Nomad Service Resumed

How do. Whilst it’s true that since my last (proper) update (the last one was shite – I know) I’ve bought more Dreamcast games than were released in total for the pile of decomposing hog remains that is the Tiger, my ‘working’ erm ‘life’ has been quite ‘hectic,’ and as such my Junkyard related duties have been neglected somewhat. However, this will be rectified posthaste. How so? By telling you what the fuck I’ve been spending the equivalent of a good piss-up on over the last few weeks, that’s how! Well, I say ‘good’ piss-up. What I actually mean is ‘good’ if you’re a ketamin addled, illiterate 16 year old abortion of a child from Salford. Y’see – the total sum of money spent on expanding my already burgeoning archive of Dreamcast games is roughly the same as the amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance that the average hoodie-wearing scrote blows on White Lightning or Pulse Cider over the course of a weekend. So, for those unfamiliar with the rampant social decay in inner-city modern day Britain: about 20 quid. But anyway – The Dreamcast Junkyard is an impartial source of information and as such, all previous comments on chavs, cider, dole and Salford are null and void.

In a revolutionary overhaul of the way I bleat Labrador shit about what I’ve recently bought, I’ve decided to dedicate individual posts to said games. Not only does this allow me to update (almost) daily – it also allows me to wax lyrical in more depth about the game in question, blowing away the notion that maybe, just maybe, I haven’t actually bought the game but merely lifted gameplay details from Wikipedia, bastardized the article and offered it up as my own experience. As a side note, I’d also like to point out that this has never happened in the past. On this site, at least…

The Nomad Soul
PC ports. Bizarre creatures that were touted as being commonplace in the early days of our favourite console’s life. Hidden & Dangerous, Monaco GP2, Incoming…all PC ports. All wank, I hasten to add. But what of The Nomad Soul? A game developed in part by none other than Ziggy Stardust himself. The PC version was quite well received by the gaming press if I remember rightly, so a DC conversion seemed on the cards from the off considering the Windows CE…er…stuff inside the Dreamcast. Quite weird bearing in mind it’s hardly the kind of thing console gamers usually want to play. For that, read Poke-fucking-mon. Or Need For Speed: Underground 9 - Sponsored by Road & Smack (your be-atch up) Magazine.
Giggidy Giggidy - Allll Riiiight!

So, Nomad Soul. You play – strangely – yourself. Yourself invited by a dude called Kay’l (snigger!) to inhabit his body and basically take over his existence in order to discover why his life’s gone to shit in recent weeks. Geez - If I could’ve done that circa August 2003, there’s a strong possibility I’d be approx 87% happier in life right now. The difference between me, circa August 2003, and Kay’l though is that he’s a cop residing in the futuristic alien city of Omikron and I was an unemployed bum living in a gun-crime ridden district of Manchester.

Upon answering Kay'l’s call for help – simply by turning your Dreamcast on, I might add – you are told virtually nothing except that his world is under threat and that you are the only one who can help. Not to put you on the spot or anything. After that, you’re thrust into Kay’l’s 3D, fully explorable world. Forget that the world into which you are ‘thrust’ is a dystopian, segregated, fog ridden metropolis and you’ll be fine. Welcome to the city of Omikron. A city that runs to the dulcet tunes of David Bowie and is encapsulated by an enormous crystal dome – minus Richard O’Brien – that protects its inhabitants from the harsh winter blowing a gale outside. Well, probably more than a gale, but you get the (world destroying) idea.
So, you’re in a foreign body, no idea what the crack is and you’re in a strange alien city. First thing I’d do is hit the bars, check the manhood and then pull a bird - but for the sake of videogame coherence, you are instructed to seek out Kay’l's apartment in order to piece together what it is you’re meant to be doing. From here, you discover that Kay’l is a member of the fuzz (that is, a police officer), disappeared a week ago whilst on duty with his partner, his partner has since turned up brown bread (dead) and that he’s a prime suspect for the murder. Oh, and he’s been assaulted by a demon. Cue much running about trying to find out what happened to your partner, quite why you’ve become Derek Acorah, completing side missions and shagging Kay’l’s missus. Rock on!
Shit jokes and innuendo aside, The Nomad Soul is quite a unique game on the Dreamcast. It’s a sort of paranormal detective story with you cast as the detective. You start with no knowledge of where you are, but through clever use of the in-game computer system (known as the ‘Sneak’) you can piece together a coherent idea of what’s going on and what’s required of you. At heart, The Nomad Soul is a 3D third person adventure but in certain situations the perspective switches – sometimes to first person for shooting sections; and sometimes to side-on for the fighting sections. Shenmue Lite? You bet your ass.

You start the game in a sort of Blade Runner-esque cityscape full of police droids and impolite citizens, but rest assured that the game progresses out of the futuristic squalor. This is because Omikron is quartered into different sections that have their own cultures and technological styles, all of which are completely sealed off from the others to control population. Inevitably, you will get to venture into these alien environs and you’ll also get to migrate bodies – hence the name The Nomad Soul. In an effort not to destroy the storyline for those who have yet to sample the delights of the game, I will desist from revealing all.

