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Sega Dreamcast Turns 10 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeps-on-ticking dept.
traycerb writes "It's been 10 years since 9/9/1999, when the Dreamcast launched on American shores. The hardware was ahead of its time; online capability, web browser, a visual memory unit, and a controller that anticipated the much-loved Xbox 360 controller. The games were amazing: Jet Set Radio (the first popular 3d cell-shaded game on a console), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (still the apotheosis of 2-d fighting; just try finding a copy on ebay), Soul Calibur (still looks good compared to the recent Xbox/PS3 versions), NFL 2K (came out of nowhere, and was so good that it shook EA into spending tens of millions of dollars to seal up exclusivity for NFL rights), and many others. No doubt some of the reasons for the Dreamcast's demise lay with Sega, whose dubious hardware decisions (ahem, 32x) finally caught up to them, in the form of ambivalence from both developers and gamers, just as the console-making world was shifting to the multinationals with big pockets who were willing to spend it on pricey hardware design (or could absorb the cost of faulty hardware design). It was also one of the first consoles widely used for homebrew. In honor of the 10th anniversary, a new game is being released for the Dreamcast, called Rush Rush Rally Racing. The Dreamcast is dead! Long live the Dreamcast!"
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Sega Dreamcast Turns 10

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  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:10PM (#29367037) Homepage
    There has never been a console that was that far ahead of its competition at the time. It's the lightsaber of consoles, an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
    • Re:ahh good times (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Canazza (1428553) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:14PM (#29367093)

      that, sadly, no-one really took seriously. It was a wonderful console with some wonderful games. No-one really took the Dreamcast seriously after the flagging failure of the Saturn, expecting the same thing this time around. All the big developers went to PS2/Xbox (With the PS2 winning that round) and utterly burying the Dreamcast.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by toolie (22684)

        The developers went to the PS2 and XBox because the Dreamcast was stupidly easy to pirate games for. If the developers weren't making money, why support the system?

        • Re:ahh good times (Score:4, Interesting)

          by JonJ (907502) <jon.jahren@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:19PM (#29367183)
          Yeah, because it's clearly impossible to pirate games for the xbox.
          • Re:ahh good times (Score:5, Interesting)

            by toolie (22684) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:25PM (#29367263)

            There is a difference between 'possible' and 'stupidly easy'.

            • Re:ahh good times (Score:5, Insightful)

              by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:09PM (#29367951)

              There is a difference between 'possible' and 'stupidly easy'.

              It was only stupidly easy if you had a CD burner, a broadband connection, and knew your way around IRC and warez sites... in 1999. You may have had several buddies doing it, but the masses weren't. Piracy did not kill the Dreamcast.

              What did kill the DC was Sega needed to make 10 million more units and had no money to do it. Limited growth potential, limited developer support.

              • Re:ahh good times (Score:5, Insightful)

                by iamhassi (659463) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:38PM (#29368447) Journal
                "What did kill the DC was Sega needed to make 10 million more units and had no money to do it."

                Nope, what killed the Dreamcast was the Sony media spin, which went into full swing Spring 1999, touting the next gen Playstation 2 to have "Toy Story" graphics [cnn.com]. Everywhere I went I kept seeing reviews and commercials for PS2 and the amazing graphics, so everyone just waited for the PS2. By the time they got a PS2 and found out the graphics were not even close to the movie it was too late for DC. Plus it didn't help that the Playstation already had some excellent PS only series of titles, like Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear and Castlevania.

                It wasn't until 2009 when the PS3 finally did bring Toy Story graphics to consoles [gamezine.co.uk].
                • Re:ahh good times (Score:4, Informative)

                  by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:58PM (#29368769) Journal

                  >>>what killed the Dreamcast was the Sony me

                  Disagree. Sega has no one to blame but themselves. First I bought a Genesis which was cool. Then a 32X which was only supported a year, and then the Saturn which was only supported two years, and then Sega announced Dreamcast. I (and millions of others) decided we were tired of getting screwed buying 32Xs or Saturns that were barely-supported. So we turned our backs on Sega and their new dreamcast.

