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PSP gets incredibly slow Dreamcast emulator

The PSP homebrew scene continues to expand to new, uncharted territories. This time, it appears drkIIRaziel of DCEmu has created a Dreamcast emulator for the PSP. Considering how powerful the hardware is, this seems like a rather futile effort, as evidenced by the first footage (seen above). While it will unlikely prove to be fruitful, this exercise shows the incredible skill and talent found in the community.

[Via Joystiq]

Crazy Taxi still looks crazy bad

Sega's upcoming PSP version of Crazy Taxi has come a long way. The very first video of the game ran at a sluggish rate, featured nearly deserted streets, and had textures worse than the original Dreamcast version. It appears that some significant progress has been made, but is it enough? We say no. A new gameplay montage on IGN reveals greatly improved visuals, but the textures and polygon count still fall short of what we expect from our handheld. While the gameplay looks fun, we can't help but remember playing the taxi cab mode of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and being far more impressed.

At least we won't be charged an arm and a leg for this technically shallow Dreamcast port: releasing at a budget price makes sense to us. But still, wouldn't we love to see a game that truly takes advantage of PSP's capabilities?

Crazy Taxi trailer doesn't get us too crazy

We heard that the upcoming PSP version of Crazy Taxi needed some graphical polish: and now we can see how much work it truly needs. IGN has the latest trailer, and it's riddled with Dreamcast-era visual quirks, from poor textures, to annoying pop-in. It certainly looks quite weak compared to what the PSP is easily capable of. In addition to revamping the graphics, let's hope that Sega will reconsider doing the sound in the game: the soundtrack and voice work looks to reek of cheese. Certainly, there's a lot more work to do before the game's release in June.

Dream Games: Jet Grind Radio

Dream Games is a new weekly column where we explore a game we'd love to see on the PSP. Feel free to check in, and comment, every week.

Jet Grind Radio
Don't confuse Jet Grind Radio (aka Jet Set Radio) as simply a cel-shaded Tony Hawk. While it's true that you'll grind your way through a massive environment like in the formulaic sports game, Jet Grind Radio adds a charming universe, unique gameplay elements, and a refreshing art style in one of Sega's most memorable games on Dreamcast. Marc Ecko might have tried to recreate the fun of Sega's tagging game, but nothing comes close to what Sega has achieved in this game.

Why PSP?
The PSP has more than enough horsepower to run a game like Jet Grind Radio. The pick up and play gameplay of the original will translate incredibly well for handheld gamers. Certainly, the quick pace of the game will be attractive to many action-oriented PSP gamers. One of the cooler features of the Dreamcast original was the ability to use your own imported images as tags to place in the game (through the VMU). With PSP's Memory Stick compatibility, this feature is a no-brainer. The PSP's wi-fi capabilities would allow players to compete against each other.

Is it possible?
Hopefully, Sega's upcoming release of Crazy Taxi shows that they're interested in reviving their Dreamcast franchises on our handheld.

UFC pounding onto PSP

The first UFC game for Dreamcast really did something different with the fighting genre. It felt like a very violent game of chess and always kept you on your nerves. The license really lost steam as time went on though and eventually UFC games stopped being made all together. Now that the UFC is more popular than ever, THQ has decided to bring the octagon back to gamers.

Joystiq has an article about the deal up, but let me quote the important part for PSP gamers: "The agreement will span all console and portable systems..." They didn't announce if one developer was handling all versions (which is unlikely) or if a different developer would work on each version. Judging from the huge stable of studios that work with THQ though, it's likely each platform will be a concentrated effort.

For more, read the original article at Joystiq. Or you can find out why THQ bathes in money.

Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars revealed

Sega's really starting to ramp up their PSP support. As if After Burner and Full Auto 2 wasn't enough, they recently revealed a new version of their popular Crazy Taxi series for the PSP entitled Fare Wars. GameFront has pictures of the game, and unfortunately, they don't look too sharp. Thankfully, the game has a lot of time to shape up until its expected Summer release (in Europe).

The game will feature 2 player ad-hoc multiplayer, and content from Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2. We're not sure if it'll have new content, but it will have a cool feature that allows you to record videos from the game and save it to Memory Stick, so that you can share your craziest fares.

[Via IGN]

See also:
Power Stone Collection producer wants more Dreamcast ports

Metareview: Power Stone Collection

There were way too many PSP games released in the past few days, and it seems like the big media sites are struggling just to play through all of them to give us reviews. Power Stone Collection, a port of the original Dreamcast brawlers, is now available on the PSP. How did it fare to the critics? Let's see:
  • GameSpy (80/100) likes the frantic nature of the multiplayer matches: "With so much going on at once, you'll occasionally lose track of your character (especially during four-player matches), but you'll probably be having too much fun to notice much. If you missed it back when Sega was still making systems, now's your chance to give this well-remembered series a try."
  • 1UP (70/100) notes that Dreamcast fans will love this, even though the game hasn't aged too well: "While as nice as it is to see a classic arcade-style game get its due, what the world really needed wasn't a regurgitation of Power Stone 1 and 2; it needed Power Stone 3, brought up to spec with advancements in game design and all the things players have become accustomed to in other games."
  • Games Radar (60/100) thinks single-player is no fun: "The lack of online support severely hinders the chance you'll be seeing a lot of multiplayer action – and even if there were online support, there's nothing like sitting down in front of the TV with three friends and bashing each other's brains out. Sorry PSP, this one just isn't for you."
It is unfortunate to see such mixed reviews for the game. If you've played it on Dreamcast, you know what you're getting yourself into. Even without Infrastructure support, you may want to take this game out for a spin. Who knows? Maybe we'll get other Dreamcast games this way.

Power Stone Collection producer wants more Dreamcast ports

IGN got a chance to talk to Capcom about their newly-released Power Stone Collection. According to the game's producer, Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, the game is relatively unchanged because they wanted to preserve the game's quality. Yeah. They weren't trying to be "lazy" at all. Interestingly, the PSP is compared to the Dreamcast:

IGN PSP: Because of the button layout, the PSP seems the perfect fit for Dreamcast ports. Does the internal architecture of the PSP make it easy or difficult to port DC games? And is there a chance we will see some more Capcom classic Dreamcast games come to Sony's handheld system?

Tsuchiya: The button layout on the PSP was definitely well suited for Power Stone and we are happy with the final results. In terms of hardware, it actually was not all that easy to transfer a Dreamcast game to the PSP. It took a lot of work to recreate the same experience because the systems are quite different. In the end though, we were able to pull it off and keep the same level of graphics and sound, so now we know it's possible. Capcom does have a lot of great games on the Dreamcast, and if user demand is high enough, we would be happy to consider moving other games to the PSP.

The Dreamcast is one of my favorite systems ever. It would be awesome to see more games head from the Dreamcast to the PSP, especially considering how the Dreamcast never got to live the life of fame it so deserved.

New PSP video game magazine released

New PSP video game magazine released
The guys over at DCEmu UK have just released their first PSP-formatted, multi-platform video game magazine. The magazine, which is the successor to PSPWeekly, focuses on the PSP NeoFlash Summer Coding Competition, but it also touches on Dreamcast and Nintendo Wii news.

If you're interested in the NeoFlash competition, you'll want to check out this issue because it is chock full of great information and screens of submitted games.

I gotta say, the first issue doesn't look too shabby. Personally, I'm not really big into the homebrew scene, so that doesn't interest me greatly, but I'm always on the look out for fresh Dreamcast content.

Direct download

(Via DCEmu UK)

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