Basically, The Nomad Soul is a kick-ass action RPG with slight frame rate issues and crap first person shoot ‘em up sections. Its story is original and the music is supplied by David Bowie. Anything else…? Oh yeah – you get around by calling cabs called Sliders. You can’t actually drive them, they’re controlled by the CPU. Which is a bit shit, hence:


Verdict: The Nomad Soul ROCKS!
Next up? The slightly less impressive Dino Crisis

Scraping the Barrell

I realise it’s been a while since my last post here at the Junkyard – but fear not! The recent blizzard of clear and blue plastic cases that has been battering my letterbox like a weather-based version of Ricky Hatton will put paid to this dearth of updates over the next few days. In the meantime, I thought you may (or more likely may not) like to see this:

In a maelstrom of ventricle-ceasing boredom, I borrowed – and subsequently only watched half of – possibly the shittest Adam Sandler film (EVER) off a mate last week. It’s called Punch Drunk Love, and even though the DVD box says it’s “Fucking Awesome, you twatting cunt” (sic), it’s actually a load of bollocks about a socially inept cluster fuck who is afraid of (amongst other things) getting intimate with a woman. Yep – it really is that good. Anyhow, the reason I bring this celluloid bowel movement to your collective attention is this: It’s got a Dreamcast in it!

Spotted a DC in a film? Want to share it with the world? Don’t bother – this is just a shite filler until I can be arsed to write about my new stuff.

NB – To the mate who entered my domain, saw my Dreamcast and ran over to it with childlike glee screaming “Wow! Is that an N64?!” – have a word with yourself.

Shopping for a Dreamcast in 2008

Someone needed a Dreamcast and made the trip down to the local swapmeet.

They find a re-packed Dreamcast for $60. With the Wild Thornberries video game! (They knew that it wasn't a game for the Dreamcast. They were just making fun of it. But they really didn't know what a RFU adaptor was...oh these kids today.)

My favorite quotes.

"Why do you want a Dreamcast?"

"Because the PS3 sucks."

This mirrors alot of my experiences with buying Dreamcast stuff. (It's mostly Russian or French and not Spainish being spoken though) You have to go to these places though. You never know what you can find. And, sadly, they are about the only place to find older games in some areas with no independent video game stores that carry retro stuff.

And people are ALWAYS trying to include the wrong system/games in a bundle. WTF? Is it so hard to tell a Dreamcast game from a PS1 game or computer software? Read the side label people!

I should document my next trip to a local flea-market to find Dreamcast stuff.

People still want the Dreamcast though. That is clear.

I just got the unreleased K-Project for my Dreamcast and I have been playing some Expendable as well. Damn Expendable is a fun little game. Pick it up and play a round if you haven't.

Arcade Goodness

This post has been written by Portugese Gaming Guru and Saturn Junkyard correspondent Nebachadnezzar over that his most excellent website Nebachadnezzar's Place of Awesomeness.
But being a diamond geezer, he's let me reproduce it here! Enjoy!

"Featuring several well-know characters from various Capcom titles (only one character was created exclusively for this game), this is pure arcade goodness that plays somewhat like the cult hit Smash TV. Using an overhead camera, you're put in levels that basically consists of just a small area filled with bad guys. After you wipe them out, the "semi-boss" comes and after him the real boss of the stage shows up. You beat the fucker and move on, simple as that.

The downside is that the game is painfully short, ending in (depending on your skills and difficulty level) 20 minutes/half an hour, if not less.Once you beat it for the first time, an artwork gallery shows up, but that's about it. There's no secret characters (actually there is, but they don't need to be unlocked, you just have to figure out how to play with them, and it's worth since we're talking about Megaman and Bulleta from the Darkstalkers series), secret stages or additional play modes.

There's a 2-player mode and nothing else, all you have left to do is beat records or play with all the characters (they play somewhat different, specially when it comes to the special attacks).But despite that this is a great game. The gameplay is solid and as fun as an arcade game gets. It would be better with a dual analog controller, but still the Dreamcast pad gets the job done. Also the graphics are really great, I wonder how this game looks when hooked up to an HDTV through a VGA cable...

Overall this is a great game that I recommend to all you arcade action fans out there.After beating this game (several times), I thought it was time for a more traditional shmup experience, and the first game that came to my mind (don't know exactly why) was Zero Gunner 2, also on the Dreamcast. But wait, that's 2, what about ZG1? The bad thing is, 1 was an arcade game only, there's no console port. The good thing is, it runs almost perfectly using the Model 2 emulator I talked about sometime ago in the Saturn Junkyard!It actually runs even better, since you can play it in full screen mode at a maximum resolution of 1280x1024. That's as much as my monitor can handle!

Talking about gameplay, it plays mostly like any other vertical smhup, the bullet hell variety, except for the fact that you can lock-on to enemies and then move freely around them, even to the point of turning your chooper 180º and shooting down instead of up!This really contributes to differentiate it from the countless other shmups we see and play everyday and it was probably the idea behind the most excellent Under Defeat, one of the last official Dreamcast releases. Other than that, the progression is also interesting. From the main menu you can choose to play every single level in a row, but you can also select from the Europe, Asia and USA "campaigns", each with their own set of 5 levels to beat.

