Sega Rally 2 was released in Japan today and Weekly Famitsu gave it 36/40 (90%). This is welcome news as many people feared that Sega couldn't make the game so good after scrapping the original version in November due to a poor response. Well done Sega. Also announced is the fact that Sega Rally 2 can be used with the VGA box for much better picture quality. Internet play is also slightly different for this game. Apparently gamers will be offered different servers to connect to in Japan, depending on your location. Unfortunately this means that people outside Japan will have to pay long distance calls to play the game.
Sonic Adventure is climbing up the charts in Japan again. The game is now in the number 6 spot on the sales charts with 28,462 sales in the week of January 11-17. This is up from the number 17 position the previous week. Sengoku Turb entered the charts at the number 20 position.
Game Weekly, a usually reliable Chinese magazine are reporting that Namco will show Time Crisis 2, Soul Calibur and a special verion of Tekken 3 at the Tokyo Game Show.
Konami has apparently re-set their Pop N' Music simulation back to the 25th February. The game was initially on this date and then delayed due to unknown reasons. Looks liek their back on track.
Great news here. Contrary to earlier reports Climax Landers will not be delayed until July. A spokesperson for Climax has stated that the game is still on schedule for a June 10 release.
CRI's Aero Dancing will include a 4 player mode.
Taito's <Psychic Force 2012 was recently delayed and a reason now at hand. Apparently Taito are incorperating a 2 player game via the internet. This will be the first fighting game to include online gameplay.
According to Magic Box Shen Mue will include a number of mini games, one of which is Sega's classic motoracing game Hang On. It's unknown if the full game is included but it is accessed by going into an arcade in the city.
Remember this is the last day before the poll chages for this month. If you haven't voted go to the main page and vote now.
According to reports from Japan, Sega are preparing a hard drive and printer for the Dreamcast. This would make the Dreamcast more like a computer with people being able to save and print information from the internet. Rumors are hinting towards a release date in April.
In another almost expected move it's believed Sega, or another 3rd party, are preparing some web authoring tools for the Dreamcast. Although nothing has been announced officially I wouldn't be surprised if the program is released at the same time as the aforementioned hard drive and printer.
Sega X are reporting on their web site that Sega may not translate and Japanese speech in Shen Mue because the Japanese voices have taken over a year to record. Apparently Sega will use subtitles in the game instead.
Guess what, another delay. This time Monaco Grand Prix 2 has been delayed from 18th February until the 11th March. This is rather unfortunate as it leaves only one game, Power Stone for release in February.
Just how popular were the Shen Mue conferences in Japan. Well according to Sega over 30,000 tickets were given out to the events.
Fresh rumors off the Internet are stating that Grandia 2 may be a 2 player game. If this is true it is still unknown if there will be a split screen mode for playing, or if the 2 players will be forced onto the same screen.
Within a few days one of the most wanted Dreamcast games will be on the shelves. Sega Rally 2 will be released on the 28th and will be the first game to offer gameplay via the Internet with up to 4 players competing at the same time.
A quick reminder that the poll on the Main Page closes in just 5 days time. Please take a few seconds to vote.
Sonic Adventure has now sold just over 280,000 copies in Japan. The game has slipped to number 17 on the sales charts, down from number 7 the previous week.
As I indicated several weeks ago Yu Suzuki is developing a new racing game for the arcades. More information has come to hand about the game which is titled Ferrari F355. However, the chance of seeing this game on the Dreamcast is pretty small. The reason for this is that, depending on where you read it, the game will use either 3 or 4 Naomi arcade boards, and 3 monitors. This will be the first arcade game to use multiple Naomi arcade boards for one game. Remember that up to 16 Naomi arcade boards can be connected so Yu is still only using 1/4 of the total potential for the system.
Under Cover the top secret game from Pulse, which will be unveiled on February 1st in Japan, is believed to be a light gun game which will be released in June. More info as I get it.
Enix, the makers of the popular Dragon Quest series, have announced that they are very interested in developing for the Dreamcast. A company official has stated that if Sega can reach their second sales target of selling over 1 million DC units by April, Enix would develop on the DC. Quick everyone buy a Dreamcast.
Climax UK (different to Climax and Climax Graphics in Japan) have announced 2 titles for the Dreamcast. The first game is and action RPG called Symphony of Light The second game is called Halcyon. No other details or release dates are known at this stage.
Unconfirmed reports are stating that House Of The Dead 2 has been delayed by a week until the 25th March.
Will Climax Landers be delayed again? Unconfirmed reports are stating that the game will be delayed until July.
Another interview with a Sega-Ozisoft rep has been conducted. Click here to read it. Questions about Video CD compatibility, release in Australia, Advertising, and Modem use have seen answered.
Just how good is the VGA Box? Well according to the producer of Sonic Adventure, Yuji Naka the VGA box makes the games look much better. This is what he had to say :
"Be sure to try out the VGA box while you're at it. The product goes on sale in January and you'll be amazed at the improvement in image quality!"
Sting's Evolution has been rated by Famitsu and recieved the very respectable mark of 32/40 (80%). This was the highest rated game on any platform for that issue.
According to Gameweek it seems that Midway's upcoming arcade game NBA Showtime will possibly be heading to Dreamcast. Expect a release in late 1999 or early 2000.
A couple more date changes for Dreamcast games. White Illumination has been given a release date of 18th March 1999. Unfortunately Psychic Force 2012 has been given an unspecified 1999 release date.
Katana Edge are reporting that Konami have a Baseball game in the works for the Dreamcast. Most likely it will be a continuation of their Bottom Of The 9th series. Expect the game to be on shelves in early 2000.
Warp have recently stated that Real Sound 2 has been delayed by a couple of weeks in order to perfect the games (well it's a music simulator) use of the Puru Puru Pack and modem. How these two components will be used in this game is unknown.
More is known about the mystery game, Under Cover, which will be unveiled on February 1st in Japan. Apparently the game is a joint venture between Sega and Pulse Interactive. It is believed the game is an adventure game, possibly with a female lead character. More news is sure to be released closer to the unveiling in a couple of weeks.
Ecole will be releasing Death Crimson 2 on the Dreamcast, the sequel to the Saturn game. No release date or details have been announced.
The release of Resident Evil : CV has been brought forward to mid 1999.
Sales of the Dreamcast are apparently now over 500,000 units. As well as that after 2 weeks of release Sonic Adventure has sold just over 180,000 units.
Sega will release a Shen Mue Sound Track in Japan on April 1. The CD will have 8 tracks with a total track time of 60 minutes.
I have been getting a lot of requests from Australian gamers as to where they can buy their Dreamcast's. I have been in contact with 2 people that are selling them. Remember I hold no responsibility if anything goes wrong.
Sega's VP of product development, Eric Hammond, recently spoke with MSNBC about the Dreamcast plans in America. In this interview he states that neither Pen Pen, July nor Godzilla Generations will make it to the US. Eric also stated that there will be around 10 titles for launch and over 20 by Christmas. Eric went on to say the Shen Mue is progressing well and there should be between 70 to 80 people working on the game at the moment, however no US release date was given.
According to Magic Box, developers Europress are planning to port their newest PC title Rally Championship '99 to Dreamcast.
Do Sega have a new secret game in the works? Apparently so. According to sources in Japan Sega are organising a major event in Japan to unveil a new game on February 1st. No other details are known at this stage.
Dreamcast Magazine from Japan has reviewed Evolution and Sengoku Turb. Surprisingly Sengoku Turb has outscored the more impressive looking Evolution. As they say graphics do no a good game make. The scores are as follows :
Evolution: 7, 8, 7 (Avg = 73.3%)
Sengoku Turb: 8, 9, 7 (Avg = 80%)
More Capcom rumours are circulating at the moment. The hottest rumour is that they are preparing Street Fighter Zero (Alpha) 3 for release on the Dreamcast.
Capcom's first CPS3 conversion to the Dreamcast may be Red Earth. This game is an action game with fighting and RPG elements. Red Earth is rumoured to be released in mid 1999
There may not be updates for a couple of days. I'm moving house but updates should return by Sunday at the latest.
Sega have a new racing game on their release schedule called Super Speed Racing. Even though little has been heard about the game it is due for release on March 25th in Japan. What is known is that there is 19 tracks in the game and the modem will be utilised. It's possible that this game could be Super GT (Scud Race) which was rumoured to be in development several months ago, but that is only my specualtion. Only time will tell.
Sega have posted some hi-res scrennshots of Shen Mue on their website. Below are just 3 of the shots from this remarkable game. More can be found via the link above.
As well as this Sega have released a few more details about the game. Apparently there will be around 1200 rooms to explore as well as 9 castles. Unlike Capcom's masterful Resident Evil series you won't have to explore every room in order to progress in the game. Sega have also pointed out that your actions in the game may affect certain circumstances. For instance if you help people they may repay the favour later on.
PSX.IGN have posted an interesting rumour on their web site about upcoming Namco games. It's looking better for Playstation owners. Here's what they had to say :
Yet another delay for Dreamcast software. Apparently Warp's Real Sound 2 has been delayed from February 25th to March 11th 1999. Only a delay of 2 weeks, but annoying just the same.
Most of you would have noticed the slightly re-worked main page. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me if you prefer the new black version page or the old orange one.
After the recent news about delays to Sega Rally 2 some good news has come in about the game. Apparently the game has only been delayed by 2 weeks, until the 28th January. Apparently a little more time was needed to iron out a few internet play bugs. Several conferences will be held to show off Sega Rally 2 the 15th, 17th, 24th, 31st January and 7th February at the Amlux exhibtion center in Japan. On the 31st, Fujimoto-San, one of the men behind the development of the game, will be on hand.
One of Europe's premiere developers, Team 17, have several games in the works for Dreamcast, including the 6 player Worms: Armageddon which will enhanced from the PC version. Team 17 are also considering including some form of internet play and VMU compatability with the game.
As well as Worms : Armageddon Team 17 have a new racing game Stunt Grand Prix headed for Dreamcast. Apparently this racing game will run at 60fps at 640 x 480. Hasbro will publish this game by the end of this year.
