SEGA Dreamcast Collection
The SEGA Dreamcast. Ah, do I have fond memories of this system. Sporting a 128-bit CPU (as opposed to Nintendo 64’s 64-bit), this system introduced us to many innovations in the console market, including: Sonic in 3D with Sonic Adventure; the most impressive 2D fighter for years after its release, Marvel vs. Capcom 2; and the best 3D exploration/graphical adventure yet (and still a top contender in that category), Shenmue and its sequel. (Although the sequel, consisting of chapters three and four of a suspended sixteen-chapter epic, was never released in the States on Dreamcast, it was ported to the Xbox. The remaining chapters have yet to be seen.)
It was one of the great tragedies of the modern video gaming age when, in March 2001, Sega discontinued the Dreamcast and consigned itself to only working on software. But we still have our memories… and not just of those classics I mentioned, but some truly quirky titles that still tickle our fancies today.
Among the many packs of classic games available on Steam, four games originally for the venerable Dreamcast have been “ported” and are now available in their full glory for the PC! They are, in order of my interest in them:
Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut
Though maligned for its very touchy controls, awkward camera and very cheesy voice-acting, the first fully-3D Sonic game still holds a place in many gamers’ hearts. In the DX upgrade, also released for GameCube, Sonic gets a slight graphical makeover and the addition of several new features relating to the raising and breeding of Chao, adorable little ‘children’ of Chaos (the mercurial god of destruction and main enemy of the story), as well as Mission Mode, allowing you to extend replay value even longer!
Space Channel 5 part 2
In the ‘essential’ installment of this quirky rhythm-matching game, you once again take on the role of groovin’ reporter Ulala and her team of journalists, as they dance their way into the hearts of players and use their dance-battling powers to defeat an army of robots and their maniacal leader! Your timing must be rock-solid if you hope to get far; once again, cheesy voice-acting rules the day, but it’s quite endearing in the end!
Hey hey! Come on over, have some fun with C-razy Taxi! This loud, boisterous classic sees you take the role of four cabbies tasked with roaming around a sizable city and its outskirts, picking up prospective fares and delivering them to their destinations. Most fares react quite favorably to driving recklessly, strangely enough, but if you run out of time, they’ll just jump right out of the cab! Have fun and don’t wreck too much!
SEGA Bass Fishing
Yep, even fishing was not out of the realm of possibility for the little system that could. The semi-sequel to SEGA Fishing, this game has you concentrate on catching, well, bass, those tastiest (in some circles) of our slimy little friends. You have a time limit of two minutes per “credit” (as this comes closest to its arcade roots of those in the set), and your object is to catch a certain poundage of fish per area in three areas around an idyllic lakeside resort, before you can go on to the fourth and last. Choose the lure suited to your skill and operating range, and catch your dinner for the next few weeks!
All told, quite an awesome little collection we have here. Look into it if you have the time, and love for oldschool games that I do. Sure, the graphics may be sort of ‘early 3D’ by today’s standards, but they still get the job done. Sure, the voice-acting is severely overdone and quite hammy, but it’s charming in its way. And that is why we play games in the first place: to be entertained.