This is great for an arcade game, since you can try the 3 different scenarios at your own will, without having to beat one to have access to the other.The downside is it's difficulty. Yes, it's an arcade game, and at least using an emulator you won't end up broke, but still it could be a little easier at times. Anyway, as long as you're patient and don't forget to add more credits, this is a pretty good shooter to spend an hour or so with. Not to mention you can get both the game and the emulator on the web for free! What are you waiting for? Go grab it now! As always, if anyone needs links or help configuring the emulator, just ask.PS: I just found out that both Cannon Spike and Zero Gunner were developed by the same company, Psikyo. Funny, uh?"

Some interesting Homebrew projects

Well I think we all need a fresh breath of air to keep our spirits up after recent events.

If nothing else, the past week has shown that there is still alot of interest in the Dreamcast out there.

Speaking of interest in the Dreamcast...check out this quote from

"Dreamcast Scene is going through a major resurgence with the releases of a New Genesis emulator, New Games, a new compilation and much more. If you have a Dreamcast rotting away at home or can pick one up cheap then you could be enjoying one of the best console homebrew scenes" wraggster

Let me give you a quick rundown of some of the releases he is talking about.


Yes, you heard right! A brand new Genesis/Megadrive emulator has just been released for the Dreamcast!

I am still playing Genesis games on my Genesis of course but emulation on the DC is a close second. I really enjoy being able to emulate games on a console vs a TV.

Read all about "Gens4All"


Neverball, a game similar to Monkeyball.

It reminds me of one of those old wooden box games where you tilt the top to move a ball around a maze. One false step and your ball goes kerplunk.

Like Monkeyball I play this game even though I am horrible at it.

There are some very prettty colors though.

Read all about the new version.

Visit the Neverball Homepage.

Captain Commando And The Avengers by Gabo-Hanzo

Another Beats of Rage Mod.

It looks pretty spiffy and I like most games where you can play as Captain America or The Punisher.

Read all about it.

EmuForge Homebrew Compilation CD

Do you like ZX-Spectrum video games? Do you also happen to like the Dreamcast? Well then by Golly you are IN LUCK.

This lovely CD image comes with a bunch of ZX-Spectrum games inlcuding Cannon Bubble, Phantomasa and Sokoban.

Camelot Warriors (the hardest platformer I have EVER played) is also present on this disk.

In addition it comes with an EDGE 3D engine port with FreeDoom.

All in all a very promising look toward the future all on one .cdi. I love the Dreamcast homebrew community for putting together such awesome compliation disks.

Read about it here.

nxDOOM vs Escena DOOM

This seems to be a Doom mega disk filled with mods and new levels.

You do need the original Doom2 .wad to play this homebrew though.

I have not had a chance to run this yet since it's split up into different parts.

But, hey, I like playing DoomDC. The loading times on that kinda sucked but the game itself ran fine once you got into the program. Some of the mods seem like good fun.

Read about this.

So there are a number of great releases for the Dreamcast and the homebrew scene seems to going strong.

Sega asks us "Do we still own a Dreamcast"?

Sega have updated with the following message: "Do you still own a Dreamcast?" along with a new registration set up page which requires your Dreamcast console's System number (which I believe may be the sticker at the bottom with the barcode). After Sega recently updated their trademark for the brand name and now this, what could they possibly be up to? What are Sega planning? Whatever this turns out to be, it shows that Sega has not fogotten about their last console after all of this time, and are even hoping that no one else has. Whatever it is, sign up and hope for the second coming, folks.

EDIT: Word is spending about on forums that this *might* be a hoax by a spammer trying to make money off the google ads from the G-mail account signing up to this gets you. Until Sega confirms that they are indeed not involved with this, I'm skeptical. At the moment the site is "temporarily suspended" due to so many requests, so who knows, but if someone is using the Dreamcast name as a scam...

The Escapist features an interview with Cryptic Allusion

Cryptic Allusion, makers of the finest video game featuring a samuari duck, were recently interviewed in the Escapist.

Even though Cryptic Allusion seems to be trying to move in new directions the vast bulk of the interview had to do with the white wonder machine.

Including the following tidbit...

"I don't see the homebrew scene really opening up unless Sega decided to get involved with KallistiOS to help it along, filling in the gaps and, in the process, recreating it as a true dev-kit. I don't see this happening in the near future, but I suppose an old Dreamcast engineer could pop up somewhere. I want to point out that I do not know of anyone out there even considering this. Don't think of it as a rumor." -"Hot Rod" Roddy Toomim (Escapist, 139 March 4th 2008)

TOO LATE! It's out on the interwebs and is now FIRMLY A RUMOR. It's as real as the Dreamcast 2. Accept it Toomim. Just accept it...

In any case they seem to think that there will be a Dreamcast revival in about 10 years. I had my estimates for about 5-6. We will just have to wait and see who is closer.

