a selection of Dreamcast games!

Wait! Retro... what?

What is RetroAchievements?
RetroAchievements is a reward system much like XBOX Achievements or Sony’s Trophy system, integrated into the software emulation frontend, RetroArch allowing users to earn points for their favourite retro games by tracking game progress and recording it to their account.
Total accumulated points are calculated and displayed on users' profile pages, and if every achievement for a given game is unlocked, they receive a badge of honour for their profile.
My RetroAchievements profile page
Each set of achievements has a total of %200; %100 for getting them all and another %100 for doing it with hardcore mode enabled. Hardcore mode turns off save states, rewinds, fast forwarding etc, forcing you to play as you would have back in the day. So, if you want to get the full %200 of points, you’ll have to do it as they originally intended without any of the quality-of-life perks afforded to us by modern emulators. For example, in Headhunter, getting every achievement with hardcore set as ‘off’, will reward you with 700 points, but doing it set to ‘on’ will earn you a cool 1400 points. Finally, clear every achievement in a set on hardcore mode and you'll also receive a gold frame around your honorary badge (don’t worry though, you can still use regular VMU saves).
A snapshot of the Headhunter page
The second big component of the service is online leaderboards for retro games. These can take the form of high scores, speed runs or even something like number of enemies killed in a certain level, and are a fantastic way to bring players back to games from their past.
Some of the Crazy Taxi leaderboards can be seen on the right
These features are implemented, by a community of absolute heroes in my estimation, completely free of charge and without any advertising. While I’m no expert, I believe the way it works is that a dev searches memory addresses in a game's code to find variables that they can track, then set conditions using a single or even multiple of these variables which translate to achievements.

Somebody got Cuphead playing on a Sega Dreamcast?

Yeah, you saw the title correctly. Studio MDHR's hard-as-nails indie sensation Cuphead... on Dreamcast! Well, kind of. 

This project came completely out of nowhere, posted to GitHub by user Aionmagan three days ago, and seemed to fall under everybody's radars (including mine). That was until Dreamcast-Talk forum user kremiso happened upon it yesterday and posted a thread about it.

What Aionmagan has created is a prototype of what Cuphead on the Dreamcast could be like. You control Cuphead and you can jump, dash and shoot as one of the game's bosses, Goopy Le Grande, hops around on screen. You can't kill the boss or go any further than this single screen, but the graphics look great and animation is fluid. It's basic, but it's still a really great proof-of-concept and we look forward to seeing more.

Aionmagan uploaded some footage to YouTube of them playing their prototype, so check that out below:


Click here to go to the GitHub page for this project, where you'll find links to this playable prototype in .CDI format, meaning you can easily throw it onto your GDEMU (or you might be able to burn it onto a CD-R - I've not tested that yet). Aionmagan has also uploaded the source code for the prototype, and in the comments of his YouTube upload has also stated that he is welcoming contributions if anyone wants to help with development.

Are you a Cuphead fan? Would you love to see this prototype developed further? Sound off in the comments below!

Review: Postal

For gamers of a certain age, Postal is a powerfully evocative title. Those who played it will not have easily forgotten their experience, and indeed, even those who haven’t played the game (myself included until recently) will likely recognise the name due to its notoriety. At its core this is because the entire raison d'être of Postal is to entertain its players through on-screen representations of unflinching gratuitous violence. Not violence in the context of a justifying purpose, or under circumstances that bear no semblance with reality, but remorseless mass shootings by a lone gunman.

Therefore, understandably, Postal will not be to everyone’s tastes. However, even those who find the game hard to stomach may have some appreciation for its developers who, whether intentionally or not, pushed back against those who sought (and still seek) to stifle the artistic freedom of game creators. Developed by Running With Scissors and originally released for PC and Mac in 1997, Postal arrived in the midst of ill-founded outrage directed towards video games by self-appointed moral arbiters and sensationalist sections of the media. Rather than focusing their ire on any of the other obvious causes of society's ills (say massive global inequalities, persistent unemployment, or chronically underfunded public services), the narrative being pushed by some was that video games were an exceptionally dangerous source of moral corruption. Within this context, Postal struck a defiant tone. 

A mere 25 years on, Postal has now finally made its way to the Dreamcast, thanks to the meticulous work of Dan Redfield, who took on the challenge of porting the game after Running With Scissors released the source code to the public in December 2016. When the original developers jokingly asked for a Dreamcast version to be produced, I seriously doubt that they expected this outcome: a near flawless port running at a solid 60 frames per second, packed with features, and published professionally in a physical medium. The latter aspect is down to Norwich-based WAVE Game Studios, an outfit who have quickly cemented their reputation within the Dreamcast scene since publishing their first title for the console, Senile Team’s Intrepid Izzy, in August 2021.

