Dreamcast A-C

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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  4 Wheel Thunder – By Midway

Ready for some 4-wheel drive fun? I hope you said yes because 2 Wheel Thunder is just that! In this game you one of four different vehicles (Monster Truck, Buggy, Jeep & Quad) through 24 different tracks of mud-flying, tire-grabbin romp! The game offers different one-player and two players modes to select from. As a single player, you can use Practice, Arcade, or Championship mode. In two-player games you have Bomb, Bomb Race, Balloon, and Tag modes. In the latter modes, the screen is split into halves so both players can play at once and compete. The vehicles you select all have different characteristics but you can also choose to use them with either manual or automatic transmission. This adds to the fun. Never mind that there are different Boost icons which add fuel to your vehicle. The tracks are quite varied and have hidden areas that work as shortcuts. The various modes of play will let you simply enjoy the game as an arcade or have you qualify to become a champion against 11 other drivers. In championship mode you can even customize your vehicle. 4 Wheel Thunder has excellent graphics, smooth animation, and nice sound effects. With the different modes, the car selection, and it’s addicting gameplay, it will have you coming back to race again and again. Certainly having the ability to look for shortcuts adds to the fun in the race against time. If you like racing games, I’m certain 4 Wheel Thunder will be a fun addition to your Dreamcast library.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Alice’s Mom’s Rescue – By Hucast

Oh no, Alice’s mom has been captured by the giant raven! As a good daughter, Alice knows it is up to her to save her mother so she sets out in an adventure through three different worlds and 25 different levels. Alice must be careful in her search, though, as evil cats, birds, and bats are out there helping out the raven and will what they can to stop Alice. Heck, be watchful of spikes as well as even merely brushing against them will prove deadly to Alice. Being the sweet girl she is, Alice has no weapons to use against her enemies as she explores each level in each world. Her only defence is to jump on her enemies. Alice can use mushrooms to change her size (to become smaller) so she can enter narrow passages in some of the areas she needs to explore. Each stage is made up of various platforms where keys and gems can be found. Collecting all the items before using the key at the doors completes a perfect level. You do not have to collect all the gems to advance, however. Alice’s Mom’s Rescue is a platform puzzle game that will not appeal to all. The game has brightly coloured graphics that are reminiscent of the 8-bit era, though they are quite fluidly animated. The music is soft and peaceful but catchy. The trick here is to skilfully explore each of the levels, collect the items, and the move onto the next level. Though there is no score to the game, completing perfect levels is what makes the game fun. So, you’re not shooting anything but the puzzle aspect of the game will keep you coming back for more.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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  Atari Anniversary Edition – By Infogames

Atari’s 80's title are among some of the best classics of the time. Now you can play 12 of these titles on your Dreamcast in a special Anniversary Edition version for the system. Titles included are: Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Battlezone, Centipede, Crystal Castles, Gravitar, Millipede, Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout, Tempest, and Warlords. Each of these games is faithfully reproduced both in sound and vision and they are as close to the arcade originals as they come. Each game can be played either in full screen or cabinet mode. In the former the game fills the screen completely while in the latter they are surrounded by artwork from the arcade cabinets. Some games play better without the cabinet artwork as having the artwork shrinks the play area to accommodate the graphics. This is particularly true of the vector games in the compilation. While there is an overall options menu, there are also menu options for each game and you have the ability to change how the controllers work for each game. Unfortunately, you’ll have to configure these settings each time you play as nothing is stored in the VMU memory for some odd reason. One thing that may bother some players is that several of these games were designed for paddle or trackball control and the Dreamcast controller may not fully replicate the level of control achieved with those. That, unfortunately, is not a problem unique to the Dreamcast when it comes to these type of compilations. In addition to the games, there’s additional content to celebrate Atari’s anniversary. You’ll find the Atari Archives which include interview, old graphics, press releases and other materials. This is, overall, a pretty good package for the Dreamcast.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Beats of Rage – By Senile Team

Do you remember that excellent series “Streets Of Rage” on the Mega Drive? Well Beats of Rage was a tribute to that series by the excellent “Senile Team” of Rush Rush Rally Racing fame. The game was Open Source and released in 2003. It opened the door to Dreamcast Homebrew developers the world over because the game was “Open Source”. It provided an avenue for people to create an incredible array of games based on the BOR engine, there are now games in existence which incorporate characters from all forms of popular culture, all the way from Alien Vs. Predator to X-Men to Ed, Edd and Eddy to Battletoads! A side scrolling beat em up Beats of Rage is basically a straight Streets Of Rage clone however it does have an excellent soundtrack of heady drum and bass sounds. Where the original Beats Of Rage differs is that it allows you to play as one of 3 characters from the King Of Fighters, while the enemy characters are all made up of the other members of the KOF roster. This is pretty much the formula for any of the other BOR mods. The gameplay is traditional "walk and punch" the graphics are suitably clean and well made while the character models look suitably stunning for an open source title. It is worth highlighting that different mod versions will tend to suffer from different issues such as slowdown and graphical inconsistencies. Definitely worth a download to avid Streets Of Rage fans or Dreamcast nuts, if only to see where the whole BOR thing started in the first place!

