Shuffle, Resi Evil, and some F1.

The boot sale sucked this morning (Only made a tenner. Gack.), but I picked up a few more DC goodies. This one guy had two sets of Dreamcast consoles with a bunch of games on his stool, mostly he usual common-as-muck UEFA, Tomb Raider etc etc but he also had three games that I managed to get him to sell separately for a five "paund" note.

Sonic Shuffle: I can't begin to remember how long I've been meaning to try this out. The last time I actually saw a physical copy of it was back when it first came out (one copy) six years ago full price. Before you say Ebay: I only really use that for games and stuff I can't find elsewhere like import titles etc. Anyway, being the Sonic nut I am, it's kind of a shock to have not played this at all yet, until now. If you haven't heard of it there one simple, three-word way of describing it: Mario Party Clone. Mind you, it didn't turn out to be quite as bad as people have made it out to be (look about on any review site, it's not got very good ratings, which may of put me off buying it in the past maybe), once you get used to all the rules (Note to self: Read manual heavely before playing). Playing in 1 player is obverserly not the most fun in the world as you have to wait for the 3 CPU players to take their turns and faff about, and I really wish Knuckles would STOP saying "Is that all you got?" over and over again. Still, I found myself rather hooked to this today for some odd reason, and you'll be surprised where the hours go to (For a Sonic game, it's hardly what I would call a quick-blast game). All in all, from what I've seen so far I'd give this a 7/10 (Might go down to 6, although the fact I'm playing it so much must be a good sign)

Resident Evil Code Veronica: Now I never usually go for these titles or anything like it because they feature just about everything I don't want video games to have such as limited ammo and saves, searching back and forth a lot and all that equipping rubbish. I remembered the lengthy demo well, however, and for £1.66 it can't be a waste. Currently I'm in the same spot I got stuck in on the demo (which I solved, but can't remember) where you have to get some sort of material to make a 3D copy of a badge thing. It's not as tedious as I remember the original on the Saturn being, but I sill found myself wondering around aimlessly looking for one of those bloody herbs (I wasted one thinking I was giving it to that injured bloke in the cell room, and another was in the form of a spray can so I didn't even know what it was). I will, however, try and have a go at more of it. I won't give this a rating because I haven't played enough yet.

F1 World GP something or other 2 for Dreamcast (duh): The Dreamcast has way too many racing games. I mean, in Formula 1 alone it has 4. According to, well, a lot of people though, this is supposed to be the best one, so even though I only got another one a few weeks ago (F1 Racing Championship. Confused with the titles yet?) I decided to get this on the promise that I'll sell the inferior one. I'm glad to report that this one I just bought it is indeed the better one, with much, much nicer graphics, and a whole lot more options as far as I could tell. That other one will be on the boot sale tomorrow. 7/10

I also bought a PC game that can be found on the Dreamcast on American import that I haven't stuck my teeth into yet from the same bloke for a quid. I'll come back to that one another time.

Halcyon Days

For reasons known only to the shadowy organisation that controls my life, my homepage when I load up Firefox is set to BBC News. This is good, because before I instantly click on either the Hotmail, Free Porn or Russian Brides tabs on the toolbox window, I manage to get a glimpse of the day's unbiased, up to date and un-CNNised events. Today though, I decided to have a proper look at the BBC News site because I noticed, tucked away in the top right hand corner of the main page, an article about the PS2 and Sony's arrogant refusal to lower the price in the UK even though they have pretty much everywhere else. At the bottom, there were links about related articles so after a few minutes of sifting through them, I had a brainstorm: I typed 'Dreamcast' into the search window and found this article from early 1999 reporting the upcoming launch of the system, and also a rather interesting Real Player interview with a James Snodgrass, editor of some now defunct (probably) magazine on the potential of Sega's (then) unreleased baby.

I also unearthed this one reporting on the phenomenal launch success of the system as gamers went mental for Dreamcast and queued for hours to get hold of a console (see pic). It brings back memories of Game and Electronics Boutique actually stocking Dreamcast stuff, and playing on Blue Stinger in the entrace on one of those pods with a gaggle of school kids watching...ah, halcyon days.

Battle on through the tears though, brave reader - we shall have our day...but in the meantime, have a read of my review of 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker. Actually, don't. It'll only make things worse...

Pimp my Dreamcast!

(This article was originally from my old blog Sega Freaks, which is now dead. I've mysteriously moved it over here to the Junkyard. Whoo~)

Here be a link to a site that features modified Dreamcasts with new paint jobs and LED lights! Devcast features a whole gallery of people's pumped up Dreamcasts, which include paint jobs, over clocking, controller shell mods and even artwork of some early Dreamcast prototypes. It's just like custom car show, only not. Here's some of my favorite mods from the site:

A lovely yellow paintjob with an even sweeter cut-out window.

