Thursday, July 25, 2024

The 5 Most Memorable Games on the Sega Dreamcast.

November 6, 2021 by  
Filed under Adventure, Gaming, News, Old School RPG, Sports

( The Dreamcast was Sega’s last dance in the console realm before becoming a developer-only in the video game arena. Several games were considered classics and ahead of their time.

If you know the Dreamcast, you could probably rattle five off the top of your head. Here are five refreshers for those who didn’t experience the DC.

Shenmue (1999)

This is the flagship for Dreamcast nostalgia. If you mention a game that defined the console or just a standout game from it—Shenmue should be the first or second game.

Usually, it’s the first one I mention because it’s that damn good. A mixture of RPG, action, and adventure, the first Shenmue sets up an epic story across years. It starts in 1986 Yokosuka and ends as the main character—teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki–leaves Japan for China to solve his father’s murder and gain revenge.

For 1999, this game was way ahead of others in the graphics department and in the research and gameplay mechanics applied. Developers Sega AM2 went as far as to get weather records for Yokosuka from 1986 to simulate the actual weather in-game.

If it was December 2nd and it rained that day, it rained in Shenmue on that day. There’s also a life-sim and social aspect to the game in that stores open and close at certain times and certain characters can be found at certain spots at particular times.

This game was simply amazing for 1999. While the sequel—released in 2001—was eventually released in the West, the series as a whole was left hanging for 17 years before the series creator left and had Shenmue III crowdfunded.

It’s a shame because this should’ve been a massive, ongoing series for Sega. The more action-based successor Yakuza has a similar approach of a story told through the times and was the game that Sega got behind.

Shenmue (1999) - games 2021

Sonic Adventure (1998)

Remember when I said “If you mention a game that defined the console or just a standout game from it—Shenmue should be the first or second game”? Sonic Adventure is the other game.

This game was a blast to play and was the Sonic franchise’s showcase on the Dreamcast. It was mandatory that Sonic Adventure be a launch title for the DC’s release in the U.S. America loved Sonic and for Sega fans it was a question of “What’s next?”

The Sega Saturn didn’t pan out well but there were dope games on it but it’s a new console generation and Sonic has to be there, right? Sure enough, Sega came out hard and heavy with Sonic Adventure.

In the same way that Nintendo makes games to showcase the strength and potential of a new console, Sega did the same with this one. It even showcased what else could be done with the memory card while playing the game.

Mind you, studios didn’t really take advantage of the feature. As gamer, I just used the VMU—virtual memory unit—for its primary purpose: to save my game. However, this was a whole Tamagotchi-like deal going on featuring the game’s Chao characters.

Outside of how fun Sonic Adventure was and how it showcased what the DC could do, this was basically a 3D Sonic platformer at the core. Sega did spice it up a bit by introducing characters, including a little bit of RPG, and actually featuring a story in-game.

NBA 2K/NFL 2K (1999)

While sports games eventually got to the point of saving career progress, NBA 2K came onto the court and said “How about we full simulate things such as player stats?”

This was mind-blowing for a sports game in the 1990s. Your players actually had stats! Not just a team average of defense and offense, you could actually see where that team average came from and it featured other features and modes that competitor NBA Live was lacking.

That’s not all! NFL 2K showed up and said “You can play online too.” Online play in 1999 on other consoles didn’t come along until later. It’s not a new concept but this was an application of the concept that worked.

Plus, these games looked better than what the competition was offering at the time. That alone gave Visual Concepts enough time to tidy up what players didn’t like about the 2K sports titles.

Project Justice (2000)

The Dreamcast featured a number of fighting games but Project Justice was pretty much at the top of Capcom’s offerings on the console. It was also one of the top three fighters on the console.

Project Justice is the fighting game series that I wish Capcom had continued. Enough with Street Fighter already. That aside, this game was part of the short-lived Rival Schools series and had several characters that should’ve at least made it into Street Fighter by now.

As far as gameplay, this 3D fight played awesomely. This wasn’t an all sizzle, no steak game and it’s even better when playing against a friend—which I would say is the ultimate test of a fighting game on console.

Ready 2 Rumble (2000)

Seriously, Ready 2 Rumble is the case of a game being so good on one console that you’d think it was an exclusive. R2R rocked on the Dreamcast and while it was fine on the PlayStation 2, it wasn’t as good as the Dreamcast version.

I’d put Ready 2 Rumble is an arcade-style boxing game. Lots of power punches and outlandish characters with Afro Thunder—the series mascot—being featured on the cover. It was a dope game that would remind you of a 3D Super Punch Out.

The last game in the series was released in 2009 on the Wii and did not perform well.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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