Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Yet another collection of Beats of Rage homebrews for the Dreamcast has been released.
This time it's all three games in the Splatterhouse remake.
It's the classic Sega game remade for the Beats of Rage engine.
It's amazing how much effort people are putting into these mods.
Check out the special moves for just one of the characters in the game.
*down, up, attack (Head attack)
*forward, down, attack (Slide attack)
*forward, down, forward, attack (Spinning Razor)
*forward, down, up, spacial (Brutal Combo)
*back + attack (Back Punch)
*forward, forward (hold) (Run)
*forward, forward, attack (Shoulder Attack)
*while running press: jump, attack (Long Flying Kick)
*while jumping press: up + attack (Flying Spinning Razor)
*while jumping press: down + attack (Knee attack)
*while grabbing press: up + attack (Kick Blast)
*while grabbing press: down + attack (Heel Attack)
SH part2 Special Move
*back, forward, attack (Special Combo)
SH part3 Special Move
*back, forward, special (Critical Combo)
More about the mod.
Custom Cover and Art
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It's an endless exercise in naval gazing, and completely subjective to boot, but I've recently been hit with three different 'top ten' Dreamcast software lists and in my humble opinion none of them quite actually hit the spot....
I'll tell you about each of them, and then await your own personal input and fave lists. I actually can't give a comprehensive favourite list, because I actually haven't played all titles yet... Maybe Alone In The Dark, Silver, MDK II or Slave Zero could actually be fabulous... I wouldn't know.
OK: List one, perhaps the most controversial, came from Games TM Magazine (Issue 77.) You may remember I bigged up this particular publication (justifiably) as it gave massive column space to our lovely Dreamcast in the closing overs of 2008...
But here's the top ten from them... They actually sensibly put in a disclaimer, which reads thus:
"Games TM runs lists all the time, but this has been one of the most difficult to compile. Dreamcast has so many essential titles we could probably fill a top 20 with those published by Sega alone. As such, you will notice some inevitable omissions from this rundown. Please don't hate us. We haven't the space to fit them all in."
That's a great cop out, and the sort of thing I'd say whilst hot footing it from a situation where someone had just glassed Mrs. K and I was too weak/fat to fight.
So OK here's the list: (And it's in no particular order)
1.) Shenmue I/II
4.) Outtirgger (?????) Not bad, but in the TOP TEN????
5.) Samba De Amigo
6.) Space Channel 5
7.) Crazy Taxi
8.) Chu Chu Rocket (?????) I've always found it pants...
9.) Powerstone (Presumably 1 & 2) Again, I can see it as a good game, but I was always shit at it, so I'm saying hell no!!!
10.) Metropolis Street Racer... OK now I look at it it's actually not that bad... *Cough!*
But!? Ahem??? Exqueeze me??? Where is Soul Calibur? DOA2? Marvel Vs. Capcom? Headhunter? RE: Code Veronica?
OK, now, here's the Retro Gamer 'Dreamcast Special' Top Ten: (And this is in order...)
1.) Soul Calibur
2.) Samba De Amigo
3.) Resident Evil: Code Veronica
6.) Shenmue I/II
7.) Caution Seaman
9.) Skies Of Arcadia
Apart from the order, and it's not THAT wrong, I'm not gonna grumble about this list... Obviously there's no Blue Stinger in there, no Sonic Adventure, no Headhunter, no House Of The Dead 2, Virtua Tennis or Crazy Taxi, but it seems a more... in keeping with Father K's list, so I'll let it go...
And now the list from Gagaman(n)'s fabulous video post, from G4TV... (and again it's closer to my list so I'm letting it go without a scathing comment...)
10.) Virtua Tennis
8.) Powerstone 1 & 2
7.) Skies Of Arcadia
5.) PSO Online
4.) Crazy Taxi 1 & 2
3.) Shenmue 1&2
2.) Sonic Adventure 1&2
1.) Soul Calibur
OK! It's there! And I'll sneak back to the first and most controversial list's disclaimer and state that it's virtually impossible to boil down that list to ten essential Dreamcast games.
For me it goes like this...
10.) Blue Stinger... Not 'cos it's great, but perhaps (or because) it's NOT that good, but along with Ecco 2, it was the game that I got bundled with my first Dreamcast... (This was in 2004 peeps, and ashamedly a good two years after I bought my kids a PS2.... But I fucking love Blue Stinger... It's a Dreamcast classic!!!)
9.) Headhunter. Have I ever completed it? NO... Is it a completely gratifying game? NO! But look at the gaming world it furnishes you with... Look at the graphics! Look at the fake advertisements that build the game up in it's alternative fascist America! I t's a master-piece! And it's always got me wondering about how great GTA could have been on the Dreamcast....
8.) Sword Of The Beserk: Gut's Rage. Well the graphics aren't that great, the story is somewhat erratic, but the sum of the experience puts it in at number 8... It was the last Dreamcast game I completed ( I think in Autumn 2008). I enjoyed it immensely! This was a period when I barred myself from current gen consoles, forced myself to bask in the glory of the Dreamcast and enjoyed completing a game that had languished in my DC collection for far too long.
7.) Crazy Taxi 1&2! Well, whilst I love this game and have played it many times on the Dreamcast and indeed in the arcades, the simple and crushing truth is that I'm not that good at it. My desire to hold a class 'A' license and make pots of money have never been realised...
I now whore it out to the kids at my school as this Check it out and enjoy!!!
- 6.) Caution Seaman! Although many websites will advise you that this is not a 'game', I'd defy you not to know and love this as one of the most essential Dreamcast experiences out there...
5.) Sega Rally 2.... OK, maybe I stand alone in thinking this was one of the most essential driving games on the Dreamcast, but after spending years (right up until this one) playing Sega Rally on the Saturn, it might come as no surprise that I loved it's successor. Not as good as it's Saturn dad, and far inferior to it's 360 son, it's still a great driving game that deserves it's place in my top ten...
And now we get down to the big Dreamcast faves...
4.) Sonic Adventure 1&2 : OK, let's be honest! I never completed either of these two titles, but I spent many happy hours titting around with my Chaos on my VMU! And let's face it, Sonic never looked so good as he did running away from the whale that he was determined to escape in the eary stages of SA1...
3.) Resident Evil: Code Veronica: If I had to sum up this game, I'd say it made me beam and cry in equal measure. Beam with joy at the story-line, graphics and game-play and cry at the... erm... story-line, graphics and gameplay. Having picked this up, just after playing RE4 on the PS2, I found this title both enthralling and frustrating. I could wax lyrical on the subject for hours, but as anyone who's been around here for a while will know, I never finished it, watched the closing sequences on Youtube and have been bitter about it until this day.... *COUGH!*
2.) Soul Calibur: Surely the best ever fighting game on any console ever!!! Soul Calibur brought home the magnificence of the Dreamcast to me, not only in how great it looked, but how easy it was to kick the ass of any 'pro' who dared to step up to the plate... I'm still aroused by Ivy's assets to this day and the 'Mission Mode' kept me hooked and collecting art cards and collectibles' for weeks....
1.) No surprises here for anyone that knows me. It's Shenmue I and II. Surely the greatest videogame of all time. I've spent weeks and months in Ryo's world, and hanker for it to this day.
When I first got the 360, this was the second game I played. Having sadly never owned an Xbox, I had even sadlier bought the Xbox version. (BTW I made the word 'sadlier' up to describe how sad I am/was...) It had been sitting there with it's lovely Shenmue 'catch up' DVD.
I could not resist re-living my Dreamcast glory days through on my new 'next gen' console. I'm even thinking of resetting my Dreamcast's date and time so I can wander into Dobuita and bump into Father Christmas....
Anyway, the long forgotten purpose of this post was to invite you all to name your favoutite Dreamcast top ten... I'm intrigued to know your answers!!!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
So December has rolled around and 'quel surprise' so has another announcement from Hucast, namely that the 'new' scrolling shooter for the Dreamcast, Dux, has had it's release date put back again. (It was originally supposed to be issued in July...)
This latest delay announcement came with the following message:
As the trailer shows DUX has almost reached its final state. So the game itself is pretty much finished but it takes more time to get the game run flawlessly on the Dreamcast - that's the main reason why this game has yet to be released. Currently it's not easy to give an exact release date so you can expect the game early next year.