Gotta love this shade of blue. I'd pay someone to make one of mine like this, because I'm too lazy.

This 'DC Viper' design is too sexy for words. I'm serious, I would pay someone to do something like this.

And finally, a very clever mod: A Dreamcast disguised as a Sega Saturn. Admittedly, I don't see why you would want one dressed up in a Saturn shell when the Dreamcast's is both smaller and more attractive, but kudos for pulling it off none the less.

Return of Leather Jacket

That title won't make sense unless you're familiar with shite, late nineties British rap. However, Ladies and Gents - today my collection of Dreamcast stuff reached not one, but TWO Earth-splintering milestones. If you divert your eyes away from this very sentence, and point them slightly up and to the left you will no doubt, via use of the cones and rods every-so-neatly crammed into your eyeballs, be able to make out the distinct shapes of the numbers 'six' and 'zero.' This is because, my ginger beer drinking chums, today saw the arrival of the sixtieth* game into my collection! Of course, now that the 'Yard has assimilated the services of The GagaMan, the overall figure of Dreamcast related items is rapidly approaching a number only matched by the number of nuclear warheads George W. Bush has waiting to launch at the push of a single, flashing red button.


But back to me. Yes, today at lunchtime I took my crappy old Gameboy Advance to Elysium (Gamestation) and was awarded the princely trade price of 40 notes for it. With this I was able to procure MDK2, Zombie Revenge, two PC games (FarCry & Evil Twin)...and...

SHENMUE 2!!!!!!!

IN BRAND NEW CONDITION! NO tatty corners on the cardboard sleeve; NO scratches on ANY of the disks; NO spunk stains or bits of biscuit/cheese/pubes (delete as applicable) crushed into the pages of the manual!

There is a downside to all of this you understand - I still haven't even found the bar where the sailors 'hang out' in Dobuita in Shenmue 1, and since I'm abstaining from playing Shenmue 2 till I've completed the first segment of the adventure, I reckon it's gonna be a while before I actually get to play it...

Like the French Foreign Legion recruit in that ancient Kellog's Crunchy Nut Cornflakes advert, I will "RESIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIST!!" But then, when I eventually complete Shenmue 2 and have inevitably become enlightened that it is indeed the best thing ever, I'll be so totally crushed that there isn't a 3rd and final chapter and then commit suicide. So it's probably for the best that I refrain from pulling on that brown leather jacket...for a few weeks at least...

...And Breathe.

As is the norm, I will now impose my opinion about some films I saw recently. However, unlike in the past, I will keep it extremely short and even sweeter:

  1. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory: Turgid. Depp - miscast, pathetic, camp, gay, bollocks. The original had soul, passion...DECENT ACTING.
  2. Cinderella Man: Fantastic. Every time I read about Russell Crowe being arrested for being a tosser (or repeatedly smashing a telephone into a receptionists' face - come on, we've all done it), I wonder why he's even famous. Then I watch a film like Cinderella Man and all is forgotten. Marvellous.
End of rant. Oh, and check this Dreamcast bike out. Yes, It's fucking UK:Resistance, and you've probably seen it already, but it's DC related so check it out, y'all. And (please?) make comments so I don't look like the only one sad enough to bother...

*-The total number of games is actually 63 (if I include Planet Ring and WWF Warzone), but I couldn't find a '63 Today' badge. Fucking Google image result philastines.

Fishing! Pinball!

First post from the GagaMan(n) here, mainly because I just bought some stuff for me lovely Dreamcast collection today. After managing to make £75 at a boot sale Easter Monday (score), I was desperate to buy me little white box something new for it to nibble on. Ebay had nothing tempting (except a £60 buy-it-now Dreamcast display pod which I'd have no room for), and Gamestation in Basildon had nothing worth grabbing either (makes a change, normally I bring back something from there every time). Popping into the Gamestation down here in Southend, however. I found a couple games to tempt me to part with my money.

Firstly here was Pro Pinball Trilogy, which was £7. On the basis that I want to own at least one good game of every genre for my DC (hence my recent £2 purchase of F1 Racing Championship), Pinball was one I had missing, and this is the only Pinball game on the DC, unless you count those funky pinball boards in Sonic Adventure. The others that were asking to take me home were Track & Field and Spawn: In the Demons Hand. My fingers decided they'd survive better with Spawn, which was a tenner next to T&F's fiver. Whats more, Spawn was by Capcom, and I loves me Capcom titles (trying to catch 'em all, excluding the Resi Evil type ones), even though was well aware of the 5/1 rating it got in Official Dreamcast Mag, of which I have all it's rating s pretty much memorized by heart from repeated readings. But I took note that they also gave Maxen X and Stupid Invaders 5/10, and I liked those, so I had it along with Pinball Trilogy. That lovely "Bog Off!" deal meant I got the pinball one for free.

