Over the past few years, the Dreamcast has become a much cheaper console to collect for than it used to be. Consoles can be picked up for around £20-£30 although it’s important to get a machine that has been looked after as the machine can get temperamental after a while with random resets being the main problem.
For the perfectionist collector, the Dreamcast can prove to be a bit of a headache; unfortunately, the PAL Dreamcast cases are extremely fragile so it can sometimes be hard to find undamaged games around. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to chop and change a damaged case for another – if you can get hold of spare cases at all that is. Unlike other Sega consoles, there is only one version of the Dreamcast (unlike in Japan where there were numerous special editions from Hello Kitty to Biohazard) so everything is pretty much standard.
Recommended Dreamcast Hardware
- The console itself
- A Scart lead is probably the best bet here. If you have a computer monitor handy you can buy a VGA Cable to connect the Dreamcast to it. However there are some games that will not work in VGA mode.
- A power lead (a figure-of-eight lead as used with the Saturn, PS2 etc)
- At least one pad. There were quite a few multiplayer games for the Dreamcast so worth picking up two or more if possible. No multi-taps are needed with the Dreamcast as the machine already has four ports.
- A memory card. If you just want to save your games, you can just make do with a third-party memory card, especially as these could be bought in sizes greater than the standard 1mb card. However, if you want to take advantage of some of the extra features, the official Sega VMU comes with a small screen which some games utilised.
Optional Dreamcast Hardware
- Maracas. These were used with Samba de Amigo. It can be very expensive (usually £100+) to get hold of the PAL version of the game that came bundled with official maracas. However, a cheaper alternative would be to get hold of some third-party maracas (typically about £30-£40) and pick up the US version of the game instead. There was also a Japanese sequel to the game, Samba de Amigo 2000 but this reportedly doesn’t work with the unofficial maracas.
- Keyboard. This was mainly sold for use with the online features of the Dreamcast but were also useful for the FPS games on the Dreamcast (Outtrigger being a good example – it’s virtually impossible to control using just the pad). Also, the keyboard can be used with Typing of the Dead, an excellent variation on the House of the Dead games using fast-typing rather than quick-shooting skills. Sadly this game wasn’t released in the UK but the US version can be cheap to pick up.
- Microphone. Again, used mainly for the online features of the Dreamcast, the other main use for this add-on would be for the rather bizarre game, Seaman, the US version of which can be picked up quite cheaply.
- Fishing Rod. There seems to be two main versions of the Fishing Controller for the Dreamcast – the official Sega controller and the Fission Controller. The latter is easier to find but the official controller is better to find as it’ll work properly with the US fishing games such as Sega Marine Fishing and Bass Fishing 2.
Personal Game Recommendations
- Adventure – Shenmue 1 & 2
- Driving – Rush 2049, Hydro Thunder, Crazy Taxi
- Fighting – Dead or Alive 2, Soul Calibur
- Other – Samba de Amigo, Seaman, Typing of the Dead, Space Channel 5
- Puzzle – Chu Chu Rocket, Mr Driller
- Sports – Virtua Tennis, Royal Rumble, Sports Jam (US), Sega Marine Fishing (US), NBA 2K2