Home
Twitter
RSS
Newsletter
Jahanzeb Khan
09 Apr, 2011

Dreamcast Collection Review

360 Review | Hardly a Dream Collection.
Sega’s final and most tragic venture into the video game console industry was the Sega Dreamcast. The console launched with a bang in 1999 but by the end of 2001 it was off the market due to the overwhelming hype and initial success of the PlayStation 2. The demise of the Dreamcast was particularly tragic, mainly because it didn’t deserve it. Now travesties like the Panasonic 3DO, Atari Jaguar and Virtual Boy, they deserved a humiliating failure and absolute demise, but not the Dreamcast, because that it did a lot of things right and for all intents and purposes, it was a brilliant console. The Dreamcast was home to revolutionary and timeless classics like Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Skies of Arcadia, Soul Calibur, Shenmue and Seaman, among several other hits. It was also the first home console to be fully playable online at a global scale, with Phantasy Star Online being the first major console MMORPG. Now Sega has constantly been remaking and repackaging its Mega Drive and Master System hits over the years, with Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection being the most recent and essential collection. As of last year, Sega has decided to bring back the Dreamcast in the form of Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network releases, and more recently in the form of a standalone retail release, Dreamcast Collection.

The moment you boot up the disc, you will immediately be greeted by the game selection screen. There is no nostalgic opening video, stylish main menu, gallery, museum, developer interviews or any extras. All you get is a simple menu that lets you pick one of the four games in the collection. That’s all Dreamcast Collection is really, a collection of four current and future Xbox Live Arcade releases. The collection features Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, both of which are already available on Xbox Live Arcade for purchase, as well as Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Sega Bass Fishing, both of which are scheduled to receive standalone releases on Xbox Live Arcade in the near future.

Let’s crack each of these one by one shall we?

Sonic Adventure

The game that launched with the Dreamcast back in 1999 and perhaps the best selling game of the console, Sonic Adventure was the first full-fledged 3D Sonic title. At the time it received rave reviews and was loved by all, but as time went by the game didn’t age as well, made evident by the poor reception of subsequent remakes and re-releases. For what it’s worth, Sonic Adventure is perhaps the most brilliant 3D Sonic title you can find, the game’s moments of brilliance can be found in portions of the game where you play as Sonic the Hedgehog, featuring intuitive and nicely designed levels that offer some truly exciting and addictive 3D Sonic gameplay. It's arguably better than every other 3D Sonic that followed (with the exception of Sonic Adventure 2 and last year’s Sonic Colours). The game however is crippled by the other playable characters, each one having their own unique adventure that is half baked and absolutely broken.

The sad thing is that the version of Sonic Adventure featured here isn’t even based on the Dreamcast original, it’s instead based on the Gamecube/PC remake Sonic Adventure DX (sans the DX content, which you have to purchase separately).

Stick with Sonic and you'll have a blast with Sonic Adventure.

Stick with Sonic and you'll have a blast with Sonic Adventure.
Close
Crazy Taxi

Perhaps the most widely known of all Dreamcast titles, Crazy Taxi is still extremely playable today thanks to its accessible yet highly challenging arcade gaming conventions and mechanics. The idea is simple, you drive around the city in a taxi, picking up passengers and driving them to their destination in record time. To make things more entertaining, basic road rules are thrown out of the window and you can do whatever it takes to get your passengers to their destination. Crazy Taxi is all about well…going absolutely crazy on the road, performing crazy stunts and tricks to score some large tips from passengers and beating the clock in record time. The game is surprisingly quite challenging and at the same time, addictive and immensely re-playable.

Sadly, this version is not based on the Dreamcast original, as it features an entirely different soundtrack and some changes to locations. The iconic soundtrack and licensed locations were part of the Crazy Taxi charm and not having them is a letdown. Also, this game has been ported to so many different platforms that having this released again isn’t very exciting.

The "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAAH!" is sorely missed in this version of Crazy Taxi.

