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9-9-09 Ten years past and still fun
September 8, 2009 10:33 PM   Subscribe

"There's no sense mourning the Dreamcast's untimely demise. For as brief as its moment in the sun was, it lived two lives. In fact, the DC had more first-party titles in its short life than either the GameCube or the Xbox, and their quality can hardly be denied. Many hardware manufacturers have come and gone, but it's unlikely any will go out with half as much class as SEGA." Where were you on 9-9-99? IGN's the History of the Dreamcast.

Read the reviews of all the dreamcast games discussed previously
posted by Arbac (100 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I still have mine...the only thing I didn't like about it was the controller. Hurt my hands, like the xbox does.

Wacky races, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater...lots of fun, and it is still a solid console.
posted by Chuffy at 10:44 PM on September 8, 2009


How convenient to post this on the same day as a new Dreamcast game is announced.
posted by rokusan at 10:47 PM on September 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jet Set Radio kicked ass, graphically speaking.

Which reminds me, I need to finish my Virtua On 2 XNA clone next month.
posted by Palamedes at 10:47 PM on September 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


What was I doing on 9/9/99? Why, playing my Dreamcast, of course. Only console I ever bought at launch. And well worth it. As a video gamer of 33 years, I'd place the Dreamcast at number three behind the PS1 (#2) and the Atari 2600 (#1) as greatest platforms ever.

BTW, what's MeFi's policy on mentioning blogs or Web sites? I have a video game blog, but don't want to mention it if it's frowned upon or this is the wrong venue.
posted by Brosef K at 10:48 PM on September 8, 2009


Laugh at me. I read this "There's no sense mourning the Dreamcast's untimely demise," and thought it said "There's no sense mourning the Democrats untimely demise." I need to give politics a rest. Mercy.
posted by wv kay in ga at 10:53 PM on September 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


And get my vision checked as well.
posted by wv kay in ga at 10:54 PM on September 8, 2009


Brosef: Self-linking in comments is OK as long as you do so honestly. Self-linking in posts is unacceptable.

And a top 3 that has no Nintendo systems in it is laughable at best.
posted by mek at 10:54 PM on September 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wake me up when there's a post about the TurboGrafx-16.
posted by SassHat at 10:59 PM on September 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Where were you on 9-9-99?

Fucking I don't know! I don't know where I was on 9-9-2009!

Shit, that's today.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:00 PM on September 8, 2009


Heh. I still have my dreamcast, and I loved Jet Set Radio, I actually bought an X Box just to play Jet Set Radio future.

And a top 3 that has no Nintendo systems in it is laughable at best.

No doubt. My list would actually look something like: NES, SNES, Game Boy. I'd probably put the Wii rather then the game boy on there if I was still a gamer, but since I'm not I haven't actually even played one.
posted by delmoi at 11:02 PM on September 8, 2009


I liked the fishing game.
posted by Artw at 11:08 PM on September 8, 2009


Seaman was like the most awesome game ever. I still miss my guy sometime. I wish someone would develop a sequel for that or something.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:14 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Soul Caliber was the bomb.
posted by oddman at 11:15 PM on September 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Where was I 9-9-99? Playing Playstation, probably. Sorry, SEGA. I was totally rooting for you, fwiw.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:20 PM on September 8, 2009


Did anyone actually play the little mini games on the tiny LED memory paks?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:21 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> And a top 3 that has no Nintendo systems in it is laughable at best.

For me the NES was just an evolution of the Colecovision, which was an evolution of the Intellivision and Atari 2600. However, as someone who has pretty much owned all the majors, I can tell you that FOR ME the Atari 2600 simply changed everything (for better or worse) in the same way that Star Wars changed summer blockbusters when I first saw it in 1977. And the PS1 was also an astonishing leap forward that dominated in an unprecedented way.

If it makes you feel any better, I'd put the Gameboy at number 5 (yes, ahead of the SNES at 7. PS2 at 6), but behind the Vectrex at number 4.
posted by Brosef K at 11:25 PM on September 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


However, my best friend at the time picked one when Code: Veronica came out, called me briefly to announce his purchase, then I didn't hear from him for a week. Near the end of that week, I'm in his neighborhood so I decide to drop by. I get to his front step and I'm just about to knock when I see this note on his door. It was an apology to all visitors and a declaration that he was hella tired and pretty sick and was just gonna sleep it all off and therefore didn't want any company.

Well, fair enough - the job he had at the time was pretty soul killing, so I turn to go. As I do so, a bit of flickering light from his living room window catches my eye. I stop to get a better look, and see a sliver of his television through his blinds - on which Claire Redfield was running about and blasting zombies. Sleeping it off, huh?

I then felt like a bit of a stalker, so I got out of there. I never begrudged him that note - A) it's No Fun to be unwelcome company and B) this was a guy who had purchased both a Saturn AND a 32X within the first month of release. Poor bastard deserved as much quality time as he wanted with a new SEGA console that didn't suck.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:30 PM on September 8, 2009


Faves:

Jet Grind Radio
NBA 2K
Crazy Taxi
Shenmue
Ikaruga
Resident Evil Code: Veronica
Soul Calibur

Guilty pleasure?

18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker

And played the mini games on the VMU? Tried. For about 90 seconds. That was all hype, IMO.
posted by Brosef K at 11:33 PM on September 8, 2009


On 9-9-99? I was sittin' on the back porch, drinkin' red wine. (no shit)
posted by deadbilly at 11:37 PM on September 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


As I recall, I spent 09-09-99 sittin' on the back porch, drinkin' read wine
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:38 PM on September 8, 2009


God damn you deadbilly!!!

;)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:39 PM on September 8, 2009


Btw I misspelled "red" just now because I actually AM drunk on red wine (no really)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:40 PM on September 8, 2009


All right, hands up whoever was at E3 (Los Angeles) about a dozen years ago, when loads of people were crowding around the Sega booth. The atmosphere, despite the wall-to-wall people, was quiet and somber, as we all watched, in tribute, a compilation video of all the Dreamcast games, despite knowing it was the end of the DC.

I'm as impressed now as I was back then, how impressive the games looked on the system, and how well they played. Jet Set/Grind was fantastic, as were tennis, Soul Caliber, Crazy Taxi, and a couple of other titles.

This, and four words will forever be ingrained in my memory.

"Hey mister, wanna wressle?"
posted by thisperon at 11:54 PM on September 8, 2009


Brosef, as much as I love the SNES I wouldn't rank it very highly either, as it was just a refinement of the NES which had its developers to thank for its incredible success. The Dreamcast had a similar sort of success: the system itself wasn't anything remarkable, but it was a developer haven and therefore had a smorgasbord of games. (Nintendo, to their credit, recognized why the SNES was successful, and never made the mistake of putting the cart before the horse, chasing system specs at the cost of fun.)

But to deny the role that the NES and Gameboy had in completely defining the industry, is silly. The SNES, and Wii and DS are simply the inevitable progression of those innovations. In the home gaming market, Sega has always been duplicating the successes of other companies, rather than inventing their own wheel. (And if you want to rank systems in terms of raw commercial success, the DS is undeniably #1.)

The Vectrex? REALLY???
posted by mek at 11:59 PM on September 8, 2009


From a graphics and power standpoint, the NES didn't really take gaming much further than the Commodore 64 had already taken it, nor the Colecovision before it. If you were familiar with those systems at the time, the NES seemed like a mild evolution. The NES's greatest achievement, though, was making consoles respectable again after the Crash - and that earns it a special accolade in my opinion.

That and Blaster Master too
posted by scrowdid at 12:19 AM on September 9, 2009


Right around the time the Dreamcast came out a new videogame store opened in town. It was run by some Japanese guy who stocked the place with imports. For a group of bored teenage boys this was like all-ages strip club propping it's doors wide open.

Anyway, he had a Dreamcast in the shop way before it's American debut. We'd all crowd around and watch the employees play through Sonic Adventure for the 75th time. It was the future and it was here. Felt good.
posted by GilloD at 12:23 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wasted a lot of slurpee-fueled nights in high school playing MVC2, CVS2, Soul Calibur, GGX, and most importantly, Power Stone 2 on my friend's Dreamcast.

I didn't get my own until the system was killed by Sega, which is when I bought one for cheap. I went on to amass a huge collection of games - including the Euro import of Shenmue 2 - that are now rotting in a cardboard box as we speak, because my hardware bit the dust a few years ago. And that makes me sad.

Other excellent games worth mentioning:
Mark of the Wolves
Sword of the Berserk
and my favourite DC game of all time (Sorry Shenmue, but you came close): Skies of Arcadia
posted by threetoed at 12:24 AM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh god. Shemue. I forgot. That was the game that convinced me that veracity was NOT a compelling gameplay attribute. Shemnue. More like "Become a docks worker for 7 hours, put quarters in capsule machines lol and at the end a fight, maybe".
posted by GilloD at 12:27 AM on September 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


Don't forget looking for sailors.
posted by threetoed at 12:30 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


the NES seemed like a mild evolution. The NES's greatest achievement, though, was making consoles respectable again after the Crash

Of course. In what respects are technological innovations technical innovations? People criticized the Wii because "it's two Gamecubes taped together." Yes, technically, it basically is. But that's not what matters. Fun is what matters. The NES not only "made consoles respectable again", it invented the modern conception of the console, which continues to persist. It was the very first entry in the Console Wars.

Tthe NES wasn't a technical innovation, but it was undeniably a major innovation. Technically, the PS3 was the winner of the newest generation. lulz. Technical specifications are not what we should be ranking systems by.
posted by mek at 12:37 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Skies of Arcadia.

That's all I have to say, just Skies of Arcadia.

Well, that and I won my Dreamcast at a casino night thing. Best purchase I never made for a video game console. Played it until it stopped reading discs. I have fond memories of the Dreamcast. Seaman: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:38 AM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


>> But to deny the role that the NES and Gameboy had in completely defining the industry, is silly.

