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Games That Defined The Dreamcast 139

Retrogaming with Racketboy has a piece looking at some of the console-defining titles we miss from that little white box. From the article: "Phantasy Star Online - Sega was one of the main pioneers in online console gaming. While they had modest online offering with both the Genesis and Saturn, the Dreamcast was the first of their consoles to have online capabilities built into the stock machine. The Dreamcast came standard with a 56k modem and also had a (expensive) LAN/Broadband adapter available as an upgrade. Phantasy Star Online paved the way for Sega's groundbreaking online network and for later networks like XBox Live."
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Games That Defined The Dreamcast

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  • two words.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    soul calibur. Only game I bought the system for, and the best game of the generation by far.
  • Samba De Amigo defines the DC for me. I still have a Jap and US Dreamcast and 2 sets of maracca controllers. Best party game ever.
  • by Lord Kestrel ( 91395 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @06:42PM (#15101976)
    was of course Crazy Taxi.
  • Space Channel 5, Seaman. To name a couple I can remeber from my collection.
  • Those bastards didn't even do a blurb about Chu Chu other than list it at the bottom. That game is an awesome party game and is the reason why I still keep a working DC in the room for get togethers.
    • I just added it :)
      I need more free time to expand these things :)

      Thanks again to Slashdot for your support!
      • Thanks! The GP is absolutely right. Chu Chu Rocket is an amazing game- fast, frantic, and fun! I totally fell in love with it. :-) It's also one of only two games I've ever gotten my wife to play, which is really saying something!
  • The Tony Hawk games on the dreamcast were the best! Way better than their playstation or n64 counterparts. I actually 100%'ed TH2, which requires you to 100% the game with each character plus one custom character. That was a great game. Also, the dreamcast was able to play backups without a mod chip... that was THE reason I got one.
    • The Tony Hawk games on the dreamcast were the best! Way better than their playstation or n64 counterparts.

      I'd have to say the same goes for the Dave Mirra BMX games. I have the original Dave Mirra game for DC, and I have Dave Mirra 2 for PS2. The original for DC looks better and plays much more smoothly than the 2nd version on PS2. That's just sad really.

      I also wasted a lot of time playing Test Drive: Le Mans. Great game! As mentioned before, Soul Caliber was a must-have, as was the original Dead Or Alive!
  • Those 2 were, to me, the defining dreamcast experience, for me. Though, I think you could kind of make a case for Hydro Thunder. (porting that arcade game to the console was cool... though, it was really more than the console could handle). I also really liked Rush 2049. The DC really did have some wonderful games. Heck, the only real sports game I picked up in the past several years, was the NFL 2k title. :-) Using the little display in the controller to pick plays, was pure brilliance. (so, I would
  • by LoveMe2Times ( 416048 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @06:57PM (#15102073) Homepage Journal
    But I must say some of it's defining characteristics weren't good. For example, all of the Sonic games sucked. The early runs of the first Sonic game were marred with manufacturing problems, and I got one of those. But lets see,

    1. Soul Caliber. Obviously, THE defining game for the DC. One of the greatest of all time, especially when considered in context of its era.
    2. The aforementioned PSO, though I never played it.
    3. Sonic, though probably more known for its suckitude and bugs and failure to deliver on it's cool possibilities.
    4. Shenmue has to be one of the most defining DC games. Personally, I thought it was one of the greatest games of all time. Certainly, most immersive ever at the time. Just incredible.
    5. RE: Code Veronica was an amazing game that won over a lot of people's hearts and is identified with the DC.
    6. Chu Chu Rockets! Definitely one of the defining games of the DC. One of the first online games, if I recall.
    7. 2K Sports. Completely changed the competitive landscape of sports games, across the board. The basketball, baseball, and hockey in particular were often considered best-of-class. Eventually, they offered on-line play, a major historical accomplishment.
    8. Crazy Taxy! Did anybody with a DC not have this game?
    9. Jet Set Radio almost invented Cell Shading techniques that have since been done to death. Great game, too.
    10. Legacy of Kain, I think that's what it was called. Highly regarded, though I didn't like it too much.
    11. 2D Fighting games out the wazoo. Marvel vs Capcom, Street Fighters in every incarnation, Capcom vs SNK, and just on and on and on. The DC was just heaven for fighting game fans!
    12. Skies of Arcadia. Many people probably remember this game fondly, though for me it was just a reminder of how much I hate console RPGs.
    13. Unreal Tournament and Quake 3, with support for online play. A console first, though I never tried it.

