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Featured Article

NextGen's Shenmue Review

Last time I brought you scans of the ODCM review of 'Shenmue', which gave our favorite game a 10/10. This time I present the December, 2000 NextGen review of 'Shenmue' courtesy of Sega Stylista from the SEGAbits forums!

A 'Shenmue' review is always a happy read, I especially love when the drawers and cabinets of Ryo's house get a shout-out. Who didn't spend hours in Ryo's house searching through anything and everything for items and clues? Enjoy the retro review and make sure to check out the other Shenmonth articles conveniently listed at the bottom.


Shenmonth Mid-Month Articles Round-up

Ulala + Bayonetta = Awesome


Thanks to the latest internet time waster, TubeDubber, we now know how awesome it can get when Bayonetta music is combined with Space Channel 5 visuals.

The website tubedubber.com is simple: take the audio of one YouTube video and combine it with the visuals of another YouTube video. It's as easy as copying and pasting, however what is not so easy is finding the perfect mix. Trust me, I've played with this thing for a good hour and only came up with a few gems. One of these gems is the aforementioned SC5/Bayonetta mash-up.

Click here to check it out now and be amazed.

So, now that we have the technology I have one simple request: take a Dreamcast game, either audio or video, and combine it with something non-Dreamcast. Winner gets a smiley face emoticon.

Shenmonth Begins!


May is Shenmonth! That's right, a whole month devoted to articles about the beloved Dreamcast series 'Shenmue'. Expect an article a week here at the Dreamcast Junkyard as well as a few at SEGAbits. If writers here or from any other Sega blog wish to participate, feel free to grab the header image above, slap it atop a blog post and write whatever you wish about 'Shenmue'. A "Top Ten Ugliest NPC Characters" article is up for grabs.

You might be asking: "Why May?" Well, any 'Shenmue' super-fan should know that today is the birthday of Ryo's dearly departed father, Iwao Hazuki, born on May 3rd, 1940. So what better day than today to kick off Shenmonth?

In death, Iwao became both the catalyst and driving force for the epic story of 'Shenmue'. Despite two games of plot, much of Iwao's life is still a mystery. Did he really kill a man named Zhao Sunming in Meng Chun? Why did he have a white leaf in his possession? Is it really all that important for a boy to eat his carrots? These are the questions that Iwao's past holds the answers to. I intend to revisit these questions in a later Shenmonth article, but in the meantime...

I'd like to share what to many American Dreamcast fans was the first 'Shenmue' review to be read: The Official Dreamcast Magazine 'Shenmue' Review! Click the images for high res readable photos.


10/10! I won't argue with that. As a bonus, check out this crappy GameStop ad featuring a badly designed mock-up of the Dreamcast cover art:


So let Shenmonth begin! Hopefully I make it to a third entry.

Return to SEGAbits if that's how you got here

Revenge of Video Games New York


Last year I chronicled a trip to New York, specifically the video game mother load that is Video Games New York. Well warm weather has returned and so another trip to New York seemed in order! While the trip consisted of a number of non-gaming related activities (I'll save you from stories of glowing lobster heads), I'll just detail the the video game moments. Unless you'd like to see a glowing lobster head.

Last time I visited the shop, I was overwhelmed by the amount of games. Literally shelves and shelves devoted to each console! Used games were out in the open, while hundreds of sealed games sat behind glass. The last time I had seen that many sealed Dreamcast games in one place was GameStop in 2001. Still, I had a sneaking suspicion that the reason why so many games go unsold is because of another factor. I ruled out ghosts and assumed the games were marked up to insane prices. After checking the tags, I was mostly correct.

VGNY is great, don't get me wrong, but the prices were and still are selectively insane. I can understand why a sealed 'Capcom vs. SNK" is priced at $60, but do they really have to charge $10 for used copies of NFL2k when they clearly have over two dozen of them? A new in box late production model Dreamcast went for $160, used VMUs (sans cap) were $15, used lightguns were $50 to $60. For the most part, $10 is the lowest used game price, even for the crappiest of crappy games. A disc-only copy of the first 'Tony Hawk' might be $7, but that's as low as they'll get. So forget about picking up 'Razor Freestyle Scooter' for a few bucks as a laugh.

Having this knowledge of inflated prices, I came prepared with a list of games that I had my eyes on as well as the average ebay prices for said games. That way, if I were to spot 'Stupid Invaders' for $25, I'd know that on ebay it can be found for $30 and I'd be making a wise choice to pick it up at VGNY. Unfortunately, I didn't encounter anything from my list at VGNY that I couldn't get for a half to three quarters of the price on ebay.

