A Statistical Analysis Of Dreamcast Game Prices

Recently, we featured a video here at the 'Yard from a YouTuber known as Vince19 in which the various sales figures for Dreamcast games were investigated in great detail. It's a facinating study into the variables that affected certain titles' ability to make consumers part with their cash and we would recommend that anyone with even a passing interest in statistics take a look at it.

Now though, Vince19 has returned with a follow-up video in which he attempts to decode one of the most sensitive topics in the retrogaming sphere - the continued rise in the price of games. The reason why it's relevant to us, is that Vince19 uses the Dreamcast as the test bed for his research, studying the relationship between used prices and original sales figures, and all manner of statistical data to interpret just why certain Dreamcast games can command some pretty astronomical price tags. Furthermore, the roles of review scores, YouTube and eBay are all brought into the equation.


As with the previous video, this is all based on the US market and so whether the findings can also be transposed onto the PAL or Japanese market is debateable, but it's certainly an interesting and wholly empirical look at a topic many of us will no doubt have an opinion on.

Feel free to follow Vince19 on Twitter here and find his YouTube channel here. What are your thoughts? And does the continued rise in the price of retro software concern you? Let us know in the comments or get involved in our Facebook group or on Twitter.

A Quick Look At Zero Gunner 2 - Dreamcast & Switch Comparison

Regular visitors here at the Junkyard will no doubt be aware of my affection for Nintendo's latest hardware release. While I was skeptical initially, since purchasing a Switch I have fallen in love with the system and I rarely go anywhere without it. With this in mind, whenever a game is released that has even the most tenuous link to the Dreamcast, I sit up and pay attention. Most recently both Gunbird and Volgarr the Viking have peaked my interest, and while the former isn't actually a port of a Dreamcast game (although I'm willing to bet the sequel will be along sometime soon); and the latter was only ported to the Dreamcast posthumously, the very fact that games with a connection to Sega's final system are being released on Nintendo's current warms my cockles no end. You could cook an egg on my cockles, in fact.
Pacific Rim or Zero Gunner 2?
Following in the wake of the two aforementioned titles and the tsunami of Dreamcast/NEO-GEO ports, comes a re-release of Zero Gunner 2 - a paid-up member of the Dreamcast's celebrated stable of thoroughbred shmups. The Dreamcast's library of shmups is up there with the very best systems of yesteryear and there can be no doubt about that. The issue I have - and I'm sure many others will agree - is that the vast majority of the cream of the Dreamcast's shmup library was only released in Japan; and due to this numbers of available copies are limited. As a consequence, original copies of these games are incredibly hard to come by in the wild, and when they appear on eBay or other sites online, the prices they command are very often prohibitive to the average gamer.
Commuter reaction to train fare rises was justified
Ikaruga, Karous, Under Defeat, Spirit of Speed 1937, Psyvariar, Trigger Heart Exelica, Giga Wing 2...the list goes on. And the one thing all of these titles have in common is that they are expensive as all hell when they come up for sale online. Quality varies across the board of course, but the the one constant is the high price. I can't convey the number of times I've sat staring at a genuine copy of Trigger Heart Exelica on eBay, ready to hit that 'buy it now' button, only to remember that I also have car tax, a loan shark or an electricity bill to pay...which brings us nicely to Zero Gunner 2. As with the other titles listed above, Zero Gunner 2 from Psikyo is another title you can pay an arm and a leg for if you are so inclined...but now you don't have to. That's because it has arrived on the Nintendo Switch, and we thought it would be interesting to look at the original Dreamcast version and also how this new Switch iteration measures up...

Is There A Market For New Dreamcast Console Shells?

Let's face it - the Dreamcast is enjoying something of an extraordinary rise in popularity as of late. The little console that didn't back in the day, has attracted a whole new audience to bolster the ranks of the ageing and decrepit veterans (like me) of the initial war in which the Dreamcast ranks were decimated. We have returned and we now have reinforcements.

With this in mind, firms like Retro-bit have jumped on the opportunity to capitalise on the renewed interest in the Dreamcast, and rightly so. The promise of affordable wireless controllers and VGA boxes has done wonders for the Dreamcast's reputation on social media. We want to go one step further though. Remember the aftermarket multi-coloured shells for the Dreamcast console? Well...why not bring those back too?
There were both official Sega-branded and unofficial Dreamcast console shells available back in the day and even though they were hard to acquire in the era of the Dreamcast, they have become almost impossible to find for a realistic price in the current climate. Only a couple of firms actually produced the third party shells, and these have long since gone bust, leaving the remaining stock to become highly collectable and fiercely contested when they appear on eBay.
With original Dreamcast consoles going yellow at an unprecedented rate (even after whitening, the colour fades after a couple of years), we are now calling on Sega to fire up those furnaces and moulds and re-issue aftermarket Dreamcast console shells. We don't care if they're in standard white, standard black or in any number of other colours - there is a huge market for this type of augmentation, and for Sega to ignore this demand would be pretty ridiculous.
Come on Sega - you rarely listen to your fanbase when it comes to software releases, but the recent collaboration with Retro-bit to bring wireless controllers to the mainstream showed that there is a real thirst for stuff like this. Listen to us. Listen to your fanbase. Get those Dreamcast moulds out of storage and give us a new range of multi-coloured Dreamcast console and controller shells and your license to print money will be reinstated.

What do you think? Would you buy these cases if Sega or a third party brought them back to market? We know we would! Let us know in the comments or join the conversation in our Facebook group or on Twitter.

New Sega & Dreamcast Themed Clothing Lines From Insert Coin


Insert Coin have just unveiled their latest line of games related apparel, and Sega fans will no doubt be pretty excited to see that a few different well-known Dreamcast games are represented, as well as the iconic Dreamcast swirl itself (although only in PAL blue).
Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5 are all reflected in the officially licensed designs, along with some others from the Mega Drive era and the famous swirl. The t-shirts and hoodies are available to pre-order now, and prices start at £22. No word on when they'll be shipping just yet, but they look pretty decent, don't you think?

Find out more at Insert Coin here. Will you be purchasing any of these? Let us know in the comments.

The Dreamcast Legacy - Jupiter and Mars

There is a hardy breed of gamer that has a special soft spot in their gaming hearts for a certain woe-be-gotten series, and that heart whispers the name Ecco. The games are not obscure by any means, as the majority of Sega aficionados would have at least had a taste of dolphin (eww!) during either the 16-bit golden age or the new millennium reboot on Dreamcast. Only a much smaller subset - the most diligent and committed gamers (read: sado-masochistic gamers) - persisted far enough through the sheer vertical learning curve to be rewarded with one of the most unique gaming experiences of all time. 
I think this is about as far as most people got in the original series
Unfortunately for fans of the series, the full potential of the Ecco saga has always been frustratingly unfulfilled. The original 16-bit games were supposed to be realised as a trilogy, but the third game never materialised. Ecco II: The Tides of Time sadly ends on a sombre note - much like the Empire Strikes Back - but unlike Star Wars, there is no Return of the Jedi to close out the third act.
Unlike Ryo in his cave, it seems Ecco is destined to be forever lost in the tides of time 
The amazing reboot on Dreamcast was handled by a new creative team at Appaloosa Interactive (formerly Novotrade) and did not continue the same story left open by the Mega Drive games. This does not hamper my esteem for the game, in many ways it had to start from a clean slate after a six year hiatus. Defender of the Future is my all time favourite game on Dreamcast, and it should be held in as high esteem and discussed in the same company as games like Metroid Prime for updating a classic 2D game style and successfully refashioning it into a fully realised 3D world. 

Online Multiplayer Restored To More Dreamcast Games (Updated)

Fresh from our friends over at Sega Nerds comes the news that even more Dreamcast games will soon have their online multiplayer functionality restored. NFL 2K1 and Ooga Booga are the next couple of titles that will be brought back online courtesy of modder Shuouma, hot on the heels of a multitude of other titles that were resurrected in 2017. Games such as POD 2, Monaco Grand Prix Online and Quake III: Arena have already been successfully added to the library of Dreamcast titles you can now play online with other gamers around the world, and it's probably safe to say that both Ooga Booga and NFL 2K1 will also employ the same DreamPi method as the aforementioned.
Having never played Ooga Booga online - partly because it was never released outside of the US - I'm intrigued to see how this predominantly multiplayer title compares to modern battle arena style games. NFL 2K1 I'm not so keen on, simply because I prefer the proper version of football; you know, the one where players kick a ball around with their feet? I'm sure those who like chucking an egg about will be much more enthusiastic.

Either way, it's great to see more games brought back online - who knows what's next? Massively multiplayer online Daytona USA 2001? Yes please! You can keep abreast of Shuouma's great work by following him on Twitter here; and make sure you keep up to date with the Dreamcast's burgeoning online gaming scene, and find out more about DreamPi by visiting Dreamcast Live.

Update
As of 26th January 2018, Ooga Booga is back online! We'll be getting involved with some online games soon via DreamPi, but in the meantime check out Pcwzrd13's video below:


Source: Sega Nerds

Lost Dreamcast Game Agartha Found...And Released!

