Hello again, retro friends, and welcome back to The Last Official Release. If you’re new around these here parts, in this series I divulge the last official games ever released on consoles, focusing on a different system each post. Usually, I playfully integrate what previous last games I’ve written about in this exact paragraph you’re currently reading – however, the list is getting a bit long (this is the sixth entry) so I’ll be listing them below from now on. Enough admin, though, let’s explore this week’s entry: The Sega Dreamcast.
Every time I think about the Dreamcast, I get a bit sad. It was a wonderful piece of hardware and had a killer line-up of games. Poor management and a host of other variables led to its untimely demise, however (namely, the PlayStation 2) which meant its lifespan was a miserable two years only, being discontinued in 2001. Tragic.
This is not meant to be a sob post, though, as much as I’d like it to be – so, what was the last game? Well, as is the theme of these posts, the last game differs by region. There hasn’t been a system I’ve covered yet that’s final game transcends oceans. North American was the first to go, with NHL: 2K2 seeing a release date of February 14th, 2002. Europe is the middle child with another sports game, (although it was on the opposite side of the spectrum) with Razor Freestyle Scooter being released on the 5th of November later the same year. Freestyle Scooter is based on the expected and while reviews at the time were more or less “eh”, I’m sure 12-year-olds everywhere were thrilled.
In my experience, the last games on the same console around the globe are usually at least closely related date-wise, but the Dreamcast seriously takes the cake. The last official release was a MileStone Inc. shoot-em-up called Karous, and that was released on the 8th of March… 2007. Yes, no typo – it was indeed released six years after the Dreamcast disappeared from shelves. So, how does this even come about?
The answer partly lies in Sega’s propriety disc format, the GD-ROM. You see, Karous was originally developed and released on the Sega NAOMI arcade platform – which, just like the Dreamcast, used GD-ROM’s. Sega was in the process of phasing out GD-ROM discs at the time, so while production of a Dreamcast port was possible, it was definitely the end of the road. I won’t go too in-depth about the game its self as I’m far from an expert on the genre and don’t really have anything interesting to say, but this review from the time should satisfy any curiosity you might have.
If you want to own this piece of Dreamcast gaming history, expect to pay between $180-$210 on marketplaces like eBay as of writing. It’s safe to assume that this was snapped up by collectors and potential resellers of the time, who no doubt knew this was going to be the final game resulting in the high price. I would personally put that money towards Shenmue II, but what do I know?
There are alternatives if you own a Wii, however. In Japan, it was re-released in 2008 and titled MileStone Shooting Collection: Karous. Even though Karous is in the title, it also came with the games Radirgy and Chaos Field, also by MileStone. Americans would get this release in 2009 too, although there it was called Ultimate Shooting Collection.
Previously, on The Last Official Release: