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Why the Dreamcast still has what it takes

It was the night before Christmas... actually it wasn't. It was about a week before Christmas. I was playing CoD: World at War on my XBOX 360 and I realised I was bored. Really, really fucking bored; Run. Shoot (using crappy WWII guns). Run. Shoot. Grenade. Die. Run. Die. I was beginning to wish I was hurling the grenades at SEGA, angry at them for buggering up the 32X, Mega CD, Saturn and Dreamcast. For selling games on Sony's Gaystation. So much rage, so much hate. So I turned it off, headed down to Entertainment Exchange (CEX.co.uk) and got £33 for my annoying, boring FPS. Sure, I am dissing CoD a bit too much - it's an OK game. I preferred CoD4 massively though. This is not the point though. The point is... what did I do next?

I booted up my Dreamcast. Yes, it's 2009. Yes, that makes the DC 10 (as we all know), but the point is that the Dreamcast is still a console that, with a bit of time and effort, can take centre stage once again. And here's why:


Arguably the Dreamcast's biggest selling point (or resale point) is that it has some of the best games ever made for a home console. Yes, the Mega Drive, NES etc all have great games, as does the Saturn... but it's the Dreamcast that has the top tens (as seen on our very own DCJY) which are constantly argued over. I could like a top 20. Easily. Top 30? No problem. This console has so many great games that keep your coming back for more.

The VMU is another added bonus. I'm lucky enough that I don't give a crap about what people think about me to be looking after my Chao whilst walking through the Arndale shopping centre. There are so many top - notch titles that are so different in every way that the Dreamcast will always stay.


OK, so the XBOX 360 and PS3 have HD graphics that display 1080i no problem and lifelike... bla bla... People are calling the Wii 'revolutionary'. Sure, it has a neat controller, but it's graphics are very close to the Dreamcast's graphics (I think that if SEGA were still developing DC it could match it), which shows why the DC can still live on strong today. The Wii not revolutionary. The Dreamcast had a fishing controller and maracas that are actually better than the control system in the Wii version of Samba. Look and Shenmue and Virtua Tennis. Gorgeous. Not impressed? Get a VGA box. Still not impressed? Sod off.


It's 10 years old for God's sake. 10 years old. The community is huge and people love this system. It's going to stick around for a long time. It's been noted that Sony et al. think that this generation (current) of consoles will last longer than any other post 1990. With that in mind, I think the Dreamcast community will also live long and prosper.


4 built-in control ports. Powerstone 2. Endless party fun.

Many racing games also support this, as do some of the FPS games. This really is a great console for people with friends that want to play games. Being as people have started playing Wii's after dinner parties thesedays, I say "bring out your Dreamcast".

Online connectivity

Back in '98 when the DC was released in Japan, the internet was not used by most people. Broadband didn't exist in the UK and people had only dreamt (no pun intended) of playing against or with people that weren't in the same room. Anyway, the DC has a built in 33k/56k modem which would make dialup calls and connect to SEGAs servers.

I didn't play much online back in the day because of the dial-up costs and subsequent lack of useable phoneline once you're in. Anyway, the Dreamcast can still connect to the internet. You can either use dial-up or your Broadband Adaptor (left in pic) to connect to the internet to browse or, more importantly, play online. The games that currently work online are:

  • Phantasy Star Online
  • 4x4 Evolution
  • Sega Swirl
  • Quake 3

Getting these games to play online using custom servers isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, but if you need a hand, I might be able to help. I played PSO for the first time yesterday and I loved it. I met a couple of German guys in the DC-Talk/Schthack lobby that helped me get started as I had no idea what to do in the game. When I levelled up they both congratulated me! It was great. I kind of see why all those people like WoW now... the community spririt on PSO is great. What's more, you're playing with people on a 10 year old console, when we could all be playing some HD games instead. This brings us full circle.

The Dreamcast is getting older and some of the games are starting to look a little dated, though there are many games full of eye candy. There are games that will keep you hooked for weeks and others that you'll only play for an hour or so, just to beat a lap time or high score. There are innovative games like Samba de Amigo that will have people asking you why your Wii is a funny shape and says SEGA on it.

Educate them. The Dreamcast lives on.


Anonymous said...

Wow!!!, so true!... nice post!!! DC4EVA!

Anonymous said...

Wait- PSO severs are still online? I'm gonna have to get a copy (or burn it)!

Anonymous said...

Kotaku reported that Sega recently re-registered the tradermarks for ChuChu Rocket,Sonic Shuffle, Cosmic Smash, Jet Grind Radio and Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram.

fatherkrishna said...

Nice post Martin! Excellent points and well made too. Every once in a while it's important to bask in the Dreamcast's glory and remind ourselves of it's intrinsic innovation and relevence today...

For those of you readers new to the site, I suggest you delve back into the archives, for there is a lot of great stuff in there.

Maybe we need to create a 'Gems of the Junkyard' archive for some of thebest...

Jeff said...

I boot up my dc for 5+ hours a week still, and thats been constant for 6 of the last 10 years (stupid wow, original halo, and ddr were the only things that stood in my way!). Granted I play a lot of fighters and shooters, so this and Saturn are still my go-to systems.

Anonymous said...

Ffs!! You forget two games that you can play now ONLINE: Starlancer and Maximum Pool :D

Kaitu "Ms. Harinezumi" said...

This is my first comment here. I've been lurking for quite a time, but now would probably be the time to open my mouth.

It's articles like this that make me love this site.
I've been reading through your archived posts with great interest. I really like your writing styles, too. If you started a magazine, I would so read it xD

I am a new Dreamcast fan. In fact, it was this blog that got me into that console. No one even knew about it around here, the advertising was nonexistent. As a huge fan of Sonic and Sega in general, I somehow ended up here and started reading about the DC. I kept reading for days, and post by post I became more interested. The games seemed just fantastic, and I was dying to try them out. And guess what I found from under the tree in Christmas 2008? A package full of Dreamcast goodness, the console and awesome games! I've probably already played it more than any other console. Yesterday, I had an awesome session of JSR at night. It's probably my favourite among SA2. That reminds me... I haven't been playing my Wii in months ;)

Thank you so much for bringing me to this fantastic console, and the fantastic community of its users! I owe it to you. :D Keep on writing!

Uh, sorry, the comment's too long...

Animated AF said...

You do realize on the graphics part of the article you used a screenshot from Soul Calibur 3 on the PS2, right? =)

マーティン said...

Gastrodon: The DC-Talk and SCHTHACK servers are still online. Google for them, along with tutorials on how to play.

FatherKrishna: Many thanks! A "Gems of the Junkyard" archive sounds good. Either that, or some kind of shortcut/layout enhancement that lets readers new and old realise how awesome the Dreamcast is, from some of the key posts.

Anon: Yes, Starlancer and Maximum Pool can also be played online at the moment.

Kaitu: Thanks for a lovely comment. It's not too long at all! =] I am pleased that you've managed to get a Dreamcast. You'll have many, many good times on the console... so many in fact, that you'll wonder what a Wii is again! I think I can speak for all of the writers of the DCJY in saying that whilst we have our own passion for the Dreamcast, it's knowing that there are people reading this blog, like yourself, that make all this worthwhile.

Gagaman: Didn't have my camera to hand - hopefully amended ;)

Barry the Nomad said...

Last month I moved my Dreamcast from within the entertainment cabinet (where my PS2 and assortment of controllers are) to that out in the open nook beneath the TV alongside my Xbox and VCR. It's so nice to walk past the TV and see my Dreamcast right below it again!

I went a little ebay crazy before Christmas and picked up Tokyo Bus Guide, Tennis 2k2, Star Wars Jedi Power Battles, Star Wars Demolition, Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future and Super Magnetic Neo. Unfortunately my Dreamcast is allergic Super Magnetic Neo as the game won't load (it's a laser problem, not a disc problem as I've attempted two brand new copies of the game). But my other 40 DC games work just fine.

Viva La Dreamcast!

NebachadnezzaR said...

Nice post, Martin, it's always good to remember us why the Dreamcast was/is so great (even if we never forget it). In fact your post was so great that I immediately forgot about how you dissed World at War (I'm a huge CoD fanboy :P)

PSO is great. My first online experience with the Dreamcast (and with games in general) and it was awesome, although the overall enjoyment depends heavily on the people you play it with.

Kaitu, I think I speak for all here when I say that it's comments like yours that make us feel good about what we do here. Keep reading the site :)

マーティン said...

Cheers Neb! As for CoD - I played CoD4 to death, which is probably why I don't like CoD5. I am not a 'fan' of WWII for many reasons, which didn't help. I didn't like the old guns either. I am a tech man.

Online gaming is about what it's like to be with friends. The Japanese don't really get online gaming like us. If you log into GoW or anything, you'll be barraged with teenagers swearing and shouting and being mental in general. In PSO, you usually played with like-minded people. I guess that's what happens if you bring something (gaming in this case) to the masses...

Tom Charnock said...

Wahey! Awesome post mate - well written and all valid points. DCJY RULEZ YEAH!! (cough)

Anonymous said...

Wait... so you don't have to PAY to play PSO? That always held me back from ever trying a PSO game. Great post BTW. I'm such a DC geek that I own a DC Karaoke unit that I couldn't even use... because it was only in Japan and you had to D/L songs off the Sega server... :P

マーティン said...

a) no you dont have to pay to play PSO now (put me off too)

b) I want the karaoke unit.

Anonymous said...

Have you done a feature about the cancelled or unreleased Dreamcast games?It would be interesting to see what games would be released if the console wasn't discontinued.
Keep up the good work.

NebachadnezzaR said...

We've done a few posts about that in the past. Some of those games looked so damn good...

Mike said...

I need to get a DC asap and play PSO!!

Anonymous said...

'it has some of the best games ever made for a home console'

Such as:

4 Wheel Thunder
Alien Front Online
Bomberman Online
Border Down
Bust-A-Move 4
Capcom Vs. SNK 2
Castle Shikigami II
ChuChu Rocket!
Confidential Mission
Cool Cool Toon
Cosmic Smash
Crazy Taxi 1/2
Daytona USA 2001
Dead or Alive 2
Demolition Racer: No Exit
Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future
EGG: Elemental Gimmick Gear
F1 World Grand Prix II
F355 Challenge
Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves
Fire Pro Wrestling D
Fur Fighters
Gauntlet Legends
Giant Gram 2000
GigaWing 2
Guilty Gear X
Grandia II
Half-Life: Blue Shift
House of the Dead 2
Hydro Thunder
Jet Grind Radio (Jet Set Radio)
King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999
King of Fighters '99: Evolution
King of Fighters 2002
Last Blade 2: Final Edition
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Mars Matrix
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
Metropolis Street Racer
Mr. Driller
NFL Blitz 2001
Ooga Booga
Phantasy Star Online Ver.2
Power Stone 1/2
Project Justice: Rival Schools 2
Propeller Arena
Psyvariar 2
Quake III Arena
Railroad Tycoon II
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Rayman 2
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
Record of Lodoss War
Red Dog
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Resident Evil - Code: Veronica
Samba de Amigo ver.2000
San Francisco Rush 2049
Sega GT
Sega Marine Fishing
Sega Rally Championship 2
Sega Swirl
Shadow Man
Shenmue I/II
Skies of Arcadia
Sonic Adventure 1/2
Soul Calibur
Space Channel 5 / Part 2
Speed Devils
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Super Puzzle Fighter II X
Super Street Fighter II X
Tech Romancer
Tennis 2K2 (Virtua Tennis 2)
Test Drive Le Mans (Le Mans 24 Hours)
Test Drive V-Rally (V-Rally 2)
Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 (Tokyo Highway Challenge 2)
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Toy Commander
Triggerheart Exelica
Typing of the Dead
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Under Defeat
Unreal Tournament
Virtua Fighter 3tb
Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram
Wacky Races
Worms World Party
Zero Gunner 2


Bucketmonkey said...

I so want to see DC games make it to Xbox Live. Come on, we already have Marvel vs Capcom 2! Let's start a petition! Sony's Gaystation should not get them. I want to play Toy Commander on XBOX!!