The "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAAH!" is sorely missed in this version of Crazy Taxi.
Close
Space Channel 5 Part 2

The inclusion of Space Channel 5 Part 2 saves this otherwise underwhelming collection. The game is the brain child of the iconic and legendary Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the main talent behind games like Sega Rally, Rez, Lumines and the upcoming Child of Eden.

Space Channel 5 Part 2 is an incredibly unique and cool game that just oozes with charisma and style. You play as the super sexy reporter Ulala, as she reports, sings, and dances her way through a wacky musical adventure. It’s a rhythm action game that uses a simple yet engaging ‘Simon Says’ style mechanic where you have to perfectly mimic actions on screen by getting the timing and rhythm right. Unlike most rhythm action games (like Parappa the Rapper), the game doesn’t flash button commands on screen for you to copy, instead you have to really memorize the timing and rhythm of each move and action. This makes the game quite the challenge but one that rewards skill and practice, and with its scoring system you’ll find yourself replaying levels several times to reach perfection.

The game has a lot of style, featuring a very unusual but highly creative mix of sci-fi, 1960s spy fiction and modern pop music flair, all taking place in a colourful and charming intergalactic world. The music and dance numbers are absolutely intoxicating and just plain sexy, with the music being extremely groovy, upbeat and stellar, and the dance choreography being really entertaining to watch. The English voice acting is great because it’s so cheesy, and really makes the experience charming.

What’s great is that it’s quite a generous offering as it features several unlockable extras (mostly in the form of cool outfits for Ulala), levels and an endurance mode where you have to dance off for as long as possible without making a mistake. The menu designs and overall ambience is incredibly stylish. It’s overall a really fun and playable game featuring a cast of characters and music that you’ll easily fall in love with, and a fun story mode that offers plenty of great songs and challenges. However, it is a little strange that they chose to put Space Channel Part 2 in the collection instead of the original Space Channel. But seeing as how Part 2 is seen as the better game, it doesn’t really matter as this is easily the best game in Dreamcast Collection.

The best game in this collection, one that is incredibly charming and sexy.

The best game in this collection, one that is incredibly charming and sexy.
Close
Sega Bass Fishing

Back in the day, Sega released several cool peripherals for the Dreamcast, one of them was a fishing rod controller that almost felt like the real thing, and it was designed especially for Sega Bass Fishing. The game was big back then because of its graphics and that it was perhaps the best fishing title on consoles (which really isn’t saying much). However, Sega Bass Fishing is hardly an essential Dreamcast experience worthy enough to include in Dreamcast Collection, in fact, it makes no sense considering that gamers will be playing this version without the required fishing rod controller.

It has a career mode, realistic looking and behaving fish, some interesting bait styles and fishing mechanics, but without the fishing rod controller this game feels almost like the quest of Big the Cat in Sonic Adventure, which was an absolutely heinous and pointless experience. If you really want to enjoy Sega Bass Fishing, look for the Dreamcast original with the fishing rod controller, or alternatively pick up the Nintendo Wii version.

In this one you fish....yup....

In this one you fish....yup....
Close
Dreamcast Collection in the end, isn’t much of a collection as it does not represent the true brilliance of the Dreamcast era. For one thing, it doesn’t even feature the original Dreamcast versions of Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, and the inclusion of Sega Bass Fishing is utterly pointless. The only real jewel in this collection is Space Channel 5 Part 2, but it isn’t worth getting the collection just for that one game, as you’re better off waiting for the standalone Xbox Live Arcade release. As a package, it’s bare bones as all you get are the four games and nothing more in terms of nostalgic content and presenation. Perhaps someday we will see a real Dreamcast collection featuring titles that are not only faithful to the original Dreamcast versions, but also feature a better selection. Until then, Sega deserves props for at least taking the initiative to revive the Dreamcast.
The Score
The lack of actual Dreamcast versions, the utterly pointless inclusion of Sega Bass Fishing, the nonexistent nostalgic extras and the lack of effort in presentation all make Dreamcast Collection an unfaithful representation of the glorious Dreamcast era. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Content

