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33 Consoles of Christmas
Sega Dreamcast (1999)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 14, 2006   |   Episode 22 (Show Archive)  

   
It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!


Synopsis: The Dreamcast marked the final hardware launch for industry vets Sega. Released one year before the PlayStation 2, the Dreamcast was the first mainstream console to come equipped with a modem. Like the Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast saw a lot of Sega's major arcade releases being ported to the console. But it was more than just a place to have racers and fighters; it also housed a few real break out hits, including Shenmue, Ikaruga and Phantasy Star Online. Despite a strong start, Sega had a hard time keeping the momentum going as more and more consoles hit the market. Ultimately Sega opted to leave the hardware market and focus on third-party software for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. The Dreamcast still has a strong cult following, as well as some interesting homebrew software and the occasional Japanese arcade port.

Best Games: Soul Calibur, Shenmue, Phantasy Star Online, San Francisco Rush 2049, Ikaruga, Power Stone 2 and many, many more!




I completely understand why everybody loves the Dreamcast; it's like the indie movie that has to compete with the likes of Spider-Man, James Bond and Harry Potter. But I wonder if people's affection for what the console stands for somehow changes their opinion on the look of the system. I'm not going to say the look of the system is bad, but the Dreamcast is far from my favorite design. There are more than a few things about the system that I find myself unsure about, from the size to the noise that it makes. But then again, there are a lot of things I love about the look of the Dreamcast. I like how the on-light was implemented on the system. I love that the modem is practically invisible. I love that the CD (er, GD) tray is large. I love the four-player ports in the front. But it all looks so compact, and I'm not a fan of the system's large ass and skinny front. I can't spend too much time complaining about the system, though, because this is the best looking console Sega made. But there's no way I'm going to say that this is one of the best looking systems of all time ... it's just not that pretty!

While consoles became more and more powerful, most of them began taking up more and more of our Entertainment Center space. That was one of the reasons I enjoyed the Dreamcast from the very beginning, it's a small little thing! With several color choices available, the Dreamcast is a system for the people, though I prefer the plain white default style. I like the detachable modem on the side, too; it's nearly invisible if you don't know it's there. I've actually known people that didn't know that system came with one! They're so stupid! The Dreamcast is quite loud, and it does have a tendency to crap out if you push it too hard; I myself have gone through a couple already. This is the smallest, sleekest, sexiest system from Sega, no matter what the 32X commercials tried to tell me. This is one of my favorite consoles, from form to function.
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