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SEGA is, according to reports, thinking about its next mini console, to follow 2019's Mega Drive/Genesis Mini and the Japan-only Game Gear Micro (and this December's Astro City Mini arcade machine, too, which is absolutely on my Christmas list). And one of the systems that creative producer Yosuke Okunari name-dropped in an interview with Famitsu magazine, as one that SEGA has in mind, is the Dreamcast - SEGA's swansong console, and a system that undeniably burned out way too soon.
Inevitably, this got the GAMINGbible team thinking about what games we'd love to see on a Dreamcast Mini. I don't feel that I need to give you all a history lesson on the console - but there's no doubt whatsoever in my mind that it was home to some amazing games that just didn't reach the audiences they should have, due to low sales of the system. The Dreamcast's cult-favourite reputation has slowly transformed into something of far greater mainstream appeal, as more of its once-exclusive games have received ports and sequels.
Tl;DR: here are the games we absolutely want to see on a SEGA Dreamcast Mini, should one ever appear. And yeah, there are no doubt licensing issues to clear, and we've also considered the publishers SEGA has worked on for previous mini-consoles - which is to say, we reckon Capcom and Konami games could appear, and Treasure too. If your favourite isn't here... Look, it's our list, go make your own.
Might as well get this out there - I'm going to cheat, a couple of times, by including a game and its sequel in the same pick. What are you gonna do: slide into my DMs and demand I stick, strictly, to the promised 10? Thought not. You're still reading these words, so clearly, I win. And besides, if you're going to have 1998's original Sonic Adventure on a Dreamcast Mini, you need to have the sequel - which actually came out (June 2001) after the console had been discontinued (March 2001). To save any arguments over which of these 3D Sonic games is the best, we're taking both. Everyone's happy.
Since Capcom and SEGA worked happily together on the Mega Drive Mini, which included Street Fighter II and Ghouls 'n Ghosts, we're going to assume they'll work to get Code Veronica on a DCM. One of the highest-rated Resident Evil titles ever, this 2000 release sees the player take control of both Claire and Chris Redfield as they overcome an array of Umbrella-spawned nasties in the Antarctic. It truly pushed the Dreamcast at the time and presentation wise still looks pretty great today, helped in no little part by its ditching of static, pre-rendered backgrounds. That said, we sure would be up for a remake.
If it feels like it was only a matter of weeks ago that you saw Jet Set Radio on these pages, you're right - we covered the game around its 20th anniversary, in the summer. This Dreamcast belter's use of licensed music might be an obstacle in getting it onto a Mini; but it's available now on Steam, so, maybe not? If it's a toss up between having Jet Set Radio or Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, we're picking SEGA's shred 'em up every time. Well, I am, anyway - at least since the THPS2 remaster turned out so good that we don't need the older game back.
Another game where getting the music all squared away could impact its chances of showing up on a Dreamcast Mini, Crazy Taxi is the kind of late-'90s arcade classic that SEGA's final console turned into a perfect play-at-home experience. And a Dreamcast Mini without it just doesn't sit right with us, with or without The Offspring. (Most likely without, huh.)
Oh no, another two-in-one deal. Shenmue is so synonymous with the Dreamcast that, again, I just can't imagine a Mini happening without Ryo Hazuki's glacially paced adventure being featured on it. Sailors? Check. Forklift racing? Check. Endless capsule toys? Check. Taking your shoes off when you get home right on time, every night? Check, and check. It just has to be on there. And no need to swap discs? Brilliant. The sequel is not as good, but given how easy it is to be sucked into the chilled-out weirdness of Shenmue, don't rule out being seduced by it, too. Shame that the third game won't fit on... or, could it?
Beloved by all who played it, but that simply wasn't a very high number, Skies of Arcadia might be the best RPG on the Dreamcast. Airships full of pirates flying between floating continents is a great, imagination-stirring pitch; but there's plenty of traditional JRPG elements to Arcadia that may have compromised its original appeal a little, in 2000. Chances are that players today will feel a lot more at home with its systems (and endless random encounters) after several Final Fantasy instalments, the Persona series and more; and a Mini would definitely allow this one to shine like it never quite managed, 20 years ago.
Back to Capcom, and the company's Power Stone is a hugely fun arcade one-vs-one brawler that, with another human player beside you, is still a blast in 2020. Indeed, it is a key influence on several multiplayer titles of the here and now. It took 3D fighters of the era into an arena setting, increasing the range between competitors and making much more of the environment. It's, I guess, somewhere between Street Fighter and Smash Bros., if you've never had the pleasure. Its sequel - Power Stone 2, who'd have thunk it - added the option of having up to four players at once, and if a Dreamcast Mini could support that many around the same TV, there's no better option on the platform for multiplayer fun.
SEGA's own 3D fighting series has been AWOL for a while now, with the last mainline being 2006's Virtua Fighter 5 (although several iterations of it have followed). The Dreamcast version of Virtua Fighter 3 was an iteration on the arcade original itself, releasing with a 'tb' suffix - standing for 'team battle'. It was a launch game for the console and sold fantastically well in Japan, and is widely regarded as one of the best fighting games on the Dreamcast. Not the best, though...
That honour might go to Street Fighter Alpha 3, which racked up a heap of near-perfect review scores upon its Dreamcast release in 1999. But truth be told, Capcom really was on a roll during the late 1990s, with many of its arcade games landing perfectly formed on SEGA's console. If Alpha 3 is off the table, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact or its follow-up, 3rd Strike would be worthy substitutes. Or failing that, and if the licensing folks can all agree on it, Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is (was) a bit special. A quality Capcom fighter is what we want, basically.
Not sure what to say about this one, as I never actually played it - but I understand it's popular with some of you, so sure, have it. You play with your toys, only they're not your toys, because they're in a video game. All a bit Toy Story, isn't it? IDK... I guess this would be one where I'd discover it, long after its first release, thanks to the Dreamcast Mini. If one happens. Please, SEGA.
And if we go beyond ten? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say no to the likes of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Metropolis Street Racer, Ikaruga, Rez, Soulcalibur, Bangai-O and the wonderfully weird Seaman making the cut. There are obviously some other, more online-focused games that I've not listed here, just because I'm not sure they'd wholly work in a strictly offline mini-console. But hell, sure, throw in ChuChu Rocket! and Phantasy Star Online. What's the worst that could happen? Nothing so bad as what we got with the PlayStation Classic, I'm sure.
Featured Image Credit: SEGA, Capcom
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