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Yeah Yeah Beebiss II now available for Dreamcast

If the title Yeah Yeah Beebiss I means anything to you, you'll love this little news snippet. If you're wondering what the hell I'm blathering about, the mystery of Yeah Yeah Beebiss I is a totally fascinating trip down a rabbit hole of copyright traps, misunderstood language translations, fabrications of the truth...or all of the above

In a nutshell, it's the story of a strange Nintendo Entertainment System game which is considered to represent one of the greatest gaming mysteries of all time, and which prompted a years long search for a title that many people were convinced didn't exist. I would implore anyone with even a passing interest in this flavour of gaming oddness to visit YouTube and watch any of the amazing videos on the topic, including this one from LSuperSonicQ, or this one from All Things Lost which does a damn fine job of explaining the whole saga as well as offering a solution to the mystery.

In a rather excellent twist on this strange tale, YouTuber and retro gaming tinkerer John Riggs has released a 'sequel' to Yeah Yeah Beebiss I - titled Yeah Yeah Beebiss II - for both the NES and the Dreamcast. As announced over on his Twitter account, you can purchase a limited edition copy for the Dreamcast by visiting John's store here

There's not a great deal of info on the game available at the time of writing, with only a single screenshot released; but once John releases a video on it (or one of us here at the Junkyard manages to get hold of a copy) we'll update this news piece or post a full review. To be honest, it would be a brilliant meta twist if this whole thing is a complete hoax and Yeah Yeah Beebiss II turns out to be just as mysterious and nonexistant as the prequel. It's more likely that Yeah Yeah Beebiss II does exist though (is there such a thing as being too meta?), and it's great to have yet another new title released for the Dreamcast.

Check out the Yeah Yeah Beebiss II store page here, and visit John Riggs' YouTube channel here.

Update - looks like it's now sold out for Dreamcast, which makes the title of this post fake news. Sorry folks :/ 

Update 2 - Yeah Yeah Beebis II will now be published by UK publisher WAVE Game Studios and is available for pre-order now, priced at £24.99. It is expected to ship in January 2022, which is awesome!

Retrospective: F1 World Grand Prix II for Dreamcast

For a console that lived and died in such a relatively short span of time, the Dreamcast sure did rack up a veritable bounty of top class racers. No doubt if you're a fan of either the genre, the Dreamcast, or both - as I am - then you don't need me to list the big hitters here. If you're not au fait though, rest assured that if you're new to the Dreamcast and you're partial to navigating large, wheeled boxes down tarmac lanes at wholly ridiculous speeds, then you're in for a treat.
As a sub-genre of racing games then, the Formula 1 fan is equally well catered for when it comes to the Dreamcast library. There are no less than 5 separate F1 titles on the platform (well, 6 if you count Spirit of Speed, but in truth that's barely a game; and 7 if you count Super Speed Racing / CART Flag to Flag), each offering its own unique take on the real world motorsport and we have covered them all - albeit briefly - here at the Junkyard in the semi-distant past. But in this retrospective I wanted to focus on the game many aficionados consider to be the pinnacle of F1 racing on the Dreamcast, and also a title - it turns out - which has a fairly interesting origin story and an equally curious legacy: F1 World Grand Prix II for Dreamcast.
Before we even attempt to discuss the game's many positives and numerous failings, I think it is worth investigating the history of the F1 World Grand Prix franchise, and the enigmatic firm behind it - Video System. Video System Co Ltd was a Japanese developer and publisher that began putting out games in the 1980s in both the arcades and on home consoles such as the TurboGrafx-16 and Nintendo Entertainment System. Video System's foray into the world of F1 games began in 1991 with F1 Grand Prix on the Super Nintendo and in arcades; and this game spawned two sequels - F1 Grand Prix: Part II and Part III in 1992 and 1993 respectively.
F1 Grand Prix: Part II is playable on MAME
It was in 1998 that the series was rebooted as F1 World Grand Prix for the Nintendo 64, a game which was developed in partnership with a studio called Paradigm Entertainment. It's here where things start to get interesting, as the Nintendo 64 game and its 1999 sequel (F1 World Grand Prix II) are completely separate titles to the games that made an appearance on the Dreamcast, and they share very little other than a name. The Dreamcast version of F1 World Grand Prix was developed in-house by Video System, and received the suffix 'for Dreamcast,' simply to differentiate it from the Nintendo 64 version.
The N64 version of F1 World Grand Prix
Likewise, that game's sequel - the subject of this very article - was developed by Video System in a silo away from the Nintendo 64 version of F1 World Grand Prix II and comparing the two titles side by side demonstrates just how different they are in almost every way. If they didn't share a title and a publisher, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were from totally separate franchises that featured an FIA license. It gets even more curious when you learn that neither sequel was given a US release (though the prequels were), and the Dreamcast game was distributed in Europe by Konami.
Distributed exclusively by Konami...for some reason
There's precious little information available online about why this was, as Video System was still in a position to distribute its own games in the early 2000s; so why Konami - of all firms - was engaged to distribute F1 World Grand Prix II for Dreamcast in European markets is something of a mystery. Are you still with me here? OK - it gets a bit more interesting now. According to recently published information over at the Lost Media Wiki, a third game in the Nintendo 64 series - imaginatively titled F1 World Grand Prix III - was around 80% complete and fully playable before it was cancelled due to the console's waning popularity.

