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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 4/7/00
    Community - Mailbag

4/7/00 - More Online Woes, System Advocacy, and Freak Letters
- by BenT

Another Friday, another Mailbag, another troubling story from Australia.

Rock on.

From: Conor Armstrong
Subject: Setting the story staright about Irish net access through the DC.

Hello.

I noticed that letter about when will internet be available in Ireland. I'm replying.

First of all, I was pissed that it wasn't up and running from day one. We have as many free ISP's here as the uk, and I'm sure Sega could've got one of them to support it, or at least let me use my PC ISP account. Anyway, at the end of last year, there were offical Sega posters up in all major retailers promising access by 31.12.1999. Never happened. I e-mailed Sega about it and they denied ever putting the posters up.

That's where we are now. No sign of it coming. Ever. Even Austrailia, the Evil Pit of No Dreamcasts, got access before us!

I am pissed off. And don't get me started about the extra 50 I had to pay for the machine, and the extra 5 - 10 on games. Funnily enough, these pricing problems don't affect Sony. I wonder why that is...

Check out the next letter, which may offer a glimmer of hope. Maybe.

From: Domnic Murphy
Subject: Irish Internet and Sorting Your Facts

UPDATE : STALL THE BALL MAN! Before you tell every one to upgrade their internet connection to an English one , tell them , that Irish Dreamcast owners were not supposed to be online till April 14th! There was a Sega Advertisement playing all day on the radio confirming the date. I cheated by getting an English connection.If they have not gotten online by that date , they should contact Sega or get the English Line.

- Brian Murphy

April 14, huh? Guess we'll see. Let us know how it goes, if you would.

Speaking of the Evil Pit of No Dreamcasts...

From: Bob Billigan
Subject: Australians gipped :(

Dear Planetdreamcast,

I saw a news post a little while back from a not so happy australian, but I have to say I do agree with him. The launch of the system and its continuing support up until now has been absolutely woeful and if Ozisoft don't get their act together it will be just blown away by the PS2 when it launches out here (possibly 2001).

I had heard about the dreamcast a year and a half before it launched and I started to save right then and there because it looked so cool, and was backed up by plenty of juicy screenshots (most of the games of which haven't seen the light of day out here). So the time drew near and I was set I had all my 500 dollars and I was ready to go, only to turn up to the shop and find that it had been delayed. This wasn't so bad I thought if they wanted to make those games better I would give them another couple of days. Again several more times however it got delayed. Then finally the big day it got released and I rushed into grab it and myself a copy of Sonic, only to find not only were there no extra controllers or memory cards, demo discs and internet service but no sega software and I certainly wasn't going to lash out and buy WWF for the hell of it. So I took it home got it set up and played a music cd on it.

Finally I got sonic then later memory card and later still Power Stone all of which had been delayed in some form or another. I was blown away with the graphics (so were my friends) but appaled with the service of Ozisoft. Still no sign of internet service......

Now finally I recieve a letter from Telstra (almost 6 months after I bought the dreamcast, apologizing for the inconvenience and offering a shoddy bag to make up for (which I will probably not ever use anyway). Hook up the !!!!36K!!!!!! modem and I have no other choice than to sign up with telstra which charge ridiculous prices. O and one more problem as yet no games released over here that I can play over the internet.......

Then to top it off I went in to buy Crazy Taxi yesterday and guess what they have sold out for the fifth time just another sign of Ozisofts ineptitude to overstock unwanted games and never fill demand for any of the games that are actually any good :(

Now with a half ad campgain (no-one other than dreamcast owners know what the hell they are on about), myabe just maybe Ozisoft will pull finger out, owell, here is hoping anyway. I would hate to see Dreamcast get flattened by the PS2 when they have games like Crazy Taxi and others and they [Ozisoft] have time to turn it around. However if nothing happens support will only continue to dwindle and the dreamcast will suffer the same fate that the saturn did down under.

Yours concernedly,
AurOn - Western Australia

*sigh* What can I say? You Aussie gamers should have an international charity setup for you, or something.

Anyway, let's lighten the mood a bit by talking about some cool games either in the past, or on the way...

From: Yogizilla
Subject: Herzog Zwei on Dreamcast?

w00t!

Back when Sega Saturn was doing really well in the U.S. (which was a few days/weeks at most), rumors spread like wildfire about old Sega hits coming back. The rumored sequels included ToeJam & Earl, Phantasy Star, Sonic, and Herzog Zwei. As we all know, a few of these games made past the drawing board and were actually released. Those that weren't are going to see a rebirth on Sega's almighty Dreamcast console. The one that myself and several die-hard RTS fans are really hoping for is Herzog Zwei.

If you read ANY good gaming magazine, you'll often see flashbacks into classic games and not-so-classic games.. The times where simple games focused on gameplay that created memories for years to come. Well, it's established that favorites from Atari 2600, the original NES, Sega Master System, and even Sega Genesis still hold a special place in gamers' hearts and this is because, back then, the video game market was filled with fresh, new ideas. Now we just see clones of clones of clones. While real-time strategy has long been an established genre, I feel that Herzog Zwei was in a league of it's own (up there with other classics such as Command & Conquer, Warcraft, and many others).

Herzog Zwei was a little-known game where you commanded a mech commander and built armies of infantry and vehicles to defend your territory, expand your territory, take over bases, and ultimately destroy your enemy's HQ (before your own is destroyed). The game probably inspired the makers of Total Annihilation and other big RTS games of today but the average gamer will shrug at the mere mention of the game.

I'll put my gaming nostalgia aside and get to my point: I think that Sega should get that developer on a Dreamcast title ASAP because Herzog Zwei, to this day, remains the unmatched king. I love Total Annihilation, Starcraft, and all those other greats but HZ is the shiznitt! Being a programmer myself, I keep a notebook of ideas on games and software applications. I actually have tons of ideas for the would-be Herzog Zwei XEON (I've thought of other names but, for now, that's the project's name). My question is how can I EFFECTIVELY go about getting Sega to even consider my idea for this game that surely will make them money and make gamers happy at the same time?

I'm beginning to use my spare time to develop my ideas into more formulated notes. I'm also starting to spread petitions and mass mail so that I can get the word around. I really want this to happen. If I can get some backing, that would own. What do you guys think? Didn't Herzog Zwei kick major ass?! Anywho, those are my rants and ravings for the day. Please write back and let me know the dealy! PEACE!

Anxiously hoping for the Herzog Zwei comeback,
The die-hard techie/gamer known as Yogizilla

Herzog Zwei was developed by shooter gods Tecnosoft (or Technosoft, they're always changing the spelling). Yep, the people who brought us the seminal Thunderforce series also pioneered the RTS genre. Problem was, no one cared. I remember the game got something like 3's and 4's when it was reviewed by Electronic Gaming Monthly, which is no way to treat such an innovative game. Oh well... every idea has its time.

Anyway, getting to your question, there really isn't a way to get a developer to pick up the idea. To avoid legal problems, game companies do not accept idea submissions from consumers, and there really aren't any exceptions to this rule. Of course, you could always try a homebrew effort for the PC, although that's admittedly not quite the same.

From: Mikey D.
Subject: Eternal Champions

Well I read your response to my letter and I agree that Eternal Champions did not have the depth or playability of Street Fighter 2. And I never said it did. I just said it was fun and I think that's why most of us play videogames, right?

Anyway, just cause a prequel did not meet your expectations of a fighting game means that a sequel will be just as bad (or in my opinion, just as good). Reality is that the team that did Eternal Champions is no longer together (I think they where called Dark Waters or something like that) and the project would fall in someone else's hand. So who's to say that one of the AM teams would do the sequel? Who knows? A game is only as good as its programmers, right?

