Text posts! With the occasional image attached, fancy.
July 10th, 2022
First thing, thank you for the nice messages in my guestbook! It's great to see other fans of the Dreamcast are finding and enjoying my site! I can't wait to add more to it, especially screenshots of gameplay. It's been impossible to do right now, but once I can finally do it, it'll really jazz up the site!
Second thing, Neocities site profiles are down? I can't go and see my comments or anybody else's profiles, but I can update my site and view other sites just fine. I went to the browse page and tried accessing other site profiles, the only one I managed to see was a .net site instead of a /neocities.org site. Really strange, I hope it gets fixed soon.
And last thing, I have a question for everybody reading this, especially retro game collectors. My copy of Jet Set Radio has some bad case damage, all of my games have some damage except for Sonic Adventure. So what would be worse, owning a game with a damaged, original case, or putting the game in an aftermarket Dreamcast case? I love my games, I want them to look pretty and be safe, but the point of all this was to have the original things from 23 years ago. I'm very torn, so I'd love to hear what everyone has to say... when I can actually access my site profile again. Seriously, the one day I want to put some real time into my site? Such a shame.
July 8th, 2022
I sure do love having life kick me in the teeth so hard that I abandon a project I cared about so much for a month. But hello! I'm here, I have stories! (But no images right now, ill again)
I FINALLY found a VMU for the Dreamcast! I'm so happy to have one, I'm finally able to fully enjoy the small collection of games I have (well, in theory, have to love having a busy life, haha). I have 5 of them now, Jet Set Radio, Chu Chu Rocket, Space Channel 5, Sonic Adventure, and Crazy Taxi. I'm very bad at all of them except for Chu Chu Rocket. Want to hear the story of how I got it? Of course you do. So, after twice the expected wait, my local retro game store got in a big Dreamcast order, which had Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5 reserved for me. I thought a VMU was coming with this shipment, but apparently it wasn't, which really sucked. So the employee working there had an idea. He had a small Dreamcast collection himself that he wasn't really using, so he was going to find his personal VMU and trade it into the shop so I could buy it. I was so happy that he was willing to do that for me... but then it turns out the VMU he had in his collection wasn't functional, so he couldn't trade it in. Fuck. More waiting. Then turns out there was a lady who used to run another retro gaming store, but had to shut it down due to her bad health (the lady is doing much better now, if you're concered), so she still had some stock she never sold. In that stock, there was a VMU! She just gave it to me. Literally gave it to me! Along with a spare controller! I would've paid full market value for those, but she refused. I thanked her a lot, of course. I played Jet Set Radio as soon as I got home with it. I love the VMU so much, it's so adorable and I can't wait to get to some of the minigames on it.
For now, I'm not sure if I can promise regular site updates, due to still having to do school work this summer because I was very ill for a good few weeks of the school season. I'll put anything that I can here whenever I can though! I hope everyone is having a good year so far, mine has been a rollercoaster. See you all, have a nice day!
Get Ready for Some Crazy Taxi
May 2nd, 2022
I got Crazy Taxi the other day! But I still have no VMU, the store couldn't get it and all the other stock shipped out until this month. I probably should've started this place once I actually got that. But hey, it's been very fun to play! I grew up playing The Simpsons: Road Rage, so of course I had my eye on Crazy Taxi (the game Road Rage arguably ripped off). It came as part of a mystery box I bought from my local retro gaming store, so I felt very lucky that day. I wasn't lucky for long though, I had to go to the hospital yesterday and I waited nearly 10 hours to be seen, it really sucked (but I'm doing much better now and hopefully won't be too ill to be active here anymore). I won't bother you with the details of all that though, let's talk a little bit about Crazy Taxi before I have to leave the house again.
