Top positive review
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A Truly Special System
on 29 June 2007
The Sega Dreamcast is simply wonderful. Sega's 128 bit console was released in 1999 in Europe, and took the gaming world by storm. Its graphics were astonishing, and still are even by today's standards. The console was innovative and unique in that it was the first games console to have online features, (the Dreamcast has a built-in modem) where you could play Dreamcast games online with other Dreamcast owners from across the world. It set the standard for the future of online gaming to come, with every next-gen console now having online features.
The controller is extremely comfortable, though you may not feel used to it straight away. Using it feels natural, however, and it suits the games perfectly, making for very pleasurable gameplay.
The console has a very unique memory card called the Visual Memory Unit (VMU). The VMU is not just a memory card, but also a little handheld game. It doesn't come with games on it, however, but most Dreamcast games allow you to download mini-games from the disk onto the VMU. Not quite a Game Boy advance, but fun nonetheless, and should keep you going when spending time away from your Dreamcast. The only small set-back is that downloading games onto the VMU does require a lot of memory space, so you may need a lot of free blocks. Memory space is good however, with a standard VMU holding 200 memory blocks of free space. On average you should be able to store a good 4 or 5 saved game files, depending on how many blocks they take up. The VMU also interacts with the gameplay in a creative and fun way, which you'll see for yourself. VMU's are also cheap, you should get one for £6-12 new here on Amazon.
Now, onto the most important part - the games. The Dreamcast was only on the European market for just over a year, but in that short time a very large collection of must-have classics were released. Some of those titles include Sega GT, MSR, Shenmue 1 & 2, Skies of Arcadia, Grandia 2, Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive 2, Virtua Tennis, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Headhunter... just to name a few. The list is too long to include them all. The games are awesome and the graphics are mind-blowing, even now. There is no slowdown in the framerate, and the games are just an absolute pleasure to play. That's all I'll say, as I'm not reviewing each individual game. You'll find out.
If you wonder why the Dreamcast was only on the market for under two years, the Playstation 2 stole a lot of interest. The Dreamcast was initially the console everyone wanted to own, but since the original Playstation was so successful (compared to Sega's Saturn which didn't do too well), the news of a Playstation 2 naturally aroused interest. Probably the main attraction, however, was that the Playstation 2 is also a DVD player - at the time of its release, it was cheaper than a DVD player, which were very expensive at the time. The Dreamcast cannot play DVD's (though can obviously play CD's). The Dreamcast unfortunately didn't end up getting the recognition it deserved, which is a shame because it truly is one of the best gaming systems ever produced.
A Dreamcast can still be picked up brand new if you're willing to search online for it, but expect to pay in excess of £100. A second-hand one in new condition can be picked up for £40 or less right here on Amazon. I can promise you will love it, and will not tire of it. If you've got a bit of spare cash and want to spend it on something that will last you for many years, the Dreamcast is it. You won't regret buying this exceptional system from Sega.
To sum up, the Dreamcast is a diamond that continues to sparkle in the gaming world, it is nothing less than brilliant. Get one!