I didn't. But, there are a LOT of gaming systems out there. I think #5 for Gameboy and #7 for SNES (and I'd take the SNES over the NES) is fair. That being said, Nintendo is living in the house Atari built. And I just don't see any Nintendo system, even the DS, knocking it from the top. Sure, if you use raw sell-through numbers, the Xbox 360 belongs up there. But we are more sophisticated, yes? We connoisseurs. We men (and very rarely, women) of leisure.

Before Atari, no video games, period (sure, Pong, a smattering of tank games and such. But not as a phenomenon. That was Atari).

As for Vectrex, I must admit that's personal bias. But it is, in many ways, a direct progenitor of the Gameboy. A very real, very polished foray into portable gaming (granted, it had a cord). Have you played one? It also brought vector graphics to the home console and offered the first voice component in home gaming consoles: a game called Spike (YouTube).

Also, introduced 3D (its 3D Imager predating the Virtual Boy by 13 years) and a light pen.

Introduced voice, portability, 3D. That's hard to top.

BTW, one could even credibly argue that the Vectrex is a progenitor of the laptop and the Macintosh. Vectrex was introduced in 1982. Macintosh in 1985.

So, yeah. I'd say Vectrex deserves its spot.

However, the more I think about it, perhaps I'd put the Gameboy at #4, the Vectrex at #3, and drop the Dreamcast to #5. It is hard to deny the significance of the Gameboy. Clearly, this needs more thinking.

BTW, if you really want to hear heresy, the most dynamic and likely to rise into the category of all-timers ahead of the DS?

The iPhone.
posted by Brosef K at 12:47 AM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


#1: Atari 2600
#2: NES (The Talkies to the 2600's silent movies)
#3: Gameboy (portable gaming)
#4: Xbox 360 (Got multiplayer online gaming right)
#5: N64: Invented Modern 3D gaming.
posted by empath at 12:54 AM on September 9, 2009


Toy Commander was an absolute blast.
posted by clearly at 1:09 AM on September 9, 2009


I didn't. But, there are a LOT of gaming systems out there. I think #5 for Gameboy and #7 for SNES (and I'd take the SNES over the NES) is fair. That being said, Nintendo is living in the house Atari built.

Oh please. Atari burnt down it's house and Nintendo built a new one. The 2600 was nowhere near powerful enough for long form games likes Zelda, Mario, blaster master, or pretty much whatever. The 2600 basically let you have two or three dots on the screen as that was it. The NES gave you a handful of sprites more but also the tiled backgrounds that let you build worlds. it wasn't the difference between talkies and silent films, it was like the difference between a 30 second clip and a feature length movie.

BTW, one could even credibly argue that the Vectrex is a progenitor of the laptop and the Macintosh. Vectrex was introduced in 1982. Macintosh in 1985.

What? Because they both had built in screens? Like an arcade machine? Or tons of other PCs with built in screens, Like this thing? (announced in November of 1982, obviously they'd spent more time working on it)
posted by delmoi at 1:13 AM on September 9, 2009


MetaFilter: It's thinking
posted by Mikey-San at 1:26 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


one could even credibly argue that the Vectrex is a progenitor of the laptop and the Macintosh

So like, weed is legal on whatever planet you're posting from?
posted by Mikey-San at 1:29 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


it invented the modern conception of the console

What is the modern conception of a console? What specifically makes the Nintendo such a break from the already-established conception of a console as exemplified by the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Atari 5200, Odyssey 2, and original Odyssey? Was it ROB?

To me, the NES bears no resemblance to a modern console. I don't remember a Blu-Ray drive in my NES. Nor did it have the ability to stream my music over wireless. I can't recall an operating system that needed updating, a menu, a startup sound, massively multiplayer games, downloadable content, personalizable photo slide shows, or a hard drive in my NES. I can't see how anyone familiar with today's consoles, upon seeing the NES for the first time, wouldn't lump it in with the 2600, ColecoVision, and 5200.

In fact.... the earliest thing I can think of that bears any resemblance to the "modern" conception of the console?

Commodore 64.

It has it all: Removable media, boring loading screens, boots into a launcher, ability to connect with other gamers online, plays your favorite tunes using hi-tech sound synthesis, sending and receiving of messages, massively multiplayer roleplaying games, customizable, with a fanatical user base.

Everything new is old again.
posted by scrowdid at 1:39 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


To me, the NES bears no resemblance to a modern console. I don't remember a Blu-Ray drive in my NES. Nor did it have the ability to stream my music over wireless. I can't recall, bla bla, bla

Those are things that consoles have these days, but they aren't features of consoles all the way up through the dreamcast (which is what this post is about). Maybe the PS2 was the first to really fit that description (with a DVD player).

Like I said, there is a huge difference between the kinds of games you could play write on a 2600 and the kinds you could write on an NES. Long games with lots of levels, with backgrounds, with more then a handful of sprites were impossible on the 2600. The 2600 wasn't even capable of playing Pac-Man with the complete maze! Some of the older consoles might be more like the NES, I don't know. But the 2600 was not.
posted by delmoi at 1:45 AM on September 9, 2009


Let's just all agree that the Atari Jaguar is the most ridiculous.
posted by amuseDetachment at 1:46 AM on September 9, 2009


Empath, I'm on board with your list until #5: the N64 was in many ways a blunder rather than an innovation. And I'm not sure I agree that "3d gaming" was their innovation - it seemed to be an inevitability, and was equally doable on whatever platform succeeded that generation. Obviously there are a lot of 3D games on the DC and the PS1.

