Revenge of Video Games New York


Last year I chronicled a trip to New York, specifically the video game mother load that is Video Games New York. Well warm weather has returned and so another trip to New York seemed in order! While the trip consisted of a number of non-gaming related activities (I'll save you from stories of glowing lobster heads), I'll just detail the the video game moments. Unless you'd like to see a glowing lobster head.

Last time I visited the shop, I was overwhelmed by the amount of games. Literally shelves and shelves devoted to each console! Used games were out in the open, while hundreds of sealed games sat behind glass. The last time I had seen that many sealed Dreamcast games in one place was GameStop in 2001. Still, I had a sneaking suspicion that the reason why so many games go unsold is because of another factor. I ruled out ghosts and assumed the games were marked up to insane prices. After checking the tags, I was mostly correct.

VGNY is great, don't get me wrong, but the prices were and still are selectively insane. I can understand why a sealed 'Capcom vs. SNK" is priced at $60, but do they really have to charge $10 for used copies of NFL2k when they clearly have over two dozen of them? A new in box late production model Dreamcast went for $160, used VMUs (sans cap) were $15, used lightguns were $50 to $60. For the most part, $10 is the lowest used game price, even for the crappiest of crappy games. A disc-only copy of the first 'Tony Hawk' might be $7, but that's as low as they'll get. So forget about picking up 'Razor Freestyle Scooter' for a few bucks as a laugh.

Having this knowledge of inflated prices, I came prepared with a list of games that I had my eyes on as well as the average ebay prices for said games. That way, if I were to spot 'Stupid Invaders' for $25, I'd know that on ebay it can be found for $30 and I'd be making a wise choice to pick it up at VGNY. Unfortunately, I didn't encounter anything from my list at VGNY that I couldn't get for a half to three quarters of the price on ebay.

Fortunately, and this is the HUGE positive I have about VGNY, there is always a treasure to be found. Something that slipped through the cracks and avoided a crazy price. Last year I snagged 'Illbleed' and 'Floigan Bros', this year I found a PAL copy of 'Headhunter' for $25 and the XBOX version of 'Sonic Riders' for $9. VGNY also stocked a number of copies of 'Wind & Water Puzzle Battles', 'Rush Rush Rally Racing', 'DUX' and 'Last Hope Pink Bullets'. For the most part, the indy games were on par with their online prices. Though $60 was a bit much for the 'Rush Rush Rally Racing Deluxe Edition'.

While I didn't leave VGNY with the pirate's bounty I was hoping for, I did leave knowing I was a smart shopper. Not as cool as a pirate though...

eBay eXtra

After my visit to VGNY, I hit up eBay on my iPod and went shopping. I couldn't end the day with buying only one Dreamcast game! I found a sweet Dreamcast game lot and placed a bid. Four days passed and the auction countdown began, and so too began a bidding war. In the end my top asking price became too much for them and I won a lot of three games I didn't have: 'Tech Romancer' (complete), 'Record of Lodoss War' (complete) and 'Bangai-O" (disc only). I also won two games I already had: 'Soul Reaver' (complete) and 'Sonic Adventure' (disc only). Total price: $39.

I had once rented all three games, and loved each of them. It's nice to have them in the permanent collection. 'Tech Romancer' especially. I've always loved games that truly take advantage of the VMU. Capcom seemed to have been masters at VMU utilization, whether it be mini-games in 'Tech Romancer', item trading in 'Power Stone 2' or the health bar display in 'CODE: Veronica'.

Immortalised in Print...Again!

Alreet! Been a while! Profuse apologies for my absence from the hallowed Junkyard for the last umpteen months...although I'm not sure my presence has been missed much, what with the quality of Barry, Caleb and Gagaman's recent bloggage. I'll be back with a proper post in the next few days (If I can get my ass in gear), but in the meantime, here's a little something that kinda ties in with the previous post:

A Dreamcasting dude by the name of Andrew sent me an email stating that Ryu's native Dobuita is now up on Google Street View. Have a look here. Like he says, it doesn't look an awful lot like the town as depicted in our beloved Shenmue, but you can kinda get the feel of the virtual version, and there's a jacket shop that looks fairly familiar...

Also, I was in WH Smith t'other day and noticed this little periodical hiding behind the May edition of Chicks with Dicks Magazine on the top shelf:

That's my thumb. I need to buy some nail varnish.

Yep, it's the Retro Gamer Hardware Handbook. It costs a fair bit (about a tenner if I recall...although my mind is cloudy through excessive alcohol consumption), so I naturally eschewed the option to purchase it. Furthermore, it appears to just be a collection of hardware features previously published in the actual Retro Gamer magazine It's still a good read though...and all the better when you discover that the DCJY is again featured in the re-produced Dreamcast special that was raved about here a few years back:


It's nice to know that we've been immortalised in print more than once. Even if it is a screen grab of the old layout. Saaaaweet!

Guess Who Won A Limited Edition Ryo Figure?

I did!


For those not in the know, the Ryo Hazuki Forklift figure was a contest prize held by Sega of America to promote Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. The figure was, at the grief of fans everywhere, limited to 1,000. 50 of the 1,000 were allocated to Sega Europe and Canadians were given the chance at 75. So in all, I actually only had a shot at winning one of 875.

I received the call last night from the promotional company, telling me I've won the figure. The representative on the phone said the item was valued at $40, but I'm certain Dreamcast fanboys would price it much higher (perhaps $45?). The estimated arrival time is next week!

