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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 8/11/01
    Community - Mailbag

8/11/01 - Controllers, Soul Calibur, and More
- by digitaltaco

Welcome to the PDC Mailbag. I have returned again! I'm sure you're down with the format at this point. I mean hell... This is our 40th mailbag! So, I take the letters you send, copy them and paste them into a template, and we respond using my clever wit and extensive knowledge. Not that my knwoledge is all that extensive, but it'll have to do. Anyway, let's get on with the fun! And as always, if you want to be a part of it all, send letters to this address. Now on with the show!

From: Shane Kemeza
Subject: dreamcast???

I'm sorry to bother you but I have heard that Sega will not be selling the Dreamcast anymore. Is this true. I ask because you guys should know what's going on. Sorry for any trouble.

You wouldn't believe how I often I get this e-mail. Well, not this exact e-mail per se... It's not as if Shane Kemeza sends it over and over... um, you get the picture. Anyway, because so many people keep asking, I felt this message deserved a response. So here's my response:

Sega has stopped production on all Dreamcast hardware. This means that it'll become increasingly harded to find the units in stores. So if you need a Dreamcast, buy one now! How does this affect the game situation? Well, most third-party developers have pulled their Dreamcast support (although three third-party games were released yesterday :) leaving Sega to fill in the game slack. From what we've heard, after March 2002, you won't see many, if any more Dreamcast releases. From that point on, Sega's development teams will most likely move their focus over to other platforms.

From: Ken Rauld
Subject: PSO screw up

I was looking at the mailbag for the week of 7/21/01, and I saw that you skimmed over the topic of the Sega Brower 2.6 causing problems. Like the internal serial number being erased and causing PSO not to work. I have the same problem with the exception of the browser being version 2.6(mine is 2.0), I was wondering if you have any idea how to correct this problem. I think it might be the long interval of time inbetween my last online game and my most recent attempt which is about 2 or 3 months. If you can help, please, and if you can't can you redirect me to someone who knows how to solve this problem?

Well thanks for your help

Hmm, I haven't heard of anybody having problems with browser v.2.0 and Phantasy Star Online. But that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. When problems started occuring with v.2.6, gamers had been calling Sega (1-800-USA-SEGA) to resolve the problem. And if they don't want to issue you a new serial and code, just hang up and call back. Tell them your Dreamcast broke and you bought a replacement and nee a new code :)

From: Hawkboy [email protected]
Subject: n othing

cool game

Yes it is...It is a great great game! Possibly the best game ever!!!! Yeah!

...what game was that, again?

From: The [email protected]
Subject: Great Editorials

I really like your site and its constant updates... especially the editorials. I know a lot of people hated your one about the controller, even though it was just an opinion. Keep up the good work!

Yes... our editorials get very mixed responses... And often, people forget that editorials are simply a statement of opinion on behalf of the writer. If you don't feel like reading about somone's opinion, you probably shouldn't read editorials, ehh? But thanks Chouncilor, it's good to know some people think they're good reads. Now let's look at some feedback from two editorials I wrote:

From: Jeff Hanson
Subject: SoulCalibur

Well I must agree with you on each and every point my friend. I`ve only had my DC for a couple of months now, and after researching what games I needed to get after the obvious ones for me it soon became obvious that SC was definitely one to look out for. Nothing could have prepared me for the visual splendor I was about to behold, MY GOD ! Blown away, speachless, dumbfounded, are but a few of the words to describe my reaction. This game does absolutely rule and IS the best reason to own a Dreamcast.
Jeff Hanson
Columbia TN.
P.S. Why hasn`t a sequel ever been considered, I mean , my God, how many lesser games ( way lesser games ) Have gotten follow ups ?

Thanks for your support of one of my favorite games ever... If any of you read the editorial, then you know just how much I love that game. Now Jeff, you need to pay better attention to the news. Namco is currently working on the follow-up to Soul Calibur as we speak. Expect it to rock your world. But don't expect it to be available for the Dreamcast :(

From: Kaniwi Korrals
Subject: The Soul Calibur Review (ed. note: editorial!)

