Playing Games: Dreamcast

by NFG - 27th January 2006 in Games

As part of a new series, I’m going to play a massive series of short games and write about it. Fun or a ridiculous exercise in self-fappery, I leave up to the reader to decide.
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Tonight I’m playing every Dreamcast game I own. The Dreamcast is the best console since the SNES, and I’ve got a sizable library of games for it. In no particular order, here’s the games I played:

Super Puzzle Fighter 2X for Matching Service
I always had trouble with this game. It’s at once too fast and too slow for me. I can’t explain it, I find it slightly sluggish to control, but after the first few rounds the PC kicks your ass so hard and fast that it’s not really a lot of fun to play. On the Dreamcast there are three very different versions of the core game, but I played the first which is basically the classic Puzzle Fighter game.

Comments: Capcom took a hell of a risk with this game. I cna’t help but play it PuyoPuyo style, and I’m sure i’m not the only one matching up massive series’ of blobs and wondering why they don’t disappear. The ‘starter’ gems are too unreliable for my style of play (the wrong style, I know) and I find that they’re like the straight-four in Tetris: too rare to count on when you need them, and I generally just die. I made it to the fourth round, long enough to revel in the remixed Street Fighter tunage and the exceptional production values, but I still suck and I still don’t really like the game.

PuyoPuyo Fever
Ugh. What a waste of a disc. I used to adore Puyo, back when Sega released it as Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. We played it for hours, there was something about that gritty, 16-bit slapdash appearance that was very appealing. This late Dreamcast release is all polish and no fun. Too many silly weirdisms, like the triple-clusters and one-hit quads. By the third round I was just holding diagonals and did fairly well. Eventually I died and I’m pretty glad I did. Moving on…

Heavy Metal: Geomatrix
This game, a kind of sequel to Capcom’s maligned Spawn, is damnably awesome. It takes a while to come to grips with the controls, and since the camera always faces the enemy you’ve got to learn every stage to run around it without seeing where your character is facing. Once you put in the time though it really shines. Capcom pulled out all the stops, making a game that’s varied, unique and utterly over the top. The character designs kind of suck though, the only character worth playing is Kacey, and even she’s only good ’cause she kind of reminds me of Winona Ryder.

This game really shines on the Dreamcast. Capcom put their all into it, and the sound, music and visuals are all top-notch. The Dreamcast did amazing things with a very few polygons. This game is much better than most people give it credit for.

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