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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 5/19/01
    Community - Mailbag

5/19/01 - Sega Sports, Import Games, and Various Rants
- by Mr. Domino

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!

From: Brad White
Subject: Importing DC Games

I'm lucky enough to be going to Japan later this month, and I was wondering if you have any advise about what would be good to look for importing.

Some days I'm more patient than others, but I think that I can wait for the english versions of most games assuming that they are actually going to be released in North America.

Some of the things that I am thinking about importing are Hundred Sword, Fire Pro Wresting D & any of the Sakara games (I know that Sakara will be heavy on the Japanese text, but I'd like to see what's it's like anyways).
Is there any thing else that I should look for.
Do you think there is any possibility of finding any Interac Alloy Sticks over there - I know that they were recalled here, but I don't know if they have a presence in Japan.
Thanks...

--
<-*-o-*-o-*-o-*-o-*--- Tribble & onion kabob.

Sakura Taisen 3: Is Paris Burning? would be a good game to pick up, and you may want to consider grabbing the Dreamcast re-releases of the first two Sakura Taisen Saturn games since they did clean up quite a bit of the graphics and should be easier to find than the originals. If you're just a Sakura fan, then be sure to pick up Sakura Hanagumi Columns 2, a very nice puzzle games with an array of options. You can easily trial and error your way through most of the game except for the adventure modes. However, if you're willing to put up with Sakura Taisen 3, you may also want to look for Black Matrix A/D, a game which simply will never come to the US due to its involved and twisted view on religion. The Saturn version is pretty rare, and the Dreamcast re-release isn't exactly much easier to find, either.

Twinkle Star Sprites is one of the best games ever in my opinion, a hybrid shooter/versus game. It was originally released on the Saturn, and while the Saturn version is better (includes more options and animation), the Dreamcast version is much easier and inexpensive to find at this point. Puyo Puyoon is a great puzzle game featuring the well known cast of Puyo Puyo characters, and it's a really nice game (even has a four player mode), although it does have some major balance issues when you play a mode which allows special attacks. Rent A Hero No. 1 is a very quirky, strictly Japanese adventure game worth picking up as well. If you like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, you may want the import copy just because its not censored, and while you're at it look into Guilty Gear X, the only high-resolution fighter available. Pop 'N Music has its fans, although I have yet to play it to be able to voice an opinion. Finally, Fire Pro Wrestling D is a good choice as you noted, and if you're a wrestling fan, definitely look into Giant Gram 2000.

From: Nic
Subject: giga wing

I think your being a little harsh on giga wing one in your preview for giga wing 2. I mean, you said that it was a quarter sucker, and it was just die, bomb,die,bomb,die through the entire game, and are you sure it wasn't just you that had problems with it? I'm not trying to be offensive, but I could honestly go through it in 3 or 4 quarters at the arcade. That's just as much as one turn at a racing game or a shooting game, and for a lot longer time. The thing is, Giga wing had a small element of strategy of when to use the shield and when to dodge and let the shield charge, and when to break down and use a bomb. Giga wing was made for old school gamers like me, those who remember the days when almost every game was a shooter. and most of those "impossible" bullet waves you were talking about, aren't all that impossible, even without the shield, you could dodge them, you just had to move with the bullets and prioritize what your doing. Is shooting at the boss my priority, or is dodgeing these bullets my priority. that boss isnt going away, you can divert fire while you dodge.

It really was a great game for old school fans like me, and wasnt all THAT hard. sure it was difficult, but not the terribly frustrating, evil, super hard game you say it is.

Yeah, that is a bit of an exaggeration, although that's what most people's impressions of GigaWing tend to be from experience. It's not a bad game, but there's not a whole lot to the game to make it stand out except for the immense, difficult bullet waves.

From: Bo Ford
Subject: Cancellations

I cannot sit by and say nothing anymore.I was devestated when I heard that System Shock2 for the DC was canned.I have the PC version,but my PC barely runs the game due to the high specs.So I was VERY excited when I heard about a DC port of this excellent game.Then the news came about Eidos' cancellation of LoK:Soul Reaver2.Now I just heard that Half-Life might get the axe next.I was a loyal Sony supporter until they showed their true colors with the PS2 and extreme lack of what I call "consumer respect".Now it appears that Sega is following in Sony's footsteps.I understand that it's the developer's decision to cancel or not,but can't Sega do SOMETHING to keep good games coming(102 Dalmations,Chicken Run,shall i go on?).With regards to Sony and Sega,Microsoft is looking like my last hope....Nintendo sucks harder than Jenna Jameson.Thanks for listening to my rant.

Well, every system has its share of Grinches and 102 Dalmations, and the Dreamcast had a quite small crap ratio when you look at all the good games available, especially considering the system has only been available in the US for a year and a half. Half-Life is not being canceled, although Counter Strike is a long, nearly impossible shot at this point. Sega really can't do much to keep third-parties developing for the Dreamcast since they have little chance to profit from the system in the long run as they would developing for the other systems. There still is money to be made on the Dreamcast, but games take an enormous amount of money and time to make, and the lack of a guaranteed payoff in a risking Dreamcast landscape is more than enough to scare off any developer trying to stay in business.

From: Eduardo linares
Subject:  

hey ! i wanna see dreamcast best games !!!!! k i dont wanna send u mails

Knock yourself out.

From: rich harmon
Subject: Illbleed kicks @ss!!

I have now beaten illbleed 2 times and received the best ending w/ just Eriko, and I know to most this will be old news but what the heck. A lot of people wanted to know if the "nude" code is intact in the american version, well I can assure you it is! The 2nd time through don't rescue any of your friends and by the time you get to the 6th stage(in the 5th don't rescue Jorg either) Eriko, albeit with dirt marks covering her body as best it can, will be completely stark naked. now perhaps I can have someone either prove or disprove something that I have a question about. On the back of the cover for Illbleed the 3rd screen is one I don't recognize at all. I think this might be some kind of hidden mini game. Does anyone have any idea? Is it a screen shot that was going to be in the game and perhaps didn't make it? Maybe I'm the only one that's noticed it. Please someone let me know. If it is a mini game I would like to know how to access it. Thanks

I don't recognize it. Tim and Tim 2 have no idea. Even Mr. Owl can lick his way to an answer. Any readers want to help out?

From: Warren
Subject: Dreamcast/Future

I'm seriously considering getting rid of my piece of crap n64 and getting a Dreamcast. But I have encountered a lot of confusion towards Dreamcast's future. I really want a Dreamcast for the wide variety of Arcade style games and especially Crazy Taxi 2 and American Pro Trucker. Before I purchase one though I just would like the "true story" of what is happening with Dreamcast and all the games future etc.

Also, do you know if there will be a NFL2k2 or NBA2k2 or NHL2k2?

thanks,
Chris

You want the true story? You mean like that tabloid smut magazine that old woman read through but never buy while waiting in line to purchase taste-free groceries? All you need to know is that once Sega announced that the company would cease production of its 128-bit system, most third-party companies ran faster than a three-legged man who can run really fast. While the Dreamcast will still receive games throughout the remainder of this year and a bit into 2002, don't fool yourself into thinking the Dreamcast is a viable system. It's days are numbered.

However, it's still got about a good year left in it, and the games still scheduled to come out are without a doubt going to be among the best seen on any console, including the couple you mentioned. If you're looking for arcade and multiplayer titles, go ahead and get the Dreamcast. With four controller ports, cheap hardware and software, and on-line play, it's simply the best multiplayer console on the market with the best of the best arcade style games. From racers to shooters to fighters, nothing tops the Dreamcast right now.

All three games -- NFL2K2, NBA2K2, and NHL2K2 were shown at E3 along with WSB2K2, Tennis2K2, and NCAA2K2: Road to the Rosebowl. All Sega Sports games will be released later this year (think fall through winter). Unfortunately, it'll look like Sega's baseball game will miss the season again.

