Systems Have I Loved: Sega Dreamcast

I don’t know what possessed me to get one, but I believe I traded in my PlayStation for this guy.

It's thinking.... I guess.

System: I know I got it freshman year of college, which might explain it. I had a crazy amount of disposable income freshman year, when all my work-study cash went to dvds and nonsense instead of what it should’ve been going to. It might have been because the Dreamcast had an adapter that let you use a computer monitor instead of a tv, and I didn’t own a tv at the time.

Favorite Games: Crazy Taxi saw a LOT of time in the ol’ Dreamcast tray. Subsequent sequels somehow failed to capture to magic and controls of the first one, which I, my brother and his friends would play incessantly in the summer of 2001. I should mention there is not a lot to do in RI. Even so, the original Crazy Taxi remains a delight, and one of the best “weird concept leads to amazing game” executions of all time.

Also ranking high on our favorite games of the summer of ’01 was Power Stone 2, arguably the best four-player brawler until Super Smash Bros Melee, and still the best four-player 3D brawler. Oh the insanity. I don’t know why it took game systems so long to come around to a standard four-player model (considering they would make additional cash by selling additional controllers), but this and the N64 was when the idea of four-player games really went all out.

In the “Fun Games With Names That Translate Hilariously From Japanese” Hall of Fame is Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram, more colloquially known as Virtual-On. One of the finer “robots fightin’ robots” games. Recently re-released for XBox Live, with good reason. It’s Oratorio Tangramaceous!

Least Favorite: I played a ton of stinkers, for reasons mentioned below. I was trying to think of a specific game I found disappointing, and I had to look at a list to find one. Record of Lodoss War, based on the fantasy anime I had much love for as a teen (and would probably call a snooze now), was a weak Diablo clone. Boo. I’d rather just play Diablo.

Personal Quirks: Ho ho, pirated games! The Dreamcast was one of the easiest systems to pirate games for (no mod chip required), and my brother seemed to relish in the delight of pulling down games over our cable modem and seeing if they worked. Once the system was more or less abandoned by Sega, even the twinge of guilt normally associated with piracy went away. I did actually own Power Stone 2 and Crazy Taxi (and I believe Crazy Taxi 2), as those were my favorites, and I bought them before my brother showed me how to burn games.

I also liked the Dreamcast for having a $15 adapter available so that you could use it on a standard VGA monitor with computer speakers – highly uncommon at the time. Similar adapters existed for the PlayStation or PS2, but they ran into the $70 range. When I didn’t own a tv, this was great dorm entertainment value. Nothin’ says freshman year like playing Crazy Taxi between classes.

Up next: the PlayStation 2.