Review by Psycho Penguin

"Wow.... well it turned out a lot better than the Saturn did"

1999 will be a year to remember in terms of video game history. A lot of great games (as well as a lot of disappointing games, a perfect example of this is Final Fantasy 8). There was also a lot of hype genereated in the video game industry during this time. Magazines, as some of you may know, like to overhype (in my opinion) certain things at times. In my opinion, the most hyped thing (video game wise) in 1999 was none other than Sega's latest console, the Sega Dreamcast.

The Sega Dreamcast was hyped, for a lot of reasons. First, it meant the turning of the tide in the video game industry. Even if you hate the Playstation, you will have to admit that the Sony Playstation was the dominant console, dominating since it came out, pretty much. Another reason that the console was so hyped was because of the fact that the console was so powerful, featuring amazing graphical capabilities.

With all of the talk about the graphical capabilities and the console chamging the face of the video game industry forever, it was difficult not to get a little worried about it. How could I not get worried about it? After all, all of the consoles that I love have been because of the game library that the console featured. I have never been known to like a console based on graphical power, so I was kind of worried because I had not heard much about the game library of the console.

There was another concern that I had with the console. The fact that Sega produced the console concerned me a little bit. That is not bias, it is the simple fact that the last console Sega made was supposed to be the best, but bombed out in the end. The Sega Saturn was the name of that console, and, like the Sega Dreamcast, it was supposed to be the next best thing. However, the lack of a game library and third-party developers doomed the console from the start. It was a rather disappointing console, so I did not know what to expect from the Sega Dreamcast.

Sure, it was going to have great graphics and good audio capabilities, but I am not going to like the console if it does not have a good game library. So, I was kind of worried about the Sega Dreamcast, because I did not know what kind of game library it was going to future, especially after the disappointment known as the Sega Saturn. Early signs were promising, but I was definitely not sure about the game library the console was going to feature.

However, I soon realized that I should not have worried about the game library the console was going to feature. Sega decided to launch the console with a juggernaut of launch games. While the quality of these launch games varied, there were several quality launch games released. For instance, there were three fighting games released on launch day. Those three fighting games were Marvel vs. Capcom, Soul Calibur, and Virtua Fighter 3tb. These three games were quality, but Marvel vs. Capcom was better than the other two, in my opinion.

No matter what video game genre you are a fan of, chances are you will find a game that you enjoy. In fact, you will probably find several quality games you happen to enjoy. Fighting game fans will enjoy all the 2D fighting games. Sports fans have the Sega Sports series to play. Role playing game fans may be a little disappointed with the current selection for role playing games (Evolution, Climax Landers, Time Stalkers), but there are going to be several role playing games released soon, headlined by Phantasy Star Online, so don't fret too much over the lack of current quality role playing games featured on the console.

The console does not use CD-ROMs nor cartridges. Instead, it used GD-ROMs. The console ran them at 4x speed. What is the meaning of this? This means that the games not only cost less than Nintendo 64 cartridges, but also load quicker than Playstation games (and the games cost the same amount as Playstation games, to boot!) I liked the speed that the consoles ran the games at. It did have a disadvantage though, you can injure your finger if you don't let the game stop swirling before removing the game.

One of the most hyped things about the Sega Dreamcast, as a console, was the graphical capablities of the console. And after seeing early screenshots of console games running on the Dreamcast, I was rather excited and hyped about them as well. The console is actually twice as powerful as the Nintendo 64 and four times as powerful as the Sony Playstation, in terms of bits. The Sega Dreamcast was a powerful 128-bits, amazing power that has never been seen before.

The audio capabilities of the console may not have been as hyped as the graphical capabilities, but that does not mean anything because the audio capabilities of the console are quite good! The fact that the console uses GD-ROMs just adds to the listening pleasure, as the GD-ROMs really increases the sound quality. I like it best when the console and television are hooked up to speakers.

Overall, I was kind of worried about the console at first, because there was not much talk about the game library, hence the reason I did not purchase one at first. However, after seeing all the quality games released for the console, plus taking into consideration the graphical and audio capabilities of the console, I purchased one. You should buy a Sega Dreamcast too, if you haven't already. The cost is definitely worth it, as the console is already successful and has a great future.

Good Points
-The graphical capbilities of the console are phenomenal.
-The game library of the console is varied.
-The future of the console actually looks bright.
-The storage medium of the games.

Not So Good Points
-It is a Sega produced console, and they have a bad track record.
-The name of the console is rather odd.
-Not quite the perfect selection of games, yet.
-Audio capabilities could have been better.

I Run Down the Ratings... SMcFadden style!
Graphical Capabilities - 9.8/10
Audio Capabilities - 7.8/10
Game Library - 9.1/10
Future of Console - Bright
Producer/Developer - Sega
Current MSRP Cost - $199.99
Buy it? - Yes.
Overall - 9.3/10
The Last Line: Not the perfect console... yet.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/24/00, Updated 07/16/01

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