                  "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice? Fat fucking chance!"

                  • Re:ahh good times (Score:4, Informative)

                    by fruitbane (454488) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:31PM (#29369213) Homepage

                    I think the only conclusion we can come to is that Sega had an array of factors aligned against them, among them their own erratic past in hardware, lingering financial troubles, and Sony's FUD. It's truly a shame that what sank them was their cleanest, most forward-looking console ever.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  The PS2 ultimately went on to produce titles like Final Fantasy X and Metal Gear Solid 3 which, while not of Toy Story graphical quality, did nonetheless show a significant improvement in graphical capability when compared to Dreamcast titles like Shenmue. Having said that, Dreamcast titles seem to have aged well graphically compared to other consoles.

                  In my opinion, what ultimately sunk the Dreamcast was a lack of system selling titles. While titles like Sonic Adventure, Shenmue, Soul Calibur and Phastasy S

                • Dreamcast death can be easily summed up. Saturn surprise launch(pissed of pretty much EVERYONE in the industry), Sony's PS2 lies and super easy pirating.
                • by mwvdlee (775178)

                  What killed the Dreamcast was no single reason but rather a combination of Sony's blatant lies in pre-release marketing for PS2, EA's refusal to support the Dreamcast, Sega's taste for oddball 1st party titles, the bad taste of Saturn still in everybody's mouth, competition from the GameCube and XBox, a less than ideal economic situation for Sega and probably some more bad luck and bad decissions.

                • by initialE (758110)

                  is this [disneystore.com] the "Toy Story" graphics you were talking about?

                • Oh please, it wasn't any hype by Sony that led gamers to not buy the Dreamcast, it was Sega themselves.

                  They focused so much of their game efforts on pleasing their hardcore testosterone fighting and sports game only fanboys that they didn't have much else to appeal to anyone else. Games like the Metal Slugs, 2D shmups or fighting games with a bajillion moves whos names are kept in Japanese in the US versions appeal to only a small minority of gamers.

                  I didn't help that the majority of good 32 bit platformer

              • by MtlDty (711230)

                I was once taking a taxi home after a night out and the taxi driver offered me a couple of Dreamcast games on CDRs. Thats when I knew that piracy had killed the Dreamcast. Sourcing the games was admittedly not for the general public, but once they were on CDr it was relatively easy for any old taxi driver to work out how to use Diskjuggler to copy from drive E to F.

                • I was once taking a taxi home after a night out and the taxi driver offered me a couple of Dreamcast games on CDRs. Thats when I knew that piracy had killed the Dreamcast. Sourcing the games was admittedly not for the general public, but once they were on CDr it was relatively easy for any old taxi driver to work out how to use Diskjuggler to copy from drive E to F.

                  You're still talking about and era of where CD-burners were rare. It's easy to notice people doing it once you're attuned to it, it doesn't mean lots of people were.

                  Everybody I know that has a PSP has homebrew firmware on it and can play ISOs (CSO usually) on them. It's still a stretch for me to say that piracy is killing the PSP or even doing it measurable harm. Why? I know 3 people with a PSP. Actually I probably know more, but since they don't homebrew, we haven't talked about it.

                  All I'm saying is t

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by rhyder128k (1051042)
                  Sounds like he was a crazy taxi driver.
        • Re:ahh good times (Score:4, Interesting)

          by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:29PM (#29367319)

          I would have to say Xbox was way easier to pirate the games. Heck with the dreamcast you had to burn discs, with the Xbox you could copy them to the hard drive.

          Besides the dreamcast was 2 years old when the PS2 cameout and 3 when Xbox came out.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by demonlapin (527802)
            After you paid somebody to do a chip or softmod (or did it yourself), and bought a hard drive. Neither of which you needed to do with Dreamcast. Burn and go.