It was mentioned they felt the Dreamcast was somewhat of a fickle machine, prone to breaking down. I heard this so often I now have like 5 Dreamcasts as backups but none of them have broken to the point of no return. In fact the only problem I have had (control board fuse) was easily fixed. Maybe I am just not as "hardcore" as other gamers???

They were also somewhat understandably skeptical about the future of Sega making hardware. I chose to ignore that paragraph just like I ignore reality since the year 2000.

The Escapist has great articles on gaming to read if you are bored.

All Hail the Undead Console.
All Hail the Dreamcast.

Brand new Dreamcast port...and yes, it's a Shump.

The first release of Tyrian on the Dreamcast has snuck it's way on the off white box.

God, Dreamcast Homebrew devs must LOVE shumps.

It does have bugs. For example the instruction screen doesn't work. Some people also said it's a bit slow, but I didn't notice that much. As with most first releases you can't save games yet.

The arcade version of the game plays nicely enough and the analog control stick is supported.
Get it here:

Pulled from DCNewsUKat

Also there was a Golden Axe remake on the Dreamcast as well. Since I was out of the loop for a bit I forgot to mention this one before. It looks pretty sweet.

Sega Dreamcast NIB -

A Dreamcast New in Box is now posted at the Goodwill website. Of course it's not REALLY new in box since they opened the sealed box to make sure it was in there. This is my biggest pet peeve about shopping in thirft shops. They ALWAYS open stuff, even if it's factory sealed. I have bought Genesis and Game Gear games that had been "new in box" before they were put on the shelf.

In any case thift stores and Goodwill sometimes have Dreamcast stuff for sale. I have gotten alot of good deals from stores like that.

What's really interesting is that after this listing was put up from Kotaku the list price went from $30 to $301.00 in a very short amount of time.

Hmm...$301.00? How much is the Wii again? I guess some people still know who the king of console gaming is.

The Dreamcast isn't new-gen or current-gen. It's AWESOME-GEN.

All Hail the Undead Console.
All Hail the Dreamcast.

Pulled from Kotaku

Originally posted on Gamertell


My last (weak) post has sat on top of the DCJY for a while and I know this stuff has been posted here a gazillion times before, but I think it encapsulates the magic of our fave console (perhaps) to a select few that haven't experienced it before...

So sit back, enjoy and revel in the glory that was the major player (all be it not commercially) of the last gen, then weep for the glory of what could have been...

In Praise Of Caleb...

It's been a while since Mr. Caleb, (the American Dreamcaster) walked into our lives and made The Dreamcast Junkyard a truly international affair... Apart from the Dreamcast love he's shown quite a lot, over on his excellent Hunyak Blog, he's also put quite a lot of sterling work over at our sister site, the Saturn Junkyard...
But he surpassed himself this week. You see apart from juggling about twelve jobs, and supplying residents of New York State with their lovely televisual pleasures, he's also taken the time to post me a shitload of unusual Dreamcast goodness...

Let's start with Smash TV, it was the winner of some sort of Homebrew development award... It's a lovely Robotron style shooter and it's so great to see new development on our favourite console... (but God Damn! - wouldn't it be nice to see something other than a shooter put out there? I guess Alice Dreams comes close - that was in the last package of lovely CDR's he sent me...)

Next there's Vampire Beat's Of Rage... BOR is a lovely cross between Streets Of Rage and erm... some other stuff... A fabulous piece of Homebrew that recreates the lovely linear 2D beat 'em ups of Megadrive/Genesis days...

But perhaps the newest kid on my Dreamcast block has to be the ability to play the lovely Lucas Arts classic "Monkey Island" from way back in about 1990... Yep, I'm able to access that lovely PC point and click classic tale of Mr. Guybrush Threepwood on my Dreamcast, courtesy of the lovely Scumm VM emulator...

It was a very lovely bunch of stuff! (Slightly disappointing was the failure of my CDR Street Fighter III - Third Strike, to load up... In the wake of the upcoming SF4, Games TM Magazine heralded SFIII as the best incarnation of the series..._

OK, I'd just like to say a big thanks to Mr. Caleb! He's a diamond! And thanks for expanding the Homebrew side of my DC collection!

Puzzling Wet Patch

Saw an interesting little movie called Alpha Dog yesterday. It tells the (dramatised, slightly doctored) true story of a small-time drug dealer/wannabe gangsta who kidnaps the kid brother of a former ‘dawg’ who owes money. And it’s got Justin Timberlake in it. Pretty decent film, if I’m being honest. However, the reason I’m telling you all this, believe it or not, is because the Dreamcast should really have featured in Alpha Dog. How so? Well, there are several scenes in the movie that show various characters playing on an Xbox console. Fair enough, I hear you say. But the film is set in November 1999 – a mere two months after the US launch of the Dreamcast! Now, if these hip, young, spliff smokin’, gun totin’ dudes had, say, a DeLorean powered by a nuclear reactor (coupled with a flux capacitor), I’d have believed that they could have feasibly owned an Xbox in late 1999, but seeing as Mr Gates’ pet project was a mere twinkle in his bollock sack at the time, maybe Timberlake et al should have been bashing away (chortle!) at Power Stone or Dynamite Cop instead. Just a thought.