Waiting in the queue, rummaging through a basket of random game controllers, I came across a fishing controller! Score! Then I saw the was a Playstation one. Bugger. When i got to the till I asked if they had a Dreamcast one, and low and behold they had one hiding upstairs! Sometimes it helps just to ask. It's an unofficial "Fisson" brand one, and one of the orange handle thingys was snapped off (you only need one anyway) but it was a measly £3, so I couldn't pass it up. I've been after one of these beauties for ages, and finally I had one in my grasp, along with two games for £12.98. Which was nice.

I've owned Sega Bass Fishing and Sega Marine Fishing (found in a American Toys R Us about 2 years ago for about 50 cents in a clearance) for quite some time now, but playing them with a normal controller wasn't very exciting, but the fishing controller really makes a big difference. Sorry for the bloody awful pun, but I got hooked on the games now thanks to it! Complete with my dad's big telly, it's like playing the games in the arcades all over again, except it doesn't cost me a quid every minute. I don't now how they do it but those blokes at Sega sure know how to take a boring arse old sport and make it exciting. They did it to Tennis, and they've done it with fishing. What's next, Virtua Cricket? Now that would be a challenge.

Bass Fishing: Without Rod: 6/10 With: 7/10 Marine Fishing: Without: 7/10 With: 8/10

Now, onto the other two games. Now as the title suggests, Pro Pinball Trilogy features 3 pinall tables. While I think they culd have maybe put a lot more than that in (5 at least), the amount of options and detail you get for each table is amazing. You can change the strength of the flippers, the condition of the table (from out of the factory to beaten up pub table), look at every little detail close up, and a manner or other things. One thing I'd complain about would be the angel of the table, though. You can change it slightly, but you really don't want to play this on a small TV as the top half of the table will just look like a mess of colour. In fact, if you play your DC on a small TV, I can't recommended this at all. Still, for those that can make it out it's a nice pinball set. 6/10

Now, onto Spawn. It's a sort of deathmatch/beat 'em up thingy with, eventually, 36 unlockable characters and whole lot of weaponry and violence. The graphics are very nicely done, although the camera angles can be a pain in the arse at times. Also, the controls are a bit hap-hazard, as you find yourself bashing the buttons hoping for the best. The bosses are massive screen filler that can kill you over and over again sometimes ripping you i half) over and over again unless you managed to grab all the items and keep dodging. I've only played one mode n it so far, but first impressions are that it's a bit of a mess but pretty fun once you get the hang of it. 6/10

For anyone interested (hey, Tomleecee posted his when this blog started), here’s a list of my current DC collection. Unlike Tom, I'm not out to own every single game on it, but every game I like enough to keep.

PAL Format games: 18-Wheeler, 4 Wheel Thunder, Bangai-O, Bust-a-Move 4, Capcom Vs SNK, Chu Chu Rocket, Confidential Mission, Crazy Taxi, Crazy Taxi 2, Daytona USA 2001, Dead or Alive 2, Ecco, F1 Racing Championship, Gunbird 2, House of the Dead 2, Jet Set Radio, Looney Tunes: Space Race, Maken X, Marvel Vs Capcom, Marvel Vs Capcom 2, Mr.Driller, Phantasy Star Online Ver.2, Power Stone, Project Justice, Re-Volt, Sega Bass Fishing, Sega Rally 2, Shenmue, Shenmue II, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Soul Calibur, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Stunt GP, Stupid Invaders, Tech Romancer, Le mans 24 Hours, Tony Hawks 2, Toy Commander, Virtua Striker 2, Virtua Tennis, Virtua Tennis 2, Wacky Races.

USA Format games: Alien Front Online, Bomberman Online, NBA 2K1, NFL 2K1, Seaman, Sega Marine Fishing, Space Channel 5, World Series Baseball 2K1.

JAPAN Format games: Cool Boarders BURRRN! (Snow Surfers in UK), Sega Tetris, Sonic Adventure 2 (10th Annversary boxset), Virtua Fighter 3tb, Virtual On 2.

Homebrew: Bleem Beta, SMSPLUS (Master System/Game Gear emu), Beats of Rage Collection 1 and 2, Amiga emulator, Feet of Fury, Armored Campain, DCcirus, DCfighting, Aiming Tank, Dream Seclection 1, Dream Selection Tetris Clone edition, Fenix Collecton, NesterDC (NES emu), Smash Pack 2 and 3 (Mega Drive emu), DreamSNES (guess), DC Video CD player, Neopockott (NGPC emu), Raptor Quake, probably others I missed out.

Heh Heh

Look, I fully appreciate that the Dreamcast is as good as dead and that it's never coming back (a bitter pill to swallow, my fellow Dreamcast Junkies), but I found this entertaining and inventive video on that Google thing - go on, give it a watch. It's a shame that, like most Van Damme or Steven Segal films, it doesnt really reflect reality:

And just in case you were wondering, I think the PS2 is meant to have an 'English' accent, but at times actually sounds more like Puck from Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage.

Nenge Mboko?

Well, it's certainly been a wierd weekend thus far. And certainly only religious in the way that it's been quite Hellish. On Good Friday I was meant to be spending the weekend in the quaint, Historic southern-ish city of Gloucester, until it all went Pete Tongue at about 2.30 and I found myself in the city centre with a closed train station and no way of getting home. After a few hours of wondering around, I found some benches down an alleyway and made my bed for the night. Yes, at 4.30, the Supreme Overlord of the 'Yard - usually used to such opulent surroundings - was forced to sleep on a park bench, Louis Winthorpe III style. Although thankfully, I wasn't forced to steal a salmon and eat it through a fake beard.

I was rudely awakened at 5.30am by a Hitchcockian flock of seagulls who had taken a strange liking to me, and then I shuffled back to the (now open) train station. I bought my ticket and finally got back to the Jewel of the North (Manchester) at about 10.00 following a quick change at Birmingham. But why am I telling you all this? Well, it's to highlight the way that one's mood can go from revulsion at the entire human race, to sheer elation when you get home and find that your review of Red Dog: Superior Firepower has been published on Defunct Games!

If you've never played this superb and rather hard to find shooter, here's a few shots illustrating what you're depriving yourself of:

Go and get a copy off eBay now!!

We Believe

Well, it's Good Friday.

It's not all about days off work and chocolate you know. Sheesh - people, Easter is about keeping the faith and remembering what Jesus did for us all. Yes - even YOU.

And to celebrate, I've erected a 1:1 scale recreation of Christ's crucifix in the back yard and will shortly be nailing myself to it in celebration of His life, death and resurrection. As an added twist, I've installed a sort of harness (through a complex system of ropes and pullies) to house my Dreamcast and a TV, and will force myself to play through Army Men: Sarge's Heores. Furthermore, I will blast Good Charlotte's Chronicles of Life and Death on infinate repeat on the stereo to accompany this spectacle. That's both offensive and humourous on so many levels, but I fear my Hubris will get the better of me. We shall see...

If you're still reading (and have not alerted the Vatican secret police), you may also have noticed that I have added this particularly eye scrambling background to the text to compliment that epilepsy inducing site background. Hope it's not too offensive on the old retinas.

Must run along though, there's a faint waft of inscence in the air and a shadow on the stairs...

Children of the Evolution

The Dreamcast Junkyard has gone from strength to strength over the recent months. From the very first post where I intended it to just be a basic cataloging of my fledgling collection of Dreamcast stuff, to the recent adding of irreverent opinion and political satire. Well, the slagging off of Tom Cruise and the branding of John Prescott as a bulldog chewing a wasp. But now, the 'Yard (as it is affectionatly known these days) has entered a new era. A brave new frontier, if you will. But thankfully, a frontier in which William Shatner in a leotard are outlawed by punishment of death.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to announce the appointment of two team members to the 'administration' of the 'Yard. They are regular readers who have walked the many treacherous paths of Dreamcast ownership for many a moon. Yes dear reader, let me introduce:

The GagaMan
Top rate animator, author of Sega Freaks and general Sega knowledge bin, The Gagaman also has the largest depository of Sega paraphenalia I have ever clapped eyes on. Here's hoping for some inspired posts from The 'Man.

Pierre LaStank
Hailing from the good ol' US of A, I would like to introduce the Dreamcast Junkyard's opinion generator from NTSC-land. As a truly international service (hey, the 'Yard has readers in India and Japan y'know!), it makes sense to branch out and get views from (CLICHE ALERT) 'across the pond.' Rest assured that pic will change ASAP!!

As ever, I will continue to wax lyrical about life, the 'Cast and bollocks in general, but please join me in welcoming our new 'posters.'
Now, excuse me while I retire to my new oak walled, Lowry lined office - I have several 21 year old naked blonde virgins in there waiting to be scalded*.

*-This shall be carried out by my personal valet - I can't be mithered with such frivolities when I've got level 8 on Doom Advance to beat. Fucking DEMONS!!!!!!!!!!

Exclamation Overload Imminent!

