Requiem For a Dreamcast
The Dreamcast is dying and it is already considered dead by most gamers. Already, there are no more Dreamcasts in production and the software will slowly peter out until all that is left is a nice bit of memories. (Sigh)
After a long, hard month of contemplation, I have made it official: I will trade in my beloved Dreamcast for the PS2. It’s a sad, sad day for me–for you see, I was the biggest Dreamcast supporter and a huge PS2 basher. It was a nice run, I guess. Now, as I pack up my Dreamcast for sale, I would like to pause and say “Thank You” to Sega for over a year’s worth of quality gaming goodness.
Thank you, Sega for:
? The Dreamcast itself.
It is relatively inexpensive. It is powerful enough to give us the graphics we need. Many of my finest gaming memories were formed by this underrated console.
? 4 gaming ports.
Sega respects its gamers. Sega knows that we are NOT nerds. It knows that we are quite capable of finding 3 other friends with whom to play our favorite multiplayer games. Multi-taps? Hah! Sega gave us 4 ports standard.
? The VMU.
Sega was the first-and looks to be the last-console to feature the Visual Memory Unit. Yeah, the downloadable/playable mini-games never really panned out, but the little screen was oh-so helpful in some of the best games. We were able to check our health in Resident Evil: Code Veronica by merely looking down at the controller. We were able to select plays OFF SCREEN in NFL2K (take that play stealers!). It was a nifty idea that just proves that Sega was thinking of us.
? The Dreamcast Controller.
It’s ugly, I know. Yet, after picking up the controller you can’t help but fall in love with its ergonomically pleasing design. With the two analog flippers, the cute VMU window, and the logical button layout, we were never again blaming the controller for our gaming shortcomings.
? The Modem.
It’s a modem and it comes STANDARD! I was able to play NBA2K1 with other Dreamcast owners across the country֠and I didn’t have to pay for anything besides the game itself. The Dreamcast modem enabled sports games to have downloadable roster updates, so buying a new basketball game every year became unnecessary. Also, Phantasy Star Online introduced console gamers to online Role Playing Games, while Quake III Arena finally allowed console gamers to deathmatch ONLINE. Where’s the PS2’s modem? Hmmmm?
? Chu-Chu Rocket!
Not only was Chu-Chu a showcase of Sonic Team’s talent in game design, it also showed that Sega was not afraid to bring the wacky Japanese games over to American soil. Too long have the American gamers been deprived of the bizarre! Onward Chu-Chu! Onward Samba de Amiga! Onward Seaman!
? Virtua Tennis.
“A Tennis game?” they all questioned after I prepared them to see the greatest multi-player game EVER. No, it’s not just Tennis֠it’s Virtua Tennis! The control scheme and game play is consistent with Sega’s pick-up-and-play philosophy, yet the strategy and fun proved to be limitless. I think I got more of a kick out of surprising my friends with their underestimations than I did actually playing the game. I had to literally force this game upon my friends only to have them beg for it later. Since when could gamers rave about a tennis game?
Either you loved it or you hated it, but you couldn’t deny its innovation in either case. Shenmue proved that the Dreamcast had the graphic power to compete with any system, given the chance. It also demonstrated once again that Sega has the ultimate development team. No other company can touch Sega-when it comes to software.
? Crazy Taxi, Soul Calibur, Power Stone, Worms Armageddon.
They were beautifully simplistic, yet had game play that was never seen before. All four were a pleasure to play and deserve mentioning.
And lastly, thank you, Sega for continuing to develop software forever and ever. Rumor has it that Sega will be developing for the PS2 and the Xbox. Hopefully, not too long after I open my new PS2, I will be able to throw in a copy of NBA2K2 or even Shenmue Chapter 2. Sega’s decision to march onward as a third party developer will surly provide even more reasons for us to say, “Thank you, Sega.”
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