I thought I was more or less done with Dreamcast game collecting. With over 400-500 games in my possession (depending on how you count regional duplicates, demo discs, etc.), I felt that I had pretty much royally overdone it and owned far more than was ever going to be necessary. It would be almost impossible to find the time to play them all in the remaining weekends and evenings I have left before the sun sets on my miserable pile of secrets, but that sobering thought never slowed me down. I even went the extra mile, acquiring many of the games originally destined for Dreamcast but ended up on competitor's consoles when Sega lost their marbles and went third party. I invested in arcade hardware like NAOMI and Atomiswave in order to get all the Dreamcast games that were never ported into the home. I had traveled not just one extra mile but all of the extra miles and reached every dead end. I was done.
And then this happened:
|Damn you Mike Phelan!|
It turns out I was not done, I was in fact far from done. There were all these tiny little dark and twisted narrow detours and blind alleys that my Dreamcast searchlight had originally failed to reveal. Games I never knew existed. Little known games by developers I loved. Games whose impenetrable Japanese seemed less frightening with the helping hand of Mike's accessibility guide. My collection now seems woefully incomplete and my interest was reborn. I think I might just get a few more games, maybe a couple of dozen, no more than two score tops. I don't need all of them, I can totally stop anytime I want. Seriously.
|Come on man, just one more fix and then I'll definitely stop for good.|
I started out just wanting to get some parts for my Lindbergh project from Yahoo Auctions Japan (via the Buyee proxy service). Just a couple of beat up old Dreamcast Arcade Sticks in need of some tender loving refurbishment.
|These will do nicely. I'm going to gut them out, so if anyone wants the contents, let me know.|
And an early generation Sega I/O board, which converts digital inputs into a JVS signal that Sega arcade hardware like the Lindbergh understands.
|Those are standard JAMMA pinouts across the bottom there|
That's all I wanted. But after perusing the collector's guide, I thought I'd pick up a few cheap Dreamcast games as well, just to round out my collection a little bit more. Just a few more...
Several weeks later, I woke up from my buyer's remorse hangover to this beast of a delivery:
|Oh Goddess! what have I done?|
|It gets worse...|
Super Speed Racing (スーパースピード･レーシング) [HDR-0013]
OK, this one probably isn't too bad. It had a less than stellar reputation from magazines back in the day who were unimpressed with its simple charms. A recent positive retrospective from Tom put it back on my radar, and it holds a unique position as the only “non-cartoony, proper cart racing” game on Dreamcast. I probably should get a copy of the US release Flag to Flag as well, since it was supposed to contain updates and improvements over this original Japanese release.
|♫ Everybody's Super Speed Racing, driving to the point of no return...|
I actually thought I had this already. I mean, I do already, as I have the limited edition and the limited edition box set, but when I went to do my article on Dreamcast games released in DVD cases, I thought I had this regular release as well to provide a comparison shot between the different case styles. Oh well, it's been rectified now.
|♫ All we hear is Segagaga, Sega goo goo..|
Neat little tennis game that Rob's mentioned a couple of times on the DreamPod. I ended up getting this from a seller on Amazon.co.jp as the cheap copies on Yahoo were badly sun-faded - Buyee took care of the logistics for me. This also gets me closer to a full set of Capcom games on Dreamcast (I think I have all the titles they developed themselves, but they published a lot of games in Japan that were developed by Western studios as well).
|Is it just me, or is that dog totally up-skirting?|
I picked this up on a whim thinking it was related to Netto de Tennis but this was developed by Sega instead of Capcom, despite that fact I'm getting a distinct Power Stone vibe from those characters on the cover. It helps to fill a golfing game niche in my collection, since the Dreamcast wasn't home to many of them, and this one has a unique swing mechanic that uses the analogue stick. Friend of the Junkyard PC Wizard has a nice video of it in action here
|Ready to face off against the X-Men|
An adaption of the board game 'Game of Life' for Dreamcast, which is apparently pretty popular in Japan. An interesting oddity, and it can't be any worse than Sonic Shuffle (can it?).
|The Japanese adaption extends the pre-adult section of the game to include stages as a toddler|
and through the various levels of the Japanese education system
Again, Tom was responsible for putting this on my wants list via a recent article. I'm not normally interested in sports games, but this looks as if it could be some fun and also gets me closer to a full set of Konami games on Dreamcast as well.
|But it's just not cricket|
This is that little known survival horror game that Caleb's mentioned on the DreamPod a couple of times. It was originally planned to get a North American release as “Seven Mansions” but it never came to pass. By all reports, the game is pretty bog standard average, and the language barrier will be a problem, but the behind the shoulder and first person camera views add a little innovation that prelude the direction Capcom would later take with Resi 4. Again PC Wizard has a good stab at playing it on his youtube channel
|Aww, I hate snow! And snow hates you!|
Ah yep, not much needs to be said here when the game's cover pretty much screams all you need to know. It's one redeeming feature is that it was developed by Arc System Works, best known for their stellar Guilty Gear fighting game series, so maybe it has more to offer than meets the eye? The story sounds a little bit like Groundhog Day, where the protagonist has the power to relive the same day over and over again.
