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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 3/29/01
    Community - Mailbag

3/29/01 - Lag Ball, Dead Games, and Dreamcast Delays
- 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: John Smith
Subject: Phantasy Star Online

Hi, where can I get some good information about Phantasy Star Online? I've just started but I don't know anything about it, like what are the best weapons/armour, how to equip 'units' etc. Do you have characters on PSO and if so what are they called?

Thanks in advance,

Steve (Ritz, EU/TITAN)

While the offical Sonic Team site is decent, without a doubt the best source for Phantasy Star Online information is PSO World. There you'll find information about the best and rarest weapons and armor, along with all manner of related PSO news and stuff.

From: Lowen SoDium
Subject: Broadband without BBA

Check this. Helpful if you have a pc, a dreamcast, and no BBA

Lowen SoDium

Very nice! Though we've yet to test this out, it appears to be a sound way to use your PC for your Dreamcast broadband connection. I also like how the guide is illustrated step by step, making what could have been a challenging wave of instructions much easier to comprehend. Thanks for the tip!

From: Matt Joyce
Subject: NBA2k1 Lag

i have been playing nba2k1 online alot lately and it seems that i always have to reconnect because the damn lag is so bad, is there any way to make the lag better, or do us gamers have to put up with this shit on a 56k. I am so sick of it,and the players move like skaters on ice, along with the overall slow gameplay, i am so disappointed with the online play. I am wondering if there is any way to keep the lag down in this game, and actually make it a fun experience. Thank you

Nope! Unfortunately, NBA2K1 was in development too long before the broadband adaptor came out for Sega to officially not include support in the game. You'll have to wait for NBA2K2 for Sega to not support fast, fun on-line gaming again.

You could try to manually enhance your modem's speed by changing the init string to "ATs28=56" with the PlanetWeb browser. I don't know if you have already done that, but it does work. Still, it by no means should be considered a miracle cure -- just a small boost in transfer speed.

You have to remember that Visual Concepts was able to give a virtually lag free experience in NFL2K1 since it's a much slower game than basketball. You don't really switch characters all that often, and the pace isn't as frantic. Still, that can't account for everything -- it still doesn't quite make sense since NBA2K1 has less players for the modem to send data for on the field as opposed to NFL2K1.

From: Honest Bastard
Subject: Update your FAQ man! (nt)


Okie dokie.

From: Carey Tordsen
Subject: Out Trigger - bad controls?

in the ODCM demo, there were only 4 different controller schemes, and they all really really sucked! when i plugged in my mouse, it moved like a D-Pad on snail mode. please tell me that they made controls customizeable, and had a mouse sensitivity option!!!!!

love your site, go there every day

keep up the good work PDC


Hopefully Sega will continue to improve the control until the final build of the game. Sega is more likely to screw up the broadband support than anything else. The ODCM demoes are just works in progress for the most part, and a number of games which have appeared on the discs in the past have been enhanced for the better, so I wouldn't worry too much about the stiff control in the demo version.

From: don rapheal
Subject: My frustration..

Hey Planetdreamcast,

Devoted reader here with a question. Where, when, and Is Bleemcast! coming out? The reason I'm so frustrated is because I want to play GT2. I don't want to buy a Playstation just for that game. I would like the amped up version that I can see with Bleemcast! on my Dreamcast. If you guys could just go over to Bleem! and kick their heads in and steal the pack just for GT2 I would gladly appreciate it.
Thank you.

A reader,

Long thought to be dead in the water, Bleemcast! still has yet to be canceled. The project was much more difficult than planned. I'd imagine having to excise the word "patch" from their vocabulary was a vital blow to the developer.

From: Danny Bunn
Subject: Skies of Arcadia : All your base

This is a picture I made a while back of Fina from Skies of Arcadia saying, "All your base are belong to us!!"

I have attached 3 different versions of the pic. BMP looks the best though.

I hope you all like it!


Okay, let's have a quick Picture of the Day FAQ!

