Leona’s Tricky Adventures Review.

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Ah, Leona’s Tricky Adventures, how long were we waiting for you? It seems that KTX were finding it indeed tricky to keep us rabid Dreamcast gamers in the loop with what had become of the DC/Amiga crowd-funding project that failed to get the backing required back in 2013. Many assumed, us included that the game was to join Reticon’s Tahi in the vapourware drawer forever.

Fast forward to 2016, and what we now have is the first Dreamcast game of the year out of the gate., albeit, quietly.

So the question has to be raised, is the game worthy of your time? Well, I’ll be the first to say I’m surprised that the game made it to production, there was a time where it seemed that the money went down the drain without a trace, sure rough screens and the occasional Facebook status update from KTX made sure we knew it was still a ‘thing’ so I opened the package this morning and was greeted by the packaging of the game, I found this somewhat mixed bag, my leanings were towards liking the design of the artwork and usage of Dreamcast to show it was indeed for the this console but I also found the product design perhaps had the proposed Amiga version in the forefront of aesthetics rather than Sega’s packaging designs but as it stands, it still fits in with the various GOAT and RSG releases in CD jewel cases.

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The CD art is of a very nice standard and is actually some of the nicer designs out there; it isn’t too full-on with text and art but at the same time, isn’t spartan like some other late-era Dreamcast CD artwork can be. The back cover states a little about the story and background talent behind the game along with Sega’s North American peripheral chart icons which is a decent touch that perhaps could have been aided by using the black ‘curve’ design matching later North American Dreamcast products. The booklet for the game could have done with a few more pages and is somewhat the letdown on the packaging side of things.

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KTX has done a good job of making the Dreamcast read the game in a nature that doesn’t strain the GD-Rom drive inside the console, I found my first play actually very quiet from a pickup standpoint, the machine was clearly not under much load. You’re met with an intro screen which is pleasant enough and a decent touch to make the product a little more professional. I found the menu system try basic and although easy to navigate, it wasn’t very flashy compared to 2008’s Wind and Water Puzzle Battles but one would argue it’s less spartan than Irides : Master of Blocks from 2010.

I went into Leona’s Tricky Adventures expecting a basic Amiga-era no frills puzzle game which would be devoid of any real purpose as to what I was doing in the first place but I found in actual fact a charming introduction with a little bit of story and a clear objective of what I was meant to achieve, and although the over world graphics could be argued into the category of basic, I saw charm and thoughtfulness added to the residence of the game world and neat touches in the animation.

Sure, the graphics of such a game aren’t taxing the Sega’s 128 bit graphical prowess in the same way that games like Ghostblade may, but that isn’t the objective here. Leona’s Tricky Adventures really does benefit from it’s over world system and the actual puzzle side of the game has a unique edge over other similar genre games on the system, the title uses an emulate premise requiring the player to create the adjacent image that is required to progress through a set of puzzles leading to an opening in the journey road I found this daunting once the tutorial levels let you loose but I soon found myself getting to grips with it once I took the undo button into account.

Another feature that adds to the charm of Leona’s Tricky Adventures is the soundtrack, this really adds to the feel that KTX were going for when developing the game and isn’t repetitive to the point of becoming jarring – I found myself instantly reminded of Donkey Kong Country when making my way through the initial caves and was pleased to notice that the music changes depending on the area you’re in.

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Overall what we have here is the first Dreamcast title of 2016 and thankfully, it’s one fully worthy of your time if you are looking for a decent puzzle game with charm and depth, the game isn’t unfairly difficult and is presented nicely; the game may not be to the tastes of those looking for fast reflex and action orientated software .

PROS :

—>   Decent, inoffensive music.

—>   Lots of charm and character.

—>   Pick up and play qualities.

 

CONS:

—>  Packaging likely to cause a stir.

—>  Frontend very basic compared to other DC games

—>  Perhaps too tough for some later on.

 

7/10  GOOD.

Volgarr The Viking releases on disc, in secret.

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Some of you may remember in 2015 that a little-known Xbox Live Arcade title by Mad Viking Studios was ported to the Dreamcast as a free release by Marc Hall, this old school, tough-as-nails platform game was subject to a very interesting and dedicated following.

What we’ve learnt recently is that there was also a small quantity (100) pressed to disc which strangely, apart from a select few, nobody even knew about – bearing in mind that Dreamcast Today try and keep up with all the physical releases for the machine, this one totally slipped us by.

The reasoning behind this is that a small German forum called Circuit Board actioned getting 100 pressed copies made and lucky fans where able to buy these for 6.96 EUR and provide their own PAL blue case to house the game in. What we have here is a game which – if never re-printed, will probably be the rarest PAL game for the console.

We can only hope that in the near future, someone else can step up to publishing duties and get the game released. We’ve borrowed this image from Stefan Nowak to show you how beautiful the packaging is on this…

What’s your views, should this game see a more general release, maybe without the certificate to keep the initial batch worth something?

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Is the Dreamcast 2 real? No.

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It may have come to many keen readers attention within the last 24 hours that ‘facts’ are emerging about Sega re-entering the hardware race with what will seem to be a console / PC hybrid games system which would presumably rival Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo once more like those halcyon days of the early 21st century…

Well, although we here at Dreamcast Today aren’t 100% debunking the rumours flying around, what we can say with an air of foresight is that Sega are in no financial position to re-enter the hardware market, R&D costs alone are probably more than Sega’s net value  make a console worthy as a successor to the legendary Dreamcast console let alone the costs of marketing and striking deals to get developers back on board to support the company once more.

New hardware is extremely expensive and risky to produce and bring to market, had Sega been looking to re-enter the hardware race, it would have probably released a console which would have already been prototyped; much in the same vein as Coleco did with slapping their name on the RETRO VGS console earlier this month – this is a low-risk move which doesn’t really put a major player like Sega in too much hot water should it not take off, in this sense, we’d be far more likely to see a revised Dreamcast unit rather than some new all-singing hardware from the company.

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One thing that we all must look at realistically here is; what IP does Sega still have that they wouldn’t mess up on a new system? All of the Dreamcast-era software was a perfect time capsule because it hasn’t been messed with too much post AM2 / Smilebit / Sega Rossa / Sonic Team / No Cliche talent days, we all have seen how later iterations of our beloved franchises have turned out, Sonic being a prime example of this, aside from a few decent Nintendo outings, the games have been borderline unplayable.

Another point worth noting, is where has this information come from? We did a quick Google search and couldn’t find anything worth pricking our ears up about and no ‘major player’ websites have picked up on a possible new Sega machine aside from a flimsy website link which is using an old style Sega logo not used by the company since the Master System days from a passing glance.

What’s your views here?

New Dreamcast game ‘James and Watch’ pops up for purchase.

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Welcome to the twilight period of the year Dreamcast fans, historically speaking, not much action occurs for the console around the holiday season but 2015 has been a different beast, we’ve just recently had Pier Solar unleashed on Dreamcast and Hucast are due to ship the Limited Edition Ghost Blade pre-orders this month along with GOAT confirming what we suspected, SlaVe still needs more time.

So it comes with some surprise that a left fielder has popped up, James and Watch is a retro inspired collection of mini games which has been released for the Dreamcast, what the keen observers may have noticed, although this is a physical release; the quality of the release leaves a lot to be desired. The developer has opted for a Lightscribe disc format which is prone to drastic fading based on it’s heat based printing technology.

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On a positive note, the game does ship as a ‘limited edition’ which includes a custom James and Watch cup – one has to ask, why the developer didn’t instead go down the route of creating a better disc design rather than jumping straight for the extras side of things. Either way, the game costs £25 / $37 the team here will almost certainly hold off to see if a more professional looking product surfaces, marking this as the first release we have skipped.

http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/games/jw_armbreaker/buy_dreamcast.php

Pier Solar HD shipping now, popping up on eBay.

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As most of you would have no doubt had by now, an email was sent out by Watermelon regarding the shipment of Pier Solar HD. The game is now being shipped to all those that backed the Kickstarter way back in 2013.

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It’s been a long time coming but the end is near for Dreamcast owners with the game being in owners hands by the end of November. As per usual with a hot new release for the console, eBay has begun filling with pre-order copies of the game, one would presume that these are the PAL version art of the game and at time of writing, 15 copies at 49 Euro each have been purchased.

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What’s your views on the pricing? Is this a good deal for those who missed out on the Kickstarter? Post your Pier Solar un-boxing below and let us know if you’re enjoying the Dreamcast’s latest treat.

Dreamcast puzzle game, Fruit’Y is available to buy as a physical release, and it’s cheap.

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Remember a while a go we talked about a little-known puzzle game by the mane of Friut’Y by Retroguru? Back then it was a safe assumption that the game would be a free download with the (very) small possibility of a physical retail disc release, well, that small possibility has come true with Dragon Box Shop stepping up to help production of the title and to make things even sweeter, the game is only priced at 2,99 Euro!

