[ Writer ] = Headquarters
[ 07/30/01 ] = What Has Gaming Become?

Bear with me...

In the late 80's, there were two systems that dominated the market: the NES and the Sega Genesis. Back in the day, most people either played one or the other almost exclusively. Either you were all about Nintendo or you swore by Sega. Back then, I was a Nintendo fan; owning the NES and then the great SNES in 1991. A few years later, the console wars heated up with Sony's introduction into the market. Although I was a fan of Nintendo's systems, it was the third party companies that I followed (i.e. Capcom, Enix, and Squaresoft) and believed made the best games for the system. With the release of the Saturn, Nintendo 64, and Playstation, I had ultimately purchased the latter in order to play future developments in the Street Fighter and Final Fantasy series. I chose Playstation because the Saturn, at the time, did not have very many series that I was interested in or that I couldn't find on the PS, and the N64 just didn't have a strong lineup of games unless you lived and breathed platformers. Four years and well over fifty games later, I moved on from the PS to pick up a Sega Dreamcast and eventually a Playstation 2. Along the way, I also added the N64, Sega Genesis, and Sega Saturn to my collection. So here I am: a born and bred Nintendo player, an avid Street Fighter/King of Fighters gamer, a cult Atlus/Enix/Squaresoft follower, and an Armored Core obsessor. Some of my favorite titles of all time are on the SNES (i.e. Actraiser, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy II/III, Knights of the Round, Ogre Battle (Enix ROCKS!), and U.N. Squadron) and on the Playstation. So what is my favorite console system to date? The Sega Dreamcast. What is the point of this rambling? WHY THE FUCK DID THE DREAMCAST NOT SUCCEED?!?

Do gamers (of all nationalities) not appreciate the structure of the system (four controller ports, modem out-of-the-box, and the ingenious Visual Memory Unit)? Have they not played Resident Evil Code Veronica and Shenmue? Did Visual Concepts do a terrible job with the NFL and NBA 2K series? NO! Were there arcade-perfect versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III Double Impact/3rd Stike, Marvel Vs. Capcom (2), Powerstone (2), Capcom Vs. SNK, Soul Calibur, and Virtua Fighter III? YES! Was the DC the first console system to functionally play online? YES! Are there any other 1st party companies that domestically release games like Space Channel 5, Samba de Amigo, and Seaman? NO! Did any other console company offer a full system refund gauranteed with a reasonable online signup? NO--they COULDN'T! <pant, pant>

Hell, do I even need to mention games like Tech Romancer, Giga Wing (2), Gunbird 2, Bangai-O, and Mars Matrix? As gaming becomes more and more mainstream, people are forgetting why they play games in the first place: for fun; for gameplay. Nowadays, the casual "gamer" needs CG movies, simple strategies, and broads with huge tits in order to identify a game as "great." Arcade-style gaming is all but dead here in the U.S., and people will only flock to a system that appears in Time or Maxim magazine. Damn it all! If it weren't for 3rd party companies, gamers would quit gaming. Ah Sega, our one shining hope! With the Dreamcast, I thought 2D gaming would be resurrected into an appreciative world, and that people from all levels of the economy could play one of the the most advanced gaming systems ever made. But no; people apparently need the Nintendo "Let's Turn Our Backs On The 2D Games That Brought Us Here" 64, as well as the wacky brain-washing stylings of Pokemon. And I won't even start on the Sony DV...oh sorry, PLAYSTATION 2. Unfortunately, we need these systems in order to support the third party companies we love, which now includes Sega. I was throughly against Sega when I was young, and would never have thought that they would be so great. I had to turn and close eyes from popularity in order to fully see Sega's genius. So, why did the Dreamcast fail? Because hardcore gamers are a dying breed. Because trends define the marketplace. Because ignorance is bliss.

Sega, I hope you champion the third-party market.