Dumb Baby's Guide to the Dreamcast
This is a date that will live in infamy. It is the day that the Sega Dreamcast was released. I have witnessed many events in my life: the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the attack on the World Trade Center, but I won't remember any of these events as clearly as I remember the day the Dreamcast was released, the hordes of crowds camping out for months in advance, the violence, the riots, and the mayhem. People were literally climbing over each other just for a chance to get a Dreamcast. The risks were high but the rewards well worth it. Those lucky enough to get a Dreamcast found themselves treated like kings, receiving gifts, money, and blowjobs by those who hoped they could get just a few minutes of playtime on the dream machine. I know a man who gave away both his kidneys and all he got in return was an hour of Pen Pen Triathlon. He soon died, but with a smile on his face.
I called that man my father.
Then the unexpected happened. The Dreamcast was discontinued. On what would become known as "Shitty Sunday” Sega announced they would no longer produce Dreamcast consoles. It seems that despite the high demand, the Dreamcast was not profitable. It was so high tech that that the production costs were through the roof. There was no way they could keep on giving this gift to the world and stay in business so in the spirit of self preservation they stopped making the Dreamcast. That night the world wept.
As the saying goes "God never closes a window without opening a door.” People upset at the decision and wanting to leave the painful memories behind abandoned the Dreamcast in favor of newer systems. This made it possible for the working class to get their hands on the Dreamcast. The dream of owning a Dreamcast finally came true for millions.
Why not buy several Dreamcasts in case one breaks?
Why would you want a Dreamcast
Why wouldn't you want a Dreamcast. The Dreamcast is only the best video game system ever! It has all the prestige that comes with owning an old school system with all the bells and whistles of modern ones. You like 3D graphics? Dreamcast has those. They might not be quite as shiny as a Playstation 3 but its good enough. You don't have to eat steak, hamburger works just fine. Save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars and just get a Dreamcast. It has better games anyways.
How much does this cost?
Dreamcast games can cost anywhere between five dollars and nothing. Sometimes people give them away. If you pay more then five dollars for a Dreamcast game then you are a jive ass turkey that just got ripped off.
The lowest price I've seen for a system is 20 dollars. The store I saw this price at had about 20 Dreamcasts so it may cost more at places with lower supply.
Where do you buy Dreamcast games?
You can't just go into K-Mart or Walgreens and expect to pick up Dreamcast games. Even the most poorly run retail stores have sold off their excess collections of Dreamcast games. I know of a Shopko that for years after the Dreamcast was discontinued tried to sell this one left over game. The game was Toy Story 2 and they wanted 30 dollars for it. Nobody even considered buying it. If even they have come to the realization that it isn't smart to sell Dreamcast games anymore then I am sure better run stores will only be selling games for new systems as well.
If you are going to be a Dreamcast gamer you're going to have to get your hands dirty.
Video game stores that sell used games are a logical choice. But be prepared to pay an outrageous mark up. All used games will be sold for about ten dollars more then you are actually willing to pay. The only exceptions are sports games. Used video game stores are a godsend for people who want a ten year old basketball game. For everybody else they are an insult to the one god we hold true to our hearts.
At the pawn shop you can sell things to get enough money for more games.
Pawnshops are a fine alternative to stores specializing in video games. The pawn shop gets most of its money from selling guitars, gold chains, and meth. They aren't worried about getting the highest profit from that copy of Mars Matrix. They just want to have enough merchandise in the store so that the police don't realize they are just a front for various illegal activities.
The main advantage of the pawn shop is that the owner likely has no idea how much individual games are worth. Most Dreamcast games have no cash value, but there are a few that a rare enough that they usually sell for big bucks. The pawnshop owner probably doesn't know this so you can potentially pick up a classic for very little money.
There is a risk to pawn shops though. They might have a huge collection or they might have no games at all. The owner might be selling them cheap, or he might think they are a hot item. You just never know, just like it says in the Bible, no two pawn shops are the same.
Other potential treasure coves include yard sales, estate auctions, and looting of homes during race riots. Poor people in particularly seem to own Dreamcast games. You could also potentially buy Dreamcast games online at sites like Ebay or Online-Dreamcast-Games-4-Sale.org but that is the coward's way of doing things. A real man searches high and low for games. Each one he finds is a badge of honor proving he completed his quest and slain the dragon. The dragon in this analogy being not owning a video game.
Keeping track of that game data
The Dreamcast uses a memory card like device commonly known as the VMU. It keeps track of game data and has a little video screen that on rare occasions is used in a minigame. Do not buy these. They run on batteries and the idea of having a memory card that runs on batteries is retarded. You are going to be replacing those batteries faster then Cheri Oteri replaces the batteries in her vibrator. Just get a non-name brand memory card. It won't use batteries and will hold more memory.
Listening to cool grooves
The Dreamcast can also serve as a CD player. That's great news if you want to listen to music but only have a Dreamcast, TV, and CD. When you put on the music your TV screen gets all psychedelic with colors and spinning lines. It's great if you're listening to Jefferson Airplane and tripping on fabric softener. Not so great if you like to listen to CDs while playing video games. Not that you need to listen to CDs while playing Dreamcast games. Dreamcast games all have top quality music.