For the sake of not sounding like I'm gloating too much, I claim the Ryo Hazuki Forklift figure in the name of all the excellent Sega junkyards as well as Sega Memories. Once it arrives, expect a bounty of photos and perhaps a cheeky video of Ryo forking about copies of Shenmue.

Rush Rush Rally Racing Regular Edition Sold Out! So many "R"s so few copies!

The hardcore arcade driving game has revved it's engine and disappeared into the sunset!

Luckily for all Dreamcast fans the special

http://www.redspotgames.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=16

I just thought I would make a note for all the people who might be late to the party on this one.

Original story pulled from DC Emu UK.

A Dreamcast collection that makes you want to punch a hole in the wall

Just one of dozens of rare items. Only 78 of these exist.

Imagine a Dreamcast console collection so huge, and a collector so casual about it, that you just want to punch a hole in the wall and cry in a corner. I think I've found it. Beware all who click below. Once you've finished, come back to this post (unless you've passed out):

http://assemblergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25769


Have you returned? Do you feel envy? I myself felt a mix between envy and hatred. Did you scroll down and read the his reply to being called "rich"? "I'm not rich, got a normal salary, only i´m collecting Dreamcast 5-6 years".


I'm not sure if I want to clap my hands or boil an egg on my forehead. Congrats! *grumble grumble*

Chu Chu Rocket.

Another comic from Punks and Nerds celebrating the Dreamcast.

http://www.punksandnerds.com/?p=121

Click to view!

Dreamageddon - The Aftermath


I think every Dreamcast fan can tell you exactly where they were and how they learned of Sega's decision to discontinue the Dreamcast and go third party. I remember my dad called me over to the TV where X-Play was making the announcement, and moments later I was on the floor in pain. Three weeks of recovery later, I began to formulate my post-Dreamcast plans. I had read that Sega planned to support all platforms (even the new Nintendo Dolphin?! Unthinkable!) and that the plan was to have the internal dev teams divided among the three consoles. If you liked Sonic Team, your best bet was the family friendly Nintendo. If you liked trippy Japanese games, Sony was the way to go. And if you wanted graphical beasts, that PC makin' Microsoft could offer some pretty Sega games.

So here we are, a little over nine years later (the official announcement of "third party" was January 31, 2001) and we have since made our post-Dreamcast decisions. Some of us are now flag waving Sony fans, while others signed allegiance with the Nintendo empire. Still, there are others who couldn't give a crap about which company makes which system and just enjoy good games.

Before I get into the meat of this posting, my question to you is this: After the Dreamcast, where did YOU go? Feel free to answer this in the comments section.


A non-Sonic game from Sonic Team on a Nintendo console??


I should probably start by sharing where I went. Post Dreamcast I had a very difficult decision to make: PS2, XBOX or Gamecube. I wasn't the type of kid with deep pockets, so it really came down to the Christmas of 2001. At that time, the Playstation 2 looked to offer a bevvy of Dreamcast ports that didn't make it stateside, including Headhunter, Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Rez as well as arcade releases such as Virtua Fighter 4. There was also the unique looking GunGrave, which at the time looked to have the promise of Jet Set Radio meets Streets of Rage.


Shame it didn't play as well as it looked


Another strong contender for my next console was the XBOX. A part of me really liked the system as it, in my opinion at the time, did not kill the Dreamcast. *coughsony!* I also appreciated Microsoft's kindness towards Sega in their time of transition. Yeah, yeah, I know it's all business but still. In terms of games, the XBOX actually didn't seem to offer as much as the PS2 for Sega fans, but the promise of new SmileBit games was a major plus. Edit: Oh, and Crazy Taxi 3.

Last, and unfortunately least (IMO, please don't flame me!!! :P), was the Nintendo Gamecube. My opinions towards the system were, at the time, low. The design seemed to badly mimic the Dreamcast and the promise of online was severely lacking. Sega-wise, I really didn't know what to expect on the system, but the announcement of Sonic Adventure 2 being rereleased didn't excite me.

I assumed (and was correct in doing so) that Sonic Team would simply port what they had already done on the Dreamcast and any original Sonic games would surly be multi-platform. The one thing that really had my attention was Billy Hatcher. Remember, at the time Sonic Team seemed to do no wrong in developing a non-Sonic game; PSO, Chu Chu Rocket, NiGHTS and Burning Rangers. Still, I decided to wait until the Gamecube offered more games that caught my interest.

STILL WANT

So Chritsmas 2001 rolled around and I made my decision: I was getting a PS2. The major reasons were the many Dreamcast games I had missed out on, as well as the idea that I was saving money on a standalone DVD player by getting the one included with the system. In 2002 I caved and bought an XBOX as life just didn't seem complete without JSRF. Since then, I have not bought a GameCube and don't regret it. Besides missing out on new versions of PSO, all worthwhile Sega games found on Nintendo's system became available for the PS2 and XBOX. I believe Super Monkey Ball Deluxe and Sonic Mega Collection Plus trump their GameCube counterparts.

Now my favorite part: IN RETROSPECT

Do I regret my post-Dreamcast decisions? A little. I wish I had bought a XBOX before the PS2, and imported Rez, Headhunter and SC5 Part 2 for the Dreamcast. I also feel that a majority of the original Sega games released for the PS2 were not as great as I had hoped.

I had bought the XBOX in hopes of getting Shenmue 3, but obviously that didn't happen. Thankfully, the XBOX brought two of the greatest third party Sega games of the sixth generation: Panzer Dragoon Orta and JSRF.

I still don't regret not owning a GameCube. ;)