I mode! You mode! We all mode for i-mode!

I want you to take a little trip with me down repressed memory lane. Cast your mind back. It's 2001. Everyone keeps telling you the Dreamcast is dead, but you're not having any of it. There are AAA titles still to come on the horizon, Dreamcast Magazine is still on the newsstand (barely), and you've got an eye on Lik Sang and Play-Asia for some exclusive import goodness. You're a true believer and you're not jumping the Sega ship yet (or ever). 

But you have a problem. You can't stay tethered to your 15" CRT TV and curled up against the warmth of your precious blue swirl baby. You have to leave the house. You have stupid lectures to attend, and that interminable bus ride awaits. If only there was some kind of portable Sega device you could take with you to while away the drudgery of public transport.

You look to your shiny new Neo Geo Pocket Color, but it's just not Sega enough for you today. You look to your forlorn and dust-covered Game Gear lying under a pile of socks in the back corner. Those capacitors have blown and leaked and it's never coming back to life. In desperation, you fish out the VMU from your Dreamcast controller, but the batteries are dead and there's only so much of Voldo's Volleyball minigame you can take. Out of options, you trudge out into the gloom, resigned to your terrible fate. 

Meanwhile, in Japan...

In June 2001, Sharp released a new generation "J-Phone" - the J-SH07. It was the first J-Phone to be compatible with Java applets, and it also came bundled with Ulala from Space Channel 5 as a kind of virtual pet / avatar on the device.

The more you used your phone, the better your "rating" gets, and as a reward, Ulala dances for you and sometimes changes costumes. You could download more Space Channel 5 related goodies from the "Ulala no Channel J" service.

Watch the Sega shareholder meeting that ended the Dreamcast

I'm sure most of you who have even a passing interest in the history of the Dreamcast will have seen the numerous videos of the Sega New Challenge Conference 1998; during which Sega's final console was first revealed to the world. Obviously, at the time nobody knew the Dreamcast would be the ultimate entrant in Sega's home console hardware catalogue, but c'est la vie innit bruv.

What - I'll wager - most people haven't seen, is the bookending 'Structural Reform Plan Briefing Session, Sega Co. Ltd' meeting held on January 31 2001 during which the Dreamcast's short life was extinguished, and Sega repositioned itself as a software pubisher. I know I certainly hadn't - until now. To be honest I didn't even know a recording of the meeting existed online, not in the public domain anyway, but it seems one savvy YouTuber captured the live feed and subsequently posted it to his channel:


As you'll see from the upload date, Dave Freeman posted this to his YouTube channel back in 2015 and states in the description that he captured it himself from a live feed; and judging from the number of views (around 5000 at the time of writing) not a great number of people have seen this. Through the power of modern technology (well, YouTube) it's now possible to add auto-generated English - or indeed any other language - subtitles to the video so it is fairly easy to grasp what is being said if you don't speak Japanese. To do this, activate closed captions and then select the little settings cog, click on Japanese (auto generated) and from the next menu select Auto-translate. It will then present you with a scrollable list of supported languages.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon this while searching for something else entirely unreleated and thought it was worth sharing here. As ever, apologies if this is old news but I found it quite fascinating. Dave - if you are reading this I tried to find a way to contact you but couldn't - but rest assured, this recording is of historical significance so you were totally right to archive this shareholder meeting for posterity.

