Sega’s final home console, the Sega Dreamcast launched September 9th, 1999 (9/9/99) in North America. The console received much critical praise, and is still one of the most beloved game consoles, despite its short 3 year life. There are multitude of reasons why the Dreamcast, and ultimately the Sega of old ended the way they did. That is not the focus of this piece- not to examine its martyr like demise, but to celebrate a true game console, that lived and died with a fantastic library at its side. It’s no coincidence that my first look at video game collecting here on A Gaming Genesis is about the Sega Dreamcast, its ultimately my favorite video game console of all time, as well home to my loftiest goal as a game collector. What could such a lofty goal be? To own a complete copy of every NTSC (North America) Dreamcast game released. There were approximately 250 games released for the Dreamcast in North America, it’s not a small number, but it’s doable, especially when compared to other consoles, like the Nintendo Gamecube, which despite poor sales, still had upwards of 600+ games released! There were also 17 titles released in the “Sega All-Stars” line of re-releases. Essentially a greatest hits line, they featured an orange spine, and orange on the box art, versus the white / black of other games. I plan to get those as well.
While owning every North American Dreamcast game is the biggest goal for Dreamcast collecting, it won’t end there. I would also love to add PAL (Europe) exclusives games into the mix, thankfully, there aren’t many games that were only released in PAL territories for the Dreamcast. As for Japanese releases, there’s no way I will own them all. The Dreamcast was supported massively in Japan, with officially licensed games coming out until around 2008, 7 years after the console was discontinued. Granted there were not a ton being released, but it gets far to pricey for my tastes and I’ll probably just end up collecting the “must own” Japanese games. Which brings me to the last set of Dreamcast games I want to talk about. As I mentioned earlier, licensed games were being released for the system long after production of the console ended, but even still, in 2015 homebrew and indie titles, as well as fan ports of arcade games are still being released for the Dreamcast. While I would love to own all these, due to the low key nature of these games, I’ve yet to find a definitive list, so I’ll ultimately end up just picking up some of these, the star of my collection will be the complete US library anyway, which will include all US Dreamcast Magazine demo discs, Dreamcast Generator demo discs, and Web Browser software discs.
With the talk of what I want to collect for the Dreamcast out of the way, I guess I should talk about the “why” of it. It’s hard to explain. I did say earlier that the Dreamcast is my favorite console of all time, as well as having a stellar (yet small) library. In all honesty, I would say the Dreamcast has the best ratio of “good games” to “bad games” out of any console released. All in all, I think my love of the system and its library make me want to do it. I am a champion of the Dreamcast, I always have been and always will be, I share it with friends, and recommend it to new gamers and people who may have missed out on it. The system is cheap, and most of the games are cheap too, sure it has a few pricey games, like Project Justice, and Cannon Spike but overall, it’s a cheap and easy system to collect for. I think the biggest reason is that I just want to celebrate that such a great console was released, with such an amazing library of games. I want to celebrate, to show my love to everyone and show just how much the Dreamcast means to me as a gamer. Maybe owning a complete US collection isn’t the best way to show my love for it, but it will be a good starting point. Perhaps one day after I own every US game I will then review every US game! It’s hard to say, or commit to such a lofty goal and such a long term plan, but it’s something I would like to try to do at the very least!
So where does my collection stand currently? I talk of such lofty goals that I must have made some kind of notable progress right? As of the writing of this article, I own about 50 complete Dreamcast games. It’s my largest library of any console (though the PS3 is close, at around 40). I have been buying the games alphabetically using a nice checklist compiled by fans (modified by myself, to note which games had Sega All-Stars re-releases. I own no PAL, Japanese, or Homebrew games. So my collection is still in its infancy, though I do own a number of more sought after titles, like Skies of Arcadia, and Shenmue. I’m not actively seeking the games out though, typically, I just buy games when I find them, but I have on occasion splurged some extra money into buying 5 or 10 games in one sitting from eBay. So that’s that. A small look at my goals for collecting on the Dreamcast, why I want to do it, and where my collection stands so far. If you’ve never played the Dreamcast, I highly recommend you do. It’s got a fantastic library, and features a ton of great games that won’t break the bank, and will offer you hours of fun, classic Sega Gameplay- you’ll quickly see why its my, and so many others favorite console of all time. It’s thinking.