I read your article on how much you love Soul Calibur, well I have to agree!! I fell in love with the game when I went to BioWare in Edmonton to visit Ray Muzyka. When I went into the BioWare common room, or whatever you wanna call it, I found a whole lotta guys playing some weird game. I was a little shy when they asked if I wanted to play, and so I had to except. I had never played on any console except Nintendo. When I was against my first opponent I decided to pick this girl that I though was pretty, (that's my selection process) well I didn't know it then but it was Ivy. I had trouble at first because they were kicking my ass but I found the perfect move, Ivy Whip. I kicked most of there asses, and these were guys who've been playing for a couple of months already! So I was pretty proud of myself. Well a couple of years later, I now have a Dreamcast and Soul Calibur, I am an expert player, but I have no competition because my friends won't play me. So when I got to BioWare every summer, I have to play the guys and well I do have some competition, and so do they! The guys around there are getting to know me quite well because that's my fav part of the trip! :D So I have to agree Soul Calibur is an awesome game, and no one better diss it!


See, even Bioware takes time out of their busy Balder's Gate/Neverwinter Nights schedule to get it on with the killing! Just goes to show that the love for Soul Calibur runs deep and wide. And, I'm reminded of the times when we played with the GameSpy crew not so long ago. And I know more female gamers that like Soul Calibur than damn-near any other game. Soul Calibur is for everybody! Long live the king of fighters...

Ouch!!! Sorry... my soul is still burning.

From: Vance Ady-Wirta
Subject: Soul Calibur

I've enjoyed Soul Calibur so much, that me and my friends managed to scratch the CD up so much it won't run anymore, and this was without removing from the Dreamcast!
So, right now, I'm trying to find a copy of game on the internet, and was hoping you could tell me where I could find me a copy. (But not E-Bay, a guy was offering a copy of the game for $39.99, and I bought it, and he hasn't sent it to me!)


It's funny you should mention that... One night, about two years ago, my friends and I had an eight hour Soul Calibur session in my dorm room. At some point we all passed out. When I woke up in the morning, the Dreamcast was turned off. I turned it on and Soul Calibur wouldn't load. I pulled out the disc and noticed that it had a deep circular scratch in it. I was very angry, but as you can imagine, I replaced the game later that day so the fighting could continue.

From: Mike McKechnie

The DC Pad
I agree with some of your points and have a bitch of my own. It does have two few buttons which sucks and the start button is in an awkward place, as for the control stick, the thing wears out to damn fast. Playing Phantasy Star Online for 300 hours plus can really wreck that thing, and in Sonic Adventure I've always got the thing jammed forward for MAXIMUM SPEED, I've had to buy a few replacement controllers already. But you forgot to mention how much the pad makes you sweat. When I'm playing I get sweaty hands, cramped in those tight little slots of Doom you have to take constant breaks to wipe off your hands, and they still feel sweaty for a couple of hours. It's rather disturbing actually. Anyway, all in all I don't care that much when I think of the games I've accomplished and the countless hours of my life I've lost to intense video-gaming. Keep on writing your Opinions and don't listen to these facist mother fucks who will try and control you like the fuckin media and their biased storys and beliefs! Knowledge is Power. Arm yourself.

Mike, while I don't feel controlled by any fascist movement, I will comment on your problems with the DC pad. I do agree that the shape is bad, and causes your hands to cramp up. And I don't particularly like the stick either, but if you read the editorial, you already know that. But as I also mentioned in the editorial, I think the controller gets the job done. I just wish it got it done a little better.

From: Tom Helmick
Subject: Worst Pad

Worst pad ever?
I'll admit that Sega could have done better with the DC pad, but I feel opposite about game controllers than you do. First the N64 pad has to be the worst ever, with the half-dead, Siamese twin in your way for no good reason, and let's not forget it was Nintendo that took analog control away from us to begin with. The original Playstation controller was the one thing I hated about the PSX when I first got it. I would still hate it if it was for the dual-shock evolution, which made the shoulder buttons easier to deal with, but the analog sticks, just thrown in like that, puts a painful strain on the right ligament of your thumb. Nintendo did a good thing when ripping off Sony's controller, by putting the analog at center and including analog triggers. I like a big controller. I can't tell you how many times the PS controller has slipped out of my grasp during heated gameplay. When fighting the Ninja in MGS, the controller would leap straight up in the air, and of course, I would die before regain control. The Dreamcast pad is welcome in size and it's screen. I wish the feedback was built in as well as the screen, leaving a screenless memory card to be plugged into the unit or controller. I also wish the thumbpad and shoulder buttons were rubber covered, as your thumb can easily slip off the thumbpad, and your fingers can blister on the triggers during long sessions with Jet Grind Radio and Sega GT. i also wish the DC pad had a set of digital shoulder buttons along with the analog triggers which Sega should be given much credit for, a shame no one else is copying the controller screen, (football will never be the same).
I think it's a toss up between the Gamcube and X-box controller as to who will be the best. Both put the analog pad in proper placement. The gamecube controller corrects everything I don't like about Sony's controller. The X-box pad corrects everything I didn't like about the Dreamcast controller. My bet is with the X-box controller, although since neither have a game screen ( GBA not withstanding as the unit would make a horrible controller), the DC pad will always hold a special place in my heart.

P.S: Oh yes, I also wish the buttons on the DC controller were six ( and rubber tipped as well).

Everybody's entitled to their own opinion and I hope many of you do like the Dreamcast controller. For me, though it just doesn't feel... well, "good." And as I mentioned in the editorial, I don't think the Xbox controller will solve any problems either. Pictures really don't give you the proper impression of how large it is. It's like holding a bulked up Astro Pad. It's bad news, in my opinion. But then again, there's that opinion thing again...

From: Beale+Riddle+III
Subject: DC Controller Editorial

I completely disagree. Thank you.

No, thank you!

From: Ur-LoRd
Subject: RE: The Dreamcast Pad Sucks

Have you ever played 3DO? Nothing sucked as bad as those pads... Can you say Jaguar? Hello, McFly!!??

James Wright

Haha...I think there should be a rule about Back to the Future references...Like, we should all be required to throw one in, every once in awhile. Now, I never really did play Jaguar or 3DO.. My "this system is crap" sensor went off one or two times in regards to said platforms. That combined with the fact that I was a 15 year-old without $600 in my pocket means that neither I nor one of my friends had one. That's not to say that I couldn't have picked one up since then, but I haven't. But thinking back to both of those controllers, I can, from my mental image of both controllers, say that yes, they both do suck hard. And they may actually be the worst controllers ever. Sorry Sega, you were beat out...

From: J Lee
Subject: VGA Box


Thanks for your review of Outrigger. It helps to know the "good" and the "ugly" before spending hard earned cash on games.
In your review, you mention the VGA box. How does this work? Is this an adapter that connects the Dreamcast to a VGA monitor? If so, do you need a computer or can a monitor be enough? I assume speakers will be needed to hear the sound. Where can I purchase one?

Thanks again.

You aren't, by chance Jason Lee of Chasing Amy and Mallrats fame, are you? If so, you rock! But back to the question at hand... The VGA Box is indeed an adapter that you can use to connect your Dreamcast to a VGA monitor. It does not require a computer as the box simply pulls straight into the DC while the monitor plugs into it. And as you mentioned, yes, you do need speakers. The box will have an 1/8", headphone-style jack that you can plug any sort of PC speakers into. You can find them at stores like Electronics Boutique for a fairly reasonable price. ($15-$20) Or you can scour around for the good one, which is made by Performance. The benefit of this one is that it has a VGA and speaker passthrough so you can keep both your DC and PC plugged into it at the same time without switching the cables. It's the one I use, and I love it.

Seriously dude, you rocked in Mallrats, man...

From: LouisOA
Subject: system shock 2 dc

cancelled or coming out?

It looks pretty cancelled to me.

That's it for this Mailbag. We'll see you next week when RaptoR has come up with responses to all the mail we got concerning his British Gamers editorial. Remember, you can send all your questions and hate-mail to this address. Please don't send any hate-mail to me. I might cry... :(

Until next time!

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