Preview: Non Casual Encounter - Prologue

Non Casual Encounter (or, if you prefer, Encuentro No Casual in its native Spanish) is a brand new visual novel for Dreamcast. Developed by SEGASaturno Productions, the game is set for a full physical release in 2022; and we have been given an exclusive preview of the game's 'Prologue' chapter, hence the title Non Casual Encounter - Prologue. Confused yet? I know I am...and I'm the one typing these words.

If the name SEGASaturno Productions seems familiar, it's because this is the same indie studio that brought us the quirky Dreamcastnoid: 128 Bit Wars a few years back - you know, the Arkanoid clone where you had to smash PlayStation 2 consoles and which came on a miniature CD in a tiny case? Yep, that one. Non Casual Encounter is the follow up release from the veteran Spanish outfit - which incidentally is aligned with the popular Spanish language forum SEGASaturno - and the Prologue is a teaser for what is to come in the final game.

A couple of things to mention up top. First - this game represents *gasp!* the first time in my life I have ever played a visual novel, so I go into this blind. I know the Dreamcast has a glut of this type of game (check out DreamPod Episode 73: Visual Novels for a deep dive) but somehow I have simply never attempted to play one. Second - thanks go to Alfonso Martínez González from SEGASaturno Productions for deeming us worthy enough to test this sample of his new game. As he explains, the Prologue will be available as a physical release and will launch around Christmas 2021, with the full Non Casual Encounter releasing in 2022.

As this is a prologue to the final game, the main reason for its existence is to explain what players can expect in the full release of Non Casual Encounter, and honestly, it hits that target rather well. From the very start the sense of humour and self aware, fourth wall breaking dialogue is very well done, and even with the somewhat stilted English translation it is still easy to appreciate the tone. The game knows that it is a visual novel and pokes fun at the genre, inviting you in once instance for example, to ask a character about the lack of music. Complaining about this lack of ambience prompts the narrator to command the Dreamcast to start playing music from the game CD.

In another sequence a bizarre noise starts repeating and I wasn't sure if it was a glitch or something wrong with the game, until the character you're conversing with mentions the noise and explains how to make it stop. It's all very Eternal Darkness, and I really appreciate this type of humour. I don't want to give too much away as there really isn't a great deal of game here - it is after all a prologue - but what there is is certainly entertaining. True, there's not a lot of variety in the gameplay - simply reading the text, pressing A and occasionally choosing between different response options won't be everybody's cup of tea - but from what I have seen so far in this ~20 minute long prologue (with a few additional surprises for those who can unlock them) I am very much looking forward to what becomes of Non Casual Encounter's full fat release in 2022.

Non Casual Encounter - Prologue is likely to be released (physically, on a disc pesented in a cardboard sleeve) around Christmas 2021 for a budget price in order to whet peoples' appetite for the full game. We'll be keeping an eye on this cleverly written little adventure, and no doubt have a full review once it is released.

Keep an eye out on SEGASaturno for more information in the near future.

Update: the demo is now available and limited to 100 copies here.

Previously unseen prototype Dreamcast logo discovered

We do love a bit of internet archaeology here at the Junkyard, and this little snippet of news has 'digital Lara Croft' written all over it. Reddit user u/LeFaggo recently posted the image above to the r/Dreamcast thread, along with a link to the original source - the Japanese Patent Office.

Could this be a hitherto unknown prototype of the Dreamcast swirl we all know and love? The discussion in the thread points out that this mysterious trademark was actually filed after the familiar Dreamcast swirl that made its way onto the final console design; but it is also noted that sometimes trademarks are filed weeks or months after their creation just to keep them in the system, so to speak.

Either way, it is an interesting glimpse at what could have been. Rather surprisingly, this image doesn't appear anywhere in the excellent Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works by Read-Only Memories. Surprising because the authors had full access to Sega's own internal archive; and the book features many concept images for the Dreamcast's shell design. Perhaps this prototype trademark was filed way back in 1998 and simply forgotten about, hidden in plain sight for over 20 years.

Thanks go to Rich from Dreamcast Years, who then alerted my my colleague Andrew Dickinson to this, who in turn WhatsApped me while I was trying to light a bonfire. Oh, and thanks of course to the ever alert r/Dreamcast community for another excellent and intriguing discovery.

