My last true Christmas was in 1999. I say it was my last true one because that's the last time the holiday had a innocent childhood feel to it for me personally. I was too cool for that shit after that year. I wasn't even in high school yet. Teenagers think they're too cool for everything. We act like little shits when we're teenagers just so we can feel like we're grown. If we only knew then how stupid being an adult is back then we'd cherish everything and actually chill outside catching bugs and climbing trees instead of smoking black and milds pretending it's weed and trying to be like gangster rappers who are grown. Christmas of 1999 was the last time anyone bought me a game console. The Sega Dreamcast. It's been 16 years since it's release in the United States and it went as quick as it came. We were all guilty of getting rid of it faster than root beer and banana popsicles in the summer. Nobody wants those weak ass flavors. Why did we do it? We were victims to hype and trends as kids of course. It's normal but did we really realize what the fuck we really experienced? We seriously had gold in our possession. In life when you look back in hindsight it's easy to see the gems. The release date was even nasty, 9-9-99. Living life 16 years after the Dreamcast's release and seeing a lot of things come full circle in society and the gaming world. The Sega Dreamcast just might have been the greatest system of all time.
How could a system that lasted literally a year and a half even be considered one of the greatest systems of all time? You have the first NES. The system that created "Gamers" with one of the largest game libraries in history with every type of title you could think of. Sega Genesis changed the game again with great arcade titles and made sport games even more popular. Let's be fucking real it gave us Streets Of Rage & Sonic. Cancel Christmas. Super Nintendo doesn't even get a seat at the table when talking the greatest consoles in my opinion and I owned one so no need to talk about that. It was good and had some cool games but it's forgettable to me. Playstation 1 gave us Final Fantasy VII. Playstation 2 (Some call it GOATstation 2) was a monster. Nintendo 64 was dope and brought Nintendo back. We can even throw the father of all this shit, ATARI in the mix. All are great systems but Sega Dreamcast was ahead of it's fucking time and that what was incredible about it and it's downfall at the same time. It was just released at the wrong time. Think about this. Let's say hypothetically Sega Dreamcast wasn't created and released on 9-9-99 and instead was released NOW with it's same titles it had but with the up to date graphics of the PS4 and Xbox One. You can't convince me it wouldn't be the coldest shit on the market today. Power Stone 2, Shenmue, and Jet Grind Radio with up to date graphics! I'd never give a fuck about "Hey Arnold" or Vagina ever again (Okay I'm lying), but that's how serious it would be.
I know what you're probably thinking. If this system was so great why did it last only a year and a half? Let's start with the obvious. The wait for the Playstation 2 was the equivalent of everybody waiting for Stone Cold Steve Austin to make his return in the WWE vs WCW/ECW shit. Remember he came back and beat everybody ass backstage and then proceeded to hand out Stunners to everybody in the ring one by one and basically defeated WCW/ECW by himself on that Monday Night Raw episode? Yes that was the PS2. The Playstation 2 was a buzz saw and Dreamcast was going into it head first. It was inevitable and nothing they could do about it. The rumors started a year or two before the PS2 release and after the huge success of the Playstation everyone was salivating at the mouth like waiting on the baked macaroni on Thanksgiving. Playstation 2 was DVD compatible and backwards compatible with PS1 games also and that was very huge at that time. It was unheard of. Lets keep going. Dreamcast was crack but Sega was constantly putting out systems and Sega literally lost the trust of the consumer. It came after that disaster Sega Saturn and if Sega wanted to compete with the PS2 they had to come with a totally new system immediately after Dreamcast which if they did it would've flopped. They also probably didn't have the money to pull that off and I'm not even sure if they recouped for the creation of the Dreamcast. They just had to take the L and not release anything else. The marketing for Dreamcast in America was great but they went ALL IN for the launch but didn't plan for the future. They came out the gate with just HEAT then immediately there was a drought. They showed their whole hand too early. This next reason was why it was dope and possibly the best but also played a part in it's death. It was a system that was made for passionate gamers. It's the LAST and TRUE gamers console. Just look at the Dreamcast's game library. It's evident. It's not a family console like the Wii. It's wasn't all about the sports games and shooters even though they had stellar ones. It was for the gamers who cared about the gameplay and games with great plots. It was catered mostly to the nerds like myself and not casual gamers. I hate to admit this but people who are casual fans of anything will spend the most money on the product they're casual fans of. They rarely research and Nerds do. It's just that simple. As a nerd I know what's worth my money and what isn't. It's a win/lose situation. The final nail in the coffin for Dreamcast was PIRACY. There wasn't a system in the history of gaming more pirated than the Sega Dreamcast. It was too easy to do. You know it's over for Dreamcast when I'm getting faded up by my barber and he selling bootleg copies of Marvel vs Capcom and Crazy Taxi. You could burn and play games without modding. They lost a shit load of money because of it and it killed the system. Reptile Mortal Kombat Uppercut right into the pit spikes for Dreamcast. We've talked about it's death. Let's get into what made the Dreamcast a baddie who's quiet and cooks a perfect steak burrito. Translation. Untouchable.
