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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 3/10/01
    Community - Mailbag

3/10/01 - Release Dates, Game Ratings, and Super Knuckles
- 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: nmiddlet3
Subject: complaint

we have just bought a dreamcast, and are dissapointed to find that we ca nt get to sites we require like you can on a p.c. it is also very slow. i can easily say im not impressed. Could u possibly send me info telling me all u can about this so called excellent computer a.s.a.p and how 2 go about getting a keyboard. Thanks

The Dreamcast PlanetWeb browser is, in a word that's greater than four letters, garbage. They spend all that time getting MP3s to play despite the lack of a hard drive or other medium to store them, while ignoring more important things a browser development house should be concerned with such as navigation and functionality. The Dreamcast browser is ultimately no different than the browser PlanetWeb built for the Sega Saturn Netlink, and its even worse in some ways (such as the DC browser's trouble handling animated .gifs). Be sure to pronounce that "giff" so I don't look so stupid.

A far, far better browser is the Japanese Dream Key browser. It has scroll bars, better frame support, and a sleeker navigation interface with quite a few more options. It looks more PC-like, so that should address some of your problems. The easiest way to get it would be to find ChuChu Rocket. It has the Dream Key browser built into the game. While a few other US titles do as well (Phantasy Star Online has it, for example), the later released games removed the location bar shortcut which allowed you to browse sites other than the one which tied into the game. Just access the ChuChu Rocket Dream Key browser and press CTRL + O to enter in a URL (note that's the letter "O"). As far as speed, no US browser has broadband support yet, and you'd need a way to play imports on your Dreamcast to take advantage of the one which does.

From: warwon
Subject: Black Screen on Pso when on Online!

What the hell, is this black screen and why does it happen! WTF, how do I stop losing all my data. THOSE FUC*ERS !!

Thanks, warwon

The Black Screen of Death™ appears during a server crash. You can and likely will lose all your unequipped items not deposited back on the Pioneer 2's storage bin. There is no way to stop a server crash from losing your items, but you can prevent it.

First thing you should do when the game goes black is to disconnect the Dreamcast modem. Unplug your phone line and hopefully your system will detect that the modem's been disconnected and will exit the game and save your current status as is with no missing items. The second thing you should be doing is making backups of your character. You can e-mail yourself backups of your character data and download the attachment should you ever have the server kill your character or delete some items. Note that the PSO Dream Key browser will not allow you to send your PSO data, so you'll have to use another browser to do it (though you can download the data from the e-mail). Be aware that a number of people have said that the PlanetWeb 2.6 browser can corrupt the data, so try to avoid using it to make your backup.

If any nutcases frequent this mailbag, I'll just mention how nice it'd be if PlanetWeb stopped developing for Sega. Um, that is all.

From: Ann Snyder
Subject: black and white

when is Black and white comming out on dreamcast?

Some time in the future. The PC version is scheduled to ship something this spring, but Lionhead Studios has not put out a set date for either the PC game or the Dreamcast port. Whenever the PC Black and White finally does come out, the Dreamcast version of Peter Molyneux's latest god game shouldn't be too far behind.

From: Rob Martens
Subject: Illbleed preview

"Since Resident Evil 2, many games have tried but failed to bring true fear to home consoles." You know, Silent Hill was released after RE2, and it certainly brought true horror to game consoles. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a single other truly scary game (for any platform). Alone in the Dark, RE, and *snicker* Dino Crisis rely on cheap, zombies-busting-through-windows thrills. I'm sorry, but zombies, vampires, dinosaurs, genetic mutations, and aliens just don't scare me. And no, the creatures you meet in SH aren't zombies-they're more demons than anything else.


If it walks like a zombie and attacks like a zombie... Illbleed is the first game in which both the game and story are making an attempt to scare you. Silent Hill is a nice horror game, although I find the actual shock value of any horror game diminished simply by being sold as a horror game -- you expect it. Surprising events and enemies in "regular" games tend to scare me more than any "survival horror" game -- the first time I ran into a Pan-Arms in PSO and the final form of Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being good examples.