I would've loved to play it back when it was in the arcades (unfortunately, I wasn't born yet)! It's very fast-paced and challenging, but easy to understand. You drive around a city as fast as you can to drop off passengers! It's not as simple as just following that floating green arrow though, there's a bustling city to explore, with tons of passengers to pick up and so little time to do so. I find this kind of time-crunch in games very fun! My only complaint so far is that the controls are very difficult. Accelerating and driving is fine, but the other moves you need to pull off to get around and complete missions are like trying to pull off moves in a fighting game! I'm very bad at button combinations like that, so maybe it's just a me problem. I had a quick look at the first mission and I had so much trouble pulling off a Crazy Dash (a move that gives you a speed boost), which you need to do for that mission. I read and read the manual's controls section, but it took me so long to understand what it meant to finally pull off that Crazy Dash. I didn't look at the other missions (no VMU to save my progress ;-;) so maybe I'll talk about those more another time.
One more thing I'll add, this game is compatible with the Vibration Pack! It definitely makes the experience so much more fun (especially when you crash into things, which you're not supposed to do.) even though the Dreamcast's rumble isn't as good as rumble on controllers today. The rumble can get pretty strong if you're an absolute idiot in Crazy Taxi (which I purposefully was to see how powerful the rumble can get) but I wish there was a little more feedback for things like braking and Crazy Dashes.
Expect updates to still be slow, I'm a busy man these days. But once I get my VMU, I'll probably have way more to talk about and can sink more free time into cool Dreamcast games! For now, I'm going to do some school work and complete other games I have. Stay safe this May Day! I don't know if it's a public holiday where you live, but it is where I am. Have a nice day!
April 18th, 2022
I'm sorry I haven't had much new stuff to put here in a while, I want to have at least weekly updates, but I keep getting ill. I just recovered from a bug and now I'm ill again.
I will be okay in a few days though! Also, I went into my local retro gaming store to ask if they had any VMUs yet, and they said they'll have them at the end of this month! They have one reserved for me, along with a copy of Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5. I'm very excited to get those! I also bought an old gaming magazine while I was in there, it was practically calling my name. It's literally just an unofficial Dreamcast magazine called Dreamcast Magazine, it's very cool and fun to look through! Would love to show some of the stuff from that, or read the whole thing out loud, though I'm not very confident in my voice.
The point of this update is, I'm not dead, this site will not die. Please just give me and this place a little patience and time! I will have more cool Dreamcast stuff to talk about soon. Hope you're having a good day today, and that you had a great Easter if you celebrate it! I'll probably make some minor site edits and then go to bed.
I'm Dying to Death but I Love Chu Chu Rocket (First Impressions 2, Pictures TBA)
March 26th, 2022
I captured some Dreamcast menu and Chu Chu Rocket-related stuff, but I captured it in shitty, shaky widescreen. I know nothing about TVs, so the first time I played my Dreamcast, it was in widescreen on my family's main TV. I thought the game and menu looked stretched-out, but I had no idea how to change it to 4:3. When I turned it on the next day, the picture was in a much better, much cleaner 4:3 aspect ratio. I think my brother did it, he knows a lot about TVs. Probably meant he was playing my Dreamcast when I was sleeping, but oh well. Nothing was broken and the picture was so much better, thanks man! Basically, this means what I did capture was terrible and I also didn't quite capture enough. I'll recapture everything when I'm in better shape (ideally by hooking my computer up to my TV instead of trying to record my TV with my phone).
Enough rambling! Here's my experience with the Dreamcast so far!
STARTUP AND AESTHETICS
Blue and this grey-ish off-white has become one of my favourite colour combinations. I would paint my living room in this kind of colour. It's so relaxing, which may not fit the tone of Sega's games, but it definitely says "Hey, you're here to sit back and play a nice game. You're going to have a nice time." Along with the calm, almost water-like startup sound. I'm just going to link the PAL startup right here.
As for the menu, it doesn't feel as, and I really need a better term for this, "old-style-futuristic" like the console and controller design, the graphics feel very round, friendly and inviting. The water affect in the background definitely adds to this more relaxing aesthetic. I can't say I don't like it, I think it's very nice! Just feels like they should've made it thematically match more with the hardware. Maybe a black background with sharper graphics? Nah, I like it very much as it is. It's very simple and easy-to-understand, you could hand this menu to someone who hasn't even heard of the Dreamcast and they could figure out how to set everything up exactly how they need it. Well, if they even get to see it...