    What a great system. You were taken from us too young, may you rest in peace.
    • Crap, how could I forget (as other posters reminded me!):
      1. Samba de Amigo! Awesome music game, awesome peripherals. So much fun, even for non-gamers.
      2. Space Channel 5 was definitely associated with the DC, and it was fun but not great.
      3. Seaman, one of those gimmicky things that went somehow grabbed people's attention. Very cool.
      4. Rush 2049. I loved this game too, played it waaay too much. Really hard, too.
      5. Tony Hawk, yes was most at home on the DC. The other versions just didn't stand up. Back then, the
    • Shenmue has to be one of the most defining DC games. Personally, I thought it was one of the greatest games of all time. Certainly, most immersive ever at the time. Just incredible.

      Um, no.

      Shenmue's voice acting and horrible script alone loses any chance it ever had at being immersive. Lines like the one I used for the title of this post combined with some of the worst recordings of people reading out loud made for a grating experience. (Seriously, people, try reading the lines a few times and putting some
      • Shenmue's voice acting and horrible script alone loses any chance it ever had at being immersive. Lines like the one I used for the title of this post combined with some of the worst recordings of people reading out loud made for a grating experience. (Seriously, people, try reading the lines a few times and putting some emotion into them instead of just taking whatever comes from reading the script the first time.)

        I tried to like this game, I really did - everyone raved and raved, but less than an hour in,

        • Good lord, what luddites we have today! The voice acting wasn't that bad, and you were waaay too caught up in it. And it gets better as the game progresses, which you didn't apparently do. In fact, what you played was completely non-representative of what the game was about. Hell, you probably never got to the training or fighting parts at all. Play it all the way through, and you may understand why I think criticizing the voice acting is just petty. Complaints about slow pacing or having to wait for
          • The voice acting wasn't that bad, and you were waaay too caught up in it. And it gets better as the game progresses, which you didn't apparently do.

            I freely admitted that I didn't get far in - and to each their own, but when the other aspects of the game's production values were as impressive as they are, to be saddled with what I considered to be voice acting that was that bad, I simply found that I couldn't enjoy what seemed to be such a promising game. You mention the "good parts" of the game, and I was

      • Yeah, but, have you seen any sailors around here?
      • Eh, go back to Final Fantasy XXVVIVIVIMMVXI or whatever then. I guess you missed the boat on Shenmue. Personally, I thought the voice acting was competent, and as far as game scripts go, it was actually really good. It had development, pacing, and surprises, without being strictly linear, and allowing the free-flowing time element. If you didn't think working at the docks to earn money to make an objective was really cool, well, I'm sorry, but I thought it was brilliant. More than any game before it, y
    • I still own a Dreamcast and I still play Chu Chu Rocket.

      In fact, for about 3 years straight I had people I barely knew knock on my door at 2am to play Chu Chu. Considering that there were usually another 1-2 people playing then, we'd happily invite them in and then pound on the controllers until our fingers hurt.

      The only downside to Chu Chu / Dreamcast was no 16:9 support, and my projector is 16:9. Seeing Chu Chu on a 120" wide screen is the ultimate gaming experience.

      If you don't have Chu Chu, go buy a Dr
  • That game rules! I like it so much that I created the Propeller Arena Fan Site [], where you can find tons of info/pics/music. Check it out, Dreamcast fans!
  • Fire ProWrestling D, great import game from Japan, easily the best wrestling game at the time (and still second only to Fire ProWrestling R for PS2).
    • In addition to FPD, there was also Giant Gram 2000, a great 3d wrestling game with the All Japan license.
    • I second that notion. Fire Pro D is the best, and in a completely different way (as another commenter mentioned) Giant Gram 2000 was an equally cool/great 3D wrestling game for the Dreamcast. LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • Firepro wrestling D

    best wrestling game of it's time and has still only been minorly improved upon.
  • by ansleybean ( 618941 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @07:11PM (#15102163) Homepage
    Nobody mentions Rez? Sure it had a PS2 version, but the dreamcast one actually ran better. And it was astounding.
    • the article itself, no less! (See the section on imports)

