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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Must-Have Games For The Dreamcast? 82

Thanks to for their roundtable discussing the shiniest, best, and most under-rated Dreamcast games, as Sega's defunct console starts approaching cult status. The article starts: "It seems as though Sega has been all but forgotten as the system innovator that it was. As cliched as it sounds, the Dreamcast was years ahead of its time", and some of the now-inexpensive recommended DC titles include Mars Matrix ("a simple top-down, vertical shooter that we have all grown to love and cherish"), Samba De Amigo ("Get a pair of third-party maracas, [and] come to terms with the fact that you'll soon be flailing your arms around like a jackass"), and the less easily purchasable Propeller Arena ("the best game AM2 never released.")
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Must-Have Games For The Dreamcast?

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  • Sword of the Berserk (Score:2, Informative)

    by 1arkhaine ( 671283 ) *
    What a fantastic game. For us poor Westerners, the end of the Berserk DVDs was the end of the series, even though in the Japanese manga it was really only the beginning.

    Sword of the Berserk changed this. We got to find out more about Guts, find out that Caska really wasn't dead (yay!) and just explore the world that I know I had come to love. And it had Puck!

    Great game, highly recommended. Unless you have a problem with fighting with swords bigger than yourself, then I am not sure I even want to speak t

  • No Soul Calibur? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dark Nexus ( 172808 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @02:25AM (#7441819)
    While hardly under-rated, I'd certainly considered it a must-have for the Dreamcast...

    Though I definitely agree with the Crazy Taxi listing on there, but once again, I don't really think it was under-rated.
    • Yes, Soul Calibur, I second that! Damn it, I forgot it in my own post. There's probably two or three other cool games I forgot as well. Bomberman Online was cool (though too slow for *real* Bomberman I thought). The Sonic Adventure games were cool, though they're both out and expanded for the GC now. I've got perfectly emulated Digital Eclipse compilations of both Williams and Atari arcade games which are both nifty, as well as the Sega Smash Pack with several Genesis gamee, including Golden Axe, and a
    • Several people have told me they prefer Soul Calibur over SC2, but I'd have to say I disagree. While the original is the only way you'll ever play it using the official Dreamcast Arcade Stick (officially the best stick ever released), the Hori, SC2 sticks are pretty darn close, and the 1-player quest mode is rather more interesting on 2 than 1.

      I'm glad I own all 3 'Soul' games, though; its definitely my favorite fighter series.
    • Underrated? That has to be one of the most OVERrated games ever! Soul Calibur's gameplay is very shallow, compared to truly good fighting games like King of Fighters 98.
      • Er... my bad... I meant KOF 99, not 98! I probably mixed them up because KOF 98 for Dreamcast was released in USA as KOF 99, while KOF 99 was released as KOF Evolution.
      • You obviously never played with anyone who actually knew what they were doing.

        I played a lot of both, and found Soul Calibur to have far more depth. King of Fighters, while good, was still just another 2d fighter.
    • --Yep, the people that wrote this article are on *CRACK* for not mentioning Soul Calibur and Unreal Tournament. I still play both of those games on a daily (DC) basis.
  • What about? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Chu-Chu Rocket?

    Space Channel 5?

    Hell, what about Seaman (any game with an ugly fish and Leonard Nemoy gets points in my book) or any of the Sonic games?

    Skies of Arcadia?

    And for fuck's sake, why wasn't SOUL CALIBUR mentioned?!

    Great titles on that list, but there are many greats they left off on this one (and I'm sure I missed more than my share as well).
    • I was going to post this exact post -- but you posted it for me!

      Scary psychics ...

      One thing to add: Space Channel 5 Part 2. Sure it's a sequel, but it takes every part of Space Channel 5 and makes it funner. There's a PS2 port which I haven't played, but I can say without reservation that the Dreamcast version is fantastic.
    • Easily Skies of Arcadia. I would say that it's one of the best RPGs of this time, but the battle system is very standard and unoriginal. However, the story and environment is like... WOW.
      • Re:What about? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by pecosdave ( 536896 )
        I hit the jackpot on that port.