A MILD COMPLAINT
I like well-designed console menus, they're very nice and I want to see them when I start up my console. But the Dreamcast has the audacity
to have "auto start" on by default, meaning I didn't get to see the menu until I took Chu Chu Rocket out of the system! I thankfully found out how to turn that off, but really? you make such a nice, inviting, friendly menu, and you hide it by default? I guess at the time people were more used to putting a game in their console and having the game start up immediately at the time, since many consoles before did that. But I just love menus! Little bits of care and effort put into things surrounding the console and it's games really add to the experience and I want to see them. (This is also why I hate the Switch's flavourless menu)
CD PLAYER FEATURE
I love this feature! I haven't put a normal CD into it yet, but I'd love to try that when I have the chance. I'd have to borrow one of my brother's CDs, since I'm not a CD collector. Though, maybe I'll collect them one day. I love music. ANYWAYS! I listened to Chu Chu Rocket's OST and recorded the PAL Dreamcast disc warning, the one that tells you not to put your Dreamcast disc into a stereo or hi-fi because it'll severely damage your speakers. It's a shame this is the only warning, and there isn't custom, unique warnings for some games like in the NTSC versions. But they needed to have a warning that'll warn you in common European languages and for good reason. Of course, hearing the warning makes me want to put the Dreamcast disc into my laptop to hear the shrill sound for myself. I know what happens, I watched a video on it, but I still want to do it. And before you say "but your speakers!", my laptop's speakers are already very damaged. They need replacing. The whole laptop needs an upgrade or replacement. Either way, I love that the Dreamcast doubles-up as a CD player and that you can listen to a game's OST easily on the Dreamcast. With how the system is shaped, it just makes sense. If only it could be a DVD player too, like the PS2... maybe Sega would've survived in the hardware market if so.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ON CHU CHU ROCKET
So much fun for so cheap! Chu Chu Rocket was sent out for free to Dreamareana subscribers in Europe, which there must've been a lot of, since this game was only €5 at my local retro games store. Not a bad first game (and the only one I feel like playing while I'm waiting for my VMU, not being able to save in Sonic Adventure would suck horribly), definitely worth a shot! I feel like Toby Fox played this game, since the mouse room puzzles in Deltarune feel very similar to the game's Puzzle Mode, which I've only played a few levels of so far (again, no VMU, not much of a point. Stage 13 has to be the most memorable). This game is probably best enjoyed with a friend, multiple friends, or online randoms, but I just played it by myself against computers. It's quite a hard game at first, but the fast pace is very fun and the event mice (not sure if that's their official name) just make the game more chaotic, fun and arcade-like! I would honestly make an arcade cabinet for this game if I had the money to, it definitely feels like it belongs in one to me. (Please send a picture if somebody has already got Chu Chu Rocket running on an arcade cabinet, I would die and go to heaven if I saw that). I'll definitely make a more detailed review once I have my VMU and can play more than a half hour of the game before feeling like I need a nap. That's not the game's fault, I'm just so low-energy right now.
Well, that's all I have to say for now. I thought I'd get this all down before all these thoughts disappeared. Like I said, I'll add pictures when I can! For now, I hope descriptions are enough. Hope everyone who read this is having a good day, goodnight.
March 26th, 2022
My dumbass self mixed up "vertical" with "horizontal" and called the vibration pack a "jumper pack". It's not a jumper pack, it's a jump pack or puru puru pack, unless you're European like me.
That's all, goodnight!
Half Luck (Posts Postponed)
March 25th, 2022
Hey everyone, I'm currently horizontal. I'm laying down because I have a bug with horrible nausea and a horrible headache. Needless to say, I can't make proper updates on my computer like this. Just my luck, eh? Yesterday I was feeling better than the day before but my Dreamcast wouldn't work, now today, immediately after the employee at my retro games store took the time out of his day to find a replacement Dreamcast cord for me, hook it up to a mini LCD TV, show me how to do it at home and put my name down for a VMU so I can get one the millisecond the store has them in stock, I get too sick to properly enjoy it. I did play a little bit of Chu Chu Rocket, it was fun and felt like a faster version of the mouse puzzles from Deltarune. I grabbed some recordings of the startup and the PAL disc warning, so it'll be nice to talk about that with you once I'm in better shape. I want to do game reviews once I get my VMU too. I hope you're in better health than I am, have a good day today. Sorry for the lack of paragraphs.
