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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.

We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?

We have been pretty lucky with regards to the Dreamcast; we got the most extreme items we needed out of the way fairly quickly, before they really ballooned in price. I'm fairly certain that we haven't paid more than $200.00 for a single item, and that was Border Down in 2014 Seattle.

Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?

Only because I created an arrange soundtrack album for it, I have a one-of-a-kind copy of DUX 1.5 Special Edition with a signed soundtrack disc. It's cheating, but still accurate. Otherwise, we have all of the big games when it comes to shmups, particularly Border Down, Under Defeat Special Edition, and Zero Gunner 2.
We also have this neat adaptor called the "Innovation Dream Connection II" that lets someone use a PlayStation controller, PS/2 keyboards or even a Saturn controller on their Dreamcast. One little detail of note: it's shaped like a small Super Famicom.
Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?

The Neo-Geo Pocket Color to Dreamcast Link Cable is probably the hardest thing to find that we really want these days just for the novelty. I'd like to see a new solution happen (maybe Retro Gaming Cables can cook something up?) We do plan on getting the Segagaga Limited box, but as far as shmups go, we would like to get a North American copy of Cannon Spike at some point. Until then, though, Gunspike will just have to do.

Chris

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I'm Chris but you'll find me online as masofdas. I've been a gamer since I was about 3 years old starting with the Mega Drive but I'll go into that more, I guess, with some of these questions.

You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?

Not long after launch, I believe. I had a PlayStation, and the natural next setup was to get a PS2. I started saving my money to buy a PS2 for myself, but then on one day I went into a local game shop which had most consoles setup, and in which you could pay to play on any game.

As I hadn't played a Dreamcast as of yet, but read about it in magazines etc, I thought I'd have a go on one. I decided to play Sonic Adventure and my mind was blown -  that opening level with the whale was amazing. That night when I got home I decided I wanted a Dreamcast instead of a PS2, and I found one in the local free ads which I think was about £100 with four games as the guy selling wanted the money towards a PS2.


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?

My collection may look big to some as it's nearly 250 games which is mainly made up with PAL games as that's what I've been focusing on. At the moment that is the goal to get the last seven games, I need for the collection then go from there. I'll likely look at the games released in the states which weren't available in Europe.
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?

I never intended to collect for the Dreamcast, it all started as at the time I was buying & selling games, and if I came across stuff I wanted, I would keep for myself. Then one day sorting out my collection I realised I had about 80 Dreamcast games, I looked up how many games were on the Dreamcast, and saw it was an achievable collection, which led to collecting them all.

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?

I've not picked up anything for a while as you can't find stuff in the wild, and if you do it's ChuChu Rocket, Crazy Taxi and the like. It's not like I don't mind paying the money either if I was to see something, as that's how I got Rez for instance when a local (ish) game shop did get a nice collection traded-in but that was over a year ago.

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

Not as much the collection itself, but stuff like this, as the Dreamcast Community is one of the best around, and if I didn't have the collection then I wouldn't be talking to you now.

We all love bargains, any, in particular, stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?

Yeah, Ilbleed which I never realised was worth what it is. I think I paid £15 for it of Amazon and I only wanted it as I wanted to test if my boot disc for imports was working, and I think it might have been the cheapest game which wasn't sports I could get.
We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?

In my Dreamcast collection, I think Evolution 2 was my biggest purchase at £90 which I think might be considered cheap now. I have spent more on retro games on a different console, maybe even more on some modern day games collectors editions.

Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?

I do have a few homebrew/indie bits which I've kept most of it sealed like my Pier Solar, which also comes with a lovely book which I got from backing it or something along those lines.

Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?

Most of my collection is European, I would like however, after I do finish getting the last of the games I need, to expand to other regions and I would love to have a Resident Evil Console if funds were viable for it.

Lee

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello, my name is Lee, and at the age of 28 (err sorry I mean 48) I'm a long time gamer, going back to ZX Spectrum, maybe even before with the ColecoVision (can't remember which came first). I'm very passionate about video games and at some point have owned the majority of major gaming consoles.

I collect for many games consoles, and whilst my Dreamcast collection isn't my largest, it's certainly my favourite console
You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?