Admittedly, Nintendo's developers were uniquely talented at translating gaming concepts to a 3D space: Mario, Zelda, Metroid etc were newly-minted classics in their N64 incarnations. But the system itself was deeply flawed, specifically by its decision to retain a cartridge format. This crippled their storage space (64/128mb memory cards), making the job of 3rd party developers exceptionally difficult, and consequently they fled to the PS1 and the Dreamcast. It took Nintendo two generations to recover... but they never fully did. Even now the Wii suffers under this long shadow.
posted by mek at 1:48 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno, Shenmue made season 2 of The Wire just that more compelling. I mean, honestly, whenever Nico went to visit the Greek I just imagined visiting one of the canteens from the game.
posted by timelord at 1:57 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


BTW, one could even credibly argue that the Vectrex is a progenitor of the laptop and the Macintosh. Vectrex was introduced in 1982. Macintosh in 1985.

? ? ? Ah, I get it, you're talking about similar compact footprint form factors. That's kinda going to happen if you have an All-in-One design (monitor + motherboard) with an external, cable-connected keyboard. The evolution of PCs was external everything, then external monitors, few if any early PCs incorporated the monitor but not the keyboard into the main chassis.

The GRiD Compass, out before the Vectrex and looking quite similar to a modern ThinkPad really, was the first proper laptop in that it could be operated on one's lap without causing hernias in various places. "The Macintosh" was Jobs' team's attempt to bring Xerox technologies -- mainly bitmapped WYSIWYG graphics and the mouse-icon-menu windowing UI paradigm -- to the personal computer (<>Introduced voice, portability, 3D. That's hard to top.

Well it was transportable not portable. I doubt its voice capability was anything more than one-off so that's neither here nor there other than testament to the unit's sound capabilities being better than the 2600's. The 3D thing was an optional add-on and therefore doesn't really count either since it was obviously crap and AFAICT not adopted by more than its pack-in games.

It's not enough to introduce something, you've got to have done it well enough to establish a platform going forward. Vectrex of course failed horribly, as did the Saturn and alas the DreamCast.

into the category of all-timers ahead of the DS?

The iPhone.


funny thing is the iPhone is the spiritual successor to the DreamCast since they both run PowerVR graphics. Well, maybe not spiritually connected but it is an interesting trivia.
posted by Palamedes at 2:09 AM on September 9, 2009


I can't see how anyone familiar with today's consoles, upon seeing the NES for the first time, wouldn't lump it in with the 2600, ColecoVision, and 5200.

NES established a new platform that developers could create original titles for; it wasn't just limited to played-out arcade or home computer ports/knock-offs that fatally polluted the console marketplace in 1982-83.

The secret to NES's success was its quality control, keeping irredeemably crap games off the platform. xbox live indie games is apparently following a similar path, something that Apple could learn mayhaps.

Wake me up when there's a post about the TurboGrafx-16.

The other secret to NES's success was punishing third-party developers who failed to put Nintendo's corporate needs ahead of their own, LOL.
posted by Palamedes at 2:31 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Nintendo Seal of Quality.
posted by mek at 2:38 AM on September 9, 2009


Delmoi, my point was that the "modern" conception of a console seems to be a slippery distinction. Where is the cutoff point between modern and classic? To me (agreeing with Brosef K), the NES was just an incremental move forward from gaming concepts already introduced in the Colecovision. Of course, it was all the more interesting for having come to our country at a time when dedicated game systems were declared dead, and for having Super Mario Bros on it.
posted by scrowdid at 3:34 AM on September 9, 2009


The Dreamcast spoiled me for driving forever. I have the following manifestations of nerdiness when driving:

1) Sometimes when someone is hogging the passing lane in front of me, and won't budge, I'll jokingly yell (not at the other driver, just to myself) "Harpoon cannon... FIRE!". Or if someone's in the car I'll complain about said car's lack of factory-installed harpoon cannon [can't find the actual article, that news is older than the DC itself] .*

2) I couldn't drive listening to Punk Rock during college (which was when my roommate got the DC). I tried driving home with a Bad Religion cd once. By 10 in 2010 I gave up on that idea. I'm sure that someday (probably next year, for more effect) I'll be driving in San Francisco and that shit will pop up on the radio and I'll just "activate" and go on a spree.
posted by qvantamon at 4:09 AM on September 9, 2009


Samba de Amigo, I miss you...
posted by gemmy at 4:14 AM on September 9, 2009


Did anyone actually play the little mini games on the tiny LED memory paks?

Zombie Fishing (Zombie Revenge) and Pinta's Quest (Skies of Arcadia) were favorites of mine.

The Dreamcast is still my favorite system. I'd talk more about it but it's still kind of a sore subject for me.
posted by Dr-Baa at 4:43 AM on September 9, 2009


It's the only non-Nintendo console I've ever owned. That should tell you something.
posted by Eideteker at 4:47 AM on September 9, 2009


Oh god. Shemue. I forgot. That was the game that convinced me that veracity was NOT a compelling gameplay attribute. Shemnue. More like "Become a docks worker for 7 hours, put quarters in capsule machines lol and at the end a fight, maybe".

