SEGA Dreamcast Collection

5.0 Overall Score

Written by on April 5, 2011 in

I never had a SEGA Dreamcast growing up. The Dreamcast was never a console that I wanted to buy because I was content with my Nintendo 64 and classic NES and SNES hookups in my room at home. The little time I spent playing games on the Dreamcast was at stores that had the system on display for people to demo, so when we received a copy of SEGA Dreamcast Collection I decided to give the games a shot since these seemed to have been the shining stars on the Dreamcast.

Sonic Adventures

I have to admit that I haven’t played too many Sonic games in my lifetime. Sonic Adventures is a game which I didn’t even know existed until I saw that it was included on the disc. I had high hopes for this hedgehog and was hoping that his adventure would be something I would look forward to playing more often.

In Sonic Adventures you follow Sonic as he stops Dr. Eggman from collecting all 7 Chaos crystals, thus releasing terrible evil on the world. This is about as interesting as the story gets. Sonic teams up with several other characters throughout the world, including Tails, Big the Cats, Amy Rose, Knuckles, and several other lesser known characters. None of the other characters feel like they do much in the story except annoy you at the most inopportune times with their irritating dialogue. Can I just leave Tails at home and go on this adventure by myself?

Packed with a combination of terrible camera angles, uninteresting level designs, and an awkward combat system, I understand why Sonic has such a bad reputation nowadays. The levels all revolve around a “home world” in which you travel around a hub city to get to each level. It became boring quickly having to travel from section to section within the city and there were often times where I was lost and confused as to which door or elevator goes where, and had to resort to walkthroughs online.

One thing I really liked about the game though was the fact that you could play the story through the perspective of the other characters. In one stage I was playing as Tails and had to beat Sonic in a race to the first Chaos crystal, the same level I had previously played as Sonic. Each character has their own story that weaves in and out of the main storyline. I found this inventive, but wasn’t too hot on the idea of fishing with Big the Cat.

Aside from the story, you can also play a trial version where you are going through levels of the game as fast as you can, while collecting rings at the same time. This didn’t feel much different to me compared to the normal story levels and I didn’t see the point of playing through the levels with all the characters. I’m sad to say that my expectations were crushed as I started to play, realizing that this character doesn’t feel like the Sonic I have played with before. I’m hesitant to pick up other Sonic titles in fear of repeat performances.

Crazy Taxi

I’ve been a Crazy Taxi fan since its debut in arcades everywhere, and seeing that it was included in this collection redeemed some of the other titles in the collection. Crazy Taxi is just like its name implies. Crazy. You play as a taxi driver who earns tips and fares for fast driving and disobeying the law. When you pick up a customer, a green arrow appears pointing you in the direction of the destination, as well as a picture of the target location. Fares differ in length and time allowed, so it could take you anywhere between 10 and 60 seconds to reach your destination. Once you reach your destination you have to stop within a designated zone. You can then go on to pick up your next person. If you don’t make it to the destination within the time allotted then the person will hop out of the taxi and you will have to find a new person to drive. People can be found in parks, on sidewalks, in subway tunnels, and even underwater. Your car can go literally anywhere within the San Francisco lookalike town.

There are 3 modes within the game; Arcade, Original, and Crazy Box. Arcade and Original have you delivering passengers to their destinations, just in different regions. You can play by the arcade rules in which you gain time by delivering passengers, or can play in increments of 3, 5, or 10 minutes. Crazy Box is a challenge mode in which you play on a closed course, completing driving tasks such as knocking down bowling pins, jumping a certain distance off of a ramp, or popping balloons in an allotted time.

The biggest flaw within the game is the controls. It took me a while to relearn how to perform a Crazy Dash, which is essential if you want to get to your destination as fast as possible. I was used to using a steering wheel on the arcade version, and despite having played many racing games I still didn’t get the hang of Crazy Taxi for a while. Another disappointment with the game was that all the in-game advertisements had been removed. I know this may sound weird, but driving passengers to “Pizza Hut” or “Kentucky Fried Chicken” was iconic of Crazy Taxi and now driving people to “Pizza Place” or “Fried Chicken Shack” doesn’t give me the same euphoric feeling. Music from The Offspring and Bad Religion was also removed from the game, leaving the soundtrack to be lacking and mediocre at best. Despite these hiccups though, Crazy Taxi is still the best game included in the collection.

SEGA Bass Fishing

SEGA Bass Fishing was the biggest surprise for me in the collection because it introduced a genre to me I didn’t even know that I liked; fishing. In the game you can play one of three modes; Arcade, Original, or Practice.

In Arcade mode you choose your location, choose your lure, and cast into the water. You have a limited amount of time to fish, trying to catch as many fish and pounds of fish you can in the alloted time. This mode works best for when you are just wanting to casually fish or have little time to play the game and don’t want to jump into a fishing tournament.

Original mode is where the true challenge comes. Instead of only racing the clock, you now are going up against other people in tournaments. I started out with the amateur tournament which is made up of 5 stages. At each stage you fish at three locations from anywhere between 2-4 in-game hours. Some of the spots are easier than others and it is easy to get ahead in the earlier stages. By the 3rd stage I was cruising high in first place above the other competitors, but as I entered the 3rd stage my attitude changed. On the first location I caught a measly 1 fish and this fish drought followed me all the way to the end of the 4th stage where I had dropped to 3rd place overall. It is amazing how much of a difference one fish can make in this game. Just a few pounds of fish separated me from the leader. I eventually rose back to the top thanks to a lucky 15lb bass catch late in the 5th stage. That’s what makes this game so much fun; whether you win or lose is determined by how good of a virtual fisherman (or fisherwoman) you are.

As you catch more and more fish in the game you unlock lures. Different lures have their own difficulty level that while attract more fish, and can be a real challenge to reel a fish in with. Once a fish is on your line you reel them in taking extra care to make sure that your fishing line tension does not stay in the red or else the line will snap and the fish will escape. Out of all the time I spent playing this game I only snapped 2 lines, desperately trying to catch 2 gigantic bass. In addition to the tension, the game will also tell you which way to lead the fish, lowering the tension of the line. This was helpful at first, but there were times where I was leading the fish left and the game was telling me to lead the fish left. I thought I was doing that already!

The only difficulty and criticism I had with the game was that not being an expert fisherman myself I didn’t know which lures were most effective at different times and in different weather. A lure that helped catch an 18lb Bass at noon didn’t perform the same in the evening while was raining. I would have liked a little more information about each lure so I would have known what the best conditions to use each in was.

SEGA Bass Fishing is a great game and I love playing it. It is a nice break from the action-adventure and shooter games I fill my time with. After playing this game, I want to check out SEGA Bass Fishing 2 to see if it is just as much fun. If you’re a fan of fishing games, you need to pick this one up because it is what other fishing games wish they could be, despite coming out over 10 years ago.

Space Channel 5 Part 2

Space Channel 5 Part 2 was released here in the United States in 2003. In the game you play as funky news reporter, Ulala. Aboard a space station being overrun by rhythm aliens, Ulala and her “Swinging Report Show” must save the day with stylish dance moves and quick precision. Easily put, this game is an updated version of “Simon” where the computer tells you what to press and then you mimic the pattern. Dance battles range in difficulty and each level has a boss you must defeat in order to advance. I really enjoyed the variety of enemies in each level and found it funny watching all the bystanders you had saved join in on the dance action.

The puzzles started out easy, but quickly increased in difficulty. For this reason, the game is easy to pick up, but can be frustrating at times when the game decides to add a delay between you pressing a button and it registering on screen. There were several times where I would press a button only to see Ulala stand there as if I hadn’t pressed anything at all. This was saddening because I failed several times just because of delay issues.

Other modes include Ulala’s Dance, Co-Op Story, and Co-op Ulala’s Dance. In Ulala’s Dance you must follow the instructions on-screen similar to like in the story, but this time you have to survive 100 rounds of intense rhythm and memory action. I found this mode extremely difficult since it only gives you one chance to make it through the movements. Mess up and you have to start over.

Out of all the Dreamcast titles on the disc, I struggle the most with playing Space Channel 5 Part 2. First off, I had never heard of this game, nor did I know that there was a Space Channel 5 Part 1. The first thing I noticed about the game was how blurry the graphics were. While I’m sure the picture quality was bearable on the Dreamcast where players had smaller televisions, I have a large tv and would have appreciated the graphics being updated for the Xbox 360 release. The dialogue in the game also seemed dull and bizarre. I was amazed when I heard, “Whoa! Looks like a turd”. Who wrote that into a game?

These games don’t feel like the shining superstars of the Dreamcast. I feel like the games could have been reworked more, especially graphics wise. I’m not expecting superior graphics like the games of today, but I shouldn’t have to suffer through blurry images just because I have a larger tv than people in 1999. I could see these games as individual arcade titles, but as a compilation this collection felt like it fell short.

A copy of SEGA Dreamcast Collection was provided to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.


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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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