Everyone has an opinion. Here's mine. You're not finding a console with more creative titles than Dreamcast. The quirkiness. The library of games had it's own niche. The fighting games had to be the best any system ever had. Neo Geo had some nasty fighting games too but I only knew one person personally that owned a Neo Geo. Those joints was higher than two Extra large pizzas from IMOS. Dreamcast was shooting half court shots and hitting nothing but net for a year straight. Look at this shit. LOOK AT IT!
Marvel Vs Capcom 1 & 2
Power Stone 1 & 2
Ready To Rumble
Sonic Adventure 1 & 2
Capcom vs SNK
Seaman (One of the most UNIQUE games ever)
Soul Calibur 1 & 2
Jet Grind Radio (Had one of the SICKEST soundtracks ever)
Skies Of Arcadia
Street Fighter III 3rd Strike (Top 5 Fighting Game)
NBA 2K (Ahead of it's time)
NFL 2K (Better than Madden)
Crazy Taxi 1 & 2
You could own all these games and if I told you your girl is cheating on you, I bet you wouldn't give a fuck. You have the greatest fighting game ever made in Marvel vs Capcom 2. You'd tell her good riddance and proceed to pick Captain Commando, Hayato, Charlie for your squad and sit for hours upon hours collecting points to attain all the missing characters. Play NFL 2K with your homies and pick your plays off your memory card so your homie couldn't see the slant play you was about to light they ass up with. It's insane that some of these games were better than the arcade versions. Power Stone 2 is going for $100 on Ebay today. It's too real. Dreamcast games were drugs and you'd dance like Gator for the high. The games today are incredible in the graphics. You basically watching a movie and you control it but the quality of these games today are so generic and boring. No edge to them. No entertainment. You know it's a drought when you have to bring a legendary game (Final Fantasy VII) back to get people excited again. Don't get it wrong, I'm excited as fuck to play Final Fantasy VII on PS4 with new technology but come on, there are too many creative people walking this earth to not come with something new, fresh, and innovative.
The memory card was so icy. A memory card with a LCD screen. Who in the fuck Sega think they were? Geniuses that's what! The memory card was so dope I used to take mine to school and stunt like it was a pager. One of the dumb things I did as a kid but you could play mini games on the memory cards. It didn't have a lot of space and that was one of my gripes with it but it was legendary. Sega's creativity was just jaw dropping. Dreamcast was also the first to introduce online play. NFL 2K multiplayer online was the tears of Jesus Christ. I remember browsing the net on Dreamcast and it was the greatest (and slowest) thing ever. I mentioned earlier that it was a console for the gamers and explained why that played a part in it's demise but it was also great. I was young but I knew what a great game was. This console was just a gamers dream. IT WAS FOR US! I can't stress that enough. The entertainment of these games were on another level. Big business always run things. It's money first, gamers wants and feelings a distant second. It's all about the dollar. It's just a harsh reality we're faced with everyday but to look at the titles in the library as an adult and realize that the people at Sega during that period truly cared about what makes gamers excited makes the console that much more special and important. The president of Sega at the time of it's release, Isao Okawa was extremely passionate about the console. He wanted this for the gamers and it showed. Sega didn't have the funding to keep going and Okawa started putting up his own money in an attempt to save the Dreamcast. He cared that much. He died 2 days after Dreamcast was officially discontinued. I truly believe he died of a broken heart. I know that sounds cheesy but I believe that can happen because energy is everything. He died fighting for what he loved. After his death Sega has since gone to shit as a third party developer. It's funny because people can still create Dreamcast games because it doesn't need modding to run unsigned code so if you're an independent developer you can create a game for it. It's technically still alive. I've seen the rumors about a Dreamcast 2. IT'S NOT HAPPENING. Sega is done with consoles. Sofia Vergara waiting in your bedroom naked with chicken strips will happen before you get a Dreamcast 2.
What were we thinking back then? If we could all go back in time we'd give the kid versions of ourselves swirly's for giving up on this gem. Cheers to the end of an era and the start of a new one. Cheers to the last console dedicated to the gamers. Cheers to the GREATEST OF ALL TIME! The Sega Dreamcast.