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Conversation 008: Sega Dreamcast 10 Year Anniversary

Can you believe it’s been ten years? Neither can we.

Marking the system’s tenth anniversary, we are all incredibly happy to bring you a new podcast episode looking back on the little system that could… well, it couldn’t in the end, but it sure did its best. We will probably be busy playing The Beatles: Rock Band tonight, but it makes sense to light a candle to remember the Sega Dreamcast. In this case, the “candle” is a new podcast episode. Work with me here, folks.

Our buddy Bryce was aching to join us for this one, but although he couldn’t make it, prior guest Meri stepped up to fill in. The usual cast of Mike, Andrew, and Jeff fleshes out the cast to talk a little Dreamcast. What made it so special of a system? How was the launch compared to prior and more recent hardware launches? How did the games compare to others of the time? Which still hold up to this day, if any?

With so many games released, it would be impossible to cover them all. None-the-less, we feel we did the system justice in our conversation, and round it all out with our Top 10 Dreamcast Games. You can read it now if you want, but it’s way more fun not to spoil it for yourself!

A couple extra notes:

– No, Soul Calibur in the arcade did not run on the Naomi hardware (as much as we may have indirectly said it did). It ran on the System 12 board, which was essentially a beefed-up PlayStation.

– Never see the NiGHTS analog controller for the Saturn before? Here is the Japanese controller next to the American Dreamcast controller. Unless you’re blind, the relation should be quite clear.

saturn_dc_controllers

– Each of us still has a Dreamcast hooked up somewhere. Here’s my little buddy, right next to his daddy.

saturn_and_dreamcast

Thanks go out to everyone who joined us for the live recording, and even more thanks to all of you sticking it out with us and patiently waiting for another podcast episode! Hopefully the couple blog posts every now and then are keeping you busy! Enjoy!

5 Comments

  1. Now before I get into the meat of the comment I just want to say that what I say is pretty much fresh and hot from my brain so if I sound a bit mean or just plain ignorant I apologise. Though I am going to be civil (as much as possible anyway)

    So… yeah Virtua Tennis!? O_O Really? …Really? Now I know it’s all opinion and I don’t know you guys on a personal level but I honestly think you guys just picked that because you were playing it recently and that you guys did have fun (which I admit is what video games are all about) as a party. But really, when you think about the Dreamcast was Virtua Tennis really the quintessential experience you think of? Granted, Virtua Tennis isn’t bad I enjoyed it a lot back in the day too. I really did like Virtua Tennis. But really, I honestly felt that games like Power Stone and Soul Calibur were the games people thought of when they thought of the Dreamcast, as well as Sonic Adventure, though I’m in between between Mike’s and Andrew’s feelings when I think of the game. I thought it was fun, but yeah some parts of the game were pretty confusing and hard at least back when I was 11. As for the casual game, well I could see that argument for Virtua Tennis it’s a game many people would play, well, still doesn’t mean it’s head and shoulders above everything else on the system. I mean my friend and I were playing Wii Sports recently and yeah we had tons of fun but if you were to aks any one of us what was our favorite game on the system, we’d give different answers but it wouldn’t be Wii Sports. If you can go play Virtua Tennis by yourself randomly and see if you have like a megaton of fun. I doubt it, you’d enjoy yourself but I don’t think you would say it was best of the entire console level. Honestly, when I heard you guys said Virtua Tennis I thought it was a joke, and seriously is Andrew the only real fan of Shenmue?

    The Dreamcast is very dear to me since it was the system I had and had tons of fun with when I was about 11 and I had this cancer scare because of this growth on my toe. Since it was a growth and it wasn’t painful the first thought was, it was cancerous thank God it wasn’t but it was still no fun, I had to get surgery and during the 2 weeks I was out recovering and missing school my only comfort was the Dreamcast, I remember playing the heck out of Power Stone during that time. I remember I wanted it because I saw Wang Tang and saw what he turns into when he gets the Power Stones, basically a Super Saiyajin! I thought it was the coolest thing. Then, later on I moved to Shenmue and to this day even after playing the amazing Arkham Asylum has there ever been a game that will top it, ever… EVER. That game was and is so beautiful and I’m not just talking about the graphics, the story and how immersive it was, it wasn’t about a guy with powers or about technology that doesn’t really exist. It was about a dude, who happens to be really skilled in martial arts who’s taking revenge for his father, ok there’s a lot of movies about that but he didn’t just mindlessly beat everyone up in his path you had to go and find information and he only fought when it was necessary. Not only that but it just felt… human. Voice acting aside the characters showed a variety of emotions in their faces and the dialog was pretty real, what I mean it all sounds like what people would say and not like they’re all professors of philosophy. Although I know it’s your list not mine it just makes me sad that a game like Virtua Tennis outdid Shenmue and Capcom Vs SNK 2 and even Sonic Adventure.

