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.

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/

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.

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.

Agartha Release Incoming.

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You may remember in recent times that cancelled 2001 No Cliche horror game, Agartha had been found in a semi-playable state and shown off from it’s slumber for over 15 years – there was romancing around the time of it’s discovery that one day, we could see the game actually see a release across the Internet, well, that day is coming very, very soon,  January 15th to be exact! That’s right, you’ll finally be able to see what all the fuss is about.

This is a fantastic way to start 2018 for the beloved Dreamcast console, We’ve been waiting for this game in particular since it’s original reveal all those years ago, so for those involved in making this a reality, we thank you; the sense of community is fantastic in the Dreamcast fanbase these days. What a time to be alive folks!

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What we have to keep in mind is the sadly wasn’t near completion, so the offering is no doubt really just going to be a taster of what could have been, from what we’ve learnt, there isn’t a more complete version of the game out there unlike many other Dreamcast cancelled leaks over the years, but we aren’t one to look the gift horse in the mouth.

The article involving the release of the game can be found here :

http://x-community.grafbb.com/t2190-exclu-mondiale-agartha-bientot-disponible

What Ever Happened To? Part 5 : Agartha

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Okay, let’s return to our ‘what ever happen to’ segment and have ourselves a little look at Agartha. What’s Agartha you’re wondering? Well, back in 2000/2001 survival horror games were pretty big business, everyone wanted a little slice of the Silent Hill and Resident Evil pie, the Dreamcast itself had it’s fair share, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Evil Dead, Carrier, D2 and others graced the machine. Regardless of this, Sega and No Cliché decided to get their heads together and make their own take. Agartha was based around a small village in Romania, the year would be 1929. You would play Kirk, an adventurer who would discover a subterranean village which is called Agartha, from here you’d have to face off against undead beasties treading a good or bad moral path whilst interacting with other villagers.

The game sounded and looked like a great addition to the Dreamcast’s library of games and it’s such a shame that it never saw the light of day, No Cliché sadly closed shop in 2001, around the time Sega pulled out of the hardware business.

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Where can you play this game today? Well, with No Cliché going out of business, and no other format announced aside Dreamcast – it looked as if Agartha was lost in time forever. However, as of August 2017,  The Dreamcast Junkyard recently got the scoop that there is actually a playable build of the game which has recently been cast over the public eye, sadly the game’s development was evidently quite far away from completion but all the same, it’s great to see the game ‘exist’ in some form of playability, maybe, just maybe there is a chance we’ll see this game in our consoles one day.

Another 5 titles heading to DC via JoshProd!

Dreamcast fans rejoice! Remember earlier in the year when JoshProd and Rush On Game brought us 5 PAL region games to add you our collections? Well, in an exclusive scoop announced by the guys over at the Dreamcast Junkyard this morning, it’s now known that another 5 games are coming with the possibility of even more later down the line.

What we have this time around is actually more daring one would say, last time we had 3 games that had already been released on Dreamcast (Dux 1.5, Alice’s Mom’s Rescue, The Ghost Blade) and two were semi-new to Dreamcast (Rush Rush Rally Racing Reloaded and Breakers) the line up of titles in this batch seem like really good choices and I’m sure many Dreamcast owners are going to want the whole set.

Zia and the Goddesses of Magic has already seen a release on the console recently, but we can’t help but feel it’s going to gain better exposure this time around, it’s not the most fantastic DC game out there, but well worth adding a PAL version to your collection rather than the generic original release.

Sturmwind again, has already seen a release on the console a few years back now, but if one title was deserving of a second (third, Dragonbox Shop handled the second) wind, it’s this one – perhaps one of the most impressive Dreamcast games in recent memory, if you missed out on some of the other editions, now is the time to grab it.

Flashback – this is a reworking of the classic 90’s game using the original source code to enhance the game slightly for the more powerful hardware, JoshProd actually got the licence to make this game, so that in itself is pretty significant.

Ganryu – A NeoGeo title which is being developed by Visco, much in the same way that Breakers was released on Dreamcast, we could see a trend of NeoGeo software finding a more affordable home on the system.

4X4 Jam – By far the most important release on the list here, this game is actually an existing game on PSP and mobile platforms, the source code is again being used to port it to Sega’s hardware and one would hope that we could see other mobile or handheld games coming across to fill out the Dreamcast’s software roster. It doesn’t look half bad either from what we’ve seen Tom at TDCJunkyard play of it.

So there you have it! New games to play on your console, you can catch us playing Dux 1.5 and talking a little about the PAL style version in the linked video, also there’s a link to the breaking story from The Dreamcast Junkyard and also the pre-order page on Rush On Game’s website which will go live on August 4th 2017, the games are said to retail for around 30 Euros each and no doubt there’ll be a bundle like the first wave of games.

https://www.rushongame.com

 

http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2017/07/4×4-jam-flashback-ganryu-head-up-new.html