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Seven Years Too Late.

I reported a while back that, after trying out dozens of games with it, I've discovered another game that uses the motion sensors in the Fishing controller, and while Soul Calibur's fishing compatibility had been known by a select few since it's release (see the review of the game in Official Dreamcast magazine #2), as far as I know no one has never uncovered this one, and you smack yourself other the head like I did when you see what it is, especially as we could have known about this SEVEN years ago...

Yes, Virtua sodding tennis. With motion controls. In the year 2000. I kid you not.

"So what you're saying", I bet you're asking, "is that we could of been playing Wii tennis seven years ago?". In a sense, YES. Now, I was testing my way through though as many games as I could one night for a laugh to see what would maybe work, and while most didn't work at all, and others didn't work very well (most racing games will, using the reel, only let you move at 2 MPH) but then it hit me, what about Virtua Tennis? Like Soul Calibur, it's a game where all the buttons more or less do the same thing in different ways.

Lo and behold, it works like a charm. Swinging the rod in certain directions will do exactly that, and the speed of which you swing effects how hard you hit the ball. UNLIKE Wii Tennis, in which you could simply be lazy and shake the remote to hit the ball, giving the fishing rod a small shake will lob th ball (which is the B button normally). Also, UNLIKE Wii tennis you have control of your character and can move him around with the analogue stick on it. The best way to do this is to hold the rod in one hand, and keep your thumb on the stick. After a while it becomes second nature.

A disadvantage other Wii tennis however is comfort. While the Wii remote is a tiny, light, comfortable little thing with no wire, the Fishing controller is bigger, about twice as heavy, and not very compatible to grip (of course, I'm just going by the unofficial "fisson" controller I own so I'm not sure if the official Sega model is any better), so if you thought Wii tennis wore you out, this will bring some REAL PAIN to your wrist, especially as the game is less forgiving than Nintendo's counterpart. The thing also has a wire, so you wanna make sure that thing doesn't fly up and smack you in the face while playing.

So here's a quick summary:

Wii Tennis: Forgiving sensitivity, so can be played without to much welly.
Virtua Tennis: Unforgiving sensitivity,makes you really swing that rod hard.

Wii Tennis: Character movement? We do that shit for you!
Virtua Tennis: You have a thumb stick don't you? Get to work!

Wii Tennis: Create custom character in the Mii Channel to play in-game, or play a generic Mii made by the CPU.
Virtua Tennis: Create custom character in the World Circuit mode to play in-game, or play as real-life pros (and Tim Henman).

Wii Tennis: Train your custom character up in mini games.
Virtua Tennis: Train your custom character up in mini games, championship tournaments, and buy new gear for him/her.

Wii Tennis: Deliberately simple graphics that do their job..
Virtua Tennis: Realistic characters and beautiful backdrops that still hold up well today.

It's pretty amazing just how much in common with the Wii Tennis game this has considering it was sitting there as a un-noticed feature since 2000. I sometimes wonder if Sega put in features like this and the Dance mat compatibility in Space Channel 5 on purpose, but kept these secrets to themselves for some twisted reason, and that they are probably burying their heads in shame for not taking these motion controls further after seeing the success Nintendo have had so far with them. Nintendo have, in a sense, taken the best elements of some of our favorite novel controllers: the gyro sensing of the fishing controller, the pointing features of a light gun (sort of), and the 3D-space recognition of those maracas. There are so many "what ifs" about the Dreamcast it keeps me awake at night sometimes (well, not really).

(Note: I'm guessing Virtua Tennis 2 can use the fishing controller too, but like so many copies of Virtua Striker 2 before it, it has mysteriously stopped working. It's not too scratched up or anything, it's just died. Unlike Virtua Striker though, this game as isn't easy to find cheap ;_;)

So why do you think I held off a few weeks to tell you this? Well, coursework aside, this video below is why. It's the first proper Video Feature for the Dreamcast Junkyard Video site! As Caleb has proved, hiding off screen and not making a peep is a boring way of showing of a game with motion controls, so for he first time, here is your hairy , spotty hunch-backed presenter the Gagaman (optional extra n), showing you how it's done! There's also a bonus piece of game play from another game using the fishing controller at the end. Sorry it's so long!


Speaking of Virtua Tennis with motion controls, take a look at these rather ridiculous optional Sixaxis controls for Virtua Tennis 3 on the Playstation 3. If you thought swinging about like a tennis racket looked daft, I can't even begin to imagine how deranged playing the game like this would be..


The American Dreamcaster Champions "The Undead Console!"




Well Yee Haw! Kick it to the kerb homies! Hot diggity dawg and bless my cotton socks!
(Or whatever it is that our colonial cousins from across the pond say when they get excited...)
Yes folks, the Dreamcast Junkyard is set to become an international phenomenon, as the legendary Caleb (he of Dreamcast loving blog extrordinnaire the Hunyak), has decided to add his not inconsiderable muscle to the great Tomleecee's, 128 Bit Sega Mafia!

We've already got one media wizard on the team in the shape of the Gagaman(n), and now we've just secured another! Expect some great Dreamcast film projects coming up in the future, along with some obscure pieces of Dreamcast trivia and memoribilia, and some killer game reviews!

Caleb's work over at the Hunyak and The Saturn Junkyard has already proved to be of great merit, and I for one am excited about how his fresh insight and input, will give us more regular posts and interesting content. Here's to a new chapter in the history of the great Dreamcast Junkyard...

Dreamcast Collections To Die For Vol 1...

This is Gary's collection and I must say that I'd kill/die for it... Ooooh Lush!

Nuff said... LOL! : P


)

WOW! Just imagine if that was your stash!

Dreamcasting@btinternet.com... You know it makes sense...


(And we didn't even show you the Treamcasts...)

Fideo Friday! #2

This week we have 'The Real Shenmue', a video posted by AndriaSang in which we get to see the real Yokosuka! You know, the little town you walked around in Shenmue? Yes, two guys actually flew all the way there just to see how much like the game it was. Some would call that sad, I would call it dedication to the undead console (well, actually, this was filmed in 2001, at which point it wasn't dead at all yet but er...shut up!)! Unfortunately, there is no arcade featuring the Hang On cabinet, and no capsule machines full of Sega toys, but you do get to see the harbour where you cold look for sailors FOR REAL, and also Dobutia Street which even has Tom's stand (which is closed)! Of course the game was set in 1986 (although that doesn't explain how Ryo had a Sega Saturn in his house) so a few things have changed since then, but still, wonder if the old git hat always tells you he's very busy, then sits down to feed the pigeons is still alive and well?

Dreamcast Love On The Eve Of The Wii...


Well it’s about time I put ‘pen to paper’ (so to speak), and make sure I don’t find myself sacked off from the Dreamcast Junkyard team for lack of effort, in the wake of the Gagaman(n)’s recent Herculean posting odyssey...

Much has happened since my last epistle. Man Utd. saw off Man City in an embarrassing 1-0 Derby defeat at the City Of Manchester Stadium, which I had the misfortune to watch in an Australian Bar in Barcelona. It was full of Reds and there was a bigger cheer when City missed their penalty, than when United scored theirs.


Man Utd of course went on to win the Premiership, whilst City managed to clock up their first record in many years... fewest goals scored at home in one season. DOH!
This has ultimately lead to the sacking of Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce, whilst Fergie and his boys strolled triumphantly around Old Trafford last Sunday. BAH!
I have solved one Man United mystery that had always puzzled me though… Apparently the letters "A.I.G" on the United shirt stand for "Almost In Greece…" :)



But I digress… It’s at dark times like this, that one seeks solace in the little box of wonders that is the Dreamcast. I’ve been feeling super-love for my Dreamcast recently, since I committed to buying a Wii. (I’m getting it tomorrow, May 16th , for my almost top secret 40th birthday….But DOn’t tell anyone, I DOn’t want a fuss.)

It’s as if I need to prove my love for my DC, as if I’ve been caught by my significant other, with a pert young super-model on my arm. I need the Dreamcast to know it’ll always be ‘the one’, even if there’s another in my life…

So here’s a quick round up of some of the games I’ve been playing over the last few months, in a sort of "micro-review medley" type thing…


Last Hope: This fiendishly difficult side scrolling 'Shump' (I’ve become a bit of a shump fan of late…) comes to us courtesy of Germany’s NG:Dev team and is a 2007 release. That fact in itself, is one which fills me with a rosy glow, knowing that there are still brand new Dreamcast releases coming out. Then my rosy glow dissipates into icy water flushing through my bowels, as I remember that the announcement of the cessation of GD Roms, that could put pay to Dreamcast development forever…


Still the game is fantastic. Originally and (very costly) developed for the Neo Geo, the game was ported to the Dreamcast and released this January. The graphics are fabulous and the gameplay somewhat hypnotic. As your ship glides smoothly into the oncoming landscape, you must blast away at alien foes whilst, attempting to fly through power-ups and avoid the oncoming mines and missiles pitted against you. I’ve only managed to get as far as the first boss, but I’ve enjoyed it so far. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the game is its musical score, (available as a limited edition CD release bundled with a special game pack). The music is like ambient-trancey Kraftwerk and builds as your ship progresses through the game. Quite beautiful really. Oh and its region free. Games TM Magazine reviewed it recently and gave it an 80% score and I’ll agree… 8/10 Why not buy it here?