Review by dcultrapro

7/10

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 Blue Stinger – By Activision

Blue stinger stands out as one of the most unique Survival Horrors in recent years. It was available from launch and showcased the Dreamcasts ability to deliver action and horror, whilst still being able to have fun! Blue Stinger is your average survival horror only it has a few twists, first and most important of all is that the majority of the weapons and items you find are acquired by purchasing them from vending machines within the infamous and wacky "Hello Mart", which played some memorable jingles while you shopped! Now, you may be wondering how you would acquire currency to purchase said weapons, well that would lead me to explain one of the games other many differences from the norm. Every enemy you kill drops gold coins, adding an obvious new element to this, somewhat tried and tested genre. The other major difference that this game brought to the table was a large abundance of unusual weapons, some of which included melee weapons such as baseball bats and even laser swords ala Star Wars! The graphics at the time were nothing short of ground breaking, being a release title in 1998 it was one of the first games in its genre to have fully in game engine 3d graphics used for the environments as well as the character models. The story doesn't take its self too seriously and it still has some genre draw backs, most noticeably the poor voice acting. But those minor gripes do not detract from the fun and action that ensues. Blue Stinger is lengthy, fun, cheesy and action packed.

Review by dcultrapro

8/10

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 Cannon Spike – By Capcom

If you’re a fan of Capcom games, you are sure to enjoy Cannon Spike. Cannon Spike is an overhead shooter/action game that feature a cornucopia of characters from the Capcom games. Here you will find such characters are Mega Man, Charlie (Street Fighter) Arthur (Ghouls’n’ Ghosts), Baby Gonnie Hood (Dark Stalkers), and Cammie (Street Fighter). Retro gamers are sure to recognize the bunch! The story of the game sets events in the year 20XX. The world economy is in shambles and terrorism is rampant. To fight the terrorists, the World Union for Peace has organized a special team equipped with Motor Boots that give the increased mobility needed to fight the robot soldiers the terrorists are sending into every city. As a member of the Anti-Robot Special Force, it is your job to make the world safe. The gameplay in Cannon Spike is fairly straightforward as your goal is to defeat all the enemies that appear on screen to then fight a boss. The stages don’t last long and the bosses can be beaten with a few good hits. Even if this does sound simple, the nine different levels to choose from keep making things more interesting for you. Your high scores are actually saved according to the difficulty you choose to play at. Cannon Spoke has excellent graphics, excellent control, great sound effects, and lots of action to keep you coming back. If you like shooters, Cannon Spike should not be missing from your Dreamcast library. You are sure to enjoy this one!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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  Centipede – By Hasbro Interactive

Centipede was one of the most successful titles in the arcade in the ‘80s. The original title was ported to many systems and even the Dreamcast has a port of the original arcade game thank to the Atari Anniversary Edition compilation. Hasbro’s take on Centipede, however, is an absolute modernization of the title that bears little resemblance to the original arcade. This version has a rather weird story... Legend says that every 100 years armoured beasts emerge from the dark core of the Earth. Drawn by their master, the beasts try to overtake the world and it is up to The Shooter to destroy these creatures before they overtake the world. The Shooter is under the control of one Wally Gudmunzsun, a bean counter who is anything but a hero. But, even the most unlikely person has to be a hero at some point. You will partner with Wally to control The Shooter as you travel through dangerous lands to rid them of the beastly insect threat. Centipede will take you through six different worlds (Weedom, Aridia, Frostonia, Infernium, Enigma, and Evile) in which you must fight and destroy a variety of bugs that will try it all to stop you dead on your tracks. Centipede shares basic elements with the arcade original but its gameplay is much slower. There are various power ups to help you get along, power ups that will be necessary in order to defeat the various bosses who come to bug you at the end of each round. In principle, the game is a fair modernization of the arcade but its control is a bit awkward. This detracts from the game, despite its nice graphics and sound. At least you can also play the included arcade version if all else fails!

