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Sega Dreamcast at 20: the futuristic games console that came too soon (The Guardian)


Commissar SFLUFAN
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The Dreamcast will always hold a special place in my heart, even though it was my second console (after the N64), because it had such a unique and fantastic collection of quirky and memorable games. As much as I loved Mario 64 , Mario Kart, Goldeneye, etc. on the N64,  between Crazy Taxi, Seaman, Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, etc. I was in gaming heaven. They were all so cool at the time, and they pushed my understanding of what games could be. 

 

And as the article mentioned, it was so progressive to have a modem built in to the console; I remember spending hours as a teenager surfing the Internet, which was relatively new at the time. SO MUCH PORN! :p 

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The Dreamcast always felt like my console. Before the Dreamcast, a console was something my parents would buy for me. I'd grown up with the NES and SNES, CDX and N64, and I'd played the hell out of them, and as fondly as I remember the games they consoles never felt like my choice. The Dreamcast was something I read incessantly about online, was the catalyst for getting me to post on forums, (lots of IGN), and was something I saved up my money for so I could walk out of KB Toys in Encinitas on 9/9/99 and play the latest and greatest thing.

 

I was always a multi-platform gamer, but the way the PS2 killed the Dreamcast made me kind of hate Sony for a while. I avoided the PS2 until very late in it's lifespan, but even then I didn't forgive it for what it had done to my console.

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Yeah, Sega went out with a bang. I Felt burned a little with the Sega CD. Also the 32X was a bad move. Then the Saturn crashed hard in the US. The Dreamcast was an interesting console. The video game industry had really change from the launch of the Saturn to the Dreamcast.  Nintendo was no longer on top. 3rd parties had switched over to Sony. The PlayStation was everything Sega wanted the Saturn to be. The Dreamcast is an example that sometimes first to market is not always a great idea. Sadly many of the games on the Dreamcast where slightly better ports of PlayStation games. While it was capable of more and few 3rd party games did that. Capcom was a big 3rd party publisher. Sega was still strong in the arcades and the Dreamcast brought many Sega arcade games home. I personally enjoyed the Dreamcast. At the time my roommate had one and we played it all the time.

 

I remember one time I was at an airport waiting for a flight and someone from Sega sat next to me and had a notebook on Sega's next console the Dreamcast. I told them that I had a Genesis, GameGear and Sega CD and was disappointed with the Saturn. I remember him showing me info on the Dreamcast and I wasn't as impressed as he thought I would. I was realistic that the market had changed since Saturn and they have a real up hill challenge. This was all after the Dreamcast announced but before it launched in the US.

 

That is funny @Nokra used it to browse the web. I can imagine many visits to the hun. The most I tried to use the browser was to get custom graffiti art for jet grind radio.

 

The Dreamcast was cool and looking back it had a hell of a library for such a short time. I think if Sega wasn't as bad off financially they might have had a shot. I also think the PS2 really killed all of the competition. the DVD player would have been good to have on the Dreamcast. I know piracy was bad but I think it really took off after it was too late for the Dreamcast.

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24 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

I'd be up for Dreamcast Classic.

A Classic would be nice but I would settle for a compilation disc of Dreamcast games on current consoles.

 

It is amazing no one copied putting a small screen on a controller again. Another thing you really don't here much complaining on the Dreamcast is one analog stick. I could see Sega adding one if the Dreamcast stuck around longer.

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My cousins and I played Virtua Trnnis so much we all developed what we called “Dreamcast thumb” because the d-dad has such sharp corners to it :lol:

 

Many good times had on that box. I also remember playing one of the MGS games via the “Bleem” boot discs, online NFL 2K matches, and some other things that set the stage for where we are today.

 

I think my Dreamcast including the Ethernet adapter is still in the attic at my parents house.

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9 hours ago, Rodimus said:

I have been thinking about playing through MGS on Dreamcast via Bleem on my Dreamcast. I started a game a couple of times and messed up on saving.

 

 

@Bloodporne I can understand if all you played was House of the Dead and Blue Stinger how the Dreamcast is not that exciting.

House of the Dead 2 port was actually amazing and I absolutely loved that game. We used to stack a chair on top of our kitchen table and put the CRT TV on top of that so we could stand up pretending it was an arcade. 

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I was always a "computer gamer" before getting into consoles with the PSX/Saturn.  While I enjoyed Sega's arcade ports, I never felt they truly made the adjustment to making great non-arcade games.  I ended up trading in my Saturn a couple of years in (the only console I have ever traded in).  The western (primarily European) and western-style (i.e. MGS)  developed PSX games are really what drove me to that platform (I

 

I can honestly say that I never understood the reverence that Dreamcast seems to hold in the hearts of a group of gamers.  I tried playing a Jet Set Radio game -- and hated the controls.  I played Crazy Taxi -- and found it a fun/ interesting novelty that wasn't robust enough to be a full-priced game...

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     I had two in my closet damn it.

 

     One was absolutely brand new, only fired up a single time to make sure it worked. My launch console I gave to Madman Kevin! After reading a post/topic he posted in saying he always wanted one and was hunting for one along with some games he always wanted. Knowing he would get a good amount of fun out of it, I sent him mine along with 2 VMU's and a game! That's how this forum rolls. 

 

     I loved the Dreamcast. I was blown away when I got to pop in Soul Calibur, just so fluid, amazing fighter for its time. It was also my introduction to the internet. I remember looking up the Baby Pandas in the San Diego Zoo with the wife. Along with some more discrete web sites of our choosing. Together we learned fast just how um.....evolutionary the internet was.

 

     I now am the proud owner of just my Dreamcast memories as most of you know we just lost our home in the Camp Fire in California. That and one of most every console released here in the states most brand new in their original boxes along with a shit ton of retro games for each. I'll not try and recreate the collection I had. And now looking back. It really wasnt doing anyone any good sitting in a closet. I'm so glad my man MadManKevin is in possession of one of my all time favorite ever consoles!

 

     Ahhhh....the memories!

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/29/2018 at 6:10 AM, mikechorney said:

I can honestly say that I never understood the reverence that Dreamcast seems to hold in the hearts of a group of gamers.  I tried playing a Jet Set Radio game -- and hated the controls.  I played Crazy Taxi -- and found it a fun/ interesting novelty that wasn't robust enough to be a full-priced game...

 

JSR/JGR was alright but it set up what would become Jet Set Radio Future, an amazing game that was never released anywhere else after the Xbox.

And Crazy Taxi was pretty great, if you ever got addicted to it in the arcades maybe you had already spent $60 on it. Plus Bad Religion, The Offspring and KFC!

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4 hours ago, Rodimus said:

I had fun playing Cannon Spike on the Dreamcast a wek ago at PAX South. Anyone have the DCEMU mod to replace the optical drive with either a USB port or SD card slot?


I have been debating about doing the mod. I know my one DC's drive is starting to die on me (along with its controller board). 

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