About MICFilms LTD

Welcome to our section of the Internet where we blog about various things, included here you will find 'Dreamcast Today' which covers news on Sega's last machine to hit the market, 'Peugeot 205 STDT Register' - aiming to document the remaining survivors from Peugeot's STDT range. 'Mike and Forbes Variety Channel' where we post on Youtube and house all our previous episodes along with progress .

Dreamcast ‘Pocket Console’ Incoming.

Strange things happen sometimes, we see all sorts of DIY mods from case designs to actual hardware changes, what happens when these two ideas collide? Well, the Dreamcast Pocket Console is what happens, remember the Treamcast from 2001-2002? Well, imagine that sort of idea but instead of fusing a PS-One screen onto a DC for in car usage, the Dreamcast Pocket is designed to run on SD cards which most likely is using the cloned version of the GD-EMU emulation board at the best case scenario, worst case would be DreamShell.

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At the moment the page link which takes you to AliExpress, has no further details and you’ll have to reserve one at £310 if you’re interested, which leads us to think that these are stock consoles that are ripped apart and spliced into the modified casing of headrest in car DVD player equipment. Of course, with the lack of a disc drive from what we can see, this console isn’t exactly good for business on the console, as the only way to play games would be to downloads disc images, so no new software could legally be experienced, which is a shame, of course, that rear panel could be the disc drive but it looks more like a battery unit. The seller has zero feedback so approach with caution here, if you must buy one, wait until there’s at least one out in the wild…. Now, if only someone could work out how to clone the entire system…

 

Check out the sparse placeholder page here :

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/584088954.html?tt=sns_none&aff_platform=default&cpt=1537522045124&sk=bbuYIKd3&aff_trace_key=fe95aef5cd6648e391f9bb1256fffdce-1537522045124-05136-bbuYIKd3&terminal_id=a88157671f344518b0b011591a84529a

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Happy (Belated) Birthday, USA Dreamcast!

We’ve all seen around the Internet over the last few days that the Dreamcast has hit it’s 19th birthday, that’s right – let that sink in; 19 years ago on 09/09/1999 (October 1999 for us Euros) the first 128 bit system to hit the market would appear and of course with Sega’s dwindling finances, consumer support and lack of faith and communication internally we saw the tragic end of the machine in 2001 with the year coming and going and the console not missed by those moving on to the other choices at the time, it’s in the death of the console that a real fanatical movement happened, much in the way an artist is at their most popular post-death, the Dreamcast’s fire burns stronger today than anytime before.

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Recent years have been especially kind to the console, support is at an all-time high, perhaps based on the foundations of lofty Kickstarter campaigns in previous years, the promised software count is perhaps at it’s highest since say, 2002. We’ve certainly had more ups rather than downs, the console has seen the once pioneering online aspect resurrected via Dreamcast Now!, the console’s alternative and updated idea based around the foundations of DreamArena many years before.

Game releases have become more and more high profile, who could have predicted that your almost 20-year-old hardware would be playing host to a port of Fade To Black? What about a port from the PSP in the shape of 4×4 Jam? Perhaps a selection of Neo Geo games thrown into the mix… Maybe even it would be a seeing is believing scenario to expect a licenced title based on Saber Riders? It’s all here thanks to dedication from publishers like JoshProd, with a continual stream of diverse software filling the console library (and our gaming shelves) long after Sega decided to leave the Dreamcast in the hands of the gamers. In previous years, RedSpotGames, NGDev.Team and Hucast have picked up the support for the console where times have been quiet but these teams have all but faded away, leaving JoshProd and to a lesser extent, GOAT Publishing to pick up the reigns with the former actually crafting some of the best boxed product we’ve seen since the demise of the machine.

So ultimately, rather than looking back, let’s look forward – where do we stand in 2018? Well, we’ve been lucky enough in recent memory to finally resurrect machines with tired and burnt out GD drives with the GDEmu SD solution, and although these have proven hard to obtain, this year has seen the biggest breakthrough with reverse engineering this sort of product to allow a more mainstream penetration, keeping consoles out there on the market. Also we have seen Sega team up with RetroBit to release a range of retro-inspired controllers based around Sega’s legendary pads.

