Dreamcast Themed Scented Candles On The Way?

I've checked the date and no, it's not April 1st. That said, I'm still not sure if this is a cruel joke or not...so take this with a bucket of salt. Recently, the Sega Forever Facebook account shared these images of an 'in development' Dreamcast-themed scented candle (along with a Mega Drive one, too) and asked for suggestions on what they should smell of. My formative years with the Dreamcast mainly smelled of teen spirit, cheap lager and Pot Noodles; but I'm not sure anybody wants a candle that smells of a student's bedroom.
The design looks really cool and if these are real, surely it means that Sega still has the ability to create new aftermarket Dreamcast shells to replace our yellowing/cracked originals? That said, there's no indication of scale in the images so lets not get our hopes up.

So what do you think? Would you be down for a Dreamcast/Mega Drive candle to illuminate your summer evenings or dark winter nights while you huddle around a flickering CRT playing Spirit of Speed 1937? Let us know in the comments. Oh, oh - I've just thought of another: Smells Like Teen Spirit of Speed 1937. Guffaw. I'm wasted here, I tell you.

Source: Sega Forever Facebook

Pound Technology Releases New Dreamcast HDMI Cable

The Dreamcast famously supports many different types of display cable (check out our guide here), and the ability to spit out a VGA signal has afforded contemporary hardware developers the opportunity to adapt the Dreamcast's aging internal guts to work with the latest display technology.


While the Dreamcast will always be best matched with a decent CRT television through RGB SCART or a VGA computer monitor via a suitable cable or box, the fact of the matter is that not everyone has the space for a hulking great cathode ray powered television or monitor, and so flat panel monitors are the only option. With this in mind, Pound Technology is the latest hardware manufacturer to take advantage of the Dreamcast's VGA option and have recently released the 'HD Link - Dreamcast.'
Following in the footsteps of outfits like Beharbros (check out our review of the AKURA HDMI box here), Pound Technology have created a fairly robust looking pass-through cable that takes the VGA signal from the Dreamcast and projects it through a HDMI cable onto the screen of any compatible monitor or TV set. Unlike the AKURA, the HD Link - Dreamcast doesn't offer any additional display modes or a scanline generator, but it does trump the AKURA in terms of cost, weighing in at just $29.99 at the time of writing.
The only negative we can see so far is that the HD Link - Dreamcast is currently only available in the United States due to Amazon's rules on new products passing internal review for international shipping. Rest assured that as soon as Amazon have approved the cable, we'll be putting it up against the AKURA to see how it fares.


For more information visit the Pound Technology website here.

A Quick Look At Ikaruga: Dreamcast & Switch Comparison

The Dreamcast's stable of shoot 'em ups is legendary and is up there with the best line ups of any console ever released. Sitting proudly atop that stable, like a shimmering diamond is Treasure's marvellous Ikaruga. Ikaruga was initially released in the arcades as a NAOMI powered coin-op, before being published on the Dreamcast in 2002 as a Japan-only title. Like many late era Dreamcast shmups, the lack of a release outside its native territory has given Ikargua an almost mythical status amongst its peers, and the general scarcity of the title has inevitably pushed the price up.
Click/tap for full size version
A Gamecube port was released in the west later in 2003, allowing Ikaruga to reach a wider audience, but even that version commands a healthy price tag in today's climate; while further releases for the Xbox 360 and Steam followed in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Much like Zerodiv's re-release of Zero Gunner 2, Ikaruga now heads to the Nintendo Switch and brings with it a whole lot of history and reputation. Being dusted off and put out on Nintendo's hot new hybrid system can only be applauded, especially when offered at a budget price point - original copies of the Dreamcast game can reach into the hundreds of pounds depending on condition of disc, manual and case.


Before we get ahead of ourselves though, let's take a look at the game itself, its main features and selling points. Then, once that's all squared away we'll investigate how faithful a port this new Ikaruga is, and what - if any - differences there are between the Dreamcast / NAOMI original and this brand new resurrection for the Switch generation...

