I will be honest. When Sega announced it was bringing back some of the classics from its adored Dreamcast console, I was pumped. The thought of going back and playing some of these classic titles really excited me. So far, they have dropped two onto XBLA and, as you can see in our reviews of both, they have failed to age well.
With the Dreamcast Collection, Sega is giving gamers a chance to re-purchase those same two games as well as early access to the other two announced arcade games: Sega Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5: Part 2. In all honesty, for the price, this isn’t a bad deal. Just check your memories at the door, because these aren’t the games you remember playing.
I will just quickly rundown the already released titles. If you want to see our full reviews of Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, you can view them on our website by clicking their names. As you can imagine, this disc is actually just an Xbox Live Arcade launching station that lets you access four titles. There are no extra Achievements or features. You don’t even have the option to exit the current game and switch to another. Instead, you have to go all the way back to the dashboard and boot the disc again. An installation option would have been nice but, like the games themselves, this disc is as bare-bones as it gets.
Sonic Adventure is presented in its original format, without even a widescreen update. The camera is also broken beyond belief making some of the segments unplayable by today’s standards. Crazy Taxi suffers from the lack of licensed music by Bad Religion and The Offspring, which were, if you can believe it, the real stars of that game. The gameplay just doesn’t hold up well and you will grow tired of the repetition quickly.
The two new titles for this compilation are actually the highlight of the package. First up is Sega Bass Fishing. Now, take into account that, without the original fishing rod controller, a lot of the charm has been lost in translation. Even without it though, the simple control scheme and quick access really go far in entertaining the player. I am not sure it would still be worth $10 on its own, but it does deliver more fun than some XBLA games that carry the same price tag.
Next up is the return of Ulala and her crazy space dancing in Space Channel 5: Part 2. It was definitely a good decision to include the sequel as it had a lot more content and, of course, Space Michael Jackson. This game is, by far, the most impressive of the entire package and still holds up well to this day. The simple mechanics don’t take away the addictive nature of trying to ace every single section of the game. The music is just as catchy, and I found myself lost once again in the quirky nature of this Mizuguchi classic.
Like I mentioned earlier, don’t expect anything here in terms of features. This disc is truly just an excuse to sell these titles at retail. It is a shame, seeing as Sonic’s Genesis Collection was one of the most incredible compilations we have ever seen. I hope Sega continues bringing out Dreamcast titles, though. I would like to see some of the more obscure titles such as Power Stone, Jet Set Radio or, even, Tech Romancer. The upside is that $30 for this disc is still cheaper than purchasing all four titles separately on XBLA. If you still cling to Sega’s fabled console, this collection will deliver some memories, but might also leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Review copy provided by publisher.