Dreamcast H-K

Alien Brigade – By Atari

screenshot

 Head Hunter – By Amuze / Sega

Here we have one of the many true classics for the Dreamcast. Head Hunter is also one of the few Dreamcast games that ONLY came out in the PAL region. Head Hunter is a game that was clearly inspired by Metal Gear Solid in terms of gameplay mechanics etc. It includes a lot of tactical espionage action where you have to get into cover, hide from enemies, use tactics to avoid or distract as well as kill your enemies. But where Head Hunter differs is that it also incorporates flat out shooting action where you aren't really penalised for NOT taking a stealth route, full on gun battles and shoot outs often ensue between you and multiple enemies. On top of the shooting action you also spend a lot of the game riding your motorcycle as both your method of transport and a means to build up skill points. These allow you to unlock your next LEILA Certificate, which in turn allows you to access better weapons and items as you progress through the lengthy two disc campaign. Graphically Head Hunter is one of the best titles for Dreamcast, the graphics are vivid, colourful, bright, functional and incredibly well rendered/texture mapped with very few issues to speak of. The voice acting in Head Hunter is also very good as is the musical score, which is both well done and fitting with the games tone. The only negative issues with Head Hunter are that some of the controls can be a bit clunky at times, especially when trying to get into cover and there are some issues with collision and environment interaction. However these issues are few and far between and the movement from cover to normal motion is smooth and natural and the puzzle gameplay mechanics are light but rewarding. Overall Head Hunter is a must own action game for the Dreamcast with fantastic visuals and an excellent satirical and yet strangely apt future story.

Review by dcultrapro

9/10

screenshot

  House of the Dead 2, The – By Sega

Light gun games are one of my favorite arcade pastimes, and so hold a special place in my heart. I look back on Lethal Enforcers and Virtua Cop fondly, and The House of the Dead 2 belongs in that elite fraternity, too. But the legend is hard to relive these days. CRT televisions are all but extinct, and the light guns just don’t work on LCD displays. If you were fortunate enough to own The House of the Dead 2 in 1999 with a light gun, then you experienced the game in its full glory. Based on cheesy horror movies—and with the terrible voice acting to match—House of the Dead 2 takes you and a partner through a city crawling with mutants and zombies. Armed initially with nothing but your trusty sidearm, you’ve got to mow down the undead and rescue survivors as you chase after the elusive Goldman, who is behind the outbreak. You can collect weapons along the way, including shotguns and machineguns to cut a swath through the zombie infestation. Whenever a bullet lands, it leaves a generously sized exit wound in the flesh of the mutant. The hit detection is indeed one of the most satisfying features: if you’re skilled enough, you can blast your enemy’s head clean off for maximum damage. You’ll encounter supersized bosses in each of the stages and most of them are heavily armored, so you’ll need to target their weak points to defeat them. The game moves at a brisk pace, and there’s always something on the screen to shoot or an alternative path to take. Best enjoyed with a light gun, but still lots of fun with a controller, House of the Dead 2 is one of the must-have games on the Dreamcast.

Review by wyldephang

8/10

screenshot

  Hydro Thunder – By Midway

Hydro Thunder, one of the launch titles for the Dreamcast, is a boat racing game that is plain arcade fun. As a racing game, your goal is to finish first in various tracks of increasing difficulty. Through the tracks, you will find different boost icons that help you speed up your boat which, of course, is always helpful to win a race. When the game starts, you only have access to three tracks and three boats. These are all designated as easy. If you win in first, second, or third position in all three easy tracks, you gain access to the medium difficulty. To advance to hard, you need to win first or second in medium. Winning first on the hard tracks, opens up four bonus tracks and four bonus boats. This gives the game a total of 14 tracks and 13 boats! All the boats available to you are different from each other in both appearance and features, so choose wisely! Both the tracks and the boats have amazing designs. The tracks range from a Lost Island, the Arctic Circle, the Greek Isles, Lake Powell, the Venice Canals, and New York City, among others. The boats have such futuristic designs that they almost look like space fighters. I particularly like Miss Behave, Cutthroat, and Rad Hazard. Yes, they also have funny names. Hydro Thunder boasts gorgeous graphics, smooth animation, and fantastic music. The two-player mode gives you a split screen so both players can race simultaneously. This means you can challenge a friend to a race to see who’s the best boater! Overall, this is an excellent title that I can highly recommend.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

  Ikaruga – By Treasure Games

Ikaruga is a vertical shooter that was first released in the arcades in 2001 and was later ported to the Dreamcast but only released in Japan. So, to play this game, you need a boot disc that will let you play Japanese import games. Ikaruga uses a rather unique system for its gameplay. Though you shoot enemies as you would in any other game of this type, here the key is switching polarity between black or white (maybe they were thinking of Michael Jackson when they made this game) in order to either absorb enemy fire or inflict greater damage to your enemies. You can only be killed by bullets that are of an opposite polarity. You can change your polarity at will, so this becomes a key element of the strategy when playing the game. You’ll need to choose what colour you want to be and switch so as to remain relatively invincible or destroy more enemies. Attacks in the same polarity are absorbed by your ship and used to charge your special weapon, key when dealing with bosses at the end of each level. So, what is the story behind the game? The leader of “The Chosen People,” Tenro Horai, found the Power of the Gods and used it to subjugate other nations in “the name of peace.” Rebels have risen to fight him but most have been decimated except for one young man called Shinra. Though injured, he was nursed to health by elders in the village of Ikaruga. Shinra swore to defeat Horai and the elders gave him a ship they designed - the Ikaruga, a fighter capable of switching energy polarities. Thus, started his mission. Ikaruga is truly an impressive game in every way, graphics, sound, music, and gameplay. Another winner for the Dreamcast.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Incoming – By Rage/Interplay

In the early 21st century, there was an increase in UFO sightings, sightings that went mostly ignored by the governments of Earth. After all, everything was fine until the May, 2008 when the aliens violently attacked the international moon base. Efforts were made to retrieve personnel from the base, though only a few hundred were able to escape. The aliens clearly wanted war. They attacked Earth itself and established a base in the Arctic but Earth governments knew they had to take action. The Anomaly Detection and Tracking Array (ADATA) was constructed near Mount Killimanjaro in Africa and, when close to completion, the aliens decided to put an end to ADATA. You are responsible for the protection of the array and you have been given anything from gun turrets to combat aircraft to complete your missions. You must traverse six different scenarios, each with 10 missions, if your campaign against the aliens is to be successful. Incoming is a no-holes barred shooter for the Dreamcast where you simply aim and shoot to destroy every enemy in sight. You control and switch between a gun turret, a helicopter, a tank or a plane through your missions. Though the game’s main playing mode is Campaign, you can also play in Arcade mode which lets you choose what type of craft you want to control and what environment you want to play. There’s also a two-player simultaneous mode where the screen is split. The game does have good graphics and both the sound effects and the music are well done. The gameplay, though, can be repetitive. Regardless, if you like to shoot and destroy stuff, this game is certainly for you.

Review by TrekMD

6/10

screenshot

  Inhabitants – By S+F Software

Inhabitants is one of the first games released by the GOAT store for the Dreamcast. The game was developed by S+F Software and was entered in the first DreamOn competition, becoming a winner for publication in 2005. Inhabitants was originally a free PC game (i.e., for Windows) and it was rather simple. This Dreamcast port, however, takes the game to the next level by improving both the visuals and the gameplay. Inhabitants is a puzzle game where the goal is to clear as many tiles as you can off the game screen. Tiles are cleared by selecting a minimum of two matching tiles, though selecting more will grant you more points. If you are able to clear five tiles at once, you receive an extra bonus. There are two modes of play when the game starts: Easy and Normal. In Easy mode you get a bonus multiplier that makes it easier to get high scores. Normal mode isn’t as friendly as it lacks the bonus multiplier. Though the game can be played alone, you can compete against three other friends to see who achieves the highest score. In multiplayer mode a new challenge is added as now new tiles appear when other players clear tiles. This adds to the strategy. A round is completed when one player clears all possible combinations. You can also play in Speed Mode against friends where the winner is the person to finish first. In addition to these modes, the game has unlockable modes for you to discover. Inhabitants is a fun game whether played alone or with friends. The graphics are simple but there are nice animations to add some visual flair. The music is soft but it fits the game perfectly.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

  Irides: Master of Blocks – By Mad Peet

Irides is another homebrew puzzle title for the Dreamcast available through the GOAT Store. Irides challenges you to be come the Master of Blocks which you accomplish by learning how to properly use the Power Blocks through the game. There are two modes of play: Single Player and Multiplayer, with the latter having two types of games. In single player mode you control a 4 x 4 block with two colours and you must arrange the blocks to form 4 x 4 blocks of the same colour that will make them disappear. You are doing this against a timer, so the faster you stack the blocks, the more points you are able to get. Just don’t let the blocks reach the top of the screen, though, as the game will end if that happens. Mutliplayer games can be either in competitive or cooperative modes. In competitive mode your goal is to get the most points but also to earn attack points that will release dummy blocks in your competitor’s playing field. Up to four people can play at the same time in this hectic mode. Cooperative mode has two players working together to become masters with each player limited to half of the playing field. Visually, Irides is simple, though there are 3D rendered cubes rotating that do look cool. Where the game excels is in the music department where it uses electronica scores from Hello Gravity, Roddy Toomin, and Steve Thompson. Their scores fit the games to a T. Irides certainly is an addicting game that you will enjoy on your own or with friends.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 King of Fighters Evolution, The – By SNK/AgeTec

The King of Fighters (KOF) game series was first developed for SNK’s Neo Geo MVS but was soon adapted for home consoles. King of Fighters Evolution for the Dreamcast is, for all intents and purposes, an upgraded version of KOF ‘99. KOFE offers the same gameplay we’ve come to expect from the series but adds visual enhancements. In KOFE the backgrounds are no longer just static images but, rather, fully 3D rendered. Though there is no interaction between the characters and the backgrounds, it is cool to see stuff going in the background. You have various sites such as an airport (where you’ll see a jumbo jet move towards the characters), a museum with dinosaur bones, the street of Japan (where people go about their business as your characters fight), a carnival, a bell tower, and a rainy courtyard, among others. All of these are highly detailed and beautifully rendered. The characters themselves also look fantastic as they are large, detailed, and well animated. When I say well animated, I mean it. Just look at Mai’s boobs as she fights! There are over 33 characters to choose from, including some special “striker” characters for the Striker Matches. There are nine different modes of play to choose from: Team Play, Team Vs., Single Play, Single Vs., Survival Time Attack, Survival Endless, Single All, Practice, and Extra Striker. Depending on what you choose, you’ll be playing against the computer or against a friend. Either way, you’ll need to choose your characters and the order in which they appear in the match (you’ll also need to designate the striker character). KOFE is really a superb title and fans of fighting games cannot go without this title on the Dreamcast.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

Next Page: Sega Dreamcast L-N

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk