It’s 9/9/2009 in the time zone that this is posted and the Sega Dreamcast was released in North America 9/9/1999. The Dreamcast was ahead of other consoles with online play, Internet browser, Internet service provider, modem, powerful hardware, and unique controller. Games ranged from all sorts of genres, inbetweens, and a ton of arcade action. Only failures were Sega’s past and lack of a DVD drive.
Hardware for the Dreamcast is built strong and the machine itself isn’t suppose to be a huge multimedia center with glitches and rings of deaths. The controller fit perfectly into your hand and the analog triggers is great for driving games. You can connect with SNK’s Neo Geo Pocket and games if you had both. Later on Sega allowed online players to play with PC players.
Jet Set Radio – Graffiti roll blading action game which couldn’t be compared to Tony Hawk at the time…since it’s action and not trick based. This game has style and amazing music Guitar Vader, Jurassic 5, and more. Graphics were bright blazing cel shaded which so few game used. The analog stick when in grafficti mode was used to paint on walls, so you had to be fast. Jet Set Radio Future cut that feature for more speedy gameplay. Clearly Air Gear had some inspiration…
Test Drive V-Rally – Another arcade like rally game, but with a map maker and pretty good soundtrack. Of course I took advantage of that and made a map as high and low as possible. Watching the insane pop in is quite amusing.
Skies of Arcadia – At the time this game was meant to be a traditional old school RPG, but given modern treatment. There was a VMU mini-game where you fly your ship, special memorable attacks given at the end, and a large beautiful world where you wouldn’t mind getting lost in. Skies of Arcadia has a very Last Exile feel.
Grandia II – Character story is abundant and so many characters are not as you think they are. Areas are detailed, the game included the sountrack CD, and attacks are outer space massive. Battle system has a real time turn based gameplay with a bar listing next attackers. I stayed up late at night and skipped sleep couple times just to play this game.
Bangai-O – 2D mecha side scroller shooter by Treasure, but you aren’t limited to what direction you want to go in. You have a special attack that send out more bang if there’s more enemy projectiles. The screen can be filled with wonderful circular patterns of what you fired. There’s a newer Nintendo DS version which includes a level creator.
Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes, Red Dog, Evolution, Mars Matrix, and Berserk are great plays. Options are larger if you import games like Ikaruga, Rez, Hundred Swords, Shenmue II, Segagaga, and even an Eva typing game called Neon Genesis Evangelion: Typing Hokan Keikaku. There’s still a few games I wish to play like the first person sword fighting Persona looking Maken X and the supposedly weird arcade shooter Charge ‘N Blast. Project Gotham fans would like Metropolis Street Racer since it’s basically the same game series from the same developers. Kudos system included.
There are still new games coming out every once and a while from indie developers. Most of them are shooters like DUX and Last Hope: Pink Bullets with no region protection. Most games can still be found pretty inexpensive on Ebay and Play-Asia.
Nothing but fond memories of Dreamcast. Happy 10th birthday Dreamcast.