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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 7/15/00
    Community - Mailbag

7/15/00 - Light Guns, PC vs. DC, and Misc. Stuff
- 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!

From: Will Ritz
Subject: Silent Scope

I have also heard many claims about Silent Scope on the DC and it really pisses me of that Sega may not release a gun with the game. I own House of the Dead 2 and was very disappointed when Sega didn't release a gun for that game. I still went out and bought a 3rd party gun and it works great but Sega could have spared us the time and extra money by just releasing the gun. I mean what's the big deal? It's a plastic gun for crying out loud it's not like we will get any bad ideas and go out and shoot people because we have a plastic gun used to shoot video game characters. I E-mailed Sega about the light gun situation and here's what they had to say.

"Thank you for E-mailing us here at Sega. Sega of America will not produce or distribute a light gun in the US for Sega Dreamcast. Sega's decision not to sell a light gun as a peripheral for the Sega Dreamcast in the US is purely a financial one. There is not currently sufficient demand by retailers to justify the production, distribution and support of a light gun peripheral in the US. However, Sega is open to discussing possible licensing of any third party peripheral for Sega Dreamcast by third party manufacturers who might be interested in producing such a product."

I think this is a bunch of BS I know a ton of people who bought HOTD 2 and are planning to buy Silent Scope they are just as mad as I am about the light gun situation. Is there anything we can do to change Sega's mind about light guns? If so I would like to see things change.

Will Ritz

I doubt there's anything we could do. It's just another seemingly stupid decision on Sega's part.

However, it's rumored that a special gun will be created for the DC version of Silent Scope, so it might be possible to import the Japanese version of that upon its release. Hopefully the US version won't be made incompatible, ala House of the Dead 2.

From: Gavin
Subject: Lightgun Stuff


I just bought my dreamcast a few weeks ago and it's great, but one of the problems I've noticed is the lack of shooters with an obviously wicked lightgun (House of the Dead 2 just isn't enough). Will there be any more lightgun games, or better yet a lightgun game that supports the dpad (which is built into one I can't remember the name of).


Konami's Silent Scope is the only one on the horizon. You could always import the DC version of Virtua Cop 2, but it's really not very good.

From: Marco Melgazzi
Subject: Quick Question


I just bought a dreamcast (after many many hours wondering if I should get a PSX instead or get ripped off by buying a PS2 right when it gets out) and I am happy with it. I just have one gripe: the absence of a game like Point Blank 2 from Namco (main reason I was considering a PSX) do you have any idea if this game or any like it will ever come out on the DC ? HOTD2 is fine and all, but I would like some more replayability and variety if possible.

Of course if the people at bleemcast will manage to get this game to work with the DC's light gun I would be a really really happy camper ;)

Cheers !

There is nothing like Point Blank 2 available for the Dreamcast at the moment.

Have you tried the first Point Blank yet? I actually like it better than the sequel.

From: Matthew Stolz
Subject: "Dreamcast Sucks" from Grant Hummer

I love my PC and all, and I probably play it 10x more then my Dreamcast, but the guy basically plaguerized the entire front page article out of this month's PC Gamer magazine "98 Reasons Why the PC Still Rocks" or something like that, I don't have it in front of me... I mean there's entire copied sentences from the damn thing... It'd be one thing to rant pointlessly about a never-settled argument, but to do it with someone else's words... well that's just gay. But I guess original thought takes quite a lot of effort eh? Jesus H. Christ man, get your own ideas.

From: Ginjirou
Subject: What's the use?

Just when i'm reading some well thought out letters in your weekly mailbag, I come across crap from some PC or Sony fanboy that either makes no sense or is just a bunch of conjectured bullshit.

I think you guys should'nt even bother posting the letters. They never come back to read the response because they're so afraid of being disproven.

Keep up the good work.

Well, if we only printed letters that agreed with us, it wouldn't be a very worthwhile mailbag, eh?

From: David Glue
Subject: Just a slight correction...

Not to comment on the entirety of your rebuttal to the PC advocate, but just one small nitpitck:

"Ah, a PC stalwart, eh? Let's address your points one by one. 1. Only in a perfect world would game companies take advantage of all of the newest PC technologies. Sure, there may be cards out there that support "free" full-scene anti-aliasing, motion blur, anisotropic filtering, bump mapping, the works... but you won't find any games that use them. "

Actually, that's not entirely correct. First is anti-aliasing: the GeForce, GeForce2, and Voodoo5 all simply have a slider/pull down menu in the control panel to select anti-aliasing. You set the quality of anti-aliasing you desire, and launch your game - bingo, - good-bye jaggies. No developer support necessary.

The GeForce2 can also do the same for anisotropic filtering - no extra programming is needed. And several games support bump mapping, although that is more in line with your point in that it requires developer support, but AA and anisotropic filtering do not.

Take care.

You're absolutely correct. To be truthful, I just used the first graphics-related terms that popped in my head. As you stated, I should have limited it to technologies like bump mapping and Matrox's DualHead stuff, things that require special support on the part of game developers. Seems like you got the gist of it, though. ;)

From: Drew Dorton
Subject: Consoles vs. PCs

While I respect your views on console gaming vs PC gaming, I'd like to know why you think that consoles are the "dominant gaming platform". Don't get me wrong, console games are great, but I just don't see how anyone can think that console games are dominant over PC games. Sure, I know that consoles have certain genres that do a lot better on consoles than on PCs (such as sports, arcade fighting and racing games), and PCs have their own types of games that are great, but I think that when you look at both plaforms in general, it is clear that PC games are a more satisfying gaming experience. Allow me to explain.

First of all, like Grant Hummer explained, PCs are upgradable. An they're not as expensive as you may think. There are lots and lots of wholesale stores that sell PC stuff at rock-bottom prices, and on-line retailers usually always have good deals. Anyway, one really doesn't need to upgrade his/her PC as often as you may think. I upgraded my PC to a P2 400 with a 64 mb of ram and a Voodoo 3 well over a year ago, and that setup still works great. I can still run any new game on the market with great speed and quality.

Secondly, the games are also upgradable. Sure, you could play DC Halflife or Q3 and have a great time online playing conventional deathmatch (or Q3 CTF, but that *really* blows). That would be great for a console user, but PC Half-life players have access to tons and tons of incredible mods such as Counterstrike. Of course, DC HL might just include CS, so I admit I'd be wrong. We'll just have to wait and see. But either way, I'm sure you see my point. User modifications allow for deeper gameplay and more variety.

Thirdly, PCs allow for deeper and more satisfying games in general. Take RPGs for example. Yeah, I realize consoles have produced some of the greatest RPGs (Chrono Trigger is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, out of both consoles and PCs), but just play any Black Isle RPG (especially Planescape: Torment) and tell me that PCs don't have some *serious* merit (if you did, I'd have you commited ). And we can't forget strategy games. Consoles might have some fairly good ones (I *think* I heard that Starcraft 64 is good for an N64 game, but I don't really know since I despise most N64 games), but I guarantee there would be no way in *Hell* (strong words coming from an Atheist) that *anyone* could reproduce a 3D strategy game like Homeworld or Ground Control with intuitive controls using one of those control pads.

So as you can see, PCs as a viable gaming platform are definitely here to stay. They offer a very different but ultimately deeper and more satisfying gaming experience that do consoles. Need further proof? Just pick up the latest issue of PC Gamer (august) and read their "State of the PC Union." But like I said: don't get me wrong, I think consoles are great (except the N64), but I just don't see how someone can argue that PC gaming is in any way substandard to console gaming.

Well, we could argue back and forth all day about which is "better," but that all comes down to personal opinion and preference. You find the PC titles "deeper and more satisfying"? That's fine, but not everyone will agree with you. Personally, I would say that I like console and PC games equally, as each has aspects the other cannot duplicate.

On the other hand, I'm almost positive that consoles will continue to be the "dominant gaming platform." (They already are, right?) If you compare price, ease of use, and market appeal, consoles win hands-down. The average person / casual gamer doesn't want to spend money on upgrades every so often to keep up with the latest PC games, nor will they find the types of games they are accustomed to (Soul Calibur, MGS, Crazy Taxi, anything Japanese) on a PC. As for your specific points...

1) Many people don't even know how to turn on a computer, much less *open it* and *install new hardware*. Sure, PC's are upgradable, but a majority of potential users won't take advantage of this. To many, the best way to "upgrade" is to buy a whole new computer, and that gets expensive fast.

2) I agree there. This is a key advantage of PC games, and one reason I love 'em.

3) Console RPGs (Final Fantasy, Lunar, Phantasy Star) and Computer RPGs (Might & Magic, Baldur's Gate, Wizardry) are two entirely different beasts. There's little point to directly comparing them -- it's apples and oranges. As for console-to-PC ports, I don't even bother with 'em. With very few exceptions, the original PC game is typically much better.

Does that make my thought process clear? I'm not putting down PC games, but simply saying that they'll remain a niche compared to the huge market for console games. If you want proof, look at the recently-released Final Fantasy IX. During the course of two days, it sold over 2 million copies... and that's just in Japan! For comparison, a moderately successful PC title might sell in the neighborhood of 100,000. That's not even in the same ballpark.

From: Boldman
Subject: A decent beat-em-up controller

Reading the MVC2 review reminded me of a question I was going to ask you guys.

I have a Jap version of Streetfighter 3, and in it there appears to be a advert for a new pad (made by Ascii??) which seems to be tailor-made for beat-em- ups. Will this pad be released in the US or over here in Europe?

From a beat-em-up fan suffering from crap DC controller syndrome.

James Boldman

PS You were right about MVC2 - it rocks!

