Zia and The Goddesses of Magic Coming August for Dreamcast.

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Orion Software is a developer that is really making waves in the Dreamcast community in 2016, we’ve already seen Elansar & Philia and Orion Puzzle Collection but now Zia and the Goddesses of Magic is almost ready for release at the end of August, this 16-Bit inspired RPG has been in development for a year alongside the PC and PlayStation versions.

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Here’s a brief run down of the title :

“In a world where magic is Queen, people lived happily and safely under the protection of the ten guardian goddesses. Out of the unknown came a powerful demon who brought trouble upon the world, and all the goddesses got captured and locked away.
Zia is a little girl who lives in a village in the mountains with her parents.
When she was younger, she discovered a spell book and started to practice magic.
An old wise man came and told Zia about the existence of several spell books spread around the world.
During her journey, Zia will discover the trapped goddesses.
Now is your chance to help her rescue the goddesses from the evil creatures by casting magic spells!”

 

How do you feel about a retro RPG coming to the Dreamcast? Is it something you’ll add to your collection? Zia and the Goddesses of Magic releases in the later part of August 2016 and can be ordered here : http://onorisoft.free.fr/retroshop/dc.htm

 

Wind and Water Puzzle Battles gets second wind via Dragonbox Shop

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Cast your mind back to 2008 and you may remember Wind and Water Puzzle Battles being released on the Dreamcast developed by Yuan Works and published by RedSpotGames, the game was an absolutely stunning puzzle game with excellent design qualities and some very well paced action wrapped in a story mode often containing light satirical gags based around the gaming industry. The has been out of print for a little while now with no second batch mentioned or in sight….. Until now.

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Fast forward to July 2016 and DragonBox Shop, the guys behind the disc version of Fruit’Y have taken over publishing of the game and are hoping to bring it to a new audience at only 9.99 EUR. Wind and Water Puzzle Battles was a labour of love for it’s two man development team and deserves to be played by all those still actively buy games for their Dreamcast, you really won’t be disappointed and at this price, it represents such good value for money. Worth noting for variant collectors out there is the lack of RedSpotGames branding meaning this is indeed a second edition release with DragonBox replacing RSG on the rear of the manual with the 2016 copyright replacing the original 2008 one.

 

Grab yours today at https://www.dragonbox.de/en/464-wind-and-water-puzzle-battles-dreamcast-homebrew-4260416650367.html

Shadow Gangs aims to bring arcade brawling to the Dreamcast.

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It seems like Kickstarter campaigns are in full force of late, we’ve had a few successful runs at funding games for our white 128 bit box of joy at times, other games haven’t quite found the funding goal like the recent Xenocider. Thankfully, this hasn’t prevented a UK based developer trying to gain some success (and exposure) via the popular crowd funding site.

Shadow Gangs follows a similar path to many 16 bit era side scrolling beat-em-ups, imagine Shinobi mixed with Two Crude Dudes and you’re halfway to what Shadow Gangs is all about, comprising of 5 missions where players tackle missions ranging from street scenarios to Mount Fuji, the graphics look pretty good and the gameplay is certainly getting there even if the collision animations need some more work – considering the game is projected for release in 2018, we assume that more work will go into the engine and the levels no doubt will be padded out also.

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You can back Shadow Gangs for as low as £30 (plus shipping) here : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1858040208/shadow-gangs-80s-ninja-arcade-action-revival?ref=hero_thanks

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The game will need £28,000 to become a reality, Shadow Team have their work cut out to reach that goal but maybe incentives like a custom Dreamcast and other console support would close the funding gap.

Orion’s Puzzle Collection released on Dreamcast and PC

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This one has been kept under wraps quite tightly it would seem. We had no idea that Orion were planning on releasing another Dreamcast game this year but here is Puzzle Collection, which comprises of three relatively simple games on one disc which will work with Sega’s console and also your PC.

We have Yopaz Icestar which tasks the player of guiding a small round character around a space-like environment and using various obstacles to move the player around, a map editor is included here.

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Yopaz 3D is the same concept as the above game but features 3D environments which add depth to the player’s choice in completing the levels.

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The third game is a small puzzle game which features Internet memes and requires the player to chain combos and get the longest fruit lines possible.

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Orion’s Puzzle Collection is available now for 27 EUR for an International order or 24 EUR to native France.

http://onorisoft.free.fr/retroshop/puzzle_dc.htm

The Curious Case Of Failing Dreamcast Diversity.

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Diversity, that’s something we all appreciate in life is it not? We want different things, excitement, the thought that we aren’t treading the same ground over and over again. The same can be applied to most aspects of human nature, especially in the luxuries market where gaming resides, we choose to continue supporting our Sega console because we don’t want what everyone has; Dreamcast gaming has a certain air of exclusivity to it.

What we have in the Dreamcast community is a unique situation when it comes to software creation and sales, for years we recalled active gamers still purchasing new software that the vertical shooter genre was becoming stall and was almost seen as a lazy way to create a profit (I use profit very loosely) much of this being aimed at Hucast in general in which a small amount of backlash was launched for re-issues of their previous games in different packaging styles, RedSpotGames gave up and went underground after the uproar of the release of probably one of the most fantastic experiences on the Dreamcast this decade, Sturmwind. Let’s also not forget that it’s been long rumoured that NG.Dev:Team no longer support the Dreamcast with new releases; Why?

Well, we’ve got a number of barriers which have actually been in place since the console was still in active circulation 16 years ago, the piracy scene for the machine is still very active, I’ve known of ‘gamers’ who justify their theft of software by paralleling their apparent lacks of funds to buy the latest games, we couldn’t care less if you want to burn a scabby copy of Crazy Taxi since Sega doesn’t make any money on the game anymore, but why on Earth is there still Dreamcast owners making copies of Pier Solar, Redux, Fast Striker and other releases which are still available brand new from the development teams? Is this helping sales for these games, and thus continued support?

Another barrier with any hardware that isn’t supported any longer is the components of the machine in question become tired and worn, especially as the youngest Dreamcast console is probably from late 2001 now, this is leading to ever decreasing circles of commercial viability from developers since the gamer base is shrinking year in year out. It’s probably safe to assume that peak Dreamcast ownership would be between 2002-2009 before machines were posing more problems than their worth. Of course, many developments have been made recently with getting the console to play ball with SD cards and IDE hard disk drives to remedy the Dreamcast’s major failing point; The GD-Rom drive – but ask yourselves this is you will, are these mods pro active in the Dreamcast development scene or are they again promoting piracy? Could be not actually have a sure fire connection from the existing board to an external disc drive? Would this not actually help to play our own bought games and help continue support the Kickstarter campaigns and latest Hucast releases since we’ll actually be able to play them?

Of course, this article is actually released in a timely fashion due to the cancelled Kickstarter of Xenocider, a 3D action game which was seeking crowd funding last month, we didn’t cover much on the game because to be honest, considering the factors above, we were sceptical from the beginning, sure we pledged but one thing we would point out is the demo was possibly not a great idea. The funny thing about playing something before you’ve paid for it takes away the mystery surrounding how the software will handle and play – a closed beta would have been a far better option. Xenocider was looking fantastic and the work that has been completed thus far is far more impressive than we could have even hoped for, but is the instal base still there in the cold light of day? We don’t think it is as tragic as that is and it won’t be until someone works out how to replicate Dreamcast parts or ideally, release a retro console with CD support allowing for full DC emulation.

 

Retro Sumus still plan on pursuing their promising game, whether it’ll be for Dreamcast is another matter but as fans of the Dreamcast, we should have hit that target. Something’s not right, and success within the development community is rapidly dwindling.

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Could Wonder Boy be coming back to Sega hardware?

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If you’re a gamer of a certain age, chances are you’ll remember the Wonder Boy series of games that came out across Sega’s 8 bit and 16 bit platforms in the early nineties. The series went largely dormant by the mid 90’s with the PlayStation generation of gamers missing out on these solid platform antics of yesteryear.

Well, DotEmu who primarily deal with mobile titles are looking to remake the Master System entry, Wonder Boy III : The Dragon’s Trap with console support otherwise not locked down, it could be high time to get your email requests in to the developer via their website stating that we’d like to see a Dreamcast version, one such fan has done just that with the reply certainly not a no if the interest is there. Thanks to Walt Null for sending this in.

http://www.dotemu.com

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Thanks for reaching out!

We both love deeply the Dreamcast. In fact my first game job was for a game the Dreamcast!. In 2002 I ran a gamedev team at my school and we produced 5 homebrew Dreamcast mini-games with student.

Now, for our current game, it is too early for us to tell. Making the primary version will be a lot of work for us and we may not have the resources to do extras, especially if a DC version would sell, say, 500 copies, it would be done at a loss for us and we really don’t have pocket deep enough for that sort of extra-fun tongue emoticon But we’ll see. Thanks for querying tho! and don’t hesitate to share that on DC fans page maybe to help gauging interest.

Omar

Dreamcast Lookback : WWF Attitude.

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Back when the Dreamcast launched in the West in 1999, plenty of developers jumped on board to create games for the system, one such published was stalwart Sega developer, Acclaim; they brought over WWF Attitude as one of their first efforts and upon release, it was very clear that the game was rushed to market having been released on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation earlier that year to mixed reviews.

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Part of the problem with the World Wrestling Federation Attitude was it was pretty outdated roster-wise when it was released the first time around let alone late in 1999 at the DC launch, also the gameplay was considered extremely complex and wooden when compared to the PlayStation exclusive, WWF Smackdown! Acclaim no doubt had to recycle the game engine from WWF Warzone due to them losing the license before 1999 was over.

So, let us take a retrospective look at the game in 2016. Attitude is actually a fascinating look back at the WWF during the 90’s it almost perfectly replicates the atmosphere of the arenas around 1997/98 with no Titantron videos and noisy crowds overpowering the entrance music of the various superstars taking their time to make their way to the squared circle, it’s everything you would spot looking back at old matches, which is curious in that it’s purely unintentional from Acclaim’s part.

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The move set Acclaim decided to use in the game leave a lot to be desired, much like the ECW and Legends of Wrestling games which launched in later years, the player is required to remember Mortal Kombat levels of button combinations to make the player do something other than a basic punch, kick or grapple, one has to question why the Dreamcast’s controller wasn’t mapped out to a degree that utilised the buttons better. That being said, once the player gets used to the various directional-based moves, it’s a quite pleasant experience and certainly one of the better wrestling games that were released on 128-bit systems.

 

Attitude’s graphics are actually very good, certainly on par with the early WWF Smackdown! games, sure, it doesn’t come near to the games that were purpose developed for the Xbox, Gamecube and PlayStation 2 but it’s not a bad looking game, the roster is really where WWF Attitude has an edge, there’s some real blast from the past grapplers on offer here, far more diverse than the first Smackdown! game.

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I actually found the game to have many favourites and actually a few legends hidden in there, Shawn Michaels springs instantly to mind also Sargent Slaughter and Jerry Lawler are hidden until the game is progressed via the career mode which usually just consists of winning one on one matches or worst case scenario, gauntlet tag matches. There’s plenty to unlock and keep you busy here.

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The custom character option is surprisingly in depth, it kicks the competition around the same time into a tin hat, plenty of head, hair, face and size designs on offer also the ability to add text to tops and tights really add individually to the game experience also Acclaim added plenty of custom themes, some of which are very catchy.

All in all, is WWF Attitude a fantastic game? No. It is however a very fun one and really is worth a play if you still yearn for this particular era of wrestling, if you remember WWF rather than the watered down WWE of today, you’re in for a treat if you spend enough time getting to know the game and getting over it’s little flaws.