As we mentioned earlier in this post, the highlight has to be the support which has been building steam since 2017, in the old days, we’ve have to put up with lengthy crowd-funding campaigns with sometimes no sign of any actual product at the end of it or information being dangerously sparse perhaps due to real life getting in the way and high ambitions, one would question when games like Elysian Shadows will become a tangible product, although lengthy blog posts show plenty of progress, whether the product can match the tech-packed development remains still a mystery, the same could be thrown in the direction of SlaVe, having almost forgotten about this one, it is still a hangover from the days of massively unfinished projects being prematurely announced with nothing but a lengthy to show for this to date, Hypertension and Scourge sit comfortably in this area too.

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This is perhaps what makes JoshProd with their partnership with Rushongame and Play-Asia a unique approach for Dreamcast gamers, taking games that have already been on the market or ports of existing software with a maximum of 6 months waiting time between announcement and product really restores the confidence that was in danger of being lost by even the most die-hard Dreamcast consumer in recent years whilst not drowning the market in re-releases, we’d love to see Piko Interactive follow in these footsteps since they have dipped their toes into Dreamcast interest recently.

So there we have it, the Dreamcast is still very alive today, the games are there, the repair parts are coming along leaps and bounds, online support is there again and respect for what this machine achieved both yesterday and today is discussed in greatly fond detail in today’s market. Happy birthday Dreamcast – we’ve all still got your back.

Latest Dreamcast releases missing this one tiny detail….

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As Dreamcast fans, by now, we’ve most likely become quite accustomed to having our latest games available in the blue PAL Europe style boxes with the semi official look fitting in perfectly with other games released on the system up to 2002. If you’ve bought the previous batches of JoshProd releases you’ll notice just how close these games look to late retail games on the system.

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It’s been a collector’s dream to have such attention to detail lavished on the box art for these games, following very much in the footsteps of Watermelon’s Pier Solar which also saw a PAL release style of packaging too. However, it would seem that things have slightly changed with the most recent set of JoshProd games, if you look carefully on the front of the artwork, the Dreamcast logo and banner are absent meaning that these games share more in common with pre-2000 software rather than the later type which most collectors will have no doubt noticed. Sure, it’s a very small niggle, having spoken to Philippe Van Trong Nguyen of JoshProd, he confirmed to us that he would rather not possibly infringe any possible copyright by using these designs, it’s a shame really as uniformity is usually key with collectors of these types of games and that’s not to say we don’t understand why the changes have been made as we do. What perhaps would be nice would be much in the same way that Super Rare Games and Limited Run Games handle their packaging with having the number of the release on the spine of the game to make them stand out in a more positive light, urging buyers to grab the whole set… Just a thought.

 

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As seen from footage taken earlier in the year showing Battle Crust, the idea of adding the banner had gone as far as the mock up of the artwork stage, also Another World has been previously spotted with the late Dreamcast banner added even on Philippe’s Facebook page from 2016. Either way, it’s only a small detail in an otherwise excellent set of games, have you pre-ordered yours yet?

Wave 3 Dreamcast Releases Available to Preorder on RushOnGame.

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As you have most likely seen by now, JoshProd has been teasing a reveal banner this week to which each day leading up to the 10th May has shown another blank square where a ‘hidden’ Dreamcast release hides. Well, we now have a clear picture of all the the games we can expect in the 3rd round of releases! There’s some interesting titles here  with one which is a surprise entrant, we already knew about Flashback 2 (Fade to Black), Battlecrust and The Escapee but Bang 2 Busters and Another World are interesting choices that weren’t common knowledge beforehand.

Bang 2 Busters is a cutesy platform originally for the Neo-Geo developed around 2000, you take control of the character using enemies as your projectile with careful aiming, an enemy can be used to dispatch the other threats in the level and pick-ups are available once enemies are taken care of, it’s an odd blend really that perhaps wouldn’t look out of place on the Amiga but gameplay-wise, it looks like it could be a whole load of fun, check the video below of the AES version.

 

Next up is Another World, which has seen an unofficial release on the console before this point but this time around, the game looks to have additional features some of which are shared in the 20th anniversary release if the trailer is to be taken literally. Another World follows in the same gameplay mechanic as Flashback which is featured in the last wave of releases for the console, we look forward to giving this one a shot when it comes out later in the year.