      Having copies of Rez for both systems, I'd have to say that while the Dreamcast version looks a bit better (that anti-aliasing helps a lot with all those lines!) the PS2 version does run more smoothly (and has support for that vibrator thingy, which sounds silly, but when you've got the controller and the trance vibrator beating along with sound from the game, it's pretty cool...)
  • PSO (Score:3, Informative)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 10, 2006 @07:12PM (#15102171) Homepage
    Phantasy Star Online was easily one of the most gorgeous games I've ever seen; vibrant colors, detailed artwork, and the music was pretty kickass too. The gameplay was more like a networked Gauntlet rather than a real MMORPG, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    The cheating, however, made it completely and utterly unplayable. Stupid game genie or gameshark or whatever the hell those cretins used.
    • Yes, the graphics were spectacular. There was nothing on the PS2 that looked nearly as good as PSO (or Sonic Adventure 2) for years after the PS2 was released.

      The cheating by the end was a pain, but it also fostered a spirit of cooperation amongst players who wanted to play legit. It did completely kill off item trading/selling though.
  • My favorite "game" on the DC was the web browser CD. Many, many times I was "grounded" from my computer, and I'd just plug in the DC into my phone jack and be online surfing away in just a few minutes. ;) It was a lifesaver, and I really thought it went under-appreciated!
  • Not really mentioned in the article, but was a fantastic game. I'd agree with many of the other games listed there, especially Crazy Taxi and Soul Calibur. I didn't care much for Space Channel 5 (would be good fun when drunk, though) and never played Shemnue. Both Sonic games were great fun but it does rightly say that it doesn't capture the feeling of the 2D classics, nothing was better than Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but it was still remarkably fun. Considering I still play many of these games I'd have to ag
  • The only other system that has this game is the Playstation 2. This game isnt available to arcade emulators either, because the Capcom got smart and started encrypting stuff. Althougth the Dreamcast emulator Chanka will play this game.
  • If you liked PSO... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ral8158 ( 947954 )
    You should definitely try the PC version, and the new game of the series coming out, called Phantasy Star Universe. Blue Burst (Aforementioned PC version) has episode 4, which is short, but very cool, IMO, and tons of the cool online quests. And no iffy console-to-the-internet issues. I'm kind of playing on-and-off, but once I get my new MacBook Pro :)
  • I think this was my favorite Dreamcast title, with the Sonic-like gameplay and mad trippy graphics. Un-official fansite here: []
  • Fighters (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dreemernj ( 859414 )
    Capcom vs SNK 1 and 2, Guilty Gear X, Marvel vs Capcom 1 and 2, Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (still great on DC despite the input flaws), Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Soul Caliber, SFZ3 (IMO, I know a lot of people disliked the balancing + the errors in translation from arcade), the Dark Stalkers collection, Project Justice, Virtua Fighter 3, Power Stone 1 and 2...

    So yeah, it had the fighters lined up. For a lot of the DC fanatics, much like the Saturn fanatics (since that had a great turn out for fighte
  • I could really go for that broadband adapter. I recently in Japan and I checked out Den Den Town but couldn't find it. I did however find a modem for the megadrive.
  • Soul Calibur (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaveCBio ( 659840 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @09:25PM (#15102876)
    SC was the game that made the Dreamcast for me and pretty well everyone I worked with. The combination of a DC with the arcade sticks couldn't be beat. Hell, we had the Japanese version first and when it was released over here we switched over to the North American release, but the Dreamcast in the lunchroom never went more than half an hour without someone starting up a match. It was a game that was fun for a newb and got more fun as you learned. I love the way you could basically make your own combos and you didn't need to memorize 15 button moves to kick butt.
  • by Captain Spam ( 66120 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @10:04PM (#15103056) Homepage
    Y'know, it's nice that this person put Chu Chu Rocket in his "Games That Nobody Played - But You Should" list. Really, it is. I've always considered it a classic and hope that Sega eventually makes a WFC version of it for the Nintendo DS.

    But for as much as this guy likes the game, it'd be nice if he wrote his own synopsis rather than cutting-and-pasting verbatim sections from the Wikipedia article on the game ( []). I kinda recognized key phrases (especially "Although a simple concept, this quickly becomes frantic with the relentless speed of the mice and four players fighting over them."), given that I wrote the majority of the article over a year ago.

    This somewhat makes me want to look up, on Wikipedia, the other games he mentioned. I wonder if I should be a jerk.
  • Powerstone 2 was the best party game I ever owned. To give you an idea, imagine a fully 3d arena with a fixed camera in one corner. Players manuver like in a 3d platformer (Mario 64). They have health meters and try to beat eachother down. There are weapons and whatnot to pick up, ranging from "The Big Gay Hammer" and "Halibut" to ray guns and motorcycles. The game accepted up to four players simultaneously. It was a blast. I wonder, has this new genre been dropped after the PowerStone series? I'd t
    • Powerstone 2 was the best party game I ever owned.

      Mod this man up, he speaks the truth. Powerstone 2 is still the most insanely fun game I've played on any platform. Emphasis on insane.
    • FYI, I believe there's going to be a Power Stone Collection release for the PSP which includes Power Stone 1 and 2.


      • ...which if you think about it is just crazy.

        Powerstone 2 needs a big screen. If they released it for the PS2 I'd buy it like a shot. And a 60" plasma screen to play it on. (In my dreams.)
    • Parent speaks truth. Great game, even though it was basically just a cheap 3D-ified Smash Brothers ripoff.
      • Definately DON'T give Namco any credit for converting a 2d game to a 3d game. There are never any issues with that! "Mario 64 was just a cheap Mario Bros rip off. Miyamoto was coasting."
  • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @11:28PM (#15103402)
    I love the Dreamcast. Still have mine plugged in, and my collection of Dreamcast games close at hand.

    My top five would be:

    1. SoulCalibur. It still looks great, still plays great. Raised the bar on fighting game quality higher than any other game had, and kept it high for a long time after the Dreamcast was dead.

    2. Jet Grind Radio. Possibly the only Dreamcast game I've played more than SoulCalibur.

    3. Skies of Arcadia. I consider this to be one of the top 5 console RPGs I've ever played, and boy have I played a lot. Huge explorable world, a plotline you didn't see every twist coming a mile off in, and characters that weren't paper cutouts. And at the time the graphics were jaw dropping.

    4. Toy Commander. One of the most difficult "kids games" I've ever played. The replay value is great, it's quite a long game, the variety of vehicles and environments are awesome. It really does feel like playing with toys as a hyper-imaginative kid.

    5. Ikaruga. I downloaded this game once it became obvious that it wasn't going to be released in the US for the Dreamcast (and its release was unconfirmed for the Cube) and this was the title that decided that I was buying a GameCube. It may not be the best shoot-em-up ever made, but it just blew my mind the first time I played it.

    There are SO many more awesome games that hit this system that languished in obscurity that I could (and have) talk for hours about them. The day the Dreamcast died was a sad day for me.
    • I am sad that I had to scroll most of the way down the list of posts before I finally saw a "Toy Commander" comment. Thank heavens you mentioned it! This is the most innovative and engrossing game since the original Doom. If you haven't played it, you really owe it to yourself to try this one. An evil Teddy Bear mutates and takes over a really cool house. You have to use your toys to fight against his toys in every room, advancing to a showdown. I never really got past the level where you launch your
  • i never had the chance to play PSO, but soul caliber and jet grind radio are amazing. im in the process of trying to find a copy of Mr. driller, after playing it and the chicago museum of science and industry's Game On exhibit.
  • When I think Dreamcast I think Grandia 2 and Skies of Arcadia.
  • Thanks guys! All these comments, pictures, and stuff are making me think the Dreamcast is some gameplay-heavy-but-with-cute-graphics dream game device, so.. I just went on eBay and bought one with a bunch of games for like $60. I'm sick of all the new stuff on the PS2, and these games sound great for quick play (I hate storylines or long games).. so thanks, and let's hope I have fun with it when it arrives :)
  • My favorite game was Shenmue, I think this RPG is second only to Ocarina Of Time.
  • by rednuhter ( 516649 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:56AM (#15104321) Homepage Journal
    Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future, simply amazing.
    great graphics, sound, music locations and story.
    great fun to serious and causual gamer alike.
    I brought it into work and used the VGA adaptor to show someone who had just bought one of the first PS2s and he was blown away and vowed to buy a dreamcast just to play the game.
    Hell, even my mum like swimming about as ecco just for the experience.
    Why they never released an official sound track I will never know, but check around on google and you can download all the tracks as ripped from the PS2 version.
    • The Dreamcast Ecco followed in the footsteps of the original game, which was a Genesis title I think. Both of them, for their time, had all that atmospheric stuff in their favor, and great, imaginative premises... and the most frustrating control schemes ever.