Win 1 of 5 copies of the Sega Dreamcast Collection
15 Feb, 2011 Nostalgia is imminent!
SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection Review
13 Mar, 2009 All together now: "Saaaay-ga!"
Shadow the Hedgehog Review
05 Dec, 2005 A shadow of its former self.
24 Comments
3 years ago
Here is how you build a Dreamcast collection if you were strictly restricted to Sega content:

Keep Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi and add the following:
Shenmue I & 2
Sonic Adventure 2
Jet Grind Radio
Daytona USA 2001
Sega Rally 2
Virtua Fighter 3TB
Samba de Amigo
Skies of Arcadia
3 years ago
or u could just buy a dreamcast....
3 years ago
I think everyone expects too much of this collection... It seems like people want this to be an entire retrospective of SEGA's Dreamcast titles, which really isn't all that reasonable given the quality and scope of the games within (although the ports are crap, I'll admit) It's not like we're talking about 5mb Mega Drive games that can be easily emulated here. Not only that this isn't a $90 RRP game.

Also, it's annoying seeing people/reviewers over various websites (though thankfully not this review) focusing on what isn't there instead of what actually is there. I mean I want Jet Grind Radio and Shenmue as much as everyone else, but it doesn't make the games I did get any lesser.
3 years ago
they can always do dcc 2.
3 years ago
The worst part of this is that they didn't do a good job of this collection, and so there won't be another Dreamcast collection because this one won't sell very much. It's a catch 22 situation.

And so I await the next 3D Sonic game that I will not buy.....
3 years ago
bass fishing without the fishing controller is useless too
3 years ago
I was completely dumbfounded when they announced Bass Fishing and still am.
3 years ago
Bring back Record of Lodoss War!
3 years ago
Saved and ONLY purchased due to Space Channel 5 Part 2. Would have rather SC5p2 be a XBLA title (which the 360 recognizes it as) but at least it's in disc format and the bonus 4 track Vinyl as a trinket.

Sonic Adventure emulated the loading as well. Terribly long and ludicrous nowadays.
3 years ago
What a shoddy package and conversion. I own sonic and crazy taxi on dreamcast so was so looking forward to this. I now feel that I would rather drag out my dreamcast and replace the VMU battery than support such lazy presentation and sega cash grabbing. But I bought it for the vinyl. Yumm white sega EP.
3 years ago
If I want to play Crazy Taxi or Sonic Adventure, I'll just plug in my Dreamcast.
+1 for hoarders!

Does anyone remember Toy Commando or something like that? Also that boxing game 'Rumble Boxing' or something like that, and I still play Virtua Tennis 2 against my Dad just like I used to 10 years ago!

So many good memories of that console. This collection just ruins them.
3 years ago
Does anyone else think Shenmue might be a bit hard to emulate? I mean the first game spanned 3 discs if I remember correctly and it also came with that "passport" disc. I'd love to see a Shenmue Collection with the first and second game on a single disc.

I still think this Dreamcast Collection is pretty terrible. I mean most Dreamcast fans will fondly remember Shenmue and Jet Grind Radio, yet Sega seems to have completely forgotten about them and instead gives us a fishing game and Space Channel 5.
3 years ago
is the vinyl the thing that JB hifi offers as the bonus thing? (there's a sticker on the case)
3 years ago
Quote
I still think this Dreamcast Collection is pretty terrible. I mean most Dreamcast fans will fondly remember Shenmue and Jet Grind Radio, yet Sega seems to have completely forgotten about them and instead gives us a fishing game and Space Channel 5.
You don't like Ulala and her groovy musical escapades?