The ASCII Pad FT ("Fighting Type") is what the ad referred to. It's a fairly good pad which emulates the old Genny 6-button / Saturn layouts. It features one VMU slot and a built-in rumble feature. It's not perfect, though. The rumble doesn't work properly in some titles, and the directional pad itself is not quite as good as the Sega controllers it seeks to copy. The FT is a little expensive, too -- most places are charging in the neighborhood of $35 - $40 these days, and that's before shipping. Still, when it comes to 2D fighters, it definitely kicks the crap out of any of the domestically-available pads. Any decent import store should stock the ASCII FT.

Another option is the Total Control 3 Adapter, which allows you to use Saturn controllers with the Dreamcast. Unfortunately, quality control on these things seems to be poor, as a bunch of people have received defective units. I've also heard that the adapter adds a small amount of lag to your inputs, making it less than ideal for precise games like shooters. In any case, when you consider how much the Saturn pads rock, the Total Control 3 is still an attractive alternative. If you go this route, the best place to buy would probably be Video Game Depot. Why? They test each and every Total Control 3 they sell, so you can be assured that you won't receive a defective unit.

From: Randy
Subject: Sega Rally 2

I enjoyed your review on Sega Rally 2. I agree it's a great racing game on the Dreamcast. On the Saturn system I enjoyed it a bit more with Sega's racing wheel because it really gave me a better feel than the joystick. I thought a relatively expensive and adjustable wheel such as Interact's Concept 4 racing wheel would give me the same feel as Sega Saturn's racing wheel...but it did not. I could control a turn to a certain point but then the car, no matter the settings, would fish tail!!! Sega Saturn's racing wheel would allow me to continue the turn without getting into that radical fish tail.

Is there a racing system out there that works the best with the Dreamcast Sega Rally 2? If so please inform on the make, model, apprx. price, and where I can purchase.


P.S. Am I the only one experiencing this "fish tail" sensitivity on the Dreamcast Sega Rally 2 with Interact's Concept 4 racing wheel? Maybe I am not adjusting the car settings or the racing wheel settings to get that better control...

Hmm, we're not real big on driving controllers. Any Sega Rally 2 vets care to chime in?

From: Joey Theslug
Subject: Silhouette Mirage and Hardcore Gamers

I was on PD today, and noticed your small article about how Daily Radar (The messenger of Satan) was talking about how Silhouette Mirage was too "hardcore" for the average person. I am not totally certain as to why "casual gamers" can't enjoy this game, but I've had some experiences that may shed some light on the subject (or not).

When I bought this game (The U.S. PSX version), I thought it was an interesting game, with a storyline that nearly drove me insane with it's seemingly infinite plotholes, and depressing metaphors. However, the gameplay was very good, besides the fact that W.D. nearly ruined the game by making the final boss nigh impossible to kill. Eitherway, I thought the game was a fine example of Treasure's goodness, since the only things I really didn't like were put in by W.D. I showed the game to my game playing friends, and they thought mostly the same things. A few months later, my PSX went bust, and I gave the games I had to a friend of mind, who had little games.

This friend... is a lumox. He's huge, doesn't understand that he's smashing your brains out with his playfulness, and has an I.Q. of probably 79. Eitherway, I gave him some games, along with S.M. After a couple weeks, I asked him how he liked the games he got, and he said they were pretty good, except that he didn't mention Silhouette Mirage. When I asked him about it, he said some things like "It makes no sense", and "How do I kill enemies?". All I could think was- "am I the only person on this earth who actually goes through the little 'how to play' sections at the beginning of the game?". I mean, this game is rather straightforward. I beat the game with all 5 paths using only about 4 of the many moves!

I'm pretty sure that the reason people don't like this game is because it overwhelms them- makes them feel inferior. People don't really like RPG's and whatnot because they can't just play it straight through in a couple minutes- same thing with S.M., just that they don't want to understand the game. IT's the same way I am with math. If people would just give the game a chance, I'm sure they'd make it far enough to be turned off by the bizarre enemies and storyline. That's all.


Heheh, great closing line. Thanks for your thoughts.

From: Snowboarder36
Subject: Ads

Where the hell are the ads for the "Free Dreamcast" dealie??? I see no ads! Where are they? Sega has a brilliant idea like this and then they fail to capitalize. my God!

Good question. Hopefully the ads will start to appear in September, the month when the actual promotion will begin.

From: Rampage
Subject: Cheats for Soul Calibur

I love your site. Its definitely one of the best out there. I have one question though. I have tried your cheat on how to get Edge Master but it doesn't work. I have beaten the game with every single character up until cervantes but cannot Edge Master. Is my copy of soul calibur defected or did I miss something? Do I have to beat the game without any continues? Please E-mail me back because I don't know who else to turn to.

P.S. love this site. Its the greatest.

The most common thing people miss is beating the game with Xianghua's third costume. To use the third costume, unlock it in Mission Mode and then select Xianghua by holding down Y and pressing X.

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

Until next week!

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