Accessing the internet
All Dreamcasts come with a modem. Somehow this can be used to go on the internet. I don't know how because I never did it. I suppose you just plug it into the wall or something. I'm not sure why you would bother doing this because all websites for Dreamcast games were shut down by 2001. You could use the Dreamcast just to surf the web, but I have no idea why you would want to do that. That would be stupid. You already have a computer that can access the internet. That's how you are able to read this.
What should you buy?
If possible buy every single Dreamcast game you come upon. The worst Dreamcast game is still better then the best not-Dreamcast game. If for some reason you can't buy every single Dreamcast game then this section is for you. I will detail games you should definitely get and games that should be avoided.
Sonic Adventure- Only get Sonic Adventure if you're a fan of rocking out hardcore with the best Sonic game ever! Sonic Adventure is the physical embodiment of awesome. Sure some of the characters are annoying and suck to play as (I'm looking at you Bigs, you fucking retarded man-cat) but the others more then make up for it. Sonic Adventure also has the most unintentionally hilarious rapping since the last time Sonic the Hedgehog was combined with rapping.
Sonic Adventure 2- In Sonic Adventure there were six characters. Three of those characters were really fun (Sonic, Tails, Amy) two were okay (Knuckles, the robot) and one sucked (Bigs the retarded man cat). For the sequel Sega decided to reduce choices down to three characters, taking Sonic, Knuckles and the robot. So Sonic Adventure 2 is like Sonic Adventure but a lot less fun.
Now in Sonic Adventure one of the reasons Knuckles and the robot were tolerable were because their scenarios were short enough that they ended before they got incredibly tedious. That is not the case here. You will still be playing as them long after you stop having any fun with them. The robot particularly sucks. Those levels require no skill as the gun autolocks on everything on screen. All you have to do is run through the level while smashing the fire button. You're better off watching a video of somebody playing a fun game.
Shenmu makes a great Valentines Gift.
The worst crime of Sonic Adventure 2 is that Tails doesn't fly. Not once. That's his thing, flying around with the power of helicopter tails but all he does here is operate a gay robot. Seriously that robot is so gay that it makes C-3PO say "Damn look at that homobot!”
Resident Evil Code Veronica - Now that Resident Evil 4 has come out and made us all realize it is possible to make a Resident Evil game that isn't shitty there is no reason to go back to the old games.
Zombie's Revenge - The game is terrible but highly entertaining. Like the movie Return of the Living Dead. You know it is terribly made but it is entertaining if you are with friends and drunk. A great party game for those parties with no girls.
Ecco the Dolphin - Very fun for the first hour and a half and then it sucks balls. For the first two levels the game is sort of challenging but mostly fun. Then on level three they crank up the difficulty meter by about ten notches. All of a sudden the missions go from moving rocks to save the baby whale or racing dolphins to learn a special song to fighting 20 sharks at the same time. Who decided this was fun? Not me that's who. Still the first two levels, those are the shit.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 - This game is so good they should have subtitled it "Cream Dream.”
Who Wants to Beat Up a Millionaire - Possibly the worst game I have ever played.
Armada - Kind of a fun space exploration adventure. Then it gets repetitive. Then you realize that they probably never actually got around to finishing the game.
Sega Bass Fishing - A great fishing game which means if you compare it to a regular game it sort of sucks.
Bust A Move 4 - It's a fun game and the story mode kicks ass. Before each match the characters fighting say a few lines to each other much like a fighting game. However here the lines make even less sense then in a fighting game. Most of the time they don't even seem to be related to what the other person said. I don't think anybody working on the game spoke English.
Shenmue - You will either love Shenmue or hate it. Shenmue has a lot of problems. There is barely any action for the first disk and a half, it is repetitive, and the forklift driving is in no way fun. However Shenmue makes up for it in a variety of ass kicking ways.
Example: He goes around asking people where he can find sailors. That's funny.
Example: There is a scene where Ryo beats up some teenage girls. Not old teenage either, those girls are at the most 15.
Example: Ryo on occasion says "Let's get sweaty.”
Basically Shenmue is good if you can see the humor. If you take it seriously it will be lame because it will make no sense and be boring. If you are able to laugh at the idea of a person taking a break on his quest to avenge his father to buy capsule toys or take care of a cat then you will love it. But beware, there are a lot of weirdos on the internet who love Shenmue way to much and seem to think it's the best thing ever. I even saw one person call it his vacation to Japan. These people are way too strange and need to be destroyed.
Why not to buy a Dreamcast
There are many reasons to buy a Dreamcast, but also reasons you shouldn't buy a Dreamcast. Don't buy a Dreamcast to be cool. We real Dreamcast fans know a poser when we see one. If you show up at the convention wearing flip flops and a Crazy Taxi shirt we will know you are only there to get chicks and will kick your ass.
Don't buy a Dreamcast to pirate games. This is wrong. Pirated games are a major reason the Dreamcast failed. Do you really want to be associated with the downfall of society? Pirated games also take away the joy of the hunt. There is no pride in owning a great game if you didn't work to obtain it.
And most importantly do not buy a Dreamcast to have sex with. We all know the Dreamcast is the most satisfying video game system when dry humped but there is a limited supply of Dreamcasts available, and humping them has been known to cause major damage, rendering them unplayable.
If you follow these guidelines then you too can be one of god's chosen people and own a Dreamcast. Never look back my friend. The future is today and you to may soon be holding a Dreamcast in your hands.
I'll see you at Dreamcast Con 2007. November 17th until the 24th at Brown County Arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin.