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  1. #1

    Dreamcast in 2021



    I've never owned a Dreamcast. At the time, I knew it as the mystical console the slightly weird next door neighbour got around the time we got a PS2. Now, I know it as the last bastion of SEGAs flagships which have since found homes via ports and sequels on new consoles - and a few cult classics that never left.

    But I've found myself wanting to play Skies of Arcadia again. Having sold my GC copy a good few years ago - and wanting to play a version which doesn't have an OST like an orchestra in a bathtub - I figure now might be the time to get into the DC's wider library. It helps that Japan has DC stuff kicking about for pennies.

    So, what games are still worth owning on Dreamcast? Which games are still best played here and not on later consoles? I'll be buying an NTSC-J console, so Japan-only recommendations very welcomed. The ones I already plan to look out for:

    -Eternal (Skies of) Arcadia
    -Sonic Adventure
    -Rez
    -Cosmic Smash ($$$)
    -Ready 2 Rumble Boxing (as rubbish as this game is, it's the definitive version of a childhood fav me and my bro used to play on N64!)

    Please use this thread to share your DC-related stories too! Take me back to the glory of early 2000s vidya with its VGA outputs and dial-up 56k online play.
    Last edited by danstan21; 25-01-2021 at 07:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Jet Set Radio
    Chu Chu Rocket
    Space Channel 5

  3. #3
    I'm interested to know, is there a complete no-fuss Dreamcast emulation setup?

    I sometimes consider getting back into it, as I loved the machine, but they're just so unreliable, they turn smoker's-teeth yellow and outputting it to a modern TV is weird, due to the varied nature of the way the games worked (some VGA, some 60hz, some not, some output in VGA but looked bad...).

    Honestly I would love a Dreamcast Mini, with all of the major games. Part of me wants to pursue an emulation solution but I'm at a point with emulators where if I need to do more than run a batch file to install it and plonk the files on an SD card, I'm not interested; can't be bothered with Linux virtual machines and potentially-bricking firmware updates.

  4. #4
    I don't have any answers but only wanted to commiserate the set-up situation. I have an RGB but not VGA compatible monitor, which means that even with a 60Hz-only Japanese console I'll have to settle with (pricey, official) S-Video for Skies of Arcadia given its one of incompatible ones.

    And then there's all the hardware revisions...

    A Dreamcast Mini really would be very welcomed.

  5. #5
    I recently got my DC setup sorted after being irritated by it for a while. Got my PAL DC that can play backups modded to have a region free BIOS and a new clock battery holder. The region free mod was to streamline playing and not having to keep using the action replay disk.

    It outputs to an Akura box which then goes into the HDMI on my TV. The picture quality looks great and the Akura has a switch on it to switch between RGB and VGA so you can trick non-VGA games into booting more easily. The only game I've found that is totally incompatible so far is Seven Mansions which is completely incompatible with VGA.

    I didn't do the DCHDMI mod due to cost. I also didn't do the mod where you replace the drive with an SD card reader because people that do that are goddamn savages.

    Hope some of that helps anyone looking to do a setup.

    As for games, a couple of my must haves are Cannon Spike and Zombie Revenge. Cannon Spike is a great arcade shooter and I'm not sure if Zombie Revenge is good but I love it deeply.

  6. #6
    Guilty Gear X and Last Blade 2, two of the finest fighting games you can own.

  7. #7
    I second the Akura box (although mine is the discontinued Gecko box which is the same thing less scanline options). It just works, lovely crisp 480p over HDMI. I'm not a fan of internal mods, this looks great to me. Looks perfect, no noise on the picture or anything.

    In terms of what to buy for the Dreamcast, most of the NAOMI arcade ports are pretty essential and also quite cheap. Crazy Taxi and Power Stone and such, but I would also pick up Tokyo Bus Guide if you like weird games. There's also all the obvious games of the system everyone will say like Jet Set Radio, Shenmue, Space Channel 5. Just get them all and see which you like.

    Other ones I strongly like -
    Tech Romancer: Badly-named but excellent content-packed giant robot game where most of the robots are parodies of well-known ones. Completely over the top with screen filling explosions and remains curiously underrated to this day. I have no idea why this isn't really even a cult classic.
    Room Mania 203: Japan-only game where you basically control the mind of some guy in a little apartment and try to encourage him to make good life decisions. It's weird and it has a language barrier but is worth a look.
    Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram: Sequel to the original, if you liked the original (I do) this is more of the same and we'll worth checking out.
    Tokyo Highway Challenge/Shutokou Battle: I love this racer and always will, many don't.

    It's worth mentioning as well that if your reason for wanting a Japanese console is for 60Hz, the vast majority of PAL DC games have a 50/60Hz selection at startup. Compared to the PS2, it's fairly rare for them not to, here's the list (mostly early games and junk): https://segaretro.org/List_of_50Hz-o...reamcast_games

  8. #8
    Get yourself copies of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 if you haven't played them. They are slow, they are clunky, but they are wonderful. Don't listen to the people who say they aren't good. Those people suck. They are unique and compelling stories, starring an unfailingly polite protagonist, featuring a load of fun minigames, and with the odd bit of Virtua Fighter lite combat.

  9. #9
    They're also beautiful.



    Imagine - it's late afternoon, snowing, you're heading back home with some milk for the cat, you call in at the scruffy sweet shop for a bag of crisps to enter the raffle - which you win (Bonanza Bros figurine), then you go out and it turns into night, with the old-fashioned lights flickering on with a yellow glow, feed the cat, then back to the dojo for some practice, look at the fish in the garden, hear that wooden water feature thing fill up with water and go CLONK, bed time. I didn't even have to use my AK.
    Last edited by Hirst; 25-01-2021 at 11:44 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wakka View Post
    Get yourself copies of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 if you haven't played them. They are slow, they are clunky, but they are wonderful. Don't listen to the people who say they aren't good. Those people suck. They are unique and compelling stories, starring an unfailingly polite protagonist, featuring a load of fun minigames, and with the odd bit of Virtua Fighter lite combat.
    I played the PS4 port of Shenmue 1 last year and didn't really feel it. Afterwards I realised it was because everyone keeps saying that Shenmue is the spiritual ancestor of Yakuza and I was expecting a lot of street brawls and loads of side quests etc. It totally isn't that. Way more chill story hangout game with the odd bit of combat. Wish I hadn't heard all the false comparisons and gone in untainted. Going to play the sequels at some point with much better expectations.

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