What Ever Happened To? Part 5 : Drill

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This is one that perhaps not many folk have heard of before or perhaps a title that has slipped from recent memory, Drill was a vertical shooter that was being developed by Handmade Games between 2005 to approximately 2006 for the Dreamcast and was looking mighty impressive, perhaps it’s scope was half the reason it was cancelled as this was a highly polished and accomplished game for the system.

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Drill takes place in Neo-Paris and tasks the player to take the role as Nina, a presumably French witch as you shoot various enemies from the sky in a fast paced colourful adventure with small story-based elements occurring early in the gameplay. Drill features a cool side bar to the left of the screen which keeps your score and HUD items, a nice and professional touch to the game.

The game’s main draw is the drill mechanism which is used to create combos during a play through. A combination of different buttons (A, AB, B etc) allows for different moves to be executed.

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It’s not really clear what actually happened to Drill, their website http://www.drill.rr.nu/ is long since inactive, details are scarce online but plenty of work took place on the game and an early version is actually playable via the usual sources on the Internet. Like most small team DC projects, time and money no doubt played a massive part in the demise of Drill, it’s a shame that crowd funding didn’t exist in the way it does today back then, things could have been very different indeed, even more so if RedSpotGames or Hucast had stepped in for development and publishing help.

You can play Drill in 2016 on stock Dreamcast hardware via the downloadable demo which is fun if not unfinished (the mid-level boss doesn’t show up, enemies recycled, incomplete user interface) but it serves as a fascinating look at the game.

 

Alice Dreams Tournament Cover Art Revealed.

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Remember when the guys developing Dynamite Dreams took to Kickstarter and managed to raise well above the initial asking pledge for their newly renamed Alice Dreams Tournament? Did you Pledge?

Of course you did! Well, today the team have revealed what the cover art for the upcoming game will look like. Things are looking pretty darn fine in first impressions, the covers look very much in the style of Senile Team’s work specifically with the cover art for Rush Rush Rally Racing coming to mind.

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Alice Team have lifted the lid on all three designs (JAP, US & PAL) we have to say that the PAL special edition looks absolutely lovely and we hope that the Dreamcast text and swirl will be used on all the versions which it should be since Pier Solar released with all the logos and typefaces present.

Alice Dreams Tournament releases later in the year and is being distributed by Watermelon.

 

What Ever Happened to? Part 4 : Legacy Of Kain Soul Reaver 2

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When looking back to casualties of Sega’s software only approach of 2001, you’d be hard pushed to remember a dormant series like Legacy of Kain, this was a series of titles released originally starting with Blood Omen on PlayStation and eventually concentrating on Raziel in Soul Reaver which found it’s way on to the PlayStation, PC and Dreamcast – it was this game that kicked started the popularity of the Legacy of Kain series which would spawn a few more games on Xbox and PlayStation 2 before being mostly put to bed in 2003.

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Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver 2 is perhaps the most interesting prospect in this universe of games because it was the first entry solely developed with 128 bit consoles in mind, the Dreamcast version was in development first with the PlayStation 2 version in development slightly after when PS One support was shifted, this was an exciting franchise that was a killer app for the Dreamcast back in 2001, it’s often debated how much work went into this particular version before development shifted again to just the PS2, some images across the Internet show the game with what looks like Dreamcast control schemes but sadly we won’t properly know. Is there a beta sat in someone’s collection? Probably. Will it ever get leaked? Not likely.

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It’s a massive shame that this game didn’t make it’s release, the Dreamcast was crying out for these sort of story-driven titles to bolster out Sega’s arcade output, and we think that this game would have sold well on the console and perhaps would have exceeded the PS2 version in terms of visual output as many early dual releases did.

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You can play Soul Reaver 2 today on the PlayStation 2 and PC these versions released between September – October 2001 with a Steam version released in 2012.