Team 17 also have a 3rd Dreamcast game in development. Although they won't be releasing any details on this game for a few months they have stated that it will be a 3D action/strategy title.
A conversion of the PC game Outcast is definite. Recently Oliver Masclef, the product manager, told Outcast Central, "Yes, it's true (Outcast for the DC). You can expect it at the Dreamcast launch in Europe in Fall '99. It will be different from the PC version for many reasons and in many aspects due to the difference of platform but I think we will manage to keep the quality of the original Outcast."
Game-Online have reported that Konami are working on several more Dreamcast games which follow from the success of their Playstation incarnations. International Superstar Soccer, Track & Field and Castlevania games are all rumoured to be worked on at the moment. There has been no confirmation from Konami on any of these games.
Argonaut have stated that their first Dreamcast game, codenamed Red Dog will be a tank game in the similar vein as their SNES classic Star Wing (Star Fox in NTSC territories). This comes as a surprise as Croc 2 was expected to be their first game on the Dreamcast. Below is a copy of what Jaz San had to say about the game on the Dimension S web site :
Anyone want a pirated Dreamcast game? Well the truth of the matter is that they may not be too far away. Apparently someone in Japan has managed to copy Dreamcast CD's. The one problem is that although the game could be played there was no sound. Also in order to play the game a technique similar to the swap trick on PSX is required to be done on bootup.
Some information has been released about the Puru Puru Pack, the vibrating peripheral for Dreamcast. Apparently the unit will be released on the 4th March 1999 and will sell in Japan for 2,200 yen. Even more interesting news is that some games already on store shelves will make use of this pack including Sonic Adventure and VF3:TB. Other games in future that will make use of the device include Monaco GP2, Blue Stinger, Psychic Force 2012, Buggy Heat, and House of the Dead 2.
It looks like the VGA Box will be quite expensive. National Console Support are reporting that the unit will be available this month but at the surprisingly high price of $US 78. The VGA Box allows you to output the Dreamcast image to a SVGA, VGA or Multi-Sync monitor for a much higher quality picture.
Sega have been forced to delay the launch of 2 vital games for the Dreamcast. Sega Rally 2 has been delayed fron next week to an undetermined 1999 date. The most anticipated RPG for Dreamcast, Climax Landers has been delayed from February 25th to June 10th. No reason has been given for the delays but they come as a major blow to Sega which now sees only 2 games scheduled for release this month.
Katana Edge have reported that Harley Davidson & the LA Riders will be heading to the Dreamcast. This game is one of the most impressive model 3 arcade games of late and will be a welcome addition to the Dreamcast's lineup. Don't expect a release until late 1999 at the earliest.
London-based trade publishing group Centaur Communications have hinted that Sega of Japan President, Shoichiro Irimajiri will be taking a job at General Motors. The Sega president has a strong love of cars and before Sega used to work at Honda, with the McLaren Formula 1 team. Sega of Japan are officially denying the rumour.
Many people have ask me what I think 1999 will bring, and in particular for games and the Dreamcast. Well here are my predictions :
Several more game delays to report unfortunately. Sega's Get Bass and Konami's Pop n' Music have been delayed until April 1.
Another little note about Get Bass is that the game will be released in 2 different packages. One will contain the Fishing Rod peripheral, the other won't.
Hudson has pushed back the release date of White Illumination from February to mid March.
Panasonic have announced a new Dreamcast adventure game called Web Mystery. This game was originally scheduled to appear on the 3DO M2 machine. The game is about a serial murder case in the web and a cat who can foresee the future, whatever that means. Web Mystery is scheduled for release in March 1999.
House Of The Dead 2 now has a release date of 18th March 1999 in Japan. The game will come in 2 different packages, one with and one without the light gun.
According to Sega X a new version of Virtual On : OT will be release in Japanese arcade in a few months. Apparently the new version will be an improved version of the original game and will use the Naomi arcade architecture.
Game Weekly mazgazine has reported that Sonic Team have already started the planning of Nights 2 for the Dreamcast. Of course nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet.
Sega X have reported that there is a hidden character in Sonic Adventure. The hidden character is called Super Sonic and can be seen in the screenshots below. This character is accessable when you finish the missions of the other 6 main characters. Apparently at the end of the game he battles the large Chaos monster, Perfect Chaos, shown in the opening FMV.
It seems as if Americans will definately be seeing Shen Mue sooner rather then later. Information and screenshots are already being released by Sega Of America and Bernie Stolar is mentioning the game quite frequently. Sega Of America have also released a press statement about the game which can be found by clicking here.
Keep an eye out in you local arcades. House Of The Dead 2 is in Australia and it's and excellent showcase of the Naomi arcade system. I managed to play the full sit down cabinet version of the game and will be doing a review of the final game soon (a review of the test version is already up on the site).
I have been going through all the Survey's that you have been filling out lately and I am considering some changes to the layout to the site. On a more positive note the average rating you are giving my site is just under 8.5 out of 10, slightly higher then 2 months ago. For anyone that has not filled in the Survey I ask that you do so.