I had a friend that was into gaming like myself, that kept talking to me about his new games console. At this point I was very much into my PlayStation and very happy with that. This was until he invited me to try this new fancy Sega machine.

My initial reaction was "wow this is amazing". Arcade like quality games on a home console. I didn't think I could be any more impressed, and then he put in his newest game, Virtua Tennis. That was it, deal clinched. The game that made me want a Dreamcast. Within days, the PS1 was gone and I owned a shiny new Sega Dreamcast.
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?

So my collection contains a wide variety of game types. I really enjoy fighting games such as Soul Caliber, Marvel vs Capcom and PowerStone 2. I feel these games are enhanced by the fact I've the Dreamcast arcade stick in my collection. My latest purchase, awaiting delivery from eBay, is Dead or Alive 2, which I'm very much looking forward to playing soon.

I also love driving driving games, another genre that was well served on the Dreamcast. With the likes of Sega GT, Metropolis Street Racer and Ferrari F355 Challenge, not to mention the more arcade style ones like Wacky Races etc. As you'll see, I also have the Thrustmaster steering wheel which was a great add on for some of these games. I'm also a sports fan and these game types feature in my collection a fair bit.
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?

I can't say that it was a conscious choice. Some of the more average games in my selection are those that I picked up towards the end of the consoles life, when being sold off cheap by places like GameStation (how I miss that shop!).

I collect for various systems and target 100 games per system. I have achieved this in Xbox 360 and am very close for the original Xbox. Some way to go with the mighty Dreamcast.

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?

As I don't live in or particularly near a major city, other than the "needle in a haystack" of the odd carboot sale, most of my purchases now come via the likes of eBay.

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

Very hard to choose one part from such an epic system. For me, the Dreamcast was the last machine with arcade like games, where you could just pick up and play for a short time. You still cannot beat sticking Virtua Tennis in the machine and just having a game for 10-20 minutes.

We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?

I picked up Resident Evil Code Veronica for £2 if I remember rightly, which was a pretty good price. Think the cheapest game I got was Jimmy White snooker for 50p, although not sure if it was worth that much

We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?

Hard to say as I've had the machine so long now. I'd say some of the games I brought brand new upon release all those years ago!

Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?

I'd say for me the weirdest is probably Space Channel 5. Certainly not my style of game and I've probably only played a handful of times. That said, it provided me hours of entertainment watching my daughter play it!
Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?

There are a number of games that are on my wishlist for the Dreamcast, but none I want over any other. The dream is to get one specific model of console though. I'd love the black Sega Sports model Dreamcast. I was planning a trip to NYC this year, although might be next year now for obvious reasons, and intend to have a hunt for one of those there.

James

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

Well my name is James Nicholson, or "GentleOnJames" online, I live in Oklahoma City, OK in the United States, I work in the telecommunications industry, and I'm a retro video game enthusiast/collector. I have a friend who collects as well, and he and I will hang out, get coffee, and spend the day playing whatever the latest retro find either of us has obtained since last time we hung out. The most recent one for us was Project Justice!

You obviously have a love for the Dreamcast; when did that start?

I would say day one, but actually even before that. During the time it was available to pre-order I was obsessed with it, I read everything I could find about it, and thought it was coolest thing ever. I literally had the console, an extra controller, 2 VMUs, and almost every launch game reserved at my local Gamestop.
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?

My current collection consists of 152 out of the 248 retail US releases, so at the time of this writing I've got 96 left for the complete library. In addition to that, I do collect the odd PAL or JP import, for example I've got PAL copies of Shenmue 2 and Headhunter as they were never released in the states. I also have the full set of Official Dreamcast Magazine demo discs.

My Dreamcast itself is pretty modded, it has the DCHDMI, re-fused controller ports, re-capped board, new red orange LED light, rechargeable clock battery, noctura fan, and a new PSU. I also have a couple unopened controllers, multiple VMU's, the keyboard, and a modded VMU that's backlit with a built in rechargeable battery. The modded VMU and PSU I got from the DreamMods website, and all the other mods besides the noctura fan were done by the amazing "iFixRetro". My end goal as far as the collecting aspect would be to finish the complete US library.
Why did you start collecting for the console, and if you still are, what makes you continue?

