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Showing posts with label WAVE Game Studios. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WAVE Game Studios. Show all posts

Review: Shadow Gangs

So here we are, halfway through 2022, a year that seems to have come around exceptionally fast, probably due to the disorientating effects of the grim COVID-19 pandemic which has been looming over us. 2022. That sequence of digits, whether typed out or spoken aloud, sounds spookily futuristic, and so perhaps it is fitting that phenomena which were hitherto safely contained within the realms of dystopian fiction are now not too far from reality. Somewhat less foreboding, but still hard to believe, is the fact that the Dreamcast has just received its fifth commercial indie release of the year (not to mention numerous re-releases on top of this). If you are disconcerted by signs that Google’s AI may be taking inspiration from the eery “It’s Thinking” Dreamcast slogan, then what better way to soothe your nerves than to immerse yourself in a game for an oh so familiar console?

Shadow Gangs, developed by Isle of Wight-based JKM Corp, and published by the increasingly prolific WAVE Game Studios, has long been anticipated by those in the know. Since the first hints of a potential Dreamcast port surfaced in 2016, the community has been regularly updated on progress by the game’s lead developer Ali Jakamy via the Dreamcast-Talk forums. It has not been smooth sailing from there on out though - an initial Kickstarter campaign launched in 2021 failed, most likely due to the setting of an overambitious six-figure funding target. To their credit, JKM Corp dusted themselves off and returned with a realistic funding goal of £25,000 which was met in March 2022. The fact that the developers have persevered through to the point of delivering the game into the hands of Dreamcast owners - and have done so within the space of three months since the close of the successful Kickstarter campaign - is no mean feat and is worthy of our kudos.

All this backstory is a little tangential to the main issue at hand though; what can Dreamcast enthusiasts expect from the game itself? Shadow Gangs is essentially a side-scrolling beat em’ up with platforming elements. You take up the role of ‘Master Dan’, one of a cohort of international agents whose purpose is to operate in the shadows, maintaining the global balance of power, and thereby ensuring peace. With world peace secure, Dan gets his P45 in the post, leaving you to direct him around his house as he traverses the punishing job market and mooches on the couch eating Pop Tarts...

Alas, that probably wouldn’t be much fun, would it? Of course, the fragile global order maintained by Dan and his comrades is under threat from the dastardly ‘Shadow Gangs’; groups of rogue ninjas who have destructive aims. It’s your age old good vs. bad, save the world scenario, where righteous protagonists have an excuse to beat seven bells out of hordes of despicable enemies. 

Shadow Gangs takes a mammoth dose of inspiration from the iconic Shinobi, and this shows in the fundamental gameplay mechanics. The player directs Dan across 10 more-or-less linear levels, making liberal use of ranged and melee attacks (get ready for sore thumbs) to vanquish his opponents, and precise use of the ducking and jumping functions to avoid incoming fire and hits. 

Your arsenal is spiced-up by the inclusion of powerful but sparsely numbered landmines and ‘ninja magic’ attacks (imagine the screen-clearing special attacks from the Streets of Rage series), as well as occasional power-ups that switch out Master Dan’s shuriken for a much heftier combo of samurai sword plus sub-machine gun. Six boss fights are interspersed throughout the regular levels, as well as shooting-range style bonus stages, providing a decent amount of content in all.

Although I lack the technical know-how to test it, I have no reason to doubt the publisher’s claim that Shadow Gangs runs at 60 frames-per-second on the Dreamcast. The silky-smooth performance certainly seems to bear this out, and the customisable controls feel tight, responsive and map nicely to the standard Dreamcast controller. The large, detailed sprites and varied backgrounds, with colour schemes that pop without becoming too garish, look gorgeous outputted over VGA. Shadow Gangs is well polished when it comes to its audio features too.

The music is well composed, catchy and suits the character of the game down to a tee, and although the voiceover (which sounds like it was recorded by a stereotypical classically trained British actor) is undeniably cheesy, it brought a smile to my face which can only be a good thing. A word of warning though: avoid taking a big slurp of tea just before ‘COLLIN!’ is blurted out of your speakers, unless you intend on redecorating in the near future. In sum, the porting of Shadow Gangs from the PC to the Dreamcast has been executed extremely well—something which is perhaps not too surprising considering the who’s who of experienced Dreamcast programmers that are thanked in the game’s credits. The care and attention that has been afforded is evident throughout, from the VMU icons and rumble pack compatibility, through to the four language options. 

