The Dreamcast is Overrated

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Sephiroth81
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The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Sephiroth81 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:46 am

This was the conclusion I came up with this morning, after digging out my very yellow DC and having a trip down memory lane.

This thread is not mean't to be provocative, its just an opinion! Although the dreadful failure of the console would seem to back up my thoughts on this.

The hardware itself isn't too bad. Perhaps it was too soon at the time for network gaming and surfing internet (so very innovative, but dial up was always going to be very niche). Seems pretty rushed otherwise. I think the controller is ok, but a slight backward step from their Saturn 3D controller. The lack of DVD support was probably due to cost, and Sega probably knew the system wasn't going to be a long term strategy (and that they'd end up focusing on being a games developer). The CD drive is bloody noisy though, and the system itself is, then again, so is that entire generation apart from the Gamecube and PS2 slim.

Many of the arcade ports seem a tad rushed, as is mostly the case with Sega prior to this (Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally aside, which was decent). Sega Rally 2 and Virtua Fighter 3tb definitely weren't as polished as the arcade versions. House of the Dead 2 is decent though (especially considering the abysmal HOTD 1 Saturn port).

In terms of other games, they're ok, reasonably fun. I played a bit of Crazy Taxi and Hydro Thunder. Soul Calibur is a superb fighter and aged very well, and Shenmue 1 and 2 are dreamy, if a bit slow paced and tedious in placed. I have 21 games for the system, and I'm sure i'm missing lots of rare gems (probably import....although i'm not a massive fan of 2D space shooters which the Saturn had a billion of), but I think for a PAL/US release, the Dreamcast was extremely average. This was clearly not helped by Sega pulling the plug.

I think overall, the Saturn seems to have a better selection of games, even if the system was less capable. The DC didn't really have the chance to shine though, as it was barely around, but I can't imagine that the hardware itself would have been capable (due to using GD-Roms and having a slowish CPU) of reproducing games as grand as Halo 2, God of War 2, GTA San Andreas, FFX or Shadow of the Colossus.

What does everyone else think? Surely i'm not the only one to see the DC is overrated.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by speedlolita » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:47 am

Arcade ports aside, I tend to agree with you really.

Obviously people are going to show affection towards it for being a Sega machine and the history related to that but I didn't feel it to be a particularly strong machine, ports aside. Does have some nice quirky Japanese stuff though, which is why I sort of like it. Prefer the Saturn though.
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by outdated_gamer » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:36 pm

It was a "games machine", much like the GameCube. Low price, impressive capabilities for it's time and full focus on games. While I personally think that the system is a bit too over-praised (back then not too many really cared about it after all - untill a few years later they started thinking "how awesome would it be if Sega was still in the console hardware biz?" :wink: ), it's also hard to deny that it had a very good line-up of games which were comming out at a steady pace. Sega was also bringing a lot of innovative and fresh experiences to the table with some real gems, so it was surely a shame that they decided to "pull the plug" on it, but also a reasonable decision considering the heavy losses they suffered at the time. Would they keep on competing in the hardware biz, there might not have been a Sega at all today.

Interestingly, GameCube also did not perform all that well, sales-wise, and like said before used a similar approach - low price, impressive tech for the time and full focus on games. Nintendo were also making unique new experiences (alonside their classic ones) but it didn't really bode that well, in comparison to some much more popular rival system(s).

The way I see things a bit of Dreamcast and a bit of GameCube lives on in the Wii U, except we're not getting the impressive tech this time. :wink:

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Nemesis » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:44 pm

It's a good machine if you enjoy arcade ports, especially fighting and shooting games. If you're looking for deeper gaming experiences, then the variety is quite limited.

I would concur that the Dreamcast is over rated though, it just didn't have enough developers on board over the course of its commercial lifetime.
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Liamh1982 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:07 pm

I don't think I've ever been so conflicted about a console.

Despite the unreliability, the woeful online play (even in 2000 it was crap), the horrid controller (honestly, the fact my unofficial Mad Catz pad is about a thousand times nicer to use is not a good sign) and the lack of dev support it's given me some of the greatest gaming experiences I've ever had.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by slacey1070 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:10 pm

I suppose it depends on whose ratings you are measuring it against... Personally, I think its a lovely machine, which showed the way for gaming to this day, using pc type technology to ease development and on line capability, before the infrastructure existed to support it properly.

Saying "if you ignore the arcade ports" is much like saying "if you ignore all the ps2s good games, it was overrated"

But if you didn't like arcade ports, it was probably the wrong machine for you.
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by outdated_gamer » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:45 pm

slacey1070 wrote:I suppose it depends on whose ratings you are measuring it against... Personally, I think its a lovely machine, which showed the way for gaming to this day, using pc type technology to ease development and on line capability, before the infrastructure existed to support it properly.

Saying "if you ignore the arcade ports" is much like saying "if you ignore all the ps2s good games, it was overrated"

But if you didn't like arcade ports, it was probably the wrong machine for you.
Viewing Arcade-style games as somehow "lesser" experiences is similar to thinking that child-oriented games cannot be enjoyed by adults. :wink:

Personally, I like all types of games as long as they are enjoyable to me. But to each their own.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by paranoid marvin » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:47 pm

No decent footy games, an (at best) average controller, no DVD player , the worst game cases ever conceived and unreliable.

Back in the day though, arcade conversions were clearly better than on rival machines, with crisper cleaner graphics. Also the VMU was a neat (if underused) idea, and there were some great DC-only exclusives.

Overall I don't think it will ever be an iconic machine or a must-own, in the way that the VCS,Speccy, SNES etc are , but back in the day if anything was underrated (which is why Sega stopped making consoles).
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by slacey1070 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:50 pm

Which had the noisy disc drive, original xbox 360 or dreamcast??
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Mentski » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:57 pm

For the NAOMI ports alone you're about as wrong as Sir Wrongly Wrongington the Third, the man who never got things right.
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Shinobi » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:23 pm

Problem is the Dreamcast had very few exclusives that or only available on the Dreamcast.. Apart from Borderdown, Ill Bleed, D2 and Last Hope there's no System exclusive reason to own a Dreamcast these days as Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5 1 & 2, Seaman Sonic 1 & 2, Under Defeat, Codename Veronica, Triggerhearts Excellia, HOTD 2 etc where all released on other consoles.. Power Stone 1 & 2 I'm undecided as they where released on the PSP and would have been brilliant online multiplayer on 360/PS3 but never had official console releases.. X Box got Shenmue's

Soul Calibre I hear the Dreamcast version is the best due to its Story Mode and D2 which the language causes a few barriers not sure if a US version is released but the translated text is brilliant really good dialogue.. That leaves to me Confidential Mission, Blue Stinger and Carrier which I like a lot most people don't..

No EA Sports support to me that's a good thing.. The PS1 had Final Fantasy 7 VII the Dreamcast had Silver.. Add in the damn things break all the time or have the resetting problem, hard to get working models on fleebay..

No Star Wars arcade or Planet Harrier which would have been killer apps and Star Wars arcade is still insanely popular now
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by speedlolita » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:52 pm

As I understand Shinobi, only Shenmue 2 got a release on Xbox.
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Space_turnip » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:29 pm

Shenmue 2 came with a Shenmue movie, all the cut scenes, on the Xbox - depending on your tolerance for the pace of the first game, that could be a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm sure I'm meant to follow the pattern of this forums past and come on defending the Dreamcast, by far and away my favourite console, and one which I'm currently 250 pages down on writing a book, but a lot of the points are valid. There aren't many exclusives left (although Last Hope wasn't an exclusive....or very good), the online was always poor, no EA (although the 2K series was better for most sports), no decent Footie game, Naomi games that should have appeared that didn't, quickly superseded by the PS2, a controller that was....poor......

However, I firmly believe there's many things the DC did, and does, so well that it makes it a hugely enjoyable console. At the time the Arcade games were the best seen, and the DC's position in history as the last console where arcade games were still supreme, gives it a unique feel that no other console will ever have. Plug it into VGA and the games look excellent (and one view of the DC games through (simulated) 1080p on youtube will show you how good the games can look with the right set up (before anyone says, I know the VGA isn't 1080p ;)), it had some uniquely out there gaming experiences (samba, Tokyo Bus Guide) that were genuinely fun to play, 60hz games, it's PC ports were the best console versions at the time, there were several 'innovations' that were not necessary the first appearances on a console, but the first mainstream in the west (dlc, vmu mini games, online), it's post-death release list is impressive, it has plenty of awesome shmups, the homebrew stuff available, and emulators, are of a high quality. You need to view the DC library in the context of the full Japanese, US and PAL releases to get the best out of it.

So I'd say the DC isn't overrated. I've seen it listed as the second worst console of all time...a bizarre and rather ridiculous accusation. The DC has faults, but it's line up is excellent (and from a PAL perspective, far better than the Saturn) if now not quite as exclusive. At the time the DC was fighting a losing battle after Sega messed up with the Saturn and people simply wanted to hold out for the PS2. But to say it had no support at the time isn't true - it did, but even the fans were divided. The 2D dreamcast games that are now so highly regarded were panned by some, loved by others, which didn't help matters.
(and to answer a point, D2 did get a US release...it's alright...)
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by koopa42 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:55 pm

DC is ace, Shenpooey is not.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Sephiroth81 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:24 pm

slacey1070 wrote:Which had the noisy disc drive, original xbox 360 or dreamcast??
Dreamcast - no contest. I have the old 360 Elite, and its reasonably quiet. The revised "slimline" editions are very quiet. The Dreamcasts disc drive is very vocal by comparison.
Space_turnip wrote:Shenmue 2 came with a Shenmue movie, all the cut scenes, on the Xbox - depending on your tolerance for the pace of the first game, that could be a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm sure I'm meant to follow the pattern of this forums past and come on defending the Dreamcast, by far and away my favourite console, and one which I'm currently 250 pages down on writing a book, but a lot of the points are valid. There aren't many exclusives left (although Last Hope wasn't an exclusive....or very good), the online was always poor, no EA (although the 2K series was better for most sports), no decent Footie game, Naomi games that should have appeared that didn't, quickly superseded by the PS2, a controller that was....poor......

However, I firmly believe there's many things the DC did, and does, so well that it makes it a hugely enjoyable console. At the time the Arcade games were the best seen, and the DC's position in history as the last console where arcade games were still supreme, gives it a unique feel that no other console will ever have. Plug it into VGA and the games look excellent (and one view of the DC games through (simulated) 1080p on youtube will show you how good the games can look with the right set up (before anyone says, I know the VGA isn't 1080p ;)), it had some uniquely out there gaming experiences (samba, Tokyo Bus Guide) that were genuinely fun to play, 60hz games, it's PC ports were the best console versions at the time, there were several 'innovations' that were not necessary the first appearances on a console, but the first mainstream in the west (dlc, vmu mini games, online), it's post-death release list is impressive, it has plenty of awesome shmups, the homebrew stuff available, and emulators, are of a high quality. You need to view the DC library in the context of the full Japanese, US and PAL releases to get the best out of it.

So I'd say the DC isn't overrated. I've seen it listed as the second worst console of all time...a bizarre and rather ridiculous accusation. The DC has faults, but it's line up is excellent (and from a PAL perspective, far better than the Saturn) if now not quite as exclusive. At the time the DC was fighting a losing battle after Sega messed up with the Saturn and people simply wanted to hold out for the PS2. But to say it had no support at the time isn't true - it did, but even the fans were divided. The 2D dreamcast games that are now so highly regarded were panned by some, loved by others, which didn't help matters.
(and to answer a point, D2 did get a US release...it's alright...)
Well, its certainly not the worst console of all time. Any publication that says it is, is wrong, and hell to "opinion".

I did actually forget to mention the VGA modes, as that is definitely a positive for the system. I do in fact have a VGA box for it, and it does make the games look nice and sharp.

But yea, nearly every game on the Dreamcast is now available on other systems and have been (usually) improved upon.

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