12 Great punk albums featuring songs from Dreamcast games

There are many reasons to love the Dreamcast. We assume you agree with us, as you're currently reading a blog entitled the 'Dreamcast Junkyard'. Arcade perfect gameplay? Check. State of the art graphics (for it's time)? Check. The last great 'hurrah' of the Sega of old? Possibly controversial, but check. Some of the best music ever committed to a video game library? Oh, you're damn right.

Whether it's the funky beats of Jet Set Radio, orchestral magnificence of Shenmue or Skies of Arcadia, eclectic soundtrack of MSR or the pure joy of the Marvel vs Capcom 2 character select screen...well maybe not the last one.. the musical magnificence of the Dreamcast can not be overlooked.

With that, we also had a fairly large number of games featuring licensed soundtracks. Ever since the compact disc became the games medium of choice in the 90's, games have not been shy about popping on some killer tunes to please their consumers. The Playstation was the epitome of this new gaming frontier, as a Sony product was always likely to be, and the merging of games with music was an integral part of the cultural impact the console had on a whole generation.

Thing is, whilst many of my fellow Junkyard writers were probably spending that period in their lives chilling out to the latest trance hit, or techno rave masterpiece (or whatever it's called, it's not my area of knowledge!), I was happily indulging in my own musical journey - one that very much consisted of a bunch of sweaty gigs, slam dancing lunatics and a healthy disliking of authority. Punk. A misunderstood genre, if ever there was one, was in many ways my first love, and it is a love that is well catered for on that little Sega made mistress of my dreams. Whether it's a nod back to the spit covered, pogoing era of the 70's, the DIY led revolution of the 80's or the ska and skate infused 90's revival, there's plenty for the discerning punk fan to enjoy whilst indulging in some Dreamcast gaming.

But I'm not just going to list a top ten of DC punk songs. Anyone who has read anything else I've ever written for the Junkyard knows that ain't my style. Being a punk fan that just about remembers a time before streaming services were king, it's always been about the mighty album for me. Punk albums are wondrous, beautiful things - full of unheard delights, musical experimentation and just plain weirdness, far beyond the narrow view that some have of punk rock. They're often overlooked, criminally so, dismissed as having just one or two good songs - but nothing could be further from the truth. And I think it's time to start setting the record straight.

So come join me as I take a look at a dozen great examples of punk albums, all of which feature songs from Dreamcast games.
Bad Religion - No Control (1989) 
(featuring 'You' from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2)

Bad Religion, more so than probably any other band, were responsible for helping shape the sound that punk became in the early 90's. Whilst they were part of the early LA hardcore scene (the fantastic 'How Could Hell Be Any Worse?' standing right up there with the best of that cities output), they didn't truly come into their own until they ended the 80's with a trio of masterpiece albums, 'Suffer' came first, 'Against the Grain' rounded them off, and this, 1989's 'No Control' is slap bang in the middle. It builds on what came before, 'Suffer' being the template of what the band's sound would become, but everything is that touch quicker, that touch harder, and that tad better sounding (although 'Suffer' remains one of my all time favourite albums). Greg Gaffin's lyrics are always a level above the often simple anti-authority diatribes, and on this he effortlessly melds philosophy, politics and the human condition, all laid on top of a melodic, fast southern Californian hardcore punk sound. Bands like the Descendents, Adolescents and D.I. had done similar things before, but it was Bad Religion who perfected this sound. Songs from this album still make appearances in the bands live sets, and there's a very good reason for that. No Control is one of the very best US punk albums ever recorded.

'You' featured in Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, and is a favourite amongst many, it's upbeat, high speed skate punk sound perfectly fitting the game.

Stand out songs:
- Big Bang
- I Want to Conquer the World
- Henchman

You can listen to 'No Control' on Spotify here.

Xeno Crisis for Dreamcast has gone gold!

