The Dreamcast for $50. Simply amazing. I'm still shocked that a video game console could cost as little as a video game. If you didn't already know, Sega has officially dropped the price of the Dreamcast console to $50! Can you believe it?
I know that you can log onto Ebay and purchase a Sega Genesis or Saturn for around $20, but I never imagined that a system that cost me $200 in September 1999 would cost me a quarter of that amount a little over 2 years later. I thought people were crazy for not buying a Dreamcast console for $79 months ago, but now I'm going to think double the same thing for the people who have trouble parting with $50 for a brand new Dreamcast.
If you are one of those gamers who have recently purchased a Dreamcast, for $50, I'd like to say congratulations! Welcome aboard to the Sega experience. I guarantee you'll love it.
We've put together this guide for those who are looking for good games and accessories to buy for their Dreamcasts.
Sonic Adventure 2:
Even though Sonic Adventure 2 is not "bargain bin" priced yet, you should still be able to get it for no more than $39.99. This is the Dreamcast's best looking game in my honest opinion. If you want graphics done right, you can't go wrong with Sonic Team, Sonic's development team. There are tons of hidden features in this game and a mini game that involves raising Chao creatures on your Visual Memory Unit as well as in-game. In addition to playing through the game with Sonic and the good guys, you can play as the bad guys and attempt to thwart the goodie-goodie Sonic! Expect to log a lot of enjoyable time with this game!
These are some of the recommended purchases I suggest for any gamer out there who is new to the Dreamcast scene.
Sega Sports NFL 2k and NBA2k
Although games like Sonic Adventure get a lot of critical acclaim, some of the Dreamcast's best titles are their sports games, and Visual Concepts' Sega Sports lineup is simply amazing. You can still get last year's amazing NFL 2k1 and NBA 2k1 for about $19.99, or can purchase the slightly updated for 2001's seasons with NFL 2k2 and NBA 2k2 for about $39.99. Even though some armchair video game quarterbacks argue that PlayStation's EA sports lineup is better, there's one thing that EA's versions don't have - online play. However, if you want to play online, you're going to have to pay for it, regardless of which versions of the game you go with. But even without online gameplay, these Sega Sports games are very fun to play.
Jet Grind Radio
Available almost anywhere for as little as $9.99! How can you pass up on an awesome game like this? I feel like one of those over-enthused QVC or Home Shopping guys - "This is a great deal, folks! Just $9.99! Just $9.99! Order in the next 2 minutes and I'll throw in a Sonic the Hedgehog air freshener!" But seriously... you can't pass up on a great deal like Jet Grind Radio, it's the game that started the whole cel shading process, the grand daddy of them all. Plus the soundtrack is awesome! If you're a fan of DJ music with the scratchin' and the two-turn-tables-and-a-microphone style then you're going to be tappin' your toes and bobbin' your head while you're playing this one!
Another $9.99 title that is perfect for any sports gamer, even if you're not the biggest tennis fan. This game is very easy to pick up and play, and has tons of unlockable extras to keep you busy until Andre Agassi loses all of his hair. Most of my friends are not big video game fans, but whenever they come over, they always want to play a game of Virtua Tennis. Even though Visual Concepts released the sequel Sega Sports Tennis 2k2 just recently, I'd stick with the original title, as it's much cheaper.
If there is one Sega arcade conversion to get for the Dreamcast, get Crazy Taxi! It is one of the most enjoyable and addictive games to hit the Dreamcast! If you've got a about 5 minutes to spare, you've got enough time for a game of Crazy Taxi. You can also purchase Crazy Taxi for as little as $9.99 at most stores. (You can also get the sequel Crazy Taxi 2 for pretty cheap -- around $19.99, but in my opinion, it's not as enjoyable, even with the new features).
Phantasy Star Online
One of the most enjoyable online console games you'll ever play is Phantasy Star Online, available for as low as $20. Unless you are a hardcore PSO fan, there is no need to purchase the sequel Phantasy Star Online Version 2, plus you're required to pay a monthly fee for content that is only available online with PSOv2, and you'll be paying at least $39.99 for it as well. If you weight the options, PSO is $19.99 with free online play, while PSOv2 is $39.99 and $5 per month to play online.
One of the Dreamcast most ambitious titles is none other than Sega mastermind Yu Suzuki's Shenmue. Yu Suzuki is the man behind many of the great classic Sega games including Virtua Fighter and Space Harrier. Shenmue is an adventure game with open-ended gameplay, with a ton of little extras that will keep you busy for a long time. Days turn to night, seasons change, and differing weather patterns are some of the neat environmental effects that have been put into Shenmue. You should be able to pick up this excellent four-disc game for as low as $19.99.
Grandia II and Skies of Arcadia
The Dreamcast didn't have a lot of Role Playing Games (RPGs) during its run, but two of it's best are now available for very low prices. Grandia II can be purchased for $19.99 and Skies of Arcadia is usually not any higher than $29.99. Both games are excellent games for fans of Role Playing games like Final Fantasy or the classic Sega RPG series Phantasy Star. Expect to log about 20 hours of total gameplay with Grandia II, and around 40-60 hours with Skies of Arcadia.
For 3D fighting games, there is no better game for the Dreamcast than Soul Calibur. Hands down, SC is still one of the best-looking Dreamcast games - and it's as old as the console itself - over 2 years. That's pretty impressive, considering the game was a first-generation title. There are tons of characters to choose from, and a lot of unlockable features that will provide some lasting enjoyment.
Dreamcast Game Controller
The Dreamcast console comes with one controller, but to fully enjoy the console, I recommend at least having 2 controllers. Brand new official Dreamcast controllers should cost no more than $14.99 - which is a great deal, seeing as I paid $30 for my additional controllers a year ago.
Dreamcast Visual Memory Unit
In order to save games, you're going to need to pick up a VMU card, which should be available at most retailers for no more than $9.99. VMUs plug into the expansion ports of the Dreamcast controller, and do more than just save data. They have LCD screens that display a variety of game information during gameplay, in addition, you can use them to trade information and game saves with friends by simply connecting two VMUs together. It's a pretty innovative memory card.
In closing, I think it's important to point out that not all stores will carry Dreamcast products this low, but there are also some stores that will carry them for even lower than the quoted prices I've given. No Dreamcast game should be priced over $39.99, so if you find yourself with a $49.99 copy of NFL 2k2 or Sonic Adventure 2, put it back on the shelf and look elsewhere, because I guarantee that you'll find the same games for much cheaper.
I hope that this list was helpful, and I hope you enjoy your Dreamcast experience this holiday season!