Today I went into Lidl to use my last £2 to get something for my tea, as the cupboards at the 'Yard are in pretty similar state to the one's across the road at Mother Hubbard's Kitchen Furniture Superstore. Upon entering said garishly coloured European discount 'food' depository, I was confronted by an enourmous display of fishing rods (!)...and that reminded me that my attempts to get hold of a DC fishing rod without using eBay (and incurring the ridiculous postage costs stated by sellers) have been pretty fruitless in recent days. As such, I have been drowning my sorrows in an infinate, depressing and completely unbreakable cycle of coffee, listening to Fountains of Wayne and surfing the net for poor/fair quality smut (I'm not a greedy man).

To heap on the suicide calibre (CalibuR?) depression of not being able to afford any alcohol whatsoever (I see a circle forming...), the attempt to transplant the innards of my thrift-tastic Alba MP3 player into one of my now redundant VMs failed miserably too. This is possibly because I wasn't really paying much attention and that when I thought I had almost succeeded, I realised that I wouldn't be able to change the battery in my new Franken-VM without taking the whole thing apart each and every time. Damn, damn, DAMN!

I must say though, that I'm still not very taken by Phantasy Star Online - infact I have gleaned more entertainment from the demo of Sonic Adventure 2 that came bundled with it and to celebrate that, have a little butchers at this rather excellent Sonic site. But enough of this pesimism my compadres! As you'll know if you've taken my advice and clicked on that link (go on!), it's Easter soon! And you know what that means? FOUR DAYS OFF WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Exclamation Overload!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just when it seems that the whole world has turned into a putrid mass of decomposing feacal matter, a hypothetical bin man comes along with a hypothetical spade, bends over to reveal his hypothetical ass-crack and scoops away the shite! Hooray!

Furthermore, I found this nice little site that describes (with Dexter's Laboratory levels of scientific accuracy) how the Dreamcast works!

Lastly, but possibly most importantly, I'm thinking of recruiting someone who would like to help with the upkeep of the 'Yard. If you feel up to it and want the unbridled power of being able to post your own Dreamcast related Bollocks (that's a capital B, folks) on the most powerful games blog in the Underverse...drop me an email via my profile.

I'm Back!

This weekend was for the most part a blur of alcohol and Pot Noodle abuse, but as Secretary General of the Dreamcast Junkyard, it is an integral part of my very existence to seek out new Dreamcast related paraphernalia at any and every given opportunity.

To my shock and surprise, I found myself wondering around the town centre of a place called Leigh on Saturday afternoon – for those who don’t know, Leigh is a small town that lies in the cursed Badlands surrounding the Roman Fort of Mamucium (Manchester). Think Hadley’s Hope, but with less nightlife. The people who reside in this desolate outpost eat pie sandwiches (yes, a fucking PIE on a SANDWICH), speak in strange tongues and entertain themselves by stripping naked in the Market Square and wrestling with chickens. Also, it appears that the very existence of the Dreamcast completely passed the place by. However, the colony does have a branch of Gamestation and upon visiting it I was amazed to find copies of Sonic Adventure 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 hiding on the top shelf next to the pr0n.

As a rule, I generally never spend more than £10 on anything to do with pr0n or the Dreamcast, so I passed up on said games – both retailing for £14.99 and exempt from the ‘buy one, get one free’ offer usually associated with retro stuff. Ten minutes or so later, I was looking around another second hand emporium (these and ‘pound shops’ tend to be the local trade of choice in Leigh) when I spotted something that all but the keenest gamer wouldn’t – stuffed on top of a cabinet was a collection of PlayStation steering wheels, rumble vests and light guns. It was like the armoury of some ancient warlike civilisation, but poking out from this melee of plastic chaos was a Dreamcast compatible controller connector (the bit on the end of the wire). After some careful rummaging and trying not to tip everything off the top of the cabinet, I surveyed my bounty – a V3 steering wheel, complete with pedals!!

The guy behind the counter originally wanted £10 for it, but when I baulked at the price of a tenner, he quickly slashed the price by 50% because he needed the shelf space. So I got a lovely Interact V3 steering wheel for £5. FIVE POUNDS!!!

After a quick wipe with a cloth soaked in St Elmo’s Fire, the years of accumulated scum and secreted resin were banished from the wheel and it now looks as good as new. But how does it feel to use?

