My Top 5 Sega Dreamcast Games by JSixGun

Look, I get it.  Most of you didn’t own a Dreamcast.  You didn’t have the eye for innovation that we few who did own one had.  I mean honestly, the Dreamcast was doing things no other console at the time, but it just never got the respect it so badly deserved.  Competing against the now glorified Nintendo 64, it never achieved the market share it should have, even though it was the first system to try and introduce online play (and how big of a deal is that these days?).  It even, get this, was the first to try and incorporate screens into its controllers.  Take that Wii U, you think you’re sooo innovative.

Despite it’s free fall from flying too close to the sun, it gave me a few years of gaming nostalgia that I’ll never forget, and introduced me to some of the best games I played as a child. So here are my top 5:

#5 – Sword of the Berserk: Gut’s Rage

My first foray into a mature titled game; in all honesty it was a pure oddity that my mother never caught it. At the time I didn’t know what I was buying. You see in those days I didn’t research games, at the most I might pick up a videogame magazine in Target while my mom shopped, but mostly I would just look at the pictures. I looked at this game on the shelves with my birthday money in tow and saw one thing, a big sword and subsequently thought, “awesome!”  I did NOT know what I was getting myself into, however.

In Sword of the Berserk, the protagonist of the game finds himself trying to rid a town of an organic plant like mutagen that attaches to the townsfolk and turns them into zombie like creatures with cancerous growths spewing out of them. If that sounds gross to you as 10 or 11 year old, than I would say you qualify as normal; if it does not, then I think we know which cliques you were a part of in high school.

I'm cool because I am unique and different.

Needless to say, I did enjoy the story of the game, and the large sword and gore served me well through two whole play throughs. The fact that my mom never saw it, or heard the language in it, is still a mystery to this day.

#4 – Gundam: Rise From the Ashes – Side Story 0079

I can guarantee you will not find this game on almost anyone else’s list. Truth be told, it could have been a horrible game, but my sheer middle school love affair with Gundam Wing on Toonami (props if you know what Toonami is) elevated this game to epic heights for me.

The golden age of television

I cannot tell you the amount man hours I poured into anything Gundam as a 12 year old.  What’s worse is that I would literally play this game in the cockpit first person view and pretend it was actually me, 12 year old jsixgun,  piloting a Gundam mobile suit and all my classmates where watching it on a direct feed in homeroom. I am not kidding.

#3 – Power Stone

I have never met anyone else who played Power Stone, or even remembers it, but it’s often touted as one of the Dreamcast’s greatest games.  I’m honestly sorry for you guys that didn’t get to experience it because it was one of the best made fighting games I have ever played.  What made Power Stone such an amazing experience was how original it was.  Players fought in large square arena’s that were littered with not only objects but pick-up-able (is that a word?) objects. See a table? Great, pick it up and smash someone with it. How about a sword?  Wield it and get stabbing stabber, the sky was the limit, which made it a lot of fun.  Furthermore, many of the stages in Power Stone were vertical (had multiple levels you could jump up too) which really opened up the game play to an original feeling combat experience.  My favorite part, however, was when you collected all the power stones in a match and your character transformed into a new super character with new moves and special abilities.  Let me also note that the characters were very cool and each one had a totally different feel and combat style.  Sit back and watch the opening to one of the greatest games you never played:

Don’t envy my childhood, envy the game.

#2 – Sonic Adventure

This was Sonic’s first real 3D adventure (Sonic 3D Blast is on purpose not being mentioned), and thus Sega was innovative enough to aptly put “adventure” in the title.  This game awed me the first time I played it.  At the time I was playing it I would have told you it was my favorite game ever.  It was basically Sonic and friends with upgrades and a somewhat open world feeling between levels.  Each character had different types of missions; for example Sonic was always faster moving and had a more platform feeling, while Knuckles had to search for gems hidden through big open world levels.  To top it off, you ended the game as Super Sonic, flying across water in the last boss fight which was enough to make any kid drop their jaw.

My favorite part however was the Chao Gardens were you hatched these little pets and raised them.  Based on what kind of animals you collected in the levels and what you chose to give them, their appearance and stats would change.  It was literally genius because it was like a 3d Tamagotchi, except 100x better.  Take a look at some of the critters below:

There were literally tons of variations you could breed into these little guys.

And thus finally we arrive at what I call the single greatest game to ever the grace the Sega Dreamcast. This game was literally groundbreaking both in story and design. It should honestly have a high place in the video game hall of fame forever.  And so, I give you:

#1 – Shenmue

What made Shenmue so great was the amount of time put into the world.  Not only was it a game, but it was a simulation of life as well.  It really made open world gaming what it is today.  Every citizen in the world lived a life from day to day, so if you decided you wanted to spend hours following someone, you might see them leave their home, go to work, take a walk, go to the park, go grocery shopping, come back home, eat , and watch tv.  It was amazing.

The innovation did not stop there, however.  The game had a real seasonal system which meant based on how long it was taking you to complete the game you could literally watch the seasons change from summer through fall into winter.  Furthermore, you were even forced to get a job at one point and part of your day had to be spent working which actually ended up being a lot of fun.  You could take the money you earned and go to stores and buy collectibles or maybe new martial arts scrolls to teach you new combat moves; the decisions were yours.  And the combat?  Well let’s just say you didn’t learn a move and then master it. You literally had to practice moves a thousand times in your dojo or in the park to master them with every step making the move faster, harder and more skilled (you could literally see and watch your form improve).  Shenmue was the most innovative game in its time and one of the most innovative ever.  Take 6 minutes of your time and watch the original trailer below and witness how ground breaking this game was:


4 Comments to “My Top 5 Sega Dreamcast Games by JSixGun”

  1. I have never heard of Shenmue, but based on what you said about it I feel like a missed a great game.

  2. Ola! Mortarnpistol,
    In addition to your post I was wondering It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since I got my Sega Genesis. Things have come a really long way since then, but that doesn’t stop the Sega from beholding the classic status that it still warrants today.
    I’ll be back to read more next time

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