Monday, August 10, 2009

9 Reasons Why You Should Still Be Playing Your Dreamcast

We're almost there kids, the big ten is less than a month away! I figured it's time I dusted off the 10th Anniversary banner for another Dreamcast related article. This time I'm going to give 9 reasons why you should still be playing your Dreamcast. Enough jibber-jabber, let's kick off the list!

VGA Support
The Dreamcast was ahead of its time in many aspects, including video output. Even in 1998, SEGA was thinking towards the future by making the console capable of 480p progressive scan via VGA output. In other words, the Dreamcast looks damn good on an HDTV. Compare what the Dreamcast can do to other consoles of its generation; Nintendo dropped Gamecube DVI support in 2004 and the best the Playstation 2 and XBOX can do is component video (correct me if I'm wrong with the XBOX).

That is one sharp startup menu!

2 Ports Look Better
While the Dreamcast saw its share of games ported from other consoles, often the Dreamcast version became the best version available. Playstation and Nintendo 64 ports look sharper, run smoother, and occasionally feature updated graphics and exclusive content. Standout ports of great games like Rayman 2 and Shadowman are excellent additions to any Dreamcast library. Even average ports like Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, Jedi Power Battles and Tomb Raider: Chronicles are worth playing on the Dreamcast.

One of the Dreamcast's best platformers would be a port of a N64 game! Who knew?

3 Exclusive Games
Speaking of ports, over the years the Dreamcast has lost many of its once exclusive games to newer consoles like the Gamecube, PS2 and XBOX Live Arcade. Despite a few losses, some argue that the Dreamcast versions are still the best; the Dreamcast versions of Wacky Races, Rayman 2, Soul Caliber and Dead or Alive 2 definitely beat their PS2 versions. Games that remain exclusive to the Dreamcast include the epically awesome Shenmue, the genre defying Jet Set Radio, the excellent Power Stone series, the obscure Cool Cool Toon and the bizarre Seaman (English language version).

Nine years later and this STILL can only be played on the Dreamcast.

4 Unique Gameplay
Utilizing both conventional and bizzare accessories, the Dreamcast offers unique gameplay experiences found nowhere else. Have a conversation with Seaman, explore a 1980's era Yokosuka, enjoy a number of online games (via some simple mod methods) and play a near-perfect arcade game of Samba de Amigo. Sorry Wii owners, but the height sensing maracas make the game.

5 An Active Online Community
If you haven't noticed already, the Dreamcast has an active and very friendly online community. Blogs such as this one, I Have A Dreamcast and the Dreamcast Junkyard provide news and articles pertaining to the console and allow for friendly chit-chat, while larger discussions can be held in forums such as the one at Planet Dreamcast. With the upcoming 10th anniversary, expect some big things to come from these sites.

6 Homebrew and Emulation
As the majority of Dreamcasts manufactured are able to read burned CD-ROMs, an active homebrew and emulation community exists. Sites such as DCEmu and DC Evolution provide news and downloads for those who enjoy older emulated games as well as homebrew creations. What are you waiting for? Get burning!

7 New Games
Beyond homebrew releases, the past few years have brought some very impressive independent releases available to buy from the same websites that sell official Dreamcast releases. Notable independent releases include Wind & Water Puzzle Battles, DUX and Last Hope. Compare that to what the Gamecube and XBOX have released over the past year (aka nothing).

8 It Looks Great on a Shelf
Something has to be said about the Dreamcast's aesthetic design, it's a truly lovely object. The wave shape of the top edges, the five small squares on either side of the disc lid, the triangular orange power light and the colorful buttons bring a sort of playful character to the system. Despite being playful, the Dreamcast is also subtle in its design, making it perfectly suited for a highly visible spot on an entertainment shelf. Compared to the PS2, XBOX and Gamecube, the Dreamcast does not give off the look of a toy or a VCR. Combine the Dreamcast with a 360, a white Saturn and an Orta exclusive XBOX and you have a cream colored candy coated console collection.

9 The Future
If the past year is any indication, the Dreamcast has a lot in store for the future. More independent games are coming, homebrew efforts continue to thrive, the community is growing and despite owning and playing the console since 1999, I still have new Dreamcast games to discover.

SEGA Dreamcast. It's still thinking.


  1. My friend and I were just playing Daytona USA and Tennis 2k2 on Sunday. He said he was "surprised" at how good the games looked and played.

    Its amazing that 10 years after the release of the DC it still impresses people with the quality of gaming.

  2. Number 10 is definitely the multiplayer games. Tennis 2k2, Power Stone 2 and Wacky Races make for a great afternoon.

  3. Dreamcast ALL the WAY!

    Hands DOWN best system of all time! No other system can provide the excitement, rush, and creative energy that the Dreamcast can! It is still Alive today and if Sega cannot realize this and thier fans they shooting themselves and flushing themselves right down the TOILET! I want a NEW CONSOLE from Sega, and port ALL thier classic IP games to a NEW Sega Console !