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  1. #1

    Retro|Spective X03: Dreamcast

    It's popped up in several places this week but two days ago it was the 20th Anniversary of the American launch of the Dreamcast which took place on the 09/09/99. Personally the American DC was always the least notable, the Japanese launch was the real starting pistol the previous year and for me the blue hued styling of the European Dreamcast was significantly preferable to the Orange imagery of the other two regions. The system lived a short life, coming at the end of Sega's fortunes in hardware which were so poor it was arguable they shouldn't have even made this attempt, but it cast a long shadow with games from its catalogue being rereleased for years in its wake.

    The system itself wasn't even that much of a flop. Selling just over 9m units in its brief 17 month western lifespan, had Sega been in a better position could have hit a respectable number. It brought in the dawn of early online console gaming thanks to its modem and the likes of Chu Chu Rocket and Phantasy Star Online as well and was notable for its pocket sized VMU memory cards with built in controls and horrific battery life. Despite its short life there were no shortage of special editions released in Japan making it a collectors dream and that's without the fact that despite the system being short lived it remains a fan favourite milestone in gaming.




    The system also proved notable for being home to many Sega arcade home conversions of the day, having multiple peripherals and being the place where Sonic first stepped into a full fledged 3D adventure. That's not to mention the legendary legacy of Shenmue which still continues to this day with this years third game that marks effectively a resurrected Dreamcast brand.









    The system still received small releases years after Sega discontinued the machine and exited the hardware business, it's Windows CE base also created one of the first steps in Microsofts ladder of history within the sector. More importantly, the Dreamcast perhaps most embodied the spirit of what Sega once was whilst also offering a brief tantalising glimpse of the Sega that might have been making it a slow burning ember of promise many have held on to for many years. It's name was ridiculed upon reveal but in the end it turned out Sega had cast a dream, for some a dream console.

    Share your thoughts and memories of the Dreamcast and why Blue is always best

  2. #2
    I remember seeing Soul Calibur running in August 1999 and being blown away. Then I bought a Dreamcast a few months later with Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, and Ready to Rumble. Loved how the games had a, for the time, hi-res sheen. They also played really well and felt more solid than 3D games on previous consoles.

    Then I played Crazy Taxi in an arcade and loved it. When I got my hands on the Dreamcast version it really was amazing to have a perfect port of such a stunning coin-op.

    After that, I enjoyed games such as Ferrari F355 Challenge, Zombie Revenge, Shenmue, Ikaruga etc.... The Dreamcast only had a very short lifespan but I loved every moment. Such a classic console that I still enjoy going back to.
    Running the machine through VGA still looks beautiful.
    Last edited by Leon Retro; 11-09-2019 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Easily one of my favourite systems. Lots of systems had great games, lots of systems probably had way more great games and systems probably even had better games and yet my Dreamcast is the one I tend to dig out more than any other system and enjoy revisiting the games with a sense of wonder that never really went away. It's a special system for me and one with special memories.

    There is more to write than I have time for right now but I'll mention Phantasy Star Online straight away. That game revealed a whole different future to me. A game where you didn't just play but you also hung out and chatted to people and it had neighbourhoods - I mean, there were servers you didn't go to because hackers lived there. It was a glimpse into an online future.

  4. #4
    The Dreamcast got me through the worst period of my life and it really offered me something new and refreshing at the time. It was literally my escape from a lot of pain. I love it but because it's so tied to that time for me, it's the one console I never want to rebuy. Selling it all off in 2011 allowed me to close that chapter in my life for good and finally move on.

    I still enjoy the games and I've rebought some when they've got ported. I put a ridiculous amount of time into PSO via the UKVGPSO Yahoo Group if anyone remembers that. I put so much time into Rez, Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Giga Wing and Double Impact as well, I love those games.

    I first got to play one via a market stall in town that had an imported JP unit and Power Stone. Graphically it was such a huge leap over everything else, it truly blew me away. It was the first time I'd seen a console port of an arcade game visually improve on the original version, by a large margin no less!

    The controller was gash though. There's no excuse for that.

  5. #5
    It really annoys me the way most of YouTube seems to think the American Dreamcast launch is the one that matters and insisting that the Dreamcast is 20 years old. No its not. Its practically 21 years old and it's the Japanese date that should be the celebration.

    Nah, screw them. I was there on the real launch date waiting with my ticket in order to grab a Dreamcast. That will always be the true birthday.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakumo View Post
    It really annoys me the way most of YouTube seems to think the American Dreamcast launch is the one that matters and insisting that the Dreamcast is 20 years old. No its not. Its practically 21 years old and it's the Japanese date that should be the celebration.

    Nah, screw them. I was there on the real launch date waiting with my ticket in order to grab a Dreamcast. That will always be the true birthday.
    Well said.

  7. #7
    Wonderful console, so many great games and memories. Me and my roomate at uni, would play bass fishing and crazy taxi into the small hours of the morning. Loved Tokyo Challenge on it too. I still have my original DC and all it's games. It often gets wheeled out at xmas time now for fishing games with my Dad.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by vanpeebles View Post
    Wonderful console, so many great games and memories. Me and my roomate at uni, would play bass fishing and crazy taxi into the small hours of the morning. Loved Tokyo Challenge on it too. I still have my original DC and all it's games. It often gets wheeled out at xmas time now for fishing games with my Dad.
    My mate's father pulled a muscle in his back, playing Get Bass LOL. I loved playing Sonic Adv over Christmas 98 and also drunken 4 player Pen Pen (when my brother was totally wasted) Had a wonderful time playing Quake III online and will never ever forget how magical it was going online with PSO for the 1st time and getting a message saying 'Hello from New York '

    My fav memory was getting NFL 2k just after the USA launch. It was at the perfect time when I and my mates were still young, had no kids were really into the NFL and when you did stuff in gangs (insert joke here) like gaming or going out. NFL 2k was just incredible, the animation was so lifelike and so real, we had seen nothing quite like it, in a sports game before and it played like a dream and even the commentary was funny and way ahead of anything else out there.

    The biggest letdown was SEGA GT. While it was ok, what should have been the game to get SEGA's driving crown back, was so plane, basic and so ordinary. A crushing disappointment and I think Lee lost loads on that game, with people not buying it

  9. #9
    I had one preordered which was going to come post-launch date but nipping into Woolworths on release date morning you could buy them off the shelf so I ended up doing it that way with Sonic Adventure, then nipping over to Music Zone and grabbing Sega Rally 2... how old does that sound?

    Sega Rally 2 was... in later years I kind of took it for what it was but at the time it was a crushing disappointment. Sonic Adventure was always clearly flawed but when it worked it felt like something else. A clean run through the level where a tornado hits doesn't require much interaction but it looked so damned good I did it several times. After that it was just an amazing and regular line up of new releases that I wanted to play, that's before even getting into the need to import additional games like Cosmic Smash, Ikaruga, King of Fighters later games and the forums closest name affinity title Borderdown.

    It didn't feel like the system lived for that short a time. To have the library it does and delivered in the time it was is astounding in hindsight. Several games felt like they took ages it hit yet looking back it's hard to work out how they ever managed to fit in MSR, 2 Sonic's, all those arcade ports, Headhunter, 2 Shenmue's etc.

    I think the game I least felt the impact of was PSO, I had little time for paying the additional costs for dial up and the pain of the practicalities of it so I solely tried it offline and it didn't click but barring that there was very little I didn't enjoy. I'm going to reread it later in honour of the PAL Dreamcast which is the best looking console everTM...

    but it's already been 7 years since the Summer of Dreamcast thread which ran for a whopping 552 posts and likely contains a lot memories and thoughts of the forum:
    https://bordersdown.net/threads/1142...r+of+Dreamcast

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    My mate's father pulled a muscle in his back, playing Get Bass LOL.
    Hilarious

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