Hmmm, May Day. International day of protest and anti-government rioting; or the only day of the year where fat men with beards dress up like fairies and prance around with bells and sticks? I suppose it depends on where you are in the the world. I was actually 'invited' to take part in some kind of march today, but the legions of baton wielding police and crowds of camoflage wearing, soap dodging students had an influence on me politiely turning the offer down. Anyhow, May Day apart, today is special for another reason: new shit in the 'Yard peeps!

Allow me to introduce our new arrivals:

Vanishing Point
A graphically stunning arcade racing game that features a multitude of real life vehicles like Minis and Lotuses (or is that 'Loti'?!). I think the name Vanishing Point has got something to do with the groundbreaking (in 2000) game engine that virtually eliminates pop-up because the whole track is modelled, rather than being 'drawn in' as you travel around it. The handling of the vehicles differs depending on what you're driving, but control is a bit spongy and the cars behave as if they have jelly for suspension - they wobble and bounce about quite a bit. However, there's loads to do in Vanishing Point, a magnitude of different racing modes and mini games so it'll hold the attention for quite a while. Very decent Acclaim. Cast your eyes over these screens and deny the majesty of Vanishing Point if you dare...

Vigilante 8: Second Offense
I had the first Vigilant 8 game on the N64 and it was sweet - the graphics were fantastic with the Expansion Pak. Second Offense doesn't really look much better which is a dissappointment considering the extra power of the Dreamcast. Basically, V8 is a sort of deathmatch game but in vehicles. You drive around shooting other cars, trucks, motorbikes etc and collecting power ups. The magic of the first one seems to have been lost due to the emptiness of the sequels' arenas and there just isn't as much stuff to destroy (houses, gas stations etc). Still, it's fun for a while, just not as awesome as I was expecting. Check out this somersaulting bin wagon...if only they could do that in real life, it'd make bin day much more entertaining. And justify the ridiculous Council Tax.Moving on, my progress in Shenmue has flown along. I'm already into the 3rd disk and have just got a job at the docks as a forklift truck driver. It's actually pretty annoying trying to control the FLT and putting the crates where they are meant to go and it gets very old, very quickly. However, I pulled the plug out of the socket by accident before I had the chance to save the game so lost a good chunk of my progress. After several minutes of dribbling, shouting and generally acting like Mutley, I just shelved it. I really want to get into Shenmue 2 but now I'm so close to completing the first chaper of Ryo's adventure, it'd be a shame to just jump straight into number 2 with all guns blazing. As it were.

The Dreamcast Jukebox

Well, Shizzle my Nizzle and call me Christmas. I was round at one of my dawgs' (mates) cribs (houses), chillin' (relaxing) and bussin' some choons (listening to music) when the Dreamcast reared it's beautiful, Kaley Cuoco-style head once again. Ubiquitous? You betcha.
The breath-halting moment occured when aforementioned dawg (peace an respec', Big J) loaded into the wireless, the CD 'Off the Wall' by a trendy youth artiste by the name of Eminem. When track 7, Hellbound (feat. J-Black and Masta Ace no less), rolled around, I noticed that it sounded somewhat familiar. Especially since the background music is ripped straight from none other than SOUL CALIBUR!

It gets better -

The first lyrics are "Welcome back to the Stage of History..."!! I shit you not, fellow Dreamcast owning, Soul Calibur playing intelligensia. And for the benefit of you enlightened gamers who have found your way to The 'Yard, click here for the full lyrics - there's even a mention of super camp Elvis impersonator Maxi in there.

And Kudos must go to the gentleman who coined this posts' title (out of ignorance I might add):

Mr Nickolas P. Charmuck Esq.

He's been waiting for ages to get his mention on the 'Yard - even though he thinks a Dreamcast is something Native Americans use to influence your sleeping patterns. Or something.

And while I'm doing shout-outs (not a regular feature, but I just been chatting with Pete Doherty so for some reason feel really loved up), please visit www.petercooper.co.uk, the website of a new member of the Order of the Dreamcast and thoroughly nice linker type person.

Right I'm off to watch Red Eye. Which is a bit of a coincidence looking at that picture...

Promo Vids, ripped just for you!

Now here’s some videos I've gone to the effort to rip for you lot. I had to rip them onto DVD then again onto the computer, and YouTube only allows up to 10 minute files, so 2 of them had to be split (one of them 3 times). They feature a whole lot of footage from games released and unreleased. I guess someone might find them interesting, since the only Dreamcast promo I've seen online is the Dreamcast Mag Issue Zero one.

These two videos above are for "Dreamography 2" released in May 2000, featuring an early version of Jet Set Radio (in the 2nd half) and some twat who mucks about with a broom and sits about thinking about the games until his mates pop over. Yeah, it’s kind of lame, but it's better than the ads they did on telly, because at least they show game footage in this 20-odd minute video. Never found "Dreamography 1" about.

Now the above 3 videos are of the longest Promo video of the lot, and probably the best one too. "The greatest Range on Earth", released around summer 2000, does exactly what video game promos should all do: Just show off the games, and in this one they mainly stick to gooduns and not too many Playstation ports. Some of the trailers, like the Virtua Tennis, really should of been cut down for the TV. Also included are the canceled games Half Life and Black & White.

This final video (above) is very short at only 8 minutes and was released about mid 2001, and isn't quite as well made as the others. However, it does show off Shenmue II, Headhunter, REZ and Virtua Tennis 2, so you can't complain too much. There's also the odd snippet of canceled game Propella Arena at the start, which is nice.


It's been a week since I spent cash on anything Dreamcast related. The official Dreamcast Junkyard press release states the reson for this is that I have created a rather nice, totally symmetrical stack of lovely sky blue boxes betwixt some speakers (see pic below). Any further purchases would lead to the shelf becoming both overloaded (possibly leading to a collapse) and unsightly (asymmetric games collections?!?!?!). However, other media outlets have pointed to my Command and Conquer-style lack of sufficient funds. I'll let you decide which is more probable with the following statement: this morning I brushed mold off some bread before putting it in the toaster.

So how does one entertain oneself when one finds oneself on the social slag heap? Well, first off start talking like the fucking Queen (hours of fun to be had there, my rice pudding chugging chums). Speaking of her Highness, she was 80 last week and held a sort of 'coffee morning' for other OAPs who happen to share the same birthday. Nice that ain't it - the Queen getting all common and shit. Down to 'our' level. I suppose to really get a feel for her subjects' lives, she also snubbed Balmoral and retired to a freezing council flat on some scummy estate to sit watching Doctors and eating Hobnobs for the remainder of the day. More probable she went off to participate in some secret masonic sacrifice. And then ate Hobnobs while shooting homeless people with a painball gun.

But enough of this Monarchy mockery. This last few days I've been playing Shenmue again. Like the old adage goes - "if at first you don't succeed, call it shite and smash it up..." or something like that. But seriously, I went back to it and looked for sailors again...stroked the cat...practised my moves by "getting sweaty" in a small park that also had kids playing in it (call the cops) and also had a tip off that sailors get rowdy at night in the very same park. So I waited. And waited. And then at 11.30, Ryo bitched about it getting late and fucked off home. The BASTARD!!!

I was stumped. So I have a confession to make...I looked at gamefaqs.com. Yes, I know it's shameful and really should only be frequented by retards (!), but I had no choice. Anyway, I found what I was looking for and the adventure shall now continue. But one little note - I was rummaging through the drawers in one of the bedrooms opposite Ryo's own wanking pit and discovered what is clearly skinning up material:

Getting sweaty in a kid filled park; looking for sailors AND smoking big fuck-off reefers while Ine-san potters about the kitchen and leaves money out for you?! Ryo, you're a legend.

Now, this last bit may only be of interest if you a) know who Howard is (from the Halifax Adverts); and b) know who some of the less well known members of the US Cabinet are. For the sake of the argument, I'll presume you enlightened Dreamcast owners do...so check out these two lovable rogues:

Howard, Halifax Branch Manager and all round Brummy

Alphonso Jackson, US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development

Uncanny, no?

Sweet Bleems are Made of This.

(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~)

I'll apologize right now for that terrible pun but hey, what's this? What are a bunch of Playstation games doing within the collection of anti-Playstation Sega Freak Gagaman's? Well, if you didn't already guess from the title, I finally got some games to try out the Bleem Beta that has been leaked across the net. If you haven't heard of it, it lets you play these ol' games on your Dreamcast, with smoother graphics too. Because it wasn't complete, however, only some games work well whereas others are either riddled with bugs or just give you the black screen of death. And thus the hunt for compatible games begins.

Firstly, how does it work then? Plain simple, it's just a case of disc swapping. Modeled by my cat above, all you need is a copy of the beta burned onto a disc, and any PSX you can find to try out on it. I've never actually owned any PSX games before, due to going with the Saturn for the 32-bit era instead (I don't regret it, the Playstation's games libaury has never really excited me quite as much, and, to my possible mistake, made me buy a Gamecube instead of a PS2, even though hat has turned out to have a lot of interesting games), but luckily the games are as common as muck at bootsales, and can picked up for daft little sums of money. For example, just today I picked up Cool Boarders for 50p, Driver 2 for 25p, and Time Crisis, which I will be demonstrating with, for £1.50). Stick the disc in and this below is what you get.

