Remembering the Sega Dreamcast, the Racing Gamer’s Console of Choice & More Latest News

On at the present time in 1999, the world grew to become somewhat brighter. That’s when Sega launched its ultimate video games console, the Dreamcast, in North America. A large media marketing campaign, cryptically teasing “9.9.99” and sowing seeds that the little white field was not solely highly effective however sentient, set the scene for what was briefly thought of “the biggest 24 hours in entertainment retail history.” At least, till the hype prepare derailed halfway by way of 2000.

Still, the Dreamcast touted a formidable library of racing video games regardless of its quick life, and at this time it’s value remembering them.

A 3rd of the Dreamcast’s 18 launch titles in North America had been racing video games. On retail cabinets on September 9, you’d discover CART: Flag to Flag, Hydro Thunder, Tokyo Xtreme Racer, TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat and Monaco Grand Prix, in addition to TrickStyle — a hoverboarding sport that wasn’t strictly about racing, although you may race in it. It was developed by somewhat British outfit generally known as Criterion Games; marvel what they’d rise up to?

I keep in mind barreling by way of the storage door of the home I grew up in at the age of six, excited to play Hydro Thunder after getting house from college on September 9. My brother picked up a Dreamcast at midnight, and in my anticipation I tripped and fell flat on my face operating by way of the laundry room. As a toddler I used to be rubber, although, and nothing was going to cease me from getting my powerboat repair.

CART: Flag to Flag is a title that may be of explicit curiosity to the Jalopnik crowd, because it’s one of the few licensed CART video games ever launched. It wasn’t the just one, and it was removed from excellent, however you may make a case for it being the greatest. The Dreamcast’s then profound energy benefit over the PlayStation made full grids, dynamic climate and the inclusion of each workforce, driver and observe that comprised the 1998 CART season possible. It additionally hit at a excessive level for the American open-wheel collection — and fewer than two months earlier than we misplaced Canadian phenom Greg Moore.

Of course, the Dreamcast’s best racers had been but to come back. Sega Rally 2 arrived in November. It was a messy port, missing the polish that the Model 3 arcade unique deserved, however I nonetheless liked it. Crazy Taxi, in all its addictive brilliance, got here to us in January.

The second half of 2000 is the place issues actually kicked into excessive gear, giving us the greatest model of San Francisco Rush 2049; Yu Suzuki’s pleasant Ferrari F355 Challenge; Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2, which was a large enchancment over the unique; and the frankly excellent Test Drive Le Mans from Infogrames Melbourne House, the biggest sport ever made about the world’s biggest endurance race. Sega GT was hanging out someplace in the combine too, cursed although it was.

Remembering the Sega Dreamcast, the Racing Gamer’s Console of ChoiceHere’s somebody you could recognise taking part in the triple-screen arcade model of Ferrari F355 Challenge. (Photo: Clive Mason, Getty Images)

Things wound all the way down to an in depth shortly in 2001. By the finish of March, the system was discontinued — however not earlier than the launch of Metropolis Street Racer, a considerate new strategy to driving video games from the crew at Bizarre Creations. MSR aimed to reward method over velocity; it’d appeal to extra eyeballs as Project Gotham Racing on Xbox.

A phenomenally bizarre tackle Daytona USA rounded out Sega’s first occasion contributions. With improvement outsourced to Genki, it wasn’t the house port of Daytona USA 2: Battle On The Edge everybody wished, nevertheless it was an early instance of on-line multiplayer in a console racer. That has to depend for one thing, proper?

Remembering the Sega Dreamcast, the Racing Gamer’s Console of ChoiceStill the greatest console packaging ever. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers, Getty Images)

Was the Dreamcast the greatest system for racing video games? Probably not; the PlayStation 2 and Xbox have it beat just by advantage of hanging round longer, and claiming extra all-time greats like Gran Turismo 3 and 4, Ridge Racer V, Project Gotham Racing 2, RalliSport Challenge 2 and Burnout 3: Takedown. Sega didn’t even give us its greatest work on the Dreamcast — that Sega Rally 2 port nonetheless leaves a bitter style, and we by no means acquired the Scud Race conversion we deserved.

But I’d argue the Dreamcast has a extra numerous catalogue of racers than most platforms, correctly spanning the arcade and sim spectrum to supply selections for everybody — some of which, like Crazy Taxi and MSR, had been extraordinarily forward-thinking. In simply 18 months we acquired quite a bit of heavy hitters, and I even ignored a bunch in my abstract. The Dreamcast wasn’t merely a swan tune for Sega; it was a swan tune for revolutionary, old-school racing video games.


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