Timberlake and chums clearly holding Xbox pads. In 1999. Anachronism?

Anyway, moving on to more pressing matters. I’ve been at it again. Wasting time and money on eBay when I really should have been working. Damn you, eBay Mobile. Alas, bids were placed and auctions were won. The fruit of this latest auction-checking frenzy? Why, its…

Wetrix +

Coming straight from the N64’s top drawer of puzzlers, Wetrix+ is quite a unique game on the Dreamcast in that the water effects are actually quite convincing. I’ll reiterate: The water in Wetrix+ actually looks and behaves…like water! Not blue jelly (Surf Rocket Racers), Blu Tack (Championship Surfer), or glass (Hydro Thunder) – it’s just water! In your face, Wave Race! But wait – water in a puzzle game? Yes. Let me explain.

The aim of Wetrix+ is to construct ‘lakes’ on the little square of floating ‘land’ in the centre of the screen. You do this by dropping clusters of little ‘up’ arrows that magically descent from the ether above. By connecting these clusters or rotating them and then dropping them on the ground, the land raises up in that shape. Still with me? Good. After a while, the arrow clusters make way for water droplets that you can strategically drop into your newly formed dry lakes and they fill up with the wet stuff. The idea is to make as many ‘lakes’ as possible and make 'em as deep as possible before too much water drains off the side of the landmass and fills up the test-tube thingy at the side. It’s a very simple idea and works suprisingly well – until the bombs start falling, ripping gaping holes in the floor and allowing the water to drain off all the quicker. It can get very tense as you battle to repair holes and drop fireballs in order to evaporate water from lakes that either have a hole in the side or are overflowing. Simple, but again – crackingly addictive.

Like I said earlier, Wetrix+ is basically a slightly upgraded port of an N64 game (just plain Wetrix – no ‘+’ sign y’see). The main difference you’ll notice between the two titles is that this Dreamcast incarnation has, as you’d expect, slightly better graphics and crisper sound effects. Gone are the fuzzy old mega-aliased visuals of yore, to be replaced with new ones that have been sharpened up no end; likewise the old music has been put though a head cleaner so it all sounds better than ever. If weird aciiiiiiid trip-out muzak is yer thang, that is. There are plenty of different game modes in Wetrix+ too, ranging from your common or garden ‘Classic’ mode to the challenge modes and the ‘Pro’ game. All of which are basically the same, save for their difficulty and range of different pieces which fall from the sky.

Wetrix+, then. A very simple concept exectuted with great mastery. A top puzzler that is both pleasing to the eye and really quite addictive. Get it in, peeps.

I actually only paid a quid for this copy (in mint condition, I hasted to add), and it even had a copy of Dream On Volume 1 hidden away in the rear of the case…along with a receipt from a French games shop. In case you were wondering, someone paid 5.90 Francs for it back in April 2004. Dreamcast games: a bargain in any currency. 

Propellor Arena

Having just read Tom's frankly magnificent post (below), I felt inspired to chip in my two penneth worth, and give an update to the (frankly) most barren gaming period since I got my first Dreamcast...

You see I've gone a bit 'current gen' since I first started posting on this most fabulous of blogs... I've got a Wii, a 360 and a DS... The Dreamcast is no longer my exclusive console... and therefore, my attention to our fave system has been somewhat diluted...

Still! I have been thrown a little Dreamcast gem in the week, which came by post across the 'pond', from regular DCJY correspondent Nick944, in the shape of the most excellent Propellor Arena! This is 'vapour ware' peeps, unreleased Dreamcast goodness that never saw the light of day.

But somehow, through the magic of the internet, we can now enjoy these unreleased classics, as if we'd paid £40 sterling for an official release, back in the day...

OK, I knew of the title, but had somehow imagined it as a shitty Aerowings clone, that I frankly would have rather eaten my own cack, rather than given a hope of playing... How wrong I was!!!

As soon as I popped the CDR into my Dreamcast ( despite being downloaded and burned in the USA) it played perfectly!!! Happy days! No region specific nonsense then...

And what a treat it was!!! A most wonderul AM2 production, the title screen made it apparent that this was a pure arcade treasure, with goofy playable characters to choose from, (my immediate thoughts referenced Crazy Taxi). The presentation, characters and musical score screamed arcade! Why, oh why, did this title never hit the stores for general release?!

Well, I knew from reading up on this title that the '911 event' had made the marketing of this particular game "ill timed" to say the least... when I first loaded it up, I couldn't fathom why it could be considered offensive... When I played the third level "Sky Scraper City" and my propellor monoplane hit that first building, I knew where the controversy was born...

Now at this point, the conspiracy theorist in me wants to shout from the ... erm... rooftops!
What a crying shame that this 'gem' was lost to the world because the Bush administration needed an excuse to start Gulf War 2! If you want justification for that sentence watch Loose Change, and make up your own mind...

However, what I can say is Propellor Arena is one of the most exciting pieces of 'vapour ware' ever, much better than Half Life, PBA Bowling, or the frankly dire Flinstones:Viva Rock Vegas...

For more information look here...

Propellor Arena
Flinstones: Viva Rock Vegas
PBA Bowling

Bollocks and Diamonds

Saw that Cloverfield last week. Wasn’t expecting much, but this gamer was very impressed. So what if it’s full of cock ups, plot holes and clichés. It fucking rocks. Big time. What doesn’t rock are the fucking imagination vacuums who reckon it’s shit. Why? Why is it shit? Because it wasn’t written by Jane Austen? Because it’s not riddled with bewildering, contrived sub-plots? Because it’s not in black and white with Spanish subtitles? FUCK OFF! It’s a good old fashioned monster movie delivered with a breath of fresh air in the way its shot. Simple as that. And if you’ve still not seen it, go and watch it. Now. It fucking rocks.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

In other news, earlier today, whilst out spending hideous amounts of money on clothes manufactured in developing countries by starving people who earn less in a year than most of us do in a week, I spotted a rather curious looking book. No – it wasn’t a pristine copy of The Never Ending Story, and nor was it an original edition of Shakespeare’s First Folio. No, it was something far more remarkable – the Guinness Book of Records 2008: Gamer’s Edition.

Picking it up and flicking through it’s crisp and new-smelling pages, I was at first rather awed by the in-depth critiques of several of gaming’s biggest franchises – Halo, Tekken, Zelda et al. Then, after a sudden brainwave, I flicked to the index at the back to see if there were any entries dedicated to our favourite off-white cuboid of ecstasy – The Dreamcast! And there were…a whole two. TWO! The first was the slightest of mentions on a contents page timeline…and the second a measly paragraph squashed into a corner of a page that fleetingly honours the DC with being the first console of the ‘sixth generation.’ And that’s it, save for a few brief mentions when DC software is grudgingly given a look in when studying various genres. And, get this, there’s a sales figures section that features both the N64 and PSX, but neither the Saturn OR Dreamcast are mentioned. Furthermore, in the ‘Fighting Games’ chapter, there is NO MENTION WHATSOEVER OF SOUL CALIBUR!

Is Guinness yet another media entity that is trying to deny the existence of the Dreamcast under orders from Sony? Looks like it, people.

But fuck Guinness. And fuck their shit tome of LIES and DECIET. I’ve been buying more Dreamcast games off eBay. Lets have a looky…

Blue Stinger

One of the Dreamcast’s earlier releases, Blue Stinger is a 3D explore-and-shoot-things ‘em up much in the vein of Tomb Raider. But with a hint of Resident Evil thrown in. You play as either Elliot Balade or Dogs Bower and must travel to the heart of a mysterious island that has been overrun by mutants to basically find out what the fuck is going on. Along the way, you’ll get to meet various other characters, engage in unintentionally humourous conversations, kick the shit out of beasties (and steal their cash to buy ammo from vending machines (?!)), gasp at the swearing in the dialogue and marvel at the crispness of the garishly hued first-generation visuals. 

If you can’t tell from that diatribe, I really like Blue Stinger. It’s a quality, no-nonsense action game that features a super-cheesy story and has brilliant action sequences bursting out from around every corner. Brilliant stuff that puts a lot of later releases to shame. 8/10

Surf Rocket Racers

Taking the baton from the awesome Hydro Thunder and the not-so-awesome Aqua GT, Surf Rocket Racers is the third water based racing game on the ‘Cast. However, rather than having you race obscenely powerful speedboats (like in Hydro Thunder, that is. Aqua GT’s are more like pedalows), SRR squeezes your ass into a wetsuit and up onto a Jet Ski. Obvious comparisons to the N64’s seminal Wave Race can be made, but that’s just lazy. So I’ll leave that till later. So what does SRR offer? Well, loads of tracks, loads of playable racers to choose from (with the typical slow/good handling – fast/shit handling statistics), several championship modes and even a Crazy Box style challenge mode. So, you see – it already trumps Wave Race in that it has about a billion more play modes and tracks. 

Graphically, it also manages to impress slightly. The trackside detail is commendable and the racers themselves are well modeled. It’s just that the water looks less like water and more like a mass of jelly. So Wave Race has better water effects, but for me Surf Rocket Racers is the better of the two just because the former has the longevity of the Hepatitis virus once it leaves the body. SRR on the other hand will have you playing for ages. Well, a good half an hour anyway, and that’s 23 minutes longer than Wave Race will hold the attention of any intelligent sentient being. 7/10

Pro Pinball Trilogy

Pinball games aren’t really something I usually go for, but Pro Pinball Trilogy caught my attention simply because I’ve recently been hammering the shit out of the little pinball game that comes integrated with Windows XP. Yes, I am that sad. It’s addictive as hell though, so I figured that a full blown pinball game for the Dreamcast, complete with all the 128-bit bells and whistles you could wish for would be like gaming nirvana. Erm, not exactly. Pro Pinball has ‘Trilogy’ tacked on the end because it has 3 different tables to play on, and the back of the box proudly rams this fact home with some kind of smug satisfaction. My response?

“THREE?! Is that meant to be good?”

Fuck me – Windows’ free pinball game has one table. Anyway, Pro Pinball Trilogy does exactly what it says on the tin (smug box). 

It’s a pinball game that lets you control the flippers at the bottom of the table with the L and R triggers and lets you nudge the table with the analogue stick. Rumours that you can actually jump onto the table and smash the glass with your steel toe-capped rigger boots by pressing X and Y together are unfounded. For the more anal pinball aficionado (of which I’m sure there are many), there’s the option to view pre-rendered images of each table and even chance to tinker with the table’s dot matrix score display in order to test the light bulbs in the flippers (no, really). If, however, you’d rather go to the pub and talk to real people – give Pro Pinball Trilogy a miss. And stick to the free pinball in Windows. 4/10

Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour (The Hunt For Curly’s Gold) (Part IV)

No, that’s not it’s real title – but fuck me! How long does the name have to be?! Anyway, I believe that several posts ago, in my study of Wacky Races, I claimed that that game was the Dreamcast’s answer to Mario Kart (hmm – more suspect Nintendo envy…). Well consider that comment well and truly rescinded. WDWQ: MRT is actually the Dreamcast’s true answer to Mario Kart. Obviously, it doesn’t quite measure up to Ninty’s powerhouse series (that doesn’t include Double Dash, by the way) because nothing can, but it goes a fair way to claim the crown as the Dreamcast’s most enjoyable ‘Kart’ game. 

Taking on the role of either Chip, Dale or one of the other strange Disney ‘characters’ that no-one’s ever heard of (where the frigging hell are Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy etc?!), it’s down to you to race around various Disney World themed circuits in order to win back parts of a firework machine that exploded because nuts were emptied into it. Naturally. Ignore the daft story and rather poo graphics though, and what you get with WDWQ: MRT is a genuinely fun little racer. It’s obviously – as with most games of this ilk – for kids, and this is reflected in the difficulty level, but it really is quite an enjoyable game. It all moves at a fairly slick pace and features some great weapons (check out the ‘teacup bomb’), and is a hoot in multiplayer. All in all, a nice karter. Not a patch on Mario Kart or Diddy Kong Racing, you understand, but fun nonetheless. 6/10

Caesar’s Palace 2000

I’ve only ever been in a Casino once, and that was only because a mate had a trial membership and all the other bars in town were closing. I didn’t actually play any games, you understand. My main focus was the bar, but this experience alone qualifies me to rate Caesar’s Palace 2000. And if the real Caesar’s Palace is even remotely like this game, I pity the fools who shell out a small fortune to go there. Casino Royale, this most certainly ain’t. 

The box gleefully announces that the game boasts “…the largest assortment of heart pounding 3D gambling games ever under one roof!”. Heart pounding? I almost had a fucking heart attack when I discovered this mess masquerading as a Dreamcast game. Put simply, Caesar’s Palace 2000 is a collection of card games, slot machines and roulette wheel games modeled in 3D. There is very little sound or music to speak of, and unless you have more than a passing interest in any of the shit that goes on inside a real casino, you’ll find very little of interest here. I really wanted to see Joe Pesci smash someone’s head in with a whisky glass, but alas it wasn’t to be. The game’s Poor. Very Poor.

See what I did there? (shotgun cocks) 2/10

So there we are! Another mixed bag of bollocks and diamonds. Not literally – that’d be slightly sick. Until next time…

Oh, and with regards to the Manchester derby on Sunday, Father Krishna: My prediction - United 7 City 0 :)

Guns...Lots of Guns

Aye up! You’ll be pleased to hear that since my last post here at the ‘Yard, I haven’t thrown my guts up once! Two whole weeks without spewing the contents of my stomach all over a) the floor, b) the wall, or c) my bed, curtains or other related soft furnishings. I’m actually quite proud of myself. I have, however, been on the receiving end of a fist (well, several fists) and have duly acquired a black eye and a suspected broken nose. Such are the risks when one partakes in the quaffage of alcohol. Which I won’t be doing again for a while. Cough.

But you don’t want to hear about my drunken escapades. You want to know about man’s greatest feat of technological engineering – No, not the Stargate – the Sega Dreamcast! More to the point, Sega Dreamcast GAMES! Yes, even more games, by way of eBay, have landed on my desk and then jumped into my console. Are they good? Well, we’re about to find out…

Conflict Zone

I personally can’t understand why there was never a Command & Conquer or Starcraft game released for the DC. I’m pretty sure EA hadn’t swallowed Westwood at the time of the Cast’s reign – so why no port of either?! Even the fucking N64 got (blurry, cut down) versions of both. As with most things to do with Sega’s white brick of joy – The Mind Boggles ™. Aaaaaaanyway, back to the present. Conflict Zone, then. About as close as you’re likely to get to playing Command & Conquer, Starcraft, Warzone etc etc etc on your Dreamcast. Basically it’s a top down real time strategy game that has you constructing a base, building tanks, training troops and then marauding over the countryside wiping out enemy units. The premise is a simple but effective one – and one which proves to be immensely enjoyable…if executed correctly.