This being only the second wheel I’ve ever owned (the first being that horrendous
contraption that Sega released for the Saturn – you know, with the freaking OBLONG wheel), I have only limited experience of playing racing games with such a peripheral. However, in the name of entertainment, truth, justice and peace on Earth, I have played through every racing title in the Junkyard’s Halo-esque library (although thankfully it contains neither the Flood or that fucking floating thing) and here present a run down of the most noteworthy experiences contained within:

It’s no secret that I hate this game, but the wheel adds something to the experience. It’s still hard as nails, but you can’t get much closer to the arcade than this. An attempt to do so would involve the stacking of 3 televisions and the slicing up of a real Ferrari. Neither is within the realms of reality for me. WithOut wheel – 3/10; With wheel - 5/10

Both play pretty much the same – very well. With the in-car view it is very realistic but due to the slower reaction time when using the wheel, it is difficult to get through chicanes at speed. WO 8/10; W 9/10

Daytona 2001
This is the kind of game the wheel is designed for. It’s brilliant with a pad, but with a wheel it’s about 10 times better. Absolutely fantastic with the wheel – arcade perfect control.
WO 9/10; W 10/10

Crazy Taxi / Crazy Taxi 2
Even though the arcade machine of Crazy Taxi features a wheel, I've never played it so I wasn't sure if it was really the best peripheral for the job - the gameplay is perfect for a pad. All my fears were put to rest as soon as the game kicked off though - it's another title that is incredible with a steering wheel. I thought it'd be hard to pull of the Crazy Dash because of the way you have to stamp on the accelerator and gear change button, but it works fine.
WO 9/10; W 10/10

18 Wheeler
Yet another arcade conversion that plays really well with the wheel. The in-truck view feels so much mo
re convincing, but it seems a tad harder than with a pad because the rigs are so slow to react to your turns.
WO 7/10; W 8/10

While MSR is still one of the gretest driving sims the world has ever seen, it just doesn't gain anything from being played with a wheel. The handling of the cars is too sluggish to warrant bothering to re-teach yourself all the little quirks involved. Do yourself a favour and play MSR with a pad - handbrake turns are virtually impossible to pull off with the V3.
WO 10/10; W 5/10

Rush 2049
I wasn't holding o
ut for much success with Rush. Even though I really enjoy playing it, the steering model is a bit dodgy - it's one of those games where you have to 'tap' the analogue stick to turn. The Wheel actually works really well though. There's a pretty big 'dead zone,' meaning you can turn quite a way before the vehicles start to steer, but overall it does add to the driving experience. Commendable.
WO 7/10; W 8/10

Sega Rally 2
Hmmm. You'd think this would be perfect with the wheel, but it's pretty poor - you'll spend more time trying to keep the car straight than actually trying to compete in a race. Not Good.
WO 7/10; W 2/10

There are more racers in the 'Yard's collection, but I think you've probably got a good idea of how well it stands up after that little lot.

So what does all this tell us? Well, apart from giving me cramp in my legs from using the pedals, I must come to the conclusion that the V3 wheel is a really good peripheral. It is robust and easy to use and compliments most (but not all) driving games perfectly. There is one minor gripe with the V3 Wheel though, and that is that the VMU slot is extremely close to the groin better give your VM's a good wipe if you happen to let a particularly fat, sweaty friend have a go with the wheel.

If you’ve still not had your fill of Dreamcast related over-zealous irreverence by now, please make yourself a cup of tea and unwind by checking out my review of Virtua Tennis 2/Tennis 2K2/Power Smash 2 (or whatever the fuck it’s called where you live) over at Defunct Games – the web’s premier retro games review source – by clicking here. Until next time amigos, ¡Adios!

The Dreamcast Junkyard – multi lingual.

iPod? Schmipod!

All this recent talk about the Dreamcast's most unsung hero got me thinking last night. As I began ironing my trousers for another long, dull day of mental anquish (work), my MP3 player fell out of one of the pockets and landed rather curiously slap bang next to one of my VMs. After nearly 14 minutes of standing there in total silence, staring blankly at the floor and dribbling, an idea began to form. An idea with implications of coolness not seen since the Fonze claimed one of the toilet stalls in Al's Diner as his office.

What if I combined an mp3 player with a VM?

I know that another site has featured such a device in the past (see picture below), but that was merely a prototype from Sega, and I doubt if it actually really worked. More probable, it was just an empy shell designed to get people interested in the ailing DC. Too little, too late methinks. And that idea of bundling a free DVD Player the size of Guatemala was a bit of disaster too. But I digress.My knowledge of electronics doesn't really advance much further than "give it here...are the batteries in the right way round?" and then banging whatever it is that won't work on a table until it does (but I get by with that technique quite well). However, basic knowledge of spacial volumes and the ability to use my eyes (rather well, actually) implicates that the innards of my £20 cheapo-nasty mp3 player will easily fit inside the shell of a VM. As of writing this post, I havn't attempted to do it (that will come in the next few days), but rest assured the possibility will be looked into. On the flip side, there is a chance that all of my VMs will end up like this:
Or, if after a few minutes of tinkering I believe that my skillz are not up to scratch, the project will be filed in the drawer along with my recently scuppered plans to change my Dreamcast's LED from that redundant orange to a more fitting turquoise.

