9 Years Ago Today...

Do you remember 9/9/99? Today marks the 9th birthday of Sega's last video game console, the Sega Dreamcast. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge this date on my blog and bring some attention to the much loved Dreamcast. I don't have a fancy video to show you, or even a picture of my own Dreamcast, but I will tell you of my initial experiences with the console.

  
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September 9th, 1999 more or less came and went for me. I didn't buy a Dreamcast on launch day, but I remember the commercials vividly. I honestly have no idea what I was playing back then, but it was most likely Final Fantasy VIII. It wasn't until the summer of 2000 that I really became interested in the system. I repeatedly saw advertisements in GamePro, EGM, EGM2 and other magazines for Marvel vs Capcom 2 and I just had to play that game. I was a huge Marvel fan at the time, and I couldn't wait to play as Wolverine, Cable, Dr Doom, Omega Red, and several more of my favorite Marvel characters.

I was working at Toys R Us at the time, so I was no stranger to the Dreamcast. We had demo units in the electronics section and I was quite familiar with the likes of Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead 2 and more. So when MvC2 was released in June of 2000, I finally made the plunge and bought a Dreamcast. I can't remember all the games I purchased right away, but I know I got Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead 2 along with MvC2. I may have even picked up Resident Evil Code Veronica right away as well. I had an absolute blast with Marvel vs Capcom 2, but I think I ended up liking Soul Calibur even more. At the time, that game was the definition of perfection.

One neat thing about the Dreamcast is that it had online functionality, even if it was only dial-up. The system itself came with a web browser so you could surf the net on your TV if you wanted. I actually did this quite a few times because it was neat seeing things on our big TV instead of the small computer monitor. My first online experience would come from Phantasy Star Online. There was no voice chat, just some pre-typed phrases like "hello" "follow me" or "help!" Unless you had the official Dreamcast keyboard like I did, you were forced to use those phrases. I ended up playing PSO mostly by myself in the single player mode, mainly because after I played online for awhile I found out that most people were cheating to obtain very high level items and I figured whats the point of trying to play fair when everyone else I play with cheats? Its still a fun game and its a shame that they charge a monthly fee to play its latest incarnation, Phantasy Star Universe, otherwise I'd probably be playing that all the time.

My one guilty pleasure with the Dreamcast would have to be The Typing of the Dead. If you aren't familiar with the game, its basically the House of the Dead 2, but you type words to kill the zombies instead of shooting them. All the cutscenes are almost exactly the same, only the characters have Dreamcasts strapped to their backs and keyboards attached to their waists. Its totally over the top and an absolute blast and funny as hell, especially two player. At first its just kind of weird typing out letters and single words, but then you get to a point in the game where you have to type out entire phrases and sentences. Some of them are so ridiculous that you find yourself laughing hysterically instead of typing out the sentence before the zombie kills you. The game isn't easy though, and you seriously need some typing skills to play it. I found it to be great practice and I wouldn't be surprised if a school somewhere used it as a teaching aid! The game is available on the PC now as well, so you can check it out that way if you don't have a Dreamcast.

  
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The Dreamcast ended production in 2001 and the last game to be shipped was NHL 2K2 in 2002, although several games have since been developed and released in other ways since then. For some in depth thoughts and memories of the Dreamcast, I highly recommend you check out the latest episode of the Retronauts podcast.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to fire up my Dreamcast and relieve its glory days. Goodnight, and may the Dreamcast Rest In Peace.

"its thinking"
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6 Comments
Posted by Gigastormz

Do you remember 9/9/99? Today marks the 9th birthday of Sega's last video game console, the Sega Dreamcast. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge this date on my blog and bring some attention to the much loved Dreamcast. I don't have a fancy video to show you, or even a picture of my own Dreamcast, but I will tell you of my initial experiences with the console.

  
Adblock


September 9th, 1999 more or less came and went for me. I didn't buy a Dreamcast on launch day, but I remember the commercials vividly. I honestly have no idea what I was playing back then, but it was most likely Final Fantasy VIII. It wasn't until the summer of 2000 that I really became interested in the system. I repeatedly saw advertisements in GamePro, EGM, EGM2 and other magazines for Marvel vs Capcom 2 and I just had to play that game. I was a huge Marvel fan at the time, and I couldn't wait to play as Wolverine, Cable, Dr Doom, Omega Red, and several more of my favorite Marvel characters.

I was working at Toys R Us at the time, so I was no stranger to the Dreamcast. We had demo units in the electronics section and I was quite familiar with the likes of Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead 2 and more. So when MvC2 was released in June of 2000, I finally made the plunge and bought a Dreamcast. I can't remember all the games I purchased right away, but I know I got Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead 2 along with MvC2. I may have even picked up Resident Evil Code Veronica right away as well. I had an absolute blast with Marvel vs Capcom 2, but I think I ended up liking Soul Calibur even more. At the time, that game was the definition of perfection.