Paprium, Tunnels, Intrepid Izzy, Nakoruru, Shadow Gangs, SEGA Powered - Dreamcast news round-up November 2021

Oh hi there. It's been a bit of a busy few weeks hasn't it? The petrol thing seems to be over (for now) but that hasn't stopped all manner of interesting things occuring in the world of Dreamcast...and as you'll no doubt be able to tell from the title of this post, I thought it would be convenient to simply put all of these news snippets together into one post here at the Junkyard, so here it is. A bit like that infoburst you used to get at the end of Bad Influence, but in text form. Bad Influence? No? Never mind. So what's been cracking then? Quite a bit actually...


Oh 'eck, Paprium is coming to Dreamcast!

Yes, everyone's favourite 16-bit Kickstarted ode to Streets of Rage, Paprium, is now coming to Dreamcast thanks to a new stretch goal reached as part of the 'next gen' campaign. Developed by Dreamcast stalwarts Watermelon, Paprium was released for the Mega Drive / Genesis back in 2020 to much critical acclaim and an equal amount of backlash for various reasons I won't delve into here. As a side note, I always thought it a bit odd that there was no Dreamcast version as part of the original campaign, synonymous with the console as Watermelon is after the success of Pier Solar. 

That puzzlement has now been put to bed though, with the Dreamcast being lovingly included as a stretch goal in the latest resurrection of the original Kickstarter campaign to bring the game to...er...modern consoles. The Dreamcast version will apparently be a little unique according to the blurb on the campaign page, which is never a bad thing:

NEW ADD-ON! PAPRIUM is also coming to the SEGA Dreamcast! 6 years after Pier Solar HD, this is to be the second Dreamcast Release by WM! This version of the game is different, in-between the 16-BIT release and the STEAM/PS4/5 release, it boast some exclusive things and take full advantage of the Dreamcast features such as VMU and a 3 player mode without the need for a multitap (of course)! Please note the game is in 4/3 ratio (just like the 16-BIT edition of the game). 

- Paprium Kickstarter

Will Watermelon shit the bed once again with this new release? I really do hope so - we all love a bit of drama. And since I've backed the Dreamcast version, it'll give me something to moan about when it inevitably ships late or gets cancelled. Anyway, check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and get ready to pap. Not even sure what that means. Onwards!


DreamPi creator Luke Benstead is digging Tunnels!

Not actual tunnels, you understand. But I'm sure Luke (aka Kazade) and his development partner David Reichelt are at least as handy with a shovel or a JCB as they are with a Dreamcast. What am I blathering about? You may recall we recently featured news about Simulant, a game engine created with Dreamcast indie development as its raison d'être. As a timely Halloween treat, Luke and David have released a promising Simulant-based demo titled Tunnels which sees players traverse a network of dingy caverns (or, um, tunnels) brandishing what looks like Gordon Freeman's property for protection. Here's a video:

Tunnels is fully playable on stock Dreamcast hardware and it looks like a promising little demo considering how quickly it was put together. From the Simulant development blog: 

Tunnels is a mini-demo of the Simulant engine. It's been written over the past three weeks as a demonstration of what Simulant allows you to do in very little time. Both Luke and David have day jobs, and this has been developed in their spare time - probably an hour a day each at most - and a good majority of that time was spent improving Simulant itself!

Along the way flaws were discovered in Simulant and many were fixed, others will be fixed later. Some planned features were dropped due to limited time, but may reappear at some point. In the future we'll use Tunnels as a test bed for new Simulant features, and as a regression test.

- Simulant Dev Blog

You can grab the demo from the Tunnels itch.io page here and follow the development of Simulant on the blog. Oh, and listen to DreamPod episode 80 if you want to know more about Simulant and the history of the engine.


Intrepid Izzy: Special Edition is now available to order!

We now turn our attention to another Kickstarter-funded title - Intrepid Izzy from Senile Team. If you missed our review of the exquisite platform-cum-beat 'em up, be sure to check it out here. In short, Lewis thought it was a stellar addition to the Dreamcast's stable of indie titles, and easily one of the best to hit the console, even going as far as to label Izzy as "The King (or Queen?) of Dreamcast indie platformers" - they even put that quote on the back of the box for good measure!

The good (better?) news is that a Special Edition of Intrepid Izzy is now available to pre-order from WAVE Game Studios, and comes with a soundtrack CD and a choice of region (PAL, NTSC-U, NTSC-J) packaging styles. 

The initial print run of 750 units [of Intrepid Izzy] sold out almost immediately, prompting a reprint just 28 days after release. The fastest known for an independently released Dreamcast title.

In response to considerable demand for both the game and the music featured therein, WAVE announced that a limited run two-disc Special Edition will be released on November 20, 2021. This version includes an audio CD with the full official soundtrack, and is available in European, North American, and Japanese cover art variants.

- WAVE Game Studios

The fastest selling out indie Dreamcast game, eh? Who knew? Not I. Did you? You do now! Intrepid Izzy: Special Edition launches 20 November 2021. Head over to the WAVE Game Studios website to pre-order it for £34.99. There's also a cool vinyl figure available too, if that's your bag. Actually, buy two and make them fight; with the loser being burned with a magnifying glass.


A new Dreamcast fan translation project - Nakoruru!

Some say he can translate a Japanese Dreamcast game manual without even reading it. Others say he can detect an obscure NTSC-J dating sim hidden at the back of a retro game store from a distance of 40 miles. All we know, is his name is Derek Pascarella. And if you've never seen Top Gear, that reference will go right over your head. If you've been following the Dreamcast fan translation scene for any amount of time, you'll be familiar with the work of Mr Pascarella, who has previously worked on English translations of Dreamcast titles such as Sakura Wars Columns 2 and Neon Genesis Evangelion Typing Project Advanced.

Now he's back with another translation project, Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me, which is a visual novel title set in the Samurai Shodown universe. This isn't actually new news per se, with both MegaVisions and SegaXtreme sharing the original Dreamcast Talk thread back in August 2021. What is new news though, is that our very own Lewis Cox has joined the Nakoruru team as an English language editor, and for this reason alone I wanted to refresh some mention of this intriguing translation project. If you'd like to know more about Derek's past translation efforts, check out DreamPod episode 93 here.


Those pesky Shadow Gangs are kicking bountiful handfuls of ass on Dreamcast!

Oh Shadow Gangs, where for art though Shadow Gangs? Shall I compare thee to a 1990s Sega arcade game featuring a ninja that was then ported to home consoles? So wrote Chaucer, rather anachronistically, back in the mid 1970s after a particularly heavy session on the old crack pipe. Which is quite fitting, seeing as Shadow Gangs is a 1980s themed/inspired side scrolling beat 'em up that people have likened to Shinobi. I haven't played Shadow Gangs myself, but I do recall it being mooted to be heading to the Dreamcast at least as far back as 2016 - possibly even earlier (thanks Dreamcast Today - I knew I hadn't imagined that). The game was released on Steam and other consoles in the fairly recent past however - to generally positive reviews - and now a video has surfaced of a port running on the creaking old Dreamcast. Here you go:

Looks like a fairly accurate rendition to me, and it seems pretty much identical to the video on the Steam page. It appears that another Kickstarter to get Shadow Gangs fully up and running on Dreamcast is on the cards, and we'll no doubt share the news once that project is launched.


SEGA Powered brings SEGA Power back from the dead, with the (unofficial) Power of Sega!

Not exclusively Dreamcast related this one, but I just needed an excuse to type that subheading. Back when I was a wee lad, SEGA Power was one of a number of physical mags I would regularly purchase, and so it was a bit of a no brainer that I would back one-time editor Dean Mortlock's love letter to such an iconic tome. Dean is assisted by Niel Randall (DC-UK), Paul Monaghan (Maximum Power Up) and Marc Jowett (SegaMags), so the knowledge and pedigree is assured. 

The teaser issue of SEGA Powered looks like it will hit all the right marks for fans of the magazines of yesteryear, and I for one will be intrigued to see what kind of Dreamcast-related content is included. Check out the Kickstarter campaign and bag a copy of the mag here. Update - the Kickstarter for SEGA Powered has now ended but I am reliably informed that a website for the magazine will be launched so you can buy a copy/subscription even if you missed the campaign.

There's plenty of other Dreamcast related stuff going on around the internet but I thought I would leave it there for the sake of brevity. Oh, and I got a bit sick of typing the word 'Kickstarter,' but I digress. Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful Dreamcast news repositories dotted around the information superhighway for even more interesting little projects bubbling happily away.

We plan to do these round-ups more regularly from now on as it's just a bit more concise than having multiple posts about stuff, so if there's anything you spot that you think we should include in future news posts, let us know in the comments. Cheers!

Dreamcast is finally on Next Gen and Switch! (yes this is a clickbait article about Super Monkey Ball)

 

And yes, I felt dirty making that clickbait title, even as a joke.

