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

 

 

Replacement Dreamcast Power Board Seeks Funding.

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As many of you are probably aware, by owning a few stockpiled Dreamcast units, us as owners are always looking to keep playing our beloved Dreamcast units but this can become an increasingly hard task with various components getting tired and worn as the years progress, well fear not! There’s a guy that’s got your back if your power supply unit (PSU) has decided it no longer has the power to make your 128 bit dreams come true – the DreamPSU is a device which is currently seeking funding through Indiegogo, this compact device reworks the way the power is handled through the console whilst retaining the original 4-pin configuration meaning you can simply plug it in where the old unit once lay.

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The benefits to this new revised design is mainly that the amount of heat that would usually be generated by the original unit is now drastically reduced making for a cooler, and probably more efficiant running of the system in general, naturally this can also free up room inside the plastic casing of the console for more activities. The console however would then run on a 12V power supply unit, so in theory any potential buyer could use a power plug from their own country without the need to physically step down the voltage (or change the original power supply, which most do).

You can take a peek at the funding campaign here :

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dreampsu-making-your-dreamcast-cool-again-power#/

Seems like a brilliant idea to us!

With all these new releases – shouldn’t we look at hardware production?

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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.

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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.

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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!

http://joshprod.com/

https://www.rushongame.com/actualites/cinq-titres-dreamcast-exclusifs-by-joshprod-et-rushongame-87.htm

So more news on upcoming titles heading to your Dreamcast soon.

Okay, so it’s been a little quiet as of late in the Dreamcast community, as we predicted many of the games due for 2013 have indeed slipped in to 2014. The good news is that both NG.Dev.Team and Watermelon have publicly addressed delays with their software since both NEO XYX and Pier Solar HD have slipped into December this year or Q1 2014 in Pier Solar’s case. Let’s take a look at what both companies have to say on the matter.

 

"**** NEO XYX Dreamcast ****

Development of the basic NEO XYX port to Dreamcast is completed. 
We now work on the extra screen mode.

Goal is to release NEO XYX DC before the winter holidays.

**** Dreamcast newcomer bundle ****

There is a new Dreamcast newcomer bundle available consisting of:

NEO XYX Regular Edition for Dreamcast
Gunlord Regular Edition for Dreamcast [reprint]
Pink Bullets for Dreamcast [reprint]

Saving up to 15 EUR.

http://www.ngdevdirect.com/product_info.php?products_id=68

Pink Bullets and Gunlord reprints are available too. 

Best regards,
NG : DEV. TEAM"

“PIER SOLAR

About Pier Solar REPRINT pre-orders (Mega Drive/Genesis), given the amount of pre-orders still being low, we are tempted to keep waiting and pack production with our other games, but since those games are delayed, it becomes a bit of a problem, we are working on a solution atm.

Also, for Pier Solar HD (Dreamcast, …), we posted a video herehttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/573261866/pier-solar-hd-an-rpg-for-xbox360-pc-mac-linux-and/posts/662840
There are some delays too, but Q1 2014 is our target now.

If you have any comments, questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to contact the support at bottom of each MGF page, we will answer you as quick as we can.

WATERMELON TEAM”

 

So there you have it, a little update goes a long way when it comes to us Dreamcast fans. Hopefully the extra time allows those who haven’t pre-ordered the games to do so.

Tommo Inc. to release Sega branded mobile phone items.

It was announced yesterday that Tommo Inc, the company behind the Neo Geo X console are to begin producing a range of Sega-branded items for mobile phones. The range consists of screen protectors, rear cases and even Megadrive inspired Bluetooth 4.0 Speakers! Currently Tommo’s website shows iPhone 5 & 5S cases with designs from Master System, Megadrive/Genesis, Saturn and Dreamcast, there are also front screen protectors and Power Partner battery extender-cases.

The coolest item in the range is by far and away the Megadrive branded Bluetooth speakers that boast these features :

 

    • Genesis RETRO look and crisp, clear stereo sound

 

    • Bluetooth 4.0 compatible or plug in directly to headphone jack

 

    • NFC support and aptX support, multi-pairing

 

    • Supports A2DP Stereo Audio Streaming, AAC Audio Format

 

  • Built-in rechargeable battery for hours and hours of continuous spectacular sound at your fingertips

 

No prices have been announced at this time, but no doubt they’ll all be expensive. What do you think? Good retro-inspired idea or shameless cash-in? 

 

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Sturmwind Review

Sturmwind Limited Edition version.

When talking about Dreamcast gaming after the death of the console, many titles are name-dropped like ‘Last Hope’, ‘Rush Rush Rally Racing’ or even 2012’s ‘Gunlord’ but none of these titles will ever feature in such a turbulent history as much as ‘Sturmwind’.

