Dreamcast CollectionPlatform: Xbox 360
Category: Action Games
772 KB to Save Game
When SEGA announced they would be releasing a Dreamcast Collection, I have to admit I was pumped. The Dreamcast rejuvenated my love of gaming when I started to lose interest. Games like SoulCalibur, NFL 2K1 and Speed Devils bring back some fond memories and the thoughts of playing the games all over again was starting to warm the cockles of my heart. Unfortunately, the Dreamcast Collection is anything but a complete collection featuring some of my favorites. Why SEGA neglected to call me before the game was put together is beyond me. But seriously, is the Dreamcast Collection worth your time? In short no, but read on to find out why.
Simply put the visuals in the Dreamcast Collection are weak. Sure ten years ago Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5 were the ‘cat’s pajamas.’ They looked great and pushed the limits of the SEGA Dreamcast’s hardware. Oh how times have changed. Today, the games look dated and choppy. None of the four games included in the box received any visual enhancements and none have been formatted for our High Definition pleasure. This was disappointing for me. Instead you get the games in their original state. This may appease some of the hardcore Dreamcast fans who want to play the games in their original format but for the rest of us the Dreamcast Collection just looks less than stellar.
All in all, nothing really stood out in terms of the game's sound effects, music or voice work. Sure listening to some of those old Sonic jingles brings back some memories but otherwise take away the nostalgia factor and you do not have much to work with here. The game's audio package comes across as average and again developers never tinkered with anything sound-wise; instead, you get the game as it was many years ago. Simply put, Dreamcast Collection won’t push the limits of your surround sound system anytime soon.
By design, the SEGA Dreamcast Collection is a budget game with a retail price tag of about 30 bucks. It includes four Dreamcast games: SEGA Bass Fishing, Sonic Adventure, Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Crazy Taxi. Once you fire-up the game, you are greeted with an ugly looking menu and some god awful music. All four games are prominently displayed with a logo. Make your selection and you are set to begin. I like the simple approach but wow it is not a pretty looking menu by any stretch and jumping out of games is a problem. But I'll get to that later.
Sonic Adventures and Crazy Taxi were some of the biggest games of their time. So it makes a lot of sense on the surface to include these games. Sonic Adventures seems like a no brainer addition to the collection. While the single player progression system in the game can be confusing at times, the game features all the fast paced coin collecting we have come to love about the franchise. I personally enjoyed Sonic Adventures 2 more than the first one but having a Sonic game included is better than nothing. At the end of the day, SEGA gets kudos for adding a Sonic Game. Likewise, Crazy Taxi is also a logical fit. At the time, gamers loved rocking away to punk rock tunes and causing chaos on the streets as you pick up and drop off customers racing against the clock. It is truly a frantic game and I forgot how difficult it can be to score an ‘A’ letter grade after completing all the stops within the allotted times. Again, I have no concerns with Crazy Taxi being included in this collection. Bass Fishing on the other hand leaves me scratching my head. Three of the four games included are clearly aimed at the younger gamer. Bass Fishing holds little appeal to younger gamers and just does not seem to fit. Sure your avid fisherman might get a kick out of this but the rest of us might as well pass. If it included the fishing rod as the original game did, this changes everything but playing the controller felt unnatural and awkward. Speaking of awkward, Space Channel 5 Part 2 is just an odd game. Again I just don’t see the appeal in this glorified ‘Simon Says’ game. Watching Ulala dance around feels uncomfortable and my memory stinks. Maybe the game had a large following but for me, yikes this one is god awful.
Perhaps we will see Dreamcast Collection Volume 2, 3, 4, etc. down the road. It would make sense if the Dreamcast Collection was part of a bigger plan. Otherwise, these games could have all been released on the Xbox Live Arcade. In fact, two of the games are already released on the Xbox Live Arcade. In some sense, 30 bucks is not a bad deal considering the two games on XBLA are approximately 10 bucks each. Then again, is this game even half as good as some of the new releases on the market? 30 bucks may seem like a good deal but that is also a very good down payment for Bulletstorm http://www.game-boyz.com/content/node/17568.
On top of the poor graphics, lackluster sound, and limited “collection” of games, the Dreamcast Collection has one single frustrating element that sends me over the top. After you quit a game, the game launches you into the Xbox 360 dashboard. Why, after you quit, the game does not send you back into an in-game menu is beyond me. It leaves me dumbfounded and also suggests the developers just threw these games on one disk over a weekend.
Overall, the Dreamcast Collection is best left to the bargain bins and flea markets. While it is enjoyable to go down memory lane one last time, this Dreamcast Collection is anything but a definitive Dreamcast Collection. This four game collection was sloppily thrown together and suggests you are best to leave the past where it belongs — in the past.