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Showing posts with label Doricatch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doricatch. Show all posts

Every Dreamcast game featuring a Toyota Celica...because why not?

I recently bought a Toyota Celica. When I showed a picture of it to my sister, she asked if I was having a mid-life crisis. I enthusiastically replied that I'm having a whole-life crisis, but that the purchase of this automobile had nothing to do with it. I just happened to see it going quite cheap and was looking for a replacement for the old diesel estate that had trustily transported me and all my Dreamcast crap to countless gamings expos over the years. So yeah, I'm now a member of the Celica owner's club. Not an actual club - although I'm sure something like that exists for conscientious drivers who like nothing better than adding gigantic spoilers, furry dice, diamond encrusted wheels and go faster stripes to their cars.
I've blanked out my number plate so ne'erdowells don't do ne'erdowell stuff with it.
After owning the Celica for a couple of weeks, something odd slowly dawned on me as I mindlessly played various entries in the racing genre on Dreamcast. No, it wasn't the realisation that nothing even comes close to Spirit of Speed 1937 in simulating the thrills of driving a real race car. It was actually something far less interesting to pretty much everyone who isn't me: the Toyota Celica features in quite a few Dreamcast racing titles...and I'm not just talking about the famous GT-Four rally car either. 
The Celica GT-Four as seen in Sega Rally 2
No, I'm specifically talking about the seventh generation Toyota Celica coupe, the final model Toyota released before killing off the iconic marque in the mid 2000s. A car that - for me at least - has taken on baader-meinhof properties since I started driving one. Seriously - I see them everywhere now. I suppose the answer as to why the seventh generation Celica appeared in so many Dreamcast games is quite obvious when you really think about it though.
The real deal...
The Celica - and specifically the seventh generation model (pictured) - was Toyota's flagship coupe slap bang in the middle of the era of the Dreamcast (the seventh generation Celica was produced between 1999 and 2006), so why wouldn't it appear in so many Dreamcast games as a mid-level sportster? A mid-level sportster with outstanding fuel economy, light weight and outrageous road handling, I should add...but that's a topic for another website entirely.
...the digital deal
Anyway, join me, dear reader, as we look at all the titles on Dreamcast that feature the seventh generation Toyota Celica, and a few that feature the iconic GT-Four...

Metropolis Street Racer
Bizarre Creations' seminal driving game has a surprising number of real world vehicles you can sample the delights of, and though you start small with some fairly low-specced runabouts, as you progress through the chapters more and more powerful cars are revealed; their well-rendered showroom blankets thrown off to reveal the glistening virtual paint beneath. The Celica featured in Metropolis Street Racer is ranked with a modest 4.0 CPF (Car Performance Rating), meaning it's not quite the top end of the stable, but does the job for the chapters in which it becomes available. 
MSR's vehicle selection screen is pretty cool
It's the favoured 190bhp model used in MSR
It handles well (like most cars in this game to be honest) and has a decent top speed. The model is very faithful too, although it does lack the interior details seen in some other games listed here. Due to MSR's lack of any real tuning or visual detail options, you can't really change much apart from the tint of the windows, the colour of the paint and the registration plate, but that's OK.
This is taken from the 'Exhibition' mode
Doing a bit of sightseeing in London of an evening
Metropolis Street Racer's Celica is a fine representation of the real thing, and as you'd expect it features the standard 6-speed gearbox found in the real vehicle (7-speed if you count reverse), but to be honest you'd kind of expect this level of authenticity in a game where the developers measured the actual height of curbs in London to make sure everything looked as accurate as possible. It would have been nice to be able to add spoilers or change the alloy wheels, but that wasn't really a thing with any of the cars in MSR, so I'm happy to give it a pass on that front.

Nikkei Dreams: Business On The Dreamcast

The Dreamcast is often described as a system that was ahead of it's time, and in many ways it was. You only have to look at all of the ingenious peripherals and add-ons; even the lowly memory card, the VMU, is a technical marvel when you think about it. The entire range of official and unofficial enhancements is as staggeringly large as it is diverse, but perhaps the most important of them all is the one many of us forget is even there these days - the little modem stuck to the rear of the system. While the modem and the internet services it allowed played something of a minor role in PAL territories, and online gaming was a huge success in the US, over in Japan the humble modem played a much more interesting part in the story of the Dreamcast.
While the Dreamcast is first and foremost an entertainment machine, the modem allowed Sega Japan to look beyond it's primary function and decide that the console should also be used for other, non-gaming purposes. For instance, the console was installed in Toyota car showrooms and a whole range of bespoke 'Doricatch Series' GDs were produced. These were little more than advertising demos for various Toyota vehicle models and are today some of the rarest examples of NTSC-J exclusive Dreamcast software on the planet.