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After The Fall: A New First Person Shooter For Dreamcast

If you're the type of gamer who prefers a mouse and keyboard to a controller, you're probably pretty au fait with the modding scene. And by extension, you're probably pretty familiar with the Quake engine and the notion of the 'total conversion.' For those not in the know, a total conversion is when you take the base engine of a particular title, and apply a whole new set of graphics over the top. Add new story elements, enemies, weapons and bespoke levels...and you have yourself a brand new adventure to enjoy.
After The Fall is one such example of this, and while the original game was released for the PC way back in 1997, the long mooted Dreamcast port drifted into message board obscurity. The good news is that After The Fall for Dreamcast is back with a bang, with technical obstacles removed and a full on release planned for the near future. The screens in this article are all taken from the Dreamcast version of After The Fall, and were supplied by Pip Nayler, the talented indie developer who has resurrected this long forgotten project.
The initial problem with getting After The Fall to run successfully on Dreamcast hardware came down to an issue with getting the game to fit into the console's RAM. However with work, Nayler has successfully managed to reduce the technical requirements and has the entire game now running on Sega's old warhorse. We spoke to Pip and asked what we can expect from this 'new to us' first person adventure:

"After The Fall is a total conversion of Quake that was originally released way back in 1997. It's been mentioned on Dreamcast message boards before, but nobody has ever really played it on the console as it doesn't fit in to the Dreamcast's RAM without modification. Also, the Quake community largely considers ATF fun, but hampered by bugs and some low quality artwork. My goal is to help the game gain some new recognition and give the Dreamcast community something new to play, whilst also also allowing me to get reacquainted with Quake modding.


"Lowering the texture resolution has allowed me to fit the game in to memory, and it is now playable from start to finish, but my aim is to build upon the original game and make it something really special for the community. As such, I'll be replacing some of the assets from the original game, bug fixing where possible, writing a new backstory for it, and creating some all new levels to help tell the story and make the game feel more connected."
- Pip Nayler, After The Fall Dreamcast developer

It's worth noting that like Rizzo Island, this Dreamcast port wouldn't be possible without the Makaqu engine from mankrip. From the screens we've seen so far, After The Fall looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty interesting shooter, and Pip has hinted that there could also be some online multiplayer aspects built in to the game. What's also worth noting is that After The Fall will be released for free, along with cover art mimicking all three of the main Dreamcast regions.
It's still relatively early days, but we're quite optimistic about this one, especially as the whole game is successfully running on the Dreamcast. As ever, we'll be keeping a close eye on After The Fall and when the time comes for us to take a look at a preview build, we'll let you know how it plays. You can find Pip Nayler on Twitter, so if you'd like to keep abreast of development, drop him a follow.

Does the thought of a new first person shooter for Dreamcast excite you as much as it does us? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

Indie Spotlight: Rizzo Island

Rizzo Island is the latest in a long line of independently developed games that have designs on a Dreamcast release, and in this spotlight we thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at this promising title and the story behind it.

The creation of Dreameater Games, Rizzo Island is much more than just an indie game - it's also an homage of sorts to the titular character Rizzo, who is based on the musician and surfer Tom Rizzo. The game's director, David Crowshaw is actually Tom Rizzo's nephew, and when Tom passed away in 2016 David wanted to do something to honour his uncle's memory. Incorporating Tom Rizzo's music into the project means that as well as starring in Rizzo Island as the main protagonist, you'll also get the opportunity to listen to the music Tom recorded, which is actually pretty good and perfectly suits the style of game.


As you can probably tell from the screens and video, Rizzo Island is a third person platformer where you control Tom as he searches the various locations looking for CDs. Along the way, he must solve puzzles and fight enemies (using his surfboard as a weapon, naturally), unlock doors and keep his energy topped up by consuming cans of soda.
Rizzo Island is built using the Quake engine, and while it may look fairly basic it actually runs really well on the Dreamcast. Controls work well - you control Tom's movement with the analogue stick and triggers; while jumping and attacking enemies are handled by the face buttons.