Top 5 Dreamcast Online Games...That Never Actually Existed

The Dreamcast’s online capabilities out of the box were no doubt somewhat revolutionary for a console back in 1999. Sega couldn’t have played up the fact that a modem was included much more than they did; with a heavy push on web browsing and emailing when the Dreamcast first launched.

The promise was that online gaming would follow shortly and whilst we did get some outstanding online experiences eventually, I think looking back now, it is fair to say that Sega didn’t really live up to their pre-release “up to 6 billion players” hype. There were some great games designed around their online features, but there were just not enough.

The sad part is that the Dreamcast was ahead of its time when it came to online gaming on console, and I can’t help but think that with a few more quality online-focused releases earlier in the Dreamcast’s lifespan, it could have turned an also ran feature into THE reason to buy Sega’s wonderful grey box.

Walk with me as I uncover the five Dreamcast online sensations that never actually existed, but I think wish really should have...

Reaperi Cycle Developers Want Your Input (Updated)

Remember Reaperi Cycle? It's the slightly odd looking indie title we featured a few weeks ago that - so far at least - has everyone pretty stumped as to what it might be about. Well, things are about to become a little clearer, as the main developer of this enigmatic Dreamcast exclusive is planning to livestream a Q&A session on YouTube very soon.
Not only are the developers of this mysterious game asking for questions, but they'll also be showing off an early build of the game, too. As we stated in the previous reveal, Reaperi Cycle looks like it could be quite an interesting little puzzle title, and that it's coming exclusively to the Dreamcast means it has piqued our interest.
Indie Devs spotted in the wild...
Scattered throughout this article are a few exclusive shots of Reaperi Cycle to whet your appetite. If you'd like to get up close and personal with the developers and see an exclusive preview of the game in action, set an alarm for 14:00 EDT / 19:00 BST this coming Wednesday 6th June and head over to the official Reaperi Cycle YouTube channel to catch a glimpse.

Update: The livestream took place, and here's the video:


Oddly, the Reaperi Cycle official website seems to have been taken down since our last look at this intriguing project, but you can find the game's Patreon page here.

Is A Modern 'Dreamcast Collection' Release Closer Than We Think?

Is the Mega Drive Classics collection a sign of things to come? Recently we’ve had seemingly more and more assurance from Sega that they are in fact, still the awesome force that many of us remember from childhood; and beyond our formative years for many in the case of the Dreamcast.

Whilst it seemed to be criminally underreported at the time, producer Kagasei Shimomura did hint that Sega would like to look at expanding the Sega Ages releases beyond the standard 'retro' early era stuff we typically see, and hinted this would be linked to how well the initial batch of material is received.

While not the type of thing we’d usually cover on this Dreamcast centric blog, I felt that the recent release of the Mega Drive classic collection is something of an eyebrow raiser for those of us hoping that Sega’s swansong console may see some form of similar contemporary bundle release.
The Mega Drive / Genesis Classics collection itself is a nicely put together affair, and whilst this isn't a review I currently have no qualms with it, especially with the low entry price. My day one consumer thoughts are that it is much closer to the standard of the Rare Replay collection than anything we’ve seen previously from Sega.

Toy Racer Retrospective: Dreamcast Online Gaming

If you ask most Dreamcast fans what their favourite games are on the system, it’s not unusual to hear things like Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Phantasy Star Online, Crazy Taxi, and so forth. One answer you don’t hear very often is Toy Racer; a budget Toy Commander spin-off focusing primarily on online multiplayer racing.