I did manage to have a quick blast on Phantsy Star Offline last night too. First impressions: not really impressed. I watched the opening FMV then played for about 25 minutes but was largely unimpressed (how many times can I get away with using the same word?!) with the fact that I died twice at the hands of these big mole things while trying in vain to roundhouse their faces in. It always works in real life, so I'm a bit mystified as to why these methods are useless in a virtual world. Saying that, Dr Robotnik has just moved in next door and you couldn't hope to meet a nicer Gentleman. Perhaps I'm just being an impatient git though - loads of people (well, one - Diogo who reads this blog), have said how good it is. They can't all be wrong. Or can they...?

Now that the Dreamcast Junkyard has aquired it's own identity in the form of that rather lovely title banner (up there!), I thought it was about time that the people of the North West of England were enlightened as to what they are missing out on. Therefore, I saw it necessary to have an advertising banner placed by crane on the (still incomplete) new tallest building in the North, Beetham Tower :-)

PS - just seen the ad on TV for Tomb Raider Legend. Looks passable (although check the dodgy animation when Crofty dives over the waterfall). But right at the end, Lara says "I'm waiting" in that fake ass, non-existent 'English' accent. Why?! No neeeeeed!

Visual Memory, Baby!

You know what I really, really hate about the Dreamcast? It's the noise. The noise is unbelievable. I have moaned about this in the past - about the disk accessing and the hum of the fan, but this is about something else. And I'm sure everyone reading this will have experienced this at least once:


Yes, it's the VM politely telling me, the rest of the street and every dog in the neighbourhood that it's batteries are dead. I decided to remedy this annoyance by opening the VM and destroying the speaker module thing by twatting it with the screwdriver...but my common sense kicked in and told me that it'd probably disrupt the correct operation of the device. So I resorted to the semi-efficient practice of sticking a blob of blu-tack over the speaker vents on the back of all of my VMs.

However, it seems that all my beep induced problems have been solved. For today I picked up a Joytech 4mb VM (pictured) for the price of £2.49 stirling. I suppose it should really only be called an 'M' because it doesn't have an LCD screen, ergo dropping the need for the term 'Visual.' But it is this lack of an LCD that holds the true genius.

No LCD means no battery and no battery means no beep!!!! Plus, it's 4 VMs in one, so it abolishes the need to replace VMs every time I want to play a game with a save on another card.

Phantasy Star Online arrived too but I've had no time to have a go, but judging by the reports I've had fall across my desk about how good it is, I think my Friday night is sorted. Pub? nah. Phantasy Star Online. but offline. You get the drift.

***Tom Cruise update incoming***

Now, the Dreamcast Junkyard has brought up the subject of Mr Cruise on numerous occasions in the recent past. But this time, I feel I owe the pint sized scientologist freak a semi-apology. You see, I saw (not sure if that's good grammar) The Last Samurai yesterday and I must say that it's one damn fine movie. The story is quite believable, the fight scenes very impressive and the whole movie is beautifully shot. It doesn't quite undo the abhorrance contained within War of the Worlds, but it was good. But still, Mr Cruise worships alien ghosts that eat human souls. Quite.
***End Transmission***

Dreamcast? Art?!

Well what do you know?! 3 hours and 6 cups of coffee after I embarked on my Odyssey to give the 'Yard it's own unique logo, I've done it!! Look! Up there!

To be fair, it only took me about 10 minutes to actually create the thing in photoshop, but it was a freaking nightmare trying to work out which bits of the template's HTML I needed to mess about with. Hair tearing just isn't the phrase. And to avoid the original 'Dreamcast Junkyard' text logo appearing over the new image, I've had to rename this blog '.' (yep, it's a full stop).

The image above is taken from this website, Gamingredients, which features a decent Fall Of Sega article and also an interesting collection of 'arty' shots of the Dreamcast and Saturn. It doesn't appear to have been updated for about a year, but it makes for a pleasant sideline. I also discovered this rather interesting site (with the strangest URL I've ever seen) that has info on Dreamcast programming, burning DC images and getting CD-Rs to run. Check it out peeps.

Apart from that, Phantasy Star Online still ain't arrived, but on a lighter note my review of Speed Devils online has been published so feel free to have a gander by clicking on this link. As ever - all comments are very much appreciated. Except those ones from Frank8888 who explains that my site is "Good, with much discussion...perhaps you'd like to buy some time-share real estate in California..."

Suddenly, comment verification has become a most interesting prospect.

