A Sega Dreamcast Mini has to be on the horizon right? As original retro games soar in price, these tiny little consoles give us a window into an otherwise unobtainable world. We have had the NES, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, Commodore 64 and soon Japanese super console the Turbographx-16 will arrive. But where is our Sega Dreamcast mini? We look at five games that must be on this console if and when it arrives!
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The first of the sixth generation of video game consoles, the Dreamcast was an outstanding console that did not get the recognition it deserved. In a market awaiting the arrival of the Playstation 2 and competing with the Gamecube and Xbox, sales were not as Sega would have hoped. Despite a slew of excellent, innovative games, it would be the last nail in the coffin for Sega. They would withdraw from console manufacturing and concentrate on solely creating games after the Dreamcast.
Our first pick has to be Crazy Taxi. First appearing in arcades (on an amazing, steering wheel based cabinet) the huge success of this game meant Sega quickly ported it to numerous consoles.
The concept is so simple it is hard to believe it had not been used before. You choose from one of four cab drivers, picking up fares from around the city. You have to deliver passengers to their destination in as quick a time as possible.
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Some fares are a long way off, some are short and you are racing against the clock. Each time you pick up, time is added, and once the timer reaches zero the game is over. Race to get the biggest fare you possibly can before your time runs out.
Not only is the game hugely addictive and playable, it was one of the first games to incorporate advertising and product placement really well. Passengers will ask to be dropped off at Pizza Hut, KFC and others, giving a sense of real life to a chaotic game. A licensed punk rock soundtrack including Offspring really moved the game along, though due to licensing it will be hard to imagine these features appearing in the mini console versions.
Upon release, Shenmue was the most expensive video game ever made. It is reported it clocked well over the $47 million mark. It's history is dogged, starting as a development on the cursed Sega Saturn console then being shipped to Dreamcast. Not only that, it was a financial and commercial failure for Sega. Yet it was it was brilliant.
An action adventure game steeped in the traditional revenge style found in Chinese cinema. You are Ryo Hazuki, a martial artist out to find his fathers killer. This takes you into an open world mystery the likes of which had never been seen in gaming before. NPC characters had schedules. Night and day had real impact, with businesses only being open at certain times.
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It also had a really in depth fighting system, very odd for the type of action/adventure genre it fitted into. This was actually due to the fact that it was intended to be a spin off from Sega's beat em up hit Virtua Fighter.
Shenmue would become a cult game spawning a number of sequels, one of which would become the most backed video game on Kickstarter.
Jet Set Radio
Probably one of the most innovative games of its era, Jet Set Radio was just so different to everything else.
Known as Jet Grind Radio in the US, it was developed by a Sega studio consisting of developers with an average age of 25. Tasked with coming up with an innovative youth concept game, they looked at late nineties Japanese pop culture for influence. Shunning the anime and manga style favoured by the studio, they produced one of the first cell shaded animation games.
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The game is set in Tokyo and you are Beat, member of the GG gang. You must inline skate your way across the city, adding your graffiti tag to designated areas. Trying to stop you are rival gangs, who you must defeat, along with the Tokyo police force.
Often praised for its soundtrack that included elements of everything from acid jazz to J Pop, Jet Set Radio is rightly lauded as one of the pinnacles of Dreamcast innovation. Despite failures in the consoles market it showed why Sega were still creative game developers to be reckoned with.
Unbelievably, the Sega Saturn never had a Sonic game in it's repertoire. As such, a lot was riding on the first Dreamcast outing for Sonic. Not only that but Sonic would arrive in 3D with a whole roster of playable supporting characters. As many of us know, Sonic and 3D do not always mix well.
Sonic Adventure is one of the few times it actually works. The visuals are slick with locations designed around countries in South America. Each of the six playable Sonic characters has their own skills set that you need to employ in a quest for the chaos emeralds.
For me, the true thrill of a Sonic game always lies in that momentary loss of control when speed takes over your character and you wheel off into oblivion. This game has that in spades. Sonic back to his best and a must have for the Sega Dreamcast Mini.
Marvel vs Capcom 2
Another wish list game for us that may have licensing issues. However, this is such an important one I could not leave it off the list for a Sega Dreamcast Mini.
It is what it says. The pop culture back catalogue of Marvel superheroes against the game characters of Capcom. Street Fighter characters could team up with Avengers, Darkstalkers could fight X Men. It was beautifully brilliant and was my introduction to a lot of characters from Capcom I never knew about until this game.
This game carried on the tag team system from previous Marvel and Capcom fighters. In this iteration, you also had a third character who played a bigger role than they did in previous games. This led to a huge roster with ounces of choice.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Disney takeover, we may never see this type of roster again. It was so varied, jamming in obscure Marvel and Capcom characters. I always remember working my way to the end, waiting for a new character to unlock hoping it would be an X-Men or Street Fighter character, then getting some obscure Capcom weirdo I didn't know. Absolute disappointment, so I would have to start all over again. An excellent slice of pop culture history that may never be repeated on the same level.
Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below
Yet again, all pictures from the awesome https://www.mobygames.com/ and Sega presspacks.
Header image courtesy of Evan Amos @wikimedia under creative commons license.