            The only advantage to Xbox was that you could pirate a friend's game easily; Dreamcast really needed someone else to do it for you, and you d/l the ISO.
            • Re:ahh good times (Score:5, Interesting)

              by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:19PM (#29368135) Journal

              I think people over-emphasize the piracy aspect. Yes DC games were relatively-easy to copy, but still not as easy the CD-ROM based playstation 1. To copy DC discs required some hacking to remove extra videos and make the 1-gigabyte game fit onto a stand 0.7 gig CD. The PS1 did not require that, making it easier to pirate, and yet the PS1 seemed to do moderately okay (120 million sold).

              Dreamcast was killed by mistrust. After buying The Genesis, then the 32X, then the Saturn, and getting screwed on the last two deals, I made-up my mind that I would never again touch a Sega console. So I ignored the DC.

              Sega, like Atari and Commodore before it, made stupid decisions that made them lose consumer confidence.

            • by adolf (21054)

              My softmodded Xbox has the original 8 (I think) gig drive, and played copied games just fine.

              The trick, of course, was that once a game was ripped to the hard drive, you'd just nuke it over the network to a PC with a burner.

              Which, of course, does require an Xbox, a burner, a PC, and a home network. But what it does not require is outside assistance.

              (Besides, the softmod was bloody easy, and also didn't require any outside hands-on help. Buy a used copy of 007, an Xbox controller extension, and a memory ca

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CastrTroy (595695)
            For most people, burning a CD is much easier and less risky than opening up the XBox to mod it, and copy the content to the hard drive than it is to just burn a CD. If the CD doesn't work, you lose $1 (at the time of the dreamcast), if you bork up your XBox by opening it up to mod it, you are out the price of a console.
            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              True, but the CD method is every freaking time, with the Xbox you just open it once. Heck, you could and probably still can buy premoded Xbox. All with a nice little switch that turns of the mod chip for online play.

        • P.S.

          Since most of the Dreamcast games have been ported to other consoles, is there any remaining reason to go buy one? What "must play" games still exist on the original console but are not available elsewhere?

          • Re:ahh good times (Score:5, Informative)

            by Hatta (162192) * on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:45PM (#29368571) Journal

            There's a good list at Racketboy [racketboy.com]. One that's not on the list is Propeller Arena, a great arcade style dogfight game which was canceled and leaked to the internet.

            • by FauxReal (653820)
              I wish they would release Propeller Arena on another console, possibly as a download for PS3, XBox 360 or on Steam? I would love to have some online multiplayer dogfights. The soundtrack had a lot of well known bands on it too.
            • Thanks! :-) I reviewed that list, paying close attention to the games with the red DC symbol next to them, but I didn't see any exclusives that would make me want to buy a Dreamcast off ebay. It appears all the outstanding games have already been ported to the PS2, Wii, and other consoles.

              BTW the website summary is wrong when they say Soul Calibur was the original. The original game is Soul Edge aka Soul Blade on the Sega Saturn/PS1, and imho the best of the whole series.

              • by Hatta (162192) *

                Well keep an eye on craigslist. Sometimes you can pick one up for $20, which is well worth it for Propeller Arena, Chu-Chu Rocket, Virtual-On, Armada, and Jet Grind Radio. It's also the easiest way to play Bangai-O, the only other port was for the N64 and only released in Japan. If you like shooters, it's also the best way short of emulation to play GigaWing or Mars Matrix. Also, I'd say Dynamite Cop should have gotten a recommendation. If you liked Die Hard Arcade on the Saturn, you should like Dynamite

        • I point this out all the time to people who wonder why Sony goes to such great lengths to try and protect the PS3 and PSP from piracy. It doesn't matter if Sony officially supports home-brew or not, they need developers and developers want security for their applications.

          • I point this out all the time to people who wonder why Sony goes to such great lengths to try and protect the PS3 and PSP from piracy. It doesn't matter if Sony officially supports home-brew or not, they need developers and developers want security for their applications.

