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Dreamcast Odyssey: Part 2

September 4, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today I’m continuing my reacquaintaince with my Sega Dreamcast by talking about another handful of games I just played from my collection.  Before I get started, I’d just like to mention that I purchased a Sega Genesis recently so hopefully soon I’ll be able to do a Genesis Odyssey!  The only game I bought at the time was Revenge of Shinobi since it was blasphemously left off of the Sonic’s Genesis Greatest Hits or whatever that came out for the Xbox 360 recently.  Toe Jam & Earl was also there at the store I was shopping at but it’s demand drove the price up to $30, which I’m not willing to pay at least for now.

The second note is that there is another fishing game coming out!!!  I’m very excited considering I just got done writing about Sega Bass Fishing 2 and how much I love fishing games.  The game plus the fishing controller will be $100, which is about right considering you know they’re going to overcharge you a bit.  Oh well, it could have been worse is all I’m saying.  I believe the game is due out in November.  I realize this next part is horrible journalism, but I read about the game on another site and now I can’t find the article or any kind of preview for it so all in all I have nothing to offer except the fact that I can tell you for sure it’s coming out!  Better than nothing I suppose.  I know it sounds like a supposed UFO sighting but trust me it’s coming so be excited if you like these games as much as I do.  Speaking of fishing games……

The first game I played in my latest sit down with the Dreamcast was Sega Marine Fishing.  I remember having a ton of fun with this game so I was really anticipating another play through.  It’s a great compliment to Sega Bass Fishing 1 & 2 because while the aforementioned games are a little more realistic and hardcore, Sega Marine Fishing basically serves as their arcade-like counterpart.  It’s easier to cast, easier to give your lure action, and the fish bite more quickly and more often.  That’s not a bad thing at all, it’s just different.  While Sega Bass Fishing has its rewards by catching the elusive lunker finally or just amassing a good weight score, SMF is all about gluttony.  


There’s about a dozen different fish to catch ranging from tuna and barracuda all the way up to incredible blue marlin and hammerhead sharks.  If you don’t want to grind your teeth trying to catch an 8 lb. bass, just cast your line in the water here.  You probably have a 50/50 chance of landing something over 200 lbs. on your first try.  Sure, it takes the skill out of it a bit but trust me it’s just as satisfying to see your skipper struggle to haul in a giant marlin on a pole as it would be to deftly maneuver to catch a nice bass in SBF.  

The Arcade Mode is just that.  You’re on a time limit and it’s pretty hard to advance without continuing.  I have to keep in mind that this game was ripped straight out of the arcade so this was all done intentionally but it still makes the mode kind of useless.  I finished the meager 3 levels in arcade mode in about 10-12 minutes.  Thankfully, this isn’t where the game’s most shining aspects lie.

In Original Mode you get to play a few mini-games and you can also free fish without a timer.  Free fishing is where it’s at.  You get to break weight records the game keeps for each fish and also unlock items.  What do you do with the items?  Put them in a huge indoor aquarium!  That’s right, in one of the most genius ideas in replay value ever, you actually have your own aquarium that you can stock with any types of fish, scenery and landscaping (seascaping?) that you want.  There’s all kinds of fish, rocks, sunken treasure, small submarines, and more.  I’m actually glad that my old memory unit got lost, now I can unlock everything again!

The next game I tried again was Capcom vs. SNK.  I would have to say this is probably my favorite 2D fighter of all time.  Fighting game fans that have played more and done more than me may scoff at that, but it’s got a lot to offer.  You’ve got a huge range of characters, and almost all the fighters you would expect from each developer’s best franchises are all playable.  You can also tweak the feel of the game, or “groove,” to be a little more like a Capcom title or an SNK one depending on what you play most.  This pretty much only affects super moves but you get the idea.


Another interesting aspect is that you fight in teams of two.  As a pretty devoted fighting game fanatic it was great for me to pop in the game and soon after I’m partnering up Ken from Street Fighter and Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.  Unlike Marvel vs. Capcom 2 there are not team-up moves or anything like that.  Essentially you choose who will fight first and if they’re defeated your second character steps in.  The game is also much more technical than MvsC and is much more like a typical Street Fighter game.  I love MvsC as well but if I had to choose I would take more of a technical game like this than the craziness of the latter.  

There’s also nice little nuances that add to the game, like Ken throwing Terry his hat before a match or Ken and Ryu fist-pounding before they go at it, and you really feel like both companies worked together and that the game was a labor of love.  It certainly shows in the gameplay.  

soul-caliburThe last game I played was Soul Calibur.  I have to admit that while I always tout Virtua Fighter 2 as my favorite game of all time, I usually struggle because SC ranks so closely to it.  Depending on how I feel on a certain day I would have to give the crown to SC.  It’s just so perfect.  First of all it’s a graphical powerhouse and aside from a lack of detail you would find in today’s games, still stands up well enough.  Secondly, the fighting engine is just a work of art.  Each character feels limber and the large catalog of moves ensures unlimited gameplay.  Most importantly each character feels very different from one another, which when you think about it most fighting games can’t claim.  There are a handful of copycats that have little difference, but the differences matter to those that devote themselves to the game.

This is another game that I can’t say too much else about, especially when you consider a ton of people have already played it and already know what I’m trying to say.  Basically if you have any interest in fighting games, even in the slightest, pick up Soul Calibur 4 for whatever console you like.  If you’re on a budget and have a Dreamcast (all two of you) then grab this one (I believe it’s also available for download on Xbox Live).  The gameplay to me is almost identical throughout the series with the exception of some new moves and characters.  SC4 has a great fighter editor that lets you change the look of your character, however picking up a cheap copy of the original will allow you to enjoy a ton of unlockables that are actually worthwhile as well as a mission mode, much like the “challenge” modes we’ve all become accustomed to in certain games.

That’s it for now, one more batch of games to go!

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