Anyway, I do believe that the whole Eternal Champions product is interesting enough to merit a sequel. It's part of the Sega franchise and why not try and improve on it. Make it 3d with Soul Caliber-like graphics and I say you have a product that just might make you an Eternal Champion fan.

Mikey D.

Heheh, I doubt there's anything that could actually make me like those character designs.

From: Patrick Murphy
Subject: Baldur's Gate

Hi. Any news on Baldur's Gate heading to the DC anytime soon? And if so, do you think it will contain any of the "The Sword Coast" expansion pack? Many sites list the game as a TBA title, but things seem, disconcertingly, a little too queit out there. Also, any news about porting over the upcoming Baldur's Gate II game? As you can see I like the game. Every time I play any other RPG game, I inevitably wish I were playing D&D. The franchise would make a "killer-app" for the DC. Thanks for your time.

Baldur's Gate has been planned since launch, but things have been quiet since then. Apparently Sega is handling the conversion, partially because of the project's networking requirements. Anyway, if this DC Baldur's ever sees the light of day, I doubt it'll include the expansion pack. You never know, though.

Hey, did someone say system advocacy?

From: Jehremy Foster
Subject: Playstation 2

Is it just me or do all of the Playstation 2 games visually look like shit? They all have either blurry textures or the jaggies are just too much to bear. There is not one game on the PS2 that I have seen so far that can hold a candle to Shenmue. I keep hearing that "just wait until the next gen of games" Well that's bullshit, the Dreamcast can deliver great games right now. IF developers for the PS2 can ever deliver some good games maybe then people should start to think about purchasing one, but right now it's a steaming pile of pig manure. Who would buy car that ran like crap with hopes that someday some mechanic would learn to make it run like it should. Any sane person would wait until the product was solid before laying down their cash. Well, it good to know that a $400 pile of pig crap can at least play DVD's

Jehremy

Lose the crack pipe. While the PS2 does suffer from bad aliasing artifacts, that doesn't make the graphics "too much to bear". Come on.

Also, I didn't know the PS2 was indeed made of pig crap. Guess that would explain the flies around Fragmaster's PS2.

From: FiEnD
Subject: I need some help...

I have this friend that thinks Dreamcast sucks more than Eiffel 65 and he thinks it is worth waiting the many months for PlayStation 2. I have attempted to enlighten him on the Dreamcast's capability and the kick-ass peripherals that are only about due in August. I cannot believe he perfers playing his outdated and poorly reviewed PlayStation and N64 games until he sees something "better". It's quite a shame if you ask me, he practices system advocacy and is foolhardy in the fact that the current wave of PS2 games SUCK, except for DoA2 and TTT. All I ask of you is that you give me some more solid evidence that he should get with the times and try out Dreamcast before he starts jumping to conclusions, think like an intellectual gamer, instead of some biased moron.

I pretty much know you won't respond to this mail, but it's nice to know that you have probably read it.

Regards-
Steve

To such a irrationally biased person, there's usually not much "evidence" that'll enlighten them. I mean, if they're blind to all the great games available on other platforms, what more is there that could possibly change their minds? The best advice I can give is just ignore your friend's ignorance and play what you like. Maybe he'll eventually take notice and see that there's more to gaming than Nintendo, Sony, or whatever company he's fixated on. Then again, maybe he'll always be a moron. Good luck.

From: Excideon
Subject: I love my DC :)

Hello There.

You know, the past couple months ive being on top of the platform genre, to see what's going on, what's coming out, and who says what's gonna be what. Because this was the first console I ever bought, I had my doubts, maybe wait for PS2, or even not buy a console at all. Well, I must admit in the early going I was worried, I mean A} Sega-Past failures, B}Im forkin a lot of money out for this! C} Looking at clips from PS2 on the internet, all I could yell was "HOLY %#*^!. Any ways, from the recent Tokyo Game Show, I saw some clips from the DC. All I can say is this, if you are skeptical of the DC, and think the PS2 is gonna crush it, go take a look at Metropolis Street Racer, Tokyo Extreme Racer 2, and compare it to the likes of Ridge Racer. They look DAMN close to one another, and my friends couldn't tell the difference, nor could I. Now my question is this, Why the HELL would you go pay almost DOUBLE the amount for a system that may only look marginally better to what we have seen for the DC? {im not bashing PS2 here, but we all know PS2 is gonna cost a fair bit more then what a DC costs}. Never before have I being so happy with my DC, my friends, this is just the beginning :) Back to Code Veronica I go....

