Archive for Nov, 2019

Retro Diary #1 – The Italian Job [GCN]

Thu, Nov 28th, 2019

I’ve decided to rebrand the Retro Diary series to one where I try out a new game and decide to share my thoughts on it.

I go to a shop called “R-Cade” almost every week with a friend and try out any games I’ve never played before or haven’t played in ages.

I played “The Italian Job” on Gamecube there recently, and was apparently the first to ever do so in the shop.

Surprisingly, it’s *really* good!

I only played the Stunt levels, but just from that, the game felt very solid and well made, and it was a perfect casual play while talking to a friend or, say, listening to a podcast. Me and this friend were just chatting away about current matters and anything we got up to. It was really calm and just generally enjoyable.

The game has a total of 7 stunt levels, which are different areas of the same general area.

It took me a couple of hours to beat it, so not that long, but it was enjoyable.

I played a little bit of the free roam mode as well, also felt solid.

So in conclusion, if you can find the game cheap, and you probably will since it’s a movie game, I’d say get it, why not. It’s something of a hidden gem!

Anyway, that’s all for this week, until next week, A’m oot!

So I finally completed Sonic Adventure, 20 years after the game’s release

Sun, Nov 24th, 2019

Scots synopsis below

So I decided to play Sonic Adventure again some weeks back, and this time, complete the entire thing.

I decided to play the game on Dreamcast as opposed to the PC port, which I also have, because I want the original experience, and plus I’d much prefer using the Dreamcast controller than the Xbone’s.

For those not in the know, somehow, Sonic Adventure was a Dreamcast launch title in North America and PAL regions in 1999, originally a Saturn game, moved to the Dreamcast after the Saturn was declared “not their future”, and is essentially a 3D Sonic with overworld segments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy 25th Anniversary Sega Saturn!

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2019

This article is available in English and Scots, Scots version is further down below.

This will be a quick post, as I literally found this out 5 minutes ago.

On this day, 25 years ago, the Sega Saturn was released in Japan. For this not in the know at this point, the Saturn was Sega’s 5th generation console, made to compete with the 3DO, Jaguar, PS1, and N64 among other systems.

It was released in North America and much of Europe in mid 1995, months prior to when it was supposed to, leading to a disasterous launch, with some stores refusing to stock the console.

It was a castrophic failure in North America, but was a huge success in Japan, and even faired pretty well in many European countries. Over here in the Western European Isles, it did okay. I know as many people who owned a Saturn as I do people who owned an N64.

Much like the Dreamcast, I didn’t have one back in the day, but playing it now, I love it! In fact I prefer it to the PS1, which was what we actually had!

If we didn’t have a PS1 and instead got a Saturn, I probably would have been a bit of a Sega fanboy, and stuck by them to the bitter end… and perhaps the gap between the Saturn and Dreamcast.

The reason I love the Saturn is because it has so many arcade games. I’m a huge arcade buff, so how could I not love it?

My favourite games include it’s port of Batman Forever, which is the best home version of the game, and is an absolute blast to play! I still play it with my friend now and again!

Another game I love is Fighter’s Megamix, which is like Smash Bros before Smash Bros. Perhaps we should be calling Smash Bros Nintendo’s Fighters Megamix! I mean you can play as Hornet from Daytona USA. That’s right, A CAR! What more could you want?

And in general ports of Sega Rally, Daytona USA, F1 Challenge, Sega Touring Car Championship, Manx TT Superbike and much more are great for short brusts of fun!

It also of course had versions of many popular PS1 games, including games you don’t hear about being on the Saturn, such as Croc, Destruction Derby and Wipeout+2097. The 3D weren’t as good as the PS1 versions, but if you only had a Saturn, I imagine they did the job.

With 2D games, however, the Saturn shined and outperformed the PS1, Batman Forever, as mentioned earlier, was one such game.

However, one thing the Saturn did lack was really any 1st party games worth playing for more than 10 minutes. Sega Lord X made a great video about this, watch that below.

Not to mention no flagship Sonic game, the closest we got was Sonic Jam’s 3D world, which was fun to go around, but only took me a day to beat it.