These are PC shots, but the DC version is practically identical. Looks sweet, no? Wait till it moves...
With this in mind, Conflict Zone has all the right ingredients, but it seems as though the chef is a retard. With dribble on his chin and shit stains on his apron.

Let me digress. In conflict Zone, you are only allowed to build your base where the computer wants you to build it – so forget about scouting around for a good location that may be naturally fortified or protected by trees etc. Also, you can only place buildings next to each other in a grid pattern so when you do finally get up and running, the base looks more like a council estate than a highly functional military outpost. This is only a minor thing – but still quite annoying. Slightly more niggling is the graphics engine.

It may look pretty sweet in the screen shots, and for the most part it’s quite a good looking game – especially since the whole battlefield is modeled in 3D – meaning that you can zoom and spin the camera around to your heart’s content. It’s just that the whole engine seems to creak and strain as soon as you have more than a few units chugging around the screen. Wouldn’t it have been better to just use a 2D engine like Red Alert 2’s?

Don’t get me wrong – Conflict Zone is a highly playable real time strategy romp – certainly the best (only?) example on our favourite console, and features some great ideas. For example, gaining public support for your campaigns by treating civilians well is a nice touch, as is the way you get more funding depending on whether your war is seen as just by the media (clearly the stuff of fantasy, eh, Mr Bush?). It’s just that the interface is unwieldy and the graphics are so jumpy…

You get the idea. It’ a nice try at a new take on the strategy genre and for the most part it’s quite good. Just not as good as it could’ve been. And nowhere near Command & Conquer.

Gunbird 2

Yet another uber-camp Dreamcast game? Looks like it. Yep, following on from Fighting Vipers, Tech Romancer and Bust A Move comes Gunbird 2 – a super gay 2D shoot ‘em up that features a fat bloke on a magic carpet, a semi-naked school girl on a broomstick, Count Dracula and a Bon Jovi lookalike that can turn bullets into roses. Just a normal day at Capcom, then. 
There’s not actually much more to it than that.

Once you get through the ridiculous intro and loading screens (of which there are many), you get the choice of whether you want the screen to be the size of a postage stamp, normal or bigger than the telly so you can move it around whilst playing. Sounds weird, I know, but I you play it you’ll understand. After that, you chose one of the aforementioned oddball characters (again, why is there a fat bloke on a magic carpet?) and then launch into the game. Like I said, it’s a 2D up-the-screen shooter like Xenon 2 (anyone remember that classic?!), where loads of flying baddies come down and shoot glowing shit at you. Which you must dodge. Or die. That’s it. Hold down the fire button and Bob’s your uncle. It also kinda reminds me of Raiden on the Jaguar, only with really well drawn enemies. The graphics are very slightly blocky, but it’s packed with detail – there are even people walking about in the streets below the action, obviously oblivious to the frantic battle between fat blokes on magic carpets and flying mechanoids going on above their heads.
Which leads me to the next quandary. If the enemy forces in Gunbird 2 have the funds and technology to build such impressive battle-droids and flying fortresses, why can’t they manufacture a gun than shoots in a straight line? Strange…

That aside, Gunbird 2 is a wholly inoffensive shooter that passes time nicely. Can’t really complain.

European Super League

A football game, unofficially based on the Champions League…that doesn’t feature Manchester United. And only has 16 teams in it. And has no running commentary. And has shit graphics, shit game play and shit sound effects. That’ll be European Super League.

Again, these are PC shots. Although the DC version is practically identical. Look at his arms! Chortle!

Based on the already arse Viva Football engine, ESL comes straight from the bottom of the Virgin Interactive cess barrel without so much as a fart, let alone a fanfare. Joining the rest of the Dreamcast’s utterly pathetic crop of footy games, ESL does nothing to buck the trend that the rest of the pack so adamantly adhere to, ie it has a complete lack of anything good. Although the pitches are nice and green. Complete sewage.

So there we have it. 3 games – two of which are OK, one of which is the gaming equivalent of face cancer. My advice? Give Gunbird and Conflict Zone a whirl, avoid European Super League like you would a Lenny Henry DVD boxset.

Reet, I'm off to watch Cloverfield.

A Space Channel Remake? Probably not...Or Maybe yes!!! *Edit*

From Wired BLog Network: Game Life.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi was talking about Rez HD and he was asked about Space Channel 5.

"(Laughter.) If I had a reason to remake Space Channel 5 on the new platforms, I will do that."


Ok. It would be interesting to see a space reporter dance in HD.

There you have a reason. Get to the remaking...

But really. I dunno. I haven't finished the ORIGINAL Space Channel 5 yet. AND I got the PS2 remake.

A remake would be cool though...


Sega Nerds just reported there IS going to be a remake on the Wii.

Gagaman is batting about 100 right now for his Wii-remake predictions. Give him a hand everyone!

They got this info from the Magic Box

Well, hopefully Tetsuya Mizuguchi will be involved somehow. From what I have read he did an awesome job of remaking Rez.

And hopefully we will see more girls cosplay as Ulala...