How I tried (and failed) to play every Dreamcast launch game for the console’s 20th anniversary (SEGA Dreamcast Anniversary Week special)

Well, my plans of playing through every single Dreamcast launch title for the 20th birthday of the “little white system that should have” didn’t exactly pan out as I had hoped, but I got the good majority of games booted up and played on 9/9/19! Since I didn’t actually play EVERYTHING this time around, I thought I’d just give a few thoughts on what I did play as I like to go all nostalgic anyway!

First things first, I LOVE the Dreamcast boot up! It’s just classy! Oh, and all the little things about the Dreamcast! Being able to quickly reset things by holding all the buttons… The VMU being totally awesome… The massive amount of multi-player games that launched with the system! Dang! I didn’t realize that there were only like 5 single-player only games that launched with the system! That was sweet!

Since my wife likes to play games too, she got in on the action, and we started with the multi-player offerings (never actually got to the single-player games, tbh). The first game on the agenda was…

Pen Pen TriIcelon!

Never heard of it? It’s a weird racing games where you play as creatures resembling penguins that bred with the Snorks! It is different, and both my wife and I had a lot of fun once we grasped the controls! But, not enough time to stay on any one game, so we move onto…

Power Stone!

YES!!! This game I remember enjoying quite a bit, even if it was not one of my first choices when it came to the ACTUAL Dreamcast launch. I mean, you can only buy so much, right? So I did remember liking the game a lot, but I think I mostly remember the sequel, as it was a better game. I really enjoyed picking up a support beam and pummeling my wife… wait… that sounds terrible, so let’s just say that Power Stone aged pretty dang well! Next up…

AeroWings…

This one was difficult to play 2-player. I primarily play with aviator controls (Up on the control stick moves you down), but my wife does not, and it seems the controls are shared. And with the premise being to fly in formation, things did not work out well for us. I still think it’s kind of a cool concept, but probably not what most people would want to play when there is an actual (good) air combat game further on down this list, but for now, we picked up…

Expendable!

Since my wife and I play these kinds of games a lot together, this one was even more fun than I remembered it being… and I enjoyed this one back in the day as well! We played enough of this for my wife to ask to play it again in the future, so THAT’S a good thing! But with time going faster than I wanted, we then played…

SoulCalibur!

OK, so who doesn’t know this one? Arguably the “must buy” of launch titles if you were only going to get one! It obviously looks dated today, but back then this game was absolutely breathtaking! The Dreamcast version has a LOT more content than the download versions released later on, so that’s definitely a plus to have the Dreamcast version! We played 2 vs. 8, and she beat me (I was the 2) because… Well, let’s keep going…

Mortal Kombat Gold!

Alright, so being the HUGE Mortal Kombat fan that I am, we HAD to get at least one fight in! It actually took me a little bit to get back into the controls, as Midwa… *cough* Sorry… Netherealm Studios has changed the button layout and such from the original 4 MK games with each new entry in the series. Still, once I remembered, it was on! I still like this game! Even though early 3D graphics were crappy, and adding the side-step was only for the computer to use in order to pummel you, it still played enough like the original 2D games in the series, and that was nice to get back to! Unfortunately, we only played for one round since there was more to be played! Such as…

TrickStyle…

This one was a little bit disappointing. I remembered it being REALLY gorgeous, and a somewhat faster game than it ended up being. And of course, having been spoiled by modern day graphics, this one didn’t look, nor play as good as I was remembering. My wife got really frustrated trying to play this one too, so it apparently didn’t stand up to that test either. Sadness. I wanted to play and enjoy this one more today, but how can you argue with your gaming partner when you have so many other games to get through? How about we play…

NFL Blitz 2000…

So, my wife said she only wanted to play one football game, and picked Blitz since she’s accustomed to the arcade basketball offerings from the same developer… Sadly, this one is too fast paced and a little bit confusing to someone who isn’t already familiar with football enough to understand why things are all different here. We played on the same team, we got our butts spanked, and she was ready to get away from this one! *sigh* I figured we had to get something in there that I KNEW my wife would like, so…

Hydro Thunder!

