Archive for the ‘Sega Dreamcast’ Category

The King of Fighters Dream Match 1999 – Sega Dreamcast   Leave a comment

As much as I like fighting games, I’m not very good at them.  The things I look for in a good fighting games are good controls, interesting characters, replayability, and just general all around fun.  The King of Fighters Dream Match 1999 mostly fits my description of a good fighting game as do most games in the KOF series.  The King of Fighters series started out on SNK’s Neo Geo console, and have been ported to whichever other consoles were in the market.  They are at King of Fighters 13 now, and this Dreamcast version is the fifth in the series.  It is actually based off of King of Fighters 1998, but they tacked on a year for the Dreamcast version, because it was ported to the Dreamcast in 1999.

This is one of the many King of Fighters games for many systems.

This is one of the many King of Fighters games for many systems.

The modes available in KOF99 are Team Play, in which pits three fighters against three, and defeated fighters are replaced with the next in line.  You have your standard one-on-one fights, and a survival mode.  You have a whopping 38 different fighters to choose from.  These 38 fighters are absolutely unique, and there are no palette swapped clones there just to fill out the roster.  The fighting can be as simple, or as complex as you want it to be.  The four face buttons on the Dreamcast controller dish out strong punches and kicks, and weak punches and kicks.  Obviously the stronger strikes take a bit longer to execute, which leaves you vulnerable, but they deal out more damage to your opponent.  The fighting styles vary wildly too, because the fighters are mostly taken from other SNK fighting games.  Some have projectiles such as fireballs, and others fight more of a realistic style.  All fighters have a power gauge that allows you to do special moves when the gauge fills.  Some fighters’ special moves can be tricky to pull off, but there are lots of other fighters that have easier to pull off moves.  You really risk being hit by trying one of these moves, but the results can change the balance of the fight.  The thing I like about this game is that you can play it however you like.  There are characters that are easy for novices to use, and others that reward the more skilled players.  The easy difficulty setting is actually easy enough for beginners to play.  Only have four buttons to worry about makes the game enjoyable for non-fighting fans as well.

SNK’s Neo Geo console was released way back in 1990, and it must have been some kind of powerhouse for that time, because this game looks right at home on the Dreamcast.  Admittedly the graphics are a bit on the low-resolution side, but the characters are all very detailed, and the animation is fantastic.  The Dreamcast version of this game gets special 3D backgrounds that look great as well.  The background music is fine, but sort of blends into the background.  The characters pretty much yap non-stop before, during, and after the fights, and it’s really entertaining despite not being translated into English.  The quotes from winning characters ARE translated into English very poorly, and some of them are hilarious to read.  About the only downside to this game is replayability.  I can’t view my high scores, or my best times.  If you look under “Neo Geo Pocket” in the options menu, you’ll see that your characters earn points that can unlock artwork.  There isn’t much artwork though, and it takes a long time to unlock anything.  The King of Fighters games are always a good time, and KOF99 for the Sega Dreamcast is no exception.  If you like fighting games, and see any KOF game for any system, I recommend playing it.

Posted February 28, 2014 by thebandit2006 in Sega Dreamcast

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Crazy Taxi – Sega Dreamcast   Leave a comment

The title of Crazy Taxi describes this game perfectly.  You drive a taxi, and it’s crazy.  Crazy Taxi was released in the arcades by Sega in 1999, and ported over to their short lived, but excellent Dreamcast in 2000.  It’s a good example of why I love Sega games, and in particular games on the Sega Dreamcast.  They take an everyday job such as a taxi driver, and turn it into a lot of fun.

Hey hey hey!  It's time for Crazzzzzy Taxi!

Hey hey hey! It’s time for Crazzzzzy Taxi!

Crazy Taxi takes place in an open world environment inspired by San Francisco.  Open world environments for driving games weren’t very common back in 2000, and the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Driver.  After choosing one of four drivers and cars, and one of two parts of town, you set off in search of passengers to pick up.  They stand in a large circle to make them stand out from the environment, and the colour of the circle indicates how far their destination is.  Red is close, green is far, and there are other colours between as well.  This is important to know in arcade mode especially, because you are only given 50 seconds to start the game.  You earn more time by picking up passengers, and dropping them off at their destinations.  The quicker you get them there, the more bonus time you earn.  You also earn money for each passenger you drop off, and you can also earn tips by sliding, driving close to traffic, hitting jumps, and getting to the destination extra early.  This feature of earning bonuses for reckless driving is now common in today’s driving games.  The whole point of the game is to earn as much money as you can.  There are also modes where you get to drive for 3, 5 or 10 minutes total, without having to worry about extra time.  Both modes are very fun, and the 10 minute mode gives you a chance to see parts of the city that you might not see in the arcade mode.  Crazy Box mode is a collection of short mini-games such as collecting a flag, popping balloons, driving off a ski-jump, delivering customers while driving on a narrow dock, or within very heavy traffic.  All modes keep track of your high scores, so there is a ton of replayability while you try to beat your high scores in each of these modes.  Car handling is extremely touchy, and takes some getting used to.  You can do simple button combinations to make your car launch forward really fast, or perform a drift.