Bitmap Bureau have announced via a Kickstarter update that the long-awaited Dreamcast version of their 16-bit styled, Alien-inspired shooter has finally gone gold! This means that the game has been finished and production is due to start imminently; and means it will undoubtedly join the line up of Dreamcast games heading our way in 2020. For the uninitiated, Xeno Crisis was a funded on Kickstarter back in 2018 and the Dreamcast version was added as a stretch goal alongside the standard Mega Drive, Switch, PS4 and Xbox releases; with a NEO-Geo port also on the way.
We've kept an eye on Xeno Crisis ever since it was announced, and several members of the team here at the Junkyard have played the game to death on other formats...but the wait for the Dreamcast version is almost finally over.

Mike Tucker of Bitmap Bureau says in his May 2020 update: 

"We’re sorry that this update has been delayed several times, but these updates often take a few days to put together and we thought we’d push on whilst the development of the Dreamcast version was going well, and the good news is that it has gone gold and has been sent for manufacturing! We’ve tested the gold build thoroughly on all of the Dreamcast variations we have, using a range of controllers and peripherals, and everything seems extremely solid - thanks in particular to Tom Charnock and Mike Phelan of The Dreamcast Junkyard for supplying us with various bits for testing."
- Mike Tucker, Bitmap Bureau

In the name of transparency, the various bits mentioned include an Ascii control pad and a Dreamcast Twin Stick controller, the latter of which can be seen in the video Mike posted on Kickstarter and YouTube:


Personally, I've only played the Switch version of Xeno Crisis so far, and it really is a corking retro style shooter. As alluded to earlier, it does lean heavily on the 'space marines kicking alien ass' tropes laid down in popular works of fiction we probably don't need to name check; and for that it should be applauded. It's a no-nonsense nostalgia trip, which takes you back to when games were hard as nails and there were no save points.
The premise is a simple one - enter the infested base, shoot alien scum in the head, rescue civilians and escape with your life. Power-ups and additional weapons can be collected along the way, and the stats of your chosen marine can be boosted between stages to help level the playing field when taking the fight to the xenomorph hoards and their huge end of level overlords. It's rollicking good fun and is tough as old boots...and that's part of the appeal.
The Dreamcast version in particular looks to make great use of the unique features of the system, with VMU screen logos (above), support for VGA monitors and the aforementioned Twin Stick and Ascii pad compatibility. It looks like we won't have long to wait until Xeno Crisis starts landing in GD-ROM trays around the world, and we'll be sure to give it a thorough play test here at the Junkyard when it hits.
Excited for another new Dreamcast title? Have you played Xeno Crisis on other formats? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

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Start your engines - a Dreamcast Test Drive Cycles prototype could be released soon!

The internet is still reeling from the epoch-making news that the long lost Dreamcast port of Heroes of Might & Magic III has finally been dumped, but the potential releases of lesser-spotted cancelled Dreamcast titles don't stop there. The same collector who released Heroes has now started a Go Fund Me in order to release Infogrames' canned motorcycle racer Test Drive Cycles.

As you can see from the footage uploaded to YouTube by FatalistDC (below), Test Drive Cycles for Dreamcast is barely a game in truth - there's only one playable course and it is very early, and is thus full of graphical glitches and bugs. That said, it's still cool to see yet another game dragged back out of the abyss and now tantalisingly close to being dumped online.


The story of Test Drive Cycles is a familiar one. It was released for the Game Boy Color as a full retail game, but the PlayStation, PC and Dreamcast versions were all scrapped in mid 2000 according to Wikipedia. No real reason is given, but it probably came down to money in the end - there's no evidence to suggest the Dreamcast would have had any issues playing what looks to be a fairly bog standard arcade racer; unlike with Heroes of Might & Magic III, which was apparently cancelled due to technical limitations of the Dreamcast hardware.
As a motorcylist in real life, I'm always keen to see any digital recreation of the act of riding bikes - especially so it they also involve the Dreamcast in some way. That said, the very early nature of Test Drive Cycles doesn't fill me with too much enthusiasm. It's doing some interesting things - I especially like the  rear view mirrors effect employed...but there just doesn't really seem to be a lot to do in this prototype as is (although the way the rider appears in various bizarre seating positions after a crash is probably worth the entry fee alone!).
The GoFundMe for the release of the Test Drive Cycles is set at a rather modest €160 and is similarly being run by Jan Baumgartner - the same man responsible for the Heroes of Might & Magic III campaign and also the awesome CF modded Dreamcast we reviewed a while back.

Are you intrigued by this Test Drive Cycles prototype? Willing to chuck some cash at the GoFundMe to get your hands on it? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Preview: Arcade Racing Legends

Announced back in June 2019 and successfully Kickstarted a month later in July, Arcade Racing Legends is a brand new Dreamcast title originally due for release at the end of 2019, but was subsequently delayed until later this year. My Dreamcast Junkyard colleague Mike Phelan wrote a great article documenting the initial project and what it’s all about, so rather than regurgitate that information I’ll direct you here if you want to know the background story for JoshProd and PixelHeart's Arcade Racing Legends.

It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big fan of the racing genre, and nostalgic arcade racers have always been high on my list, so naturally I was quick to back the project in the hope it would turn into a reality. As a backer, one of the most recent perks offered was a downloadable demo, so I grabbed it and thought it would be a great opportunity to let you all know how the game is shaping up.
Graphically, Arcade Racing Legends ticks all the boxes. No, it isn’t a “realistic” setting like you might find in something like Tokyo Highway Challenge but the game screams 90’s arcade racer at you, which is literally the whole point of this release. A bold colourful palette, plenty of variety from one course to the next (there are three available in the demo: Arctic, Desert and Forest), and a lovely garage menu system meant I was very pleased with what my eyeballs were treated to. It certainly looks like a game that could’ve been released back in the day, and a beautiful one at that.

Handling-wise, I was pleasantly surprised. It was my most feared element of Arcade Racing Legends even when I originally backed the project. After watching a few videos of early footage, the car handling looked a bit suspect, but after getting some hands-on time with the demo I was thankful that your car doesn’t constantly feel like you’re driving on ice. It’s still a bit floaty, sure, but the developers seem to have found a good balance here and kept it feeling arcadey without it being too ridiculous. It's actually really enjoyable to play and - for me at least - feels better to play than some original arcade racers.
Available to try in the demo are Career and Time Trial modes. I headed straight to start my Career mode and was presented with a day by day set of challenges as you advance towards turning yourself into a “professional arcade racer”. The challenges do a great job of easing you into the game step by step. On day one, for example, you just have to drive to the goal without any time pressures, just to get a feeling for the car. Day two sees you tackle a different circuit, this time against the clock, in a race to the finish. Day three puts you in the daunting position of not being allowed to use your brake pedal and yet still complete the course within a set time, and so on. It's a nice way of building things up and adding a bit of variety.
Three different cars are available in the demo, all of which have basic tuning options affecting their overall performance on the track. Followers of the Kickstarter will know there are going to be a whole load of different cars in the full release, many of which are based on vehicles from classic Sega arcade driving games like Sega Rally and Crazy Taxi, which is one of my most anticipated things about playing the full version.
The one thing I think really hurts Arcade Racing Legends, from both a gameplay and visual perspective, is that the circuits are all blocked off on both sides by continuous rows of sponsor boards. It very much lessens the experience quite a bit as you’re never in a position where you can run wide, and a mistake is rarely punished as you can just ride along the walls with very little slowdown. It all feels, and looks, just a bit bland and very lazy.
Original screenshots from the Kickstarter showed a few tracks where these sponsor boards did not appear right next to the asphalt or racing surface itself, so I really hope the full release has some wider play areas - I’d go so far as to say it’s the most important thing that PixelHeart need to address between now and the final release. The game won’t have much replayability if it remains as-is, simply because the challenge of learning the layouts of the circuits just isn’t there with the current setup.

Despite this, I’m still really looking forward to the release of Arcade Racing Legends and getting stuck into the Career mode proper when the game does finally get released. The demo did a great job of easing my concerns about the handling, and I just hope they take feedback onboard around those pesky track barriers. If they do, this could be a genuinely enjoyable game to play frequently on Dreamcast in 2020.

For those who missed the original Kickstarter campaign, pre-orders are now available here.

How about you, are you going to pick this up? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.

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Fun with (Dreamcast) flags: a study on the accuracy of flags in Dreamcast games

Hi, I'm Mike, chairman of the 'Junkyard Geographical Society,' Dreamcast department (JYGS for short) - the world's leading authority on the geography in Dreamcast titles. We here at Dreamcast JYGS have one mission in our lives: to investigate, promote and generally get a bit weird about real life geographical elements that find their way into Dreamcast games. We're a relatively new organisation but, if like us, you like to criticise minuscule details on flags, point out incorrectly placed landmarks, or otherwise just generally like to be a bit of a dick when it comes to tiny details in Dreamcast games, then we may very well be an organisation that would appeal to you.
Our flag. Merchandise line coming soon (possibly?)
I've had conversations with Tom (I think he's blocked me now, I don't know why, I only sent him 43 messages), reputable creator of The Dreamcast Junkyard, and he agreed to let me have this space to talk to you all about this vitally important sub-sector of the Dreamcast scene. For too long have my fellow JYGS members been hiding away in their musty rooms, afraid of making their presence known amongst all you cool kids with your talk of 'fast cars,''alien space ships' or 'epic Japanese martial arts revenge story/capsule toy simulators.' The times, like that Bob bloke said, they are a changin' – we draw the line here, this far, and no farther! It is time for us to make our presence felt. Geography Nerds of the (Dreamcast) world...unite!

I'm sure like me you are all fans of the wonderful sitcom 'Fun with Flags' (we weren't a fan of the fluff around it with those other people though) - so to announce our arrival, we thought we'd take an idea from one of my personal heroes, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, and delve into the world of vexillology within the Dreamcast games. Vexillology - as I'm sure you all know - is the study of flags.
An inspiration to us all.
Whilst some may talk about gameplay, depth, graphics or - God forbid - 'fun' as being the most important part of gaming on Sega's last console, we hope you agree with us at the JYGS that flags are really the most important element in any video game. Would Mario have ever reached his princess if it wasn't for that flag pole? Were first person shooters any good until we got 'capture the flag' modes? We know the answer, and you do too, so let's not beat around this particular bush any longer.
Look at Mario, he loves a good flag.
I'm here today to take you on a short journey through a carefully curated selection of games on the Dreamcast, in which I will painstakingly look at how each title depicts flags, praising the very best with years of unwarranted fan-mail and possible restraining orders from the developers, whilst condemning to the fiery pits of Hell those that dare take a relaxed attitude in vexillology matters. The much coveted JYGS ribbon will be awarded to those games who take flag matters seriously – multiple ribbons if a game goes above and beyond.
Are you ready? Then let us embark on this vexillological adventure of Dreamcast proportions...

Shenmusings of Dobuita, Community, and the Friends We Stalked Along the Way

In better times, my neighborhood reminds me of Dobuita, the vibrant business district setting of Sega and AM2’s pedestrian stalking simulator, Shenmue. It bustles with life as people pack the restaurants, bars, shops, parks, arcades, and the streets in between. I can take a quick jaunt down the road and be surrounded by patrons, workers, shop owners, cooks, bartenders, barbers, and even sailors (well, commercial fishermen, actually). These folks are more than cursory non-player characters. They are my neighbors. They are my friends. They are the very fabric of my community.

But for now, they are gone.
These days, walking through my neighborhood feels like I’m in a typical late '90s video game town. Clusters of buildings line the street but the developers were unable to render more than a handful of NPCs to populate it.