Here's Time Crisis running on it. I always have loved these games in the arcades, and would even go as far as to say it blows Virtua Cop 2 out of the water. The game runs almost perfectly, except unfortunately it's not compatible with the Dreamcast light-gun, so the controls can be sort of awkward. The other obvious problems is the DC pad lacks three buttons - L2, R2 and Select. For games like Driver 2, it prevents you from getting where you need to, although you can grab a PSX/Saturn controller to DC port off Ebay. The other obvious problem is not being able to save, although luckily that's not such a big deal for arcade titles like Time Crisis anyway. Below is some shots of Cool Borders 2, which doesn't have sound and looks major buggered in any mode other than championship, with textures going mad including black and green snow. Gran Turismo 2 is another game that runs almost perfectly, which is nice.

Ok, so it's a totally geeky and almost pointless way of playing Playstation games, but the games that do work look bloody brilliant, much better than they do on a PS2, and hey, it's a fun novelty and saves having to own a console that looks like a toilet on your desk. Also, if anyone does decide to hunt it down and try it out, here's some guys' incomplete, but very handy compatibility list.

Dreamcast gets in the news again!

Thanks to those lovely folks at dcemu.co.uk, I was informed about this news post on the BBC News website in which the Dreamcast is featured. This isn't some dug up archive news however, this is NEW news. With the Dreamcast in it! Hurrah! Ok, so it's hardly a great place for one to be found, owned by some bloke in jail who beat someone to pieces with a metal bar, but the guy at least has good taste in gaming, which should at least mean they could take a day or two off of his 5 year jail sentence, although how someone who's in the bird got such a wonderful luxury is a mystery. They should of maybe pawned him off with a CDI instead. Anyway, he was suing the prison for damaging this little white box of joy, and wanted 350 quid for it. Funny that, I don't recall hem ever costing that much. maybe he's counting the 15 games he had for it. With that kind of money, once he gets out in 2011 he can pop into a Gamestation and nab whatever remaining DC titles their might be at the time, of course if Gamestation hasn't become a new-games-only whore like GAME by then. Whatever the case, this would make much more interesting front page news than Jade Goody knocking herself out trying to run a marathon.

In other news which unfortunly didn't manage to get on the BBC News website, I got two more games from the good old Station today. My local one down me ighstreet got a huge new pile o' stock today of retro goodies including more DC games then the Southend one has probably had for ages. Titles there for a mesly 2.50 include MSR and Red Dog, but the two I picked up were Unreal Tourny and Super Runabout. you just can't lose for £2.50 a piece now can you?

Unreal is pretty standard FPShooter flare much like Quake 3 Arena, only with funny dialogue added and some infamous commentating (DOUBLE KILL! KILLING SPREE! You have to of been there) and some really fun weapons. The font's used in game are a bit cack though. Super Runabout is one of those games I bought years ago, sold, and then regretted so eventually re-bought. I normally can tell when I re-buy something why I sold it (Such as Re-Volt making you want to kick your telly), but I honestly don't know why I did with this one. The cut scene stuff at the start is terrible, but the in game is hella fun (even if the steeling can be dodgy) and there's just so much here to do and unlock it's hard not to like, especially when you can smash up just about anything. It may not be Crazy Taxi, but it's still rather fine in my books.

Nippon Attack Inbound!

Well, St George's Day passed without anybody actually noticing. It's funny that St Patrick's Day is the talk of the town, but when our own Patron Saint's Day arrives, no-one really gives a toss. And correct me if I'm wrong (which I invariably am), but St George killed a big fuck-off Dragon (see pic, taken yesterday) and wore cool looking Knights Templar style armour...whereas all I'm aware St Patrick did was drink Guinness and swear at kids playing football. Speaks volumes really.

However, that's all academic.

What isn't academic is my stop/start progress in Shenmue. If anyone is still contemplating buying this game, please first ensure that you get your attention span surgically lengthened. See, since I got hold of the ever-elusive Shenmue 2, I have promised myself that I will not jump the gun and have a go on it (even if it is just to see how much better the visuals are) until I have finished the first installment. It'd be like watching the 3rd Harry Potter film before even seeing the first one, not having a clue what is going on and then branding the whole thing 'shite.' Which is what I did. Shenmue shall not go the same way - I am determined to play through it as it was intended...although those goddamned sailors have once again scuppered my progress - all because I missed a trickshot at a game of frigging pool.


I spent another couple of days wandering around Dobuita trying to figure out what to do next...and then inevitably lost interest again. Bah.

So my interest wandered - but it didn't get far. Oh no my friends...not far at all. I may have mentioned that I also got hold of Zombie Revenge (which is quite frankly a hideous little game) and another by the rather dubious title of MDK2. I always thought MDK stood for Murder, Death, Kill - but it actually stands for Max, Dr Hawkins and Kurt - the three heroes you get to control in this unbelievably good 3D action adventure (above). And while the last sentence may sound like a press release for Interplay, I can assure you that when I say this game is incredible - I comes from the innermost caverns of my cold, dead, coal-like shell of a heart. Oh yes.

It's so original, features great stylised visuals and storyboards, and each character has a truly individual style of gameplay. Bear in mind that I only played the first two levels, but I was hooked and only the absurd difficulty I encountered in one section made me stop playing. A review will follow shortly, but I can't recommend this game enough. Zombie Revenge on the other hand, as described above, is akin to finding that your kitchen has become over-run with ants to such a level that they are in your bread, cereal and teabags. And as much of what is written here is based on real life experiences, Zombie Revenge must be described as sickening. However, smearing the box with Nippon Ant Killer (pictured) WILL NOT remedy the problems of sloppy graphics, poor graphics or atrocious voice acting. It WILL, though, make you very ill if you don't wash your hands after using it. Hmmm...

Finally, just a quick note to apologise for the lack of updates - Blogger wouldn't let me publish for about 2 days.

The perfect woman?

(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~)

We all love the Dreamcast it's true, but how far exactly can you go? You can celebrate it's birthday by spending a whole day with it playing it's best games, and you can spend hours cleaning and looking after it's many little faults that occur over time, but could you REALLY love your Dreamcast? Well, maybe if your Dreamcast had a woman's body like this one does, although even then, the moral implications are rather dubious (what do they call people that have a fetish for machines again?) Well, it seems there is someone out there who has dreamed this exact thing up and put it into comic form, luckily without stooping into any dodgy territory. And get this, she's not a fan work but officially endorsed by Sega!

As you probably guessed this character to the left is a creation of those barmy folks in Japan, who make comics about anything and everything. Yes, even for housewife's and business men! In this case, we have a comic series that serialized in a Japanese Dreamcast magazine rather brilliantly titled "Sega Make the Best Games in the World!" and stars a Dreamcast, Saturn, Game Gear, Mega Drive and others, all with bodies attached to them. Long-time readers of my web comic Manga-Gaga will probably recognize them, as I pretty much nicked the designs from where I saw them in an issue of the British mag DC-UK. here's the scan (Click to read and look at the scary lady holding the Mr.Driller guy):
Hunting across the 'net, I've also found other images from random sources of these characters, but haven't come across much info from it all. Here's a collection of stuff I found. If anyone out there has anymore info and/or images, please send them this way, as I would really like to know more about this series!

From top to bottom: The Dreamcast's name seems to be 'Casko'. She also seems to enjoy beating people up in the street with a baseball bat. Hense the orange logo, she's a red head. The third image looks like it could be a mug design (judging from all that merchandise in the mag scan, it could be just that), the 4th image gives you a better look at the Saturn character. The 5th: an actual page from the comic, it seems. It's a Powerpuff girl parody (also notice the looming PS2's, and one of the ingredients is a Sonic game). The small icons were found on a random Japanese message board. I was sure there was more lying about too, but I seem to have misplaced it.

EDIT: Ah, yes, here's the images I forgot. To prove that this stuff is actually officially by Sega, here's some images of the characters as capsule toys in Shenmue:
There's also a Casko featured on this webpage, that features loads of images that could be found on one of Sega's Japanese photo booth thingys.
The best find for the series, however, had to be this short animation I found on a movie download site a while back (Can't remember where exactly now, but it might of been Sega Fans). Apparently it was released on a CD-rom that came with an issue of the magazine the comic series is published in. It features all the consoles (except the Master System/Mark 3 that seems to have been left out of the series) as well as some mystery blue haired girl with a Dreamcast necklace. Hmm. I've gone to trouble of posting this up with YouTube for you. Credit goes to whoever found this rare gem of a Sega...thing.

As a bonus for the non Manga-Gaga readers, here's a collection of the best Sega console character comics I've done in the series from 2002-2005. Take note some of these are really old, and the characters are only based on what I could make out in that DC-UK ish. I made up the Saturn to be a samurai, for example. Some of these comics also feature characters from the bizarre DC RPG SegaGaga. Just for comparisons sake.