For me, Toy Racer is one of my favourite and easily most played Dreamcast titles - not because it’s necessarily a fantastic game - but because it genuinely changed the way I enjoyed video games forever by fully opening my eyes to the world of online gaming.
Released in 2000, Toy Racer was developed by No Cliché and published by Sega themselves. It only ever saw the light of day on store shelves in Europe, as a planned US release never ultimately materialised. Toy Racer enjoyed chart topping success in the UK thanks mostly to its insanely budget price of just £5 (approx $6-7 today, but more like $3-4 back then) - the same price as a Dreamcast demo disc - and this was certainly a huge reason why I took a gamble back in the day.
Being a student at the time, new gaming purchases were a rare occurrence. But how could I resist at such a low price for a new racing game promising endless multiplayer fun!  Up until this point, I’d been intrigued by online gaming but had never really invested any significant time into it. I didn’t own a gaming PC and my free copy of Chu Chu Rocket (thanks to being an early sign-up to the Dreamarena) didn’t really have any lasting appeal for me beyond the initial novelty of playing against other real people via the power of the internet...

You Can Now Access The Original Jet Grind Radio Website From Your Dreamcast

While the promise of online gaming was a big part of Sega's marketing campaign when trying to flog the Dreamcast to the masses, many games simply didn't have any online gameplay portion. That didn't stop certain games proudly displaying the fact that they offered 'online functions' on the packaging, though. Usually, what this meant was that high scores could be uploaded to a leader board; or that certain things could be downloaded from a dedicated portal to a VMU that added extra features. For example, ghost car times in racing games, or mini games that could be played on a VMU screen. Some games offered more than others in this area, and one of the best when it came to added online extras was the awesome Jet Grind Radio.
As detailed in this story over at Dreamcast Live, the Jet Grind Radio website has been resurrected in (almost) its entirety, meaning that you can once again hook your Dreamcast up to the internet and browse the various pages that could be accessed from the game's main menu. Hidden away in this treasure trove from yesteryear are a graffiti gallery and ranking page, along with a hints and tips section that actually corrects some of the information printed in the physical manual. This isn't the first time a game's bespoke website has been revived, as the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 sites were both brought back online recently too.

A Quick Look At 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker

Of all the NAOMI to Dreamcast ports that were given a wide release - there are several that only got a limited release in Japan - 18 Wheeler is undoubtedly the one that gets the shortest of shrifts. Cast your mind back to those pastel hued days of Sega's arcade dominance and subsequent ports to the home tellybox, and names like Crazy Taxi, Ferrari F355 Challenge, Virtua Tennis, Outtrigger and Cosmic Smash instantly spring to mind. 18 Wheeler? Not so much.
This is odd for a couple of reasons, but the main one - for me at least - is the awesome way in which the game was presented in coin-op fashion in some locations. To whit, the game was set up with a huge mock truck cab that did a good job of allowing the player to feel like they were really driving an articulated lorry - it certainly felt very grand to the teenage me playing 18 Wheeler in the Namco Station at Manchester's Trafford Centre, anyway.
Since those heady days of the early 2000s, I have gone on to acquire my HGV license in real life (don't ask, it's a long story) and I am legally allowed to drive trucks of varying sizes. I can say though - with some authority - that driving a truck in reality is nowhere near as fun as it is in 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker. The game was ported from the arcade to the Dreamcast and released in PAL territories in June 2001 - several months after the announcement that Sega was ceasing production of the console. As you can probably imagine, the reception was lukewarm - to say the least.
This late release probably has a lot to do with the decision to allow Acclaim to publish the game on the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube after Sega had consigned the Dreamcast to the great bargain bin in the sky; but for the purpose of keeping this consignment of Dreamcast-related cargo on track, let's hit the road and take a look at Crazy Taxi's poor relation. More specifically what it gets right, what it gets wrong and whether it's worth your time and money. This is 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker...

Dreamcast Release Schedule 2018

As reported in March, JoshProd's next batch of Dreamcast titles will be available soon, and will include the likes of sides-scrolling beat-em-up Okinawa Rush, Flashback sequel Fade to Black, vertical shmup Battle Crust, and 2D Adventure game The Escapee. Unlike previous JoshProd batches, none of these are reprints of previous indie games and all are new ports to the Dreamcast, which is terribly exciting.