It did have NiGHTs, however, which is excellent! It even supported widescreen!

One last thing to mention, the mascot in Japan is Segata Sanshiro, A man that beat up anybody who wasn’t playing the Saturn, and was one of the reasons the Saturn did so well over there. He’s a total badass!

So anyway, those are just my thoughts on the console. It’s one of my favourites ever, and definitely in my top 5 consoles ever made!

I’ll be setting up my Saturn and playing it all day in celebration!

That’s all for now, bye!

‘Is’ll be a swift post, A juist fund oot aboot this 5 minute ago.

25 year ago the day, the Sega Saturn wis pit oot in Japan. Fur fowk that dina ken bi nou, the Saturn wis Sega’s answer tae the PS1 an N64. (As weel as the 3DO and Jaguar)

It wis pit oot in North Americae an mony pairts ae Europe in mid 1995, wey b’fore it wis said tae, an that got store bylin, cause thay warna telt aboot it an didna git ony consoles tae stock, an some refuised tae stock the consoles at aw.

It wis a pure massive failyie in Americae, but thrived in Japan. Didna dae ‘at bad in Europe, aither. A ken as mony fowk here that haed a Saturn as A dae fowk that haed an N64.

A lot like the Dreamcast, A didna hiv wan back than, but playin it these days, A pure luve it! A actual prefer it tae the PS1, the console A haed!

See gin A haed a Saturn insteid ae a PS1, a prolly wad hae bin a Sega fanboy, an fendit ‘aim tae the verra end.

A luve the Saturn cause it haed loads ae Arcade ports. A’m pure mad fur arcade gemms, sae why wad A no luve it?

Ma favourite gemmes include hit’s version ae Batman Forever: The Arcade Game, which is prolly the best version. Hit’s a pure blast tae play, an still play it wi a mate somethmes the day!

Anither gemm A luve is Fighters Megamix, which is like Smash Bros b’fore Smash Bros. We should be cawin Smash Bros “Nintendo’s Fighter’s Megamix”. Ye can play as Hornet fae Daytona USA in it. Ay, ‘at’s richt, A MOTOR! Whit mair dae ye want?

General-like, juist gemmes like Sega Rally, Daytona USA, F1 Challenge, Sega Touring Car Championship, Manx TT Superbike an loads mair ir smashin fur quick bursts ae fun!

It haeds ports ae mony PS1 gemms, includin gemms ye wadna think haed Saturn ports. Gemms like Croc, Destruction Derby, an Wipeout+2097. Leuk ‘aim up, thay exist!

Maist 3D gemms warna as guid on the Saturn, but A imaigin gin he ainly haed a Saturn, thay’d dae.

Wi 2D gemme, thay war actual better on Saturn, cause it haed a dedicatit CPU fur it unlikr the PS1. Batman Forever is wan ae thae gemms.

Haunaiver, the Saturn didna hiv any 1st pairty gemms that war warth payin fur mair’n 10 meenits. No tae mention nae real Sonic gemme. Sonic Jam’s 3D warld wis the closest we got, an e’en than, as fun as it wis, it ainly teuk iz a day tae beat it.

Tho thare wis NiGHTs, which is brilliant! Supportit widescreen an aw!

Wan last hing tae mention. Segata Sanshiro wis the Sega Saturn mascot in Japan, ‘at battert anyb’dy that didna play the Saturn. He’s pairt ae the reason the Saturn did awfu guid in Japan!

Ay onywey, A juist wantit tae gie yese ma thochts on the console. It’s wan o ma favourite consoles fae ‘at gen an wan ae ma favourite iver! Lang mey the Saturn’s lum reek!

A’ll be gittin ma Saturn oot an playin it aw day tae celebrate!

Cheers fur readin ‘is, ’till nixt time, A’m oot!

How would the Dreamcast have faired against the PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox, had it not died so early?

Sun, Nov 17th, 2019

So I’ve been thinking recently about the Dreamcast, thanks to the 20th anniversary celebrations, and wondered: What would have happened if the Dreamcast didn’t die. Could it have kept up with the other next gen machines, and if so, for how long?