Review by TrekMD

6/10

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  ChuChu Rocket! – By Sega

In a far away planet there live a race of space mice called ChuChus. Unfortunately, the planet also has the creatures the ChuChus hate the most, KapuKapus (or, space cats). Things were well in the world until the KapuKapus infested the ChuChus’ Space Port and all hell broke lose. The ChuChus are in a state of panic and they are running around the Space Port at a frenetic pace in order to get into a ChuChu Rocket to escape. The question is, what rocket are they supposed to board!? Only one rocket has enough fuel to escape. Unfortunately, both the ChuChus and the KapuKapus turn to the right, so they need direction. The KapuKapus may move about randomly but they can sure cause a mess (by eating the poor ChuChus!). They really are bad cats! ChuChu Rocket! is the very first Dreamcast game to support online play that would permit up to four people to play simultaneously. Each player controls a set of arrows in this frenetic puzzle game in order to get the mice to move into their rocket. Quick thinking and good reflexes are key if you are to get the most mice into your rocket and win the game. You have to be careful with the cats as they will eat up to one third of the mice that are in your rocket. Though there is a learning curve, the game is quite addicting and plenty of fun. Though it can certainly be played with four people (competitive or team up), there are single-player modes that offer quite the challenge. Good graphics and music complement the gameplay. This is really an excellent title for the Dreamcast.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Confidential Mission – By Sega

Near the end of the 20th century, the Confidential Mission Force (CMF) is responsible for maintaining peace and order against terrorists and those who want to rule the world. Two agents, Howard Gibson (Agent 6) and Jean Clifford (Agent 15) are the best top agents and it is up to them to save the world in this, last confidential mission of the 20th century! The World Coalition’s spy satellite has been seized by forces unknown, forces that are likely trying to take over. Can Agents 6 and 15 save the world? Confidential Mission is another light gun game for the Dreamcast and one that really reminds you of what you’d see in a James Bond movie. Though the game is best played using a light gun, you can certainly play it using the standard controller or the Arcade Stick. The game can be played by one or two players, assuming the role of either agent, and your goal is to shoot all the bad guys that show up. To make things more fun, you can use the Jump Pack with your controller to get some forced feedback. Three different areas have to be covered to complete the game. To get your bearings, the game does offer a training mode (Agent Academy) that you can select before getting into the actual game. Once you play in Mission mode, you have the ability to play Another World (the enemies move differently so you get a “fresh” game) or you can even select which are you want to start in. The game has pretty good graphics and animation, though for some odd reason the characters do not move their mouths when the talk. Overall, a good game that you can certainly enjoy if you have a light gun.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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  Cool Herders – By HarmlessLion Games

Cool Herders is a game in which you can play against three other gamers with the goal of grabbing the most sheep by either herding them yourself or by stealing them from your enemy once you’ve properly hit them on the head! For this mode of play, the game has various options that will let you adjust the challenge. The timer can be set to 30, 60, 90 or infinite minutes, you can choose the number of matches that must be won, how you win (by sheep or by score), whether to play against the CPU or friends, and the sheep speed. Sound effects, music, and autosave can also be adjusted here. In addition to this multiplayer mode, the game also has a “Story Mode.” Now you have become Zeus and you must rescue your sheep from the evil Iskur. In story mode it is imperative that you read the instructions before each area starts if you want to be successful. So, in one level you may be asked to collect as many sheep as possible in 30 seconds but with a minimum number of sheep if you want to move to the next level. In others you may have to compete with other herders and get the most if you want to advance. There are power ups as well but you have to work hard to get them. Cool Herders has some cool, cartoony graphics and some wacky music along with some nice between-level graphics where you see the characters and get the instructions. One fun aspect is that there are levels that you can only win with points only. You must be fast and take various different actions to get the bonus points (see the instructions). Overall, a good game and rather unique for the system.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

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 Crazy Taxi – By Sega

Crazy Taxi is one of the many Dreamcast games that truly showcased what the console was all about. Fast, colourful, action packed, quick pick up and play fun for anyone to enjoy. Crazy Taxi is a classic of arcade perfection. You drive any one of 3 taxi's, each driven by 3 different drivers. You then choose from a variety of games modes, most of which revolve around different variations of time rules such as play by arcade rules, where you have a set number of seconds to play with and every fare you drop off extends your time depending on how efficiently you drop them off. Drop them off early and you get a time bonus, drop them off late and… well, you get the idea. Or you can play for 5 minutes and see how high a score you can achieve in that time, the choice is yours. Crazy Taxi has a mini game mode, which uncovers a surprising amount of depth, showing you how to take advantage of special techniques such as crazy jump and crazy drift. All in all Crazy Taxi offers incredibly accessible arcade fun for those just looking to pick up and play, whilst still delivering some depth and challenge for those who want a little more from their game. The graphics are gorgeous and still hold up well against today's games, but graphics should never be the means by which we measure a great game.

Review by dcultrapro

9/10

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