This Didn't Go As Expected (First Impressions 1)
March 24th, 2022
Today didn't go quite according to plan, long story short (but I will be telling the long story) I got my Dreamcast
, 2 games
, a controller
, and a vibration pack
, but I couldn't play it. The machine wasn't broken, it was in good condition aside from the scuffs, I think it was either the cable or my TV.
So here's how today was meant to pan out: I was going to go to the store, pay off the debt, ask if there were VMUs in stock, buy Chu Chu Rocket, get everything I needed, go home, wire it up, grab some photos and write some stuff. Here's how today went instead!
I went to my local retro gaming store and the guy who worked there wasn't the guy who I originally talked to when I first put my deposit down for the Dreamcast, which was fine, he was very helpful and nice. I told him my name and that I was here to get my Dreamcast and asked if there were any VMUs in stock. Now this guy's field of knowledge was not Sega, he's a Nintendo fan and collects for the original NES (today took awhile so I talked to him quite a bit, found out some stuff about the guy). A customer before me just bought a Dreamcast in box with the last VMU (I wonder how much that cost him, probably double my unboxed Dreamcast). That's alright, because I saw what I thought was the 4X Memory card. The guy working there also thought it was a memory card. I ask to buy it along with Chu Chu Rocket and he rings it up for me, along with the last remaining bit of money I needed to pay off the Dreamcast. He then has to go into the back to find my Dreamcast, but this guy hadn't worked for 3 weeks, he was out of the loop. I can't blame him, NONE of what I'm writing is the employee's fault. He messages the employee who knows about the Dreamcast, finds the Dreamcast, everything I need is there, and he says something I never expected to hear. The vibration pack was given to me for free by the other employee! Of course, the employee that was there didn't know, but I'd already rung it up. So the employee said I could have a €10 game for free or he could take €10 off of a more expensive game and I could pay it off another day. I asked if he could reserve Sonic Adventure for me, he said no problem, I was happy, he was happy, all was well! I go back and tell my mom all this and she gives me another €10 to pay off Sonic Adventure, no point waiting a week to pay off another €10. So I run back, give the employee the money, take Sonic Adventure, talk to the guy a little bit more while rearranging the Dreamcast section so that there's no gaps and run out so I can go home. I was fueled with excitement, I was ready, but then, the disappointment hit. I hooked up my Dreamcast to two separate TVs (LCD flatscreens, a mini one and my main one) with the SCART AV lead it came with annnndddddd... nothing. No picture. Console powered on fine, disc spun up fine, just couldn't get it to display. So tomorrow I have to go out again to talk to someone at the retro game store about it, because Troubleshooting with Proffessor Google didn't help me at all. Such a shame.
That was long! I'm sure someone wants to actually see the Dreamcast and hear what I have to say on it. This is my first set of first impressions, purely based on how well the system has aesthetically aged. Hope it's interesting to you!
Let's start with the weirdest thing about this console's design: the controller. It's probably the strangest-looking 1st party controller of the sixth generation. From the side, it looks normal, it looks fine, nice grips...
But then you look at the front aaaaannnndddd...
WOAH WHAT WERE YOU SMOKING WHEN YOU MADE THAT? A little space for a screen, a round circle thing, vaguely reminiscent of the Saturn's 3D controller
, four brightly-coloured buttons, pointy handles, a triangular start button, and, the only descision that's bad instead of weird, THE CORD COMING OUT THE BOTTOM OF THE CONTROLLER. Nobody plays the Dreamcast with the controller up in the air, it rests in their hands somewhat vertically, this is just a design flaw. Everything else on this controller is a weird addition rather than a design flaw, well, actually, that analogue stick isn't the best I've ever used (I mean, I grew up on Gamecube, nothing beats a Gamecube analogue stick) but I think the little weird bumps on it are kind of nice. This controller looked so much weirder when I saw it for the first time ages ago, but honestly? I like the weirdness and aesthetic of this controller, definitely a little dated, but it feels so old-style-futuristic, you know? Just wish the analogue stick and cord placement were better.