For those of you not in the know, the Sega Dreamcast, as well as the Sega Saturn and Sega Game Gear are now DLC character skins on the Nintendo Switch, as well as the Xbox One, the PS4 and the PS5, although the last platforms I haven't sampled, as I am not made of money! Despite the fact I have willingly paid 3.99 to unlock the in-game skins you can feast your eyes on here. And now that I have had a tiny bit of a break in my stupid, boring adult life I am here to bring you this news, er weeks after it came out. Anyway!

Monkey Ball, the popular Sega franchise that first appeared in Arcades on Sega Naomi, and then later moved to the Gamecube and other platforms has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. And to mark the occasion it released a sort of compilation mash-up of most of its good games (in true Sega fashion there are some shockers in among its collective canon). Dreamcastery aside, the comp is very good bar the new Monkey Target mode and I would recommend it if you have liked any of Super Monkey Ball in the past, unless you only liked Monkey Target mode!



Go Tiny Dreamcast! Go!

Back of the console is represented too. No idea if it's a GDEMU compatible model though

In among the game, you have the option to unlock popular Sega and Dreamcast themed characters, such as Beat from Jet Set Radio and Tales from Sonic Adventure, Hello Kitty is also another Paid for DLC character who has Dreamcast links, although sadly doesn't come with the option to play as the Hello Kitty Dreamcast console. You can also unlock less popular Dreamcast characters like Sonic the HamsterMan.


You can recreate the Dreamcasts actual life by making an incredible start being crashing off the edge of the world

Sadly the characters are only available in the main game mode, so you can't be using your little Dreamcast to soar through the skies in Monkey Target, down the lane in Monkey Bowling or on any of the other mini-games. However, I for one did enjoy seeing the little Dreamcast ripping around in the main game or admittedly better playing as beat; complete with his associated skating animation.

Whilst only tentatively Sega Dreamcast related, it's still cool to see anything of this sort. And at £3.99 for what was already a cheaper than full price game it felt worth it just for the opportunity to grab some stupid screenshots. So feast your eyes on them here, and let us know if you grabbed the game and indulged in playing as a tiny little Sega Console from the past. 



Sonic's rings he inexplicably collects join him too

Petrol Panic! 6 of the best gas stations in Dreamcast games

For a relatively brief period in late 2021, the UK transformed from a miserable, grey, rainswept dystopia into a miserable, grey, rainswept dystopia that had no petrol at the vast majority of its filling stations. Many reasons were put forward for this phenomenon, but the general consensus was that some shitty 'news' websites were hungry for clicks, so they told everyone to start panicking and go and buy some fuel before it ran out...even though there wasn't actually a shortage. 

What ensued was an embarrasing display of idiocy on a national scale, with people fighting over diesel and miles long queues at forecourts. Meanwhile, Hexxus from Fern Gully was rubbing his oily hands at the prospect of another few decades of humans acting like assholes because they couldn't put some 4* in their Vauxhall Cavaliers.

Oddly, Crazy Taxi features no gas stations. I know, I've looked.

Anyhow, It occured to me - while I too was sitting in a 14 mile long queue for petrol, incidentally - that there are numerous games on the Dreamcast which feature equally queue-less petrol/gas stations. And here, for your pleasure is a rundown of six such virtual establishments. It's worth noting that none of the petrol/gas stations here feature a digital queue of Crazy Taxis or Afro Thunder punching people on the forecourt. Which is a crying shame, if you ask me.


San Francisco Rush 2049

It's actually quite a push to think that people will still need petrol stations in 2049 - surely electric vehicles will be the norm then? That said, one of the cars in Rush has an actual rocket engine on the back. Either way, If you travel to the Haight course in San Francisco Rush 2049, you'll stumble upon this double Shell garage that has perhaps the largest forecourt canopy ever constructed. Furthermore, the pumps appear to be emblazoned with acid faces, so maybe they aren't fuel dispensers at all, and are in fact tiny portaloos inhabited by local drug dealers.

Summary: Massively over engineered roof canopy, poor vehicle access, bizarre signage on pumps. Could be a front for more serious gang crime in the wider San Francisco area.


18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker

18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker is a game in which you drive trucks with 18 wheels, while pretendng to be an American. Unless you are an American. And a pro trucker. It's a passable arcade to Dreamcast port that is much less impressive when played on a 14" CRT television in a damp bedroom as opposed to on a huge multi-displayed big rig arcade machine with all of your nonexistent friends cheering you on. But enough of my childhood. On the first stage of the arcade mode (Key West), just after you come off the freeway theres a lovely little Texaco on the right offering various delicious fuels for a bargain price. Also, just beyond said petrol station there's an advertising board with a typo. Which is nice.

