With the Dreamcast turning 25 today, what are your fondest memories of Sega’s final home console?
I’d have to say mine would be:
- Playing Sonic Adventure at launch, or at least close to launch. The console launched later in New Zealand (November 30, 1999), and there was no first party software available until a number of days later. So I had to wait even longer, but it was certainly worth the wait.
- Soul Calibur - I was never a huge fighting game fan, but was very impressed by the “eight way run” system, fluid gameplay, and epic soundtrack at the time. The latest game in the series (VI) feels like a callback to this Dreamcast title which is nice.
- Skies of Arcadia - my favourite Dreamcast game. I put many hours into completing this, and by the end it really felt like going on an epic journey of discovery.
- Playing online - ChuChu Rocket and eventually Phantasy Star Online. I even had the Dreamcast keyboard for PSO, although communication worked surprisingly well with just the selection system. I also played Bomberman Online later on. Online was a bit of a fiasco in New Zealand and they eventually ended up refunding owners since online was never officially made available here, so I used the funds to get a modded console from the US which worked with that version of PSO.
- Ikaruga - since I got a modded Xbox, I was able to import this game from Japan. A highly innovative take on the classic top down bullet hell shooter, although a very difficult game.
- Shenmue - a highly immersive world to explore, unlike anything we’d played before. Many modern games still lack the incredible detail found in Shenmue. I hope we’ll see a conclusion to the story within the next 25 years.
- Jet Set Radio - an innovative game with it’s graffiti and grinding systems, along with cell shaded graphics, that showed what Smilebit were capable of. I’m looking forward to trying Bomb Rush Cyberfunk when I have some spare time.
- Rez - Panzer Dragoon like gameplay in a virtual world, lots of fun, although I didn’t play it properly until the Xbox 360 release.
- Grandia 2 - another good RPG for the Dreamcast that I enjoyed, with a nice story twist near the end. I remember the way that video clips were overlayed over the battle for spell special effects was unique.
- Ecco: Defender of the Future - it was incredibly impressive seeing Ecco brought into 3D at the time. One of the best looking games on the system, and who doesn’t like dolphins?
- Resident Evil: Code Veronica - it was impressive seeing this series become fully 3D (it still used the set camera angles, but the environments were no longer pre-rendered). When is Capcom going to remake this?
- Crazy Taxi - a fun arcade style game that I picked up for cheap, but like many titles on the system felt fun and innovative.
- Sonic Adventure 2 - while it lacks the adventure sections of the original, this was peak 3D Sonic for a long, long time in terms of the Sonic action stages (I have not played Frontiers yet, but nothing that I played before that suprassed it).
Those were the main games that jump out for me in terms of fond memories. I also remember trying and enjoying lots of other games such as Trick Style, Powerstone, Hydro Thunder, Metropolis Street Racer, and many more. The Dreamcast had a catalog that was unparalleled for such a short lifespan.