Ok, enough with the pretentious preamble, what about the game itself? For those unfamiliar with it, Postal is an isometric shooter, with a smattering of top-down sections, in which the player takes on the role of an unnamed protagonist (simply referred to as ‘Postal dude’). As alluded to above, the premise of the game is quite simple: you roam from level-to-level taking down as many enemy combatants as possible. And although it isn't a prerequisite for progress, the player is presented with ample opportunities to slaughter seemingly innocent civilians too. There really isn’t a great deal of plot: each stage is preceded by a cryptic and often foreboding message, presumably stemming from the pen of the main character, which along with the visuals suggests that Postal dude is gripped by some kind of madness. This lack of plot depth doesn’t necessarily detract from the game though—the no-nonsense approach is focused on dropping you straight into the action and keeping you on your toes at all times. This lends itself nicely to short bursts of gameplay, and the dry sense of humour that occasionally rears its head ensures that the mood isn't as depressing as the subject matter might suggest at first glance.

To facilitate your mission, Postal dude is equipped with a range of weapons with varying characteristics (range, damage, shot frequency), from the low-powered sub-machine gun, through to the more outlandish and spectacular napalm launcher. As with any shooter the aim is to hit your targets while avoiding taking damage. On the face of it, the gameplay of Postal can appear to be quite invariable and a little shallow. On the easier modes it can certainly be played in a mindless manner, with your character capable of tearing through stages while soaking up incoming fire to little effect. However, at its heart, the gameplay is rooted in strategic thinking – something which becomes mandatory if you wish to progress in the harder difficulty settings. Making careful use of terrain, being mindful of your inventory, and deciding when to fight and when to run, all need to be brought into play if you want to actually do well.


Using DALL·E mini to create AI Dreamcast images from hell

Good old artificial intelligence. If it's not deciding to wipe out humanity for our own good or powering our Teslas, it's listening to our conversations and plotting ways serve us with adverts for things we never knew we needed. There is another important use for AI though - creating cursed Dreamcast related images. 

DALL·E mini is a prototype 'artifical intelligence model that generates images from any prompt you give,' and so naturally isn't limited to solely spitting out Giger-esque renditions of Dreamcast consoles and games - the very nature of the tool created by Boris Dayma et al is that you can punch whatever you like into the devil's own suggestion box and DALL·E mini will attempt to render approximations of what your twisted mind has concocted.

All joking aside, it really is a very clever little program, and is well worth playing around with if you have some time to kill. With this in mind, here for your delectation/utter disgust are some of the more 'imaginative' images DALL·E mini thrust into existence with a little prompting from yours truly. Viewer discretion is advised.

'Sega Dreamcast'

'Jet Set Radio'


'Shenmue'

Review: Yeah Yeah Beebiss II

In this age of sprawling role playing games and mechanic-heavy shooters, it's sometimes easy to be a little overwhelmed not only by the sheer choice of games that we have at our fingertips; but just how confusing they can be to play. 

Now, I'm aware I type this as somebody who has recently entered the fourth decade of his life, but hear me out. Sometimes I want to just kick back, crack open a cold one and play a game that requires very little in the way of cognitive gymnastics. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to try to re-learn complex control schemes, or how to decipher an ever-filling map screen that needs its own Rosetta Stone to decipher. I just want something simple. And engaging. And addictive. That also sounds good and leaves me with a smile on my face. It's not a lot to ask for, is it?
Luckily, Yeah Yeah Beebiss II has arrived on the Dreamcast and it checks all of the aforementioned hypothetical boxes. If you think the name of this charming little indie offering sounds familiar, it's because it is a pseudo sequel to a NES game that never actually existed - Yeah Yeah Beebiss I. That game is a mystery in and of itself, and if you do a cursory search on YouTube you'll find a whole host of excellently produced videos explaining the whole rabbit hole - was Yeah Yeah Beebiss a copyright trap? A poor mistranslation? Did it ever really exist as a playable title? The answers to all those questions (and more) are but a Google or YouTube search away, dear friend. 



