I’m really excited to officially break out the Dreamcast tomorrow. I already had a sizable stash of games to go with it but I’ve picked up a few more since then. One title I really wanted to get was Sonic Adventure. I got it but what an ordeal! I took a chance at half.com and bought it from the person that had it listed cheapest. This seller only had feedback from four people, but all were positive. Turns out he is selling bootleg copies of games and trying to pawn them off as discs sent to reviewers.
The Sega Dreamcast can play cd-r’s but all of their games were released on the unconventional gd-rom format, which can hold up to 1.2 GB of information. The disc I got from this shady dealer was most definitely a cd-r. It says so right on the transparent ring in the middle! I know from poking around an underground game sharing network that Sonic Adventure is too large to fit on a regular cd-r. I could have downloaded the same free copy this person did, with deleted cut scenes, music downsampled from stereo to mono, and who knows what else hacked out. That’s not what I wanted and I certainly wasn’t going to pay for it. I didn’t call the guy on his bullshit but did tell him I thought I was buying the official release and requested a refund. He gave me my money back without argument and I soon found a “Buy It Now” deal for the real thing on eBay for about the same price.
I read about a similar scenario on the racketboy forums, did some sleuthing, and discovered they were talking about the same fellow. He’s got lots of rare Dreamcast games listed for cheap on both half.com and Amazon. So buyer beware! Here’s a comparison of the copy (left) and the official Sega release:
I had a much happier experience purchasing a lot of Dreamcast sports games on eBay. I was looking to buy one of the 2K hockey games, which go for next to nothing by themselves. For twenty bucks (including shipping) I found not only that game, but seven more titles plus two VMU memory packs. That was an excellent deal, especially considering that the VMU packs normally sell for around $6-8 each plus shipping. The games came with their instruction manuals and jewel case inserts too. Score!
I also bought a VGA cable from the racketboy store so I can plug the Dreamcast directly into a computer monitor. I haven’t tested it out yet but it’s supposed to offer a clear, crisp picture. And finally, I found a third party light gun for a couple of bucks from Goodwill so I can blast some zombies in House of the Dead 2.