The Dreamcast Collection: Four Of The Best?

Thirty quid, it seems, buys you a slice of gaming history. It’s not terribly distant history, and the slice you get is hardly the finest bit of the cake, but it’s a cross-section of SEGA-published Dreamcast games that made up a fair chunk of the console’s homegrown output.  Sadly, this so-called Dreamcast Collection isn’t going to represent the company’s last major piece of hardware very well with fans – and it feels especially lacklustre given that two of the games, arguably the best two, are already out.

The duo in question?  Sonic Adventure, and Crazy Taxi.  You know, I’m a big fan of the latter game – to me it embodied SEGA’s arcade approach to their development that powered much of my gaming upbringing.  I adored Crazy Taxi when it first hit the Dreamcast and although the novelty has worn off a little since it’s still an outstanding example of how to create a pure, addictive title without being bogged down with bloat and unnecessary filler.  It’s streamlined to an inch of its life, only the home console-exclusive Crazy Box mode adding to the lifespan.

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But Sonic Adventure I didn’t really get on with.  Yes, I loved the Sonic stages (who didn’t) but the role playing sections, whilst technically impressive for the time, felt dated then and Robotnik only knows what today’s generation will think of the Adventure Field sections and the ridiculous plot.  That said, I literally spent days with the Chao Garden section, a beautifully done side plot in which you could raise little Chaos away from the main game itself – a peaceful, enriching part of the game that always brings back happy memories.

But with both of these games already available over Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Store, surely SEGA fans will have already grabbed the two main games, thus making this ‘Collection’ seem all the more pointless?  Well, perhaps, but the fact is that the two other games aren’t available seperately, at least not yet.  First up is the Marmite-like SEGA Bass Fishing, a game that simultaneously made me afraid of swimming underwater and managed to make me part with money I really didn’t have for a daft controller.  That, incidentally and amusingly, worked with Soul Calibur.

It feels distinctly dated now, more so that any other game in the pack – not just because of the shallow gameplay but the visuals are really bad, even allowing for the age of the game.  So whilst Bass Fishing is the filler here, it’s left to Space Channel 5: Part 2 to steal the show; and, as you’d probably expect if you’re familiar with the game, it absolutely does.  Ulala’s Barberella-esque attitude shines through some slightly rough graphics to provide a brilliant take on the music rhythm genre, the player tasked with making her dance her way through her reporting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mf7GfjvuXA

And that’s the Collection.  Although there’s no numerical tag attached to the title, we’re now desperately hoping there’s going to be at least one more pack of Dreamcast games, because even if SEGA are limited to only SEGA-published games (a safe assumption) there’s a wealth of other titles out there more befitting some current-gen exposure.  For starters, Ecco The Dolphin would be lovely to play through again, Ferrari 355 Challenge would show the likes of Gran Turismo how it’s done, Jet Set Radio would be a delight and we’d kill for Sega Rally.

But some games are unlikely:  the utterly stunning Phantasy Star Online just wouldn’t be possible now, Maken X is never going to get let out of the cupboard and the Shenmue duo?  Not a chance.  Instead we’re left with four games that aren’t really going to set emotions running high despite there being three decent games included – Bass Fishing is a bizarre choice, but maybe SEGA are just trying to cover all the bases – and the lack of any real work on bringing them up to date just shows that this is a by-the-numbers compilation.

The next one could be great, though.

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23 Comments

  1. I would like like SONY to get the exclusive rights to Shenmue 1 & 2, then Yu Suzuki can finish the trilogy off!

    • I don’t care who gets the rights, just somebody make number 3!

      • Wasn’t Shenmue originally destined to be an 8 game saga? Then it got canned with the dreamcast. Never had I imagined being a fork lift truck driver could be so awesome.

  2. If it had this one game.. one game that I claim is the greatest platformer ever made. They call the game Sonic Adventure 2.

  3. Like I said before: A massive let down. I was really looking forward to this; the MEGADRIVE collection was almost perfect (just missing Toejam & Earl). Allthough it must be said that they’ve apparently started milking out those Megadrive titles once again: apparently they’ll bring ‘m out separately as DLC with Trophies for each game…

    So many great games by SEGA on the DC & then they only put a measly 4 on it of which only 2 (maybe 3) are classics.

    Where’s Shenmue (1 & 2)? Where’s Jet Set Radio? Where’s Chu Chu Rocket? Where’s Crazy Taxi 2? Where’s move enabled House of The Dead 2? Where’s Sonic Adventure 2? Where’s Virtua Tennis 1&2? Where’s Virtua Fighter 3? Where’s Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future? Where’s Daytona USA? Where’s move enabled Samba de Amigo? Where’s move enabled Confidential Mission?

    • That’s a good point at the end of your rant. Maybe Sega could bring out a 2nd Dreamcast collection with only Move intigration games such as them listed above. Doubt it though

  4. Dreamcast Soulcalibur for me, was the most balanced of the series, its only nthe graphics thats changed….

  5. How about Daytona Usa 2001 would be awesome online but SEGA this collection is a let down, how can they put 2 games on it when surely they put or must know that crazy taxi and sonic adv is already on XBOX LIVE and PSN!. Come on 30.00 pounds for this i’m still glad i’ve got my Dreamcast and it’s awesome (which will never be released) games to play, this is a collection of CON MONIE MAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’m still waiting for Daytona: US Online Arcade or whatever its called… it was rumoured waaaay back.

  6. I still have my dreamcast tucked away in a box in the attic with most games, including the still stunning Shenmue. So I’ll give this a miss I think!

  7. Ahh Jet Set Radio – that’d keep me happy

  8. Wow, I totally forgot about the Chao Garden part. I spent so much time raising all kinds of different Chaos. I only ever raised one really evil Chao because I couldn’t bring myself to throw around more of those cute little creatures and make them cry. Broke my heart…
    I wish there was a dedicated Chao game!

  9. the pick of the bunch there. :(

    my only hope is that they put some of the better games on any future dc collections, but i fear the lacklustre nature of this collection will mean sales wont be high and they might not bother doing any more.

    • actually, better yet, port some saturn game, panzer dragoon saga especially.

  10. Ah yes, Ferrari 355 Challenge. If GT5 thought it had managed to suck all of the fun out of driving exotic sportscars at high speeds thanks to an obsessive attention to detail and focus on realism, it ain’t seen nothing yet!

    Actually, I loved Ferrari 355 Challenge, at the time. Got it for Christmas with the Ferrari wheel & pedal set (now sat atop my wardrobe), and it was fantastic despite the insane difficulty – being infinitely more rewarding than “Grind” Turismo.

    On a seperate note, why wouldn’t Phantasy Star Online be possible now?

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