            Sony's trying to protect their revenue stream. A PSP running emulators means, potentially, no more UMD sales.

            Piracy has never killed a system, not even the Dreamcast. They can start panicking when PC gaming dies.

      • >>>no-one really took seriously. It was a wonderful console with some wonderful games.

        Yes and I love playing those DC ports on my PS2 (Space Channel 5) or my Gamecube (Skies of Arcadia), but I don't think the console was really powerful enough to beat the other 3 from Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft. The Dreamcast is the weakest of the four and since it uses a CD has even less room for videos/graphics than the Gamecube had (1 megabyte versus 1.5 megabyte) both of which were woefully-inadequate compar

        • [edit]

          "1 versus 1.5 [gigabyte] both of which were woefully-inadequate compared to the 8 [gigabytes] available to PS2 or Xbox."

      • by slim (1652)

        ... which is a shame because the Saturn was a wonderful console with some wonderful games.

        I went for the Playstation at the time, like millions of others -- but acquiring a second hand Saturn later showed that it was the wrong choice.

        Maybe I should dig it out, try and gather 9 friends with some gaming skills and play some Saturn Bomberman...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      A proper keyboard and mouse are enough to make me agree. Dammit, 10 years and no one else has bothered to get that right since. I want to play my UT3 Black, BioShock and Rage like a civilized human being, not like I'm an 8 year old with Nintendo thumb.

      • by Narishma (822073)

        You can actually play UT3 with a keyboard and mouse on the PS3, but that's the exception, not the rule.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:11PM (#29367061)

    I must admit I have very fond memories of the Dreamcast. It debuted during the first semester of my Freshman year in college. All my previous consoles had technically been joint gifts to me and my brother so I left them all at home for him to play, and the Dreamcast was the first console I bought with my own money - which I bought on launch day so that I'd have something to play at school. Soul Caliber was a blast, as was Resident Evil Code Veronica and Sonic, as was Skies of Arcadia, but I really, REALLY liked Grandia II on that system.

    Despite it's early death, I think that the Dreamcast still held it's own against all the consoles of that generation (Gamecube, PS2, Xbox - I owned them all eventually).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866)

      Dreamcast was an excellent system and ahead of its time, which could be another reason it failed. Money was a big issue. Tough to go against Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo.

      Gamasutra has an interesting article as well on the history:
      http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4128/the_rise_and_fall_of_the_dreamcast.php [gamasutra.com]

      Luckily, a few of those GREAT games were ported over to the GameCube, which I still have, like Ikaruga(yes I know it eventually got ported to the XBOX360), Skies of Arkadia, Shenmue, etc.

  • who when reading " In honor of the 10th anniversary, a new game is being released for the Dreamcast, called Rush Rush Rally Racing. " Was expecting the game to be called "Rush Rushed Out the Door"?

  • A shame the Dreamcast died. I dunno if I should be angry at Sega, or it's run of bad luck. Sega has a history for abandoning consoles very quickly. But the Dreamcast had stiff competition, and needed to sell a lot of units to turn a profit. When sales were falling short of Sega's expectations they pulled the plug on it. I can't help but feel that if Sega has hung in there it might of been a huge success but I can't really laminate about how terrible sega is. RIP Dreamcast you died to young.
    • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:26PM (#29367279) Homepage Journal

      but I can't really laminate about how terrible sega is

      Are you afraid you might gloss over the story?

      • by Dyinobal (1427207)
        Nah I just don't know what I would of done differently to make the Dreamcast be profitable. It was awesome but awesome things are only awesome if people are buying them. They just couldn't compete with Sony.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        What the hell word is that even supposed to be? I guess "ruminate" would be the closest word that sounds remotely similar to "laminate" and also makes sense in context.

        • by drewness (85694)

          What the hell word is that even supposed to be? I guess "ruminate" would be the closest word that sounds remotely similar to "laminate" and also makes sense in context.

