ONLY THE BEST OF
The king is dead, hail the king ! It's been more than a full year now since
SEGA officially announced they stopped manufacturing their Dreamcast console
but for many good reasons, this console will stay in real gamers hearts. While
PS2, Xbox and Game Cube are ragingly holding to their share of the market with
games of great (or not so great) quality but sometimes questionable interest,
Dreamcast still offers a lot of great games that brought a new way of thinking
to gaming !
Here comes a gamers tribute to Dreamcast with a selection of my favourite
games as well as Paranoid's own top 10. Remember that today you can get a brand
new DC for less than 100 euros and new or second hand games for less than 15E.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> My Own Top Ten (STS part) <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
1. SHENMUE (episode one and two) By Yu Suzuki (single player)
This was actually THE game that pushed me to buy DC! Imagine a 3D adventure
game with a complete city (well several ones) with lots of streets, shops and
pedestrians all around. You can either follow the storyline or spend your time
buying useless stuff, walking around and talking to every character you meet !
Realism has never been that close ! Days pass by, some sunny, others with
clouded skies... Seasons are also part of the game and snow will start flowing
the city as time reaches late December. It would take too long describing every
little detail but let me tell you something : SHENMUE is a unique experience
and I'll never forget how fun it was to complete both episodes ! Real gamers
will be happy to find Arcade Palaces in which they will be able to play full
replicas of Super Hang On, Space Harrier, Out Run and Afterburner... 2 !
2. SOULCALIBUR by NAMCO (single or two player mode)
This is the sequel to Souledge (aka Soublade) on PSX. A dozen of fighters
enter the arena with their own weapons : sword, daggers and all sorts of
twisted blades. The game fully plays in 3D, unlike some boring Tekken Tag
Tournament, and enjoys high quality graphics and smooth animations. Maybe the
BEST fighting games so far, regardless of the platform. A MUST HAVE !
3. DEAD OR ALIVE 2 by TECMO (up to four players in tag battle mode)
The other pretender also enjoys great graphical and technical features but
this time there are no weapons involved. Against all expectations, DoA2 proves
very subtle thanks to a rewarding counter attack system that allows you to
dodge every move and turn it back against your opponent. The tag battle mode
will throw four fighters (teamed by two) into the arena.
4. QUAKE 3 by ID SOFTWARE (up to four players with split screen)
Don't ask for storyplot, there's none ! The game is beautiful, fast and
brutal to the extasy ! It offers a wide range of characters, levels, options
and game modes. The funniest are also multiplayers and - once again - thanks to
the four pad slots, you'll be able to play split screen with three friends in
normal game, tournament, team or capture the flag competitions. A really great
game to share fun with friends at night !
5. METROPOLIS STREET RACER by BIZARRE CREATIONS (single or two players)
Take London, Tokyo and San Francisco. Reproduce 40 kms square of each city
with loads of details, streets, curves, parks, whatever. MSR manages to bring a
real challenge that will involve a lot of style if you want to make enough
money (kudos) to open new cars and levels... and there are +200 tracks in all !
Besides these original features, the game uses the DC internal clock to decide
whether it's gonna be day or nightime when playing and that makes one hell of a
change : at last an ORIGINAL racing game !!
6. VIRTUA TENNIS by SEGA SPORTS (up to four players on screen)
I've never been fond of sport games or even of sports at all :) Football
sucks btw :) But Virtua Tennis looks great and plays great ! Tho basically
nothing more than an awesome arcade games, it's another must have whenever some
friends drop by. Fun guaranted ! I had a chance to play the sequel, called
Tennis 2k2 and it's even better looking, faster and richer with options and
challenges (don't have it now tho :)
7. RESIDENT EVIL : CODE VERONICA BY CAPCOM (single player)
No need to introduce Resident Evil or then you have nothing to do here.
This fourth episode was originally an exclusive DC game and was available soon
after the DC was out. For the first time, everything is in pure 3D (unlike the
usual rendered backgrounds) and that gives the game more dynamism and tension.
Surely the best looking and almost hardest episode of Resident Evil !! As you
think you've reached the end, you are gently invited to insert disc 2... some
nightmares never end :)
8. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG by SEGA (single player)
SEGA's mascot had a blasting launch on the DC as it was the very first game
made available. Sonic goes crazier than ever and speed will almost make you
shed a tear ! Not only is this episode (and the sequel) very addictive but it
also offers to play the same adventure over and over with a different character
8 of them in all ! Tho I have never been a real SONIC fan that 3D adventure
really found me addicted and full of nostalgia !!! Btw music is just great
with tunes you'll keep humming for days and nights.