Taking a step back: My heart goes out to everyone struggling through this uncertain and challenging time. If there’s a silver lining, it might be that we’re fortunate to have a hobby like video games to help bide our time as our non-virtual world lies in stasis.

It also helps that gaming is a uniquely personal medium. Through our interaction and immersion, games invite us to co-author a broad range of experiences which we can enjoy on a multitude of levels. Games can bring welcome moments of reprieve and distraction. We can find comfort in their escapism and nostalgia. Whether from across the couch or the internet, we can share experiences with old friends and make new friends of strangers. Beyond that, games can challenge us – and not only in terms of precision, reflexes, or strategy. They can push us to expand our understanding, grow our perspectives, and stretch our imaginations through memorable experiences that we carry with us long after we’ve put down the controller.
In its own way, this situation is a unique opportunity to slow down and consider what is most important to us, whether that's friends, family, community, altruism…and video games, of course. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my time with gaming, what I appreciate most about the hobby, and what I really want out of it going forward. I’ve also thought about the games that significantly shaped how I engage with the medium. In that sense, I can’t help but keep coming back to the Dreamcast’s library.

Nostalgic attachment aside, Sega’s swansong console simultaneously defined and challenged my perceptions of video games. Although the Dreamcast initially drew me in on its promise of more-than-faithful arcade conversions and the triumphant return of a blue childhood icon, it ultimately forged its legacy by striving to redefine gaming’s future more than rehash its past. It showed me how games can be more unique, interesting, and meaningful experiences well beyond their fun factor and replay value. Through its culture of unbounded creativity, the Dreamcast was refreshingly unorthodox and innovative in ways the industry rarely allows.

In some ways, the Dreamcast was as much an art collective as it was a consumer product. Nowhere was this clearer than in the unchecked (and frankly, fiscally reckless) authority Sega gave its development studios and publishing partners to create whatever the hell they wanted for its wacky white box. In that spirit, this essay could've been about any one of the Dreamcast’s unabashedly inventive works: Rez, or Jet Set Radio, or L.O.L.: Lack of Love, or the VMU, or Illbleed, or Maken X, or Chu Chu Rocket, or D2, or Roommania #203, or Seaman, or Samba de Amigo’s maracas, or…you get the idea.

But this is about Shenmue, because of course it is.

Streets of Rage 4 is out now...but do you remember the cancelled Dreamcast version?

Streets of Rage 4 has finally hit the...er...streets, and it absolutely rocks. The 2D scrolling beat 'em up genre has played host to some fairly decent pretenders to the throne in recent years (Wulverblade is probably the best of the bunch), but nothing has really ever come close to knocking Sega's iconic franchise off the top spot. Until now that is. And it is quite ironic that the latest instalment of Streets of Rage is not only that game, but arguably the best in the series yet.
Sublime visuals, nostalgic nods to the original games, superlative controls and addictive as hell gameplay. The music isn't bad either, with lots of toe tapping techno tunes and deep bass lines accompanying the ass-kicking action. But did you know the original Streets of Rage 4 was intended to launch on the Dreamcast? A tech demo is all that remains of Dreamcast Streets of Rage 4 (see the video below), and our friends over at SEGABits showed off some interesting concept artwork a few years ago (also pictured below).


Streets of Rage 4 for Dreamcast never saw the light of day beyond this tech demo though, and some may say that's a good thing. 3D polygonal beat 'em ups did come to the Dreamcast in the form of Zombie Revenge, Soul Fighter and Cannon Spike et al, but they didn't really set the world alight. We'll never know if Dreamcast Streets of Rage 4 could have bucked that trend, but from these images and video it looks like Sega were toying with the idea of implementing features such as co-op combo moves for multiplayer, and even a first person mode.
This tech demo has never been leaked online, and we don't even know if there's actually a playable build; but it's still interesting to see what Sega had in mind for the then-dormant franchise on the 128-bit system after it totally skipped the Saturn. The fact that Fighting Force almost became a Streets of Rage game makes us breath a deep sigh of relief, too. Urgh. As it stands, the actual real Streets of Rage 4 is out now on all platforms and is truly a great continuation of the series from Dotemu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games. I would suggest you snap it up asap and indulge your inner vigilante post haste!
Have you picked up Streets of Rage 4? What are your thoughts on this latest instalment of the franchise that rocked a million Megadrives back in the day? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Sakura Wars Returns with Flying Colours (PS4 Review)

The Sakura Wars (aka Sakura Taisen) series is possibly Sega's worst-kept secret, at least for us in the West. Most Dreamcast fans have probably encountered it at some point, but without the ability to understand the Japanese language, most have not proceeded further. This Japanese steampunk-themed tactical RPG series was a massive hit in its country of origin, spawning sequels and spin-offs, as well as crossing into other forms of media. As I'm writing this, the Sakura Wars multi-media franchise has surpassed over 4 million units shipped in Japan.

Despite the series' massive success, Sakura Wars was probably deemed too culturally-different for Western gamers, probably due to its heavy use of unfamilar (at least, back in the late '90s and early 00's), visual novel/dating simulation-style gameplay. The only Sakura Wars game from the original batch to be localised into English was the fifth game in the franchise, Sakura Wars V: So Long, My Love (released on the Wii and PS2). Most would probably agree that it wasn't the best entry the series had to offer, but hey, at least it was something. The series would then remain untouched for many years.
This was no small franchise. A big thanks to our very own Mike for the pics.
But Sakura Wars has stepped back onto the stage and into the limelight once again. Sega have blessed us with a worldwide (albeit, staggered) release of a flashy modern-gen reboot of Sakura Wars, exclusively for PlayStation 4. Developed by Sega's CS2 R&D department, Sakura Wars saw involvement from new and returning staff; including veteran Sega producer Tetsu Katano, director Tetsuya Otsubo and music composer Kohei Tanaka. Tite Kubo, the creator of manga ultra-hit Bleach was responsible for the designs of the main cast of characters. There was also guest artists like BUNBUN (Sword Art Online), Ken Sugimori (Pokémon) and Shigenori Soejima (Persona), who contributed their talents towards the designs of various supporting characters. It's clear from such star studded pedigree that Sega really pulled out all the stops for this one, and as an owner of a pre-order copy that turned up three days too early, I'm happy to confirm that it resulted in a big success. If you're a fan of Sakura Wars, you'll be happy to know Sega have done the franchise the justice it deserves. If you're new to Sakura Wars, this is the perfect entry point.

Preview: Xenocider

It was in June 2015 that we first learned of Retro Sumus' ambitious Dreamcast exclusive shooter Xenocider. Back then, we didn't really know much about what was to become something of a labour of love for lead programmer Chui and his team based over in Spain, but now, almost five years later were are very close to having the final product in our hands, and - most importantly - in our Dreamcast consoles. Xenocider has undergone several revisions over the years, but here we are privileged to share with you details of the latest beta build, and our overall impressions of what we have played so far.
What was initially pitched as a sort of homage to 'into the screen' shooters of yesteryear such as Space Harrier, Planet Harriers and Sin & Punishment, Xenocider places the player in control of Xara, a cybernetic heroine tasked with travelling from planet to planet, basically wiping out all life and ultimately causing said planet to self destruct. As you do.


If you'll allow me to be a bit wanky for a moment, this does actually bring up some questions of ethics for me. Why is Xara so hellbent on destroying these alien creatures and the very worlds they reside on? If she didn't come blazing through the atmosphere in her ship and then start marauding around the landscapes shooting everything and setting off nukes, surely these innocent lifeforms could just continue going about their daily routine of floating around and minding their own business? I'm sure the answers will be revealed in the final game's story mode, so we'll leave this aspect of Xenocider alone for now. Wanky mode: off.
The similarities with the aforementioned properties from Sega and Nintendo/Treasure are quite clear to see from a visual and gameplay standpoint, but Xenocider does have its own identity too. The aesthetic is very much one of a sort of corrupt artificial life form being directed by a mysterious commander via a communications codec. You travel to various worlds killing stuff, you collect upgrade points that can be spent on your health, armour, weapon strength etc. This is done via a rather excellent between-level hub section aboard Xara's ship - a ship you also get to control in one of the mid-stage bonus areas that reminded me a little of something like Soul Star on the Sega Mega CD, but is actually based on Galaxy Force.

Dreamcast Collectors Unite! Exploring your collections - Part 4

Hello fellow Dreamers, and welcome back to our ongoing 'Dreamcast Collector's Unite!' series of articles, taking a closer look at the collections of Dreamcast fans from across the globe. So far we've uncovered rare controllers, heard people's fondest memories of the console, the game and the merchandise that make up their collections, and seen some of the rare - and not so rare - pieces that make collecting for this console such a passion for so many people.

We're bringing you a quartet of collectors today, with a range of collecting habits, desires and goals - so without further waffling from me - let me introduce you to our latest fab 4, who go by the names of Ser Flash, Chris, Lee and James!

Ser Flash

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

STG fans around the world know me as Ser Flash. I make up half of Studio Mudprints, and we create and host Bullet Heaven, the world's longest-running shmups review show.
You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?

More or less since it came out. As a staunch Nintendo player, the Dreamcast really captured my interest, especially against the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 at the time. It would become my first-ever Sega console in 2000.

So your current collection – can you give a brief description of what you have, what you collect (i.e. games only, games and console variants etc.) and what your 'end goal' is, if you have one?

We don't really refer to it as a "collection" so much as a "Library", meant to be accessed, not merely displayed. We acquire games from all regions, though North American and Japanese games make up the vast majority of our titles. In the early days, we bought all kinds of different titles, from RPGs to Fighters to shooters. These days though, it has been almost exclusively shooters, which was ultimately my end goal: Acquire and feature every Dreamcast shmup and border-liner.
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?

We never really collected for the system per se; we just got games we wanted to play at first, and later just those that we thought would review well on our show. It became a more directed effort when it come to tracking down and procuring a complete set of shooting games for a large-scale video compendium. The only one requirement was that all Japanese games needed their OBI spine-cards. Now that they have been completely obtained, we still get the odd title every now and again as more new titles are made, but our focus is now almost entirely PlayStation One exclusive shooting games.

Where do you get new additions to your collection? Are you still able to find them 'in the wild' or is it online only now?

Almost exclusively online, predominantly on eBay. It sounds lazy, but scouting out and stalking the best deals on specific games can take a long while; all of the ones we have gotten were in great condition for comparatively bottom dollar, but some took time and planning. We sometimes find neat things at local shops though.

What's the favourite part of your collection, and why?

Probably Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol.1. I had no idea it existed, then I suddenly needed it more than anything else in the world. So basically it marked the time I completed a game set with a book. My favourite Dreamcast game is probably Bangai-o, though. So nice, I bought it twice.
We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?

Grabbing a bunch of games on $10 Clearance in the early days was definitely nice. The used market was excellent until relatively recently then it suddenly exploded, especially for shmups. This kind of makes it hard to pick out a really good deal for its time. There have been several times we were able to get new, sealed games for well-under the typical used price in the last couple of years, so those would count, I guess.

DreamPod: Celebrating 5 Years of Dreamcast Podcasting!

April 2020 marks 5 years since we started our podcast DreamPod, and with this in mind we thought it was only right to celebrate this milestone with a special anniversary episode. The DreamPod has had a changing cast of presenters over the years, and they have all brought a unique personality and perspective to the podcast, be it on current Dreamcast news, opinions on games or just their tales of how they got into the Dreamcast scene in the first place.
For this episode though, we thought it would be good to bring together the original hosts from episode zero - Tom, Rob and Aaron - to catch up, share memories of that pilot episode and see how, even after 5 years, not a lot has changed after all!

In this episode, we also have some rather nice congratulatory messages from some familiar voices in the Dreamcast scene, so make sure you listen to the end. You can find all the previous episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Buzzsprout and pretty much any other podcast service you might use simply by searching for 'DreamPod.' For ease though, please find episode 75 embedded below.

Thanks all for listening, and here's to 5 more years of the DreamPod!

Every Dreamcast game featuring a Toyota Celica...because why not?

I recently bought a Toyota Celica. When I showed a picture of it to my sister, she asked if I was having a mid-life crisis. I enthusiastically replied that I'm having a whole-life crisis, but that the purchase of this automobile had nothing to do with it. I just happened to see it going quite cheap and was looking for a replacement for the old diesel estate that had trustily transported me and all my Dreamcast crap to countless gamings expos over the years. So yeah, I'm now a member of the Celica owner's club. Not an actual club - although I'm sure something like that exists for conscientious drivers who like nothing better than adding gigantic spoilers, furry dice, diamond encrusted wheels and go faster stripes to their cars.
I've blanked out my number plate so ne'erdowells don't do ne'erdowell stuff with it.
After owning the Celica for a couple of weeks, something odd slowly dawned on me as I mindlessly played various entries in the racing genre on Dreamcast. No, it wasn't the realisation that nothing even comes close to Spirit of Speed 1937 in simulating the thrills of driving a real race car. It was actually something far less interesting to pretty much everyone who isn't me: the Toyota Celica features in quite a few Dreamcast racing titles...and I'm not just talking about the famous GT-Four rally car either. 
The Celica GT-Four as seen in Sega Rally 2
No, I'm specifically talking about the seventh generation Toyota Celica coupe, the final model Toyota released before killing off the iconic marque in the mid 2000s. A car that - for me at least - has taken on baader-meinhof properties since I started driving one. Seriously - I see them everywhere now. I suppose the answer as to why the seventh generation Celica appeared in so many Dreamcast games is quite obvious when you really think about it though.
The real deal...
The Celica - and specifically the seventh generation model (pictured) - was Toyota's flagship coupe slap bang in the middle of the era of the Dreamcast (the seventh generation Celica was produced between 1999 and 2006), so why wouldn't it appear in so many Dreamcast games as a mid-level sportster? A mid-level sportster with outstanding fuel economy, light weight and outrageous road handling, I should add...but that's a topic for another website entirely.
...the digital deal
Anyway, join me, dear reader, as we look at all the titles on Dreamcast that feature the seventh generation Toyota Celica, and a few that feature the iconic GT-Four...

Metropolis Street Racer
Bizarre Creations' seminal driving game has a surprising number of real world vehicles you can sample the delights of, and though you start small with some fairly low-specced runabouts, as you progress through the chapters more and more powerful cars are revealed; their well-rendered showroom blankets thrown off to reveal the glistening virtual paint beneath. The Celica featured in Metropolis Street Racer is ranked with a modest 4.0 CPF (Car Performance Rating), meaning it's not quite the top end of the stable, but does the job for the chapters in which it becomes available. 
MSR's vehicle selection screen is pretty cool
It's the favoured 190bhp model used in MSR
It handles well (like most cars in this game to be honest) and has a decent top speed. The model is very faithful too, although it does lack the interior details seen in some other games listed here. Due to MSR's lack of any real tuning or visual detail options, you can't really change much apart from the tint of the windows, the colour of the paint and the registration plate, but that's OK.
This is taken from the 'Exhibition' mode
Doing a bit of sightseeing in London of an evening
Metropolis Street Racer's Celica is a fine representation of the real thing, and as you'd expect it features the standard 6-speed gearbox found in the real vehicle (7-speed if you count reverse), but to be honest you'd kind of expect this level of authenticity in a game where the developers measured the actual height of curbs in London to make sure everything looked as accurate as possible. It would have been nice to be able to add spoilers or change the alloy wheels, but that wasn't really a thing with any of the cars in MSR, so I'm happy to give it a pass on that front.