After the recent boom in retro “mini” consoles filled with classic games, including the Genesis Mini and the Game Gear Micro, Sega is thinking about starting over. A company manager Told Japanese game magazine Famitsu that Sega’s next classic console release could be a “Dreamcast Mini,” reviving the company’s last full-featured gaming machine since 1999.
The Dreamcast was a first success thanks to its 128-bit power, far outclassing the N64 and the PlayStation. But it was crushed by the launch of the PS2 (and to a lesser extent, the Xbox and GameCube), and Sega soon after switched to a game publisher making its games for competing consoles. Even so, a library of innovative titles and groundbreaking hardware, like memory cards with built-in LCD screens and an online multiplayer system, has given the Dreamcast a lasting legacy.
Retro “mini” consoles have become a popular way for game companies to cash out some cash from their old libraries. Old game ROMs can run on very cheap hardware, with shrunken devices typically costing well under $ 100, and collectors love the little functional glimpses of their childhood. It helps that these re-launched consoles work with newer HDMI-enabled TVs in a way the originals aren’t without a few expensive converters.
The Dreamcast would take a bit more work than previous mini-consoles – the most advanced we’ve seen so far is the original PlayStation, which is much less powerful. But for my part, I would deposit my money from 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’t have a Sega console without a Sonic game (unless it’s the Sega Saturn, I guess – but we’re not talking about that). Sonic Adventure was Blue Blur’s first foray into the 3D platform, and while far from perfect, it captures the character’s essential speed and sensitivity well. It’s also a more complete game than the sequel, even taking into account the slower sections. Maybe they could make the fishing section optional?
Daytona United States
The Dreamcast was home to tons of great racers, but none beat this upgraded port of Sega’s own arcade racer. This ridiculously serious song by Daaaaaaay-to-NA is still etched in my memory of the arcades of the 90s. If the race in Daytona USA is simple, it is also pure and timeless. It would warm the hearts of racing fans to see those rumbling polygons drift to the left again.
There are tons and tons of great fighters for the Dreamcast. A case could be made for Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Sega’s own Virtua Fighter 3, or even niche games like Project Justice. But in my opinion, no fighter has such a lasting influence, or is so 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 his DNA in modern 3D fighters.
Radio Jet Set
Undeniably sleek, timeless, and still as funky as hell, it gets an automatic mention on almost every Dreamcast game list. Also called Jet Grind Radio in some markets, the Sega graffiti game merges the ’90s skate trend with mission-based gameplay. But the game’s shady graphics, incredibly crisp character design, and undeniably appealing soundtrack are what make it timeless, even with dated and sometimes frustrating levels.
Might Stone 2
SoulCalibur is almost perfect for a one-on-one fighter, but if you want to fight with four players at once you have to go for Power Stone 2. This free-for-all feels a bit like a top-version. down Smash Bros., featuring nutty cartoon characters, screen-filling super attacks, and mind-blowing boss fights. Simple, short, and sweet, it’s a perfect board game for crowds who don’t know how to shake.
A wacky wish-fulfillment setup, a great sense of speed, and a ’90s punk rock soundtrack made Crazy Taxi an instant arcade hit. The Dreamcast version is a perfect port, allowing players to work their way through San Francisco traffic on their way to Tower Records, or play the game skillfully and achieve that Class S license. Just make sure that the soundtrack is intact, unlike some ports on modern platforms.
The Dreamcast has played host to many well-received bullet hell shooters, but none have been as praised as Ikaruga. Released only in Japan on Dreamcast, it’s now considered one of the best shooters ever made, and eventually got the Western release (and several re-releases) so many people craved. A Dreamcast Mini would be a great way to relive the golden hour of the top-down shooter with the original controller.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica
Capcom’s survival horror series was a blockbuster in the ’90s, and this Dreamcast exclusive (at the time) was the best and most advanced. It features the best gameplay and graphics of any Resident Evil game before the series rebirth with RE4 on GameCube. If you want a trip back in time to when horror games had static backgrounds and tank controls, Code Veronica is your ticket.
Space channel 5
We would have given Sega’s Samba de Amigo rhythm play slot machine, if it weren’t for the fact that it requires custom maraca controllers. Space Channel 5 is a good substitute, however: a wacky sci-fi story is painted to J-pop beats and Jetsons-inspired character designs. The game is a bit short, so Sega couple pack in the sequel part 2 to complete it.
Skies of Arcadia
The Dreamcast is home to a handful of excellent RPGs, but none have stood the test of time like Sega’s Skies of Arcadia. This game merges old-fashioned turn-based RPG combat with a bright and fresh world full of pirates and airships. It’s nothing groundbreaking in terms of an RPG, but its solid layout and engaging characters make it a cult classic … which unfortunately has never been re-released beyond the GameCube port. I would buy a Dreamcast Mini for Skies of Arcadia alone.