SB Recommends Dreamcast Games

dc_cosplay.jpgSega's little white almost could. What an amazing selection of games were put out in its mere 20 months of viability.

Model 1 Dreamcasts will boot pirated and homebrew games off of burned CD-Rs (though a boot disc may be needed), model 2s have protection against this. Thankfully, model 1s are the most common. Look for the number in a circle on the bottom of your console. There is some debate over whether CD-Rs can wreck your Dreamcast's laser arm motor, however.

The Dreamcast can output crystal-clear video to computer monitors and HDTVs via VGA with a peripheral box. Official units are very rare and expensive now, but there are several reliable third-party boxes. Not all games support VGA.

  • 4 Wheel Thunder
    • Teflon: Cousin to RobotRocker's Aquatic Thunder and the game Excite Truck should have been. Incredibly fast once you learn to abuse the boost feature, wide open tracks filled with crazy Rush-style shortcuts. Few people know about this, and it's a shame.
  • Bangai-O (also on: XBLA)
  • Blue Stinger
    • Rudie: This game got the shaft as a launch title but it's delightfully wacky. It's Christmas time and you have to punch zombies until their limbs fly off and gold coins bounce out.
  • Border Down (JP)
    • Rudie: Worth more than Radiant Silvergun now! (Unless you pirate it, that is)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Don't really know what to think of this one. For starters, the graphics are polished to ridiculous levels–the opening flyby past a painstakingly rendered building interior is breathtaking–but they suffer from an overall lack of creativity and vision. Scoring in BD is calibrated and balanced with the eye of a master craftsman, and the game actually understands that surviving a boss's onslaught through the length of the timer is harder than killing him from the get-go. But the bordering system is a retarded gimmick that kills the pacing and encourages you to one-life the game, an arduous task to say the least when considering the relentless difficulty and your huge hitbox. Can't say I don't enjoy suffering with it, though.
  • Chu Chu Rocket
  • Crazy Taxi (also on: Gamecube, PC, PS2, PSN, XBLA, Xbox)
  • D2
    • Rudie: I'm not sure I could recommend anyone to actually play it, but it definitely did more to advance JRPGs as a genre than anything until FFXII.
    • table_and_chair: Seems like a combination of Eno's earlier work, D and Enemy Zero, smashed into an rpg with an almost rough-draft version of the enormous Shadow of the Colossus world. Didn't Fumito Ueda work on this? I see his touch on the interiors as well.
    • ö: D2 is kinda Shenmue meets Resident Evil, courtesy of John Carpenter. It might be my favorite Dreamcast game. It is, sometimes.
  • Dynamite Cop
    • Sniper Honeyviper: This is probably what Capcom imagined belt scroll beatemups would be like in 10 years when they made Final Fight. The variety of weapons available is ridiculous, ranging from umbrellas to giant tunas to nuclear missiles. It's silly and over-the-top to an unprecedented level, with the only real flaw being that it's over too soon. Includes Sega's 1980 “classic” Tranquilizer Gun.
  • Fast Striker
    • Rudie: NG Dev's minimalist vertical shooter. I played a burned copy and it immediately convinced me NGDev needed all my money.
  • Ferrari F355 Challenge
    • slipstream: It is the anti-OutRun.
    • !=: Excellent feel behind the wheel, constant and gradual progression, and computer controlled cars which actually [overtake]. However, one big flaw is the idea of always starting in the back..
    • Teflon: It's so strict you will literally become better at any game requiring precise and smooth analog input from playing it. Not to mention how after F355 you can basically rock Gran Turismo and Forza one-handed while having a sandwich.
  • Furai no Shiren Gaiden: Onnakenshi Asuka Kenzan (also on: PC)
    • LordGek: While I never played it on the DC, the PC version, which was a straight port of the DC version with a couple of new dungeons, was one of my all time favorite Mystery Dungeon games (I just called it “Asuka Shiren”).
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves (also on: Neo Geo, PS2, XBLA)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Has some input lag which renders it mostly unplayable. Go with the Neo, PS2 or XBLA versions instead.
    • Rudie: As a normal person this was never an issue, and instead I get an incredible fighting game, with a good cast, mostly manageable move commands, a few interesting sub systems, and late SNK goodness.
  • Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise From the Ashes