3 years ago
Pagan's Mind wrote
Sega seems to have completely forgotten about them and instead gives us a fishing game and Space Channel 5.
Just becuase these games weren't important to you or some other gamers (you aren't the only one to say this, don't take it as an attack or anything) doesn't mean tons of other people don't have fond memories of them and love them as much as you do Shenmue.

Personally I nearly shat my pants when I saw that Space Channel 5 part 2 was coming to Steam in this collection.

I played through the demo countless times on my PS2 (it was multi-platform... although this is a collection of Dreamcast games the console I first enjoyed it on is largely irrelevant) and I had long ago sold off my full copy of the game when I went 100% digital with my games, so for it to come out on PC digitally this year really made me smile.
3 years ago
Jahanzeb wrote
You don't like Ulala and her groovy musical escapades?
Actually it looks like a really fun game to be honest and would be the main reason if I ever picked up this collection. It's just, it's a game that no one really knows a whole lot about. It seems somewhat out of place on a "Dreamcast Collection", same thing with Sega Bass Fishing.

I had no idea SC5 was actually from Tetsuya Mizuguchi! I'm going to have to pick up the XBLA release now.

Till@ wrote
Just becuase these games weren't important to you or some other gamers (you aren't the only one to say this, don't take it as an attack or anything) doesn't mean tons of other people don't have fond memories of them and love them as much as you do Shenmue.
That's true but I don't think it's unfair to say that the majority of Dreamcast fans or owners would have Shenmue and Jet Set Radio on the top of their list in a collection. It's funny though, I mentioned Shenmue to a friend the other day and he had never heard of it.
3 years ago
Space channel 5 kicks ass heathens.
3 years ago
nnytard wrote
is the vinyl the thing that JB hifi offers as the bonus thing? (there's a sticker on the case)
YEP
3 years ago
Pagan's Mind wrote
That's true but I don't think it's unfair to say that the majority of Dreamcast fans or owners would have Shenmue and Jet Set Radio on the top of their list in a collection.
But it's likely they would have Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi. I think that they chucked a couple of curve-balls in there was pretty cool.
3 years ago
Space Channel 5 was certainly a nice curveball, but why does it have to be Part 2? I'd feel weird playing the second game first, hopefully they will release the first one as well.
3 years ago
I think it had something to do with number 2 having pre-rendered backgrounds or something.

I wouldn't worry about playing number 2 first. The games aren't exactly story driven. You are a reporter for a TV station in space. That's pretty much the whole story.
3 years ago
Hopefully we'll see a second collection with Jet Set Radio on it.
3 years ago
I hope they announce Sonic Adventure 2 next and maybe even Chu Chu Rocket! now that would be addictive over Live and PSN.
2 years ago
The major argument against this collecti0on (and a justified one) is that it's not even a true DREAMCAST collection. It's a batch of rushed Gamecube ports, games unplayable without their original gimmicks and SC5 part II.

No one was seriously expecting the entire back catalog of DC titles to be in one collection. But there should have been a nice half-dozen games, at least. All of which should have been proper replicas of the original DC versions.

Sonic Adventure
Crazy Taxi
Sega Rally 2
Any initial 2K sport title
Zombie Revenge
House Of The Dead 2

All earlier DC releases, all published by Sega. Hell throw in Chu Chu ROcket as an easter egg too. So easy, yet apparently impossible for the chowderheads at Sammy.. I mean, Sega.
Add Comment
Like this review?
Share it with this tiny url: http://palg.nu/4FI

N4G : News for Gamers         Twitter This!

Digg!     Stumble This!

| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  24/02/2011 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Sega of Australia
Genre:
  Compilation
Year Made:
  2010

Read more...
Currently Popular on PALGN
Australian Gaming Bargains - 08/12/11
'Tis the season to be bargaining.
R18+ Legislation
R18+ Legislation
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Preview
Hands on time with the game. Chat time with the CEO of CyberConnect 2.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2007
24 titles to keep an eye on during 2007.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2008
And you thought 2007 was populated.