Agartha is a game that has always been little more than an enigma. It has, for the best part of two decades, represented one of the most intriguing and mysterious lost games that was destined to come to the Dreamcast. Many thought Agartha was little more than vapourware, the shots shown in magazines of the late 90s and early 2000s regarded as nothing more than a glimpse at some pre-rendered scenes with no playable component. And that's how the legend of Agartha remained...until late 2017 when it was found and a video of playable sequences was posted online by veteran Dreamcast collector and bonafide gaming detective Laurent.C.
Fast forward to January 2018 and we bring you the unbelievable news that not only has Agartha been confirmed as fully playable...but you can now download it and play if for yourself in a Dreamcast! Here's our video on the demo and what you can expect from it if you download and play, along with a whistle-stop history of Agartha:


Before you get too carried away, Agartha was only ever a demo and the small fragments of the game that do exist are little more than a proof of concept. But even still, the fact that after all this time something as incredible as this even exists is staggering. Agartha represents one of the great unsolved mysteries of Dreamcast lore, a game that looked incredible for the time, and could easily have been one of the most ambitious titles on the system. Sadly, Agartha was one of the multiple casualties of the Dreamcast's incredibly short lifespan and developer No Cliché pulled the plug pretty early on.
Happily though, we can now all experience the exclusive E3 2000 demo build of Agartha and we give huge thanks to Laurent.C for his endeavours. Another long lost Dreamcast game has come to the fore, and we can't help but wonder what else will finally come to GD-Rom drives in the near future, long after the curtain fell on development.
Download the Agartha demo here, and remember to give thanks to Laurent.C for his outstanding work - he was also the guy behind the public release of the official Dreamcast Mega Drive emulator that was only intended for internal Sega use. Bravo sir, bravo.

Thoughts? Let us know in the comments or joint the conversation in our Facebook group. Also, hit us up on Twitter here.

Note: There seems to be some accusation that this was lifted from fellow Dreamcast fan site Dreamcast News. It wasn't - this was written and the video created independently of any other site, with the help of the originator of the demo. However, if you would like to see the story at Dreamcast News, please click here.

Update: There is now an ISO file available for those who are lucky enough to own a CF card modded Dreamcast (check out our recent review here). This was created by Jan, the man behind the modded Dreamcast. Download the file here and the desktop icon for DreamShell here.

A Beginner's Guide To Dreamcast A/V Cables

While we here at the Junkyard pore over the minutiae of Dreamcast collecting and the more obscure side of the console's paraphernalia, it has become increasingly apparent that the Dreamcast is attracting a whole new audience as intrigued gamers start collecting for the system. The Dreamcast has been undergoing something of a renaissance for a couple of years now, and as such we thought it was about time that we offered up some basic 'beginner's guides' to various aspects of the Dreamcast for those who aren't fully au fait with the many foibles of the hardware.
First up, we're going to look briefly at the various cables that will allow you to connect your Dreamcast to a tellybox or monitor doo-dah, and what the pros and cons are. As the name suggests, this really will be a quick reference guide, giving the bare minimum that you need to know if you're a bit clueless when it comes to cables and connections and don't know your SCART from your composite or your VGA from your RF. Hey - it's a minefield out there if you're new to the scene, but luckily old uncle Junkyard is here to guide you...like the blind leading the blind! Please remember that this is a beginner's guide and so I'm not really going to go into the science behind it all. I'll leave that to someone with far greater knowledge than I have.

OK, so the first thing to know is that there are a number of different cable variants for the Dreamcast and they all give a picture of varying quality and have differing connectors on the business end. The bit that goes into the Dreamcast's A/V port is pretty much identical though and it looks like this:
The underside of this connector does have a differing number of pins depending on the type, but physically at least, they look the same. The key thing to remember is that you shouldn't try to jab this end into your TV or monitor. If you do, at best you'll end up with a broken cable; at worst you'll end up electrocuting yourself and burning the house down. Probably. Right, on to the good stuff. There are 5 main connection types for the Dreamcast and these are they...

New Bluetooth Dreamcast Controllers From Retro-bit Revealed (Updated)

Retro-bit are yet to make an official announcement about their upcoming Dreamcast, Saturn and Megadrive peripherals, but one eagle-eyed YouTuber has beat them to the punch by the looks of it. John Riggs of RIGG'd Games recently published the following video which apparently shows some rather awesome-looking officially branded wireless peripherals, and what look like official VGA boxes for the Dreamcast. This was uploaded on the 8th of January and as of the time of writing, Retro-bit have yet to make an official announcment from their booth at CES 2018. However, if this is genuine then Retro-bit can take my money now!


As stated previously, the DreamConn exists already but if an officially licensed Bluetooth controller is available at a more affordable price then that's pretty fantastic. Here's a better shot of the packaging courtesy of RGT85's video on the topic:
Hopefully the build quality of these new accessories will live up to the hype. Will you be getting amongst these controllers and connectors? Let us know in the comments!