        I have Skies of Arcadia Legends for the Cube, it's only by sheer chance I got it. I bought my Cube used off of ebay with 9 games and a WaveBird. I figured 9 games, several of which I was guaranteed to like and the rest I would give a shot. I'm glad I gave Skies of Arcadia Legends a shot.

        You can tell it's a port. Granted they improved everything just a little for the Cube version and added some stuff, but you're right. That games so good I'm considering getting a DreamCa
        • Skies of Arcadia is definately a fantastic game. Though the Gamecube version had been improved in most ways, I couldn't get over how much worse the game's sound was. For some reason, they seemed to really skimp out when they ported the sound engine. Effects were tinny. Musical instruments sounded muted. Things would cut out at times.

          Strangely, it wasn't always a problem. There were times when it was really noticable, and other times when it sounded just like the original.

          I like the extras that they
    • Space Channel 5 was absolutely awful!
  • Virtua Tennis
    Dead or Alive 2
    Soul Calibur
    Crazy Taxi
    Sonic Adventure
    Seaman (not really FUN, but you have to try it at least once)
    NesterDC and a bunch of NES roms
    Resident evil Code Veronica - my favorite game in the series after the first one
    Phantasy Star Online...unfortunately I heard the servers don't work anymore for the first one... might as well just buy the Xbox version if I'm gonna have to pay a monthly fee..
  • Cult Status (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If your interested in what the homebrew scene has to offer for the dreamcast, then I recommend checking DC Emulation. [] Also for the DDR fans, check out Feet of Fury. []
  • Bangai-O (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mog ( 22706 ) <> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @02:39AM (#7441865)
    Bangai-O is hands-down the best game on the dreamcast. A must have, definitely!
    • Man-oh-Manos, I've been looking for Bangai-O for years now. I saw it for sale for less than ten bucks on discount at a local Walmart, had never heard of it so I passed, then heard it was made by Treasure (!), ran back to the store and it was *gone*.

      I'm still kicking myself for missing out on it. Ouch! There, see?
      • This reminds me of the time a local K-Mart was going out of business, wayyyy back in the day. There were literally stacks of top-loading NES machines, and if the memory portion of my brain is not lying to me, they were marked 20 bucks each.


      • I feel your pain...been trying to hunt down a copy locally as well, and have been coming up blank for quite a while. Definitely one of the tougher DC games to find nowadays.
  • Linux for the Dreamcast []

    Could be fun. I remember downloading it. If you have a keyboard and the modem/boardband adapter you can really have fun with it.

    Alas I have neither. But it was fun to watch Linux boot on the DC.

    Oh, and I've told that Virtua Tennis for DC was a good game to have.

  • Shen Mue (Score:4, Informative)

    by neostorm ( 462848 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @02:52AM (#7441916)
    Did no one like Shen Mue 1 and 2? I absolutely fell in love with both games despite I usually hate games-that-try-to-be-movies. I can't believe it hasn't been mentioned.
    Fantastic games that made a huge effort for something new. More than just big production, but fun gameplay and very well done story. The world of both games felt more "alive" than any other title today.

    I know some people probably dislike them, and I know some love them, but I hope they get the credit they deserve as must-haves.

    • Absolutely! Shenmue was brilliant. I spent ages in the first game loading boxes at the docks. that added a week onto the game just doing that. Superb (almost made me change my job to a fork lift driver I was having so much fun. Aside from some of the comical dialogue (remember the jamaican guy who sounded like a japanese guy doing a poor jamaican accent - hilarious).

      Onve of my most favourite games - ever.
    • I really well and truly hated that game, actually. While playing with the kitten and the arcades were highlights, they didn't really help that I'd spend hours trying to get into a fight with /something/ and be unable to.

      Very dull game, all in all.
    • Um... Two of the contributors listed it as one of their must haves.
    • I loved both Shenmue games. In fact, I imported the European version of Shenmue II and I've played through it several times. They are definately some of my all time favorites. The fighting system is fantastic and fun when you get used to it, especially in Shenmue II when a good part of the end of the game means mastering pit-fighting techniques. The story was excellent and the graphics were astounding. Music in both games was top notch.

      I really hope that there will be a third game. There are just too
  • My friends and I still play Virtua Tennis all the time, and never get sick of commenting on how bad the teeth look on the players.
    • Man, I thought it was just me who thought that. My girlfriend thought Tommy Haas (?) was cute, but I thought the model made him look like some messed up vampire guy.

      As for underrated games, I gotta get my vote in for Record of Lodoss War. I didn't find out it was based on anime/manga (still not clear) until well after I'd gotten done playing it. I really liked the rune words system (haven't played in years - don't know if that's the term) they used for upgrading a weapon. Somebody else should totally r
  • Powerstone... (Score:2, Informative)

    i've only played powerstone2, it was great fun in the dorm... its like smash bros but with a way more interactive 3D environment, made by capcom. basically, youre beating the shit out of each other, trying to pick up some 'power stones' so you can be the ultimate shitkicker. tons of fun.
  • There's nothing quite like Worms Armageddon.
    • "There's nothing quite like Worms Armageddon"

      Apart from Worms World Party, of course. WWP isn't quite as buggy as the DC release of Armageddon either, so if you only buy one DC Worms game make it WWP. Neither game is as good as the old Amiga 1200 Worms: Director's Cut, but what is?
  • by MilenCent ( 219397 ) * <> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @03:51AM (#7442137) Homepage
    Chu Chu Rocket! You really need other people to play it with, but find them and you have a game that can almost challenge the mighty Bomberman for multiplayer mayhem. I hear the network play was very laggy but playable, but since all the Dreamcast online servers are now dead this is a dead feature now. But the four-players-on-one-system mode is a masterpiece. (There is a GBA version of this game, and a small 1p version is a secret in Billy Hatcher.)

    Grandia 2. Some people mentioned it on the site already, but yeah, they're right, this is a severely underrated game. Some of the best writing and voice acting you'll hear in a RPG. Not too challenging (unless you count the secret extra dungeon late in the game, which has some hard foes in it), but the brilliant combat system created for the first game really comes to shine here. And the trademark loveable, personality-filled Game Arts characters are the icing on the cake. (There are also PS2 and PC versions of this game.)

    Crazy Taxi & Crazy Taxi 2. The first game is available for all three current consoles now, but the sequel was never released for anything besides the Dreamcast. This is the game I spent the most time on on my Dreamcast, and for a while there I was in the running for, what was it again, 8th place in the Twin Galaxies record books when they were running a high score contest, with a score of over $69,000. (I never sent in my tape, though.) These are among the best designed games for any system. I thought that CT3 (X-Box) didn't have enough additions over the second game, though it was nice being able to explore new places in the original arcade city. (CT1: also available for PC, GC, X-Box and PS2, CT2: DC exclusive.)

    Seaman. Yeah, it was funky, and kind of boring after a while, but it was truly fresh and different, and for a little while actually caused us to forget we were playing a game as we talked to a little Japanese-headed fish/frog guy with a microphone plugged into the controller. Ten times cooler than Nintendo's Hey You Pikachu!, which is the only other game of this type I can name. (DC exclusive)

    Space Channel 5. The hippest videogame of all time. It doesn't look like it at first, but it is.

    NesterDC/DreamSNES/GNUBoy/other emulators. Yeah, they're free and quasi-legal when played with ROMs, but these babies can pack new life into your DC. for more information. Of special note is the Atari 800 emulator, which can emulate M.U.L.E., possibly the best designed game of all time and a formidable multiplayer game, flawlessly and with the exact same four-controller-port configuration the original computer had. NesterDC emulates almost all NES games perfectly, and on your TV screen. That is too cool for words.
    • Almost forgot! The Typing of the Dead! The coolest typing tutor ever, and an excellent parody of Sega's own The House of the Dead 2! And Jet Grind Radio, which is cooler in my opinion than the X-Box sequel. And they had the best home version of Gauntlet Legends I'd say, the closest to the arcade version (though still no timed health loss). And Skies of Arcadia (though the GC version is arguably better on all fronts).
    • Chu Chu Rocket is also available for the Atari ST []. I just picked up the GBA version and it really struggles because there are only two main buttons, not four.

      Gauntlet Legends is pretty good on the DC. Soul Caliber took away a lot of my life too. I never really got into Craxy Taxi 2, but I still play the first on one occasion. I thought the GBA "port" sucked, but it's actually not bad once you get the timing down. The Stella (Atari 2600) port is nice. I won second place in a high score compo with tha
      • I didn't know about the Atari ST port, but I'm inclined not to count it because, well, because I'm a bastard, really.

        Really, looking at this strikes me as super-cool. Does it even sound the same as the DC version?
        • Don't know how it plays. The game was released at least six months before I got a working ST again and I'd sort of forgotten all about it until the /. article reminded me. Not that I have space to setup the ST either...
    • "Grandia 2. Some people mentioned it on the site already, but yeah, they're right, this is a severely underrated game. Some of the best writing and voice acting you'll hear in a RPG. Not too challenging (unless you count the secret extra dungeon late in the game, which has some hard foes in it), but the brilliant combat system created for the first game really comes to shine here."

      Maybe it's because it came out on the Dreamcast, but Grandia 2 is overrated. First off, the voice acting isn't awesome. Compa
      • Actually I liked Grandia 2's spell building better, Grandia 1's meant using many spells that you'd typically never use, merely in the name of boosting their power and opening up better spells. G2 basically uncoupled characters and spells, making them completely modular, but there was still a bit of strategy there since character attacks were still inate, and a character couldn't do more than one thing when his turn came up. Opportunity costs, you see.

        You could set auto-battle on, maybe, I never did. And
      • Maybe it's because it came out on the Dreamcast, but Grandia 2 is overrated. First off, the voice acting isn't awesome. Compared to the verbal ear-rape in most NA RPGs it's decent, but the fact is that they're still cartoon voice actors -- not professional voice actors.

        What, are cartoon voice actors not good enough? Did you ever look at the cast []? Ryudo was voiced by Leonardo! LEONARDO. How cool is that?

        Roan was Scarlett from GI Joe. Hell, Millenia was voiced by The Little Mermaid.

        Not too shabby, I think
  • Soul Reaver for the Dreamcast has all the excellent Metroid-style exploration, story, and quality voice acting of the original, but the character models, environments, and camera work during the cinematics were all greatly improved over the Playstation and PC versions.

    Virtual On is another good pick, although it can be tough to find used for a decent price.
  • How is there no mention of Guilty Gear X in this thread?
  • A couple of my favorites are Jet Grind Radio, Virtua Tennis, and Grandia 2. And I'm still looking for a broadband adapter for less than $50 :(
  • Mars Matrix? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Are we on crack now?

    DC is great. But certainly not because of that crap 16Bit style shooter. If you wan't great 2D shooters for DC i advice you to give MAMEDC and Metal Slug a try.

    Mars Matrix... hahahaha...

    • Mars Matrix is one of the greatest shooters ever made. Go visit the message board of and try to insult Mars Matrix; you'll be laughed off the board.

      The graphics are not the best, but the gameplay escalates it into the top tier of vertical scrolling shooters, up there with Ikaruga, ESP.Ra.De, Dodonpachi, Radiant Silvergun, and Strikers 1945 Part 2.

