7/2/00 - Piracy, College Football, and SegaNet
- by BenT
Welcome to the PDC Mailbag. Every week we toss in a bunch of letters from our readers and do our best to dazzle you with wit and wisdom. Roughly, that translates to copying/pasting your emails and writing the first thing that comes to mind. But hey, you take what you can get. If you have something you want to contribute to the Mailbag, send it to this address!
The big news this last week is that the Dreamcast's anti-piracy safeguards were finally cracked. Reader ZeroEX wrote up a little summary of the situation...
Subject: DC games are cracked and pirated
Apparantly, DC games are cracked by hackers and is available tru out the
Cracked games appear to be Tecmo's Dead or Alive 2. These games are
ripped from an original and can be burned on a CD and requires a special
"boot disc" to play.
The Dreamcast, (US or Jap) does not need to be modded, further more, the
import code is also broken as a result, thus any system can play.
SE Asian countries, such as Singapore, has already seen some pirates taking
of this and begun selling the boot disc and DoA2 cd. Crazy Taxi, Space
Channel 5 and
Res Evil: Code Veronica are rumoured to be next.
Although not widespread, next's gen system
are beginning to be pirated. PS2 has already a slew of pirated games, such
as RR5 and Tekken Tag burned on
normal Cd-Rs. PS2's DVD-Roms have yet been cracked, only those that are on
Cd-Roms. As a "bonus",
a modded PS2 can play pirated PS games.
Yep, all true. At the time of this writing, 24 Dreamcast games have been released onto the net.
From: Terence Hung Sai Kit
Hey planetDC,im curious about how the Utopia thing works ,where to get
it and is it allowed because im in asia and ive got a japanese DC
playing japanese games.Its ok if the game is like "soul calibur",no
storyline to understand but when shenmue comes out,how the heck am i
gonna understand it!So can you just provide me with some info about the
Utopia CD loader(like issit something like gameshark).
confused DC gamer...
All the Utopia Loader does is allow you to boot discs from any territory, as well as CD-R copies. It seems to work on Dreamcasts from all territories, although I'm not sure if there are any PAL/NTSC issues to contend with. The original release of the Loader has trouble working with the VGA Box, but a patch has since been released which rectifies that. No one has said anything pertaining to the legality of using the Loader, but I would surmise that it's fine so long as you only use it to play imports. CD-R's and "backups" (heh) are obviously quite illegal, though.
Unfortunately, the Loader does not have 100% game compatibility; see this page for info on what does and does not work. As such, if you really want US compatibility, the only 100% safe solution is to purchase a US Dreamcast. Yeah, that sounds boring, but it works. While you could also get your current system modded (try NCS for that), there are a select few American titles that do not work on modded systems. It's unknown if more similarly locked games will be released. Lastly, you could try looking into getting one of the "all-region" Dreamcasts that are supposedly being made for the Asian market. We haven't heard about these for a while, though, so I'm not sure if they'll ever see release.
From: Bill Allen
Subject: time stalkers
I dunno if I'm the only one that noticed this...but Time Stalkers has
almost all of the same features as Azure Dreams on Playstation...right
down to being able to uprgade the monster house and the main characters
house...randomly generated dungeons...and the ability to carry only a
limited number of items into them.
Quite true. I recently saw someone describe it as a "Rogue-like" game, and they were right; it does share a lot of gameplay mechanics with that great grandaddy of computer RPGs.
If you'd like more information on Nethack, the most popular Rogue-like game, see its home page. Also, a recent PlanetFargo column took a humorous look at the game.
From: Alex Williams
At first I found Space Channel 5 very difficult then when I really got
into it and it became fun and simple at the same time. I beat the game
with a 100% rating on both modes and I have everybody in the game, Space
Channel 5 is very addicting and I am always catching myself saying
"left, down, right chu". I liked your review a lot keep up the good
Cool beans. Apparently, you have much better timing than I do; I'd be happy to just complete the first report with 100%, much less the entire game. ;P
Subject: College Football
Will sega be coming out with any college football games.
Nope. They've been all but dead in the past couple years, despite the high demand from fans. If you want college football on a console, your best bet is to buy a Genesis or Saturn and find a copy of Bill Walsh College Football or the College Football USA series. Yeah, I know, not quite what you were looking for... ;/
From: Nina James
Subject: Dreamcast ping times?
hi, i was wondering if you could fill me in on some questions. first, how will the ping be for the dreamcast games like Quake 3 or Half-Life; DC has a 56k modem and Sega is saying that games will be enjoyable, PLEASE! a 56k modem can give you 300 ping on a computer, but what about the dreamcast? will sega's new ISP be better than others like microsoft? and will there be any Cable modem peripherals for the dreamcast and how would they work?
Sega claims that SegaNet will give 56k users a ping of around 200, which is what they classify as "very playable."
I happen to disagree with their assessment. Still, it'd be pretty hard to wring much more out of a measly 56k, so if you really feel the need for speed you'll have to go broadband. The Dreamcast LAN Adapter should be out sometime toward the end of the year. Will Sega's ISP be better than average? That remains to be seen. Myself, I'll just wait for the LAN Adapter and be done with it.
From: D-T-Ki Dood
Subject: Silent Scope
I was wondering if a riflle will be released along with silent scope.
I mean, I read in several places that the game will be played with a
controller, or a light gun, which kinda disappointed me...
It would be like "silent scope" without the scope!
Recent rumors indicate that a special gun accessory will be released in Japan later this year, but not in America. In fact, according to this IGN story, support for the gun peripheral will be completely removed from the US version. Ridiculous. Sounds like importing is in order here...
I'm looking all over planetdreamcast.com and IGN and all the other sites
that cater to DC, but I cannot find any sites that have all the cool combos
and special moves for DC's fighting games. I mean talk about twidling my
thumbs... I quit subscribing the paper gaming mags since they get info so
goddamn late, but now I need a web source for such goodies. Can ya recomend
a site? Or Point me to where I could find that on PlanetDC.com? Or make one
of your minions make one? ^_^
Ah, common question. GameFAQs.com is the place to go for all your FAQing needs. Enjoy.
From: Adam Spozio
Subject: Dreamcast is the topic today
Dreamcast is crap!
But I think you already know that.
Typical anti-DC hate mail... when you run a DC site, you get these once in a while. Unfortunately, they can never supply good reasoning or arguments, and just end up looking lame. If you're gonna bash the Dreamcast, at least make a concerted effort. :)
That's it for this week. What do you think of DC piracy? Is it cool that you can play the latest games for the price of a blank CD? And what does it mean for Sega? Keep the letters coming, to this handy address.
Cya next week!