As the title of this article questions, we here at Dreamcast Today are pondering the future of the Dreamcast – namely it’s viability in an ever decreasing circle way. It’s been a busy few years for Sega’s long-discontinued hardware, we’ve come a long way as a small community since 2001, anyone whose ever contributed to funding the latest game release or spreading precious word of mouth serves a hand in keeping the legend alive in today’s market, but as anyone who has bought a second-hand Dreamcast knows; they aren’t particularly reliable as they get older to which the newest example is probably 15 years old at this point.
We’ve seen machines that can easily be fixed from resetting and there’s a work around for the common controller board issues but what about the GD-Rom drive? Sure, there’s the expensive and illusive replacement board allowing for SD and HDD support on the machine neatly circumventing the need for physical media, but this in itself poses a unique situation when it comes to supporting the machine and playing the latest software in the way the developers intended, sure we’ve got many DC owners who will pick up physical copies of new software but as time moves forward, less and less hardware is going to be available and thus forcing current owners to stock pile working units and often meaning the machine isn’t accessible to new generation players and collectors.
We’ve seen the barriers in authentic packaging broken down firstly with Watermelon’s stunning efforts with Pier Solar, using the box designs and logos for all three regions, something that wasn’t attempted on a wide scale before this point but this is something we’ve seen repeated with recent releases like Xenocider, Alice Dreams Tournament (minus the logs design) and JoshProd’s latest 5 PAL releases, to which one of these games, Breakers, will also see a Japanese style release via Play-Asia.
One has to consider the possibility of the Dreamcast hardware being reverse engineered to allow these new and future disc releases being played and enjoyed far into the future. Surely there must be a way, some clever tech expert who could either get a bootable disc drive to replace the aging GD drive or ever better, a machine capable of emulating the console 1:1 with support for ‘retail’ games, it may seem a reality that’ll never occur but it’d sure be a shame to see these brave developers working on Dreamcast games to not have their work fully enjoyed due to hardware shortage and a lack of a growing market for what is considered one the the finest consoles of it’s time.
We strongly recommend picking up the high quality PAL releases by JoshProd with the hope that we will see future output, these games just look wicked in any retail collection!
Some of you who quite enjoy grabbing the limited edition releases on the Dreamcast could today be overjoyed to learn that Saber Rider’s limited edition super jewel 2 disc release is now available to pre-order once more, the Ramrod edition comes with the game, a printed manual, spine card, you own Star Sheriff badge, printed Jesse Blue wanted poster, your name in the credits as well as access to the beta version of the game and closed forums so your experience and opinion matters to the development of the game!
We’re still a little off the release of the game so theres plenty of time to either upgrade your version or pre-order the limited edition, all of which helps with the overall development of the game.
you can pre-order yours here :
That’s right folks, we’ve waited years for Dynamite Dreams to morph itself into the product it is today and finally after quite a short turn around from last year’s Kickstarter campaign, Alice Dreams Tournament is edging it’s way towards being in the hands of the backers.
This fantastic Bomberman homage is sure to bring family and friends together on our favourite Sega unit and we can finally experience the vision of Julien Desquenne and Nicolas Pochet. As we can see in the pictures, the artwork looks fantastic, and although it’s a shame that the Dreamcast logos can’t be used here – it isn’t a deal breaker by any means as the guys have come up with as close as possible designs to the three region artwork for the console during it’s official life cycle.
Pictures taken from the Alice Dreams Dreamcast Facebook page where others can be found.
Cast your minds back dear readers, a few years back, the dormant Dreamcast publisher, GOAT Publishing informed us that they were working on publishing jay Townsend’s SlaVe for the hardware which was projected to release at the time, soon after the announcement.
This was 2014, we’re now in 2017….. Still no SlaVe. What we have had is a series of vague Kickstarter style updates from GSP’s Dan Loosen talking in increasing familiarity about problems with developing the game and a decreasing amount of ‘bugs’ that have apparently littered the game whilst being compiled for stock hardware. We were told that development and testing of the title would pick up pace back in February of 2016 and we had another update in July of 2016 where the tweaking of performance was taking place.
Now, we know here at Dreamcast Today that these developers have their own lives – this isn’t their primary job and much that same can probably be applied for the publishing side of GOAT but SlaVe can almost certainly fall into the category that seems increasing apparent in the Dreamcast scene – the bolt is always shot too early, too many developers / publishers are jumping the gun, announcing titles for the console when they are in no way, shape or form ready to be shown, let alone for pre-orders opening for the game. Loosen’s updates, albeit reassuring – tell us nothing apart from what we know already – the game has bugs, we don’t know when it’s coming and everything seems to have an air of smoke screening.
We have no doubt that SlaVe is coming and the developers and publisher are no doubt working hard on these ‘crippling bugs’ that are plighting SlaVe’s development – we STILL don’t know when it’s coming, it could be next week, it could be next year but what we know for sure is, it’s hideously late and it isn’t on.
Another game looking to make a name for itself on a couple of Sega machines this month is Escape 2042 by Orionsoft, the developer behind Puzzle Collection, Zia and the Goddesses of Magic, Alice’s Mom’s Rescue and Elansar + Philia.