Aw, I just came in here to say how much I loved Shenmue. Sure, I sucked at it--I think I totally missed half of the love story line because I was trying to catch a flashlight that kept falling for two in-game weeks straight, but still, it was awesome!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:56 AM on September 9, 2009


I think the Dreamcast was the last console whose death I gave half a damn about. It managed to have the same ineffable quality of coolness to it as, say, the Amiga. Maybe I've just grown up since then, I dunno.

As to the Greatness Of The Nintendo Machines... I dunno. During my peak of console ownership I had like a half dozen, all set up on one rack for easy swapping. I only got Nintendo machines late in their lifespan, and only when Treasure had a game for them - my n64 got bought used so I could play a copy of Mischief Makers I found for five bucks, and ended up with all of five games, the last one being Sin & Punishment; my Gamecube got bought because of their Wario game and Minter's never-to-be-finished Unity. Nintendo's first-party games really did not appeal to me; they still don't. And most third-party games were available on multiple systems.

I skipped the NES/Master System generation of consoles because I was happy with my c64 and Amiga; maybe I'd feel differently about Mario and Samus and Link and whoever else if I'd experienced them for the first time with that shitty, shitty brick of a controller in my hands. They don't live up to your nostalgia when I try playing them in emulation.

ObDreamcastIsAwesome: Bits of the Jet Set Radio soundtrack have been going through my head all of the past couple weeks. I got a new phone and seriously considered dumping some of its music on as a ringtone but I seem to have settled on c64 tunes instead.
posted by egypturnash at 4:58 AM on September 9, 2009


Samba de Amigo, I miss you...

Yes! I was just thinking the same thing. That game was ridiculous ridiculous amounts of fun.

However, the "may cause seizure" warning before the game started should've been more along the lines of, "Even if you aren't prone to seizures, this game will probably give you one..."
posted by Fiorentina97 at 5:09 AM on September 9, 2009


It did have an excellent density of really, really good games - I'm sure there was some dross, like any console, but I never seemed to encounter it, only games that were either innovative or beautiful or just really good fun. And House of the Dead 2 was definitely the most fun I've ever had with a light gun. "suffer ... like G did!"
posted by thoughtless at 5:16 AM on September 9, 2009


Loved my Dreamcast. In a somewhat related note does anyone know or remember the NHL 2k Dreamcast commercial with a CG version of the Detroit Red Wings trash talking some poor kid over the phone, and then when his mom gets on the phone, saying "Hello mommy, you like hockey?" I have searched high and lo, and according to google there are only two other people out there who even remember this, let alone are looking for video of it. I was in college back then, so it's very plausible I hallucinated it.
posted by cloax at 5:29 AM on September 9, 2009


As a kid I knew some guys who owned C64's and upgraded as soon as they could to the Amiga so they could look down on the NES guys. The birth of the PersonalComputer vs Console wars. :) In my mind it made the NES kind of a big deal.

But its been all PC since the mid 90's.

Doom came out in late 1994 before the Playstation 1, Sega Saturn or Nintendo 64 were even released. All of a sudden I needed something called the internet to download extra levels called wads.

According to wikipedia "QTest" aka Quake was released on February 24, 1996. It had TCP/IP Multiplayer and full 3d environments. To its credit Golden Eye for N64 came along six months later but it was a kids game in comparison. GL Quake came out, Quakeworld came out. Quake II came out. Even Half-Life came out.

And THEN the Saturn came out and when we had LAN games some guys would bring along the Saturn and play Soul Calibur to chill out between games.

Consoles are what a gamer plays to relax.
posted by vicx at 5:51 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


.
posted by samsara at 6:01 AM on September 9, 2009


Oh, the Dreamcast, how I miss you. Some of my favorites were Chu Chu Rocket, Armada, and Gauntlet Legends. I guess it's only fitting IGN should do a retrospective, they were the go-to place for Dreamcast game reviews back in the day.

At the end, they were selling brand new Dreamcasts for $50 and I bought one even though my original worked just fine and picked up four brand new controllers for $5 each. The aftermarket VMU's I had sucked though, they were always losing my save games.

I'm curious, did anyone else play the most ridiculous Dreamcast game ever made - Tokyo Bus Guide Featuring a Beautiful Conductor? It's one of those realism games where if you turn without signaling - game over. If you exceed the speed limit - game over. Perfect for OCD types.
posted by bertrandom at 6:17 AM on September 9, 2009


The GIA has coverage on the dreamcast 2.
posted by CharlesV42 at 6:23 AM on September 9, 2009


People actually liked Seaman? That fish-creature was a straight-up prick. Every time I inevitably killed him when I went on a business trip (I didn't want to ask my friends to take care of my creepy virtual fish) it felt like a weight was lifted.
posted by Challahtronix at 6:25 AM on September 9, 2009


The Dreamcast will always be one of my favorite consoles. I skipped school to pick one up; it's the last time I've been genuinely excited about a console launch. The first game I tried was Sonic Adventures- the graphics were so good they were almost unbelievable. I think I've still got my DC a couple dozen games for it boxed up somewhere.
posted by kryptondog at 7:09 AM on September 9, 2009


Let's just all agree that the Atari Jaguar is the most ridiculous.

