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Don't let it be forgotten!
Dreamcast in general
Member Name: Cryguy
Dreamcast in general
Date: 28/06/02, updated on 28/06/02 (26 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic games, Immediate internet access, Online console game-play
Disadvantages: Just not marketed well enough!
Sega's Dreamcast has now departed from the console world with Sega left to rue what could (should?) have been and instead purely concentrate on churning out some high-quality titles for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's next-gen machines. The legacy that Sega have left with the Dreamcast I hope continues to be appreciated by gamers for a while at least as there is no doubt in my mind that the DC was, is and always will be a fabulous conole even when pitted against today's latest competition. Offering extremely high-quality and colourful graphics and a fantastic sound chip inside, it more than holds it's own against today's likes of the X-Box and Gamecube.
'Born' in 1998, the Dreamcast was the first, and still ironically, the only console to offer immediate internet access and online game-play straight out of it's box. Alright, Sega themselves still weren't able to put together a decent online-playable game for some time after the launch of the console, but when they did come, their efforts were original, groundbreaking for a console, and totally enjoyable. The 'Dreamkey' disc supplied with the console, and updated twice since then, allowed any owner to surf the internet at their leisure with a reasonable, if not exactly speedy, 28.8kbps modem. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are still 'talking' about their online PLANS for the coming year. They seem to have been doing that FOR years anyway!
Sega will be first to admit with hindsight, their advertising for the DC and it's promotion around the UK alone let alone anywhere else, wasn't top-notch. Ultimately, proving to be it's downfall, lack of market recognition amongst even casual gamers let alone those who don't have a cat-in-hell's interest in games, ensured people just didn't know what it was all about. Even your oldest Granny or the layman on the street has heard of 'Playstation' hence it's phenomenal succes
s! This was a shame - the DC was high-specced at it's launch, offered immediate four-player games with it's controller ports and that fantastic internet-in-a-box facility which seemingly just wasn't emphasised enough.
Look back now at some of the games available for this fantastic piece of kit - innovative titles such as Shenmue 1 & 2, Metropolis Street Racer, Chu-Chu Rocket (the first-ever console online game) and Jet Set Radio were backed up by titles with an awesome arcade pedigree such as Crazy Taxi 1 & 2, Virtua Tennis 1 & 2 and the Virtua Striker series. Then there was Soul Calibur - still widely agreed to be the best fighting game ever on any system to date!
You can now pick up some of these top titles brand new (if you can find anywhere left selling them) for somewhere between £5 and £20. Second hand I bought Soul Calibur recently for £2.99!! eBay.co.uk is one of the best places to pick up quality DC games and hardware at reasonable prices - there's over 1000 DC-related items on there at this time of writing!
Hardware is cheap to buy also - make sure you buy a boxed console if possible and ensure you can pick up at least two 'official' controllers (they ARE better than 3rd-party ones), at least one Visual Memory Unit (VMU) to save game data and if you can find a keyboard too, as little as £5 itself, internet surfing is a lot easier. You could pick up a decent set of kit as above second-hand for as little as £30 now - there is NO excuse not to go for it!
I now own a Nintendo Gamecube having recently owned a Playstation 2. Both great consoles, no questions. But I still have my Dreamcast - and it still gets played regularly. Sega hit the jackpot with this one as far as quality goes - unfortunately, and for some inexplicable reason, it just wasn't taken to heart by gamers and sadly, many will simply never appreciate the joys it has to offer.