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.

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.


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.

Demo Discs, Indie Releases, Translations, Bed Covers and Mega Ducks? - Dreamcast news round-up April 2022

A lot has happened recently. Twitter is considering adding an edit button, NFTs seem to have retreated back into obscurity (phew), Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, and of course, the Dreamcast scene continues to keep our beloved (supposedly dead) console relevant. As the team are busy counting the votes for the The Dreamcast Junkyard Top 200 Dreamcast Games 2022, I thought I'd give y'all a Dreamcast news round up. Hold on to your VMUs, because I'm rounding up a lot of things today.

A tidal WAVE of Dreamcast indie activity

You should all know WAVE Game Studios by now, but if you don't, check out our interview with them to get the scoop on why they're the one to watch in the Dreamcast indie release scene! Then, if reading all about all their previous endeavours wasn't evidence enough, here's all the stuff they've just done recently:

- The first Dreamcast demo disc in 21 Years!

This one's really damn cool. If you're not in the know, SEGA Powered is a cracking Sega-focused magazine that launched earlier this year off the back of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Helmed by Sega gaming mag veterans, every issue that has been released so far have been widely praised by Sega fans everywhere. We had a look at the first issue on the blog a while back, so check that out if you want to learn more.

So we've got a cool new Sega magazine to sink our teeth into, but you know something about the old gaming magazines that we really wish would come back? Cover discs filled to the brim with exciting demos! Well, seeing as the Dreamcast is getting so many new games released for it these days (making it a modern gen console - will box anyone who disagrees), it's only right that an issue of this modern Sega mag would eventually come bundled with some kind of free demo disc featuring tasters of the latest and greatest Dreamcast indie games! The disc will exclusively feature demos of WAVE titles, and will be released with issue 5 of SEGA Powered, due June 2022. It will be be the first Dreamcast demo disc to be released in 21 years! We recommend following the magazine's Twitter account to learn more details as the release gets closer.

- Shadow Gangs is getting a WAVE release!

After a somewhat rocky Kickstarter campaign (that involved the original campaign being cancelled to make way for another with a more reasonable goal), JKM Corp's Shadow Gangs was eventually fully funded. As the game was known to be pretty much near completion, many scratched their heads and asked why Shadow Gangs couldn't just work out a deal with a distributor like WAVE or JoshProd, and skip the Kickstarter all together, but the developers stuck by their campaign.

Well, looks like WAVE are now going to be distributing the game anyway, as announced in a Twitter post posted by WAVE on the 4th of April. This means WAVE will be manufacturing the Kickstarter copies and any future copies that will be sold through WAVE's web store. They've also confirmed that backers will be getting some "super cool extras" with their games, so that's something to look forward to!

- Postal will have local co-op!

WAVE are still on track to release the officially-sanctioned Dreamcast port of Postal on the 2nd of June, and you can still pre-order a copy on their web store. Dan Redfield, the gent responsible for porting the game, revealed at the end of March that he's successfully implemented a 4-player co-op mode into the game's campaign. It's only right that a port of Postal to a console known for its excellent party games would have such a mode!

Translations

Other than the bustling indie scene, another reason for the second wind the Dreamcast is experiencing (at least for us English speakers) are the many translations of Japanese games that have previously been inaccessible to us due to the language barrier. Here's some more! 

- Former Managing Director Yukawa's Treasure Hunt has been translated into English!

The Dreamcast game we never knew needed an English translation has finally been translated, thanks to the talents of SnowyAria (who previously translated Seven Mansions: Ghastly Smile). This simple promotional game has you play as former Sega of Japan head Yukawa Hidekazu as he digs up various pieces of Dreamcast-related memorabilia, with the idea being that for a month in 1999, you could submit your victory online to be entered into a raffle to win said memorabilia in real life. Obviously, you can no longer win any prizes, but you can at least experience this odd morsel of Dreamcast history in English now. Go here to get the translation patch, and for some further reading, check out Tom's article on the game here.

Me after playing Spirit of Speed 1937 for five minutes 

- New gameplay footage of the Nakoruru translation!

Derek Pascarella's project to translate the visual novel Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me into English started in August of last year. I am working as an editor on the project and all I'll say is that it has been a blast to work on so far! Anyway, Derek has put together a great preview video showcasing a test-build of the translation, which you can find here. You can find out more about everything Derek does by visiting DreamcastForever.com. Watch this space!