I’ve been having some discussions about this from both Sega and Sony fans, and figured it’ll be fun to talk about it here.

Now at first glance, looking at the specs of both machines, the PS2 looks almost better in every way.

Also looking at the polygon counts:


See? 75 Million vs 5 million. It’s an open and shut case! The PS2 absolutely blew the Dreamcast out of the water, right? Well, not quite.

How about for the sake of completion, what the polygon counts of the Gamecube and the Xbox.

Hmm, something seems off here, right? Apparently, the PS2 is almost 7 times as powerful as the Gamecube…

That’s because the PS2 and Xbox numbers are innacurate. In short, they didn’t actually test the systems, just made estimates. I’ll quote the PDF itself to explain in more detail.

We’re unable to accurately compare the specifications for the below consoles because the method the companies used to measure performance are so different. Sony and Microsoft’s numbers are unrealistic and denote the raw (read: not real) performance of their respective systems, while Nintendo’s and Sega’s numbers are based on real performance during gameplay. With that said, the figures you see are just smoke and numbers. We refer you to compare the actual games.

Here’s the full version of the chart above:

GameCube: 6 to 12 million polygons per second (conservative, but realistic estimate)
PlayStation 2: 75 million polygons per second (realistically first-gen games are more like 3-5 million)
Xbox: 150 million polygons per second (does not consider real gameplay environments)
Dreamcast: Roughly 3 million polygons per second

You’ll find similar numbers all across the internet, this PDF was just a nice concise way of displaying them.

Fun fact, the record for the highest polygon count of the generation actually belongs to the a Gamecube game: Star Wars Rogue Squadron II, which is rendered at 20 million polygons a second!

Anyway, I noticed something interesting here, the PS2’s launch titles shown that the PS2 was capable of 5 million a second, only marginally more powerful than the Dreamcast. In fact you had Dreamcast games also pushing 5 million a second by 2000. Le Mans 24 Hours, or Test Drive Le Mans in America, was one of them.

The Dreamcast was also far better at teaxturs than the PS2, with double the VRAM, and in general, could pack in about as 4 times the textures as the PS2, at least with PS2 games until 2003.

So we’ve established that, at least when the PS2 launched, both systems were roughly as good as one another, but that isn’t the main focus of this article, is it? The article is about if the Dreamcast could have survived beyond that.

It’s fair to assume that because the numbers on the PS2 specs are much higher, the Dreamcast would lag behind, and I would certainly agree that eventually that would happen, but I think the first few years would have been a totally different story.

If anyone studying gaming history would have figured out, is that specs aren’t everything. No point in having all of that power if developers can’t access it, right?

If you compared the 3DO to the Jaguar, the Jaguar looks to be the more powerful system, but games looked better on the 3DO. You’ll also see this with the PS1 vs Saturn, and Xbox 360 vs PS3. That’s because the former systems were far easier to develop for, so developers could push more out of them.

As it turns out, we see a similar case here. The PS2 was reported to be frustrating to program for, while the Dreamcast was pish easy. If both systems were given equal attention and games were developed for both, this would have given the Dreamcast the advantage.

Focusing on Xbox 360 vs PS3, we see a similar scenario. PS3 is more powerful, but hard as nails to program for. (I don’t think the PS2 is quite as difficult, but still)
As a result, I’d say up until 2010, multiplatform games were better on Xbox 360, they fan faster and looked clearer. Developers such as Gabe Newel even ranted about how frustrating the PS3 was to work with!

I can imagine the same happening to these 2 systems. I mean it took your average 3rd party PS2 game until like 2004 to finally outdo what the Dreamcast could have done.

So what about the games that were available on both systems? Well, they seem to support my theory. Dead or Alive 2 looks better on the Dreamcast. The only thing the PS2 has going for it is that the cutscenes are 60fps, vs 30 on the Dreamcast.

