click here to reveal it's delights), and we looked at a few of the more expensive PAL games right here at the 'Yard a few weeks ago...but here's the thing - a clear distinction needs to be made right now: 'expensive' and 'rare' are not the same thing.
One game that is forever being listed on eBay as 'rare' and commanding some ridiculous prices is Conker's Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64. It is a fantastic title and an example of Rareware of old at their finest, but as any well-read N64 collector will attest, Conker is not a rare game - it is merely desirable. Quite where the horrific price tag came from is anybody's guess (maybe someone saw the Rareware sticker and got a little confused), but the snowball became an avalanche and now Bad Fur Day has become the fodder of the more affluent collectors out there. Unless you own an Everdrive...but we won't go down that particularly grey alley.
Back to the original point - rare Dreamcast games. Games like Rival Schools 2, Bangai-O and Cannon Spike regularly get a mention; as do titles like SegaGaGa and Mars Matrix. Whether it was down to low print runs or low sales figures, all of these are uncommon titles. There is one game however, that never gets mentioned in these 'rare games' lists. A game that I believe is so rare, it transcends the very lists it should proudly sit atop. This game is Giant Killers - a UK exclusive football (soccer) management sim released by Smoking Gun Productions in May 2001.
What of the game itself then? Well, I have a little confession to make: I hate football management sims. I've never seen the point of looking at screens of stats and never actually getting to play the beautiful game for real. I love stuff like FIFA and all the behind the scenes tinkering that the career mode in said EA Sports flagship title offers...but if you take away the ability to actually play the game, my interest levels wane. By 'wane,' I mean 'vanishes altogether.'
Once you've picked your starting lineup and tinkered with the slightly threadbare team tactics, you are encouraged to start your first game from the dug-out, and I must say that it's about as exciting as you would imagine: text-based commentary scrolls up the screen while crowd sound effects play in the background. There's no Premier Manager 64-style 3D representation of the game here - just text. It's quite detailed to be fair, but you'd have to be a hardened statto to get excited about this aspect of the game...and this is where the action happens.
So Giant Killers then. It stands alone as the only football management game on the Dreamcast (unless you count the Japan-only Let's Make A Soccer Team! as a proper management sim, and not an RPG), and also the only UK-exclusive title. That fact alone makes it pretty special in my eyes...it's just a shame I'm not really into this genre.
Price-wise, I've seen copies of Giant Killers fetch a few hundred pounds on eBay...but I paid £8 for this boxed and complete copy at a recent gaming expo so there's proof that you don't have to pay through the nose for genuinely rare Dreamcast titles.