From: UrielJG88
Subject: super knuckles

I haven't been able to get super knuckles. I read your instructions correcly, but it didn't work. can you do the code on you're dreamcast to get super knuckles and tell me if it works then tell me exacly what you did, please.

Get a Grip Master.

From: felix wong
Subject: What is Sega`s problem ??????

Firstlyi sent this E-mail was for Sega enterpricesa while ago, but they didn't answer and i`m wondering why ,So I'm sending it to you to see if what u think about it...

I was checking the news today on the net and found out that sega is abandoning the Dreamcast after only one year since its launch ,is Sega screwed up in the head or something??? . Now when Sega finally got their act together and launched the Dreamcast with great games and the first ever console with net support what do they do now ??? There bloody gone and dropped there Potential winner ;the dreamcast like if there`s no tommorrow and is now going to Developing for the PS2!!!! Sure i own a Playstation 1 just like any other gamer but Sega Developing games for sony is crossing the line ,how could Sega just dump their long proud history of Console manufacturing and side with the company that screwed Sega in the first place ,Sony??? Do they have any self respect??? Oh yeah for the record Sega Saturn kicks Playstation 1`s ass!!! Now Sega has betrayed there loyal fans like me and and all u guys reading this on the kick ass web site PDC ,who have constantly defended there great console . but to me it seems like sega has put a dagger in my sega gaming heart by going to the biggest dumbass company of the all,SONY.... Sega`s hugh problem is that there never commited to there consoles ,They did the same thing with the Saturn ,they Launch the system make great games and don`t bother promoting it ,and wonder why they had S##t sales figures. IF THE SEGA FOLKS IN JAPAN ARE READING THIS "U guys are total idiots and stay with the dreamcast ,PS2 does not have the power to handle the great games u guys make!!!!"

I think most everyone who has enjoyed Sega games over the years are disappointed with Sega's decision to abandon the Dreamcast system. My biggest concern is that the more interesting and innovative Sega games may not get a chance on the new systems. I wonder if the hardware companies will allow Sega to make anywhere near as many games the company has put out for the Dreamcast.

Once thing I don't get is how so many people say how good this decision is and how it'll benefit Sega because people will buy the company's games when they appear on other systems. If Sega's games were really that great wouldn't people have taken to the Saturn and Dreamcast in droves? What makes a game appearing on a new system any different in the quality of the game? It defies all logic. While I suppose there are those non-Sega system owners who may pick up an odd game or two, these are not the people who have kept Sega in business over the years.

Odd how the Japanese are snapping up Dreamcasts. Was the price difference that much of a deterent for them to pick up a Dreamcast when it counted? Sad, really. Still, what's done is done. Anyway, you really shouldn't say the PlayStation 2 does not have the power to handle Sega games. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you can be sure Sega will program to each accordingly.

From: StatueManOfEl
Subject: Playstation 3

What's this shit with a PS3? I just thought I'd make something to make fun of it a while ago. I got it up on the design a PS3 thing though over at PlanetPS2... so I figured why not have a pic here for my fellow hardcore sega fans. By the me whatever you like but Sega will see the likes of me working at their company one day. (You can't read the text that well, but it says "Playstation 3 -OR- Peice of Shit 3" in the middle.

Well you won't get a job at Sega as an artist, that's for sure. There's no need to insult a system. That's just childish. A game system is just a hunk of plastic. Far better to insult those who have made the system.

From: Steve
Subject: VMU Cable

Hi, can you tell me where I can get ahold of a lead that connects my VMU to a port on my PC so I can upload/download files to/from my VMU?


Steve (p.s. i live in the UK)

You have two options:

  1. Get a Nexus memory card. Many Nexus cards have a PC link cable to connect the card and transfer data between the card and your PC. The disadvantage is that the card does not have its own power source nor draws energy from your PC, so you actually have to have the card in a Dreamcast controller attached to a powered-on system. It's annoying but works.
  2. Get a Double Power box. It's a device which you attach to your PC and lets to transfer data from any memory card (well, any Dreamcast memory card). Just leave it attached to your PC and swap files until the cows come home and kill your family for eating meat. Of course, they won't really be cows, but really extremist environmentalists in a clever disguise.