Fortunately, and this is the HUGE positive I have about VGNY, there is always a treasure to be found. Something that slipped through the cracks and avoided a crazy price. Last year I snagged 'Illbleed' and 'Floigan Bros', this year I found a PAL copy of 'Headhunter' for $25 and the XBOX version of 'Sonic Riders' for $9. VGNY also stocked a number of copies of 'Wind & Water Puzzle Battles', 'Rush Rush Rally Racing', 'DUX' and 'Last Hope Pink Bullets'. For the most part, the indy games were on par with their online prices. Though $60 was a bit much for the 'Rush Rush Rally Racing Deluxe Edition'.

While I didn't leave VGNY with the pirate's bounty I was hoping for, I did leave knowing I was a smart shopper. Not as cool as a pirate though...

eBay eXtra

After my visit to VGNY, I hit up eBay on my iPod and went shopping. I couldn't end the day with buying only one Dreamcast game! I found a sweet Dreamcast game lot and placed a bid. Four days passed and the auction countdown began, and so too began a bidding war. In the end my top asking price became too much for them and I won a lot of three games I didn't have: 'Tech Romancer' (complete), 'Record of Lodoss War' (complete) and 'Bangai-O" (disc only). I also won two games I already had: 'Soul Reaver' (complete) and 'Sonic Adventure' (disc only). Total price: $39.

I had once rented all three games, and loved each of them. It's nice to have them in the permanent collection. 'Tech Romancer' especially. I've always loved games that truly take advantage of the VMU. Capcom seemed to have been masters at VMU utilization, whether it be mini-games in 'Tech Romancer', item trading in 'Power Stone 2' or the health bar display in 'CODE: Veronica'.

Immortalised in Print...Again!

Alreet! Been a while! Profuse apologies for my absence from the hallowed Junkyard for the last umpteen months...although I'm not sure my presence has been missed much, what with the quality of Barry, Caleb and Gagaman's recent bloggage. I'll be back with a proper post in the next few days (If I can get my ass in gear), but in the meantime, here's a little something that kinda ties in with the previous post:

A Dreamcasting dude by the name of Andrew sent me an email stating that Ryu's native Dobuita is now up on Google Street View. Have a look here. Like he says, it doesn't look an awful lot like the town as depicted in our beloved Shenmue, but you can kinda get the feel of the virtual version, and there's a jacket shop that looks fairly familiar...

Also, I was in WH Smith t'other day and noticed this little periodical hiding behind the May edition of Chicks with Dicks Magazine on the top shelf:

That's my thumb. I need to buy some nail varnish.

Yep, it's the Retro Gamer Hardware Handbook. It costs a fair bit (about a tenner if I recall...although my mind is cloudy through excessive alcohol consumption), so I naturally eschewed the option to purchase it. Furthermore, it appears to just be a collection of hardware features previously published in the actual Retro Gamer magazine It's still a good read though...and all the better when you discover that the DCJY is again featured in the re-produced Dreamcast special that was raved about here a few years back:


It's nice to know that we've been immortalised in print more than once. Even if it is a screen grab of the old layout. Saaaaweet!

Guess Who Won A Limited Edition Ryo Figure?

I did!


For those not in the know, the Ryo Hazuki Forklift figure was a contest prize held by Sega of America to promote Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. The figure was, at the grief of fans everywhere, limited to 1,000. 50 of the 1,000 were allocated to Sega Europe and Canadians were given the chance at 75. So in all, I actually only had a shot at winning one of 875.

I received the call last night from the promotional company, telling me I've won the figure. The representative on the phone said the item was valued at $40, but I'm certain Dreamcast fanboys would price it much higher (perhaps $45?). The estimated arrival time is next week!

For the sake of not sounding like I'm gloating too much, I claim the Ryo Hazuki Forklift figure in the name of all the excellent Sega junkyards as well as Sega Memories. Once it arrives, expect a bounty of photos and perhaps a cheeky video of Ryo forking about copies of Shenmue.

Rush Rush Rally Racing Regular Edition Sold Out! So many "R"s so few copies!

The hardcore arcade driving game has revved it's engine and disappeared into the sunset!

Luckily for all Dreamcast fans the special

http://www.redspotgames.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=16

I just thought I would make a note for all the people who might be late to the party on this one.

Original story pulled from DC Emu UK.

A Dreamcast collection that makes you want to punch a hole in the wall

Just one of dozens of rare items. Only 78 of these exist.

Imagine a Dreamcast console collection so huge, and a collector so casual about it, that you just want to punch a hole in the wall and cry in a corner. I think I've found it. Beware all who click below. Once you've finished, come back to this post (unless you've passed out):

http://assemblergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25769


Have you returned? Do you feel envy? I myself felt a mix between envy and hatred. Did you scroll down and read the his reply to being called "rich"? "I'm not rich, got a normal salary, only i´m collecting Dreamcast 5-6 years".


I'm not sure if I want to clap my hands or boil an egg on my forehead. Congrats! *grumble grumble*

Dreamageddon - The Aftermath


I think every Dreamcast fan can tell you exactly where they were and how they learned of Sega's decision to discontinue the Dreamcast and go third party. I remember my dad called me over to the TV where X-Play was making the announcement, and moments later I was on the floor in pain. Three weeks of recovery later, I began to formulate my post-Dreamcast plans. I had read that Sega planned to support all platforms (even the new Nintendo Dolphin?! Unthinkable!) and that the plan was to have the internal dev teams divided among the three consoles. If you liked Sonic Team, your best bet was the family friendly Nintendo. If you liked trippy Japanese games, Sony was the way to go. And if you wanted graphical beasts, that PC makin' Microsoft could offer some pretty Sega games.

So here we are, a little over nine years later (the official announcement of "third party" was January 31, 2001) and we have since made our post-Dreamcast decisions. Some of us are now flag waving Sony fans, while others signed allegiance with the Nintendo empire. Still, there are others who couldn't give a crap about which company makes which system and just enjoy good games.

Before I get into the meat of this posting, my question to you is this: After the Dreamcast, where did YOU go? Feel free to answer this in the comments section.


A non-Sonic game from Sonic Team on a Nintendo console??


I should probably start by sharing where I went. Post Dreamcast I had a very difficult decision to make: PS2, XBOX or Gamecube. I wasn't the type of kid with deep pockets, so it really came down to the Christmas of 2001. At that time, the Playstation 2 looked to offer a bevvy of Dreamcast ports that didn't make it stateside, including Headhunter, Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Rez as well as arcade releases such as Virtua Fighter 4. There was also the unique looking GunGrave, which at the time looked to have the promise of Jet Set Radio meets Streets of Rage.


Shame it didn't play as well as it looked


Another strong contender for my next console was the XBOX. A part of me really liked the system as it, in my opinion at the time, did not kill the Dreamcast. *coughsony!* I also appreciated Microsoft's kindness towards Sega in their time of transition. Yeah, yeah, I know it's all business but still. In terms of games, the XBOX actually didn't seem to offer as much as the PS2 for Sega fans, but the promise of new SmileBit games was a major plus. Edit: Oh, and Crazy Taxi 3.

Last, and unfortunately least (IMO, please don't flame me!!! :P), was the Nintendo Gamecube. My opinions towards the system were, at the time, low. The design seemed to badly mimic the Dreamcast and the promise of online was severely lacking. Sega-wise, I really didn't know what to expect on the system, but the announcement of Sonic Adventure 2 being rereleased didn't excite me.

I assumed (and was correct in doing so) that Sonic Team would simply port what they had already done on the Dreamcast and any original Sonic games would surly be multi-platform. The one thing that really had my attention was Billy Hatcher. Remember, at the time Sonic Team seemed to do no wrong in developing a non-Sonic game; PSO, Chu Chu Rocket, NiGHTS and Burning Rangers. Still, I decided to wait until the Gamecube offered more games that caught my interest.

STILL WANT

So Chritsmas 2001 rolled around and I made my decision: I was getting a PS2. The major reasons were the many Dreamcast games I had missed out on, as well as the idea that I was saving money on a standalone DVD player by getting the one included with the system. In 2002 I caved and bought an XBOX as life just didn't seem complete without JSRF. Since then, I have not bought a GameCube and don't regret it. Besides missing out on new versions of PSO, all worthwhile Sega games found on Nintendo's system became available for the PS2 and XBOX. I believe Super Monkey Ball Deluxe and Sonic Mega Collection Plus trump their GameCube counterparts.

Now my favorite part: IN RETROSPECT

Do I regret my post-Dreamcast decisions? A little. I wish I had bought a XBOX before the PS2, and imported Rez, Headhunter and SC5 Part 2 for the Dreamcast. I also feel that a majority of the original Sega games released for the PS2 were not as great as I had hoped.

I had bought the XBOX in hopes of getting Shenmue 3, but obviously that didn't happen. Thankfully, the XBOX brought two of the greatest third party Sega games of the sixth generation: Panzer Dragoon Orta and JSRF.

I still don't regret not owning a GameCube. ;)

The Games Eggman Plays

Before you comment "old news is old!", hear me out. Back when Sonic Unleashed released in 2008, eagle eyed fans spotted a Dreamcast system and controller in Eggman's Eggmobile. That was the old news. The new news is that a user at the Sonic Stadium message boards figured out what games Eggman played in his free time. Computer, enhance the above image:

ENHANCE!

What's that? He has two games? Let's rotate and zoom in:


HA! It looks as though Eggman raided Sega's secret closet of unreleased games as he owns a copy of Dr. Eggman Adventure (you can see "Dr. E" and beneath that "Adv") as well as, what's this? A port of the Wii's NiGHTS Journey into Dreams!? Well, that or it could be the soundtrack, as the Dreamcast is also a CD player.

In other news, I just (mostly) completed my Official Dreamcast Magazine collection! All twelve numbered issues as well as the eleven magazine exclusive demo discs sitting pretty on my shelf. I said "mostly" as I have yet to get the preview issue number zero which hit newsstands in the summer of 1999. Someday it will be mine.

In any case, they make for excellent retro reading. The layout is beautiful and the articles are well worth reading even ten years later. Perhaps I'll make an ODCM tribute video for the Dreamcast Junkyard YouTube channel? :^o


Dreamcast Era Attire Goes 360

Sega is showing more love for Dreamcast era classics, this time at the Xbox 360 Avatar Marketplace! Hitting the virtual shops today are a bevy of Sega and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing themed attire including logo shirts, helmets, racing suits and Sega character themed items. The full listing can be found here, but let's take a closer look at the items that matter to Dreamcast fans.

My avatar doing some Shenmue cosplay

First up is the best item out of all of them: Ryo's Jacket! Made for both men and women, Ryo's jacket is a near perfect replica of the one seen in Shenmue. Yeah, the diamond patch on the front is missing, but I can assure you that the tiger is on the back. Considering that blue jeans and white sneakers are default items, one could easily make a Ryo costume.

Up next is the stylish Amigo sombrero. I don't think Gagaman has a 360, but if he did I'm certain his avatar would have one of these.
AAUK of Sonic Wrecks went into detail on why Amigo's hat isn't larger:

A couple of other items bit the dust like Beat’s skates, I even had it down in my plan that your avatar action would become the little victory jig he does, but alas again the skates fell foul of the bounding box of the avatars, you can’t elevate the Avatar itself and neither can you have things going through the floor. You may notice the Amigo sombrero isn’t as wide as Amigo’s normally is, this is for the same reason.

Despite the restrictions, the hat looks great! I know what I'll be wearing on May 5th.

Finally we come to Beat's glasses. While not based on the original Dreamcast game (these come from JSRF) they still look quite cool and would go great with a yellow t-shirt and some headphones:

Overall the items are very cool. Prices for clothing and accessories range from $1 to $2, with props selling for $3. If you have extra points or are willing to spend a few bucks to dress a digital version of yourself, give it a go!

Lookin' Like a Fool With Your Swirls On the Ground

As I entered a hotel yesterday, I was greeted by this carpet pattern:

Super-fans who would like to see this for themselves can check it out at Radisson Northeast Hotel in Philadelphia. This will be my second swirl sighting in a month, perhaps the Dreamcast is sending me the message that I need to give it more attention. Today I was kind enough to replace the batteries of my Dreameye, so it seems the subliminal swirl messages are working.

ps - Last year I had a video feature planned, but lack of time and the belief that I needed AVGN levels of production quality led that idea to dwindle. Now I've conceded that I need to make a video and quality be damned, hand held camera and unscripted chatter is good enough! Expect the first video by April. Whee!

DC-Falcon


Amazing.

It's odd that nobody thought of this before. I mean they are about the same shape.

http://showcase.benheck.com/pezzapoo_dc-falcon_125.html

Video Game Vault Chats With Seaman

The latest episode of Screw Attack's Video Game Vault revisits an old fishy friend of the DCJY. Thankfully, the video shows off the moments that make Seaman worth playing though there is quite a bit of dickery when it comes to slapping and boiling the tank. I hope for the day to come when mankind respects the Seaman and nurtures him to full froghood.



In other news, I'd like to toot my own horn and mention that my Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Ryo video has hit 16,700 views on youtube and became a featured video on GameTrailers. Toot toot!

Chu Chu Rocket animated tribute



Made by Ashley Davis for Destrutoid.com, here's a cute little film in tribute to the Dreamcast puzzle classic Chu Chu rocket. The kapu kapu has a moustache, what's not to like?

Something That Holds a Candle to the Dreamcast...

...would have to be a candle holder sporting the Dreamcast swirl!

File this one under "things that look like the Dreamcast logo". This time our swirly friend was spotted at a Whole Foods Market while the girlfriend and I were going about our weekly grocery shop. Whole Foods, for those not in the know, is a grocery store which sells both organic and "conventionally grown" produce, and national brands (aka their apples aren't infested with fruit flies and their bread actually is bread).

Whole Foods is also known for having a section of wacky spiritual products and new age meditation knickknacks. While waiting to pay I spotted this candle stand on the shelf and snapped a photo of it. The stand had a nice weight to it (just as a Dreamcast does), sported a familiar spiral (again, just as a Dreamcast does) and cost a reasonable $10.99 (the cost of a garage sale Dreamcast). I don't have too much more to write about it, so have another look at it:

Special thanks to my girlfriend for holding it in the above photo.