User Profile



The boy who never grew up.

Male, United Kingdom

Hobbit-like Editorial Director of Nintendo Life, Push Square and Pure Xbox by day, freelance word wizard by night. You may have shaken your head in disgust at my work on Eurogamer, CNET UK, Pocket Gamer and elsewhere.

Sun 20th Jan 2008

Recent Comments



Damo commented on The NES Joins The High Definition Era With Thi...:

@andykara2003 If you do a quick search on the site then you'll see that I've reviewed upscalers and scanline generators in the past (NL was one of the first to review the SGL generator), and I've owned several gaming monitors and CRT TVs in the past. While I wouldn't claim to be an expert, I know quite a bit about this. The tech behind a CRT TV - no matter how good - is still inferior to modern tech. I'm not saying it can't look good - I love the look of retro systems on a decent CRT - but it's largely a nostalgia thing. You simply can't beat devices like this NES mod when it comes to sharpness.

Of course, this is just one person's opinion but after spending an insane amount of money getting a commodore 1084 monitor and getting the right RGB leads modded to run all my retro systems on it, I can say hand on heart the effort simply wasn't worth it. Not when there are mods and devices like this which offer a cheaper and (IMO) better alternative.



Damo commented on The NES Joins The High Definition Era With Thi...:

@andykara2003 I've dabbled in CRT, scalers and much more besides over the past decade. A lovely RGB image via a CRT is authentic and you can't beat the nostalgia of scanlines, but an upscaled image via HDMI is sharper as the tech it's running on is higher resolution. It's all about preference - some people will pay a lot of money to get that authentic image, and fair play to them.



Damo commented on The NES Joins The High Definition Era With Thi...:

@foobarbaz This allows you to emulate scanlines. And your point about using a CRT is different - you're confusing "best" with "most authentic".

It's plain to anyone with eyes that the HDMI image is better than anything you'd get on a CRT, RGB or no.



Damo commented on The Man Responsible For Sega's Blast Processin...:

@DarthNocturnal It's true that the SNES could process more instructions but the CPU speed did play a part. Compare a fast-paced shooter on the MD with one on the SNES and you'll see the difference. The MD could chuck loads of sprites around with little slowdown, while the SNES really struggled in this respect.



Damo commented on Rumour: Leading Japanese Game Company Kidnappe...:

@manu0 "They're a big company, so if you try to fight them with ordinary methods, they'll work with the police and get the legal system to come after you. They might even pay off a politician, like a member of the National Diet. Who knows what they're capable of?"



Damo commented on Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei Confirmed For...:

@TheWPCTraveler I was talking about Front / Lady Innocent, and his adult work in general.

He's one of the most talented artists around and I've adored his art ever since seeing it for the first time in Warsong / Langrisser. But I find it a shame that the only way he seems able to make a living these days is drawing hardcore smut - it's a waste of his talents (unless of course he prefers producing that kind of material, in which case there's little point in complaining).



Damo commented on Britsoft: An Oral History Charts The Birth Of ...:

@Peach64 Nope, stops around the start of the '90s - which is when it all changed, really. Rare do get a mention as one of the few studios which managed to stay the course (mainly by hooking up with Nintendo). The Stampers were VERY forward-thinking in that respect.



Damo commented on Rejoice, The Wii U Has Finally Outsold Sega's ...:

@PlywoodStick No problem, and thanks for your own input. And please don't think we were knocking the system - all of the stuff in the first photo is mine, I love the DC - it's perhaps the last console I REALLY loved before things like full time employment and adult responsibility came along and ruined everything



Damo commented on Rejoice, The Wii U Has Finally Outsold Sega's ...:

@PlywoodStick Compared to the PlayStation - which, lest we forget, was the DC's biggest rival, not the PS2 - Sega's console lacked 3rd party support. Sure, it had some interest from 3rd parties but nowhere near the same level as the PlayStation, which was unquestionably the console to beat at the time.

"I didn't realize the situation was so different in Europe, which may be where the disconnect is here. All of those points portrayed as negatives here were the opposite in the USA. Arcades were still going strong in the late 90s over here, and people couldn't get enough of them just yet. It seems the USA was the Dreamcast's best performing region overall, so my perception may be skewed towards our overwhelmingly positive reception."

