18 years ago (but not in this very day lol, like 2 weeks after), I bought what would become one of my preferred videogame consoles of all time. The SEGA Dreamcast.
Little I did know that it wasnt going to last more than 3 years commercially, little I did know that it would have a FANTASTIC game lineup, little I did know that it would become my fighting game paradise.
I used to work on a videogame store in Venezuela since February 1999, so we received almost first hand, consoles, accesories and titles. The first game that woved me was of course, Sonic Adventure. The jump between that and lets say, Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie, wich had both previously woved me, the graphics blew me away, the music hooked me up till today, and the speedy gameplay (albeit the glitchy camera) really had me drooling!
Blue Stinger on the other hand, interested me, but I never caught up with its gameplay. But the best was to come…
Next week, we received Soul Calibur and a VGA adapter. Oh God. OH GOD! I wasnt prepared for the audiovisual show that the game was (and still holds up IMO). I have never been into 3d fighters, but SC is one weak spot of mine.
One genre that I loved since the SNES and PS1 was the JRPG one, and while there werent many choices during the DC lifespan, the ones that are, are really good. Skies of Arcadia and Grandia 2 are true classics of its day.
Shenmue 1 and 2, while not easily defined in any genre, were groundbreaking titles, fathers of the open world and interaction with almost everything you could see.
Phantasy Star Online redefined the genre and brought online gaming to consoles in a way no one could ever predict. I can trace gameplay aspects on sucessful titles today that took inspiration on PSO, like the Dark Souls multiplayer component, for example.
I even played the JRPG underdogs, Evolution 1 and 2, Silver, E.G.G, Record of Lodoss War, etc
Then the avalanche of fighting games. Mortal Kombat Gold, Super Turbo, Marvel 2, CvS 1 and 2, Alpha 3, 3rd Strike, KOF98, 99, 2K, 2K1, 2K2, Garou, Project Justice, VF3, SC, DoA2, Guilty Gear X… and so on… even with the stock pad I could hold my own on all these games haha In fact, I got a small knickname those day, the “DreamcastGuy”, cause I was most of the time, with a backpack, my DC, 2 pads and a plethora of FG from game store to game store challenging ppl! XD
Even FPS had their good share. Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, damn I even played Kiss Psycho Circus, Soldier of Fortune and Spawn. And thanks to the homebrew scene, Quake 1 and the unreleased Half Life port.
My Mom (may she rest in peace) loved the DC, she loved Rayman 2, Donald Duck, Ms Pacman, Disney Dinosaur, Puzzle Bobble. She always liked to turn on the console to hear the startup sound. ❤ 😥
I helped here through the more difficult sections of these games, so I ended up loving them somehow. Also adding Sonic Adventure 2 and the late Evil Twin.
Action adventure had the difficult but good MDK2, the “pre Dark Souls” Draconus, the BEST versions of Shadowman and Soul Reaver, the “next gen” Head Hunter and some more ahooting oriented like Expendable and Red Dog.
I even managed to finish all brawler games, like Dynamite Cop, Zombie Revenge and Soul Fighter and the light gun ones, like House of the Dead 2 and Confidential Mission.
Zero Gunner, Ikaruga, Mars Matrix and Giga Wing were my favorite shooters.
Racing? F355, MSR and LeMans 24H. I also played a bit of Sega GT.
Survival horror had the AMAZING RE: Code Veronica and great ports of Resi 2, 3 and Dino Crisis. I even beat the decent Alone in the Dark 4, Carrier and the awfull Ring.
On the misc. side, I enjoyed Air Force Delta, Surf Rocket Racers, Charge and Blast, and Super Magnetic NEO. Played lots of Armada and Star Lancer.
But suddenly, SEGA pulled the plug and the rest is history already told.
With the price cuts, I managed to buy 3 more consoles that lasted me a long time. In fact, I still have 2 of them working to this day.
Those upcoming years were dark ones. No new games, cancellation of hyped ones (Castlevania Resurrection), and many BIG games that werent US localized like Shenmue 2 or Head Hunter.
I developed hate against Sony and blamed them for SEGA’s demise, not knowing or maybe not accepting it was their own fault.
The irony of them finally doing things right but going broke was too harsh for me. They got a head start when launched, the console itself was beautiful, even sexy may I add. Had the power to compete with most of the earlier ps2 games. Had online from the box. Had an amazing lineup of games on almost all genres. Well…
So I found about the homebrew scene and the emulators. NesterDC was my best friend for YEARS, and many years later, I would be amazed at the level of the Neo Geo CD emulation.
I totally skipped the PS2, GC & XBOX era and came back in force to gaming again on the 360 days. Many FG DC players moved onto PS2 but I could never get the hang of the Sony pad and I wasnt going to build a stick for a system I didnt owned/liked.
So, 18 years later and in a whole different country, for life circumstances I find myself with another Dreamcast, and replaying almost all of its games, and enjoying every minute of it. In fact, it feels like the good, old days.
Long live Dreamcast, long live SEGA.
Sektor & Cyrax Challenge!