We hope everyone who has a pre-order for the game is not discouraged by the many delays and understands that we want to make and release an flawless product."Well I'm afraid I am very "discouraged" by the latest delay. Developers Hucast were quick to take my pre-order money when I was expecting a new Dreamcast game back in July. I don't understand the complication. Of course I wouldn't want a flawed game, but contrast the development process with that of the very slick Redspot Games who delivered us 'Last Hope' and 'Wind And Water Puzzles'.
Personally, I now couldn't give a flying fuck whether or not Dux comes out. I've written off the cash I assigned as a down payment, and any enjoyment I might have had from the game has been forever tainted by the bullshit and bollocks spewed forth from the turds at Hucast.
Sorry if this seems unfair/unreasonable, but it's how I feel. Bah! Humbug!!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
This is my Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) Dreamcast system. Sakura Wars is one of the largest RPG and anime franchises in Japan. In 2006 I went to the Sakura Taisen café in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Inside, the waitresses were dressed as the very characters printed on this limited edition Dreamcast. For those of you interested in Sakura Wars, I plan on doing a special feature at some point. There have been many limited edition games, including goodies ranging from calendars to music boxes, included with the games. Anyway, this one is pink (yes, girls either love it or worry about your sexuality), there's a matching controller and VMU too. All boxed. Lovely.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
For starters the Dreamcast is a Japanese model with it's shiny triangle by the light and big metal fan, possibly one of those early 1998 ones as it has no phone cable socket in that modem attachment. Unlike my previous ventures with Japanese Dreamcasts' (which both turned out to be broken), this one has a step down converter and best of all..it's had a mod chip installed so it can play games of any region without the need of a boot disc.
One of those broken Japanese systems I had also had a modification: someone had replaced the Japanese power board in it with a British one, which simply means it now took British plugs with no need for a stepdown converter. So not long after this new one arrived yesterday I popped the two open and swapped the power boards around and wala! My new system now had two mods to it. Now all it needs is a direct VGA socket hack and it'd be perfection. I'll use the stepdown for whatever other Japanese electronics I get (like a Japanese Saturn one day) and sell off the broken systems.
Another reason this bundle was a great deal was the games. A mixed bunch from every region, the games that convinced me to make offers on the set were Gigawing 2, Radilgy and Trizeal. All three of these games would cost me quite a bit separately, possibly around £40-50 each. The guy who owned it clearly had good taste: just have a ganders above at the 12 games that came with it. There was also two light guns in the box, a controller and a black VMU. Not all the games were in great condition (Power Stone in particular was pretty wreaked), but it's still a fantastic lot.
The system is a real joy to use. When you start the console up with a PAL or American game in it, you can hear it stop and start the disc while on the Sega screen, which must be the how the mod works, recreating the disc swapping in a second. It's also very quiet, so it must of been looked well after. To make sure it stays that way I won't be sticking any CD-Rs into this one, I'll keep one of my PAL systems beside me to swap in when I want to play homebrew or emulators and as for CD-R copies of games..I have so many of the games I want now I'm barely going to need them.
The last couple months have been quite busy with spending: I've been buying Dreamcast stuff a plenty. The lot above came from a ebay shop that has tons of sealed stuff selling cheap. I got a total of six VMUs (two of each colour) as well as Heavy Metal Geomatrix, Kao the Kangeroo and Charge N' Blast.
These second hand ones (top row) came from someone in America and were unfortunately in pretty bad shape (I-Spy has it's back pages of the manual ripped out and a cut out hole in the back cover) but playable. The two in the bottom row were found at a boot sale, although those have completely dried up for the year now, what with the cold weather. Probably why I've been going so Ebay crazy.
Here's another load of Japanese games I got cheap. I'm going to be digging out some translation guides to play Rent-a-hero and Sakura wars 3 (always wanted to see what the fuss was about with that series) and both Cool Cool Toon and Tokyo Bus Guide are quite addictive. I also have a japanese copy of Shenmue with the Jukebox CD, which means I know own Shenmue on every region. Oops! Probably best if I got rid of the PAL one then, to save shelf space.
