Even more Flashback.

So, it’s looking like its turning out to be an all Flashback weekender! This time around, I’ve got it running on the Dreamcast of all systems!

Sadly, there wasn’t an official port of Flashback released on the almighty Dreamcast, but some clever boffin has produced one based on the REminiscence Project - http://cyxdown.free.fr/reminiscence/

REminiscence is a rewrite of the engine used in the game Flashback from Delphine Software. This program is designed as a cross-platform replacement for the original executable and uses the SDL library’

 

Playing Flashback on the DC is also a  great way to test  out a piece of  kit I’ve had in my drawer for ages now and have not really had much use for it until now.

This is my Dreamcast SD adaptor, a cool little addon that came out a few years ago that allows you to run Dreamcast software directly from an SD card. No more loud CD noise!

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I brought mine quite cheaply off eBay and they’re easily available if you fancy giving one a go yourself. I’ve heard of a few problems with the Dreamcast reading certain brands of SD cards and I’ve only every used Sandisk cards myself and these seem to work out o.k. The SD card needs to be formatted as Fat32.

You will need two bits of software to get this running (plus any homebrew apps/games you wish to run). The software is called Dreamshell and you can pick it up at most DC sites. Here’s where I got mine from -

http://theisozone.com/downloads/dreamcast/homebrew-apps/dreamshell-400-rc-1-by-swat/

Once you’ve unpacked the archive, copy the entire DS folder to the root of your SD card and then burn the .cdi image to a blank CD. I’ve  used ImgBurn @ x4 speed for mine.

Insert the SD card into the adaptor and place the adaptor into the Dreamcast’s serial port at the back. – It’ll only fit one way but be careful when inserting the adaptor, mine was a bit flimsy!

I’m not going to fit much on a 2Gb but it’ll do for  the odd bit of hombrew BOR.

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Insert the Dreamshell boot CD and switch on the Dreamcast.

After a a while you’ll have an O/S type interface on screen with various tools for doing all manner of funky stuff. There’s plenty of documentation about  Dreamshell on the web but for me, I’m just interested in going to the File Manager, browse the contents of my SD card and launching the Flashback image. Navigating around the O/S is a bit of pain with the joypad and would be better if used with the DC keyboard etc (which i don’t have at the moment) The analogue stick doing a pretty good job as an emulated mouse pointer and after a bit of practise it doesn’t take to long to get used too.

Flashback on the Dreamcast!

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It plays just like any other version of Flashback I’ve played before except one thing…the Dreamcast joypad isn’t exactly the most ergonomic of pads especially after coming directly from using the 3DO pad. However, it’s Flashback….on the Dreamcast….Hell yeah!

Sturmwind – Sega Dreamcast.

Sturmwind for the Sega Dreamcast has finally been release and so with any luck my order should be making it’s merry way to me soon.

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What is Sturmwind? Well, it’s an independant, classic arcade shooter written by Duranik for the Dreamcast catering for the league of fans still devoted to Sega’s last console.

Check out the features list –

16 Levels
3 selectable difficulty levels
configurable controls
adjustable screen position
different weapons selectable
more than 20 large bossenemies
hundreds of different enemies
FMV intro sequence
hybrid 2d/3d game engine
resolution 640×480
PAL50, PAL60, NTSC and VGA (with Adapter) compatible
region free
works with any MIL-CD compatible Dreamcast
CDDA Sound
supports: Joypad, Arcade Stick (Analog/Digital), VMU, Rumble Pack (configurable)
internet WEBcode Hiscore Tables
award Trophy System with unlockable content
SD card support

It’s been a very bumpy ride for Sturmwind, and amongst the frequent setbacks and release dates, I was beginning to think we’d never see it…and what a shame it would have been too because just look at it!

Not bad for a (nearly) 15 year old games console!

So until the postie arrives with package of awesome-ness, this weekend the Dreamcast hits the geek desk because a) its been a while since I’ve used it and it needs a good test – I’d been gutted if Sturmwind arrives only to find my DC has croaked, b) Retro Revival is next month and I’m sure that if myself and fellow RCM chums happen to come across a Dreamcast, then they’ll be plenty of Soul Calibre shenanigans and I could do with a spot of practise (shh, tell no one) and finally c) I’ve had a new bit of Dreamcast kit in my desk drawer for the past six months and haven’t actually tried it out yet!

For more info on Sturmwind checkout the dev site – http://duranik.com/

and to place your order at – http://redspotgames.com/shop/?act=viewProd&productId=19

Sega Dreamcast VGA Box.

Without a doubt the best bit of 3rd party kit I’ve recently brought for my Sega Dreamcast console is a VGA conversion box. With this I can now connect my DC to a VGA PC monitor, projector or HDTV and have razor sharp 60mhz graphics instead of the a fuzzy RF connection.

To the right, we have composite and s-video output and on the left is a standard VGA D-sub connection as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting to PC speakers/headphones etc. Finally on the front, there’s a selector switch to switch between the two connection types.

Once connected, the VGA box simply plugs into the AV socket on the rear of the Dreamcast.

Games look absolutely stunning, especially the likes of Soul Caliber and a host of shooters like Ikuragu and Zero Gunner.