This futuristic retro feel platforming game puts you in the shoes of a scientist at he manipulates and hacks his environment look to seek his freedom. The game reminds us very much of Elevator Action and to a lesser extent, Flashback. There’s plenty of fast paced action including a few mini games thrown in for good measure.
The game currently require 25,000 EUR to become a possibility with both Megadrive and Dreamcast versions planned along with Gameboy too. The Dreamcast version costs 25 Euro with 10 Euro shipping, which is pretty reasonable.
Remember also to pledge towards Line of Fire too.
Back in 2013, the Dreamcast development scene looked a whole lot different to how it does today, we didn’t have many games in the pipeline and it looked almost certain that Dreamcast business was winding down. We didn’t have developers creating new games every six months or so for the console but one such game we were all looking forward to was Duranik’s Sturmwind; an impressive space shooter which started out life as Native on the Atari Jaguar 64-Bit console many years previously.
At the time, Redspotgames were the big players in the DC scene and they handled publishing on a good few titles, sadly Sturmwind would be their last due to a rather botched product shipping method when it came to the collector’s editions of the game. Many of the plastic craft toys were broken and many editions of the game never made it to their owners forcing RSG to go under.
What we have in 2016, is Dragonbox Shop stepping up to the distribution plate this time around, with the game being sold on their website, you may recall them selling Fruit’Y earlier in the year too which unsurprisingly sold quite well with them also re-releasing Wind and Water Puzzle Battles, one of the finest independent Dreamcast releases too.
Sturmwind is available now for 35 EUR and is worth every single penny, you owe it to yourself to pick up this fine effort.
Some time back there were some early shots banded around showing a game very much like Payday, a heist-based game found on Xbox and PlayStation current generation consoles. The Dreamcast Junkyard started revealing this promising game and even back then, it looked to have plenty of potential, if not a little over ambitious for our white console.
Today however, marks the day the game hits Kickstarter and seeks our funding to make the project a reality, we now know you actually play a cop in the game and it mixes gameplay commonly found in SWAT and Rainbow Six. The game is looking mighty fine and is said to be exclusive to the Dreamcast, unlike many other recent projects where the Sega console is usually a stretch goal. We’ve pledged and we hope you do too, stretch goals include even extras like online play too!
You can pledge for a standard jewel case edition, limited edition version and a DVD case version also. Militia Studios have developed In The Line of Fire from the ground up for the Dreamcast and it’s shaping up to be one of the best looking games for the system to date.
Reserve your copy at the Kickstarter link below :
For those of you who may have missed the recent email sent out regarding Saber Riders, it would seem that an addition collector’s edition of the game will be produced in numbers limited to 499.
The impressive looking title isn’t due to come our way for quite some time but that hasn’t stopped the development team forward thinking and using any additional funding on resources for the game.
This second limited run features the same content as the Kickstarter version
– The game soundtrack on 2nd CD
– A printed game manual + Spine Card
– Your own Starsheriffs Badge (EBU)
– The printed Jesse Blue Wanted Poster
– Your name in the game credits
and will cost 99 EUR. If you’re interested, you can pay via PayPal and keep up to date with the game from the below website.
Remember in 2009 when Senile Team released their arcade racer Rush Rush Rally Racing on Dreamcast? The Micro Machines inspired title proved quite a decent seller on the console and spawned a regular version as well as a 2-disc collector’s edition before taking route on the Wii in 2012.
The Wii version came with various upgraded features but sadly due to the nature of the system’s limited online presence, the game didn’t perhaps do the numbers that Senile Team were expecting.
Fast forward to 2016 though, and it would seem that the game is ready to come back to the machine that started it all, our very own Dreamcast. What’s unclear is whether the game will have new features or stick the enhanced Wii version niceties into the original cut of the game. What we do know though is that if you missed out first time around, you really have no excuse not to pick this balls-to-the-wall racer up and add it to your collection when it releases (again).
We’ll keep our ears to the ground and post back once we know some more details.
It’s probably common interest for those that regularly check Kickstarter that a game called Henshin Engine which was initially for the NEC PC Engine was funded within the last couple of weeks with the stretch goal of a possible Dreamcast version, well this has come to fruition and indeed a Sega version of the game will be produced which will launch later than the original 2017 date slated for the PC Engine version of the game.
The Dreamcast version will play closer to the PC variant of the game and will take advantage of both platforms being based on more powerful hardware compared to the PC Engine version.
The game itself is modelled very closely on 16 bit Japanese games from the 1990’s and to a lesser extent, 8-bit. Henshin Engine very much falls into the platform game genre and follows a plot very taylor made for the PC Engine from the blurb below.
We can expect the game on Dreamcast from late 2017 and official word as of yet whether the game will follow the current packaging trend of keeping in line with the PAL / NTSC box format layout.
This story follows gamer-gal Yuki Shirokawa who just started an apprenticeship for the Jipang Electronics Corporation (JEC). Her favorite gaming console is the FX-Engine, a product of JEC. She later discovers something crazy about her beloved FX-Engine that would change her