The odd stuff!

This is the part of our news round-up where we take a look at some things that verge on the side of kooky or obscure. These are the Dreamcast equivalent of those lighthearted cutaway reports on the real news that show you a Pug that can do a pop shove-it on a skateboard or something. Anyhow...

- The Mega Duck is now playable on the Dreamcast..?

Mega Duck... that's like Rubberduckzilla from that old Oasis advert, right? Nope. It was actually a Game Boy rip off from Hong Kong. It was also released in South America with the equally ludicrous name "Cougar Boy"... You can't make this shit up.

Anyway, the Mega Duck had a not-so-mega library of games (quantity-wise) and the majority of them were developed by Taiwanese company Sachen. When the Mega Duck could no longer be kept afloat (geddit?), Sachen ported a load of its Mega Duck games onto the Game Boy in the form of unlicensed multicarts, presumably to recoup some of their losses. Well, veteran Dreamcast homebrew coder Ian Michael has stripped each individual game from their respective multicarts and packed them all together as a bootable ISO (you need to use DreamShell to boot it) that uses a Game Boy emulator Gnuboy to emulate them. The package contains a total of 21 playable titles. Sadly, Snake Roy is not one of them... Maybe one day.

That is game art only a Mother could love...

Go to this Dreamcast-Talk forum thread for more information and a link to download the Mega Duck ISO. Edit: since I published this article, Derek Pascarella has converted the ISO into a .cdi image, meaning it can now be booted up on ODEs like GDEMU and MODE. The link for this is also in the Dreamcast-Talk forum thread. Thanks Derek! Now, go fourth and play some Mega Duck on your Dreamcast! Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say...

- You can now cast dreams from the comfort of your very own Dreamcast bed...

Yeah, some company called "MoonLambo" is selling Dreamcast-themed bedding. The company predominately sells clothing featuring a lot of cyberpunk and vaporwave designs, but it looks like they've also branched out into selling home goods. Their trademark infringement-avoiding "Dreams Last" range includes a console duvet cover, VMU pillow cases, and a controller cushion. It's all a bit pricey, with the duvet cover ranging from £73 all the way up to £113 depending on the size you want. I also have no idea if it would even be good quality, as the site looks worryingly similar to one of those dropshipping clothing stores you'd get advertised to you through Instagram-ads, who steal people's designs and print them on crap shirts that shrink after one wash. But if you're a bachelor with a lot of disposable income who thinks a Dreamcast bed would look cool in your pad, then purchase at your own risk.

That's all for now, folks! Which of these news items excites you the most? It's the Mega Duck on Dreamcast, isn't it? Fair enough. Anyway, let us know your second favourite in the comments below!this Dreamcast-Talk forum thread

Dreamcast officially goes Postal this June!

We looked at the beta version of Dan Redfield's excellent Dreamcast port of Postal in the recent past, and decreed it to be about as faithful a recreation of the 1997 PC shooter as we could have hoped. The work-in-progress version was released in December 2021, and was available to try by downloading the file and putting it on a CD-R or a GDEMU. It was a great example of an indie developer porting open source PC code onto the Dreamcast - not least because it featured full Dreamcast controller support and pretty much every bit of content from the original game.

The story of Postal on the Dreamcast is a fairly interesting one, as the source code was released by original developer Running with Scissors back in 2016, along with an appeal for a willing indie dev to port it to the Dreamcast. Just shows you good things come to those who wait though, as the game is now being given a full official physical release - and you can get your hands on it on 2 June 2022 via WAVE Game Studios, with pre-orders now live on their website. The press release reads: 

Retro gaming fans will be able to experience the rapid-fire action enjoyed by millions of PC gamers later this year when WAVE Game Studios releases this officially licensed port of the classic title on Dreamcast, marking the franchise’s first appearance on the console.

Twenty-five years after the game’s original release, the dream of a professional release on the classic console is finally a reality. POSTAL™ developers Running With Scissors have given their blessing for this brand new no compromises version for Dreamcast, built with love from the original source code.

For more information about POSTAL™ for Dreamcast please visit the WAVE Game Studios website or for more information about the POSTAL™ franchise please visit the Running With Scissors website.

