Sega knows a thing or two about re-releasing their greatest hits in video game compilations. Over the past few years they've turned repackaging Genesis games into an art form, offering generous helpings of 16-bit games at a budget price. Now comes the Dreamcast Collection, a compilation fans have been demanding ever since Sega pulled the plug on the last-generation console. But don't be fooled. Dreamcast Collection is an abysmal failure, the type of compilation reminiscent of the bad old days of Sega Ages.
The Dreamcast Collection is nothing more than an excuse to put four Xbox Live Arcade games on a single disc. The package includes Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Sega Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5 Part 2. All four of these games have been announced for Microsoft's download service, though only two are actually available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Currently this $40 disc is the only way to play Sega Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5 Part 2.
This selection of Dreamcast games is questionable at best. I understand the inclusion of Sonic Adventure, it may not be a great game but it was one of the most popular titles at the Dreamcast's 1999 launch. Crazy Taxi also makes sense; it's the kind of short attention span game you would expect on the Xbox Live Arcade. But Sega Bass Fishing? Even more baffling is Space Channel 5 Part 2. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against either of these choices, but they certainly don't make for a cohesive package.
As you read through this review you'll no doubt get the sense that I'm irritated by Sega's Dreamcast Collection. It's obvious from the title card that making this disc was low on the priority list. Considering how many amazing games came out on this sixth generation console, I'm a little offended that these four titles made the cut. Adding Jet Grind Radio, Chu Chu Rocket, Shenmue, or any number of other games would have gone a long way; instead we're left with the least inspiring collection of Dreamcast games imaginable.
Even if you can get past the tiny amount of games on this disc, you're still left with a collection of largely mediocre titles. The mainstream games aren't as good as you remember them and the other two titles certainly fall into the niche camp. There's nothing wrong with Sega Bass Fishing, but how many fans of this game are going to be excited about Space Channel 5 Part 2 or Crazy Taxi? It's as if Sega picked four games at random and just went with it.
Of the four games, Sonic Adventure was the biggest eye opener. I'll admit that it's been awhile since I played this Dreamcast launch title, but I wasn't prepared for how poorly the game has held up. It didn't take more than a minute or two to remind me why I hated this game in the first place -- it's never clear what you're supposed to be doing, the buggy levels, the shoddy 3D platforming, the fact that much of Sonic's gameplay involves you holding up, etc. The game is a tragic mess, the beginning of the end for Sonic the Hedgehog.
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