Another happy DC owner. We get a surprisingly steady stream of these letters. Anyway, to answer your question...

1) Brand loyalty.

and

2) Hype.

It's as simple as that.

From: FiEnD
Subject: Geez

I've been reading up on all this so-called hooey booey that Sega is working on a broad bandwidth modem for Dreamcast. All of my inquiries to Sega and have resulted in the same old cookie cutter responses. Is all of this true? You would think that Sega, having experimented with internet connectivity for 4 years would have something better to offer by now. This 56k modem just isn't cutting it anymore.

P.S. Is GameArts working on Gun Griffon 3 yet?

As mentioned in the news last week, Sega does indeed have a wide array of new connectivity options in the works, including an ISDN adapter and a LAN adapter. Currently it's thought that these peripherals will debut in the fall. We'll know more come E3.

As far as we can see, there are no Gun Griffon plans for the Dreamcast. The PS2 will be getting Gun Griffon 2 Blaze, but that's about as close as you'll get at the moment.

From: Saugar Maripuri
Subject: Code Veronica Review

In your review of RE: Code Veronica, you commented on the poor save system. One of the options you described was leaving the DC on, which could "drain the VMU battery." This is actually not the case. When the VMU is plugged into the controller, and the Dreamcast is on, your VMU is powered the by power supply in the Dreamcast, not the lithium battery. If you want to look at your save files or play mini games when the VMU is not plugged into the controller, the battery allows you to do that.

So, techinically speaking, you could remove the battery from the VMU, put it into the controller, and still have it save your game and function normally. Just a little FYI.

Yours Truly,
Saugar Maripuri

You're partially right. The VMU battery is drained constantly, whether the system is on or not. Hence the suckers tend to run out really fast, which can be quite annoying when you finally get a VMU game worth playing and you find the batteries have died. Like you say though, during a game the VMU is powered by the console, so the battery is not necessary to create or maintain game saves (thank god!).

From: Your Mom
Subject: Did somebod-y poop?

Is this fragmaster that does the mailbag?

Humm?

what happend to the feeak letters sections like on phl?! I WANT FREAKS DAMNIT AND I WANT EM NOW

!

ALso do you want to buy 20pounds of genu-ine eskimo shit?

its tastey!

annyys i came to say that the PS2 verticle holder is useless.

Well, your letter turned into a freak letter at the end. Nice. But to answer, I am not Fragmaster, but BenT. Frags sort of took a step away from PlanetDreamcast to focus on other things, as he's now the Console/Classic Genre Director around here. I know, it sounds important. He's really busy, but that doesn't mean I can't still pelt him with plastic fruit, which I do regularly.

From: AliciaCTaylor
Subject: Basketball

Thanks for the letter. Here is our reply:

To: AliciaCTaylor
Subject: Re: Basketball

From: Residentevil001
Subject: (no subject)

Can you order resident evil code veronica action figures on this website?
please e mial back.

Yes, you can. No guarantees you'll actually receive anything, though. Would you like Chris, Claire, or a Zombie? You can e mial me back with your answer and billing info.


That's another mailbag. I have to go do some PS2 reviews now, including that *GASP* dancing game, Stepping Selection. I've never really danced worth crap before, let alone in front of a blaring TV with my coworkers looking on. So, in the name of all that is holy, I beg you...

Kill me now.

Thanks.

Oh yeah, here's the Mailbag Addy. Feel free to bother us if you want. Anyway, I'm going to dance now. Ta.


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