Picture of the Day FAQ
version 0.1
by Mr. Domino

Q: Can I just submit any picture for a Picture of the Day, even if it's utter crap?
A: No! POTDs must follow these guidelines:

  1. POTD must not be crap. The image has too either look really neat or be interesting. While we're not against homemade images or fan art, they have to be impressive or entertaining enough to make use choose them.
  2. POTD must be a semi-large image. Think at least 400x400, hopefully larger. Something which would look nice as a desktop wallpaper is always a plus.
  3. The image must be Dreamcast or Sega related in some manner. That neat glitch you found in Yoshi's Island may be impressive, but I can't exactly run it on the site without being insane, and you're about a week or so too late for that.

End of Document

The image above doesn't cut the mustard because it is too small, not interesting enough on its own, and lacks some sharp edge. The picture of Fina is well done, and I could see possibly using it if it was more than just a bust shot and didn't have that ill fitting and now overused "All Your Base" quote.

We do encourage and welcome all POTD submissions. Remember to save and send the image as a JPEG file. If you find some interesting, original image in a game or elsewhere, just take a picture of it and send it to us.

From: Clemente
Subject: Hello

Hello, i buyed the game "Phantasy Star Online" and i have a doubt. When i chose the online mode, the game says that i have to write a formularie in, but, this page is in Japanese!!. Is in internet another page to play this game, ot is there another page to write this formularie.

Thanks for your time, sorry for my bad english.
Andrew, from Argentina


From: Oliver Smiles
Subject: Best Dreamcast games list.


I know you probably already got e-mails requesting the inclusion of this game but I'm gonna put another in anyway. Jet Set Radio. Or Jet Grind Radio where you are :) It's incredible in so many ways and despite it's slightly dodgy camera it should go down as one of the best games of all time let alone best DC games. I'm sure you agree :)


Oliver Smiles

You're right, Jim. We do get a ton of electronic mail messages requesting that we add Jet Grind Radio to our best games list. While I, personally, still don't think it's as great a game as many make it out to be (its pace and control are heavily flawed), we'll probably go ahead an add it to the list during the next update.

From: Rusty B
Subject: Your Sega Smash Pack Review

I read your review of the Sega Smash pack with great interest, as I remember fondly the days when I owned my Mega Drive, and I was a bit puzzled by your comments that Wrestle War was never available outside Japan.

I assure you that it WAS released in the UK at least, because I owned it.

The only proof I have of this is the small story relating to how I got my Mega Drive:

I was about 11 years old (1991), and for Xmas I asked for a Mega Drive. At the time I was really into wrestling, in the days when Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior ruled supreme, the Undertaker was actually quite scary, and the Legion of Doom were going around with that spikey armour.

Dad goes and gets me a Mega Drive, and I asked him for a WWF wrestling game (which at the time wasn't available on the MD/Genesis).

Imagine how disappointed I was with Wrestle War, a game which IMO you are far too polite about in your review. 3 moves: kick, punch and grab, animations that put Rise Of The Robots to shame, and some of the moves were so difficult to pull off I never knew why they put them there. Me and my mates would always joke about how bad it was, so after a long session playing Streets of Rage, we would whack it on just to laugh and its crapness.

I agree 101% that including it on the Smash Pack was the most stupid thing ever. Wrestle War was a bad game, and I could reel off a list of 100s that are more deserving to be put in a compilation of classics. What about Ecco? Toejam and Earl? Hellfire? Thunderforce 4? Kid Chameleon?

Anyways... hope you find my comments interesting...

Yeah, Wrestle War is pretty bad. The Sega Smash Pack review only briefly touched upon all of the games since there is so much to cover in a compilation review, so your comments are a nice way of expanding upon the game's horridness. Even though I don't care for Kid Chameleon much, it would have been such a huge improvement to include that over Wrestle War. Of course, I think everyone has his or her own ideal Smash Pack compilation. Still, the only reason to own the disc is Virtua Cop 2. Why own inferior emulated version when you can own the real deal for about the same price? (Virtua Cop 2 being the exception to this rule since finding and buying the arcade is a bit more difficult than, say, finding a used Altered Beast.)

From: Todd Esson
Subject: Capcom Question

Why the hell cant you ever save the Versus ranking score for any of their fighting games? So far i've had Powerstone 2, Powerstone, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Double Impact. In every single one of these games i've tryed to find some way to save the fact that i beat my brother in wins 35-12(we play fighting games alot) and it never ever saves to my posting this in the general forum cause it also seemed to happen with my nintendo game(SuperStreet Fighter II, but for some reason it works on my cosuins saturn and playstation memory card(using pocket fighters and Street Fighter Gold) Does anyone have the same problem?


Depends on the game, really. If the Saturn games have an option to save versus stats, any problems can be likely attributed to a dead battery. Check the rear panel of the Saturn and replace the battery -- one CR-2032. As far as the Dreamcast games, I don't think they save versus stats to be honest. Usually, you save scores in single player mode to attempt to beat them each time you play. Versus stats are usually just saved on a play by play basis and not saved into memory.

From: deadline
Subject: Various Things.....

I have a few comments and/or questions. First off, I know you guys like to print mail about the topic of the week. Like last week you had unlocking stuff in games. But, could you leave more room for people just asking about games, too. I mean that is really why we are all here in the 1st place.

Secondly, I asked you last week in an email about the Sega Smask Pack. I was wondering if you guys had heard anything about it getting released here without having to buy the DC system? I would rather not plunk down $150 if I don't have to.

Last thing I will ask is have you heard anything new about Baldur's Gate, Heroes of Might & Magic 3, Black & White, and Armada 2? Also, have you heard anything about a sequal to Seaman?

And I agree with the gamer who wrote in last week saying Seaman should've been on your best DC games list. I am shocked that it is not. It was a revolutionary game and was fun for people who didn't have the attention span of a fruit-fly. I agree that the replay value is low, but it was a very special game and should've made your list. Where else can you talk to a fish wish a human face? Espcially one that flicks poop at you & calls you an "air-sucker".

Thanks for your help

I've expanded the mailbag to two pages because the editorials tend to get a lot of feedback, most of which are very well written and insightful. The traditional mailbag is in no way compromised by this addition, and you aren't really missing any game related letters. Those are always given top priority. Mailbag editorial reponses are also easier to assemble than most letters, since they don't ask questions or require research. Hopefully, the more timely and frequent updates to the mailbag (well, minus this particular one) is enough to satisfy your wants and desires.

Given that this mailbag was delayed a week, I'm sure you've already read about Sega's decision to release the Smash Pack Volume 1 separately. You also probably know that Armada 2 has been canceled. Black & White still seems to be coming out, although Lionhead is very tightlipped about information on the game, which I'm not taking as a good sign. Baldur's Gate and Might & Magic have been in TBA hell since first announced, so I sincerely doubt they'll ever come out. Seaman 2 is so far a Japan only game -- no word on a US/Europe port. Considering how long it took to translate the first game and the current state of the Dreamcast, I wonder if Sega thinks it's feasible to bring the sequel over. Still, the microphone is already out and the game will be bought without question. We'll have to wait and see.

As far as original Seaman being on the best games list... Perhaps. It does deserve some recognition... We'll see about adding it when we update the best games list again.

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

Guily Gear X

Scene 3: drakeofre76 loses his mind

(There is a Dreamcast running Who Wants To Beat Up A Millionaire on a 13" GE black-and-white television. Spice Girls memorabilia decorate the room. drakeofre76 enters wearing an "American Thunder" shirt and takes a seat next to a turnip.)

drakeofre76: Dood! This game rocks!
turnip: ...
drafeofre76: Rocks, man! Just rocks!

From: bilal

i heaed crazy taxi 2 will be online is this the case as ur epreview mentions nuthing of this

Nope, Crazy Taxi 2 will not be on-line, which is why our Crazy Taxi 2 preview makes no mention of it. It was supposed to be included but was dropped out for whatever reason. The game still will include a number of multiplayer modes, which is a marked improvement over the original. Any online features which are present in the game will likely be a built-in web site and/or downloads a la Sonic Adventure.

From: ftjember

please email me

Sure. Just click this link.


Estimados Amigos:

Les escribo desde la Republica Argentina, pues me interesaria poder contar con informacion acerca de las ultimas novedades relacionadas con el Dreamcast. La pagina Web me perecio excelente. Si es posible, necesitaria el listado de juegos. żEs verdad que no Sega no fabricara mas juegos a pertir de Marzo? Escuche algo en la CNN

Gabriel Rolleri

While I completely understand your message, I think you're asking if Sega will be making games or Dreamcasts after March. Yes, Sega will continue to make games; no, Sega will no longer manufacture Dreamcasts.

Next: More letters!

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