The demo currently only features two smallish levels (and a psychedelic hub world), but they give a good idea of what to expect when the final game is released, and from what I've seen so far I can't help but be impressed. The Dreameater Games team is fairly small but from this short demo, they've done a pretty decent job using the Quake engine in a pretty unorthodox manner. That it runs so well on Dreamcast hardware is a bonus, and the lack of a second analogue stick on the Dreamcast controller doesn't detract from proceedings at all.
As stated, this is a very early demo and as such the final game could change considerably. However from the small glimpse at Rizzo Island I've had, I will be keeping an eye on this project. Well, an eye and an ear if more of Tom Rizzo's brand of chilled out surf rock music is included.

Find out more about Rizzo Island (and grab the demo) on Itch.io, check out the project's Patreon here, and follow Dreameater Games on Twitter for progress reports and updates on the game.

BlobCat For Nintendo Switch - A Love Letter To ChuChu Rocket!

Like many Dreamcast fans I consider myself a huge fan of ChuChu Rocket!, and I joke that it's the best free game I’ve ever received - we Europeans had it sent as reward for signing up for the online service Dreamareana. Returning home from school one day to find a brand new Dreamcast game out the blue, thanks to Sega, was quite brilliant.

While it offered a solid and enjoyable single player experience, the 4 player battles that ChuChu Rocket! offered still rank as some of the best gaming memories I have; and it held the honour of being the only game I ever attempted to play online during the contemporary Dreamcast era.
My love of ChuChu Rocket! has always fuelled thoughts on why such a seemingly popular and well loved classic never really left the Dreamcast to find a home elsewhere, with a Gameboy Advance port and a fairly brief appearance on iOS being the game's entire post Dreamcast legacy.

It seemed like there was a void left by Sega, never to be filled with a true sequel. Step forward BlobCat for the Nintendo Switch. On first glance you could be forgiven for assuming it has some kind of official link to ChuChu Rocket! or Sega. For instance, the description on the Switch eShop reads: ‘The BlobCats are after the DiceMice! Place arrows to guide the DiceMice to the Micehole!’ This shows the clear inspiration that Christian Wasser and the team behind BlobCat (developer BySamb) took from the beloved Dreamcast title.

Shenmue I & II: The Ultimate Way To Experience Yu Suzuki's Masterpiece

I thought long and hard about how to approach writing an article like this. I've never made any secret of the fact that while I find Shenmue to be a marvellous technical achievement and a glittering jewel in the Dreamcast library, I also found the original experience to be a rather cumbersome affair. The stilted scripting, the awful controls and the constant loading screens juxtaposed with sublime visuals, deep and interesting storyline and a dazzling amount of extras in terms of in-world detail, meant that - for me at least - the whole experience was rather uneven. On the one hand it is incredible; but on the other there are many minor annoyances.
When Sega initially announced that Shenmue and Shenmue II were being repackaged and released for the current crop of consoles and PC, the gaming community went into a bit of a nostalgia-fuelled meltdown. It was as if a long forgotten king was coming back to reclaim his crown from the usurpers. Shenmue was coming back to reclaim it's crown as the greatest videogame that most people had never played.
1986 never looked so good
See, even though the majority of people who come here to read our articles may be considered dedicated Dreamcast fans, and by extension are more likely to have actually played the original Shemmue or its sequel (on either Dreamcast or Xbox); there seemed to be something amiss with the celebratory outpourings of emotion on social media. That being, that while the re-issue of Shenmue and its venerable sequel was indeed a cause for celebration, it seemed that a significant majority of those voices proclaiming a victory in having 'saved Shenmue' had never actually played the thing in its original guise.
In this life or the next!
For this reason alone, doubt crept into my mind. Would the people screaming to the heavens in ecstasy upon hearing about the re-release of Ryo Hazuki's (as yet) unfinished quest for vengeance actually appreciate the foibles of the game once they actually got to experience it? I won't lie - I was a little worried that resurrecting Shenmue and Shenmue II for a new generation of gamers who didn't have to put up with the grinding of the GD drive, the d-pad controls, and relatively small gameplay areas filled with countless painted on shop fronts and houses in which 'no-one's home,' would sour the experience and rob Shenmue of its deity-like reputation.
Please excuse the battered boxes
Shenmue is a game of its time if ever there was one, it is slow and it is plodding. It makes the player work for the next reveal in the plot line. There is no huge tutorial and there are scant onscreen prompts. You literally have to sit and read Ryo's notebook to work out what you're meant to do next, and in this current climate of instant gratification and the apparent unwillingness of a certain demographic to actually read anything, I was apprehensive. However...

