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Saluting 10 Years of Dreamcast RPGs

By Heath | September 9, 2009 at 11:04 am

People change every day, in monumental or in hardly noticeable ways. As the 10th anniversary of the Dreamcast is upon us, I’ve been looking back at 10 years of Dreamcast RPG reviews. Doing so, I have discovered that I, Heath Hindman, may be a mediocre reviewer now, but years ago when first starting out, I was awful. I mean holy ####.

The Dreamcast launched on 9/9/99, to become the most talked-about and perhaps most cherished console to still be considered a market failure. Ahead of its time with its out-of-the-box online readiness and memory cards with little friggin’ screens on them, I have to admit that the “best console ever, man,” ended up a bit of a dud in its RPG quantity.

But at least the ones it did have were pretty good. In 1,000 other Dreamcast features, you’ve already seen time and again that the big three names always sent forth to represent the RPG genre on Dreamcast, man, were Skies of Arcadia, Shenmue, and Phantasy Star Online. Every time the Dreamcast comes up in some sort of article or nostalgia thread these three come to the front lines.

The Dreamcast, man, also boasted the superior version of Grandia II. Ryudo’s sarcastic tale would also be told on PC and PS2, but those versions would suffer from slowdown in busy parts of towns and dungeons, as well as graphical texture issues which were either real or I am making up right now.

Let us also nod respectfully to a pair of two average-grade and therefore oft forgotten Dreamcast RPGs, Evolution and Evolution 2: Far off Promise. How is a promise far off, exactly? Ask the Dreamcast, cause I don’t ####### know. These games were released in late 1999 and mid 2000, putting them in direct competition with Final Fantasy VIII and that Chrono Trigger sequel. Yeah, they ah…didn’t see a whole lot of sales.

Hats off, of course, to obscura. To Silver, an action RPG on a pogo stick; to Time Stalkers, in which one captures monsters and watches space and time build a new world right before one’s eyes; to the hack-n-slasher Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm and its yearning for multiplayer capability. All of these are decent at best, but they were on the Dreamcast, man, which automatically earns them more respect and love in the hearts of nostalgic gamers everywhere.

When Sega officially announced the closure of its servers for online Dreamcast games, I wrote this special Dreamcast edition of the Week in Review, the weekly RPG news update RPG Land used to post. Yeah, we only used to post news on the weekends. The times, they are a changin’.

To conclude, today I am retroactively re-aggrivated at Sega’s crappy marketing and consumer’s crappy…crap…man.
Here are some Dreamcast reviews from RPG Land’s past. As cautioned, we were pretty freaking hilariously bad reviewers back in the day; I was literally rolling on the floor laughing reading my old Skies of Arcadia review. I’ll have to re-write that someday. I also apparently gave Shenmue a “Good” mark in replay value. Dude, I enjoyed Shenmue, but damn if I want to play it again.

Cheers, old buddy. You lost the console war, but you won the battle for my heart, man!

Time Stalkers review
Silver review
Evolution review
Shemue review
Skies of Arcadia review

Topics: Dreamcast...man, History of..., Humor, Inazuma Eleven 2, Reviews, Sega