Shenmue 1 & 2
5 Sega Dreamcast Games That Deserve to Be Remastered
The recent release of Shenmue I & II Remastered has us wondering: which other Sega Dreamcast favorites deserve updated graphics? While we’ll always revere the classics, it’s undeniable that these picks would have players chomping at the bit if remastered:
Crazy Taxi was the first installment preceding a series of sequels, ported to consoles and handheld devices from its original arcade variant. Gameplay success relies upon transporting passengers to their desired destinations as quickly as possible. However, that’s not where your objectives end. Drivers are tasked with earning tips by completing eye-catching stunts and performing tricks from point A to point B. To put it simply, players must earn the highest score possible before time runs out.
Crazy Taxi was notable at the time for its impressive graphics and frame rates, one of few games capable of 60FPS gameplay. Hitmaker faced the challenge of adapting the game for many different formats – arcade, Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance, GameCube, earlier Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as well as PC and mobile. One could only imagine how many resources developers could’ve dedicated towards improving console gameplay if catering to fewer formats.
The unique gameplay of Crazy Taxi attracted a strong following. It was adapted to Nintendo’s GameCube and Playstation 2 in 2001 and to PC back in 2002. The PlayStation 2 version sold more than any other version, but the original was considered to be the best. And besides, it was Sega’s second-highest-grossing game in the United States. After that, it took 8 long years to make it to Xbox Live Arcade and PSN in 2010. However, those were merely ports and did not differ much from the original game, except for widescreen support.
Will Crazy Taxi ever be remastered?
We’re certainly hopeful, yet some things give us pause. The original was immensely popular in its heyday, spawning a plethora of sequels. These continuations and variations have branched out from the original storyline in unique ways. Those being a runner variation, Crazy Taxi: City Rush, or Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire, a clicker where you run a city car park trying to make millions (or should we say — gazillions?) We’ll have to say maybe for now but err on the unlikely side.
Tom and Jerry fans unite! Originally released for Dreamcast in 1999, ChuChu Rocket! constituted Sega’s first foray into console-based online gaming. The game includes two main game modes: a one-player mode where players must save their rodent companions, and a multiplayer mode where players compete to collect the most mice. ChuChu Rocket is an action puzzle game, in similar vein to classics like PacMan and Frogger.
Developed in part to test Sega’s online servers, the progress made from the experiment actually paved the way for the creation of Phantasy Star Online – another popular Dreamcast title reliant on internet connectivity.
ChuChu came at a time where online gaming was in its early stages, but that didn’t stop it from receiving rave reviews from critics. The game also became a hit in households worldwide, branching out from Japan in the first half of 2000.
Will ChuChu Rocket! ever be remastered?
The game launched when high-speed internet was still in its infancy and was made available worldwide fairly slowly. With modern rendering and fast connection speeds offered currently, devotees to the game would love to see it rise from the ashes. An upgrade to the graphics and sound design would be quite fitting. The game even had a limited run in the mobile space for 5 years, from 2010 through 2015. Despite success on smaller handhelds, we still wouldn’t hold our collective breath for a mainstream console adaptation.
Power Stone 2
Every so often, we come across games sharing major similarities with other popular titles. Dreamcast’s own version of the fledgling Super Smash Brothers series, Power Stone 2 built upon its predecessor by offering multiplayer combat. Instead of relying on former 1v1 battles, the game focused heavily on skirmishes between 4 players in a party.
Players engaged in battles against friends using a plethora of weapons within each fighting stage. These stages were destructible, and sometimes presented hazards of their own. Complete with finite lives and a changing status bar, players fought their way to victory. Power Stone 2 also included other game modes, such as Adventure mode, Arcade mode, and a vintage 1-on-1 mode.
Power Stone 2 was a strong release for Dreamcast and drew many players in due to the wide variety of gameplay offered. Gamers could entertain themselves for hours on end or invite friends into the fray. The Capcom title took advantage of the Dreamcast’s hardware with its complex visual effects and animations. While we could have picked the original Power Stone instead, Power Stone 2 offered improvements in gameplay that could not be ignored.
Will Power Stone 2 ever be remastered?
That’s a tricky one. While we would like to see developers give a nod to the early days, other modern-day series like Super Smash Brothers have employed similar gameplay with more options. With more weapons, characters, and cache brought to the table with unforgettable characters from hit titles, it’s unlikely that a modern-day remaster will find much traction. However, it could still dazzle gamers if given the ole spit and polish.
Capcom has turned its efforts towards expanding Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, which may not leave resources for a revision. However, if there is one thing Stoners can hang their hats on, it’s Capcom’s Mega Man X Legacy Collection, now available. As part of the 30-year anniversary, all series classics are digitally available on newer consoles and PC.
Skies of Arcadia
Another entrant in the Dreamcast RPG category, Skies of Arcadia was created to compete with Sony’s Final Fantasy series. The game featured stunning visuals, paired with a fantastic soundtrack, both setting the mood flawlessly. Players control an aerial pirate named Vyse, and his entourage, as they attempt to save the world from an evil empire.
Skies of Arcadia relies upon turn-based combat, and players must rely on experience points to advance their progress. However, immersion is the true focus of the game. Players are encouraged to explore their vast surroundings, piloting an airship on their journeys. To boot, these environments were 3D, providing some pleasing eye candy to explorers.
While Skies of Arcadia was one of Dreamcast’s highest-rated games, it was not a popular hit with gamers. Though gameplay was impressive, sales were paltry as gamers explored better-known options. If you owned it, you loved it – though, you likely didn’t have much company. However, the game was ported over to GameCube in 2002, having been renamed Skies of Arcadia Legends.
Will Skies of Arcadia ever be remastered?
Likely not. While most popular games reach many consoles and platforms, Skies was only available on Dreamcast and GameCube. With underwhelming sales, Overworks will probably pass on reviving the series. That’s a shame, because the game would look truly beautiful harnessing the power of modern hardware.
Space Channel 5
While we can’t say we saved the best for last, we certainly saved the most interesting. Space Channel 5 was a unique addition to the Dreamcast title lineup. While most gamers probably didn’t expect such hilarity to ensue with hostages in the mix, it was abundant. Space Channel 5 gave players control of Ulala, a space reporter and rescuer. Gamers must pry hostages from the hands of their alien captors, using button sequences resembling Dance Dance Revolution.
For music lovers, a space-themed version of Michael Jackson also makes a surprise appearance, spurring Ulala to victory. While you’re doing your groove thing to the beat, the game rewards you with successful missions.
Many games are creative and unique in their own right, but most aren’t as quirky as Space Channel 5. If anything, the title offers a fun and lighthearted departure from overused storylines in many other games. Space Channel 5, and its successors, stand on their own.
Will Space Channel 5 ever be remastered?
It’s possible, but hinges upon the success of Space Channel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash!, a game for virtual reality. If that version gains any traction, it may put the remaster thought into play. However, given the relatively limited adoption of VR (this one is for HTC Vive only), this chance remains slim. It’s rare that games are all about fun, even when antagonists arise. We encourage that sort of spirited gameplay to make a breakout appearance once more. Besides, who doesn’t want to see lively choreography in stunning visual clarity?
That’s our choice of top 5 Dreamcast games we want to see remastered. What are your thoughts?