      Seriously. I'm not a screaming-at-the-other-drivers sort of nitwit, and Ecco the Dolphin had me swearing at the screen and throwing the dang controller. Both versions had this same trait. They were maddening.

      • I had no problems with the controls on the standard Dreamcast controller, infact I thought they were rather intuitive.
        My mum saw me playing took hold of the controller and after a bid of experimentation was well away, the same was true of my work colleage with the PS2.
        One of the best points for Ecco DOtF was the fact in the initial enviroment you could do anything you liked and not get hurt so mastering the control system for newbies was a breaze, of course your millage may vary.
  • In addition to the games people have already mentioned, I add the following:

    Napple Tale
    Sakura Wars 3 and 4 and the ports of 1 and 2
    Hanagumi Taisen Columns
    Sonic Adventure
    Guilty Gear X
    Virtual On Oratorio Tengram
    Psychic Force 2012
    House of the Dead 2
    Typing of the Dead
    Mr. Driller
    Grandia II
    Moero Justice Gakuen (aka Rival Schools)

    Unfortunately I think many of these games only came out for DC in Japan. Some have been ported to PS2, Xbox, or GC, but not all. It is really a shame that the system had no support. If
    • Typing of the Dead!!! I'd totally forgotten about that gem! It was a hell of a lot of fun and actually, honest-to-Buddha improved my typing speed and accuracy. :-)

      I had high hopes for Virtual On, but the controls just seemed too damn awkward to play it well. The game itself was spot-on, and with better sticks would've been a classic.

      Likewise with Silent Scope. The controls were less of a problem there, but still somewhat hampered an otherwise fantastic arcade port.
  • Sadly I mislaid the tv adaptor dongle somewhere moving houses, otherwise it'd be under my tv ousting the ps/2 - at least some of the time. Thats the problem with consoles tho, something better comes along and the old one gets relegated - not enough SCARTS to go around.

    Soul Calibur on the DC was/is by far the best 3d beat em up, the PS2 sequels dont hold a candle to it, DOA is gimmicky and Tekken floundered. The only thing close was VF, but that was a different game and SC played better.

    Metropolis Street Rac
  • That game defined... well... OK, bad example.

    I liked how many Dreamcast games were something out of the norm...

    - Rez
    - Pop n Music
    - Seaman
    - Samba De Amigo
  • I've got two DCs that rearely get hooked up anymore. Yes, there were some great games but many of them have been ported to other systems by now. There are a few games that I will still play though and oddly have not been added to the list by anyone else...

    There are several fishing games and even a fishing controller for the DC. They are Sega Bass Fishing, Sega Marine Fishing, and Reel Fishing: Wild. If you happen to have access to a them, give them a shot. Not the deepest games but fun for a bit.

  • C'mon, this game was fun to play, despite the sheer redneckness of it. Plus the sequel, SEGA Marine Fishing was no slouch either. I bought a fishing controller just to play these. They are the definition of console defining.

    Other titles on DC that r
    eally defined its image:

    Jet Grind Radio
    Space Channel 5
    Soul Calibur
    Chu Chu Rocket
    Virtual On Oratorio Tangram (or whatever it was called)
    Power Stone
    Samba de Amigo

    I got my DC when they went on clearance ($99) and found most of my games used or on closeout. I wan

  • I wonder, is there a working Dreamcast emulator that will allow one to run (a significant number of) these games?
  • Pop N Music 1, 2, 3 Append and 4 Append. Only because it was a great four player game that was easy for anyone to pick up. The people that sucked hardest would get less keys to control. It was always fun with a little drink in your system.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan