The Dreamcast was way ahead of its time in many ways, you only have to look at the catalogue of games for it to realise this was and still is a very special console. During its short lifespan it had to compete with the juggernaut that was the PS2 and let’s face it, nothing before or after the Dreamcast has had the impact that the PS2 did. For me though, the Dreamcast is possibly my favourite console, so once I heard about Dreamcast: Year One I knew I needed to take a look at someone else’s perspective on the DC.
The book is written by Andrew J. Dickinson and it’s the first in a trilogy of books charting the history of the console. ‘Year One’ is split into three sections. The main history section consists of several chapters exploring how the Dreamcast was originally conceived, details of its release in territories around the world, and how it fared once released. This section certainly set the tone for the rest of the book, brilliantly presented and very informative from the start. Visually the book has a wonderful minimalist style through which makes it very easy on the eye.
Next up is a wonderful interview section, these sections are par for the course in books of late, I never tire of them, it’s these interviews that reveal information we perhaps never knew about, there is an interview with Caspar Field, former editor of DC-UK magazine and Bernie Stolar, who was Sega of America’s COO. Both of which are fascinating reads. Friend of RVG Tom Charnock, founder of ‘The Dreamcast Junkyard’, also features in the book giving his experiences with the Dreamcast from the nineties.
Finally, the library contains lots of retrospectives on key games from this early period, focusing mainly on PAL releases. There is also a gallery with all box art for PAL releases during this time (and some NA and JP only releases) as well as a timeline of when the games got a release in the various territories.
Overall, Andrew has created an amazing book that celebrates one of the best consoles ever in my humble opinion. My only complaint is that there isn’t so much more of it, but that will be fixed with the arrival of Dreamcast: Year Two that is currently in the works.
A fabulous book by Andrew J. Dickinson, if you love the Dreamcast, then you must own this. Simple as that.