From: Benny Sprangers
Subject: questions about sega Hi there.
I'm a dutch student, and I have to give a presentation about a company. I'v chosen sega, but it is really hard to get some information about it. I've already contacted sega.com but they gave me a rather useless link, so i'm going to try my luck with you guys. You already helped me a great deal with the information on your site, but I need a bit more like:
Target sales of sega the purpose of sega(like future expansions idea's) how many products saled How many offices (places, forgot the english word)sega has. These kinda things are pretty important for my presentation, so if you could give me a link, or even better, help me yourselfs, I would be really, really gratefull. I'm kinda running out of options and time you see.... Well, that's about it, sorry if I wasted your time by contacting the wrong persons, but I'm beginning to get desperate since I can't find any information! My e-mail addres is: [email protected] If you could mail your respons ad fast as possible to that address....
With kind regards,
Benny Sprangers

That's a lot of information the give, Sam, and we can't really provide any answers not available elsewhere. You can track down sales data at NPD and by searching the big faceless dubya with various related keywords. You should be able to find enough information in various news clippings scattered about the Internet to prove enough data to finish your project. General statistics should be enough to give a good analysis of the company's sales in relation to competitors.

Target sales aren't generally released. As with any other media, the target sales figure depends on the amount of product needed to sell to both recoup development costs and generate a profit. You can get a vague idea of how many games are needed to sell for a company to avoid losing money, but then you'd have to know the development, publishing, and marketing costs behind the games, and that's rare with the odd exception (such as Final Fantasy VII).

From: grendel-9
Subject: Driving Games

Why doesn't anybody but me see the perfection in Tokyo Extreme Racing 1 & 2? These games are innovative, sophisticated and graphically unchallenged by any other game, on any other system. Sega GT is a good game but Grand Turismo has been there done that. Wacky racers before TXR2? What are you guys drinking.
Joe

I'm enjoy a Nestea right now. It says "Cool Nestea" on the can, but it's not really called "Cool Nestea." That's just some clever ad agency's attempt to associate being "hip" with drinking tea. Nestea "Cools You To The Core," so I'm totally with it right now. At least until I drink a Coke or something.

You core must be really cool as well, because you're completely correct. Actually, I've been addicted to Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 for the past three weeks now after picking it up at Wal-Mart for $19. I've been a big fan of the original, but the sequel just got lost in the great Dreamcast game shuffle that hit late last year. As far as why it's not included in the best games list, that's summed up rather easily with a bit of drool. We're stupid. Actually, we still need to review the game (soon... once I open up that second half of the highway), and once the review is complete we'll add it to the list. Even with the occasional visual hiccup, it's just an incredible game not like any other. TXR2's races are easily the most exciting to be found anywhere -- it's very fast and tense.

From: Barca
Subject: Why didn't EA Sports make any games for DC?

Hi,
I know you probably heard this question thousands of time but since I still don't know the answer, I am asking it any way: Why didn't EA make any games for DC? It would've been cool to play NHL 2001 on my Dreamcast. There must be a reason that EA did not make a single game for DC. If you know, please tell me. I really love my DC and Sega, but I also have respect for EA Sports. I hope your answer won't break my heart in any way. Thanks.

Wahab Pahari

Short answer: EA sucks.
Long answer: EA lost a ton of money on the Saturn and wasn't looking to lose more with the Dreamcast. EA made lame excuse after lame excuse why the Dreamcast wasn't profitable, even though a good many companies were selling games on the system. The company just blinded itself to the incredible system to games ratio and whatnot. Really, EA could have easily ported over one of its PC sports titles and made some quick, easy revenue. While you can understand that a company would avoid wanting to develop for the Dreamcast now, EA could have easily turned a profit. A lot of the statements made by EA early in the Dreamcast's life really fly in the face of logic. Sad, really. The company is very arrogant, believing it can make or break any system; and while that chaffs various parts of me, it's difficult not to look around, see the maddening loyal fanbase the company garners, and wonder if that's really that far from the truth.

Of course, the lack of EA's support led to Sega's acquiring Visual Concepts and re-establishing the Sega Sports line as a force to be reckoned. Although the lack of EA's support really did have a very visable effect on the Dreamcast at large, it still does kinda have a silver lining, assuming silver is the color of good. I vote torquoise to be the color of evil.

From: Sandra Conroy
Subject: Shen mue + internet cost

hi PDC,
do u guys have any idea when shen mue 2 is coming out? also do u know how much the internet costs on the dreamcast internet..i would like 2 get PSO but i might spend 2 much on the net?

please help me out

ta all
Daniel

Nope. Not a clue. Sega still has yet to announce a release date, though you can expect it either late 2002/early 2003. As far as playing Phantasy Star Online, you only have to pay for an Internet Service Provider. Most ISPs hover around $20 per month, and any will work with your Dreamcast and games so long as it doesn't use special dial-up software (ie., AOL, other sucky stuff).