I started collecting for it because I always had a soft spot for it, there was always something about it, like an emotional attachment to that time in gaming. Also the uniqueness of it, I always thought it was special. So after I came to the realisation that retro collecting was a real thing I could do, and that there was an entire community of others out there who were just as passionate, and were still talking about it, collecting for it, playing it, and even modding it for it be better than it even was when first came out, it quickly became my biggest hobby.
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?

I'd say it's about 60% online and 40% in the wild for me. There are a chain of places around where I live that carry retro collectables like games, records, comics, etc. so I frequent those places, and then there's another cluster of them about an hour and a half drive from me so I make a day of that, every few months, to hit up all of those too. Those are about the only brick and mortar options I have so the rest is online.

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

Probably my Dreamcast itself, as it would be the most difficult/expensive to replace with everything I've had done to it. Plus everything I've had done to it really enhances the experience of playing all the games. All the mods available nowadays added up really perfects the experience, almost like having a modern day version of it but it still being retro at the same time. As far as favourite game, it's probably Outtrigger. Even though I already had it, I purchased a factory sealed copy just to have a brand new one because I love that game so much. Looking forward to setting up my Dreamcast for online play, and for the day it's added as playable online on the Dreamcast Live website, it's current status is "work in progress" so fingers crossed.
We all love bargains, any in particular stand out for you whilst amassing your collection?

The best bargain I ever found was the retail kiosk which was given to me for free because the person who had it just wanted to get rid of it, and the second best was the "clean cover variant" of Speed Devils, which goes for hundreds online for only $6 at one of the local retro shops because they didn't know what they had!. Sadly I no longer have either of these two best bargains, I moved a couple of times and had to leave the retail kiosk behind, and I sold Speed Devils because I didn't care about having that version, I actually think it's ugly, I just knew it was super rare.
We also know Retro costs sometimes – what's the most you've ever spent on a single item for the collection?

This one's hard, hmm... I don't remember specifically the most expensive item but I got a factory sealed copy of Resident Evil 2, and I know that was a couple hundred at the time. There have been a few other factory sealed entries that were all around that $150 - $200 range, I don't think I've ever paid more than that for a single Dreamcast game. The most expensive item technically would be the console for me, it'd be around $800 with everything I've had done, but I didn't purchase it like that so I don't know if that counts.
Any weird or particularly rare parts of the collection you want to highlight?

Nothing really weird, I've got a rare gem here and there, one rare piece that comes to mind that I acquired not tool long ago is the "Exclusive Dreamcast Preview CD-Rom" that came with the first issue of the Official Dreamcast Magazine. I had never seen it for sale anywhere in the wild or online, but have been able to obtain 2 of them at this point. Not sure why it's so rare as all the other demo discs are relatively easy to find. It's not even playable, it's just a disc with 29 trailers that you can watch on a computer, but I felt like I needed it to complete the demo disc portion of the collection.
Is there one particular 'holy grail' that you're still after for the collection?

For me there's not one holy grail piece for the Dreamcast like there is the with my other collections, like Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Saturn for example. The holy grail for me would be to just finish the complete US library. Having that would be pretty sweet. I'm working on it, but I'm OCD and it's very difficult to find every single game in mint condition. At this point if I find a game online or in the wild that I don't have and need, and it's not in perfect condition, I pass on it. If I don't I know I won't be satisfied, and will just end up replacing it somewhere down the line when I find one that is mint, and I'm tired of buying multiples of the same thing lol. I've even spent a lot on pieces of games online like just the book, or just the back insert to make a copy of something be mint. So my holy grail is the entire library in mint condition... 96 games to go!

Our thanks once more to Ser Flash, Chris, Lee and James for sharing their collections with us. We've still got several more of these articles to last us into the summer - and we're always after more! If you want to be involved, and don't mind sharing some pictures with us, drop us a line on Twitter (we're @TheDCJunkyard).





 

1 comment:

Tom Charnock said...

Some awesome collections here. Mindblown