JoshProd Asking Fans To Vote On Next Batch Of Dreamcast Releases

It would appear that video game publisher JoshProd has no intentions of slowing down their release schedule and porting of games to the Dreamcast. The company behind the Dreamcast releases of Flashback, The Escapee, 4x4 Jam, Breakers, Fade to Black, Ganryu and many others currently has a poll running on its Facebook page asking fans to rank order vote for the genre of game they’d like to play sooner.

Here at The Dreamcast Junkyard, we welcome pretty much everything Dreamcast related with open arms, particularly new games appearing on the system; however this development seems especially interesting as a few of the categories pictured are from genres we’ve not seen on the platform since the plug was pulled back in the day.
Fade to Black is now officially a Dreamcast title. Review coming soon.
Feel free to follow the link below to JoshProd’s Facebook page and cast your own vote, and let us know in the comments what you want to see. Here at the 'Yard, we actively encourage wild speculation about which games will come to the Dreamcast next. 3D racer? Another 2D shooter? Survival horror? It seems the choice is in our hands...

Check out the poll on the JoshProd Facebook page. Remember you can also order the latest releases from JoshProd at Videogames New York, Play-Asia, Rush on Game and The Bit Station.

GDC 1999: Accessing The Dreamcast's PowerVR Features

If you're anything like me, you'll find documentation on literally any and every aspect of the Dreamcast to be utterly fascinating. From internal emails announcing the demise of the system, to service manuals detailing schematics; it's all part and parcel of the history of Sega's final console.

Next up in this adventure into the robustly obscure annals of Dreamcast history, we bequeath you with the lesser spotted presentation delivered by one Jason Powell to assembled delegates at GDC 1999. The topic of the presentation? Accessing the PowerVR 2 features under Windows CE, of course! As you can probably tell from the title, it's a real thrill ride through the features offered by the PowerVR 2 chipset and was apparently designed to show off the benefits of the graphics accelerator to potential Dreamcast developers.
The guts of the Dreamcast, with the SH-4 and PowerVR taking centre stage.
For those not aware, the NEC PowerVR 2 is the graphics chipset that the Dreamcast shared with the NAOMI arcade system, and which is essentially why arcade ports were so effortless. Paired with the 200Mhz Hitachi SH-4 processor, the two made for a fearsome combination and are the force behind the Dreamcast's awesome graphical prowess.
The presentation was delivered - according to the first slide - on March 18 at GDC 1999. On first glance, it does look very dry and is a far cry from the garish PowerPoint presentations we're all able to ham-fistedly knock together these days. It's not even in colour, for a start. That said, the content is the star here, with a pretty comprehensive look at what the PowerVR 2 offers in terms of specifications and abilities.

Looking through the presentation today, it all looks fairly tame, but by 1999 standards these specs were at the cutting edge of gaming technology, and I dare say many a developer who attended this conference would have been champing at the bit to get their hands on dev kits.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look as though the GDC Vault website has the actual presentation archived, and so we can't share any photos or video of Mr Powell delivering his keynote. For now at least, the slides are all we have as evidence that this event even took place.
If you'd like to download the full 16 page presentation and have a good look yourself, you can grab the Accessing PowerVR 2DC Features Under Windows CE presentation here, or by hitting the big blue magic button below.
Thanks go to our Facebook group moderator Jon Lee for grabbing this file from a (now defunct) news group back in the early 2000s.

Tanglewood Dreamcast Port Still On Track

You've probably heard of Tanglewood, the cool-looking Mega Drive platform adventure that blasted through its Kickstarter goal back in December 2016. Big Evil Corp garnered an impressive £56,000 - £8,000 more than their target and it's easy to see why. The impressive visuals and interesting premise have certainly captured the attention and imaginations of gamers everywhere.