Sadly, it's true. Damn shame such a nice piece of hardware was ruined by such AWFUL software development. I bought mine purely for a conversation piece.

Much of the same could be said for the 7800, but it actually had a few cool games, in addition to being backwards-compatible.
posted by rhythim at 7:18 AM on September 9, 2009


I never got into the dreamcast. I had a PS1 and was happy with that until XBox came out. Now I have a 360 and couldn't be happier. Although when God of War comes out on PS3 I might have to pony up the cash and get one.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:19 AM on September 9, 2009


up up down down shoot shoot shoot!

left right shoot shoot!

up. up! up! up shoot!
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:40 AM on September 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


I miss our Dreamcast. It actually still works -- at least, I assume that were I to haul it out from under the bed and plug it in, it would still work -- but technology overtook it: it doesn't play nice with our HDTV and we have nothing else with a SCART socket and a screen. It's not so bad, though, since I can still play Ikaruga on the 360, and as a bonus, it's much easier to tate a modern LCD monitor than an old bulky CRT (disclaimer: second image from google; not our TV).

This FPP has also reminded me to give DC emulation another try, in the hopes of playing the original Japanese Space Channel 5: Part 2 and not the US PS2 version with the missing effects. Thanks, FPP! :)
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:00 AM on September 9, 2009


When the Dreamcast was released, I was working in the electronics department at a big retail chain. The Dreamcast rep had me convinced that it was going to be the coolest system ever.

So many of the games were awesome. I miss playing Crazy Taxi or Toy Commander.
posted by drezdn at 8:10 AM on September 9, 2009


I have 2 dreamcast now, because it was cheaper to buy a second one, than to just buy a new power cable.

My first dreamcast was delivered by Kozmo.
posted by nomisxid at 8:10 AM on September 9, 2009


I was eating a Reeses peanut butter Christmas tree while on my break at Waterstones Booksellers on Newbury Street in Boston, reading some video game magazine and I was just PARALYZED with desire for the Dreamcast, and it wasn't even going to be released in the states until fucking 1999! GAH!
posted by dirtdirt at 8:15 AM on September 9, 2009


But its been all PC since the mid 90's.

Tell that to the sales figures...

http://forum.pcvsconsole.com/viewthread.php?tid=15831
posted by Pantengliopoli at 8:17 AM on September 9, 2009


I picked up a Dreamcast a fews years after it died, for around 40 bucks used. Totally worth it just for Skies of Arcadia, but man that system had a great lineup of games.

Jesus, the Vectrex? Your list reeks of being old school for the sake of being old school.

I wonder if Sega might have given the Dreamcast more of a chance had they not released it after a series of incredible failures. SegaCD? 32x? Saturn? Ugh.
posted by graventy at 8:24 AM on September 9, 2009


In case anyone needs me, tonight I will be playing Crazy Taxi, Typing of the Dead and maybe some Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Yes, the Dreamcast keyboard was worth it for Typing of the Dead.
posted by revgeorge at 8:31 AM on September 9, 2009


Let's just all agree that the Atari Jaguar is the most ridiculous.

It had a pretty good Aliens game IIRC.
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on September 9, 2009


Let's just all agree that the Atari Jaguar is the most ridiculous.

Here's a fact, though: Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar is the greatest videogame ever made.


SUPERZAPPER RECHARGE
posted by empath at 9:24 AM on September 9, 2009


It had a pretty good Aliens game IIRC.

Fuck yes it did. Aliens vs Predator.
posted by empath at 9:25 AM on September 9, 2009


Here's a fact, though: Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar is the greatest videogame ever made.

All hail the Hairy One!

(hmm, must do Jeff Minter FPP)
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I got my Dreamcast on launch day and still have it, both it and the geeky, too-small, bright-orange T-shirt they gave out with it. It really was an awesome system, killed only because of the combination of the PS2's DVD-playing capability (which also gave it four times the disk storage capacity) and its riding the crest of the PS1. And maybe Final Fantasy.

These are the games that I personally regard as the highlights of the system:
Soul Calibur: Later sequels have not matched up with the play of this, the Dreamcast's system-seller. It is kind of hard to believe now that a fighting game was the reason a lot of people got Dreamcasts. In gameplay, what Soul Calibur brought us was the guard impact, a way to block any move "just" by getting the timing right and matching whether it was low or high.

Jet Grind Radio: It's kind of amazing how much the Xbox sequel lessened the series, even though it should have been better in every way. The key to understanding this game is that it's more of a 3D platformer with a skating theme than a "sports" game. Finding the best routes though the awesome levels is key.

The Typing of the Dead: One of the craziest ideas in gaming, but it works out great. The main game is nothing more than The House of the Dead 2 fit onto a typing tutor, but the theme, awesome boss gimmicks and sometimes laugh-out-loud word list (marking the first time, to my knowledge, the term "rhythm method" has ever appeared in a video game) elevate this beyond its source game.

Bangai-O: A late arrival, but just amazing. One of Treasure's best efforts (they made Gunstar Heroes, so that's saying a lot). Your giant robot ship (that's only a few pixels high on-screen) can fire in any direction like Robotron, and must battle endlessly spawning enemy robots appearing in destroyable generators like in Gauntlet. But the biggest draw here is the super attack mechanism: the power of your attacks is directly proportional to the amount of danger you are in (measured by number, proximity and power of enemy weapons) at the precise moment the button is released. Encouraging abuse of this, the game keeps a count of the number of explosions happening at any moment, and the more that are going on, the higher-value fruit (yes, fruit) the destroyed enemies leave behind, and the more super attack energy you receive in return. Oh, and some of the character conversations are among the strangest things I've ever seen in a game; anyone who's seen the conversation with the boss to Stage 8 will forget it any time soon. The recent DS game Bangai-O Spirits is a (gameplay) sequel to this.

Floigan Brothers: This game was billed as "episode 1," but it never received a sequel. It looks dated now, but at the time the animation was amazing; the 3D-character mouth movement animations are almost Telltale-quality. Telltale is a good comparison, because for all its platformer trappings this is ultimately an adventure game with an unusual interface.

Grandia 2 & Skies of Arcadia: The Dreamcast was a system that should have been perfect for RPGs, but it got surprisingly few of them. These two are probably the best. Both have their weak points, but both also make up for it. Grandia 2's cliche-riddled story and much-too-linear quest is redeemed by (mostly) excellent dialogue, loveable characters and what remains, to my knowledge, the best battle system in JRPGs. It's great to play even if most of the fights themselves are much too easy; there are bosses that can be defeated without taking damage. Skies of Arcadia has way too frequent enemy encounters and annoying load times, but also great setting and characters, an inventive ship battle mode, and an abundance of extra things to do along the way. I find its exploration subgame to be inspiring.

Space Channel 5: It is kind of embarrassing for me to be caught playing this, but its just brilliant how the game builds to the end. Kind of a masterpiece in both music direction and rhythm game design. One interesting thing about this is that it's difficult to point to just what the game does right, how it defeats other games in its genre. One can only conclude that it really doesn't, but it's still somehow awesome. It's also bizarre and hilarious.

Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2: Who would have thought the best way to make an awesome driving game was to take the emphasis off the driving, making it subordinate to fare-collection, traffic navigation and route finding? (At one time, by the way, I was in the running for the Twin Galaxies record for the Dreamcast version of the first game.)

Seaman: Everyone talks about the conversation simulator, and that is good, but no one mentions the virtual pet aspect, the sheer range of conversations the game can have with you, the weirdness of the setting, the bizarre yet strangely-authentic biology of the game's characters, and above all, the voice of Leonard Nimoy narrating (asLeonard Nimoy). I don't think I really appreciated his sense of humor until this game.

Gauntlet Legends: Gauntlet Legends is, strangely, a game that relies on its arcade nature. Ponder on this for a moment: all home versions of the original Gauntlet and Gauntlet II, games released in the late 80s, feature the timed health loss of the arcade version that prevents the player(s) from standing around looking for maximum advantage, but no home version of Gauntlet Legends, released in the Aughts, does this. Also, the arcade game forces players to complete levels in sequence, which makes more sense to the design than the hub-based arrangement of the home versions. The best home version of the game is a tossup between the N64 (which changes some aspects of the game to suit home play) and the Dreamcast (which has a certain charm in the ways it sticks more closely to the arcade version).

Fushigi no Dungeon: Furai no Shiren Gaiden: Jokenji Asuka Kenzan!: Never made it to the States, and this game is particularly language heavy, but this is a high point in the series, a roguelike that doesn't try to dilute its gameplay by handholding the roguelike clueless with persistent character levels and inventory, and has a good number of themed bonus dungeons to boot.

Others that I hear are great but haven't played enough of to tell for sure: Rez, Lack of Love
posted by JHarris at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


If you haven't played Rez, go download it from XBLA immediately.
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on September 9, 2009


(Oh, and add Shenmue to that list.)
posted by JHarris at 9:38 AM on September 9, 2009


Oh man, Space Channel 5! Soul Calibur! Crazy Taxi!

I really wish I had a dreamcast RIGHT NOW.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:40 AM on September 9, 2009


"How about a game of Lucky Hit? How about trying Lucky Hit?"
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:47 AM on September 9, 2009


I don't remember what I was doing, exactly, on 9.9.99 but there is a reasonable chance that I was playing Power Stone. I still to this day think it's the most fun four player fighting game ever made. It would probably even make my top five, along with Chu Chu rocket. Resident Evil: Code Veronica was perhaps the scariest game I ever played. Of course I played it at night in the basement of our now defunct startup, surrounded by co-workers. In one particular scene, a zombie (or some such) leapt out of a coffin and devoured me. One of my co-workers let out such a girlish shriek that I can laugh today, but at the time it was all fear.

I didn't buy mine on launch date, being more of a PC gamer. I did play it aplenty at friends houses. In 2000 I finally ordered my own Dreamcast from Kozmo while recovering from surgery after a bout with cancer.

The DC is going to come out of the drawer this evening to once again be the spotlight of the television.
posted by chemoboy at 9:53 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I meant to add "because my soul burns" to the end of that post.
posted by chemoboy at 9:54 AM on September 9, 2009


The GIA has coverage on the dreamcast 2.

Oh my god, what a beautiful dream! I had an SMS, I adored my Genesis, but I couldn't afford/wasn't willing to follow Sega into CDs and 32-bit cartridge plugs and all their other nineties missteps. But this ... this sounds good ... if this report on the ClubSega strategy is accurate, then it might be evidence of something we've not seen from Sega in a long time - smart marketing decisions.

Also, could this Sonic project be the one referenced in the GIA article?
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:00 AM on September 9, 2009


Anybody feeling all nostalgic and in the region of Olympia, WA is welcome to come by and claim the one I recently retrieved from my parents' attic. You only need to promise to pass it on when you're done with it. One time offer. You could be playing Seaman tonight!
posted by ecurtz at 10:08 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, so you take Powerstone 2, play in Original mode, and set it up so you're Galuda playing alone against three computer-controlled Gourmands on the same team, difficulty level 8/8, on the space elevator level. It's just about as good as video games get. Winning seems impossible the first several hundred times you play. One day, though, you play the perfect game and win, and then the game gets even tougher and kicks your ass a few hundred more times until you win again, and then you actually start winning, say, three games out of every hundred, then one day you win two in a row and the AI goes through the roof, at this point you better pad the floor so you don't break a controller in disgust because those chefs will kick your ass again and again and all you can do is try to play the perfect game, because the path to victory is so damn narrow.
posted by breezeway at 10:13 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


No love for Re-Volt? One of the greatest racing games ever, and the sole reason I'm sad I sold my DC to help raise needed cash.

You raced RC cars through museums and toy stores, over rooftops, you name it. One of the cars you unlocked was a hilariously impossible-to-drive shopping cart. This game should have had songs written about it, it ruled so very much.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:17 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Running a search on MeFi, I note that no one has made a Vectrex post? Can that be true? It might have to be me.
posted by Brosef K at 10:21 AM on September 9, 2009


Soul Caliber still looks rad as hell.
posted by boo_radley at 10:26 AM on September 9, 2009


Also, I've got the frikken keyboard and broadband adaptor for it and run netbsd on mine when I get crazy. I play nethack on it, yo.
posted by boo_radley at 10:28 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


What the hell? Is the GIA pretending to be back today as some kind of video game news version of The Onion?

I unpacked my Dreamcast this weekend, I think I'll play some SoCal this evening, maybe top it off with some Ikaruga or Mars Matrix.
posted by Uncle Ira at 11:13 AM on September 9, 2009


Here's a fact, though: Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar is the greatest videogame ever made.


SUPERZAPPER RECHARGE

There's also Sensible Soccer. I doubt if swapping the names of two players to make a "transfer" had any real-game effect, but when I was losing in a tourney throwing (manager) Cruyff in always worked. Maybe it was all just placebo. Maybe it was just Cruyff.
posted by ersatz at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2009


vicx: "But its been all PC since the mid 90's.
[...]
Consoles are what a gamer plays to relax."

DISPUTE.
posted by JHarris at 1:33 PM on September 9, 2009


I never owned a Dreamcast, but I have fever dream memories of watching my friends play a game called EGG for hours. It was a bizarre action-adventure-RPG with a 16-bit Square feel. And, possibly, hand-painted watercolor graphics. Totally awesome. Check it out if you can.
posted by naju at 2:30 PM on September 9, 2009


Ah, here's a gameplay video.
posted by naju at 2:34 PM on September 9, 2009


94 comments and nobody's mentioned Bomberman Online? Third-best version ever, behind Bomberman Live on XBLA and Saturn Bomberman.
posted by box at 2:49 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


You raced RC cars through museums and toy stores, over rooftops, you name it. One of the cars you unlocked was a hilariously impossible-to-drive shopping cart. This game should have had songs written about it, it ruled so very much.

I think I might have tried that, but it was no Micro Machines. Micro Machines was awesome fun.
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on September 9, 2009


I played Skies of Arcadia on the Gamecube and it was one of the best games I've ever played. And Soul Calibur was fucking awesome, even if we never could get the cheat codes that changed the color of Sophitia's panties to work.
posted by NoraReed at 4:16 PM on September 9, 2009


JHarris is entirely correct.
posted by SPrintF at 8:17 PM on September 9, 2009


Rez, Ikaruga, and chip-less piracy, are the things I remember the DreamCast for.

Also the only console louder than a 360, which is coincidentally, the best console to play Rez and Ikuraga on.

Fortunately both games work best with the sound cranked.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:46 AM on September 10, 2009


We put in Soul Calibur a couple nights ago for old times' sake. It's just as I remembered it. What a great game. I don't even like fighting games, but I like that one.
posted by JHarris at 5:53 PM on September 11, 2009


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