30 days of Dreamcast – Part 2

11th October 2012 – Day 2

I’ve been a bit naughty today.

I’ve bought Skies of Arcadia from Ebay. It was a decent price and I never played it back in the day.

Today’s Dreamcast delights are:

Dynamite cop

This was one of those games along with Crazy Taxi that made you think you had an arcade machine in your home. This is proper arcade fun. Completely mindless and over the top but fun as hell. It’s a beat-em up similar to final fight except you have QTE’s interspersed throughout the game. You play as 3 characters and a cruise liner has been taken over by pirates and a weirdo with an arm like the monster at the end of Resident Evil. You have 3 paths you can take so there’s some replay ability plus there are unlock able games. The games themselves last about 30 minutes apiece. It’s a perfect time waster. The other thing I love about this game is that your clothes represent your health so you start off in full tactical gear and by the time your health is really low you’re in ripped t shirt and shorts. You can pretty much pick up anything and use it as a weapon like pepper shakers. Great fun!

Ready 2 Rumble

It’s all a bit of a love in for Michael Buffer. He’s obviously announcing the matches and everything has his face on it like the canvas and posters around the ring. I seem to remember it being a bit of a button masher but it’s a surprisingly deep boxing game. I quickly found you can’t go around mashing buttons you have to use a bit a strategy. It’s great fun. It’s a bit limited in as much as you’ve got arcade mode and championship mode when you create and train a boxer but yeah, fun and another reason why the Dreamcast was like having an arcade in your home.

13th October 2012 – Day 3

More Shenmue. There are so many wonderful moments such as going to see a fortune teller to get a hint, playing slot machines. Buying a drink from a vending machine, watching Ryo drink it and put it in the bin. Being able to phone people and actually dialling the numbers on an old phone. Buying the toy capsules and seeing what you get, spotting Virtua fighter posters on the wall of Fuku-san bedroom. This game really was ahead of its time. The use of time, weather changes, shifts from day to night. Mini games within the full game. Games like Read Dead Redemption and GTA owe so much to Shenmue. It feels authentic. It feels like a living breathing world although some of the voice acting is hilarious and a bit creepy. It’s an amazing game so far. I’ve been taking my time and just exploring and each day is about an hour’s game time so far so I’ve played 5 days so far. I never actually finished Shenmue back in the day. I remember getting to the docks and just giving up. Maybe now because I’m older and I can appreciate it more, I genuinely adore this game world. It’s such an incredible achievement and I’m definitely going to finish it. Amazing!

14th October 2012 – Day 4

I’ve been naughty again. I picked up a few more games for the Dreamcast. I got them for a good price and they are games I never played back in the day. They are Outtrigger, Headhunter and Shenmue 2.

People on twitter are talking about episode 4 of The Walking Dead on Xbox and PSN. I’ve played episodes 1, 2 and 3 and absolutely love this game. I know I’ll have to wait to play episode 4 but I do feel a few pangs of envy.  Oh well, I still have a date with destiny. I have to track down my father’s murderer in the unbelievable Shenmue.

19th October 2012 – Day 5

Started playing Metropolis Street Racer today. Wow! I’d forgotten how addictive this game is. It still looks great to this day. I’m not really into driving games but this is great fun.  I know games like Forza and Gran Turismo have taken driving games to another level but this is still a fantastic driving game. It’s a driving game that rewards you for driving well and not crashing or smashing other cars off the road, which explains why I’m so terrible at it. You unlock new levels by gaining kudos during each race. This could be for power sliding around the corner and generally driving well. Also played more Shenmue. I’m starting to get into the fighting more now. There are some impressive QTE sequences. I’m searching for sailors. Loving this game!

20th October 2012 – Day 6

More Shenmue today. Started disc 2. I’ve just reached the part where I stopped playing 12 years ago. I was sneaking around the warehouses and kept getting caught which is probably why I got frustrated with it when I played it years ago. Funnily enough I did that part first time this time around. I wonder if I’ve got better at games?  This game still astounds me with the level of detail. You can zoom in on your watch and press the A button which illuminates the watch. You can buy or win cassette tapes (ask your mom or dad if you don’t know what I’m on about) and play them on your Walkman. You can look at a bus time table and it has times for weekdays and weekends. The one thing I have noticed is that there doesn’t appear to be much/if any consequences for missing a QTE.  Here’s another example why this game was so ahead of its time. When you examine items you can move them around in your hand and zoom in and out just like L.A. Noire.  My kitty cat is growing up! I feel like I’m missing out on bits of the story because there are so many gaps in my diary.  Received a message from Smudger07 on Twitter that he’s fired up his Dreamcast after listening to the show. That’s amazing!

21st October 2012 – Day 7

So it’s been a week of playing nothing but Dreamcast games. Do I feel like I’m missing out on the current releases like Dishonoured or Walking Dead? A little, but I’m having far too much fun playing on the Dreamcast. I’m thinking that 30 days won’t be long enough.

Had a quick blast on Metropolis Street Racer.  The game freaked me out because the last time I played it was about 4pm and the weather was daytime.  I played again at 7pm expecting the same but it was dark and the game changed to reflect the real time. Wow!

Played more Shenmue today. Some of the dialogue is very funny. “Kiss off twit!” There’s a proper ‘computer says no’ woman at Asia Travel company. She most unhelpful! I’m trying to get to Hong Kong and Fuku-san smashed his piggy bank to help me get more money. Those robbing gits! Asia Travel Company have stolen my money and then tried to beat me up when I complained. I’m expecting a call from them to get the ticket. I’m supposed to meet this guy at the arcade to get the ticket.  I’ve been ambushed by this Gollum character (Chai) and I have to fight him. Ok, I’ve tried 7 or 8 times to beat him and he’s hard as nails. Fuku-san appears at the end of the fight and you go home but I want to beat him.  Sod this. I’m going to play something else before I get too fed up.

Soul Calibur

Wow this still looks fantastic and plays incredibly well. I can only try and remember what I must have thought seeing this game for the first time all those years ago. It’s still mighty impressive!  The list of moves is incredible.  How the hell does anyone remember all of this?  I’m playing the Mission Battle Mode. It’s kind of a tutorial mode where you learn to block, move, throw and do some specials. You earn points to unlock pictures of the characters and new areas with new challenges. It’s like the Krypt in Mortal Kombat.  This is a fantastic fighting game. The best thing is that I feel like a bad ass even though I have no idea what I’m doing. The moves look great! Just read a message on twitter from @obicolkenobi who says that Soul Calibur is the reason why he’s kept his Dreamcast all these years. Can’t say that I blame him.