The premise is that you control a fox-like creature called Nymn, who must find its way back to the pack before night blankets the realm of Tanglewood in darkness. Very 'Animals of Farthing Wood,' I'm sure you'll agree. One of the more interesting aspects to the Tanglewood saga, is that a Dreamcast stretch goal was added - and also reached - and as we near the launch date for the Mega Drive cartridge version, we thought it was worth enquiring about the Dreamcast port.

I asked via Twitter what was happening on the Dreamcast front, and I was pleased to see the response that the game is apparently progressing well:
For the benefit of those who can't see the image for whatever reason, Tanglewood say the engine has been ported and all the basics are up and running; and that full-time development will continue once the Mega Drive version has shipped.
We haven't actually seen anything of the Dreamcast port running yet, but rest assured that we'll be keeping a close eye on any further developments, hopefully culminating in a review of this intriguing little title. Remember to keep an eye on Tanglewood on the official website.

Will you be playing Tanglewood when it hits the Mega Drive? Or are you holding out for the Dreamcast port? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

Source: Twitter

History of Independent Dreamcast Development

This article is taken from the work-in-progress second issue of the free fanzine, Dream On Magazine.

It's hard to believe that Sega released the Dreamcast twenty years ago! It feels like only yesterday. Luckily, the indie developers have been busy these past decades, so there's lots of dreamy goodness to cover. 

The second issue has taken a long time to come out due to huge mistakes on my part, and I sincerely apologize for that. However, the wait should be worth it, as I've had some awesome help. The DC Evolution crew, the same folks who put together the excellent compilation disc, "The Sandman #1", is helping to make sure that this issue will be the best it can be. 

So, feel free to dive in, and read up on the creation of the independent Dreamcast movement. I hope you find as much enjoyment out of it as we've had creating it. 

Dream On #2, and by extension, this article, would not have been possible without the help of BlueCrab, Christuserloeser, Idarcl, DCDayDreamer, and lyonhrt.

Bernie Stolar opens the floodgates to rumors of Saturn's successor.

On 23 June, 1997, Sega's Chief Operating Officer announced "the Saturn is not our future", publicly revealing for the first time that they were working on a successor. This console would use a
Hitachi SH-4 for its CPU and an ARM processor for sound. The code name for the console was Katana, but it was given the name Dreamcast by the time it hit retail. It was released in Japan on
27 November, 1998, in North America on 9 September, 1999, in Europe on 14 October, 1999, and in Oceania on 30 November, 1999. It was discontinued just a scant few years later when
Sega announced that it was discontinuing the console on 23 January, 2001. Production of new
games continued in North America until spring 2002, in Europe and Oceania until winter 2002,
and in Japan until 2007. However, it continues to have an active commercial life among
independent game developers.

A collection of official MIL-CD enhanced music discs.

The Dreamcast continues to be attractive to indies because the games can be sold on CD without having to obtain a license from Sega, which drastically reduces the overhead that is usually present in commercial game development for consoles. This ability actually stems from a vulnerability discovered early on in the lifespan of the Dreamcast. Sega of Japan developed a multimedia system called the MIL-CD, or Music Interactive Live-CD.

Event: Southampton Game Fest 2018 - Saturday 6th October

As well as running this place, a YouTube channel, an award-nominated podcast, the world's best Twitter account* and the largest Dreamcast-related group on Facebook, we fine folk at the Junkyard also occasionally crawl out of our respective holes to support live events. Indeed, any of you who have visited either the Play Expo or Revival events around the UK in previous years will attest to having witnessed the Junkyard team drinking heavily and beating away rabid fans/autograph hunters with extreme efficiency and accuracy.
October 6th will see some of us donning our protective hazmat suits once again as we attempt to engage the public at another event - Southampton Game Fest 2018. As the name suggests, this is a festival of all things gaming, and will be held in the city of Southampton on the south coast of England. Southampton Game Fest is held entirely in support of various charities, and this year will be held in several locations across the city. We'll have multiple Dreamcast consoles set up, along with a host of peripherals and games for people to play on.

If you're free on Saturday 6th October, why not come down to the event, buy us beer, play some Dreamcast games and get involved with the fun? As well as us, the folks from Bitmap Bureau will also be supporting Game Fest, so it's a perfect excuse to get some first hand experience with their awesome-looking retro inspired shooter Xeno Crisis.
For more information and to buy tickets (or become an exhibitor yourself), head over to the Southampton Game Fest 2018 website here. You can also find out more information on our upcoming events by checking the Events page here.

* This, like the cake, is a lie.

Online Dreamcast Playercount Hits 1000 With DreamPi

Unless you've been living under a particularly large rock for the past couple of years, you'll no doubt be aware that the Dreamcast is once again a viable online gaming platform. This is mostly due to the work of one Luke Benstead, the talented chap behind the DreamPi. The DreamPi software (recently updated to version 1.7) written by Luke uses a Raspberry Pi to enable the Dreamcast to connect to online gaming servers hosted by Dreamcast Live, and as such a burgeoning community of online Dreamcast gamers has sprung up in recent times.
Toy Racer is one of the many games enjoying a renaissance thanks to DreamPi 
It might be a far cry from the initial 6 billion players, however the fact that the number of accounts set up to use DreamPi has recently hit 1000 is an amazing feat, and shows that there's plenty of life in the old Dreamcast yet. Indeed, NFL 2K was recently restored to full online multiplayer functionality by programmer Shuouma, yet again expanding the online gaming library available to Dreamcast owners. In recognition of this milestone (it's probably the highest number of online Dreamcasts since the early 2000s), we spoke briefly to Luke regarding this not insignificant user count. Here's what he had to say:
 
"I'm still amazed that a little side project I started  few years back has had such a massive and unexpected impact on the Dreamcast community. That over a thousand people have gone to the effort of setting up a DreamPi to get their Dreamcast back online shows their love for the console. The community is definitely still growing, too. It's also worth mentioning the work of Pcwzrd at Dreamcast Live and Shuouma, as if it weren't for their efforts I doubt anyone would be bothered about DreamPi."
- Luke Benstead, creator of the DreamPi software

 
Most of us here at the Junkyard are regular participants in the online gaming sessions organised via the Dreamcast Talk forums, and setting up a DreamPi is literally as easy as pie (sorry). If you would like to join the ever-growing community of online Dreamcast gamers, head over to Luke's blog or visit Dreamcast Live for further details. Here's to the next 1000 Dreamcasters joining the party!
A naked Raspberry Pi rocking DreamPi
Do you play online with your Dreamcast? Have you screamed at the sky as I beat you mercilessly at Toy Racer or POD 2?  Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

The Latest JoshProd Games Are Shipping Now

Hello everyone, I'm Jennifer. I've written for just about every blog dedicated to the Dreamcast for as long as these kinds of blogs existed. You may recognize me by my nickname Mickey, or as the person who can't stick with an internet handle. At various times, I've used the internet handles ChickenO, CaptainDread, Lopantu, Bender, MetaFox, MapleSyrup, JenniBee, Jenni or just Jennifer. I'm sure I missed a few. Now I continue my quest to write for all of the best Dreamcast blogs by blogging for The Dreamcast Junkyard. I start my journey here with some good news.

The JoshProd Facebook page has posted news that their latest Dreamcast games to be published, known as session 3, have begun shipping from RushOnGame. These games are those that are produced in PAL Dreamcast style cases. The games that are produced in US Dreamcast style cases are sold by VideoGamesNewYork, and are slated to release on the 31st of July. In addition, the games that are produced in Japanese Dreamcast style cases are sold by Play-Asia, and are expected to be released in August.

