After the latest barriers of “mini” retro consoles packed with classic games, including Genesis Mini and Game Gear Micro, Sega is considering doing it again. A business executive told the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu that Sega’s next classic console gift could be a “Dreamcast Mini”;, which revives the company’s latest full-size slot machine from 1999.
Dreamcast was a first success thanks to its 128-bit power, which far surpassed the N64 and PlayStation. But it was crushed by the launch of the PS2 (and to a lesser extent the Xbox and GameCube) and Sega switched to a game publisher that made its games for competing consoles shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, a library of innovative titles and new hardware, such as memory cards with built-in LCD screens and an online multiplayer system, has given Dreamcast a lasting legacy.
Retro “mini” consoles have become a popular way for gaming companies to squeeze some money out of their old libraries. Old game ROMs can be run on super cheap hardware, with shrunken devices that usually cost well under $ 100, and collectors love the small, functional glimmers of their childhoods. It helps that these revived consoles work with new HDMI-enabled TVs in a way that the originals do not do without some expensive converters.
Dreamcast would take a little more work than previous mini consoles – the most advanced we’ve seen so far is the much less powerful original PlayStation. But when I spoke for myself, I would put down my money on day one.
Here are ten games we’d love to see on a Dreamcast Mini. You can have this list for free, Sega.
You can not have a Sega console without a Sonic game (if it is not Sega Saturn, I guess – but we are not talking about that). Sonic Adventure was the blue blur’s first move to the 3D platform, and while far from perfect, it does bring down the essential speed and character of the character. It’s also a more rounded game than the sequel, even for slower episodes. Maybe they could make the fishing section voluntary?
Dreamcast was home to lots of great racers, but no one beat out this improved port in Sega’s own arcade race. It’s ridiculously sincere Daaaaaaay-to-NA the song is still etched in my memory from the 90s arcades. While racing in Daytona USA is simple, it is also clean and timeless. It would warm the hearts of racing fans to see these rumbling polygons slide to the left again.
There are lots of great fighters for Dreamcast. A case can be made for Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Sega’s own Virtua Fighter 3, or even more niche games like Project Justice. But in my opinion, no fighter has such a lasting influence, or is as easy to return to, as SoulCalibur. The weapon-based fighter is easy to pick up and difficult to master, and you can still clearly see its DNA in modern 3D fighters.
Jet Set Radio
Unequivocally good looking, timelessly influential and still funky as hell, this gets an automatic mention on almost any list of Dreamcast games. Also known as Jet Grind Radio in some markets, the Sega graffiti game combines the 90s skateboarding trend with mission-based gaming. But the game’s enduring appeal lies in its cell-shaded graphics, razor-sharp character design and undeniably appealing soundtrack is what makes it timeless, even with dated and sometimes frustrating levels.
Power Stone 2
SoulCalibur is fucking perfect for a one-on-one fighter, but if you want to throw down with four players at once you have to go for Power Stone 2. This free-for-all feels like a top-down version of Smash Bros., with nutty cartoon characters, screen-filled super attacks and some eye-catching boss fights. Simple, short and sweet, it’s a perfect feast for crowds who do not know how to wave.
A set setting for wish fulfillment, great sense of speed and a star-studded soundtrack of 90’s punk rock Crazy Taxi an instant arcade smash hit. The Dreamcast version is a perfect port, allowing players to crash through San Francisco traffic on their way to Tower Records, or actually play the game with skill and reach that S-Class license. Just make sure the audio track is intact, unlike some ports on modern platforms.
Dreamcast hosted many well-received “bullet hell” shooters, but no one has received as much praise as Ikaruga. Released only in Japan on Dreamcast, it is now considered one of the best shooters ever made, and eventually got the western edition (and several reissues) that so many long for. A Dreamcast Mini would be a great way to relive the lower shooter’s golden hour with the original controller.
Resident Evil: Veronica Code
Capcom’s survival horror series was a blockbuster in the 90’s, and this Dreamcast exclusive (at the time) was the best and most advanced version. It shows the best game and graphics of any Resident Evil the game before the series’ rebirth with RE4 on the GameCube. If you want a trip back in time to the days when horror games had static backgrounds and tank controls, Veronica Code is your ticket.
Space channel 5
We should have given the rhythm game to Sega’s Samba de Amigo, if not because it requires custom maraca controls. Space channel 5 is a good replacement, though: a boisterous sci-fi story is painted over J-pop beats and Jetsons-inspired character designers. The game is a bit short, so the Sega couple packs in the sequel Part 2 to stop it.
Skies of Arcadia
Dreamcast is home to a handful of fantastic RPGs, but no one has passed the test of time as Sega’s own Skies of Arcadia. This game combines old-fashioned turn-based RPG combat with a bright, fresh world full of pirates and aircraft. It’s not revolutionary in RPG terms, but its sun-drenched presentation and appealing characters make it a cult classic … one that unfortunately was never released beyond the GameCube gateway. I would buy another Dreamcast Mini Skies of Arcadia alone.