Rayman 2 is a game that, in my opinion, is far better on Dreamcast. It runs at 60fps, and supports VGA and widescreen, The PS2 version is enhanced graphically, but only runs at 25fps and as far as I know, only supports an interlaced picture. (could be wrong, though). However, the PS2 has some enhancements that some players may prefer, and that’s totally fair. I just don’t think it was anything the Dreamcast could have also done.

With Quake 3, the Dreamcast version has superior texture quality and better effects such as shininess. Whereas the PS2 version allows more players and bots in a game.

There are examples of the PS2 outdoing the Dreamcast, though, such as NBA 2k2.

Unreal Tournament had unstable framerates on both, but the PS2 version was locked at 30fps, whereas Dreamcast could go up to 60fps.

Other games, such as Ready to Rumble Round 2 and NBA Hoopz, look absolutely idential on both.

So we can see that in general, both systems had their ups and downs, but it looked like Dreamcast versions had the upper hand most of the time.

Another thing to take into account is if the least powerful system is the most popular or at least relevant enough, multiplatform games will centre around that and just port to other machines. The Gamecube and Xbox were never pushed to their limits because of this.

So how do I think the Dreamcast would have faired? I hear nobody ask.

Well, I think in the early 2000s, the Dreamcast would have had better versions of games, though inferior to the Gamecube and Xbox. Then by, say 2004, it will hit a wall. Developers have pushed everything they could out of it, in which case, the PS2 would gradually overtake it.

By then, the PSP will have come out, which has similar specs to the Dreamcast in terms of what developers were allowed to use at the time. (It was only in 2010 where developers were allowed to fully utilise the PSPs power) So it would be likely that the Dreamcast would have then be receiving PSP ports at that point.

By then as well, it would have been likely that Sega will have also came up with a successor console anyway, so either way, it wouldn’t matter.

Anyway, I hope you guys had as much fun reading this as I did writing this. I might do more articles like this in the future.

Untill then, A’m oot!

Telltale Games – A retrospective: Sam & Max: Save The World

Sun, Nov 10th, 2019

So I decided, after watching a documentary video on the Rise & Fall of Telltale games, I decided to play all of the Telltale games I possess.


Of which I have quite a few

Starting with the series that introduced me to the company: Sam & Max Save The World. Read the rest of this entry »

Ma thocts on Joker (SPOILERS)

Fri, Nov 8th, 2019

This is the Scots version of this article, the English version is available here.

A went tae see Joker a few week ago. A thought A’d gie yese ma thochts on the fulm.

A wis a wee bit skeptical-like tae see is, cause ae the kynd ae fowk that ir intae is. Ultra conservative neckbeard-y fowk. Bit ma bra saw it b’fore an telt iz hou guid it wis, a gied in, an went tae see it.

It wis really good, tho A think hit coud hae been impruived.

A expectit a slaw big up inside o the chairacter an than lash oot an become the Joker, an at didna quite happen.


The first kill happent in like the first hauf an oor ae the fulm. A didna feel the big up tae it, juist felt oot ae naewhaur.

Wan hing A likit wis the Joker’s imaigin hissel hivin a burd, tae find thay warna actual datin. Maks ye hink whit else his mind made up in the fulm.

The film made iz hink an aw: Is the Joker actual the guidie, an Batman the baddie? The fulm brings up the inequalitie b’tween the rich an puir fowk a lot. Wi Bruce Wayne’s da bein oot aer titch wi the rest o the warld. A lot like real life, eh no?


Wan hing A likit a lot war the deith scenes. A lot ae’aim war fuckit up! A kynd ae like fucked up deiths… should A git help?

Anywey, that’s aw A wantit tae say.

A howp tae mak weekly Scots airticles alangside the Inglis yins, but thanks tae ma busy schedule, A may no be able tae.

‘Till the nixt airticle, A’m oot!

Retro Collecting isn’t fun any more

Sun, Nov 3rd, 2019

A realisation has come to me very recently: Retro Collecting isn’t fun any more.

For the record, I don’t mean retro gaming, I still find old games fascinating and I love talking about them, but to me, the fun of has been sucked out of collecting them. Read the rest of this entry »

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