Flame Rounds: Sega Dreamcast

Due to the runaway success of Acid rounds we would like to kick of our sister series of semi regular, irregular posts.

Flame rounds lets us fulfil our yearning passion to be Frank Skinner, taking on his role as Judge, Jury, and Executioner in Room 101. We will be presenting a case for a particular Trope/Character/Item/UI element that pisses us off and then trying to justify whether this thing should go into room 101 (get flame rounded?)

Cunzy1 1: So the honour of the inaugural Flame Rounds goes to you. What part of gaming do you want to see errr flame rounded?

Richie: Kicking it all off Imma drop a big old bombshell on this one, Sega Dreamcast. I want the Sega Dreamcast to go in to Room 101, stop folks banging on about it. The Dreamcast was just not all that great, in fact the more I think about it the more shit it was, the spectrum of exclusive games was minimal, and there was like 3, if that. The controller was not very friendly, and that concept of the Tamagotchi memory card was flawed from the get go. All these Journos just use it as a scapegoat article of "Remember the Dreamcast, how great could it have been?" Like a modern day the little engine that could, except this engine didnt make it, and killed off Sega at the same time. I dislike the Dreamcast, but more so the fanboyish aura that surrounds it.

Cunzy1 1: My initial reaction is to hold down the Dreamcast so you can flame rounds it (are we really sticking with this- Ed?) in the face. However, the more I think about it the more I think it deserves a place in the hall of fame. The first console to do online properly, in our part of the world certainly, the SEGA blue skies, the 'mind blowingtm' Resident EvilCode Veronica and the Internet would probably look very different today were it not for Sonic Adventure kickstarting the whole Sonic universe nonsense we love to hate today.

Richie: I'll grant you Code Veronica, in fact this was the whole reason I bought a Dreamcast! BUT just because this came out on the Dreamcast, a version exclusive it does not make! Code Veronica made it's way to the Gamecube and the PS2 and with more content, and again, I must mention this,  with a more comfortable controller, in hindsight I wish I had just waited for the GC/PS2 version. "The first console to do online properly" Is a massively arguable statement, yes it had a 56k modem and internet explorer in it, but doing internet right, is a stretch, yes you could play Phantasy star Online in a weird proto MMO style but online games just had not got "there" yet, and I dont feel the Dreamcast brought much to the party with online gaming and what it has now become. And yeah you know what, Sonic adventure? I'm more than happy to flame round the hell out of that, best part is the entire extended yiffy-lovers universe are made of fur and will ignite all the better.

Cunzy1 1: Is it a case of throwing the bath out with the baby water though? Without the Dreamcast we wouldn't have been able to have played; Bangai-O, Samba de Amigo, Shenmue, Seaman, Space Channel 5, Jet Set Radio, Metropolis Street Racer or Phantasy Star Online.

Richie: Maybe, I mean, I never quite get the rules of this Room 101 thing, it can get quite metaphysical. Like do we erase it from the time/space continuum, does it create a separate timeline where these titles just got release on other systems? Is it just erased from people memories, or is there like big brother type fascist secret police where we must not discuss it, at risk of being thrown in jail?
In any case, I played a couple of 'gems' from the Dreamcast era at the time, I enjoyed Space Channel 5 (though thinking about this, I may have played this on PS2?!) and Jet Set Radio, but these gems are so few a far between, I am happy to make that "sacrifice" if that is the path we are taking. And I will tell you what boy! I'm actually quite content to scrap everything around the Dreamcast including the games, since recently I actually re-bought them remastered in the Dreamcast Collection version on Steam... and well they have not stood the test of time very well. To reiterate my previous point about Journos loving this console as a kind of underdog, yes it had a short lifespan, but I think a load of it is just rose-tinted. The titles were actually quite weak, and you have to remember that they played an integral part in the downfall of the console.

Now Shenmue I feel is worthy of its own separate little rant... Ok, This is one of these titles that people place on a pedestal, and where it is ground breaking in that it is a different game for the time, I never "got it". Like at the time whenever I mentioned my Dreamcast people said I just HAD to play it, and eventually I did because I am weak and I caved to peer pressure. Shenmue is clunky with bad controls, awful voice acting, slowly paced with the occasional irreverent mini-game that just takes you out of the immersion that the rest of the game is trying to force upon you. I know this is controversial, but I actually wonder if this game had come out on another console without the fanboyish, rose-tinted mystique that has been put on the Dreamcast, if it would still be remembered so fondly?

Cunzy1 1: Fuck it. I didn't even buy what I was selling halfway through that list of games. Sega Dreamcast, GET IN THE FLAME ROUNDS!!


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