8/18/01 - Euro-Gamers and a Bunch of Small Stuff...
- by digitaltaco
Welcome to the latest edition of the PlanetDreamcast Mailbag. As usual, I read the letters you send and respond to them with a little bit of "the funny" and and a bit of "the knowledge." Then they get posted here for you too read. And as always, if you want to be a part of it all, send letters to this address. This week, I've decided to let RaptoR start things off. So, without further adieu, I present to you, the PlanetDreamcast Mailbag...
Subject: Regards to PAL and NTSC
PAL games use a different resolution than NTSC games. The reason it takes so long to convert a game to the European PAL format is because of the higher resolution. It requires extra programming to get the frame rate the same.
I guess the fact that we Europeans can play (most) games at 640x480 60Hz kind of makes up for the painful waits that we have to endure. While I'd like to think that all developers are as talented as Sonic Team -- who gave Euro gamers Sonic Adventure 2 at 640x480 60Hz at 60 frames per second just days after the US release -- it's not the case. I can understand, however, why this might be an issue with games such as Unreal Tournament, which need to strike the perfect balance of speed and realistic effects. I can honestly say, though, that when I played UT using my DCX disk, that there was very little difference speed-wise between PAL (640x480 pixels) and NTSC (512x384 pixels) mode. As any PC gamer will tell you, the higher you crank up the screen resolution, the lower performance becomes. Perhaps all this time we needed remove the game's online functions instead :(.
From: Wouter Van Poucke
Subject: Eurogames editorial
Being a European gamer myself , i couldnt agree more with your editorial.
( BUT i like Fighting Vipers2 better then soulcalibur: my opinion:)) I just
want to add this: be glad that you live in the UK! I live in Belgium: in
our capital Brussels where stores have given up on dreamcast since the
beginning of this year! Their is only ONE shop (a japanese import shop) which also
sells Euro games. If you get a game in the UK, we in belgium probably will
have to wait for another 2 or 3 months!!!! Now just recently thanx to the
shop mentioned earlier, this is no longer a fact. You compain about the
Modem and understand you, but be glad that you received the modem!!! To my
recollection, here in belgium the modems were removed from the DC pack
because there wasnt any connection yet in Belgium. NO, we got a coupon
that allowed us to get our modem when the online functions could be used in
Belgium. But what do you do with your coupon when there isnt a store left
that sells dreamcast and showes whatsoever interest in it? NO ONLINE PLAY.
Im not mad at SEGA for all this, not at all. I still think the DC is the
greatest console ever created. Its just sad that we never got to play
online with our dreamcast... and there are a lot af factors that are responsible
Wouter Van Poucke
Thanks for the feedback, Wouter. In fact, this letter is typical of many repsonses we received from readers around Europe (and let's not forget New Zealand and Aussie land). It seems these guys are even more unlucky than us Brits. As we all know, waiting for games sucks, and all I can say really in response to your mail is that I feel your pain ;(. The next time I get an ICQ message from Celeryface about a game that isn't out over here... I'll... I'll... CRY!
From: [email protected]
Europeans should get more out of Sega and every other videogaming company out
Amen. We should get as least as much as those US-type people get in terms of games and peripherals.
From: Adrian McHale
Yes, some of the waiting times are indeed shocking, however you should check my reply to Stibbons' letter, as many of these points could explain why European gamers have to wait so much longer than others in the US and Japan. Well, it seems our collective prayers have been answered, as Sega do now plan to release PSO Version 2 in the UK and Europe :).
Subject: Being a gamer in the land accross the sea
I totally agree with RaptoR. It's shocking that we have to wait longer for games that can often turn out to be ruined because of their impatience with European gamers. How much more time, money and effort would it really take to make a European version of Phantasy Star Online 2? They did it once why can't Sega do it again?
From David McHale, Scotland
Message from RaptoR: Thanks for everyone (around 30 of you) who wrote in with their views concerning my British Gamers editorial. Although I read every feedback mail that arrives in my mailbox, there just isn't enough room in the humble PDC mailbag for everyone's replies :). And now, back to the scheduled mailbag...
From: Bryce Emett
Subject: you guys don't know how to review.
It's a little late for a letter like this but I just read your mortal kombat 4 review. Did you even play the game??? god damn. The combo system is not even close to umk3. When the game came out in arcades it had the most polygons per player than any other game out there. It was the best selling arcade game of the year. So whats your problem. Maybe you should go play the game.. Power stone??? What the fuck is that. That has to be the dumbest fighter ever made. Don't compare mortal kombat with that game. I will agrea that MK4 gold was not the best port. but jesus christ. You guys disgrace yourself reviewing a game the way you reviewed that one. I guess thats why you write for planetdreamcast and played a damned system. Every game on the dreamcast was a bad port. Except the Capcom fighters. Get out and play some games man. Stop with this one sided, I like what I like so this must suck attitude.
Hmm... You're right, I never did play Mortal Kombat 4 on the Dreamcast... Then again, I myself, nor anybody else on the staff with the exception of BenT and the elusive Tren were even with PlanetDreamcast when that review was written. So what you actually mean, is that Fragmaster, who is no longer with GameSpy, doesn't know how to review. And while I will not make a judgement whether or not that is true, I will say that Frammaster is one of the funniest individuals I've ever come in contact with. We miss him here at PlanetDreamcast and hope he is succeeding in his current ventures.
Oh, and Bryce, play Soul Calibur instead...
From: [email protected]
will counter-strike be comeing out on the dc cos ive heard rumers that i
t is later on this year is this true ([email protected]
om e-mail me please
I would say that the answer to that question is a resounding, "NO." Unfortunate as that is, no version of Half-Life will be coming to the Dreamcast. Sierra's original plan was to release the single-player portion of Half-Life, in addition to the new Blue Shift scenario, first with a multiplayer, online version of Half-Life coming in the future. It would have been this second release that would have contained Counter-Strike. Unfortunately, after the first Dreamcast Half-Life release was cancelled, all hope for a second version with Counter-Strike went down the drain as well. I suppose we're stuck playing it on our PCs now. But that isn't so bad, is it?
From: [email protected]
i was wondering if sega was going to make another platform in the future?
Though it would not be impossible for another Sega platform to be released, the chances are highly unlikely. Sega was so far in debt after the Dreamcast, that the only way the company could stay alive was to become a third-party developer across all platforms. And since then, the company has become more and more profitable. So, if a new platform was ever released, it wouldn't be for some time. And even then, I still find it doubtful...
From: Wes Calvert
Subject: Canadian Dreamcast Price
Great site! Thought I'd take a moment to throw a bone your way. Would you
believe that the Canadian Dreamcast price (at Toys R Us) is $99.99 which,
when you take into account the current exchange rate, is US$65.
If anybody's vacationing in Canada, pick one up. Shoot,.. pick up a couple.
A Dreamcast in every room. Maybe a little bathroom gaming. Quake! on the
john if you know what I mean.
Thanks for the letter, Wes. Although, the Dreamcast price has now been dropped in the United States to a mere $69.99. This means that you can probably find a used system for around $40-50. And I know what you mean about picking up extra Dreamcasts. Though I only have one right now, I'm going to be buying another soon so I don't have to move the Dreamcast into the other room to play games that don't support the VGA adapter. And beyond that, if one ever breaks, it'll be nice to have a back-up.
From: cheryl braun
Subject: stupid invaders
I was just wondering if Stupid Invaders is out on dreamcast...I don't see
it in your list. I'd rather get it on dreamcast than on PC.
The Dreamcast Database has not been updated recently because we're getting clse to starting up an all-new database, which will be the same found at GameSpy.com. So look forward to that in the future. About Stupid Invaders... The game has, in fact, been released and you can even check out our review of the game right here. Happy reading!
From: Brian Pipa
Subject: Arcade Dreamcast Cabinet
Hey, how's it going?
I just got a Dreamcast about 2 months ago and am SOOOO impressed by it. It's
the first console I have owned since a SNES (I'm a PC Gamer) and the DC is
unbelievable! I also collect arcade games (the REAL, coin-op,
put-in-a-quarter kind - see my site at http://www.pipa.net/arcade ).
Anyway, I decided to make a dedicated arcade Dreamcast for myself. I plan
on going all out - paint the cabinet white, put the DC logo on the sides,
make a custom Dreamcast marquee and control panel, etc. I just bought a
practically new cabinet (actually - 2 :) to put the DC in. It has an access
panel that the DC will sit behind ot swap games easily and I'll use real
arcade controls on the control panel. I found the DC2JAMMA site, but I can't
find any sites with pictures of a home-made Dreamcast arcade machine. Surely
someone has done this before? If so, where are the proud pictures?? Don't
tell me I'll be the first to do this and fully document it??? I'd like to
see what others have done for art on it.
If you or your readers would be interested, I'll keep you updated on my
Wow, Brian! That sounds like a great idea! I think having a nice, full-sized arcade cabinet for my Dreamcast would be very cool, indeed. Whether or not you're the first to do it isn't really the point I'm sure. Just having the behemoth machine in your arcade next to all your other units will make it all worth it! Be sure to send us pictures of you getting down with Soul Calibur if you get it finished! Good work!
From: shawn scott
Subject: I NEED NIGHTS!!
shouldnt sega put nights on dreamcast greates hits volume 2.? or what about sonic jams and well they make a nights 2.i swear if i dont get nights i'll go insain....er.plz right back to my demited messege
Demented is right! Well, NiGHTS is one of those games that I think everybody wants a sequel to. If you're just looking to get your hands on the original NiGHTS, you can pick up a used Saturn and copy of the game on Ebay for very little money. A sequel has been hinted at, but never realized. Some think that Sega may announce a NiGHTS sequel for the Nintendo Gamecube at the Space World show next week. I guess the only thing we can do is wait and see.
From: Paul Tatersall
Is it possible to hook a printer up to the dream cast also is it possible that they could play dvd`s
The answer to both those questions is, "no." But the real answer you're looking for is "punctuation!" Those clever little symbols allow people to know when your sentances begin and end, and can even be used to break up the flow of the sentence, as my commas are proving right now. Grammar is fun!
From: Zac C
Do you have a search function on your page? I wanted to search for the
bleemcast. And do you know where you can buy it, not just the GT2 one
Actually, there is a news search function on our site, which is located here!? As for bleem!, you can read our review of the Gran Turismo 2 version right here. The best place for news about the latest bleem releases, is the Official bleem! Website. Recently, bleem! annoucned that the second bleempak! with support for Metal Gear Solid has been completed and fully tested. It will be released very soon, and they will be taking preorders on their site. The next release, Tekken 3, is currently in the testing phase and will be released in conjunction with, or shortly after the MGS version. And if you don't want to buy it straight from bleem!, both Electronics Boutique and Fry's Electronics both carry the disc. I hope that helps you out!
That's it for this Mailbag. We'll see you next week! And remember, you can send all your questions and hate-mail to this address.
Until next time!