The Escapee, Flashback 2 and Battle Crust will prop up the aforementioned games too, all 5 are available to pre-order as a set from RushOnGame or individually too, it’s worth noting that the later style ‘ Dreamcast ‘ banner and swirl aren’t featured on the packaging for these games, one would hope that JoshProd reconsider this as all later software featured such design whereas earlier software had no logo on them, it would be nice to stick to the uniformity from the previous wave of games.

Here’s a handy link to get your pre-orders in now :

https://en.rushongame.com/sales/dreamcast-may-2018/

Pre-order the latest batch of games this month.

As reported earlier in the year, there are new games coming to the Dreamcast this year via JoshProd and sold via Rushongame, these 5 games which we assume are Battle Crust, Fade to Black, The Escapee and Okinawa Rush with one game being a mystery, this game could indeed be Saber Riders although that game does already have it’s own pre-order section on Rushongame’s website. We could very well be in for a yet-to-be-publically announced game for the system.

Naturally we shall be pre-ordering the whole bunch so we can bring you an extensive look at the games themselves, what’s your views? Are you pre-ordering some, one or all?

Whatever Happened To? Part 8 : Black & White

In this installment of our alternative reality look back, we pick a game which is almost never discussed. Set your minds back, it’s 2001, arguably the Dreamcast is set to have it’s most interesting year for PC based ports. Rather than the lazy PS-one conversions that gamers had become accustomed to, we were looming on more carefully planned out releases to compete with the other systems from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. One such game was Lionhead’s Black & White, this game was to be released on the Dreamcast in 2001 shortly after a proposed PS-One version of the game, with 2001 coming and going, neither of the games materialised, why is this?

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We can’t comment on the PS-One release, perhaps that was to do with the PS2 being the console to own by then, taking away the buzz from Sony’s aging hardware. The Dreamcast version most likely was canceled due to Sega’s decision to pull out of hardware manufacture in January 2001 and the development of the game taking too long according to Peter Molyneux, let’s not forget that for its day, this was a massively ambitious game to port to consoles, it’s worth noting that PS2 and Xbox versions of the game were canceled too after 2002.

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So how far did we get to getting this once promising title on the console? Well, not very to be honest. I would expect that aside from porting over some assets, Lionhead probably didn’t pursue the idea of a Sega version for long, no actual evidence of the game running on the system has ever been shown, and should it exist in any form, we’ll bet it is locked away safely where it’ll never been seen again, curiously enough, the game was mentioned in a retail point of sale hand out alongside Half-Life which one would presume is where the pack shot for both games came from.

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Unlike Half-Life though, Black & White was later removed from the 2001 games flyer found in first party software, as seen, there are notable canceled games on the list already so perhaps Sega already knew that progress wasn’t commencing on Black & White.

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Where can you play the game today?

Well, as we mentioned above, only a PC release actually happened in the end, so that is the only way to play this game, as is often the case, the game play mechanic is perhaps a little basic by the standards of today, but to serve as a what could have been, check it out.

More Dreamcast games coming!

Hot on the heels of Battle Crust being shown off in a JoshProd Youtube video this week, it turns out that more games are heading to the system this year, as is the nature of JoshProd’s releases, there is usually a batch of games released around the same time and offered in a bundle.

The news first broke via Dreamcast News and then later The Dreamcast Junkyard lifted the lid further with a detailed rundown of each of the games. What we have this time around is an eclectic mix of old and newish starting with Steam’s Battle Crust which we talked about recently the next on the list is Escapee which as described by the above DC sites, plays like Flashback which was already released on the Dreamcast in the last batch of JoshProd games, a trailer for this can be found below :

The Escapee is by Invictus Games and was originally released on Amiga with ports to Apple TV, Android and iOS later.

Next up we have Okinawa Rush, this fun looking scrolling brawler boasts a ton of cool moves with a levelling system for the player’s character in addition to this, a deep parry mechanic allows the player, with the right timing to parry most oncoming attacks, this game looks right at home on the console. Okinawa Rush was a Kickstarter in 2017 for PC, Xbox One and PS4 where it met it’s target, we can’t wait to play it on the Dreamcast.