    • Teflon: Basically a Gundam FPS. Very focused on serious military business, not unlike Chromehounds in vibe. You're in a normal right up until the three final missions where you finally get a glorious RX-79.
  • Gunlord (also on: Neo Geo)
    • Rudie: In the Year 2012 an amazing Dreamcast game is released. Beautiful sprites, great music. It's a much fairer version of Turrican.
  • The House of the Dead 2 (also on: Arcade, Wii)
    • Rudie: If you can get the lightguns to go along with it, a great time.
  • Ikaruga (JP) (also on: Gamecube, Windows, XBLA)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Amazingly, not rendered obsolete by later ports. The GC version has the story text removed, and the XBLA port fucks up enemy placement.
  • Illbleed
    • Lainer: Sort of like The Manhole converted into a survival horror game.
    • Sniper Honeyviper: I love how all the dramatic buildups and disturbing imagery are consistently deflated by some ridiculous cutscene or meta joke. It masterfully straddles the line between being campy and truly unsettling. Unfortunately, it's impossible without a walkthrough. More people might remember it if the canceled Xbox port was released.
  • Industrial Spy: Operation Espionage / aka Espion-Age-Nts (JP)
    • firenze: Squad based strategy puzzles (each team member has different skills), the ability to do shit like steal paintings from art museums, stealth elements, an nice chapter based design… It's fucking brilliant. Like a squad based James Bond/Lupin III game. It has a pleasant and sterile Japanese look, interesting techno soundtrack. It's slow paced and methodical, but the game could only work as well as it does with that pacing. It feels like a Taito game (it's not). Maybe some sort of 3D strategy version of Elevator Action Returns. It feels like something that would be right at home on DS today.
  • L.O.L.: Lack of Love (JP)
  • Maken X
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Probably the inspiration for Zeno Clash. Run and jump around antiseptic corridors and crate mazes in first-person, slashing at grunts with a living sword. Based on a manga by Q Hayashida. Would have benefited from dual-analog, but stands as something more unique without it. Kind of suffers for not having a quick-turn button to keep up with the frantic pace of battle, though. Your sword will possess many different people over the course of the game, whose verb sets can vary rather dramatically. Fans of SMT will be interested to know that Kazuma Kaneko did character designs, and the graphics are very much a prototype for Nocturne's style.
  • Mars Matrix: Hyper Solid Shooting (also on: Arcade(CPS-2))
    • Sniper Honeyviper: What Gigawing should have been.
    • ben: Collectibles are something that I can usually take or leave in shooters, but I think they work incredibly well in Mars Matrix, to the extent that I sometimes find myself trying to extend my combo to the detriment of survival. Repelling bullets also feels hella nice, and there's a really great rhythm to dodging/repelling/collecting.
  • Power Stone (also on: Arcade; PSP)
  • Propeller Arena
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Tightly balanced multiplayer plane combat game planned as a late-era killer app for the Dreamcast's online functionality. Sadly aborted due to 9/11, but the full game was leaked and will play on a burned disc. All your advanced movement actions are done with fighting game-like quarter circle commands, which feels strangely natural in a flight game. The goofy characters and licensed punk soundtrack are so blue skies.
  • Rayman 2 (also on: Gamecube; PS2)
    • Rudie: A platformer with such perfect gorgeous flow to it. I've always looked at Pyschonauts and kept thinking Rayman 2 did everything that game did better. As opposed to just about every other 3d Platformer this one is linear and made up of stages. Make sure to get the Dreamcast or N64 version (the dreamcast has some mini-games anyone could care less about), they murdered the playstation 2 version by rearranging the levels and the level layouts. A nice charming game.
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Jesus Christ, the final boss of this game is impossible. After nearly 10 years, I still can't survive long enough to beat him. That aside, this is a well-paced Mario 64-alike with tasty physics, beautiful graphics, and minimal collectathon bullshit. I can't go without mentioning the surreal, melancholic atmosphere, either, which is quite atypical for a kid-oriented 3D platformer.
  • Samba De Amigo
    • Rudie: The best rhythm game before rhythm games were cool.
  • Seaman