According to the French online store Rush On Game, these Dreamcast "Unreleases" will be available to order tomorrow, May 3.

In other "new" game news, JoshProd's first release for 2018 might have slipped you by under the radar. After releasing a PAL style reprint in 2017, a US/J-NTSC style release of Ghost Blade was released on March 23. We originally reported this as an exclusive to Video Games New York store, which was taking pre-orders in February, but the game has since showed up at Play-asia.com (link) and The Bit Station (link).
This is the Japanese cover, which is printed on the flip-side of the manual to the US-style cover.

Dreamcasting

This might have passed you by, but back in 2014, Sega commissioned a stage play to commemorate Phantasy Star Online's 15th Anniversary. Series producer Satoshi Sakai and series director Yuya Kimura supervised the play, which was produced by Masahiro Nakayama. The stage play had a short run between December 4-7 in 2014 at the Aoyama Theater in Japan, and was later released on DVD.


As part of the live performance, some musical numbers were also included. Haruko Momoi composed and wrote the songs, and these were performed by Shota Aoi and Nitta Megumi, who played the main characters Takuya and Yumi.
Takuya
Yumi





















One such glorious example is provided below, the wonderfully titled "Dreamcasting." Enjoy.



Some Interesting Items Of Dreamcast Merchandise...And The Stories Behind Them

We do like a bit of obscure merchandise here at the Junkyard, and even more so when it pertains to the good old Dreamcast. Merchandise has come a long way in the 300 years that I've been alive, and these days you youngsters have all sorts of phone cases and wallets to keeps your 'plastic' in that give hints as to the way in which your nerdy bread is buttered. Back when I was a wee lad in the early 1700s we had nought but a flash of treated ox hide with our workhouse name pressed into it to remember our opulent upbringings. Eh, they don't make merch like they used to.

Anyway, for fear of losing literally everybody who actually bothered to click the social media links to read this, let me fast forward to the present, and the fine pieces of Dreamcast-related (and in some cases, lesser spotted) Dreamcast merchandise recently acquired by the Vvcollectiv (which stands for Valley Vintage Collectiv).
The Vvcollectiv is a two man operation made up of Rene Guard and Eddie Bogard, and these fine gentlemen are also behind the annual Dreamcast event held in Burbank, CA. When not hosting events, they collect and display more interesting items of Dreamcast paraphernalia (one being the Dreamcast Control Unit we featured a few years ago). Here are the latest acquisitions made by Vvcollectiv - at least one of which I have never previously seen (the Hawaiian shirt). These items were acquired from a former Sega of America employee and while some of them are fairly common, it's the stories behind the items that I find most interesting...

A Dreamcast branded Hawaiian shirt:
"The Hawaiian shirt we had to wear along with the Dreamcast fishing hat for the Weinie Roast concert event where we had kiosks of Dreamcast games set up. Nothing too memorable happened there. We were near the front of the event far away from the concert stages so not that many people were ever at our booth. It was a two day event and I was exhausted by the end of it!"

A Quick Look At Iron Aces

War is hell. So said General William Tecumseh Sherman way back in 1864, apparently. War was undoubtedly about as close to hell as human beings could get going way back to pre-history and antiquity, and still happens to be so in the modern day. With this in mind, the last major worldwide conflict was World War II, and this is the theatre which acts as a backdrop to the Dreamcast's only dogfighting, dive-bombing, kamikaze-preventing flight sim: Iron Aces. Sort of.
See, Iron Aces from Xicat is very much a game that is set during the height of the 20th century's most deadly conflict, but also one which takes place on a fictitious archipelago made up of islands which bear striking resemblances to Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Japan. These are the main belligerents featured in Iron Aces, but the names of the countries have been doctored somewhat, even if the geographic shapes of the islands haven't. So, Great Britain becomes Trincer, the United States is Valiant, Japan is Yamato and Germany is Blocken. This is initially quite puzzling - especially since the actual countries involved in WWII are name checked constantly, and the Royal Air Force constantly referred to; however, the slightly fantastical setting undoubtedly gave developer Marionette the freedom to create missions and scenarios which, in reality, did not take place.
With this in mind though, there are numerous instances where real life events are clearly the inspiration for mission types and objectives, so the puzzlement remains intact. Anyway, I'm jumping the gun a bit. Join us as we take a quick look at one of the Dreamcast's hidden gems in the form of a true Battle of Britain simulator - Iron Aces.
The Dreamcast isn't short of decent flight sims and flight-based arcade shooters. There are the outstanding Aero Dancing/AeroWings titles if realism is your bag; and likewise there are games like Propeller Arena, Incoming and Air Force Delta available if you prefer more arcade-styled aerial thrills. Iron Aces however, sits slap bang in the middle of these two styles. It really isn't a simulator and it has a couple of mechanics that prevent it being classed as an all out arcade experience, and so it's pretty fair to class it as both a sim and an arcade shooter at the same time. And also one that takes a few liberties when it comes to historical accuracy. Don't let that put you off though, as to write Iron Aces off due to its slightly fabricated pseudo-WWII setting would be doing it a disservice.

Shenmue & Shenmue II HD Remasters Announced By SEGA

It had to happen didn't it? After years of pressure on social media SEGA has finally announced that yes, HD remasters of Shenmue and Shenmue II are coming to current gen systems and PC in 2018. Revealed at the SEGA FES event in Japan, these new versions of the Dreamcast masterpiece look set to introduce a whole new generation to the annoying controls and awkward dialogue Dreamcast fans have endured for the past two decades.
From the SEGA Europe press release:

"SEGA Europe Ltd. is proud to announce that the pioneering epic saga Shenmue™ I & II is to be re-released for a new generation. Get ready to go on a thrilling voyage across faithful recreations of Japan and Hong Kong, China, in a timeless tale of revenge and mystery when Shenmue I & II launches both physically and digitally on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox® One with a PC release on Steam in 2018.

"Since their original release, Shenmue I & II have established a passionate following and are revered as one of gaming’s greatest series of all time. These revolutionary masterpieces deliver a gripping story of retribution as Ryo Hazuki sets out to avenge his father’s death and attempts to unravel the secrets behind a mysterious artefact known as the Dragon Mirror.
"Shenmue I & II comes complete with the original feature set that defined modern gaming, including enthralling jujitsu combat, investigative sleuthing, and RPG elements in addition to memorable mini-games. Shenmue I & II is set within engrossing real-time open worlds that feel truly alive thanks to day-to-night cycles and weather changes, with a population of civilians who follow their own schedules.

"This is the definitive version of these all-time classics and will be the best Shenmue experience to date. The re-release will stay true to the originals with modernised features including fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface and the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers.

The physical and digital editions will be available to pre-order from first party stores, Steam and US and EMEA retailers soon. Oh, and now all you nerds on Twitter can stop banging on about Save Shenmue this and Shenmue tweetathon that. Jeez guys. We get it."
- SEGA Europe

I do find it slightly odd that these games are coming to the Xbox One as well as PlayStation 4 when the third game is reportedly a PS4 exclusive, but this will undoubtedly only allow more people to enjoy the original instalments in the adventure. That said, I challenge anybody not to lose interest at the point where you have to get a job in a warehouse in Shenmue II, HD or not.
So there we have it. Shenmue is back. It seemed like a bit of a no-brainer when you consider that Shenmue III is on its way. Releasing the third part of a series into a world where the only way to really appreciate the originals is by getting a Dreamcast and then paying through the nose for original games on eBay (or...um...burning copies) seemed a bit daft. Anyway, I'm going back to bed now and hopefully I won't wake up to a nuclear dawn...

Here's the reveal trailer:


Find out more about Shenmue and Shenmue II remasters here: https://shenmue.sega.com/

Thoughts? Overjoyed that Ryo is back to kick Lan Di's ass all over again in HD? Or could you not give a rat's ass about all this and just wish World War III wasn't about to start? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter or in our Facebook group.

SG-1000 Vs Dreamcast: The Games That Appeared On Sega's First And Last Consoles

With the creation of 'The SG-1000 Junkyard', I've had my mind on Sega's first console as of late. Members of our Facebook group may have seen that I recently posed a question to our members: which Sega series appeared on every single Sega console? The short answer is none, but there were a number of games, series and characters that appeared on both the SG-1000 and the Dreamcast, so I had the bright idea of setting up a comparison of sorts for shits and giggles, while also shamelessly plugging our new website.
Lancia Stratos
Lancia Stratos - Safari Race (1984), Sega Rally 2 (1998)
While not one of the starting cars in the original Sega Rally, the Lancia Stratos is famous for being the faster but less wieldy unlockable car in the subsequent Saturn port. As all good Dreamcast fans should know, it graced the cover of Sega Rally 2 in all regions. What's less well known however, is that the car was licensed to a game much, much earlier in Sega's history.
Unfortunately, no rhinos are featured as hazards in Sega Rally 2.
Unlike Sega Rally, Safari Race wasn't a port of a state of the art arcade game, but instead a simplistic 8-bit racer released exclusively for Sega's first console. In the game, the player must drive along a desert track avoiding other cars and wild animals, while paying close attention not to run out of fuel by periodically stopping at petrol pumps to refuel.

The Original Quake and Doom are soon to be playable Online with DreamPi


The man responsible for bringing the vast majority of Dreamcast games back online with DreamPi, Shuouma has announced, he will soon release versions of Quake and Doom compatible with dial up online play via DreamPi.
While fan-made Dreamcast ports of both Quake and Doom have been around for years now, and Dreamcast Online has helped support Doom online play via the broadband adapter, this will be the first time our community is able play Doom via DreamPi, and Quake online in any form.

The World's Tiniest Astro City Arcade Cabinet

OK, so this isn't exclusively Dreamcast related, but it does involve the Dreamcast and so that's all the reason I need to knock up a little news peice about it. For those who don't know, the Astro City is a model of arcade cabinet introduced by Sega in the early 1990s and is pretty prevalent in Japanese arcades, even today. Seems one talented chap named Adam McAmis decided to turn a 1/12th scale model Astro City cabinet into a working one designed for ants...sort of:

In truth, the model is running off a Dreamcast that's connected to a tiny screen installed into the Astro City, which in turn was salvaged from a dashcam, and (as you'd expect) the teeny tiny controls on the Astro City aren't actually controlling the game...because they aren't real controls. Still, it's very cool to see this type of thing and while Adam states that his creation seems to get nothing but derisory comments from people passing his desk in real life, we have nothing but admiration for this little project. Well done Adam - haters gon' hate, but we love it!

Source: Twitter

Don't Pelorian!


We return to our regularly scheduled programming...

Red vs. Blue: The Definitive SG-1000 hardware guide

**UPDATE** This article has been cross-posted on our new sister site: The SG-1000 Junkyard

Did you know that Sega's logo used to be red? Back in the 60's and 70's, it used to look like this, and was proudly displayed on their early electro-mechanical arcade machines.
While the blue Sega logo we all know and love would be introduced in the late 70's and early 80's, the first version of the SG-1000 would eschew a blue colour scheme, and instead featured a bold black, red and yellow motif.
This design featured in the early promotional material, and first went on sale on 15th July 1983 (although it was rumoured to have been test-marketed in isolated prefectures as early as 1981). The original SJ-200 joystick originally came hardwired to the console for player 1, with a port for a second joystick for Player 2 (sold separately). 
The original packaging for the first black-stripe model