Sorry I didn't grab a side profile, I might go back a grab one in the morning. This feels less old-style-futuristic than the controller, but you can still see that style in the Dreamcast. It's suprisingly small and light, I had no trouble carrying this home with my noodle arms. I love this off-white colour it has too, I wish we didn't move away from greys and off-whites for consoles. The four controller ports heavily remind me of how the Nintendo 64 marketed itself, with it's multiplayer-focused games. I love the style of this system, the little bend it has so it's not just a lifeless square is nice, and I love how it opens.
I forgot how cool top-loading consoles were, I love this thing. What I don't love as much (no picture, was too frustrated to capture, sorry) is that they didn't change the light from orange to blue to match the PAL swirl! I think it goes to show that the PAL logo change was a very hasty, quick, last-minute decision to avoid the possibility of being sued. Orange and blue together is nice, but I think it'd look better if the light was blue. I've seen people mod their Dreamcasts to have a blue LED, but I don't have the time nor patience for a project like that. I still love my Dreamcast. Mine is a little bit scuffed, but that's okay. Also, mine has the "compatible with Windows CE" logo! I don't know why not all Dreamcasts have that.
I honestly love the thicker cases. The NTSC cases are much slimmer, but I like how these Dreamcast game cases feels like 2 CD cases, the extra heft feels more premium, like you're getting something more than a flimsy CD. (Okay, please ignore the modern notion that premium = thin and light, I'm a little set in the past) Well, you're also getting a multi-language manual, which is why the employee at my retro gaming store and I think they made the case so much thicker. And it's more than just music, it's a game! I also love the blue on the side, that shade of Dreamcast blue is beautiful to me. I find that the Dreamcast cases are a bit brittle though, I cracked the back of my Chu Chu Rocket case on my way home. Also, I think the way the fronts look is much better than the curve I see on American Dreamcast games. That curve feels like you took a toenail clipper to the box art.
Well, that's all for my thoughts right now, I'd love to scan the manuals of the games I have and talk about them here too! But for now, it's bed time. I have to be up early tomorrow so I can figure out why my Dreamcast won't talk to either of my TVs. Wish me luck and see you all tomorrow!
TODAY IS THE DAY
March 24th, 2022
HI! I'm coding on my phone again, it's not something I recommend! But in a couple hours, I'm going to get my Dreamcast! I'm hoping the store has VMUs in stock because last time I checked they were sold out, that'd make this a bit difficult. But I'm very excited to have it and be able to talk about the Dreamcast on here! In the meantime, have a blursed image.
Have a good day, see you in a few hours!
March 17th, 2022
I have this website practically fully designed now, it took a few days but she's up and running! I can't say I'm not proud, even though it looks a little plain. I can't really make much for it until I get my Dreamcast though, so I'm mostly just writing this as a bit of a test. I'm very excited to get my Dreamcast, I've had my eye on the system and some of it's games for a really long time and thought I'd have to wait years to get one, because they were proving hard to find and expensive to ship. I'm just a kid on an allowance, I saw so many listings for a decent price but then the shipping costs would murder me in cold blood. Horrible. BUT! I found one in the window of my local retro game store and they thankfully accepted a payment plan on it! I'm so happy and so excited, I get to fully pay it off a week from now! I wish I could grab it today, because I made this site to have somewhere to channel my energy and excitement for this thing (lord knows my friends don't want to hear me talk about it for hours on end), but now it's just making me so much more excited to finally get my blue swirly.
I mostly wrote this thing as a test post to see how things would look on the site, but also I need to get some of my excitement out before I go to sleep.