    Dear Dreamcast it’s helped me when I was down physically and emotionally, you’ll be missed. *salute* So in honor of it here is my list of top 10 games.

    10) Zombie Revenge
    9) Evolution
    8) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
    7)Grandia 2
    6) Skies Of Arcadia
    5)Jet Set Radio
    4) Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
    3)King Of Fighters 98
    2) Street Fighter 3 3rd Strike
    1)Shenmue

    Yep and Shenmue is my favorite game out of everything too with Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion right after it.

    Again sorry if I sound crass, or just being critical just because. -_- Sorry, but it was just that it’s a system near and dear to my heart and I’m not sure if Virtua Tennis is the quintessential game to represent it, then again it’s your opinion so I am not going to go and cry about it or anything, just felt like saying my list of the games that I enjoyed on Dreamcast, and to ask if you’d pick Virtua Tennis again.

  2. Dear Mike, Meri, Jeff, and Andrew,

    Kudos to you for picking Virtua Tennis as your collective #1 Dreamcast game! I was a bit surprised that it was chosen as #1, but I still think it’s a great game.

    As a longtime tennis player, it’s hard for me to get into tennis video games. The biggest gripes I have are that 1) Compared to real life, the AI are hitting machines, hitting the perfect shot every time, which lead to rallies that can last for an eternity. 2) Character swinging animations are completely unrealistic. However, I very much enjoy Virtua Tennis – 4 player was great, and the single player mini games were entertaining. Along with the story/touring mode, this is a title I always come back to every couple years. If you haven’t already, you should pick up Tennis 2k2 for the DC – it’s essentially Virtua Tennis 2, with more of the same great gameplay.

    I was surprised to see Jet Grind Radio absent from the top 10 list. It would definitely be in my personal top 5 (Jet Grind Radio, Bangai-o, Shenmue, MvC2, and Skies of Arcadia). The cel-shaded graphics were revolutionary for the time – one of the first games ever to do this. It emitted a great sense of style, and still holds up well today. The soundtrack was killer, gameplay was fun, Tony Hawk-lite you could say. You could even design your own graffiti, (or download an image from the internet using the DC!!) and spray it in-game! If you haven’t played it, you should definitely give it a shot.

    The Sega Dreamcast has given me some great memories. I picked it up in 2001, close to its deathbed. I had been strictly a Nintendo fanboy up to that point, and the DC had been my first non-Nintendo console. It really opened up my eyes to some great, original franchises…I wouldn’t say it was the best console ever made, but I have a special attachment towards it that I don’t have with any other console.

    P.S. Mike – I know you are a big Street Fighter fan – I am wanting to pick up a “strictly SF” fighting game, so many good choices on DC – SFIII: Double Impact, Third Strike, Alpha 3…do you have a favorite?

    Thanks,
    -Brian

  3. Great episode~!! And since Mike said we could, here’s the game’s I’ve been playing:

    NES
    Super Mario Bros (Fun, I guess. Nothing special.)
    Super Mario Bros 3 (Great! Nice game.)
    The Legend Of Zelda (Got bored of it and deleted it off of my Virtual Console. :/)
    SNES
    Zelda No Densetsu (:p): A Link to The Past (played for 5 minutes. pretty fun.)
    N64
    Zelda: OOT (Fucking awesome :p)
    Zelda: MM (Excellent. As good as OOT, I think.)
    Starfox 64 (Fun. Not much else.)
    Super Mario 64 (My first game ever. Very fun. And I’m talking about 1996.. >.>)
    GCN
    Starfox Adventures (FUCKING AWESOME!! Almost done with my 2nd playthrough.)
    Warioware: Mega Party Game$ (Fun as hell.)
    Pokemon Colosseum (Great. Almost finished with.)
    Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness (Started. Enjoying.)
    Starfox Assault (Mostly multiplayer. Pretty good.
    Wii:
    Dragonball Z Sparking! METEOR (Mostly Wi-fi. But fun.)
    Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (fun. Dropped it though.)

    And thats it! :p

  4. Ah, what a great podcast this will be. I recently bought a Dreamcast, 2 controllers, and 10 games for 40 bucks. Without a doubt the best deal I ever came across. I will probably be back to leave a better comment on the actual show after this. But, I simply cannot wait to hear your conversation on one of my favourite machines ever.

  5. Love the podcast, new episode maybe???
    kthnx

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