While PlanetDreamcast isn't affliated with or endorses any retailer, I'll mention that both items are available from Level Six in the Dreamcast section.

From: Ryan Thomas
Subject: Help me!

I was wondering if you can use a program like Net Zero with the Dreamcast. Someone told me that Phantasy Star Online isnt compatable with the Broad Band Adapter, is this true? If so, is there anything I can do to make it compatable.

You should be able to, but you'll have to find a way to figure out your account's real user ID and password that's sent to the ISP. There's a program called RA Spy that can do that for you. I'll remind you that what you want to do is against Net Zero's terms of service and blah blah blah and other stuff goes here too.

From: Paul Levy
Subject: iss

in your virtua striker reveiw you mentioned something about iss coming to the dreamcast. is this true, if so when? please get back back to me soon, because if it is not coming to the dreamcast i will order virtua striker, thanks.

Nooooooooooooooo! Don't get Virtua Striker 2.001! It's the essence of crap! (There's a perfume that'd bomb.) Get the far superior Striker Pro 2000 instead! It's still not the best soccer/football game around, but if you need something to play on your Dreamcast, Striker Pro is the way to go. Hey, that rhymes, so it has to be true.

From: Lee Yong Chai
Subject: how to online?

How to online ???


From: Hale F Keuthan
Subject: best dc games

Regarding your best DC game section... where the hell is Jet Grind Radio? Or for that matter, Tony Hawk 2? I think a new category for games like that should be included, maybe a "stunt game" category. Other than that, though, you've picked all the winners.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is meant to be there -- we really should have the game reviewed before it's put as a best game, and THPS2 unfortunately slipped through the cracks. I'm going to try and fix that as soon as possible.

As far as Jet Grind Radio, we think feelings are generally too mixed to consider it a best game. Perhaps we'll reconsider, but I personally don't think it's that good. It has a really great style and interesting concept, but the game as a whole just doesn't feel right. The sluggish control and sometimes boring nature put a damper on it for me.

From: Matthew Lesse
Subject: Halflife

I just bought a DC and want Halflife! When will it be released?


Never! The game doesn't have a set date of release at the moment. We'll keep you posted when the game's release date is officially announced. The current rumor is that it will come out this summer but without any on-line support.

From: deadline
Subject: Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1

Hey guys, I need help. I can't sleep at night. All day I think about it at work. Help me.....I want to know if you think Sega will release the Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1 on it's own. I don't want to have to buy a whole new DC or wait to get it at a used store. I really want this game BADLY. Also, I have heard rumors that they might make a few of these compilations (hence the Vol. 1). What do you guys think? I bet lots of people feel the same way I do. So if you could help me, I would appreciate it. My girlfriend would love it because maybe I would stop talking to her about it then. She hates video games. Thanks.

Your girlfriend is ugly. You can do better. Anyone who hates games isn't worth the time.

As far as the Sega Smash Pack, you've probably seen that Sega appears to be releasing the game separately. Still, if you're buying it for the Genesis games, you'd really be better off just buying the original games. The emulation is decent but far from perfect. It doesn't look good for future Smash Pack volumes. While Sega did make it "volume 1," Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 1 did the same, and there's no chance of an update to that.

From: Earl Gertwagen
Subject: Dreamcast hardware

I like your Dreamcast hardware page. Great. Nice info. Now I might suggest putting links for where to BUY such items.

The Dreamcast Joystick controllers in particular... please contact me if you know of a painless way to get either the Alloy one, or the one w/ the green buttons.



Until we're sufficiently bribed, the answer remains "no." The Agetec stick (the green button-ed one) is the official Sega joystick and is near impossible to find. Good luck. The Alloy stick is made by Interact and is only worth owning cause it looks so neat; it's just not built well.

From: Godfrey F. Noe
Subject: Sega Going Multiplatform

Hey guys, please communicate to Sega to release NFL 2K2 on the Xbox.


Okay. I mean, we don't control Sega nor have any say in the companies future outlook and budget, but okay.

Next: More letters!

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