Next up is Fade to Black, does this game sound familiar to you? It should do! This was the follow up to Flashback and was released in 1995 on PC and 1996 on PS-one, ironically the game was published by Electronic Arts so would never have made the Dreamcast even in it’s ‘day’. The game is Gauraud shaded on PC and texture 3D on PS-one so it’ll be interesting which version the Dreamcast gets, it’s certainly an odd choice to release it all these years later with 3D ageing far more drastically than two-dimensional games but a welcome addition since with have Flashback already on the system now.

Of course we also have Battle Crust as well which no doubt will find a natural home on the 128 bit Sega console, we have a feeling that JoshProd may very well have other games yet to be revealed too, history has told us so far that there is usually 5 games to each batch and Saber Riders is most likely the 4th game here, we’d predict that perhaps there is a racing game  yet to be shown fully aside from a few teases here and there.

Make sure you head over to the mentioned Dreamcast sites as well as JoshProd’s Facebook page to keep updated and spreading the word, let’s keep these releases coming!

Battle Crust is your next Dreamcast purchase.

JoshProd, the published behind last years slew of PAL designed Dreamcast games is continuing into 2018 with another publicly announced shoot em up for the system, Battle Crust, upon some quick research of the title, we found it to have been released in 2016 on Steam originally, it’s a 90’s inspired shooter featuring 6 levels in which you’re able to pick up assist items on the way to help your mission such as the charge shot.

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From what we can see of the game in the trailer, the game looks to be fun and features a vertical playing field unlike Sturmwind and Dux which scroll horizontally, the original developer of the game is Picorinne Soft whose other work is Infinos Gaiden – a horizontal shooter released this year .

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By catching the teaser on JoshProd’s Facebook page, you can catch a glimpse of the game on the DC as well as the cover art too which is looking fantastic as usual.

Battle Crust will be released this summer which we’d assume will be via RushOnGame.

40 Winks possible for Dreamcast after all.

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Since the recently launched Kickstarter for the Nintendo 64 version of 40 Winks was created, there was buzz and rumour surrounding a possible Dreamcast port of the game being a hidden stretch goal, 40 Winks was originally released for the Sony PlayStation in 2000 with an N64 version to follow, this latter version never happened due to GT Interactive hitting financial turmoil which was a shame considering the Nintendo version was due to have a multiplayer mode not found on the 32 bit incarnation.

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Well, it turns out today that after the runaway success Piko Interactive has been having with it’s Kickstarter – the game has been souring through it’s stretch goals, the team have now revealed that should the game reach 200,000 dollars, a ground up version will be developed for the Dreamcast meaning it’ll use the FMV from the PlayStation version in addition to the N64’s multiplayer. One would hope the graphics will be cleaned up slightly but this is all very exciting and really goes to show that in 2018, stranger things truly do happen in the world of Dreamcast. Although 200,000 dollars does seem a fair chunk of wedge, we think that it could very well be achievable.

Piko Interactive are no strangers to retro gaming, they’ve worked on Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar and other systems, bringing unreleased games and re-released software back from the dead, this marks the first time they’ve potentially working with the Dreamcast but it’s not their first time crowdfunding, some may remember the Super Nintendo 4 in 1 cartridge from 2012/13 which was successful and released in a timely fashion.

What’s your views? Could you see yourself playing 40 Winks?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/retrogames/40-winks-a-new-nintendo-64-game?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=40%20winks

 

Whatever Happened To? Part 7 : Max Payne.

In this instalment of ‘Whatever Happened To? ‘ we look at a man with nothing to lose, Max Payne, this game was in development in 1998-99 and was initially announced for the PC with a DC version to follow, Remedy and Take 2 were quite enthusiastic about working on the Dreamcast but multiple delays and push backs meant that with the Dreamcast business losing steam and the looming PlayStation 2 release, it was soon time to put the idea of a conversion to Sega’s console to bed.

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It’s widely acknowledged that the game wasn’t seen running on Dreamcast hardware according to one of the developers at Remedy, however, we reckon there is a playable version out there, somewhere and one day – maybe, just maybe we will see it’s release in some form, from the early demo videos of the game (most likely running on PC hardware) we reckon the Dreamcast could have run the game without sweating too much, the lack of a second analogue stick may very well have been an issue though,

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Where can you play the game today? Well, the smartest choice is naturally the PC, but should you have a PlayStation 2 or even better, an Xbox Classic, these serve up as a good reminder (albeit, graphically more enhanced) of what could have been on Sega’s poor, neglected box of tricks.