In total contrast to this frenetic kill-fest is Virtua Athlete 2K. This decathlon based sorts sim is a more serious update of Sega Sport’s ‘Athlete Kings’ which appeared on the Saturn. The gameplay involves a lot of speedy button mashing and split second timing as you power your athlete through a variety of track and field events. This is not a game to be played on your own, but is an ideal party game for up to four players. It must be good, as it has even enticed the two biggest Gingers to pick up and play. The ideal game for non-gamers and a great laugh after a couple of drinks! For the fun factor alone, 9/10. For a more considered review look here…



Moving on to Silent Scope, the best Light Gun game that never was… This arcade port was made for the Light Gun, but due to the legacy of the Columbine shootings, it was only released to be compatible with the standard controller. A shame, because this really is a great shooter! As the name suggests, the scope is the key, allowing you to ‘nail far away targets with pinpoint accuracy’ (according to the back of the box…)


You play as a former special operative in the British Anti-Terrorism force (very adept at killing innocent Brazilians no doubt…) currently residing in Chicago. Your foes include the quite wankily titled: Cobra The Iron Man, Hornet The Sniper, Tom & Jerry ( the genetically spliced mutated Killing Machine), Scorpion The Butcher and… Wait for it… Monica The Armoured Secretary… No shit! Un-fucking-believable!
What tosspot came up with these characters? I don’t bloody know… This game is excellent arcade style shooting fun, but I’m only going to give it 7/10 because it screams out to be played with a gun… So there! Wanna know more? Look here…


Head Hunter: The moment I started to play this game I knew it would become a lifelong favourite, up there with the likes of Shenmue 1 & 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica… Graphically lush and with fabulous gameplay, this game is something of a futuristic bounty hunter odyssey, set in a bleak, corporate, fascist America. (A little like today's USA then...)



Spanning two discs and with a brilliant storyline (interspersed with fake video news bulletins and product commercials), this game has been likened to Metal Gear Solid due to it’s stealth missions. However, it’s fusion of motorbike riding and assassination had me thinking of the Vice City franchise and the untapped potential of the Dreamcast…



The character you play is Jack Wade, a cross between Dirty Harry and Snake Plisken. He’s quite literally “cool as fuck”! Having lost his memory it’s your job to train him up again using the L.E.I.L.A virtual training facility, gain experience in riding your bike and regain your bounty hunter license and then go out an kick motherfuckin' ass in the criminal underworld…

It’s an utterly fabulous game, but can be a little frustrating when it comes to bike riding, as the streets are cluttered with other vehicles which you inevitably hit… this then causes your experience points to drop, which is a killer when its taken you so long to build them up… I’m not the first one to notice this, have a look here… Overall Score? It would have got a 10/10 but due to the bike crashy thing, it only gets a 9/10. Still very definitely recommended…


Resident Evil: Code Veronica- This is an excellent game, but one with which I definitely have a love-hate relationship with, that has oft been chronicled on my other blogs. Like Marmite or Shenmue, you’ll either love it or hate it. At times I felt both emotions about the game… I played right through the whole thing and then left it unfinished with about 40 minutes to an hour (if that) of gameplay to go. I ended up watching its conclusion on Youtube, I just couldn’t be arsed any more. ( I also bought RE:CV Survivors Guide and Light Gun for the PS2, enabling me to whizz through the stages of the game AND shoot Zombies in House Of the Dead Style… Which is nice...



You see the problem with this horror survival classic, is that failure to pick up items at the start of the game, can impact on your ability to succeed, way into the second disc (even with a walkthrough). Still fabulously plotted, stunning graphics and some great gameplay make this one of my all time Dreamcast favourites… 8/10! Intrigued? Look here… and here… (and I know the video is from the PS2 port, but it shows the graphic spleandour of the original and goes very nicely with the music!)




As well as these games I’ve also been playing some classic Dreamcast lovelies, oft discussed on this hallowed forum… Soul Calibur, Powerstone, Crazy Taxi, SWWS (Euro Edition) and Jet Set Radio. This is because I’ve sneaked a Dreamcast into the traditionally console free ‘little living room’, where we have a 60HZ TV, and I’m currently enjoying the improved graphics and smoother frame rates (or whatever it is that a 60HZ TV does for your DC). It’s made me think of investing in a new scart lead or even a VGA adaptor…



Finally to offset a disastrously poor purchase of three Japanese games from Play Asia, (I’m no Gagaman(n) when it comes to making wise choices…), I was delighted to receive my own copy of Half Life from the wonderful Gary from Dreamcasting@btinternet.com This legendary piece of un-published vapour ware was first brought to the DCJY’s attention by the great Tomleecee a while back. To own my own copy however is a sublime experience. The quality of the packaging is just amazing, coming in a PAL Dreamcast case, with glossy front and back cover, printed disc and even a glossy covered manual, replete with cheats! I cannot recommend Gary’s work highly enough! Check him out and BUY STUFF… Like a Dr. Feelgood of Dreamcasting, he can get you what you need… Have a look here


Well that’s me for now! I’m off to enjoy my last evening of being 39 and anticipating a new Wii flavoured chapter of my gaming life….

Goodnight dear children… wherever you are…

Wii slowly becoming Dreamcast 2?

The Wii hasn't exactly proved itself to be Nintendo's Dreamcast just yet. Yeah, it's daring to be different and unlike the Dreamcast is actually selling, but to date it hasn't had a whole lot of games, whereas the Dreamcast had dozens of Dreamcast games almost from the get go. Hell, it wasn't around long enough to have a drought! Coming back to what I was saying a few weeks back, the Wii should hopefully become a peek of Nintendo's creative career, but only if Nintendo 9and the third parties) gets their arses into gear and DO SOMETHING. Mario, Metroid and Zelda is all great and everything, but what we need to see is new IPs and new ideas being thrown out left right and center if it even wants to come close to the Dreamcast's legacy of AWESOME.

Sega had ever since being successful with the Mega Drive had been down a rocky road with consoles. The Mega Drives add-ons were a mistake and the Saturn rushed out of the door with not enough 3D power to compete and clearly unfinished hardware that was difficult to program for. They finally got it right with the Dreamcast. If the world was a better place, there was no chance it cold of possibly lost, because it did almost everything right. Plus, it was Sega at their creative peek. Within just a couple years they had pumped out a huge supply of original games that made their mark. Space channel 5, Samba De Amigo, MSR, Jet Set Radio, and countless others.

Now what I would love to have before I can die happy? A NEW Dreamcast. I'm talking backwards compatible, with a download service a lot like Live Arcade, and all the Sega games in one fucking place again. I don't want to buy every single system to play your games, Sega!

For now, we have to do with sequels of Dreamcast games elsewhere, such as the 360 (Virtua Tennis 3) and the Wii.

So what games have been recently announced for us to wish there was a new Dreamcast? Oh yeah, Soul Calibur Legends, for a start. They say it's gonna be more of a adventure title, but with all the fighting elements we all know and love intact, but how will it play? At least vaguely like the Dreamcast installment did with the fishing controller, I bet. Only more responsive, of course.Finally playing Soul Calibur with waggle will be a feature on the back of the box!

But what else? Ready 2 Rumble, that's what! Ok, I'll say this now, but I'm not a big fan of R2R. Sure, the graphics and characters were great but the game play was really, really simple. Far too simple for my tastes, and I was raised in the arcades (technically speaking, not literally, although that would of been pretty sweet). Still, seeing these characters being brought back from the (un)dead (console) should be fun, especially if it manages to expand on Wii Boxing, which was hardly accurate, but hella fun.

As you should all know by now, the Wii is also getting a new NiGHTS game. While the original was a Sega Saturn game, many believe that this new installments is a revival of a idea Sega planned for the Dreamcast called Air NiGHTS, which was to include a very Wii-remote like controller, which you may of seen the concept art for before, but here it is again for comparison:

Now come on, Nintendo, make us proud. For too long we've had systems that were good, but not Dreamcast good. I've been disappointed with the gaming available ever since the DC vanished. I've just blown £180 on this thing, and want to be given my money's worth! SAMBA DE AMIGO PLEASE. Your not the closet thing to a Dreamcast 2 just yet.

(Also, your still not as good as the Dreamcast because your SEVEN YEARS TOO LATE. You'll see what I mean when I finally reveal my fishing controller mystery!)

(Oh, and make your Virtual console games cheaper.)

Fideo Friday! #1

From now on, every Friday, I'm gonna post one of the hundreds of great videos you can find related to the Dreamcast on YouTube! This week's entry comes from 'Geekgirl26' and is quite possibly the best case of Dreamcast advertising that Sega never did! You KNOW the Dreamcast is the only place you can get better graphics, and better PLOTS!

...

Oh wait..embedding has been disabled for this video. Shit. Oh well, here's a link instead.