So there we go - yet another new game heading to the Dreamcast in 2022 - and they don't come with much more fame/infamy than Postal. Rather superbly, this release will also come in a choice of PAL, NTSC-U and NTSC-J packaging. Check out some gameplay from the Dreamcast beta version here, and read our interview with WAVE Game Studios here.

Look out for our full review when Postal lands on Dreamcast later this year.

WAVE Game Studios – an interview with the indie publisher keeping the Dream alive


WAVE Game Studios is a name you will be familiar with if you recently bought a copy of Senile Team's excellent Dreamcast platformer-cum-beat 'em up Intrepid Izzy, and has recently announced that they will also be publishing Yeah Yeah Beebiss II in Europe. The UK-based outfit has been busy establishing itself as the hottest new label in Dreamcast indie game publishing, and we thought it would be cool to catch up with WAVE as they start to make a splash in the community. Splash? Wave? See what I did there? I almost went for 'dipping a toe in' but pulled myself back from that particular cringeworthy literary cliff edge with mere keystrokes to spare.
Anyway, if you're not familiar with WAVE Game Studios, their history, and what they have planned for the future; hopefully you will be by the end of this interview. Furthermore, if you're an independent developer working on a Dreamcast game and you have dreams of putting your game in a physical case and into the GD-ROM drives of Dreamcasts the world over, then read on...


DCJY: Hi, thanks for agreeing to talk to us about WAVE Game Studios. Before we begin, can you give us little bit of background about who makes up the team?

WAVE Game Studios: It’s our pleasure! WAVE is primarily made up of two brothers, Daniel and Nick. We’re based in Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Norfolk, known for Alan Partridge, mustard...and now WAVE Game Studios! So, when was WAVE Game Studios established and what was the reasoning being the creation of the label?

WAVE has a fairly long history, but the most recent incarnation stems back to 2015 which is when we started distributing games to UK based retailers. We really started to ramp up our efforts this year, which is when we began publishing games in addition to just distributing them.

That’s interesting – this might sound like a daft question, but what is the main difference between distributing and publishing a game?

It’s a very good question. The role of a publisher is to, in short, take a game and turn it into a saleable product. Usually the publisher will help with artwork, marketing, production, and various other tasks such as providing review copies to magazines and influencers.

The distributor, on the other hand, deals primarily with ensuring the product is available for sale in as many appropriate places as possible. In the indie games world, these two roles are often (but not always) filled by the same company or person.

Yeah Yeah Beebiss II now available for Dreamcast

If the title Yeah Yeah Beebiss I means anything to you, you'll love this little news snippet. If you're wondering what the hell I'm blathering about, the mystery of Yeah Yeah Beebiss I is a totally fascinating trip down a rabbit hole of copyright traps, misunderstood language translations, fabrications of the truth...or all of the above

In a nutshell, it's the story of a strange Nintendo Entertainment System game which is considered to represent one of the greatest gaming mysteries of all time, and which prompted a years long search for a title that many people were convinced didn't exist. I would implore anyone with even a passing interest in this flavour of gaming oddness to visit YouTube and watch any of the amazing videos on the topic, including this one from LSuperSonicQ, or this one from All Things Lost which does a damn fine job of explaining the whole saga as well as offering a solution to the mystery.

In a rather excellent twist on this strange tale, YouTuber and retro gaming tinkerer John Riggs has released a 'sequel' to Yeah Yeah Beebiss I - titled Yeah Yeah Beebiss II - for both the NES and the Dreamcast. As announced over on his Twitter account, you can purchase a limited edition copy for the Dreamcast by visiting John's store here

There's not a great deal of info on the game available at the time of writing, with only a single screenshot released; but once John releases a video on it (or one of us here at the Junkyard manages to get hold of a copy) we'll update this news piece or post a full review. To be honest, it would be a brilliant meta twist if this whole thing is a complete hoax and Yeah Yeah Beebiss II turns out to be just as mysterious and nonexistant as the prequel. It's more likely that Yeah Yeah Beebiss II does exist though (is there such a thing as being too meta?), and it's great to have yet another new title released for the Dreamcast.

Check out the Yeah Yeah Beebiss II store page here, and visit John Riggs' YouTube channel here.

Update - looks like it's now sold out for Dreamcast, which makes the title of this post fake news. Sorry folks :/ 

Update 2 - Yeah Yeah Beebis II will now be published by UK publisher WAVE Game Studios and is available for pre-order now, priced at £24.99. It is expected to ship in January 2022, which is awesome!