Now, my wife has played the sequel to Hydro Thunder, so she knew what to expect here. However, I had COMPLETELY forgotten the controls just jumping right into it, so it made for a slow first lap, followed by a COMPLETE waste of boost! HA! We had a great time playing it, despite not taking ANY time to learn the controls first, and then moving on shortly after we did get them down! My wife was tired, and ready to crash out, so she bowed out here. Now, it would just be me playing on my favorite little console! Oh well, it’s the Dreamcast birthday party, so I decided to go to…

AirForce Delta

I REALLY like this game! This was one my brother got at launch, and so I got to play it plenty back then. It’s also still a lot of fun today, but I do have a thing for airplane games though. Even still, I will say that dogfights are a lot more fun than flying in formation, so this was the game to get over Aerowings! I will say this about Aerowings though… At least Aerowings 2 added fighting! But THAT wasn’t a launch game, so instead, I started to play…

TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat!

So this is one that I think had the lowest review scores, if I remember right. I was hoping coming into this one 20 years later with a new perspective might change things, as I never played it very much, even back then (that backlog! Womp womp). I actually liked it better than I thought I would! It wasn’t the best, and I saw a lot of room for improvement, but I also figured some of those improvements were also something that came out years after on other games (such as more “bounce” in your offroad vehicles). At least this one was better than I remembered! But, with time running out in the day, I had to get through more games like…

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing!

HA! So, once I started playing Ready 2 Rumble, I kind of got sucked in! Of course, this one was always a big hit at college parties in 1999, and that same pick up and play arcade goodness still flows aplenty in this one! It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s got a wacky style that you can’t help but get sucked into! And boy did Midway take a hint from Tecmo’s Dead or Alive! O_o Dayum! No, that’s NOT why I played as Selene Strike! She just kicks all sorts of @$$!!! Crap! Look at the time! Alright, so I have to move onto something else to get this all in today, so I’m looking at you…

Monaco Grand Prix…

Turns out, my copy of Monaco Grand Prix didn’t load, so this is where I decided to call it quits for today. That’s OK. I remember DESPISING Monaco Grand Prix, and thought it was easily the worst launch title, so even though I didn’t exactly end the night on a good note with a game that didn’t load, it could have been worse had it actually loaded!


So that’s a lot of Dreamcast goodness right there! Most of the games played were really enjoyed, and even the ones that weren’t, I feel would probably fare a bit better once a little time was put back into them. Another time, though.

So what all did I miss out on? Well, there is…

Blue Stinger – A pretty decent survival horror game that I already played through and didn’t want to get into again with the time constraints.

House of the Dead 2 – I didn’t have my Dreamcast hooked up to the right TV for this one, but I still know I love it! “Suffer like G did?” 😉

Flag 2 Flag – I LOVE the demo for this game! Played it A TON in college! The actual game though? Not as good as the demo… but perhaps time has changed my perspective?

NFL 2K – I’ve already played through this one MULTIPLE times, so no loss really, even if our NFL Blitz 2000 time was kind of a bust.

Sonic Adventure – Yeah, I play this periodically anyway, so no worries. Even if it IS Sonic and the defining SEGA launch title for the Dreamcast… *sigh* Forgive me, Sonic!

Tokyo Xtreme Racer – ANOTHER racing game that launched with the Dreamcast! It’s one of the better ones though, and I always dug how different it was from other racing games, but when time isn’t on your side, it had to suffer the axe this year.

Still, great time gaming on the SEGA Dreamcast this year for the 20th birthday party! Happy birthday, SEGA Dreamcast!

It’s still thinking! 😉


Thanks for reading! Click here to check out more of our SEGA Dreamcast Anniversary Week content!

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