|What happens privately between me and my Dreamcast waifu is nobodies business but mine|
This is the only other Arc System Works game on Dreamcast, so now I have the full set. Also, it's now the only shogi game I have on Dreamcast, one of only 3 released for the system in total. This one is endorsed by 9-Dan ranked Shogi master Tanaka Torahiko (I have no idea what I'm talking about).
|A 9-Dan master? Surely he's a secret character in Guilty Gear X|
A compilation of both Princess Maker 1 and 2. Both games are basically what they sound like: tamagotchi with boobs. It supposedly has some kind of connection to Gainax, one of my favourite animation studios, but there's nothing obvious on the case and I'm starting to wonder if it's a misunderstanding based on the similarly pronounced game's developer GeneX?
|♫ Diagrams and charts, Mending broken hearts |
and makin' Weird Science!
According to Mike's guide, this ranked as a 'C' for accessibility due to the existence of an English translation guide. A battle of the bands type story combined with Japanese eroge gags, the game has mixture or favourable and not so favourable reviews.
|I think this canary shows just how far down the coal mine I've sunk.|
An average JRPG with an accessibility ranking of 'C' – requiring large amounts of trial and error to battle through it. The graphics don't exactly stress the Dreamcast's PowerVR muscle either, and would look just as at home on the Saturn. Comes with a bonus soundtrack disc featuring the game's main theme song.
|Even more confusing to pronounce than Fruit'Y|
A reasonably well regarded visual novel type game that has an English translation guide for us gaijin plebs. Tells the story of a predatory photographer, preying on a group of girls who just lost their friend in a car accident, callously luring one of them to be his "model" in their time of grief. Lol Japan.
|Unfortunately, not associated with Jet Set Radio in any way.|
Sub-titled “Cyber Angel Mahjong Battle” it's about a futuristic war between man and machine, where the future leader of the human resistance sends back in time a cybernetic angel to help his younger self win a game of mahjong in order to save humanity, or something like that. Everyone needs a mahjong game in their collection, right?
|Come with me if you want to live out your days playing mahjong|
What is Jahmong? The evil mirror universe version of Mahjong? Notable for being one of the few games to support the Dreamcast microphone back in the day, where you could scream blue murder and hurl abuse at your opponents across the 36.6Kbps interwebs. Maybe me and the one other guy who still owns this will be able to play it again one day when the DreamPi takes off. Maybe…
|See, even the cover knows it's all about the verbal abuse|
An interesting oddity this one, it's based on popular Japanese trading cards, but what makes it interesting is that it was developed by Sega Toys, who are treated as a third party company (T- code 418) rather than a first party Sega division. It is also possible to link it up to its portable counterpart Bikkuriman 2000 Viva! Pocket Festival via the Dreamcast to Neo Geo Pocket link cable, though for what purpose I am not certain, trading cards most likely.
|♫ Viva la Vida Bikkuriman|
Once you've exhausted all the thrills of Sega Bass Fishing and Sega Marine Fishing, there are few places left to turn for your itchy fishing controller finger. Luckily, Visco provides alternative fishy delights to keep your PowerWorm thrumming long into the night.
Rob's favourite Japanese "adventure" game, in which he lovingly extols the virtues of this dating sim in a previous Junkyard article.
|It's a Hudson Soft game, and it turns out I'm now only 2 off a full set of their Dreamcast releases.|
This is one of the numerous Pachinko sims released on Dreamcast. The reason this one is special is because it is themed around a popular Japanese TV drama Hissatsu Shigotonin, and by all reports features some extremely high quality video clips from the show. This should prove inspirational for my Dreamcast Video Disc experiments.
|btw, Hackberry is an awesome name for a games developer.|
Another Japanese love sim, and with an English walkthrough available it is somewhat accessible to play. This is a remake of the original Memories Off (it has spawned multiple sequels and spin-offs, so it's kind of a big deal in the love sim genre). It also includes the prequel story with updated graphics from the Neo Geo Pocket game Memories Off: Pure, which I also own. I was mainly interested to see if there was any interaction between these two games via the NGP link cable. Also, there are currently no decent scans of this on Sega Retro.
|Please return your memories to the "off" position|
And lastly, we have perhaps the most uninteresting game of all - a computerised version of the simple board game Othello. I quite like this in my collection for Sega's last console though, as there is also a game of Othello on Sega's first console, the SG-1000, which I also own. I quite like the symmetry of that.
|The game visibly displays the Dreamcast running through the game's code in order to determine its next move.|
You can actually see that "it's thinking".
Apart from all this Dreamcast love, I also bought a handful of non-Dreamcast games as well. The PS2 port of Trizeal looks interesting, as it seems to have some additional features over the Dreamcast version, with some that look similar to those found in the NAOMI spiritual sequel Shooting Love 2007.
|Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 11 - Hakotu no Ken (remake of Master System game "Black Belt"),|
Shooting Love ~ Trizeal, Dead or Alive, and Darius Gaiden.
And one final footnote: I bought a few cheap Dreamcast accessories too. I might even have some nefarious plans in store for them in the near future, but I'm keeping my cards close to my chest for the moment. You'll find out soon enough, assuming my plan works. Stay tuned...