Finally there's these two little oddities. These demo discs called "Dreamcast Express" were apperently only availble if you joined a Sega club of some sort, and come with two discs each. One of the discs has a full on interactive video tour of Tokyo Game Show '99, which is rather neat.
Now I just need to wait for my Segagaga box set to show up! Oh dear, my poor bank account.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Yesterday I stumbled across this archive on Sega's Japanese website that lists every single game released for the Dreamcast in Japan by release date with box art, so being the obsessive compulsive I am, I decided to save every single one of the 500 and something front covers. Then this morning I decided to hunt down this online program I saw used for something about the history of animation called Dipity, which lets you create a full interactive timeline with images, info, video etc. It's really simple to use and all of today I've been working on a timeline of the Dreamcast's many game releases, starting with for now all the Japanese ones which I have these cover images and release dates for.
Consider this my late present for the Dreamcast's 10th birthday. It's a work in progress but there is already quite a few entries there (all of 1998, most of 1999, some of 2000 and most of the latter years), mainly just showing the box art and on some a wikipedia link, but I plan to take the descriptions from the long dead Dreamcast Junkyard wiki and add them to the games info too. This may take quite a while so i might need some help with it, especially for hunting down the English language names for a lot of the games (most are on segagagadomain, at least). I'll see how I do.
So try it out, I've embedded it above. The further you zoom (I find the 1 month setting is the best), the more you'll see. There's also a flipbook which lets you look at the covers much bigger, and a list, it's all very clever how it works. It really does show just how quickly all our favorite DC games were crammed onto the market, with many weeks featuring about 3 great games at a time.
Having read the quite spectacular Dreamcast tribute in the most recent edition of the wonderful Games TM magazine, I've got a little nostalgic for my little white box. That doesn't mean I've been playing on it, lord no! The ubiquitous 360 has killed off my regular excursions onto the Dreamcast in quite an alarming way.
Maybe the arrival of Dux will turn me back (Wind and Water Puzzles has not prised me away from GTA IV or Fallout 3 recently and maybe it's silly to put those games on the same page?)
However, I dabbled on the old eBay to check out the prices of Lack Of Love. You know 'LOL'???
It was the progenitor of Spore, an emotional 'evolution simulator' sound-tracked by that dude from the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Apparently a forgotten Dreamcast 'classic', it could have been yet another Dreamcast revelation that I probably would never have played.
But when I checked out the price it was asking between £60-£100+. Well you know what I thought? Fuck that!!! I want a new Shenmue, Crazy Taxi or Headhunter. Scratch that, I want some clever mod /emu type to deliver me Blue stinger 2!!!
Rant over, I promise. The point I was about to make was that I stuck around on the Dreamcast section of eBay and stumbled across what I considered to be a 'must have' purchase. In a nutshell I discovered two brand new, boxed up VMUs for £3 + postage.
When factored in a £1 donation to the NSPCC, plus my complimentary festive Paypal voucher of four delicious pounds off any purchase on eBay, the whole package cost me £2 (inc postage).
That's a sum total of £1 each for two boxed up, coloured, see-through US VMUs. Only two years ago, I payed £15 for ONE. Point being, now that we are in full on credit crunch recession, (plus the 'current gen' has truly arrived), there are many, many sweet Dreamcast deals to be had...)
The batteries alone (to power a VMU) cost more than I paid online. Get surfing people and let me know what lovely bargains you have secured!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
By the way, about the game, I have it and I've played a couple of stages already (one of each type of gameplay) and let me tell you, so far this looks like the best Sonic game that came out after Sonic Adventure 2. Surprising, I know, but really, unless something really disappoints me in the next stages, this is going to be a blast to play. The speed stages are simply made of awesomeness, the town stages are pretty much like they were in SA1, only a little less annoying, and the infamous werehog levels are...not so bad, actually. They're a little tedious, yes, but they add variety to the game and keep the speed levels fresh. Besides, even the SA games were not made of speed levels only.
Like I heard someone saying recently, the problem with a lot of people nowadays is that they don't even know what they want in a Sonic game anymore, and while Unleashed is not its best title yet, it's definitely a huge step forward in the right direction. It doesn't even compare to the disgrace that was the first Sonic game on the 360 and PS3...