A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Game Collection: Sega Dreamcast: The Omega

The Dreamcast.  A future looking system.  Ahead of it's time.  Quirky.   Full of unique and clever games.  Sega's last hope in the console marketplace.  Betrayed by Electronic Arts, the Sony hardcore, a skittish Japanese parent company, and consumers frightened off due to Sega's previous missteps.

The Dreamcast was a system with so many unique and interesting games it felt almost like a super powered version of the UK 8 bit Microcomputer scene.  It felt like it had a SOUL as many folks have said.  It sold a massive number of machines in a short time.  It had tons of great peripherals.  A cool memory card that also doubled as a tiny LCD screen on the controller.  Built in modem for online play and Web Surfing, something nearly UNHEARD of in 1999.  (There were earlier attempts and all but the Dreamcast was the first time it was built in and INTEGRATED into the machine and it's business plan.)

Yet it failed.  It should not have.  But fail it did.  And ever since Sega's spark has been gone.  The name continues but the heart is no longer there.  The company that did what Nintendidn't is slowly but surely going to become another acquisition of some other company as is the wont of all IP producers.

And our gaming world will be worse off for it.

This is what I have for the little white box with a spiral on top:

Alien Front Online is a fun little arcade styled 3d blaster you could play online.  It even came with a microphone!  Bangai-O is a crazy 2d SHMUP.  Bomberman Online was Bomberman but you could play others online.  Bust a Move was another version of that Puzzle game classic.  Capcom Vs SNK was a GREAT 2D Fighter in the King of Fighters tradition.  Chu Chu Rocket was the awesomely mad 4 player Puzzle game.  Crazy Taxi 2 was the sequel to the arcade racing classic.  Dino Crisis was Resident Evil.  WITH DINOSAURS.  Evolution 1 and 2 are JRPG takes on the Roguelike genre.  Grandia II is an excellent JRPG with a kick ass combat system.  Gundam Side Story is a mech sim but my disk is busted so no idea of how it plays.  House of the Dead 2 is a light gun arcade port.  Illbleed is a zany Survival Horror game.  Jet Grind Radio is a fun but hard 3d racing/exploration game.  Macross M3 is a 3rd person Action game with Transforming mechs.  (Need a converter disk to play as its an import title.  Harmony Gold says NO MACROSS FOR YOU AMERICA!)

Marvel vs Capcom 2 is the massive arcade 2d Fighter that I remember as a friend refused to ever let me copy his totally unlocked game because he is a jerk and I just downloaded a file from Gamefaqs.  NFL Blitz 2000 is that NBA Jam styled action sports game where fun matters over realism.  Power Stone 2 is a multiplayer Fighting game.  Record of Lodoss War is a decent Action RPG based on the anime.  Phantasy Star Online is basically 3d Diablo.  Only better in nearly every way.  Its no REAL Phantasy Star but it birthed its own subgenre really.  Resident Evil 3 and Code Veronica are some of the last Resident Evil games to use the original Survival Horror gameplay.  Re-Volt is a great RC Racing game.  Sega Marine Fishing is an Arcade Fishing game.  ON THE SEA.  Sega Smashpack is a collection of Genesis games but with a slightly off sound.  Has a great Arcade port of Virtua Cop though.  Shenmue is the interesting but expensive failure that was an early "Living World" game ala Grand Theft Auto 3.  Sonic Adventure is an ok Action Platformer in 3d.  Space Channel 5 is a weird music game, a proto Guitar Hero Meets Dragon's Lair thing.  Star Wars Episode 1 Racer is a fun 3d Racing game.  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was the first in that legendary series of "Extreme Sports" titles before Activision ran it into the ground.  Virtual On: OT is a decent follow up to the original Mech Fighting game.

The included Web Browser, plus the updated versions that came with the various magazine "Pack In" demo disks.  Sega really was a few years ahead of their time...

I like the Dreamcast.  I respect it.  I enjoy it.  But it could have been so much.. MORE.  It never got a chance.  What they tried Microsoft and the X Box would refine and then make it a GIVEN by the 360.

Yet Sega is on the ropes and X Box is nearly synonymous with Video Gaming.

And we are poorer for it.

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