If you aren't sure which games are in the third session of JoshProd releases, here's a refresher.
Another World HD is the high definition version of Another World, a cinematic action-adventure platformer by Eric Chahi that influenced many other games. It was originally released in 1991 for the Atari ST and Amiga, and then ported to many other systems around the world. One of these platforms was the Dreamcast. It received a version using the RAW interpreter by cyx, which was ported by myself and GPF, and was given the blessing of Eric Chahi to release for free in 2005. However, JoshProd's commercial version outdoes the free version, as it is optimized for high definition televisions.
Flashback 2: Fade to Black is the sequel to Flashback, the cinematic action-adventure which was the pseudo-sequel of Another World and was published by JoshProd on Dreamcast last year. Fade to Black is presented in first-person as opposed to the third-person presentation of the original. Originally released in 1995 on DOS, this game takes place 50 years after Flashback. In the game, an alien race named the Morphs have taken over Earth. The hero from the previous game, Conrad Hart, must once again save Earth from the alien menace.

A Quick Look At Data Discs' Shenmue Vinyl LP

Retro seems to be the in thing at the moment - be it games, movies, clothes or even music formats. While you could argue that vinyl never really went out of fashion, for a good while it was only the most dedicated of music aficionados who would go to the lengths of seeking out that elusive LP for their collection. That said, the recent mainstream resurgence of vinyl as a viable format on which to purchase your music comes with the caveat that a large proportion of people buying vinyl don't play them, and some don't even own a record player; instead opting to buy records to put up on the wall, or simply for the sake of collecting because they look cool.

Of course, I know that doesn't account for everyone but it's an interesting topic of discussion. And with that we move our focus to the Venn diagram which blooms when you correlate the allure of vinyl with the retro gaming scene. Data Discs have wasted no time in capitalising on the cross over of these two areas of collecting/nostalgic amour and created a whole range of officially licensed SNK, Capcom and Sega-inspired original soundtrack vinyl LPs; most of which feature the timeless bleeps and bloops of arcade and Mega Drive titles from years past.
One edition that bucks this trend is the Shenmue soundtrack, and seeing as I recently bought a record player (after inheriting my late mother's huge collection of soul and Motown vinyl); I decided that it was about time that I tried out one of these game-flavoured musical offerings...

The Dreamcast Junkyard Presents 'The A to Z of Dreamcast Games'

It was nearly three years ago that The Dreamcast Junkyard presented the Ultimate Collectors Guide - an attempt to gather the complete listings of every Dreamcast game ever released into one handy guide book. We even printed a run of the guide that a few souls managed to obtain before...well, I think we all know the story by now.

Now, whilst the guide served a purpose, it's probably fair to say it never quite attained the 'Ultimate' status we attached to it. For list nerds like myself, it's great to be able to grab a checklist and see what random Japanese oddities still need to be tracked down, but - and I say this as the one who compiled the guide - it lacked a little soul. Through all the positive reactions the guide gathered, I promised I'd be back in a few years with a bigger, better and improved version, one that wasn't quite as painfully dull to look at, and the completion of a somewhat ridiculous personal quest.

That guide, I'm happy to announce, is now here! Grab yourself a downloadable copy by hitting the 'download button below!
Now, with the literary world of the Dreamcast starting to get some attention (we're all looking forward to delving into Darren Wall's 'Sega Dreamcast Collected Works' when it releases), I want to make it perfectly clear to all of you now that this is not - I repeat, not - a professional product of the highest quality. If you're looking for a lovely looking book to sit on your coffee table, then chances are you'll be disappointed. If, however, you enjoyed our first guide, or found it useful on your own Dreamcast collecting journey, then I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised. I like to think of the guide as the 'Football Manager' of books - it's not a looker, but hopefully it's the content which counts.
That's not to say this is just a carbon copy of our first guide either, though. The time between the original guides release and now, has been utilised to give more content, more detail and, of course, a few more lists. This time around, the A to Z of Dreamcast Games features:
  • Info on 670 Dreamcast games, presented in the A to Z with a mini review 
  • Full release listings for all games, expanded from the original guide significantly, and now covering a grand total of 1846 individual releases.
  • Upcoming games section
  • PAL, US, Japanese & Indie collecting sections, each with a collecting guide, helpful lists, rare & expensive game spotlights and more
  • Rarity and value guide for all 1800+ releases
  • Now looks a little less dull, with covers throughout the guide to brighten it up a little!
Weighing in at a total of 506 pages, it's fair to say that a printed version of this guide is not on the horizon - but who uses 'books' now anyway though, eh? Designed to stick on your smartphone or tablet as a (hopefully) useful tool, we embrace the new digital era here at The Dreamcast Junkyard - especially as it's a touch cheaper than having to pay for these all to be printed!