9. PHANTASY STAR ONLINE by SEGA (multiplayer online)
Dreamcast was the first console to offer online gaming but you all know
that SEGA didn't manage to offer such games before long and then it was already
too late for DC :( Still one game reached us (and its sequel was released some
months ago) : Phantasy Star Online aka PSO. This 3D adventure game is set in a
near future when mankind had to flee its own devastated planet to look for a
new shelter. A first colony was settled and you are among the second wave when
suddenly something totally blows out the colony ! First you will create your
character from A to Z : choose his, her class, face, hair, skin color, clothes
and so on. This is just amazing and allows you to meet with thousands of
different looking ppl !! The offline part of the game is based on the 'dungeon'
principle : you enter the first area, wipe out all nasties and collect pickups.
then you move to another area and start it all again. The environment is huge
and great looking and so are the monsters. Tho quite limited, this part of the
game allows to strenghten your character and gain experience before you play
online. There you will play missions and/or full levels with three other human
players and I had a great deal of fun playing online I can tell you ! btw if
you want to play online you need to buy PSO v2 since the former inet browser
doesn't work anymore :((
10. RAYMAN 2 by UBI SOFT (single player)
It took many years before Rayman actually hit the gaming market again ! This
time of course the game is in full polygons and still enjoys high quality gfx !
To be honest I went thru the whole game a bit too easily esp compared to the
first episode that had kept me busy for weeks on PSX. Still this is a pleasant
game in a funny and dreamy world. Not the best game, but something of a nice
snack when you feel hungry :)
What about the rest ?
Actually when writing this chart, I found *very* difficult to name no more
than 10 games (even putting one before another seemed unfair) so let's name
other games I like a lot : house of the dead, crazy taxi 1&2, MDK, Bomberman
Online, Extreme Sports, Bangai'O, Skies of Arcadia, Worms, Le Mans, oki let's
stop it now or it'll never end :)
My personal 10 favourite Dreamcast games:
1. Sonic Adventure
Remember Sonic the Hedgehog on the MegaDrive ? What was the essence
of this game ? Exactly, speed, speed and some more speed. Sonic was
faster than basically any other jump'n run game of that time - plus
graphical and acoustical gizmos that were supposed to demonstrate
the superiority of the MegaDrive.
Sonic Adventure is just that in 3D on the Dreamcast. Fast, furious,
colourful and yet a whole lot of fun to play.
2. Ooga Booga
An Ego-Shooter with a twist. Instead of bloodily murdering a lot of
innocent people with nailguns and rockets, you maneuver a polynesian
medicine-man in a 4-player battle, utilising extra weapns as fire
and lightning spells, or riding boars to knock each other over.
Pure fun, technically well done and a definite hit on every party.
3. Dead or Alive 2
Many 3D beat'em up games have been released on many systems, but
this is one of the best. Easy to learn controls, quick and reactive
gameplay, conter-moves, hold moves, quick but fair fighting with
interactive background and beautiful polygon characters with
terrific motions clearly stand out of the crowd.
4. Shen Mue II
The saga continues. The 3D adventure movie that took place in
Japan named Shen Mue is now being continued in Hong Kong. Even
more stunning scenery, mini-games, interaction with other
characters to gather information, money, help and hints -
Shen Mue II is a good mixture of everything.
5. Jet Set Radio
A booming sound track and the clever combination of a skate-game
with a twist, along with perfect cartoon graphics make this game
a winner. Too bad it is too easy to play once you solved it.
6. Space Channel 5
Aliens invaded with a "dance-beam", hypnotising all humans to
dance ? A pink-haired, sparely clothed 3rd class reporter named
Ulala rescuing the hostages by out-dancing the aliens ? And all
that in colourful plastic environment resembling the sci-fi
style of the 70s TV series ? Yes, that is Space Channel 5. Far
7. Phantasy Star Online version 2
A back to the roots role playing game. Even though a fascinating
scenario and decent plots accompanies you over this game, the focus
lies on realtime-battles, winning of experience points and additional
weaponary and exploring the dungeons. The best extra gadget however
is it's online function to play with other PSO fans worldwide.
8. Virtua Tennis 2k2
Sports games were never on my hitlist, but Virtua Tennis 2k2 is so
well done, it just cannot fail. The controls are easy to learn yet
difficult to master and the ability to have 4 players at once make
it even fun for little game parties. Stunning 3D graphics just add
to the final ranking.
9. Metropolis Street Racer
London, Tokyo, San Francisco. Racing with standard cars in an
awful lot of tracks in these 3 cities in real-time, with perfect
and fluent 3D graphics, very realistic car handling and best of
all, Kudos, style points for sensible driving. It is not how fast
you drive, it is about how you drive fast.
Cute little animals, roughly fighting against their arch enemy.
This game has everything a good 3rd person shooter needs: Lots
of extra weapons, ammo, puzzles and levels to explore, it just
lacks one thing: The blood. This is all about fights, but in
a very fluffy way. Even sports 4 player fluff-deathmatches.