One neat thing about the Dreamcast is that it had online functionality, even if it was only dial-up. The system itself came with a web browser so you could surf the net on your TV if you wanted. I actually did this quite a few times because it was neat seeing things on our big TV instead of the small computer monitor. My first online experience would come from Phantasy Star Online. There was no voice chat, just some pre-typed phrases like "hello" "follow me" or "help!" Unless you had the official Dreamcast keyboard like I did, you were forced to use those phrases. I ended up playing PSO mostly by myself in the single player mode, mainly because after I played online for awhile I found out that most people were cheating to obtain very high level items and I figured whats the point of trying to play fair when everyone else I play with cheats? Its still a fun game and its a shame that they charge a monthly fee to play its latest incarnation, Phantasy Star Universe, otherwise I'd probably be playing that all the time.

My one guilty pleasure with the Dreamcast would have to be The Typing of the Dead. If you aren't familiar with the game, its basically the House of the Dead 2, but you type words to kill the zombies instead of shooting them. All the cutscenes are almost exactly the same, only the characters have Dreamcasts strapped to their backs and keyboards attached to their waists. Its totally over the top and an absolute blast and funny as hell, especially two player. At first its just kind of weird typing out letters and single words, but then you get to a point in the game where you have to type out entire phrases and sentences. Some of them are so ridiculous that you find yourself laughing hysterically instead of typing out the sentence before the zombie kills you. The game isn't easy though, and you seriously need some typing skills to play it. I found it to be great practice and I wouldn't be surprised if a school somewhere used it as a teaching aid! The game is available on the PC now as well, so you can check it out that way if you don't have a Dreamcast.

  
Adblock


The Dreamcast ended production in 2001 and the last game to be shipped was NHL 2K2 in 2002, although several games have since been developed and released in other ways since then. For some in depth thoughts and memories of the Dreamcast, I highly recommend you check out the latest episode of the Retronauts podcast.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to fire up my Dreamcast and relieve its glory days. Goodnight, and may the Dreamcast Rest In Peace.

"its thinking"
Posted by 100th_bullet

I remember a few of those commercials, too. Never owned the console, unfortunately, but I do remember playing Crazy Taxi and GTA II, I think. Oh, and probably Code Veronica. I remember reading about the downfall of the system like it was yesterday. Project after project started getting canceled and pretty soon no games were coming out at all. Such a shame. But remember: Dreamcast isn't dead. It's just gone home. Or something like that... we're playing Typing of the Dead at some point.

Posted by KnightsofRound

As a gamer I should probably be ashamed of the fact that I have NEVER played a single Sega console EVER.  There was only one brief 5-10 minute moment in my entire life where I played a Sega system and I don't even know which one it was.  It was a Sonic game though, the only time I have ever played Sonic in my entire life.

Anyway, I think the ultimate downfall of the Dreamcast was that it came out kind of in between the PS1/N64 and PS2/GC/Xbox era and just kind of fell off the Earth because of it.

Posted by Bort_Hammer

I remember 9/9/99...my mom took me to Wal-Mart to pick up my pre-order of Final Fantasy VIII, and I saw the Dreamcast and told her how I wanted to save up my money to buy one. After a moment's consideration, my mom decided to buy one right then and there as a Christmas gift for me and my brothers. I flipped out! I had to wait until Christmas to actually open it, but I had a copy of House of the Dead 2 and light gun ready when I finally did. ^^

Oh, and Final Fantasy VIII was really cool too! =P

Posted by LeonKowalski

I played House of the Dead just to use the light guns (I think there was only one other remotely decent gun game, Confidential Mission, which I got later). And I ran out and bought two used keyboards just to play Typing of the Dead. One of those funny phrases would be "I love you" floating over some zombie shambling toward you...


Another cool Dreamcast feature was the VMU. With Skies of Arcadia you could independently play a mini game on the VMU and upload your winnings to the console for use in your campaign. I wonder i Peter Molyneux could do something like that?
Posted by Gigastormz

James: Yeah, I suppose you're right.  The Dreamcast isn't dead because it lives on in the hearts of all its fans.  We definitely have to play some TotD when you come up here some day.

KnightsofRound: Not even a Genesis?  You've had to have played at least Sonic the Hedgehog once.

Bort Hammer: Sweet story.  I think I ended up picking up FFVIII on release day as well, since I was working at Toys R Us at the time and didn't need to pre-order it.  I really enjoyed that game even though a lot of people didn't.  Diablo is one of my favorite summons and I really like Quistis.  The drawing spell mechanic is understandably unusual and can get tedious but it was interesting and something different than the norm that makes things interesting.  Your mom sounds pretty cool if she let you have House of the Dead 2! lol

Leon: The one funny phrase that sticks in my mind is "Beast Wars" which is a Transformers cartoon from the mid 90s.  Have no idea why that showed up in the game but it was funny and awesome at the same time.  I never really used my VMU for much.  I think I tried Chao raising on it in Sonic Adventure but that's about it.  The batteries are long dead, but it seems to keep my save files still.

HartKnight: Thanks!  Do you have any memories of the Dreamcast launch or favorite DC games?