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Descriptions don't really do this “game” justice. Everyone deserves to simply observe its inscrutable existence.
  • Shenmue
    • Rudie: Still one of my favorite games! Walk around a perfect recreation of suburban Japan, Ask stupid stupid questions related to the plot, drink a soda, play Space Harrier, and fight Virtua Fighter style battles.
  • Shenmue 2 (PAL) (also on: XBox)
    • Rudie: The Xbox version has voice acting so bad I turned it off within minutes. The European Dreamcast version however is subbed. The subplot from the first game about Chinese is dropped, or everyone in Hong Kong can speak Japanese. It's a bigger badder world, with a frankly terrifying amount of things to see and do. The last hour of the game firmly defines what Shenmue was all about, then leaves us with a cliffhanger that will never be resolved.
  • Skies of Arcadia (also on: Gamecube)
    • Rudie: The Gamecube version has better load times and less random battles.
  • Sonic Adventure (also on: Gamecube, PC, PSN, XBLA)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: A pretty good licensed anime game with a pointless hub world that the sequel thankfully did away with. Worth it for NiGHTS pinball. The Gamecube version has a better controller and some unlockable Game Gear titles.
    • Rudie: I'd actually like a whole game that was the hub world that I could run around in and not fear falling off of. The actual stage design falls apart really fast. The fishing mission is not nearly as bad as it's made out to be. Chao raising could be your thing too.
  • Sonic Shuffle
    • Loki Laufeyson: Probably the multiplayer game my IRL friends love most. Definitely better than any of the Mario Party series by a long long way.
  • Soul Calibur
    • Rudie: I've found the progressively numbered versions of this series moronic for small reasons, and this is still perfectly playable to this day.
  • Space Channel 5
  • Street Fighter III: Third Strike (also on: Arcade, PS2, PSN, XBLA, Xbox)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Like Garou, there's some major input lag going on here. Play any other version instead.
    • Rudie: Again, normal person and never an issue.
  • Sturmwind
    • Rudie: The best Dreamcast game of 2013. For being a Euro-STG it is way better than it should be. Not something you'll play a lot of,but a beautiful journey.
  • Tech Romancer / Kikaioh (JP)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: A pastiche of the entire super-robot anime genre thrown into a gleeful versus fighter that's something like Power Stone and something like Tekken. Matches can drag on a bit, but the huge variety of robots and moves should keep you dicking around for a long time, and there's a healthy selection of VMU games to take on the go. The US/EUR versions have some stuff missing.
  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (also on: N64, PC, PS1, Xbox)
  • Toy Commander
    • Teflon: I never got anywhere with this, it was just too tempting to fuck off and fly around the house.
    • DaleNixon: There's nothing like using cargo helicopters to lower giant marshmallows into mugs of hot chocolate. That and doing strafing runs on the family cat.
  • Twinkle Star Sprites (also on: Neo-Geo; PS2; Saturn)
    • Rudie: A versus puzzle/shooter. Playing it once sets your mind on fire, and immediately makes you hardcore.
    • The Blueberry Hill: I prefer the Saturn version, for its extra modes, but any is more than fine. It's wonderful, frantic, wonderful, and wonderful.
  • The Typing of the Dead (also on: PC)
    • Rudie: If you can get the keyboard to go along with it!
    • booji: Or just play the PC version.
  • Under Defeat
    • Sniper Honeyviper: The Dreamcast's final swan song is an unpretentious, straightforward helicopter shmup with classy presentation, the best graphics on the hardware and just enough extra scoring mechanics to encourage repeated play. If only G.Rev had made more stuff like this instead of Senko no Ronde.
  • Virtua Tennis (also on: Arcade)
    • Rudie: If you can go after the PS3/Xbox360 version, while the series has always been, “What if pong was fun?” the lob in Virtua Tennis is unusable, and in the AI in the sequel are bastards.
  • Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram (also on: XBox 360)
    • Rudie: Yes you can actually play this with a controller.
    • Sniper Honeyviper: The twinsticks make everything a lot easier, though. Rendered obsolete by the XBLA version.
 
 sb/recommended/dreamcast.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/08 09:58 (external edit)
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