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There's nothing to see here except for shadows of the past - and these ones won't be returning.

I'd point you to my next project here - but I'm not that organised. My style is to act and then sort out the consequences, rather than the other way around. Oh, and lying. I do that a lot too. (i.e. if you look closely, you may have seen some links appearing roughly once a week) is registered to me for the forseeable future, so you might find something there.

Edited by Vitenka at 2003-04-09 08:22:54

Vitenka : Thu 8 04:46:13 2002  
... Damn I hate it when a plan falls apart. Buy a dreamcast, under 50 basic 350 tops, better than all the rest in many ways! ...

Buy a DreamCast

We were supposed to have a multiway debate about which console to buy. Four authors each supporting the console that they have against all the others. But wouldn't you know it, no one else showed.

Which leaves me in sole posession of the field, and thus the victor! The uncontested victor of this 'battle of the consoles' is the dreamacast! Yay! Whoo! Cue up the crowds chanting those sweetest of syllables - "Dee - FAULT!"

Unique Selling Points

Well, the dreamcast has a load of things that sega thought would make you buy it - but they were wrong. The unique selling point of this console is that it is CHEAP. Under fifty quid in a highstreet shop kind of cheap. You can spend more on a single game for the other consoles than you will for this baby.

Next up - power. The dreamcast has about as much power as the PS2 - some argue that it has a bit more power under the hood

Thirdly - customisation. The dreamcast can run a heck of a lot of PC software. It is a windowsCE machine - and can run a lot of freeware stuff.

Fourthly - online. Other consoles talk about it; dreamcasts got it. Narrowband out of the box, broadband if you can be arsed setting it up. Admittedly, it only has four games that run online but that's more than anything else. (PS2 has one, in japan. Xbox is 'coming soon' and gamecube is 'thinking about it')

Finally, though this is a bit esoteric - import games. The action replay for dreamcast is cheap, no mod chips are required, and it can run ALL games at either 50 or 60Hz as you prefer.

Where it Draws Level

Dreamcasts have keyboards and mice - xbox is getting those soon and PS2 already have them. Quake3 on the dreamcast can be played against PC opponents (although only on some servers) and even on a modem it plays very smoothly and with perfect mouse+keys combination.

The ability to plug in a handheld and play some of your games (in a lesser incarnation) while away from you machine? VMU is a dreamcast invention - gameboy linkup is a poor clone. And lots of games take advantage of it - as opposed to goddam kirby.

VGA linkup as standard of course. There're no games that let you link multiple dreamcasts together for network play - I'll admit that. But the ability to play online offsets that somewhat. Oh, and the machine is only about twice the height of a ps-one, so it's actually possible to carry it to a friends house.

Dreamcast controllers are (slightly oddly shaped) USB - so (with an adaptor) you can plug your PC peripherals in. This means that yes, some people have gotten hard drives onto their casts.

Dreamcast can run linux - with webbrowsing etc. fully working. PS2 can if you buy a kit, and there's a prize if you can get it on the xbox.


Dreamcast can't play DVD's. It's uses a 'GDROM' (which is, basically, a CDROM which has been overburnt to about 86 minutes)

However, you can get Divx players for it, if you really need to.

The biggest downisde is that there are no new full-priced games being made for this black sheep system. Which is a damn shame. This is slightly offset by the fans making PC games work for it. (Doom, quake, infocom adventure games...) - although you do need a bit of technical know-how to use these. (Well, you need to be happy with your CD-burner, at least)

It's all about the games

Let's compare the flagship products, shall we? Halo comes up against dreamcast having both unreal tourney and quake3 - both playable online WITHOUT having to hook up via your PC. Neither have vehicles or the technical artistry - but both are atcually good games...

No GTA3 - but you do get the best implementation of crazy taxi...

No pikmin, but if you fancy insane japanese puzzle games - chu-chu rocket is a classic that you must try.

No final fantasy - but grandia two and skies of arcadia both make a showing.

Sonic adventure - "Only on gamecube" my arse...

As for fighting games - sega is the undisputed king; with king of the fighters in no less than two versions.

You also get some classic oddball games like rez (musical rail shooter genre is becoming big now) survival horror games such as alone in the dark and classic huge games like shenmue (which I personally hate)

The only downside I can see is that it can't play tfc. Oh, and that it won't get the newest final fantasies. (Although, if you have a playstation disk and download the right stuff - you can play ff4-9 on it. That's right - the dreamcast can emulate the playstation.)

I'm convinced, what should I get?

Ok, first the basic pack. That's dreamcast, controller, memory card and one game (probably chu-chu or sonic) - that will be under 75 quid, probably under 50 depending upon how much the vendor tries to tease out of you.

You can get a keyboard+mouse (either branded, or adapter) for under 15 - then the two games that need it (UT and Q3) for 10-15 each.

If you prefer RPGs then you'll want a VMU (about 2 quid now) and shenmue1+2, skies of arcadia and grandia - which will set you back 80-100 quid. Which is painful, but about 260 hours of gameplay.

If you want to mess about with wierd imports (or use the modem to connect a DC to your PC instead of the broadband adapter) that'll be an action replay - hard to find, but under a tenner.

Broadband adapters are like gold-dust, but sell for about 100 quid on ebay. I'd not bother, personally.

Action games - crazy taxi, powerstone, the other sonic game and king of fighter should set you back forty quid in total.

So the most you could spend on a dreamcast would be about three hundred and fifty pounds. For a solid gameplay experience that will last. Yes, that is more than the cheapest you can buy one of the other consoles for - but just try buying a few games for them too. Three hundred and fifty for twelve utter classics? That's less than you'd be paying for PC games even.

Yes, it doesn't have neverwinter. Yes it's a bit of a 'blast to the past' - but if your main reason to buy a PS2 was going to be "It can play all my old PSX games" then give it even more serious thought, because the dreamcast can do that too.

Buy a dreamcast - because mario must die. (Sunshine? SUNSHINE? What were they NOT smoking?)

Edited by Vitenka at 2002-08-08 16:51:26

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