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Showing posts with label Dreamcast RPG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dreamcast RPG. Show all posts

Dreamcast & PC RPG Silver Re-released On Steam

We recently cast our minds back to the early 2000s and took a misty-eyed look at the fairly decent Dreamcast and PC role player, Silver. The game was largely ignored back when it was ported to Sega's platform in 2000, and it was viewed more as a 'lite' RPG when compared to the more traditional examples of the genre, such as Final Fantasy et al. The Dreamcast version has become quite a sought-after game in recent times though, and as with a lot of lesser-known titles on our beloved console this has caused the price of Spiral House's adventure to spike. The good news is that thanks to THQ Nordic, Silver has recently been re-released on Valve's Steam platform for the bargain price of just £4.99.
Naturally, the minimum specifications required to run Silver on Mac OS, Windows or Linux operating systems are understandably modest - the game was originally released for computers in 1999 after all. If you haven't experienced this enjoyable little role player and you're having trouble tracking down an affordable copy for the Dreamcast, you could do much worse than investigate this recent Steam re-release.

You can find out more about Silver and purchase the game on Steam here.

Guest Article: Shooting For The (Phantasy) Stars

It's been a while since we featured the work of a guest writer here at the Junkyard, so I thought it was about time we invited another Dreamcast fan-at-large to give us their own unique perspective on a subject close to their heart. Enter Damon Fillman. Damon is a former SegaAddicts and XBLAfans contributor, so he knows a thing or two about both Sega and the good ol' Xbox. His love for the Dreamcast is unequivocal and he makes no attempts to appease fans of those 'other' consoles (his words, not mine!). When not making the internet angry at him, he lives in sunny Philadelphia where he makes fun of men walking small canines. Now, he has the floor here at the 'Yard and explains just why the seminal Phantasy Star Online is a game he holds in such high regard...
Image credit: Emergent Landscapes
If you’re reading this article, the Dreamcast likely occupies your mind because of a defining moment in your gaming career that separates the little white crate from the rest of the console pack. For me, that moment was awaiting confirmation of my school’s closing due to wintry conditions so I could veg out and spend countless hours playing Phantasy Star Online on a dialup connection.  I’ve yet to replicate the sheer joy of slaughtering Rappys and other unpronounceable enemies while my neighborhood became a sheet of ice and snow. In hindsight, Phantasy Star Online (or PSO as internet hipsters like to label it) is more than a nostalgic event—it’s the best “loot-driven” game I’ve ever played.

When presented a choice between an anime-inspired video game and one about demons with a more Western flair I almost always choose the latter, except when it comes to Phantasy Star Online. Most of the time, I’d much rather slay demons against the backdrop of what looks like a cheesy metal album cover (I’m, of course, talking about the Diablo series) than to duke it out with flamboyant rabbit/chicken hybrids against the backdrop of something that looks like a marriage between Studio Ghibli and Hideo Kojima.
For Dreamcast aficionados somehow unfamiliar with one of the most popular games on the system, Phantasy Star Online is a sequel (of sorts) to an RPG series from the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis. While earlier entries in the series contained traditional turn-based RPG mechanics, PSO adopted more PC-centric systems like real-time combat and the ability to matchup with players around the globe to battle foes on the fictional planet Ragol. Cooperative online play was practically unheard of on consoles at the time but PSO managed to also be one of the first MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) on home consoles. And it worked. Really well.

Life, the Universe and Silver

I think it's pretty safe to say that the Dreamcast's library isn't exactly bursting with legendary role playing games. Naturally, there are some well regarded titles like Skies of Arcadia, Time Stalkers and Grandia II but in the grand scheme of major console releases, the Dreamcast's meagre selection pales in comparison to contemporary systems like the PlayStation; and even more so when pitched against the might of the Super Nintendo. To be brutally honest, this doesn't really bother me because my affinity with RPGs is negligible. I'm not overly enamoured with the genre and much prefer to spend my game time playing racers, shooters and the occasional soccer game.

In recent times though, the vast majority of my free time has been spent guiding one Geralt of Rivia through the trials and tribulations of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, and so my hard and fast opinion of role players has softened somewhat. And while I realise that The Witcher III is probably more of an action RPG than a hardcore, turn-based affair, I think it is testament to the quality of CD Projekt Red's game that someone who doesn't generally dabble in that type of experience has become fully absorbed in the adventure. Also, according to this Eurogamer article, the voice of Geralt lives just up the road from me so the experience is now extra special. I must also stress at this juncture, that the rumours of me camping outside his house and digging through his bins for discarded banana peels and samples of hair and/or skin are wholly unsubstantiated.
"Get away from my bins!"
So yeah, the point I'm failing to make here is that the Dreamcast doesn't have many traditional RPGs. The ones I have mentioned are considered as the cream of the crop, and then there's Shenmue...but is that really an RPG? I guess it does have all the hallmarks of an RPG, and I'd personally be inclined to class it as such but I already get enough grief about these articles from the folk who just see the titles on social media, let alone the ones who actually take the time to click through and read the shite I write; so I'm just going to hold my hands up and say that I both agree and disagree that Shenmue is an RPG. It's both. It neither is nor isn't an RPG, at the same time. It's Shroedingermue. There's also Record of Lodoss War...which is alright I guess. But I've played that one for about 20 minutes in total and that was back in 2006 if memory serves, so I'm hardly qualified to say just how shit it is. Come at me, internet pettifoggers.
Let's get back on track though. You came here because you saw some bollocks on Twitter or Facebook about Silver, and that is what I'm going to give you. Silver, is an action-RPG developed by Spiral House and published by Infogrames in both Europe and the United States (but not Japan) which represents something of an oddity on the Dreamcast; what with its real-time combat and profanity-ridden script. Not that that's a bad thing when coupled with the glorious accents and intonation of northern England - a sacred part of the world from which the author of this piece hails. A land of milk and honey, a rich tapestry of dialects, patchwork fields and dark satanic mills that would put Tolkien's image of Middle Earth to shame. And by 'milk and honey' I mean 'late trains and broken gas mains,' by the way. Oh, and wider social decay and misery than has ever been described in a George Orwell penned, semi-biographical tome...but you get the idea.