Moving on...the EMBEDDED VIDEO for this week is this fantastic fan trailer from the stupendous benstylus (who has tons of Dreamcast game play footage on his account, by he way). The beautiful Shining Force music and slick editing makes this well worth a watch. Can't wait to see what this project is. Maybe he's gonna get Sega execs at gunpoint and force them to sign a 'MAKE THE DREAMCAST 2 HAPPEN' contract. Whatever it turns out tobe, the trailer is very nostalgic and almost tear-jerking.


My Holy Dreamcast Shrine has Evolved

It's bank holiday Monday and it's raining outside so what do you do? Coursework? NO!

Instead I muck around with my Dreamcast collection, that's what! Now almost everything is all in one neat place. My dad passed over one of his many CD cabinets to me as he didn't need it anymore, and it's just the right shade of blue not only for my room but for my Dreamcast games, which have been all sitting on top of each other with bits of cardboard in between each row to sop them from dropping when I pulled a lower one out! The slots i this thing were a little bit too deep so I stuffed some Game Boy Advance boxes down the back so the DC games would stop further out. All the imports fit in just two slots, but all those chunky British games took almost eight of them, but I had some room left for demos, emulator/home brew discs and my Neo Geo Pocket games.

Dreamcast boxes are scattered all around it, with the arcade stick shoved under it and Samba De Amigo and the keyboard sitting on the sides. There's a Jet Set Radio poster on the wall next to it, moved from another wall. Even the top of the cabinet is infested with Dreamcast characters. The Crazy Taxi, that chainsaw weirding monster from House of the Dead 2, and even a Chao and Froggy from Sonic Adventure:

Photos are fun to take, so I laid some stuff out and took some more.

Import games! They take up half the room, and don't have clumsy cases they break too easy!

So for the record, here's where my collection stands:
19 Japanese games
12 American games
59 British games
24 Demo discs
3 Promo Videos
6 Controllers (One with box, One still new in boxed, and one in black that sadly doesn't work well)
1 Saturn-styled fighting controller
2 Rumble Packs
2 Microphones (One with Alien Front and one with Seaman)
7 VMU's (one red)
2 '4-in-1' Memory Cards
2 Arcade Sticks (One with box)
2 Light Guns (One with box)
A Fishing Rod
A Keyboard (with box)
A Konami Dance Mat
A VGA Adapter (box)
Sod knows how many Dreamcast magazines (A few DC-UK's, a load of Unofficial Dreamcast mags and every single Official mag)
Dreamcast internet guide book.

Watch out for June!

Remember when I use to, you know, write here? I know, I haven't been very active here since sometime in February, but I have my reasons! I have just under 3 weeks left to churn out loads of coursework for Uni, working on stuff like this and this, but once that's all out of the way, I have lots of articles I want to write up. These include:

ROOMMANIA #203: Another quirky Japanese title that barely anyone has played will be arriving in the post soon. Think the Sims, only involving ping pong balls and a lot of smoking, so I've heard. Can't wait to give this a go!

MORE BLEEM! Yes, more Bleemcast compatible Playstation games will be tested and shown off. There's around 200 games out there that this emulator can run, and I intend to try as many of them out as possible!

and best of all...

A NEW ABILITY I JUST DISCOVERED FOR THE FISHING CONTROLLER. As in another game that works as well as Soul Calibur does. I'm not kidding, and you'll be thinking "why didn't I think of that?" when I reveal what game (or should I say, two games) it is! Much like Space Channel 5 with the dance mat, I found this by pure experimentation. You'll just have to wait and see!

Anyone new to this blog will not know that when I post, I post big fat juicy articles that take about ten hours to write and still end up full of terrible typos that make them virtually un-readable. Some ofthem even manged to get "digged", whatever that means. Here is a bunch of links to the best ones:

CONTROLLER THINGYS

VMU WONDERS

DDR FOR DREAMCAST


SAMBA DE AMIGO: INSIDE OUT

DREAMCAST MEMORABILIA

SAMBA DE BASEBALL!

Why the article above turned out to be guff!


SOUL CALIBUR + FISHING CONTROLLER

DREAM KEY STILL WORKS!

TOP 5 EMULATORS FOR DREAMCAST


COMMON THEMES IN DREAMCAST-LAND

EXISTENZ - HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH DREAMCAST!

DREAMCAST IS ART!

THE DREAMCAST REFUSES TO DIE!

DREAMCAST GAMES THAT SHOULD BE REMADE ON WII*

* That's remade, not ported, as the Digg link got wrong.

Now if you'll excuse me, all that full caps text has given me a headache. To send you off, here's a direct embed of Caleb's brilliant Soul Calibur with fishing controller video, for those who are too lazy to go to his blog. Rock on, the All-American Dreamcaster!