Will a retrospective experience of the Dreamcast hold off the Death of Video Games?
Launch disc, access memory cards, listen to music or change settings. That’s pretty much all you have going for you. Like I say, I don’t know what I expected given the time the console was released. I suppose that I have been spoiled by the all-singing, all-dancing machines we have today.
Unlike the internal batteries from Nintendo cartridges (R.I.P. all Pokemon from your Red and Blue cartridges), the battery in the Dreamcast is rechargeable. Great, right? Well, to charge said battery, the console must be switched on doing something. Just being connected to the mains is not enough. Again, we have been spoiled by the all-singing, all-dancing superconsoles of today. This means that you have to either leave the console on overnight so that it remembers the date, or play it pretty much every day. I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a design flaw or a play incentive, but it’s certainly a thing.
Lastly, this console is a bootleggers dream. The piracy protection on the Dreamcast is almost non existant, making importing with boot disks and game copying almost too easy. I’ll admit, a lot of my time was spent downloading roms and experimenting what would run on my Dreamcast. In total, I think I had about 2 failed burns and every other rom, including larger 2-disk affairs ran perfectly.
I’m told the homebrew community is also excellent on this platform for the same reasons, but I want to focus on the experience the console offered at the height of it’s prime, rather than its extended legacy.
And there’s a ruddy great hole in the middle. Besides that, the face buttons and d-pad are okay, I guess. The triggers on the rear are pretty nice. The cord is pretty lengthy too, which is more than I can say for standard PlayStation controller cords.
The ports on the VMUs allow them to connect to each other and transfer save data between them. Is your buddy having trouble beating that boss on Sonic: Before We Ruined It? Just give him your save file so he can actually finish the game! What a cool ass idea!
Power Stone/ Power Stone 2
A) You’re right, and
B) This is it.
It’s an arcade fighter style game with giant robots as the playable characters. Each character has their own story mode too, which is pretty sweet. Very polished, high octane fun. Plus, one the main characters main moves is a Rider Kick. Pure class.
Skies Of Arcadia
Jet Set Radio
The Nomad Soul
So did my trip back to this forgotten console restore any faith in games for me?
But this system has some stellar games. Some not so stellar, too, but of the games I played, the majority still hold up today, or are at least interesting enough to warrant trying out. Certainly titles like Skies of Arcadia and Power Stone I say should be revived, as future instalments could become instant classics.
The Dreamcast just has a certain charm to it that’s hard to deny is pleasing. It may have struggled back when it was first released, but its legacy is fondly remembered. I’m certainly going to be sharing some of the diamonds in the rough I’ve discovered in this systems interesting back catalogue with friends, and I’d recommend most of what I played to you readers as well.
For now, the Death of Video Games hasn't arrived. For now, it's go retro or go home.
The Editor in Chief of Foul Entertainment, Mike edits most of what you see on the site. He runs the production of our podcasts, and currently pens Pop Culture Club and The Death of Video Games.