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Sega Dreamcast Review


The Dreamcast has got to be one of the best next-gen consoles out there (not really "out there" anymore because Sega pulled production). It has specs almost as good as the Playstation 2's. It has a lot of good games, but many of the Dreamcasts arcade counterparts suck like 18 Wheeler Pro American Pro Trucker. However, like every console, the Dreamcast has its pro's and con's.

Pros
-The Dreamcast's system requirements blew the Playstation and the Nintendo 64 away and can compete with the PS2. When I read the console specs on the net I was amazed.
-The controller feels great.
-A lot of arcade games!
-The cool little screen in the memory card is awesome.

Cons
-Its launch date was one of the Dreamcast's fault because both the N64 and the Playstation had been on the market for quite some time with lots of games and the Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox were all on the horizon.
-The loading noise has to be the worst feature of the Dreamcast. When I try and play it at 2 in the morning it near wakes up the whole f***ing house.
-The controller cord comes out the back because the memory card slots are in the way in the front of the console. Not a problem but it might be a bit annoying if you are accustomed to the N64, PSX, or PS2 controller.

Software:
The Dreamcast's games have amazing graphics. The games that amazed me the most were 18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker, Air Force Delta, NFL 2K2, NBA 2K2, Tennis 2K2 and many more.

One of the games I picked up for this graphical beast was 18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker. This game is an awesome truck driving simulator. You will find yourself rolling down the road at 60-80 mph in a big rig. The objective in this game is to pick up, deliver, and drop off the load at its destination before your rival trucker, Lizard Tail.


Hardware Specifications:

CPU:
Hitachi SH4 CPU
200MHz clock rate
360 MIPS (millions of instructions per second)
1.4 billion floating-point operations per second
3D calculations
800+ MBytes/second bus bandwidth

Graphics:
NEC/Videologic CLX1 graphics chip (AKA PowerVR Second Generation)
3 million polygons/second peak rendering rate
Perspective-Correct Texture Mapping
Point, Bilinear, Trilinear and Anisotropic Mip-map filtering
Gouraud shading
Z-buffer
Colored light sourcing
Full scene anti-aliasing
16.7 million colors
Hardware based, fog, bump mapping, and texture compression
Shadow and light volumes
Super sampling

Memory:
16 MB main operating RAM
8 MB video RAM (VRAM)
2 MB sound RAM 128KB Flash RAM

Sound:
Yamaha AICA Sound Core
RISC CPU
DSP for real-time effects
64 sound channels
Full 3D sound support
Hardware-based audio compression

Storage Media:
GD-ROM
1 Gigabyte data storage
12X speed

Other:
56K Modem (included, upgradeable)
Four controller ports
Built-in expansion ports


Controller:

The controller has a great feel to it. The buttons are spaced perfectly and you can reach them without any trouble (unless you are 7 years old). The controllers are somewhat like the Xbox's but not quite as big and akward.

Memory Card (VMU):
The VMU is the most amazing memory card I have seen yet. It has enough room for many saved games and the little screen in the middle of it is truly original. The funny little messages that you see on their sometimes make me crack up.

Memory Specifications:
8-bit CPU
128K byte memory
48x32 pixel monochrome LCD display
Button battery x 2, auto off function
PWM 1 channel sound source


Rating: 8/10
In comparison to the other next-gen consoles, I believe the Dreamcast deserves this rating based on speed, performance, reliability, durability, software, and sheer power.


Written by Al_Timex

 

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