Summary: Nice looking, well kept and tidy Texaco branch. Intelligently located next to a busy arterial route. Occasionally an overly aggressive rival trucker buying beers will call you a 'greenhorn' and throw a cup of piss at you.


This upcoming Shenmue anime looks pretty good

The first teaser trailer for Crunchyroll and Adult Swim's Shenmue: The Animation has dropped...and it looks pretty damn good. First announced back in 2020, the animated version of Ryo's revenge saga will be 13 episodes long and is being produced by Telecom Animation Film. Have a look for yourself:

What's not to like? Gravel voiced narration; Ryo kicking ass; Lan Di looking like every bit the evil barsteward that he is...even though I'm hardly the most fervent Shenmue fan, I can appreciate how cool this looks. Still, a part of me wishes they'd have simply recreated Steamed Hams with Ryo and Lan Di, but you can't have it all.

All this talk of Dreamcast-related cartoons makes wonder when that Spirit of Speed 1937 anime is coming out...? Sigh.

New Dreamcast Prototype Found: Panic World

If you've had your eye on the Dreamcast community as of late, you'll probably agree with us in saying that 2021 is definitely the year of Dreamcast prototypes.

The latest unreleased game to enter our collective attentions comes courtesy of Mike Mika, the studio head at the California-based game studio Digital Eclipse. Last night, Mike tweeted a string of tweets that I presume came about as a result of him looking through a treasure trove of Sega stuff. The tweet that peeked everybody's attention, however, was one of a GD-R for a mysterious unreleased game 'Panic World.' "What is Panic World for Dreamcast?," asked Mike (source). Unlike many other legendary unreleased Dreamcast titles, this is one that we've never heard of before. Much speculation occurred as a result. Was it somehow related to Hello Kitty: Garden Panic? Maybe the unreleased Sega puzzler Aqua Panic? Many people hoped it was some kind of sequel to the trippy-as-hell point-and-click title Panic! for Sega CD. Basically, we were all pretty eager for Mike to answer his own question for us.
Luckily, Mike had a System Disc 2, which would allow him to boot the GD-R up on a normal Dreamcast. A few hours later, Panic World was unveiled to the world, for the first time ever. 

Turns out Panic World was a 2D puzzle game (in the vein of something like Tetris Attack) that Digital Eclipse had been developing for Dreamcast that had reached the prototype phase. Mike shared some gameplay footage, then two screenshots of the title screen, as well as what appears to be a character select screen (source). It definitely looks like it could've been quite interesting. The game's aesthetic makes me think less of a Western-developed Dreamcast game, and more of one of the odd but fascinating titles that might have been released exclusively in Japan. Check the gameplay footage and screenshots below:


Rather amusingly, Mike's fellow Digital Eclipse colleague Chris Kohler tweeted "lol let's finish it and ship it" (link). While pretty obviously said in jest, we'd still like to see this game released and preserved in some manner, even if it's just a prototype for us to tinker with on a GDEMU to see what could've been. We're sure the community are already reaching out to Mike to see if he'll dump it online for us all to take a look at, so watch this space!

What do you think of this prototype? Does it look like something you might have enjoyed back in the day? Let us know in the comments below, or on our various social media pages!

Review: Intrepid Izzy

When it comes to the Dreamcast indie scene, the name "Senile Team" is surely familiar. You might know them best for bringing us Beats of Rage, the moddable open source beat 'em up engine for Dreamcast (and other systems) that provided the basis for countless community-developed mods of series from Splatterhouse to Resident Evil. Or maybe you've had the pleasure of playing their first commercially released game; the excellent Rush Rush Rally Racing (or its update Rush Rush Rally Reloaded). Either way, it's definitely clear that Senile Team has pedigree when it comes to the Dreamcast, and now they're gearing up for the imminent August 20th release of their latest title, Intrepid Izzy.

The Kickstarter campaign for Intrepid Izzy went up back in 2017 with PC, Dreamcast and PS4 releases promised. The Steam version has been available since July 2020, but it's the Dreamcast version that many people, including us at the Junkyard (obviously) have been eagerly awaiting. Prior to Intrepid Izzy's Dreamcast release, I was supplied a review copy. Staying true to the Junkyard, however, this review will reflect only my honest opinions, with no influence from the developers or distributors.

