The SEGA Dreamcast is fondly remembered by many gamers as a system that was ahead of its time. Despite its many innovations and excellent titles, it was crushed by the Playstation 2 and became the last system SEGA ever made.
It is in the shadow of this legacy that the “Dreamcast Collection” falls terribly short. For $30, you’re given four Dreamcast games and absolutely nothing else. No features about the history of the system. No interviews with developers or even gaming critics who could reminisce about the titles and the system’s pre-Y2K awesomeness. There’s not even an attractive menu system. Even worse, one of the games, “Crazy Taxi,” is stripped of its (now retro) Gen-X soundtrack.
For a title that tries to position itself as a bargain collection of four great games this turns out looking like a cash grab by SEGA, a company that has struggled to live up to its fabled legacy in recent years.
As for the games, some of them have aged more gracefully that others. The once beloved “Crazy Taxi” is not as much fun without its soundtrack and the thrills get old fast. The exaggerated vehicle handling that used to be fun does not hold up. Younger gamers will likely laugh at the clunky arcade gameplay and now-dated pop culture references.
“Sonic Adventure” gets a bit of a pass since it was so stunning when it was released and was likely the last time anyone had any fun playing as the blue hedgehog. It’s hard to hate on this one.
“Space Channel 5: Part 2″ is not as good as the original but stands out as the one game on the collection that reminds people why SEGA has such a diehard following. It’s bizarre and fun, even after all these years. Most folks would rather have seen “Jet Grind Radio” or, better, the virtual pet game “Seaman” show up here to remind us that no one does weird like SEGA.
“SEGA Bass Fishing” – yes, for those of you who don’t know the fishing game genre is popular with many gamers – holds up pretty well. It obviously doesn’t have the cool fishing rod controller you could use with the Dreamcast, but it’s still fun. If you like fishing games.
With Dreamcast consoles and games going for the cheap on eBay and craigslist, it’s hard to recommend that anyone drop $30 on this title. For those gamers who ache for the glory of the Dreamcast, why not just buy one and experience these games as they were meant to be played? For people who missed the Dreamcast and are curious as to what all the fuss was about, this disc will not help them.
So who is this game really for?
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