          I'm guessing "lament" was the target word.

        • What the hell word is that even supposed to be? I guess "ruminate" would be the closest word that sounds remotely similar to "laminate" and also makes sense in context.

          I suspect that person wanted the word lament. Though we could chew on the possibility of ruminate [m-w.com] as well.

          One might further speculate the user was using spell check and trusting it to make sense of the grammar; notice the subject is "to bad really", it should have likely been "too bad really". This would explain how (a misspelling of ) "lament" became "laminate".

  • A great console (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wintergr33n (1369379) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:17PM (#29367137)
    This is true, it was a fantastic console and such a shame it didn't last the race. I remember playing Phantasy Star Online over the 56k modem before the term MMO even existed. And I still would rather play that than WoW. With Soul Calibur, Jet Set Radio, Power Stone, Crazy Taxi and of course Shenmue it seems that the Dreamcast proved that quality games is not enough to survive in this particular market. RIP!
    • Re:A great console (Score:5, Informative)

      by RemoWilliams84 (1348761) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:25PM (#29367265)

      You are forgetting one of the most revolutionary games that changed the face of console gaming(okay maybe not), SEAMAN.

      It was the game where you raised the fish and interacted with them using the included microphone. I remember buying that game and beating the shit out of those fish.

        My little brother also got a note sent home to our parents from his second grade teacher about discouraging him from talking about his semen. Hilarity ensued.

      • Ye name a lot of great games, but virtually all of them have been ported to the PS2 or Gamecube (I won both). Are there any "must play" games that still remain exclusive to the Dreamcast which would make me, or other players, want to go buy a DC off ebay? I can not think of any.

    • Re:A great console (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:26PM (#29367283) Homepage
      Phantasy Star Online was amazing; it was basically networked Gauntlet with great graphics and music. Very atmospheric. Unfortunately the old timey game cheating devices worked on it, so it was unplayable online because there was unlimited weapons, money, etc. floating around.
      • My PSO hacking days (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Myria (562655) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:38PM (#29368461)

        I was actually one of the most well-known cheaters in PSO. A few friends and I disassembled the game and figured out how various parts worked, making GameShark cheat codes in the process. I had a serial cable between my PC and Dreamcast that let me dump memory and target-debug PSO.

        My favorite trick that I would do with the debugger is overwrite my own character with the data from another character in the lobby, then rejoin the lobby. I would appear as an exact clone of them. I even would do things like start listing the items they had in their inventory, as that was broadcast to every other client. Until Sega's servers started detecting it, I would also run around the lobby as Sonic.

        When the GameCube version came out, we applied our knowledge from the Dreamcast version to break the new encryption it used on the protocol. We didn't have a way to remote-debug the GameCube, so instead we wrote a transparent proxy server that let us mess with the packet stream instead.

        PSO for Xbox is what led to GameCube homebrew, and eventually sped up GameCube piracy. In the Dreamcast days, because of our cheating and bugs, Sega added a packet in "version 2" known as RcvProgramPatch that would tell the client to execute arbitrary SH4 assembly code. The GameCube version had this feature too. Because the GameCube packet encryption was then unknown (to homebrew; we knew it) and the disks were unreadable, there was no obvious way to break it without disassembling the game. The same encryption algorithm was used in the Xbox version of the game - big mistake. Xbox disks were readily dumped, and by disassembling the Xbox version's encryption they got the GameCube version's encryption. From there they simply sent PowerPC assembly code to the GameCube via RcvProgramPatch and it was all over.