From: Aaron
Subject: capcom vs. snk

in regards to your review to this game, you must take note that the reason that the snk characters were 'hadicapped' was to balance the charaters out when matched up with the street fighter charaters. this would probbably apply to the lack of charater selection as well. a large cast would have possibly created a fighting game in a 'capcom vs marvel-esk' game where the charaters are more or less stapped out.

just a thought.

sepitos

Nah. Capcom is just a weenie.

From: ratkins1984
Subject: A Little Rant....

Hi there.

Although I am not normally one to write to publications such as yourselves the whole Dreamcast saga has fraustrated me into writing. Having been an avid follower of Sega since the early Master System days, and even when they were 3rd-party developers before that, I have to say that I am disgusted the way they have dumped us, the consumer, time and time again. Saturn, anybody? 32X, perhaps? Or even Sega-CD? Yes I know the old adage 'You pays your money, you makes your choice' but with the Dreamcast things seemed different. There was light at the end of the tunnel, and for once the smell was rosy. Then eighteen months on the bombshell came that Sega would discontinue production of Dreamcast and concentrate on developing games for other consoles, and typically game after game has been canned. This has left me extremely angry and in a crap kinda way betrayed. Where were the marketing campaigns (apart from the bullshit '6 billion players')? Yes we have the amazing games in abundance but if noone knows about them how are they expected to be sold? At the end of the day it all boils down to the fact that financially the DC just isnt viable to sustain production, let alone marketing and suchlike. Which leaves me wondering whether Sega should have spared us the dissapointment of letting us down again and left DC on the drawing board.

Or perhaps thats just me.

Cheers,

Richard

Nice little rant, and I can't say that you're too off base with your feelings on the matter. Still, it does kinda irk me when people call the Sega CD and Saturn failures. The Sega CD lasted three years and had 150 games developed for it. It was the most successful add-on ever produced, which is amazing in light of the price, system, and time. The Saturn had some truly incredible games made for it, and, contrary to what most Saturn fans say, they're not all "import only." Would you rather own a system that "lives" for five years and gives you five good games, or have a system which "lives" only a year but gives you 40 great games? If you're still playing games on a system long after it's been declared dead, then the system is truly a system. 32X is the only true failure, and even if has a handful of semi-decent games. It's no CD-I, but then, what is?

The only thing which truly annoys me about the Dreamcast as far as Sega pulling the plug is that I spent a great deal of time urging people to buy the system, pointing out the great games already available and "down the pipe." The March announcement made me feel like a liar, but I'm still happy with my Dreamcast purchase. I own more games for it in about a year than I have ever owned for any other system, and I can still name dozens more I still want to get and even more I'm waiting to come out. You may be disgusted with the position the company has taken, but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying the games you love the company for in the first place.

From: drakeofre76
Subject: All time greatest 2d beat 'em up

(question)

(answer)

From: MrMLFranklin
Subject: Virtua Tennis 2?

To Whom It May Concern:
I really like Virtua Tennis. Are there any plans for a Virtua Tennis part 2? I would love to see the game with Agassi, Sampras, and the women!!!
Uncle Marv

Check our E3 Tennis2K2 coverage for more details and the answers to your question.

From: Muggzy
Subject: Virtua Striker 3

Dear Planet Dreamcast,
As you may or may not know, the dreamcast has hardly any football (soccer) games, even the ones that are out are crap, its probably why no one buys the dc in the UK. Anyway do you guys have any idea when Virtua Striker 3 is hitting the shelves? I know its out in the arcades, but its starting to cost me and my mates a small fortune. Thanks
Muggzy

Virtua Striker 3 is going to be a spring 2002 release for Nintendo's GameCube. Unfortunately (or fortunately, considering how awful the prior games were), the game will not make it to Dreamcast. Sorry.

That's it for this Mailbag. Have a burning question? First extinguish the damn thing (get it!?), and then send it to this handy address.


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