The graphics are extremely crisp, and colourful.  The framerate is very high, and makes for smooth game play.  This is very impressive for such a fast moving, open world game from 2000.  The soundtrack is punk rock from Bad Religion, and The Offspring.  I think this high energy soundtrack fits the game perfectly.  Other of course may not care for this type of music.  The sound effects are fine, and the chatter from the passengers, and driver is funny.  Passengers will often complain if you drive poorly, and get excited when you drive well.  Crazy Taxi is a classic, and a must have for the Sega Dreamcast.  For other systems you may want to read reviews before you purchase it, because I hear the porting didn’t go so

well on some other systems.  I also couldn’t imagine trying to control this game on an iPhone, or Android.  The Sega Dreamcast version is excellent though, and you should pick up a Dreamcast console for many other excellent games.

Posted February 27, 2014 by thebandit2006 in Sega Dreamcast

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Ready 2 Rumble Boxing – Sega Dreamcast   1 comment

From 1999 this is Ready 2 Rumble Boxing which was a launch title released as a launch title by Midway for the mighty Sega Dreamcast.  Like many other Midway sports games, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing is a silly, and fun to play arcade type game.

It may not be hot and new anymore, but it's still a lot of fun.

It may not be hot and new anymore, but it’s still a lot of fun.

You get a wide variety of boxers to choose from such as Boris Knokimov, and “Big” Willy Johnson.  Each boxer varies greatly in size, and boxing style.  They each come with their own special move, or punch combination.  Unlike some boxing games where you can only move side to side, or not at all, Ready 2 Rumble boxing lets you roam around freely about the ring.  The controls are very simple.  The four face buttons on the Dreamcast controller lets you throw a high left punch, high right punch, low left punch, and low right punch.  By pressing a direction on the d-pad along with a button, you can throw different types of those punches, such as jabs, uppercuts, hook, or roundhouse punches.  There are two meters underneath your boxer’s name.  The first one is a health meter, which of course decreases as you take punches, and once it runs out, your boxer falls to the canvas.  The one underneath that is the stamina meter.  The more stamina you have, the more effective your punches are.  Throwing a punch empties the stamina meter, and fills again once you stop throwing punches.  This makes you more careful about throwing your punches, and makes the stick-and-move boxing strategy effective.  The two triggers on the Dreamcast controller make your boxer block high, or low punches.  You can also taunt the other boxer.  Hard punches give your boxer a letter.  If you get six letters to spell “rumble”, then your boxer goes into Rumble mode where you have unlimited stamina for a short period of time.  All of the controls work very well, and your boxers are very responsive.  This makes the game really fun, and that is the whole point of Midway’s line of sports games.

There are three modes of play.  The first one is the arcade mode, which works like a typical fighting game where you go through a gauntlet of fighters in order to win the title.  You can set the difficulty level, number of rounds, and number of knockdowns required to win.  I like to set it on the easy difficulty level, with a one knockdown rule.  The CPU will still beat me in this mode, because I sometimes have trouble with certain boxer’s fighting styles.  The championship mode has you play the role of a gym owner, and your boxers fight for money, and eventually titles.  You can use this money to train your boxer, and upgrade their fighting abilities.  This is a very ambitious mode, and one that could give the game a lot of replayability for some people.  I prefer the arcade mode, because I just want to beat somebody up rather than take my time to upgrade my boxers.  The third mode is multiplayer mode, and this can be a lot of fun, because the game’s controls are so easy that anyone can play it.

This game is also available for the PlayStation, and Nintendo 64.  I doubt however that they can match the great graphics, and fluid animation of this Sega Dreamcast version.  Every fighter has their own unique animations, and it just looks great for a 1999 release.  The sound effects are awesome.  The punch sounds have impact, and it sounds like you are playing through a Rocky movie.  I always chuckle at Afro Thunder’s puking sound whenever you knock him down with a low punch.  Michael Buffer does a really good job as the ring announcer too.  My only complain against the game is that it doesn’t keep track of your score, or best times for going through arcade mode.  Despite that, it’s always fun to play this once in a while, and have fun beating the crap out of people.  Well done Midway.

Posted February 25, 2014 by thebandit2006 in Sega Dreamcast

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