Duranik’s labour of love for over seven years finally lands on Dreamcast in 2013 – even though this isn’t the console or name it originally went by it feels a natural fit on Sega’s last piece of hardware. Originally known as ‘Native’ and in development for the Atari Jaguar at a very slow pace, it wasn’t until the German independent publisher – Redspotgames picked up publishing rights for the Dreamcast that this game started to see a faster-paced and clearly road mapped development cycle worthy of turning the heads of ‘shump’ fans across the globe.

But, was all this too soon? Had Redspotgames taken on more than they could chew? By all accounts looking back in 2010 – yes they did, the trail of the game was notoriously hot and cold, on and off. Dreamcast fans were getting very wary considering they had pre-ordered the game as early as they could but the release seemed so far off. 2011 came and left with very little in the way of public spotlight on the game which didn’t make things any easier for the games public perception although, a small handful of individuals were given the chance to beta test the game at the end of the year – I was one of the lucky few who, not only got to test the beta but also the silver ‘master’ copy of the game before printing so the version I review below is the finished product that’s due to be released in a matter of days, was the journey worth it? Let’s find out.

Depending on which version of Sturmwind you plump for, the first thing you’ll notice is the flamboyant packaging of the Limited Edition release of the game. It’s certainly a first for the Dreamcast to have a game ship with extra goodies that you’d expect from a premium release on the Xbox 360 or PS3 – a refreshing change and fan service worthy of any collector.

The game begins with animated Duranik and Redspotgames logo screens, right away we can see that Dreamcast development has certainly hit what some may refer to as ‘phase two’ when it comes to front end design. There’s a short cinematic but considering the game voices are what seems to be German, we’ll overlook this.

There are two modes, Normal and Arcade. Arcade mode is as one would expect – the player is presented the game without continues as would be the case with a coin-opperated cabinet. The Arcade mode itself doesn’t pose as much of a challenge as other recent Dreamcast releases such as Fast Striker or Dux, this balancing of gaming suited towards beginners and experts alike is a real refreshing change for those that find frantic Euro-shooters just that trifle too hard. The Normal mode balances even more so in the favour of beginners/those not willing to raise their blood pressure, given that you are presented with the ability to pick at a level at your own pace and continue the proceeding level at another time with full health and smart bomb power-up should you desire, this approach is very thoughtful and really sets apart the game from others on the system giving you the feeling the developers want you to see everything they have worked so hard to create – evident also on the use of Xbox style ‘Achievements’ that reward the player for various tasks during gameplay; a stunning little touch.


The graphics used in Sturmwind are quite possibly the best we’ve seen from the Dreamcast since Ikaruga released on the system 11 years ago. Sturmwind shares a 3D/2D hybrid graphic engine concept that could easily go toe-to-toe with Treasure’s legendary game. You’ll witness spectacular explosions and massive boss battles that show much like the two-man team at Duranik, the Dreamcast really is more than the sum of it’s parts and this game is everything you’d hope from a Dreamcast release in 2013 without the aid of Sega’s official tools. There are plenty of power-ups along the way in Sturmwind keeping the experience as fresh as it can be some more useful than others, there’s also the ability to shoot backwards at enemies approaching from the rear of the player’s ship, this leads to mixed results depending on what weapon you have however. At one point I found myself with a spreadshot weapon that missed all threats from the rear and as a result, cost me a life, just a niggling flaw but one that would aggravate me had I been playing seriously.

The music and sound effects of Strurmwind are spot-on, both providing the player with an overwhelming sense of escapism the European club music really sets the pulse racing and the toe-tapping throughout your play through of the game and the mass explosion SFX’s coupled with the Dreamcast’s Rumble Pack accessory really bring home the feeling of bringing down one badass space baddie.

If there was anything that I had to fault Sturmwind for it would must certain be how busy the backgrounds can get, sometimes it’s extremely difficult to work out the difference between what’s safe aerospace and what’s heading in your general direction ready to take one of those important lives you’ve been saving for potentially harder stages. This isn’t to say that background detail is a downer on this release, because it sure isn’t – I was quite gob-smacked by how much detail is crammed out of the Dreamcast’s hardware and that’s a feeling that never goes away but at the same time prevents the game getting a perfect sweep from me.

Pros

Graphically amazing

  • SD card support for bonus content
  • Uploading scores online
  • Fair and balanced gameplay
  • Music and SFX pleasing on the ear
  • Saving stage progress between play

Cons

  • Background detail can confuse sometimes
  • German voiceovers only during gameplay
  • Sometimes unclear what killed you

Final score  NINE OUT OF TEN.

A worthy addition to any Dreamcast library, a game that can proudly sit between classics like Ikaruga, Under Defeat and Borderdown – highly recommended.

http://www.redspotgames.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=19