Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy belated birthday, Dreamcast!

I know I'm a few days late with this, but it's been quite a week in my household--work stuff (blarg)--and as a result neither my heart nor my brain have quite been in the blogging game, if you get my drift.

Regardless, I'll be damned if I'm going to let the 14th anniversary of the Dreamcast's North American release go by without a (belated) mention.

(No worries if math isn't your forte--the info above means the Dreamcast hit store shelves in this region on Sept. 9, 1999.)

Although I'm sure I seem like a Nintendo fanboy from time to time, the reality is that I'm an equal opportunity gamer. As much as I've loved my Nintendo-made consoles and handhelds over the years, I've loved my NEC- and Sony- and, yes, Sega-made systems just as much.

In fact, I count the Dreamcast and its predecessor (the Sega Saturn) among my all-time favorite consoles--no small feat when you consider the Famicom, PC Engine, PlayStation, PS2 and Super Famicom are their main sources of competition.

I was completely obsessed with the Dreamcast before it was released, by the way. I think that was due, in part, to the fact that its design reminded me a bit of the original PC Engine (still the best console design of all time, in my humble opinion).

It also was due to the console's promise of perfect arcade ports (see: Crazy Taxi, The House of the Dead 2, Power Stone and Virtua Tennis) and arcade-like originals (Jet Set RadioSonic Adventure and Space Channel 5, among many, many others).

Anyway, I bought one at launch--using the money I'd made from selling my Japanese Sega Saturn and games (doh!)--and loved the hell out of it until I briefly stopped gaming a few years later.

Thankfully, I didn't get rid of any of my Dreamcast titles during that college-induced gaming drought. (I did lose or sell my Dreamcast system, though--or maybe my older brother claimed it? I wish I could remember.)

I still regularly pull out those games--ChuChu Rocket!, Crazy TaxiPower StoneSpace Channel 5 and Virtua Tennis, especially--and play them on the (second) Dreamcast I acquired a couple of years ago, actually--and I even add a new title or two to my collection every once in a while.

Do any of you have similarly fond memories of Sega's final console? Also, so you still play any of its games? If so, which ones? Let me and other Dreamcast fans know all about them in the comments section below.

See also: 'Happy belated 30th birthday, Nintendo Famicom and Sega SG-1000!'


michaelstearns said...

My "great" Dreamcast story is when I got it. I was hotly anticipating it, primarily for Sonic Adventure, because I was a Sonic nut (and I guess I still am). It is not an exaggeration to say that at the time playing the new Sonic title was the most important thing that I could think of.

I was also working a new job at a Subway restaurant while in college, my first job in "fast food." I had not been working there very long (maybe a week?) and was pretty inexperienced. The day before the Dreamcast released, I had to close the store, by myself, with no training except for what they'd told me to do that day. Pretty ridiculous circumstances had led to that I think. Anyway, I was super nervous about that, and it was made even worse because the previous night, the McDonalds' across the street had been robbed at gunpoint (in my small hometown, even!). Although I willingly worked the night shift alone and untrained, due to the high stakes with the DC launch the next day and the priority I had placed on it, on a certain level I was quite convinced that I was going to die the day before the Dreamcast launched, and no one in my family would even understand the "worst thing" about my tragic death. Of course, nothing troubling happened that evening at all and I was just being paranoid, but it did make the DC launch a bit extra memorable for me. :) said...

Ah, what a wonderful story, Michael--or at least a funny one :)

I, too, was obsessed with Sonic Adventure at the time, by the way. It just looked so ... next-gen. Strangely, I never bought it. I rented it once or twice and that was enough for me. Of course, I've never been the biggest Sonic fan, so that may be the reason why.

RetroKingSimon said...

My last console love :( It was too good for this world, it's gone to a place where it's appreciated :)

p.s. looks like I can comment from my laptop - hooray :) said...

Yay! You're able to comment again--from your laptop at least. Were you trying to comment from a desktop before, Simon, or from a phone?

Anyway, yes, it was a remarkable system. It's a crying shame it wasn't better received by the gaming public. Oh, well, at least we got to experience it and its great catalog of games!

RetroKingSimon said...

I was using my desktop which uses the same browser so I'm not sure what the problem is. Oh well :) said...

Huh! Well, I'm glad it works at least partially for you--while using one of your computers :)