The Sega DreamCast Review: A forgotten Console, Perfect For All
Considered by many to be one of the most innovative consoles of its genre. It’s funny to think that little white box could provide us a splendid home arcade feel. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact this may have been the first Xbox Console.
I have; been told by a few customers that Sega and Microsoft where collaborating a home video game console together. The console had the first online capabilities, with most consoles being sold with a detachable phone-line modem.
It’s too bad this console did not get the recognition it deserved. It may have been the lack luster titles from the sega cd library or the Sega 32x library,
which turned gamers away. Its certainly possible gamers got feed up with Sega and their struggles with compatibility amongst their consoles. Seriously in order to play a 32x CD game you had to have 3 different consoles or attachments hooked up. Then you needed to have a whole power strip of ac adapters! What the heck was Sega thinking, this certainly could have started the Sega downfall.
On the flip side, one would think the Sega Saturn would have given Sega DreamCast the notoriety it deserved. The Saturn, which was the predecessor to the dreamcast, and had a great library of fighting games both foreign and domestic. If the Sega DreamCast was know for being such a state-of-the-art of video game console how did it die? That’s simple the arrival of the PS2, and the arrival of dvd’s integrated with video game consoles killed the dreamcast.
There have been many current game libraries still running derived from the DreamCast library. The library is packed full of any dynamite game any retro gamer would totally enjoy. Not to mention the best version of Marvel Vs Capcom, which has a direct arcade port of the game. Which baffles me why so many gamers go after the Xbox and PS2 versions before the dreamcast? Surprising after I wrote this article, come to find out the latest “unofficial” title has been released in 2013 ToeJam & Earl 3.
Another great perk about a dreamcast is the ability to play imported games. This is a really cool feature; you just needed to buy a gameshark cdx. The cdx would act as a cheat code enabler or a buffer to play your imported games. One of the more popular import games was Shenmue 2 in PAL format.
Accessories & Controllers:
My only knock with the dreamcast would have to be the controllers. To me the controller seemed like a Frisbee, it’s a little too wide for me. The controller really doesn’t fit perfectly inside your hands. The way you had to stretch your fingers to full play certain games, seem odd for me. The dreamcast also had a huge variety of controllers from: Racing Wheels, Flight Simulator Controllers, and maybe the best controller in the arcade stiks. Arcade sticks where large controllers, which created the arcade type, feel while playing your games. Sega did make it’s own brand of arcade controllers, their how ever are some third party “hori” controllers that maybe better suited for the arcade feel. Many of the fighting games used this type of controller; yes it was optional to buy. On the other hand some of these arcade controllers are pretty big, and at times feel better playing with on the floor rather than sitting in your lap.
The dreamcast did have some weird and strange accessories. Most notably were the keyboard and the mouse attachment. The only games I ever played with the keyboard was the typing of the dead, and never really understood the concept. So this in my opinion was failure.
The dreamcast had what they called a VMU or (Virtual Memory Unit) this was a memory card that used batteries, but slide into your controller. The cool thing about a VMU it had a screen to show, your save data, or it could easily be activated from loading up your console. The console also had a regular memory cards, and rumble paks available.
Lets take a look at the Most Popular Games from the Sega Dreamcast library:
When I think of sega dreamcast I certainly think of fighters. The import library probably contains fewer fighters than that of the Sega Saturn. That inno way is a deterrent so lets breakdown the top five.
Role Playing Games
Any true gaming console must excel with its premium RPG games. The dreamcast; had a horde of highly sot after titles. Here is the top 5
Surprising most retro consoles aren’t thought about for their sports titles. The dreamcast didn’t offer the likes of Madden or NBA Live, instead players choose from the Virtua and 2k games. Many gamers considered the 2k series to be far superior to that of the likes of Madden and NBA live games during this current generation. Also to help sell the sports library Sega released an all black sega sports edition console.
Action Adventure Games:
This is one section that the dreamcast set it’s self apart from the rest of the pack. Many games in this section of the library carried the success of the dreamcast.
Racing and Shooter Games:
The dreamcast did not offer the library any of the Need for Speed or Gran Turismo titles. It did however counter with it’s own Sega GT Series. The formula 1 games where also popular and lets not forget about the above-mentioned Crazy Taxi series and Hydro Thunder.
One game that every retro gamer thinks about when you say Sega DreamCast and shooters in the same sentence has to be The House of the Dead 2. The House of the Dead 2 was best played with a gun-controller attachment. There are however other shooters, but nothing that stands out for me. Other honorable mentions include: Banji-O, Gun-Bird, Mars Matrix and Giga Wing.
The dreamcast was surely an extraordinary gaming console. Which was very groundbreaking with hosting online-gaming servers. When you look back at any console and examine the library of rpg games and fighters the dreamcast is certainly a retro console with games for all. If you’ve never picked up a dreamcast they can be purchase relatively cheap and can create hours of enjoyment for all.