Created by indie developer and YouTuber John Riggs (with a little help from Mega Cat Studios and Bit Ink Studios), and published by WAVE Game Studios, Yeah Yeah Beebiss II is a Dreamcast port of a NES title that tasks the player with ridding the numerous single-screen stages of 'evils' before the timer runs out. You get to play as either of the game's protagonists - named Haoran and Li Jing on the game's title screen, but as Kyonshi Hui and Jiangshi Bo elsewhere in the packaging - who appear to be based on the Jiangshi (hopping vampires) of Chinese folklore. Quite why these two are out of their coffins, hopping about and zapping said evils is not really divulged, but we all need a hobby. 

Joking aside, these character designs are a nice/incredibly esoteric little nod to Rai Rai Kyonshis: Baby Kyonshi no Amida Daibouken, the game which is theorised to actually be the enigmatic Yeah Yeah Beebis I (many thanks to my learned colleague Lewis for that nugget of info).
Gameplay is refreshingly uncomplicated here. Essentially you are presented with a single play screen, the construction of which gets more architecturally complex as you progress through the 10 stages. Playing as either Haoran/Kyonshi or Li Jing/Bo (or both, if you play with a friend) you are then tasked with hopping around the place avoiding hazards (such as fire (I think it's fire...it doesn't animate)) and zapping the floating nasties that appear. 

Each level has a set number of enemies that must be dispatched before the timer runs out, and they can appear pretty much anywhere in the level so things do get a bit frantic as time limits become more stringent and levels start to incorporate more platforms and ladders and such. What can be annoying with this model is that due to the random nature of enemy appearance, sometimes they will appear right where you are stood and deal unavoidable damage...but swings and roundabouts. Some enemies will simply float about minding their own business, waiting to be bitch-slapped out of existence; while others are a bit more malevolent and will deal out ranged attacks of their own. Most of them only take a few hits though, so they never really offer much in the way of resistance.
Offing these baddies (again, I have to emphasise that they are brilliantly referred to by the game as 'evils') will sometimes result in bonus items being dropped; an extra life here or a bit of extra time there. There's also an item in the form of a clock that stops time and makes all the enemies freeze in place, but also stops new enemies from appearing while in effect so if you are short on time it's not a good idea to collect it - you can have that tip for free.

Being a game for the NES at heart (indeed, this Dreamcast iteration is powered by NesterDC), Yeah Yeah Beebiss II does not in any way test the Dreamcast's hardware, but conversely that's totally not the point. Like many other retro-themed titles released on Dreamcast (see Flea!, Hermes, Ghoul Grind et al) it is a game that plays to a certain audience and to a certain era in gaming, and it does it remarkably well. 

The music which plays throughout is a mix of classical overtures recreated with aplomb by chiptune composer ChipsNCellos and it never gets annoying - if anything it is actually quite impressive to hear these renditions of stuff like In the Hall of the Mountain King being played by a Dreamcast doing an impression of a Nintendo Entertainment System. The nods to the NES roots of Yeah Yeah Beebiss II are also depicted by the NES cartridge motif that displays on the VMU screen while you play.
There's not a great deal of depth to Yeah Yeah Beebiss II, but that really is part of the appeal - for me at least. It looks like a game directly out of the late 1980s or Early 1990s, with the limited colour palette and basic enemy designs, but at the end of the day it is aiming for that aesthetic and Yeah Yeah Beebiss II nails it. Authentic 8-bit visuals, a catchy soundtrack and simple and addictive gameplay. That's Yeah Yeah Beebiss II in a nutshell.

As a bit of trivia, when Yeah Yeah Beebiss II was first announced by John Riggs on his website, the clamour for a new Dreamcast indie title was so great that it sold out in little more than a few hours. WAVE Game Studios then stepped in to help publish and distribute the game and it can - at the time of writing - now be purchased for the princely sum of just £10.
To wrap this back around, then - if you yearn for a simplistic and rather endearing retro experience on your Dreamcast, you could do much, much worse than picking up a copy of Yeah Yeah Beebiss II. The only real negative (if you can even call it that) is that as this game comes on a nice printed disc in a lovely jewel case with some excellent artwork provided by Yoshi Vu, if your Dreamcast happens to have had its GD-ROM drive extracted in favour of some other method of operation, then you're out of luck. Well, unless you grab a NES emulator for your Dreamcast and run the NES rom file which is supplied on the disc...ways and means people, ways and means. Adapt and overcome and all that jazz.

Anyway, you can grab a copy of Yeah Yeah Beebiss II from WAVE Game Studios here, and check out John Riggs on YouTube here.