I'd love to see some evidence of this, because arcades started sliding out of importance all over the world by the time the year 2000 turned around. While I can accept that the situation may have been different in the US, I'm not sure arcade ports were quite the selling point you seem to think - if so, why wasn't the PlayStation 2 flooded with coin-op conversions around the same time? The market was changing at that point as gamers started to demand more from their home games - a port of an arcade title with a few extra modes just didn't cut it anymore. I'm not guessing at this either, I'd already begun writing about games by this point and noticed a critical backlash against the DC's engaging but shallow arcade ports.

(This point is rather moot as the DC did have some amazing original games, such as Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, MSR, Skies of Arcadia, etc - just nowhere near enough of them as Sega didn't have the software support it needed).

DVD issue - Sony never controlled the DVD market at any point. DVD was a widely accepted standard and Sony - like every other big manufacturer at the time - produced DVD players. In fact, around the time I purchased my first DVD player (a Samsung), I recall Sony's own efforts being rather thin on the ground. Yes, it would have added cost to the DC and yes, it would probably have resulted in a delay - I'm not arguing against those things, I'm just saying that NOT having DVD playback really hurt the system. DVD was fresh and new, and DVD players were still expensive, so Sony offering one inside the PS2 was gigantic selling point. I was working in games retail at the time and I saw first-hand the number of people who picked up the system without being bothered about the lack of software (the PS2 really struggled in its first 12 months and the DC arguably had better games) purely because they intended to use the console as a DVD player as well as a games machine.

As for the DC's forward momentum in the US, as has already been pointed out, Sega slashed the price quite aggressively to achieve those sales. It almost certainly performed best in the US, but elsewhere in the world it totally flatlined. Japan in particular.



Damo commented on Rejoice, The Wii U Has Finally Outsold Sega's ...:

@Tsusasi Where to start?

The console did rely too much on Sega's arcade heritage, and by that point arcades were slowly losing relevance with console gamers - gamers who were playing titles like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, Zelda: OoT, GoldenEye 007, Super Mario 64, Diddy Kong Racing, etc. The Dreamcast's arcade pedigree was amazing IF you were into arcade games (like myself) but to the mainstream player, the library simply wasn't diverse enough - at least not compared to that of the PlayStation, which, lest we forget, had ruled the 32-bit/64-bit market up to that point and had tremendous software support.

The DVD issue - you're really underplaying this. It was a major issue - so much so that Sega Europe even started bundling a DVD player with the console to drive sales. The PS2 got off to a poor start in terms of software but people bought it because when they weren't playing on it they could watch those new-fangled DVDs everyone was talking about. It was a big selling point and a major reason for people not adopting the Dreamcast instead.

Online - Sega made MASSIVE promises about the online capability of the system - the UK ads even claimed you'd be facing off against 6 billion (potential) players. The reality? Chu Chu Rocket was the first online game of note in my part of the world and that came too late to make a difference, and games like Outrigger had the online side stripped away completely in the UK (no idea about the US). While you're correct in saying that there was nothing to compare the machine to in the console arena, the simple fact is that Sega could have made more of the online, but it didn't - or perhaps wasn't able to. That could have been a really unique differentiator for the console.

I lived and breathed the Dreamcast at the time. I got a Japanese console the week after it launched and purchased a PAL system when that was released, too. I spent an insane amount of money on imported software from Japan, and loved every second I spent with the machine. I played through Shenmue twice (Japanese then US version) and loved Skies of Arcadia to bits. However, I'm not so blinkered that I can't see it was a flop in purely commercial terms, and I'm realistic enough to know that the reasons I love the machine (amazing arcade ports, Capcom fighters, etc) are the exact same reasons it didn't find a wider audience. Sega was using the playbook it had for the Saturn era, but the market had moved on - for better or for worse. Arcade ports at the turn of the millennium simply did not sell consoles anymore.

You really have to realise that pointing out that a system didn't sell very well and listing the reasons DOES NOT mean the writer's opinion of the system is poor. Commercial success and critical success are two entirely different things that are sometimes - but not always - connected.



Damo commented on Rejoice, The Wii U Has Finally Outsold Sega's ...:

@PlywoodStick Can you point out where in the piece it is claimed that the console wasn't any good?

I quote:

"The combination of all these factors certainly pulled the console down, but like the Wii U, that's not to say that the system was a complete failure. It was blessed with many amazing games - just like Nintendo's console - and is undoubtedly a hardware classic."

It really does help if you actually, you know, read the piece before making a comment.