Update
It seems that yes, these controllers are indeed real. A reader called David who was at CES 2018 spoke to the Retro-bit staff and took some photos at the booth, and shared the news that they are looking at a late 2018 release date for the controllers, VGA boxes and other cables on show. Here are some better images, courtesy of David:
From the images, it looks as though Retro-bit will also be selling officially licensed USB controllers for PC, as well as standard wired controllers (not sure what the deal is there, as you can just get original controllers of eBay for pittance); as well as an S-video connector and (rather oddly) a power cord. Naturally, as soon as we can get our hands on any of this new hardware we'll bring you honest and unbiased reviews. If the build quality is up there with the official Sega Dreamcast HKT-7700 then we'll let you know...and likewise if they feel cheap and nasty. Thanks again to David for these images and speaking to the Retro-bit staff at the event.

2018 Dreamcast Releases Teased By JoshProd

In 2017, France-based publisher JoshProd gave the Dreamcast scene a shot in the arm with a host of new releases for the system. With titles ranging from PSP ports in the form of 4x4 Jam and bespoke Dreamcast re-masters in the form of Flashback, JoshProd really gave us something to shout about. 2018 will see this trend continue, as several games are set to be unveiled as coming to Sega's console in the next 12 months - some of which we're pretty confident most people have never even heard of, let alone sampled.

In the video below, you'll find some indicators as to the games scheduled to be making the leap to the Dreamcast this year and having played a couple of them we can confirm that 2018 is looking like another bright period for the Dreamcast. You'd better get saving - there are some pretty impressive titles coming our way from a range of genres with shmups, side scrolling adventures, beat 'em ups and 3D racers all represented...


Spot anything here you recognise? Naturally, as soon as the lineup is officially announced and solid release dates are confirmed, we'll be sure to let you know; and we'll do our best to review them as and when we are able.

What do you think? Will you be adding any of these to your collection? Let us know in the comments, in our Facebook group or on Twitter. Follow JoshProd on Facebook too.

Related articles:

10 Great Dreamcast Games That Deserve More Attention

Popularity for the Dreamcast seems to be at fever pitch these days. Not since the launch of the console in its respective territories has demand for the system or reverence for its library been so high, and once again the internet is awash with talk of a 'Dreamcast Mini' in the wake of Retro-bit's announcement that they are working on some new hardware for Sega's back catalogue of consoles. With this in mind, it's also quite evident to gamers such as myself, those of us who were there in the trenches during the late 90s the early 2000s, that a whole new generation of gamers have discovered the Dreamcast in recent years; and intrigued by this also-ran's almost mythical status have seemingly embraced the Dreamcast to continue its legacy into a new era.
The thing is, it's also become apparent through my online interactions with a lot of younger gamers or those who didn't own a Dreamcast back when it was a contemporary system, that the same games get mentioned whenever anyone speaks of the Dreamcast's (admittedly fantastic) library. While we have looked at the dark underbelly of the console's software lineup in the past (go here for a rundown of some of the worst games on the Dreamcast), there are a whole host of other titles that were lost in the avalanche of arcade ports and big-name first party releases. So yeah, while Shenmue, Soul Calibur, Spirit of Speed 1937, Jet Set Radio, Power Stone, Crazy Taxi and the other blockbuster Dreamcast titles bathe in the warm afterglow of a resurgence in Dreamcast popularity, there are many more that rarely - if ever - get a look in.
That's about to change though, as we take the briefest of looks at some of the first and third party Dreamcast games that might not hit the heady heights of the aforementioned titles, but which are great fun and deserve a bit more attention from the discerning Dreamcast owner. This could almost be the basis for a sort of 'alternative' line up should a Dreamcast Mini ever actually become a reality.

Please bear in mind that most of these games are also on other consoles, are mostly quite common, and this is by no means an exhaustive list (it only has ten games on it). Oh, and this is just my opinion. yours may differ, and that's cool. Just hold off calling me a moron on social media until you've read through the list. Then you can call me a moron. Not that anyone actually reads anything before commenting these days...

The Dreamcast Legacy - BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

In a new series of articles (perhaps only a short-lived series, as I only have this and one other lined up), we will be exploring modern games that owe a debt to the blazing trails left by the games and developers of the bygone Dreamcast era. In this issue, we will be looking at the upcoming Arc System Works title BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, a new 2 vs. 2 tag-team fighting game coming soon to PS4, Switch, and Steam. Apart from the obvious correlations with similar Dreamcast heavyweight titles such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and the Capcom vs. SNK series, this new crossover beat-'em up shares a little more Dreamcast heritage than you may initially realise.