        We actually cracked the encryption before the Xbox version came out using an elaborate trick involving misuse of stream ciphers by Sega. They violated two rules of stream ciphers and cryptography in general: always have both the server and client provide pieces that hash to the session key, and never let the server session key equal the client session key. This led us to get about 1 MB of the encryption stream for a particular key that we could repeatedly use. From there, we tried RcvProgramPatch, but it was broken. (We later figured out that it didn't flush the instruction cache before executing code. We later worked around that, as did the homebrewers.) Instead, we took advantage of another feature of RcvProgramPatch: the ability to request a CRC32 of an arbitrary chunk of memory. We asked for the CRC32 of every 2-byte word of memory, and from that we were able to get a copy of the game's RAM, and thus the assembly code containing the encryption. It was just disassembly from there to get to the algorithm.

        I spent waaaay too much time in that game, to the point that I've heard its lobby music far more than any other song in my life. Maybe someday I'll write the story of PSO hacking.

    • >>>remember playing Phantasy Star Online over the 56k modem before the term MMO even existed.

      Bzzz.

      I've been playing MMO games since the text-only 1980s. They predate the 1999 DC console by about fifteen years. We also had the capability to play graphics-based games in direct head-to-head competitions over 2 kbit/s phone lines. It still amazes me that those things worked over such slow connections, but they did and I loved challenging friends in Populous.

      • I dont think the term MASSIVE can really apply to MUDs etc. Ultima Online would probably be the first true 'MassiveMO'
    • This is true, it was a fantastic console and such a shame it didn't last the race. I remember playing Phantasy Star Online over the 56k modem before the term MMO even existed.

      I'm pretty sure I heard that term used in the leadup to UO, which came out two years before the DC.

  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kipin (981566) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:17PM (#29367141) Homepage
    Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (still the apotheosis of 2-d fighting; just try finding a copy on ebay)
    Hmm, ok.

    That was Hard... [ebay.com]

    And to think, I own this game and it is collecting dust somewhere. Perhaps I should list it on ebay and retire to some faraway country.
  • by Hatta (162192) * on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:23PM (#29367231) Journal

    For such a short lived console, it's amazing how many great games there are for it. You can't forget about Ikaruga, one of the finest top down shooters ever. Or Rez, one of the finest rail shooters ever. It's got a couple world class JRPGs, Skies of Arcadia and Grandia II, and one of the best adventure games ever released for a console, Shenmue. Then there's Crazy Taxi, Bust-a-move 4, Powerstone, Ecco, Typing of the Dead, Virtua Tennis (so much fun with 4 players), and that's just off the top of my head.

    • by 7Prime (871679)

      Skies got a great port to the GameCube... better in every way except for sound quality (weird).

      Grandia II however was a porting DESASTER. The PS2 port is sometimes considered one of the worst ports in the history of games, and the PC port (which I bought), didn't support Windows2000/XP even though it came out AFTER XP WAS RELEASED!!!! They even released updates to the Win98 version and made a statement refusing to update it. I actually got it to work on WinXP, but the shadows were all screwed up. So Grandia

  • Other good consoles that also were under-appreciated were the Atari Lynx [wikipedia.org] and the Atari Jaguar [wikipedia.org]. The Atari Lynx was truly ahead of its time, a full color portable console in the day and age when the Nintendo Game Boy had all of four shades of gray for its games. The games were excellent, including the fully three dimensional Stun Runner and a 3D fighter shooting video game; no other portable console could come close.

    The Jaguar was also ahead of its time, with textured 3D graphics in an era when the SNES

    • The Jaguar was overpriced at least in my area. I remember Consumer Distributing selling it for like $400+ and that was still in 93 while the 3DO was like $600+ I eventually got my Jag in 95 for $75 with several games.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I agree on the Atari Lynx being ahead of its time, but the Jaguar had lousy graphics, especially when compared to the PS1 released just one year later. No wonder it flopped.

      Also despite Atari's last-ditch attempts to rename Jaguar as "Jaguar 64", nobody was fooled. Everyone knew it was a 32-bit 68000 CPU - same thing that ran the five-year-old Sega Genesis and the 10 year old Macintosh or Amiga. The Jaguar has a better GPU, but that was its only advantage over those other machines.

      And you mention Super N

  • Skys of Arcadia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greymond (539980) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:43PM (#29367555) Homepage Journal

    Was probably one of the funnest games I ever played through. I wish they'd make a new version for the PS3.

    • Was probably one of the funnest games I ever played through.

      Agreed.

      Skies of Arcadia is definitely one of the top 3 console RPGs for me. Terrific game. Great gameplay mechanics... Fun characters... Some innovative elements...

      Exploring the skies in your very own airship, discovering uncharted territories... Using the beeping of the VMU to track down those shards... Airship combat...

      Wow. Seriously wish I still owned a Dreamcast and a copy of that game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by butalearner (1235200)
        Unfortunately I never had a Dreamcast but I absolutely loved Skies of Arcadia: Legends on the Gamecube. It has some additions and improved loading times, but it lacked that VMU feature. A Skies of Arcadia sequel would automatically jump to the top of my "to buy" list. FYI, Vyse and Aika are playable in Valkyria Chronicles on the PS3, which is also an excellent game.
    • by Toonol (1057698)
      I agree, except they should do the sensible thing and make the sequel multiplatform.

      Skies of Arcadia was the most 'adventuresome' RPG I think I've ever played on a console. Not the most technically impressive, or profound, or most innovative... but the most pulpy fun pirating adventure.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:44PM (#29367575) Homepage Journal
    Wow, the DC had good games, that's for sure, but it was also plagued with one of the least comfortable controllers since the awkward devices of the 8 bit era. I can't be the only one who couldn't play a DC game too long before my thumb felt like it was shredded to ribbons. That was the sharpest D-Pad ever to grace a controller AFAIK.

    The Visual Memory Unit was completely gimmicky as well.
    • Wow, the DC had good games, that's for sure, but it was also plagued with one of the least comfortable controllers since the awkward devices of the 8 bit era. I can't be the only one who couldn't play a DC game too long before my thumb felt like it was shredded to ribbons. That was the sharpest D-Pad ever to grace a controller AFAIK.

      Meh. I never found the Dreamcast controller all that unweildy. Lots of folks complained about it... But I just never had that hard a time with it.

      The N64 controller, however, drove me up the wall.

      The Visual Memory Unit was completely gimmicky as well.

      The VMU had some real possibilities... But with the exception of one or two games (Skies of Arcadia) it was completely neglected. Definitely some wasted resources there.

      • >>>The N64 controller, however, drove me up the wall.

        The N64 controller works just fine as long as you ignore the far-left "prong". Yeah I know what you're thinking - why have the left prong if you're not going to use it? Beats me. Nvertheless the N64 works just fine for controlling Link or Mario or Resident Evil's heroine as they move-around their 3D worlds. Plus I think the N64 controller deserves credit for being the first controller to have an analog control stick. (No I'm not counting th

        • by macshome (818789)
          Hmmm... I'm pretty sure that the Sega Saturn 3D pad came out first as part of a Nights into Dreams bundle. Analog stick and shoulder buttons. Driving games were SO much better to play all of a sudden.
      • The best use of all for the VMU was the ability to choose football plays on the little screen so your opponent couldnt see what you chose.
  • I found out that Dreamcasts were going for $70 at my local Rite-Aid, so I did a quick newsgroup search to find out if any of the games were that great, and which. Turns out a nearby CD shop had a ton of 'em. Bought Soul Calibur, Jet Grind Radio, Dance Dance Revolution (with dance pad) and Chu Chu Rocket.

    Chu Chu Rocket sat there unused for days while my roommates played Soul Calibur. Then we pulled it out one Saturday morning and discovered that it was probably the best game I had purchased. Even people who
  • by SynbiosVyse (1398873) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:10PM (#29367957)
    When I woke up this morning and looked at the calendar, the first thing that came to mind was flashbacks of buying my Dreamcast on 9/9/99 at Sears. I still have it and it's box, close to new condition, along with 4 controllers and a plethora of games and accessories (4 VMU's, Tremor packs, keyboard, mouse, I even had the BROADBAND adapter aka a NIC). Dreamcast is probably my favorite system of all time. Favorite games: 1) Skies of Arcadia (one of the best RPG I have ever played) 2) Shenmue 3) Soul Caliber Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star Online, and many many others were great as well. People don't realize how revolutionary Dreamcast (and SEGA) was and how much it influenced the other future consoles. Look at Saturn, the first console to support internet-based play. I stil have my 28.8k NetLink modem. Dreamcast pushed online gaming even further by supporting 56k and having an optional LAN card. Games like PSO set a benchmark for many other MMORPGS like WoW. Although SEGA failed at marketing and spent way too much time trying to improve one of my other favorite systems, the Genesis ( with the 32x and SEGA CD), they were still on the cutting edge of console technology, and set an example that many future consoles and games followed.
  • If it had been possible to find a broadband adapter for less than I paid for the console (on closeout), I'd probably still have it hooked up as a hacktoy.

  • Using the modem (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nolife (233813)

    I don't remember the exact specifics because this was in 2000 but I used a USR modem in my Linux router and attached the DC modem directly to it. I configured pppd and mgetty there to accept a blind "dial" from the DC to get internet access through my cable connection. I guess using the DC broadband adapter would have been easier but they were too costly at the time. That was probably the last time I ever used pap-secrets file.

  • by TejWC (758299) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:33PM (#29368385)

    Think Geek still sells brand new Dreamcasts [thinkgeek.com]. Maybe I should pick one up now there are some "new" games ;).

    • by FauxReal (653820)
      If you search your mom and pop gaming stores you might be able to find some used or even still boxed dreamcasts around. I bought one brand new for $30 a while ago. I have seen them in a few different stores.
  • This is filed under Classic Gaming? Ouch... The Sega Saturn (along with the PS and N64) was the first "next-gen" I was aware of in my lifetime, and that's even older.

  • My friend wrote a love letter/lament/memoir to the Dreamcast for my site today, poor guy.

    http://firsthour.net/nostalgia/a-fools-lament-tribute-to-the-dreamcast [firsthour.net]

  • I know people that still use old video game systems. I got an old Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, and Nintendo 64 system myself. My brother-in-law has a Sega Saturn.

    Half.com has a list of Dreamcast video games [ebay.com] and they are so cheap that it doesn't make sense to pirate them anymore. I remember the Dreamcast was the first system to get a mod chip to play pirated games.

    Anyway Half.com shows the Sega Dreamcast for sale here [ebay.com] for those who want to buy a system.

    Basically you can buy a lot of cheap Dreamcast games and a

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      I remember the Dreamcast was the first system to get a mod chip to play pirated games.

      'fraid not. No modchip was required for the DC. Just burn and play.

  • The only reason to own a Dreamcast. The most perfect fighting game ever. All of the sequels have been downhill from here. Except the tits. Those have been going uphill with every subsequent release. Makes you wonder if the latest designers for the game are all hyper-ejaculatory teenagers.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      Yes, i agree. The best fighting game I have ever played, haven't found one to match it. And I wasn't even that into fighting game, but this one got me every time.

      Cervantes wins!

  • by Agrippa (111029)

    NFL2k did look amazingly awesome at the time. I remember standing in a mall watching the computer play itself, Eagles vs Rams. The Rams threw for a touchdown and the guy standing next to me turns and with a straight face says, "I didn't think the Rams would pull that out". To this day I don't know if the guy thought he was watching a real game or not.

  • (still the apotheosis of 2-d fighting; just try finding a copy on ebay)

    *ahem* You don't necessarily need to go looking for ways to buy the disc if all you want to do is play the game... it's a Dreamcast. after all. If you're a collector, then get then by all means get the original.

    One might feel a few qualms about looking for illegal copies of current software for current consoles on line, but I find it a bit hard to raise the "Think of the Corporations and the starving game developers" argument for an

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