Let us know what you think in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group!

This Month In Dreamcast History - July 2000

In a new monthly feature, join me as we re-live the months of yesteryear - Dreamcast-style.

It’s July 2000. We’re over halfway through the first year of the new millenium and summer has kicked off (for us Europeans, at least) with the Euro 2000 football tournament in Holland and Belgium. July 2000 was the month Eminem scored another worldwide hit with his single The Real Slim Shady; and elsewhere, the newly disbanded Spice Girls were still tearing it up with their own brand of horror pop. July 2000 also saw the very first Big Brother reality TV show launch in the UK. But for those of us who were too busy playing Dreamcast to bother watching a dozen strangers locked in a house and forced to interact with total strangers, this is what we had to look forward to...
Spoiler: it never 'came home'
July’s PAL Dreamcast chart featured a few new titles:
  1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater*
  2. Resident Evil: Code Veronica
  3. Wacky Races*
  4. Ecco The Dolphin*
  5. Crazy Taxi
A whopping three new entries made it into the top of the Dreamcast chart in July; Tony Hawk's Pro Skater knocked the absolutely sublime Resident Evil: Code Veronica off the top spot, the hugely underrated (in my opinion) Mario Kart clone Wacky Races debuted solidly in the top 3, whilst Sega’s own Ecco The Dolphin also started strongly.
Wacky Races is a standout kart racer for Dreamcast
Looking at July 2000’s gaming magazines, Dreamcast owners were spoiled for choice. Hidden & Dangerous received a massive 92% from Dreamcast Magazine, with the reviewer claiming that it could “take over your life”. In the same magazine, “the definitive F1 racer for Dreamcast”, F1 World Grand Prix 2, scored 90% and was a personal favourite of mine. Elsewhere in the most random magazine from July 2000 that I could find, Brazilian publication Super Game Power gave Sega’s answer to the popular Gran Turismo, Sega GT, a solid 8.3/10.
Super Game Power in Brazil seemed keen on Sega GT
The US Official Dreamcast Magazine were not impressed with Lara’s Dreamcast debut, scoring Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation a 5/10 and, probably fairly, suggesting that the game “did little to take advantage of the Dreamcast’s hardware”. Just a few pages later though, they gave 6/10 to the diabolical Nightmare Creatures II, whilst Dreamcast Magazine could only give it a woeful 39% and cited that “the only good thing is that you can kick doors down”. Many years later, our very own Tom Charnock would find himself agreeing with the latter review.

If you hadn't yet picked up your Dreamcast, now was as good a time as ever, with some great deals around. Popular UK-based mail order company, Gameplay, were offering a Dreamcast console and a copy of Chu Chu Rocket! for just £149.99. An absolute bargain and some £50 cheaper than the console's launch price less than a year ago.
Not picked up a Dreamcast yet? Plenty of bargains around in July 2000!
For those lucky gamers who did already own a Dreamcast, July's PAL-region releases saw a real variety of options to spend their hard earned cash on:
  • NHL 2K
  • Roadsters
  • South Park Rally
  • Tech Romancer
  • Dead or Alive 2
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2
  • Gauntlet Legends
  • Midway's Greatest Hits Volume 1
Personally, I remember picking up the outstanding Dead or Alive 2 and taunting my PlayStation-owning friends with just how beautiful it looked. The rather attractive female cast had absolutely nothing to do with my teenage opinion, honestly. 

There you have it. In short, July 2000 was a bloody good time to be a Dreamcast owner. It was in the height of summer, there were a load of great games coming out and online gaming was right around the corner.
Big Brother is always watching. Always. Yes, even when
you do that thing in your bedroom on your own.
How about you? Were you a Dreamcast owner in July 2000? Did you pick up any of the games released this month? Were you salivating at the reviews in gaming magazines of the games coming out soon? Tell us all about it in the comments below. Join us next month as we take a look at what was happening in the Dreamcast bubble during the month of August in 2000.