The game starts with our protagonist Izzy, who is presumed to be a bit of an Indiana Jones explorer-type (she's known to be Intrepid, after all), opening a treasure chest in a temple only to release an evil blue genie whose main priority after finally being released is chaos on the world. From the initial cutscene, you are immediately given a taste of the game's carefree sense of humour, which often leans towards the drier side of things, and can occasionally get a bit bizarre. Just right for us at the Junkyard, then.

So how does Intrepid Izzy play? In the simplest terms, it's a 2D action platformer, with lovely, hand drawn artwork and fluid, cartoon-like animation (created with custom-made animation software) that gives me vibes of the ever-popular Shantae series. But to just call it an "action platformer" wouldn't be doing the game justice, because Intrepid Izzy is actually pretty deep, dude. While the initial stage is a rather left to right affair, you soon realise that the game has a very non-linear approach to its levels. That's right, Intrepid Izzy's core gameplay is what trendy gaming pundits might refer to as "metroidvania." I'm talking levels within levels, with a focus on light puzzle solving and backtracking. Get that key to open that door there, find a helmet to ride the minecart to a new area, find a new costume to grant you the power to get past an obstacle you passed earlier, and so on. 

Putting on Intrepid Izzy feels like you're embarking on an adventure, and one that is relatively easy to jump into whether you're a seasoned veteran of this style of explorative platformer, or a complete newbie to it, like I am (unless Kirby & the Amazing Mirror counts). Intrepid Izzy's platforming feels and controls great, and with the constant intrigue of treasure and new areas lurking around every corner, it gets pretty addictive. On countless occasions while exploring, I was conscious that I needed to save and come off so I could continue adding to this review, only to find myself attempting one more puzzle, or leading myself down one more passage.

As you traverse the game's many maze-like levels, you will encounter magic mirrors that grant you quick passage to the game's various other levels, as well as a fast track back to Awesometown, a pleasant town that functions as the game's central hub. You will be returning to Awesometown frequently to recover health by sleeping at Izzy's house and making repeat trips to the town's restaurant to replenish recovery and boosting items (which you purchase with coins that you've picked up throughout your quest). Less frequently, you will be dropping by the house of a bearded wizard, who can upgrade your health at the cost of enough heart fragments, which are hidden sparingly throughout the game's levels. Finally, perhaps taking a page out of Shenmue's book, the last building of significance in Awesometown is an arcade where you can play some basic but fun arcade games - such titles include "Plerg", "Ultra Bazoop" and "3D Wheel".

The other big gameplay element of Intrepid Izzy brings us back to Senile Team's Beats of Rage roots. Implemented alongside the platforming is a beat 'em up combat system that is used to solve environmental puzzles and dispatch enemies. You'll be using these fighting moves throughout your journey to rough up various foes, including huge screen-filling bosses. There are also plenty of occasions during exploration where you will enter a room, only to be locked in, with your only path to escape being to defeat a few waves of enemies. These bouts happen quite frequently, to the point where you soon realise that the combat in Intrepid Izzy is just as important as its platforming. 

Rainbow Cotton now has an English Translation!


The ever-busy Derek Pascarella, alongside the same talented team who also worked on Sakura Wars Columns 2, is back with a brand new English fan translation, the cute as heck Rainbow Cotton!

Developed by Success, and released exclusively to Japan in the year 2000, Rainbow Cotton is a 3D rail shooter in a similar vein to Panzer Dragoon and Space Harrier. But instead of playing as dragon riders or space soldier dudes, you take on the role of the titular witch character Cotton, flying and shooting your way through very aesthetically pleasing 3D fantasy stages. While the visuals are an absolute joy to behold, and have been praised highly by many, Rainbow Cotton unfortunately suffers in the gameplay department and has been heavily criticised over the years for frustrating controls and gameplay quirks. 

But if there was ever a time to forgive this game for its flaws, it's now, because it's now fully translated into English! That's everything: in-game text, graphics, and even the anime cutscenes that tell the tale of Rainbow Cotton. Now you can understand what's going on properly. 

If you fancy a peek behind the curtain of how Derek and his team hack and translate these games, then tune into DreamPod episode 93, which features Derek and his co-translator Burntends as guests. Podcast plugs aside, below are all the relevant links you'll need to learn more, and ultimately play this translation. As always, read the Release Notes before playing, and be sure to thank Derek and his crew for another job well done!




To be used with the Universal Dreamcast Patcher.