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Our Dreamcastiversary comes to a close with today’s edition of the Bitmob Reviews Spotlight. Are you sad? I am. It’s been a pleasure to learn so much about this console I shunned because of some hard feelings over the Sega CD and 32X. I kinda wish that I didn’t let some silly grudge get the better of me.
We end the week with retro reviews of the Dreamcast’s best games, including some of the best and most beloved games from that console. It’s the Brian Shirk hit parade this week, and we’re all along for this retro review ride.
For Those Who Love Exploration, Skies Still Sails
Skies of Arcadia, according to a number of gamers, is the definitive RPG of the Dreamcast’s library. It’s got the standard “little guys vs. an evil empire” story and the linear approach of Japanese RPGs. Brian says it also has something else: It gives you the sense of exploration of a real world, something that he feels is akin to what Magellan and other great explores experienced.
This Arena Is One I’d Never Want to Return to
Brian practically salivated over the Quake 3: Arena screens in EGM. An online shooter on a console? Sign him up — he says he couldn’t even play online shooters on his family computer. He hoped that Quake 3 would hold up as well as StarCraft, a game of a different genre from that time period. But he found that he has nothing to be jealous about — one-stick shooters like Quake 3 just don’t compare to today’s fragfests.
This Dreamcast Sports Title Hits Harder than a Linebacker
For many, the Dreamcast was about innovation. But Brian says it was also about brining the arcade home, and that’s what NFL Blitz 2000 does. While the visuals are dated, Brian says that Blitz’s comprehendible playbooks and simple controls remind him how much fun it is to play a sports game with complicated controls.
The Soul of 1999 Is Still Going Strong
Soulcalibur, one of the Dreamcast’s most highly anticipated launch titles, kicked the tail of previous 3D fighting games. It was gorgeous, noob-friendly while still deep for veteran fighting players, and had an amazingly smooth framerate. And the game still plays as well as it did 10 years ago — if you never played it on Dreamcast, you may download it from Xbox Live Arcade. Brian says: “If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at a 3D fighter, there’s no better place to go than Soulcalibur.”
Did Sonic Do for the Dreamcast What Mario Did for the Nintendo 64
Mario 64 was a revelation to gamers, showing us that platforming and 3D could be a wonderful marriage. It also showed gamers that the Nintendo 64 was a worthy console. Sega’s Sonic Adventure, Brian says, failed to do this for the Dreamcast. Luckily, other launch titles such as Soulcalibur took care of that. Muddled by too many characters and bogged down by poor controls and an atrocious script, Sonic Adventure isn’t timeless in the way that Mario 64 is.