Showing posts with label Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire?. Show all posts

Thanks a Million!

I don't know how it happened, but we've managed to clock up over 1 million page views. Sure - 90% of those are mine...but this is just a quick message to thank you - the readers - for continuing to come here and read our posts and opinions. Obviously, as time goes on and there is less activity around the Dreamcast scene, our posts become less frequent, but the Dreamcast is such an amazing console with such a mind-blowing catalogue of games and peripherals...many of which we've barely mentioned. So rest assured - there's much more to come and here's to another million hits!

Ebayneezer Scrooge

What a freakin' amazing few weeks its been here at the Central Administration of Dreamcast-related Intelligence (that's CD-i, to the uninitiated. If anyone else has used this name in the past, then I assure you it is purely coincidental), aka: The Dreamcast Junkyard. Not only do we get to see the awesome Dream Tablet and SD Card Reader, but Caleb preaches to the unwashed masses by showcasing Powerstone 2, through VGA...on a 65,000 ft projection screen. On the moon. Truly brilliant. Unfortunately, I cannot boast about such activities. Infact - and even whilst writing this I shed an acidic, cheek-rotting tear - my love for the Dreamcast is now very often hidden from friends for the fear of scorn that I have received in the past. Like someone who has a sexual preference for eating freshly delivered shit directly from another man's arsehole, I keep my passion locked away in the deep caverns of my Hollow-like heart and only allow it to ejaculate forth when I point my web browser at a certain site:

EBAY!

So to cut a long (and incredibly dull, convoluted) story short - let me elaborate in the voice of Robert Downey Jr's character from Tropic Thunder: "I got new shit, motherfucker!" Not that you're a motherfucker, dear and sacred reader...erm...(door slams)

Before I continue however, I must stress that devouring excrement from the business end of another dude is certainly not something I partake in. On a regular basis.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

I know what you're thinking. I also know that this can barely be described as a 'game,' but when I saw it for 99p, I had to have it. Based on the hideously drawn-out real life game show of the same name, WWTBAM features that slimy gimp Chris Tarrant barking questions at you. Get them right and you win...well, nothing actually. Except a screen telling you that you've won a virtual 32,000 quid. Or 64,000 quid if you haven't used all your lifelines by that point. This would be great if you could download your virtual winnings straight into your heavily overdrawn Barclays account, but alas you cannot.

About as exciting as it gets

The back of the box boasts that the game features over 1000 different questions, but they soon get repeated after a few plays. What you get with WWTBAM is basically one of those DVD games you play with your remote control. The presentation and music are very faithful to the actual show (the UK version, that is) so in that respect it can't really be faulted. Likewise, there are a few multi-player variations of the main game show that make it quite good to play with housemates over a few beverages of the alcoholic variety (just avoid the methylated spirits)...and that's it really. Like The Next Tetris, it kind of ticks all the right boxes and does everything it sets out to do (i.e. recreate the show), but ultimately the thing wears thin when familiar questions start to come around again. Still, not a bad game for 99p.

Gauntlet Legends

I've never actually seen this on sale - even in those halcyon days when Dreamcast pods graced the entrance to our favourite branch of Electronics Boutique, I never recall seeing an actual copy on a shelf. I did see the reviews, however and they were mainly favourable - so when this little beaut showed up last week, I had to have it at all costs. Luckily, bidding interest died out at the £4.00 mark, so I was lucky enough to secure it for my own evil machinations (erm...playtesting it). So, does it live up to the hype generated in my corrupted mind? Well, yes and no. Gauntlet Legends is a pseudo 3D update of the classic game series Gauntlet, and the only previous Gauntlet game I've ever played is one on the NES...and rose tinted specs aside, I thought it was a load of shit. You just wondered around maze-like top-down levels killing hundreds of baddies and collecting the odd item or power-up.


Fast forward a decade or two, and Gauntlet Legends is more or less in the same vein, only with polygonal characters and a Pandemonium-style rotating camera view. You get to play as one of a number of suitable mythical character classes (knights, wizards etc) who all boast their own strengths and weaknesses and must roam various themed stages beating the shit out of the swarms of ogres and monsters that pile out through little doorways. Destroy the doorways and the stream of nasties is cut off at the source, leaving you to continue on your quest of opening treasure troves, avoiding traps and finding keys. Each of the themed worlds (valleys, castles, caves etc) is accessed through a central hub world in the form of a Wizard's grotto, and you get the chance to purchase armour and weapon upgrades aswell as various magic potions that you can unleash on your foes for even quicker and more colourful deaths.

Gauntlet Legends is a pleasant enough way to while away a few hours, but it does get a bit repetitive after a while - you just do the same thing in every level: kill monsters, collect health, kill monsters, open door...ad nauseum. Graphically, it appears to be nowt more than a sharpened up N64 game - the character models are boxy and the animation is as basic as Amstrad CPC 464 programming language...but like I said, it's entertaining guff in short sharp bursts. The most interesting feature is probably the 4-player co-operative mode, but seeing as most of my friends would baulk at the idea of playing anything that isn't a 360 or PS3, I doubt I'll ever get the chance to experience it. Sigh.

Spider-Man

Can you believe I paid £1.70 for this?! It normally sits aloof with the likes of Resident Evil 3 as a DC title that commands bids of £15 and above! Not that I'm complaining, you understand. So, Spider-Man then. In essence, it is no more than a port of the PSX title of the same name, but as a port from an inferior piece of technology it remains one of the shining examples of how porting should be handled. Initially, should you choose to look beyond the slightly shoddy FMV sequences (thaf for some reason feature shitter character models that the actual game engine), you'll discover that Spider-Man boasts some of the slickest presentation and menu screens seen on the DC. But it's the actual game that impressed me the most.


Taking the form of a 3D platformer-cum-beat 'em up, you (naturally) assume the roll of Peter Parker dressed in uber-camp lycra and must swing around the rooftops of New York twatting the shit out of henchmen (who for some reason seem to enjoy swaggering around atop skyscrapers without guardrails). Occasionally the action takes you inside said skyscrapers and involves you rescuing hostages, opening doors and acting all Spidey-like by climbing up walls, through vents and shooting ne'erdowells with your web and then roundhousing them. Nice.

I really liked the way Spidey mutters classic one-liners to himself ("my Spidey-sense is tingling!"), but the neatest thing about this particular PSX port has got to be the graphics. The character models (and Spidey in particular) are great - rather than be an angular mess with texture-mapped muscles, his arms, legs and even head are very smooth and rounded. Likewise with the enemies and even the locations themselves are clean and sharp. Lets not get too excited here - the outside sections are hardly Mirror's Edge, but it all looks and moves exactly as you'd like an interactive comic book to do so. Definitely one of the DC's finest platformers - easily up there with Soul Reaver in my humble opinion. Top stuff.

Donald Duck: Quack Attack

Another platformer in the vein of Crash Bandicoot, NebachadnezzaR covered the merits of this Disney produced romp here. I'm inclined to agree with most of his points, although I wasn't overly impressed with the graphics to be honest. Super Magnetic Neo it most certainly ain't. Still, can't complain for £1.50.

Now, Gagaman - hurry up with that 'Z' based Rummage video...the anticipation is killing me!

Oh, and Happy Easter to those who still give a toss.

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like Its 1999...


Whilst browsing the Planet Dreamcast Forum (which I do on a worryingly regular basis), the subject of 'Dreamcast parties' came up. Now for me a party usually involves me drinking copious amounts of alcohol, until I...

a.) Throw up
b.) Get naked
c.) Soil myself (or a combination of all three...)

So as you can imagine I don't get invited out much! However, it would seem that more sober minded types actually invite large groups of friends round then crank up the old Dreamcast.

So, what games could be played at a Dreamcast party? Let's have a look at some party friendly games shall we? (Oh and I'm not suggesting you play these games sober, Fuck no!)


Samba De Amigo: OK! The obvious choice, perhaps. Before the Wii came out, the Dreamcast had taken rhythm based games to a new level. Using a pair of motion sensor maracas and a grinning, on screen dancing monkey, players could shake along to a number of tunes including the Chumbawumba classic "Tub Thumping" or my own favourite, the theme from Rocky. A series of coloured dots fly out from the middle of the screen toward points at the right or left of the screen, based at the top, bottom or middle. The object of the game involves shaking the maracas in sync with the dots and occasionally striking a pose, which matches that of an, on screen, maraca holding, stick man.


Largely heralded as an innovative and definitive Dreamcast game, Samba De Amigo saw a brief re-emergence on the PS2 as part of the Sega Superstars package. And our very own Gagaman(n) has brought a lot of traffic to the 'Yard, by postulating that this could be a perfect game for re-release on the Wii.


Watching your mates wiggling their maracas after a few shandies is very funny! For a comprehensive analysis of this particular title look here... And if you want to have a go yourself, you can buy the game and some third party maracas here...


Space Channel 5: Who could resist the gorgeous Ulala, roving reporter for the orbiting Space Channel 5? And news just in, the planet has been invaded by a fleet of funky (but evil) aliens who are hypnotising and kidnapping its inhabitants, through the medium of dance!Another rhythm game, Space Channel 5 demands you mash buttons and the D pad in the right sequence, as Ulala dances. Ulala shouts out instructions that you have to follow... ("Up, down, up, down, shoot, shoot, shoot!") The pace starts off slow, but as you progress through the levels of the game, the sequence of instructions gets more complicated and frantic.



The real party element comes from trying to remember these sequences whilst your brain becomes slowly more sozzled. The graphics and stylisation of this game are fabulous, but the music is what makes it for me. A soundtrack that could perhaps be described as "Retro-Futuristic Lounge music", plays throughout the game. If you successfully follow Ulala's directions you rescue people, if not, the aliens capture them and the music begins to distort out of tune and tempo... absolutely brilliant! Play through the levels and Michael Jackson turns up as Space Michael, but don't let that put you off...


Soul Calibur: This classic weapon based fighter has oft been celebrated on these hallowed pages, so no need to describe its game-play (See Fideo Friday). Suffice to say, that anyone can pick it up and play like an ass kicking ninja on steroids. And your friends will be so blown away by the graphics that you'll have an immediate conversation starter, about how seriously fucking great the Dreamcast is and how it never should have been beaten in the last gen console wars, by an over-hyped black DVD player from those corporate whores at Sony (Ahem!)


Chu Chu Rocket!: Four controllers, a cacophony of colours and a load of manic mice. Chu Chu Rocket! was developed by Sonic Team as the first Online game for the Dreamcast.


"ChuChu Rocket!'s multiplayer mode revolves around up to four players placing arrows on the level at once, trying to direct mice into their own rockets and cats into other players' rockets. Each player can only have three arrows on-screen at a time and cannot place them on other players' arrows or their own arrows. Although a simple concept, this quickly becomes frantic with the relentless speed of the mice and four players fighting over them." (Says Wikipedia)


What's great about this particular title, is that it's quality, but also the cheapest Dreamcast game you can buy... You'll usually be able to snag it for 99p at Gamestation. I think Sega gave it away with the Dreamcast, but as I was too stupid to get one back then you'll have to confirm that for me...


Who Want's To Be A Millionaire?: If you've seen the show, you'll know what this is, a general knowledge multiple choice quiz, where the player (up to four) can gamble ever increasing amounts of cash as questions get harder... Drinking and quizzes go great together, and it's particularly gratifying to see your mates crash and burn at £500,000 by making a cocky assertion when they could have used a life-line.
Speaking of the lifelines, "Ask the audience" gives you a graph showing the most likely answer, "50:50" cuts the multiple choice answers down from four to two. But the "phone a friend" life line is the funniest part of the game. Eidos picked the most rediculous voice actors ever to pose as your fictional chums, and their voices and accents are unintentionally hilarious. The 'dramatic' pauses intended to build up tension are a pain in the arse though, and the voice of host Chris Tarrant, can really get on your tits after a bit...


Loony Tunes Space Race: I could have chosen Wacky Races, Disney's Magical Racing or South Park Rally for this post, as all three games are based on the Mario Kart model of weapons based racing.


The thing that makes this particular game a little bit better than the rest, however, is that rather than driving a vehicle you fly a rocket! This gives the game a feeling of Wipeout, as you defy gravity around the circuit... In four player mode the game becomes hilarious as you use picked up "Acme Brand" weapons to sabotage your mate's progress. I've played this a few times with friends and its a riot if you've knocked a couple of beers back (are you noticing a recurrent theme here??)


This is just a sample of games that are party friendly... I'm sure you know loads more!


Oh! And as I've mentioned before, the Dreamcast can DJ at your party with its MP3 peripheral and a stereo hook up. Top banana!