V for Vacuous

Saw that V for Vendetta the other day. I can only speak for myself (evidently), but I’m getting rather fucking infuriated with the way all these new ‘blockbuster’ movies get built up by either pompous movie writers, newspaper promotions or impressive looking trailers…and when you finally see the thing it’s a festering, house-sized dollop of manure (see War of the Worlds for further information). Enter V for Vendetta. For a start, what the HELL is 'V' moaning about?

From the outset, the vision of a futuristic Britain presented doesn’t seem too far removed from how it is now. Hmmm…government controlled news and shady politicians (sorry)? Oh, wait – there’s a curfew at night. A very honourable and just reason to destroy Parliament I’m sure. And you’ve gotta love the line “ He’s controlling every TV in London…” Because no one outside of London has a TV, obviously. Or simply fails to exist in the minds of anyone in London. Bah.

Oh, and the tagged on nonsense about Guy Fawkes is just that - tagged on. At the end, I'll wager.

Anyway, The Dreamcast Junkyard would like to officially condemn all American films that feature anything to do with the UK. Now that’s out of the way - On with the show, as it were.

Please take the time to read my comparative reviews of Speed Devils and Speed Devils Online. They simply are not the same game and it is quite interesting to look at the differences between them. Interesting that is, if your existence consists of nothing but a swirling vortex of drudgery and toil, encapsulated by an Event Horizon of monotony. But I shouldn’t complain – I got Phantasy Star Online for £2 off eBay the other day. Now I return every evening from my long day of writing this ‘at the office’ (ho ho!), with the hope that it has arrived through the post. As every day passes that it hasn’t arrived, my expectation grows at least eight-fold! I fear that if it hasn’t arrived by the end of the week, my anticipation levels may have risen to such an amplitude that I may be able to siphon and filter it (eh? EH?) out of my ear, bottle it and vend it to England fans who are expecting us to win the World Cup.

At this juncture, I would like to shatter this chain of pessimism and bring to your attention something rather excellent. I have explained this to several of my contemporaries who have just ignored me (as is the norm), but I truly recommend getting up before 9am on a Saturday morning, putting ITV1 on and watching a brilliant cartoon called Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s about this young lad who has the capacity to manipulate the elements of Earth, Wind, and Water etc. That he and others with this skill are known colloquially as ‘Benders’ made me chuckle, but then I still find poo and wee jokes hilarious.

Before you scream ‘Captain Planet rip-off!’ please be advised that it features some dazzling animation, and there’s a quite fit cartoon bird in it (Staff Writer phrase alert) to boot. Sad? Possibly. But nowhere near as sad as playing Space Channel 5 just to look at Ulala’s legs.

Yep, there's more...

The sudden and unexpected appearance of the Dreamcast logo in the strangest places continues, people. Earlier, I was explaining to my housemate how Man United are going to catch Chelsea and win yet another league title in spectacular fashion, when something in my peripheral vision grabbed my attention:This rather poor quality photo is of the net curtain in said housemate's bedroom! But that's not all - as the swirl caught his attention I was able to half inch (pinch) his PSP, flush it down the toilet and replace it with a Tiger Ho ho...THE FOOL will be forced to play Lights Out in monochrome for all ETERNITY!

As well as that, I gave in to temptation earlier and did actually take those two games back to the shop (Suzuki Alstare and Speed Devils Online). I exchanged 'em for the original Speed Devils and...eek!...Spirit of Speed 1937!!!

Now, The Dreamcast Junkyard is 100% supportive of the Dreamcast for obvious reasons (it being the greatest Sega console ever, and Sega being the greatest games company the Americans may be heard to frequently exclaim - "Do The Math!"), but is in no way biased. If a Dreamcast game is great - I'll say so...but likewise if a game sucks, the 'Yard will tell it like it is.

Using that ideology, Spirit of Speed sucks. A lot. Even to the point of sucking ass. A few reasons squire?

  • You get a tarmac/tire squeal when you accelerate on grass!
  • The graphics are atrocious.
  • The frame rate often dips to flickerbook levels. Like the ones of a bouncing ball you used to draw on the corner of your maths book in school. But less entertaining.
  • The loading times last for eons - indeed, this gamer watched the rise and fall of an empire of bacteria in an old yogurt pot before the first menu even appeared.
Also - If anyone out there reading this also owns Spirit of Speed, could you be a mate and tell me how to switch to the 3rd person view shown on the back of the box?!

As I already suspected, Speed Devils Offline is vastly superior to the Online variant and has a fantastic single player championship (and as mentioned in an earlier post, superior graphics and music too). It's actually a lot like Rush, but with more detailed tracks and more customisability (not sure if that is an actual word). Overall: a damn fine game, peeps.

New review here too. Lest we forget the HORROR of Army Men: Sarge's Heroes...