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Newsletter from 12-21-1998
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12-21-1998 { New DC Releases, Shenmue Info, Misc News, and more... }

Hello all,

With finals now over, I'm able to concentrate on the site the coming weeks, one can expect to see additions to the Genesis and Dreamcast areas along with continued site tweaks. I've removed the 'entry' page and now when visiting dEX one is set right into a general news and updates page...I'm sure you'll find it much nicer than having to click through the old 'enter' button. Over in the links area, I've added links to a few sites, the first is Dimension-S, a very good Sega only site. Also added is a link to a general Sega mailing list. Their URLs are respectively: Dimension-S and Sega Mailing List.

Incoming for the Dreamcast was just released and should be available now. The game is a fairly impressive shooter originally on the PC. One can get info in the PC version from the developer Rage ( Three new games for the Dreamcast are coming in a few days: Seventh Cross from NEC, Tetris 4D from Sega, and of course, the long awaited Sonic Adventure. Sonic will be available one day it arrived at Japanese distributors today (Monday). If you haven't read on the site or elsewhere, the game received a very high rating of 38/40 from the reviewers at Famitsu. In comparison, VF3 TB got a 36, and VF2 for the Saturn got a 39. Oh, and the highest rating ever? That went to Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Obviously the reviewers were impressed. Tetris 4D is essentially the same old Tetris with some new graphical features. Seventh Cross has received a mixed review, getting a 4, 8, 7, and 5/10 from reviewers at Famitsu.

Also this week, was the conference revealing Shenmue to the public. Much more game footage was shown at the conference along with general availability information. Set to ship thus spring, the game contains familiar faces from the Virtua Fighter cast along with new faces. For the extremely fluid animation, motion capture was used (as with previous VF games). Some viewing the demos claim that they were FMV, while others state them as being realtime. It's very hard to say, while yes, up to this point, anything of this quality has been FMV, but then, we've never seen anything to go deep into the system's abilities as has AM2 has most certainly done in their four years developing the game. The most impressive (and as some claim, FMV) scene has to have been the scene in which it was snowing. Very, very incredible as the snow fell in a town, covering the buildings and streets. A town? Well, remember those mystery 'Tower of Babel' demos that were shown back on the early announcement conference of the DC? Those were development scenes of this game. For the believers in FMV out there, read this from the official press release: "Shenmue does not contain any CG movies and is a fully interactive game in which characters can go wherever they choose and interact with whomever or whatever they want." For the full press release, check out the news area. Because the game is designed to be modeled after real life, one will have to do things such as get food...and of course, it takes money to get food. Along with such realistic implementations the game uses a dynamic time and weather system which works in real-time. That is, if its 1PM in reality, then it is 1PM in the game. The game also had over 1,200 rooms to explore so its not likely that one will finish it in a short amount of time. No information was given on a US release, but since the game is very dependent on spoken rather than written speech, translation may take a while.

Dreamcast prices were pretty much the same as they were last week in the US as supply flattens out, still too high for my tastes at $475 US. British reseller CEX is selling the console for £375 or about 525ECU ($630US). Much lower than the original prices being several hundred dollars/pounds higher than before.

I'm afraid there isn't much Saturn news to write about this week...I'll dig around and see if there's any and put it up on the site. That's all for this week, happy holidays to all!


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