There’s little excuse not to pick up this Dreamcast game and enjoy it at this price – one thing is for sure, Dreamcast Today will be obtaining one.

Grab the game via the below link:

https://www.dragonbox.de/en/343-fruity-dreamcast-homebrew.html

Volgarr the Viking released on Dreamcast… For free!

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Yes, you read that correctly, those generous bods over at Crazy Viking Studios have released 2013’s Volgarr the Viking on the 128-bit Sega console. This hard as nails platform game harks back to the days of the Genesis/Megadrive era and marks the first time that a game has been retro-actively ported from the current generation Xbox One back to the humble DC.

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The studio could have quite easily released this quality software on disc and I have no doubt that fans would have lapped it up, but to release it from free is a massively generous step that all Dreamcast owner should take advantage of for sure.

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What Dreamcast Today would ask in exchange and gratitude for Crazy Viking Studio’s work is to head over to their Facebook page linked below and comment that you’re happy to see their games on our system, hopefully they continue to work on the Sega machine in the near future.

https://www.facebook.com/Volgarr?fref=ts

Alice Dreams Tournament hits funding goal with ease, aiming towards more VMU interaction.

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With very little surprise, Alice Dreams Tournament (originally Dynamite Dreams) has easily surpassed it’s initial funding goal for the Dreamcast meaning the game is cementing in for a release on our console that refuses to die.

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The slick-looking title will be released sometime in 2016 after being originally shown way back in 2008 under the title Dynamite Dreams, what is interesting with this particular Kickstarter is how the developers set a very realistic target for the funding barrier and weren’t greedy, this has resonated with gamers and as such has caused the funding to surge to past 12,000 Euro with still 24 days on the clock.

At 14,000 Euro, we will see added VMU interaction added to the game which should become a reality within a week we’d estimate.

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Alice Company have created a beautiful product campaign and have maintained excellent communications with their backers and long-time fans of their work, it’s encouraging to see Alice Dreams – an early platform title from the team thrown in with the collectors edition, if you haven’t experienced this game, Dreamcast Today urge you to fund this version as it’s well worth a play and hopefully one day, will be completed.

Grab a piece of the action here :

Saber Rider to be published by Watermelon.

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We had a feeling that this may end up happening eventually with such potential from this particular release for the Dreamcast, it would appear that Watermelon, the team behind the soon-to-be-released Pier Solar HD have stepped up to the plate for the publishing rights to Star Saber’s Dreamcast release. The game is currently still undergoing it’s crowd funding at this time so it’s unclear if the game will still be published regardless or whether the game must hit it’s funding goal before Watermelon step in to handle the rest, which won’t be an issue as the game has gone over it’s target ensuring a DC port.

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What we do know is that the game still needs more funding to become a fully fledged vision and everyone hopefully should be using the last few days to make it a reality and more features packed into the game, with the help of Watermelon, we can expect to see the correct packaging style being used for the box art and Dreamcast logos in place where applicable, which let’s face facts, we all like our games to have this uniformity.

If you’re late to the party, help funding this game below ;

Could Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs be heading to the Dreamcast?

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Here’s another one that came out of nowhere, based on the cult 80’s show, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs was initially teased as a stretch goal for the Dreamcast but now has become part of the main funding goal along side the PC and 3DS versions of the game.

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  • Real 80’s IP & real 80’s feeling
  • 16-Bit Style Graphics
  • 12 differently themed missions
  • 4 playable characters and their vehicles (Saber Rider, Fireball, April and Colt)
  • Different weapons
  • Intense Mecha battles called “Challenge Phase”
  • Game Soundtrack based on Dale Schacker’s Original Series Soundtrack
  • Voices from the Series featuring Peter Cullen and others
  • Bonus Games & Highscores
  • In-game music box
  • Nintendo 3DS Play Coin Support
  • Full New Nintendo 3DS Support
  • Stereoscopic 3D on Nintendo 3DS
  • Scanline Filter for the PC Version for perfect retro feeling
  • Perfect playability with tight controls
  • Secrets to discover

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The game requires $75,000 as the base goal to make the Dreamcast version a reality, it seems a very interesting title and one that would certainly be welcome in the console’s diverse library. Worth noting is that the Dreamcast version is near on exclusive to the Kickstarter and is due in 2017, hopefully all Dreamcast fans will pledge towards the game and bring it on home.