      It's also one of the hardest games ever made. I've put in at least 30 hours of play and I can occasionally get to the fourth level on 1 credit. Am
  • great 2d fighting game. 2 player 3 on 3 battles, 56 charecters to choose from. charecter 'assists with 3 different types for each. combo's, hyper-combo's, 2 and 3 charecter hyper-combo's, switch charecters at any time and they even regain health when they aren't currently fighting (up to 30% of damage taken the last time they were fighting). you get extra levels and different colors for each charecter that you can "buy". we've put in possibly double the max recorded "game play" of 99:59:59 and STILL haven'
  • Rez... massively overlooked games, possibly one of the best games to have ever emerged on the console... and looked a million times more crisp and sexy than on the PS2....

    Lovely visuals, great sound, vastly addictive.

    Beautiful. Never sold though...
  • by zenintrude ( 462825 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @07:01AM (#7442664)
    As cliched as it sounds, the Dreamcast was years ahead of its time

    And this still rings true. No system since has been able to reproduce 2D arcade games as well, and its 3D arcade ports can't be beat either. Simply said, the Dreamcast is the ultimate realization of the arcade experience at home. The Dreamcast *should* have been the final deathblow to the waning arcade situation, but for some reason people just didn't want arcade perfect ports... odd.

    But all that aside, the Dreamcast continues to stand as my favorite console for a single reason: VGA support. After the VGA box was released for the Dreamcast, I thought to myself, "So this is where console games are going..." Crystal clear visuals just reinforced the system's already amazing graphical prowess. But again I was wrong, and the VGA standard was not adopted even as an option by the current crop of systems. Sure, output to HDTV is nice, but I still don't feel the amazing clarity that comes from a nice monitor.

    And while we're at it, my top 5:

    1. Phantasy Star Online: First Online Console RPG. I logged over 500 hours on the first version of it, and loved every Rappy beating minute of it.
    2. Rez: The PS2 port doesn't do this game's visuals justice in the least. Beautiful wire frame graphics wrapped around the best rail-shooter since Panzer Dragoon Saga, all while thumping to one of the best video game soundtracks ever.
    3. Jet Set Radio: Invented the oft-repeated cell shading graphical style, and the game play was brilliant as well. Tony Hawk + Rollerblades + Juvenile Delinquency.
    4. Samba de Amigo: I was lucky enough to have pre-ordered this game and a set of official maracas, still one of the best gaming decisions I've ever made. Sure Dance Dance Revolution is a lot of fun, but this is even more fun (and completely playable) when you're drunk, while DDR simply is not.
    5. Shenmue: Ground-breaking blah blah blah masterful storytelling blah blah blah cat petting simulator blah blah blah Yu Suzuki is a God.
  • Ikaruga (Score:3, Informative)

    by mraymer ( 516227 ) <> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @07:42AM (#7442781) Homepage Journal
    Even though it's out for the GameCube now, Ikaruga [] is still worth mentioning. ;)
  • lots of fun, excellent playability, and the best part is that the final boss has an AFRO! Prepare to eat a serving of clay with a side dish of funk!
  • Still my fav console (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shione ( 666388 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @08:55AM (#7442984) Journal
    I have a Cube and a PS2 for a playing games and the Dreamcast is still my favourite console.

    My favourite thing about the Dreamcast is it has 4 controller ports, modem included standard, most games have native VGA support meaning I can play my games on a computer monitor on a proper adaptor (none of this up scan crap), 50/60 hz selection so I don't have to worry about slowdown on crappy ports, and easy bypassing of the region protection so I can play U.S and Jap games on it (I live in Australia so my console is PAL). Of course the Gamecube, PS2 and Xbox has some of these features but not all of them. The region bypassing is my favourite bit of the Dreamcast because I dont have to risk modifying my console or fork out cash for a action replay/region x. Aussie games are either overpriced/sloppily ported and take eons to get released here.

    All Dreamcasts sold in Australia and those manufactured I think before Sept 2000 in the U.S. can read cdr and cdrw disc which is how I can run a boot disc on it to play out of region games on it.

    I heard the Sony and Microsoft 'quality assurance' program makes it difficult for 2d games to be okayed on their system so 2D fans should be overjoyed at owning a Dreamcast because the 2D Kings, SNK and Capcom loved the Dreamcast to death and flooded it with many excellent scrollers and fighters. Games like Mars Matrix, Project Justice, King of Fighters series, gigiwing 1 and 2, vampire chronicles

    A couple of other games you won't find anywhere else except on Dreamcst are:
    Powerstone 2 (this game rocks. its like Super Smash Bros except in 3D),
    illbleed -- fun adventure horror game
    D2 -- another horror, fun but the graphics aren't the best
    confidential mission - gun game

    toy commander -- hard game where you play as one of x toys, completing objectives
    Soul Calibur -- this really shows what the console was capable of and it was a launch game!
    Shenmue 1 -- those who played shenmue 2 on xbox need this!
    theres a couple of sega beat-em-ups too but they were so

    Firepro wrestling (japanese only but it has a strong following of fans)
    Record of Lodoss War Anime-ish rpg
    Seaman -- like a tomakachi (spelling) except you bring up a fish using a microphone and it talks back to you
    ecco the dolphin -- the most beautful underwater game. its like playing a screensaver!
    Bangai O -- shooter by treasure of radiant silvergun fame

  • by aanand ( 705284 )
    There is no justice until Rez is respected for the work of synaesthesic brilliance it is.

    (How many other games are dedicated to Bauhaus artists, for God's sake.)
    ((Except all those trippy German games from the 80s.))
    (((All three of them.)))
    • Interesting historical influences of Rez in this review [].

      Wassily Kandinsky was a brilliant painter, but like many gifted painters, he was also insane; suffering from synaesthesia, a condition affecting the sense and resulting in cross interpolated stimuli, Kandinsky claimed to be able to hear colors and feel sound. It was this idea of interconnected sensory experiences that fueled the development of Rez, simulating synaesthesia though simultaneous sound, sight, and touch.
  • Capcom's Cannon Spike [] is one of my favorites. It's a very simple and short action game, but it's great when you only have 10 or 15 minutes and just feel like blowing some stuff up. Also, Mega Man is a secret character. It's kind of like a shoot-em-up version of Power Stone: quick, frantic, and surprisingly entertaining.
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:32AM (#7444190) Homepage
    Source: [ ]

    4x4 Evolution
    ChuChu Rocket (USA version works, EURO down)
    F355 Challenge
    PBA Bowling 2001 (via GameSpy)
    Quake III Arena (private servers and clans)
    Sega Swirl
    StarLancer (via Gamespy)
    Worms World Party
  • by AlexMax2742 ( 602517 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:44AM (#7444303)
    Nobody else liked Rush 2049?

    Sure, it was multiplatform (there was an N64 incarnation as well), but the Dreamcast defeniatly got the best end of the deal. Single player got rather boring after a while, but if it's you and three friends, you'll have the most fun you've ever had. Sure, you can race, but why race when you can go flip out on the stunt tracks with three other friends (Wings were the best ever addition to Rush, ever). And the battle mode...the battle mode was in it's first incarnation in that game and it still was the best multiplayer vehicle battle mode i've ever played. All this running at a silky smooth framerate and huge draw distance made for one of the most underrated games on the system. It's a shame that the series has been silent since then, a Rush on Xbox Live would be something I would never quit playing.

    Also, did anyone mention Mr. Driller? It's a really fun puzzle game, too bad it didn't support two players or else I might still be playing it.

    And then of course you have Rez and Jet Grind Radio. But then again, they've been mentioned elsewhere anyway.

    • I remember playing this in the arcades. That was an awesome game. However, I was never fortunate enough to own a DC or know anyone with a DC that would actually give this game a shot. Perhaps I should look for a DC and Rush 2049 on eBay somewhere.
  • Figher love (Score:5, Informative)

    by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:59AM (#7444471)
    Several people have mentioned the lack of Soul Calibur, but Dreamcast is perhaps one of the best figher platforms of all time. Marvel v. Capcom 1 and 2, Capcom v. SNK, several Street Fighter and King of Fighters versions. To say nothing of Dead or Alive 2

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers