Today marks a special anniversary. No, it's not just the long-awaited arrival of the Beatles CD remasters. Today is the tenth anniversary of the American launch of the Sega Dreamcast.
Maybe it's just a function of age, but Dreamcast was the last great videogame console in my eyes. It was the last time that games were being made - fast, exciting, competitive, original games. Not reenactments of Hollywood blockbusters, not cynical ploys for computer geeks to break into the movie business, but video games. There are so precious few examples of classic games today.
Dreamcast was just about the best game system for multiplayer games. A decade ago, I was working as a waiter at one of the sports bars at the University of Minnesota campus, and every Friday and Saturday night, after closing time, we'd pull out the DC, hook it up to the tv sets, and play until dawn. NFL2K1 was the undisputed champion - ah, another lost classic! - as were endless drunken rounds of Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Chu Chu Rocket, Virtua Tennis, and San Francisco Rush 2049.
Ah, great times. You can score a DC and a large pile of great games for next to nothing these days. I'd still rank it higher than what's available now. Add in the console's ability to play emulators (4-player M.U.L.E.!) and you really have something of value.