With the recent PC release of Grandia 2, it’s become apparent that we haven’t given much love for Sega’s final console as of late. There are actually still huge communities of people who not only play the original games, but also develop for the orange swirl beast. Despite its short-lived production, the Sega Dreamcast is the longest surviving console still around today. However, for most gamers, the Dreamcast’s life consisted of some Sonic games, a Shenmue or two, and that was it.
The Dreamcast’s lineup had many standout titles that absolutely no one remembers or thinks of today. While some games have had recent re-releases or remakes like Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, others have been lost in obscurity, left only to be made fun of by niche youtubers, or to be played by the few that remember them. This list is for those obscure titles that deserve more than what they got back then, or what they have now. The only rule is it can’t be something that’s been remade recently. It would be somewhat redundant to request a remake of something they just finished remaking. Otherwise, here is my list of the top 10 Dreamcast games that deserve a remake.
10) Maken X
You all know the Persona games, right? Atlus’ demon-satirizing, dungeon crawling romp of a dating sim is actually part of a much larger series known as Shin Megami Tensei, or MegaTen for short. Consisting of four main entries and a plethora of crazy spin offs, MegaTen is actually one of the most popular gaming series in Japan, with traction slowly being gained in other countries including the US as well. Maken X is not a part of this series, but you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking it was. From Kazuma Keneko’s art style, to the same dark themes of religion and graphic imagery, Maken X looks and feels as though it falls right into the MegaTen lore.
You play as the title character, Maken, or the “demonic sword.” Using your power of “brain-jacking” you can take over other character’s bodies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The gameplay is kind of a mix between Metroid Prime and The Elder Scrolls. You lock on and strafe around opponents, but rather than firing a beam cannon, you swing a big sword at everything. While the game is actually quite fun to play, it suffers from an absolutely horrible translation and voice acting that makes the original Resident Evil sound like it was produced in a Shakespearean playhouse. With this in mind, a remake with a focus on localization could turn this into one of the best pre-2000 first person shooters of all time. Maybe Atlus might even acknowledge its position in the MegaTen lore.
9) Blue Stinger
I’m just going to come out and say it: Blue Stinger is one nightmare of a game. No, I don’t mean it’s scary or creepy– it’s just awful. From its literally insane music, to some of the worst action controls of all time, you should never actually play Blue Stinger. Now, go play Blue Stinger.
Climax Graphics’ relatively unknown game is nothing short of revolutionary in its unintentional hilarity. You play as Elliot Gallade and Dogs Bower (Yes. Dogs. Bower.) as they explore the zombie/plant monster/who cares monster-infested Dinosaur Island. Blatantly disregarding its name, there are no actual dinosaurs on the island. However, there are strip clubs, underground labs, and even a Christmas Village for you to stumble your way through, swinging your golf club wildly at enemies that explode into coins a la Scott Pilgrim style.
The puzzles are ludicrous, the combat is worse, and some of the so-called “set-pieces” are so difficult to complete, you may pull your hair out. But sit down with a group of friends, grab a couple beers, and this will be a Friday night to remember. While I think a remake would definitely give opportunity to improve the controls, graphics, and pretty much everything else, there’s an argument for just wanting a port on a modern console so you don’t have to try and find a working disc and dreamcast for the above scenario. Either way, I think all gamers would benefit greatly from this.
8) Fur Fighters
Shooters at the time of the Dreamcast’s release mostly consisted of the first-person variety and were still referred to as “Doom-clones.” The few that were third-person weren’t very intuitive either. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one or two that even existed. It really wasn’t until Gears of War that the third-person shooter genre began dominating the market and gaining popularity among mainstream gamers. However, Fur Fighters definitely paved the way for them.
Fur Fighters was the first game I ever played with the tank control style that we see featured in many third-person shooters today. In Fur Fighters, you control a group of animals, ranging from a dog in a t-shirt to a straight up dragon, looking for their children who have been kidnapped by the evil cat, General Viggo.
Unfortunately, being one of the first TPS games, the controls were a little wonky, especially considering the Dreamcast’s lack of a second analog stick. If it were to get a remake today, modern controls would be the main focus. There’s also already a PS2 remake that I’ve never personally played, but it has improved graphics and features voice acting — so perhaps that may be the way to play it if you’re interested.
7) Cannon Spike
Cannon Spike is a bit of a head scratcher. It’s a top down shooter featuring some of your favorite Capcom characters, including Cammy from Street Fighter, Arthur from Ghost n’ Goblins, and even Megaman from… Well, Megaman. Despite each character’s different abilities, they all use machine guns and are only distinguished by their special abilities, which are somewhat related to the game they’re from.
The game doesn’t really have any story to speak of, or at least not one that’s coherent. As far as I’m concerned, Capcom mascots got together one day and just figured, “Screw it. Let’s go take on a fictional military power.”
The gameplay is fast and loose with an “Always Be Shooting” mentality. You skate around the screen blowing things up in such a manic way that it gets pretty difficult to figure out what’s going on sometimes, but that’s part of the fun of arcade shooters like this. A remake would probably do best not messing with the actual game and just focusing on updating visuals. The only tweak that might be worth making would be to turn it into a dual joystick shooter, if only to add more control to where your bullets go
6) Typing of the Dead
Typing of the Dead is a no brainer. While many people prefer Typing of the Dead’s predecessor light gun-game, House of the Dead 2, I believe that Typing is the superior game. No, the mechanics aren’t any better nor am I in support of edutainment software.
Typing of the Dead quite literally speaks for itself. Everything you type to defeat your enemies is nothing short of fantastic. From “Eat your peas!” to “Don’t make any friends that day,” every line is absolutely pure gold. Not to mention, the agents from House of the Dead 2 return, not with guns, but with keyboard backpacks that fire lasers, almost like the GhostBusters proton packs.
House of the Dead: Overkill recently received the keyboard treatment as well, so for now we will have to enjoy the wonderfully crazy grindhouse masterpiece that is — but one day, I hope to see the original Typing of the Dead in all of its glory
Shenmue is a tough game to place on a list. To some, it’s the greatest game of all time. To others, it’s “meh.” Personally, I was one of the few people that actually bought and played the game when it first came out, and I loved it from start to finish. I remember thinking that it was the future of gaming with its cinematic presentation, astronomically (for the time) high production value, and its all around badass gameplay, QTEs and all. However, I recently played through it again only to discover that Shenmue was no longer the same game I remembered.
To put it bluntly, it’s really boring. There are only ever three actual objectives you get in the game: “Find X person,” “Find X building,” and “Make X amount of money.” You are literally strung along from point A to point B, forced to question random — usually uninformed — pedestrians about how to get there, and in the end, after a lengthy sequence of money grinding, there is zero payoff in the story. The awesome fighting sequences I remember as a kid are few and far between and are mostly saved for easily missable side content.
Obviously, this is a very beloved game. The Shenmue 3 kickstarter is a testament to that. To be fair, it was an incredibly ambitious project for the time, and that ambition is its downfall. Shenmue was made with the assumption that there would be fans willing to buy three games, each telling a small part of an overall story. It just so happened to be that the first act is all build up and no release. When coupled with the second game, it actually creates an interesting story with dynamic pacing, reasonably spaced out action sequences, and it even ends in a place that makes sense.
So, I would argue that Shenmue shouldn’t be remade as a standalone, rather it should be integrated into one full game with its sequel. The two games are objectively terrible on their own, but when played back to back, they make an infinitely better game. In a perfect world, Shenmue 3 would be a combination of all three games, but we’ll have to wait and see if that unlikely scenario comes to fruition.
4) Phantasy Star Online
Phantasy Star Online was one of those MMOs that came out at the weird time in-between Everquest and World of Warcraft. It was trying to do something completely new on its own, but ultimately got lost on the mainstream crowd and even today only holds a very niche corner in fan’s hearts.
What separated PSO from other MMORPGs at the time was its single player mode. You didn’t need an internet connection or have to pay a monthly fee to have fun playing this game. All you needed was the will to make it through to the end.
PSO‘s single player was essentially a quest-based action RPG where you traversed four locations accessible through one hub world. Gameplay progression was simple: you pick up a quest, go to the specified area, fight some monsters, complete the objective, and get your reward. This simplicity was enhanced through some of the finer points, like timing based combat. You couldn’t just button mash, you had to time your strikes perfectly to create combos. The multiplayer was largely the same. Each location was instanced, so you would create parties before leaving the hub, which was actually pretty revolutionary at the time.
There were remakes for PSO on both Gamecube and Xbox, but not much was added outside of a split-screen mode. Currently, Sega is running a free-to-play sequel to Phantasy Star Online for PC and Vita. It’s in Japanese, but there is an English patch available for it. This sequel, while not a remake in name, is probably the closest we’ll get to one anytime soon, though.
3) Power Stone
Power Stone was one of the first 3D plane fighting games ever made and is arguably the best one. Before Power Stone, the only other such games that existed were Square’s Tobal No. 1, and its sequel, Ehrgeiz. Power Stone blew both of them out of the water with its unique style and fantastic gameplay.
With its frantic battles and huge cast of characters — each unique in their own way — Power Stone is easily one of the best fighters period. Gameplay consisted of big arcade-style fights between four characters. Periodically, the “power stones” would appear on the field. Collecting all of them was usually imperative as the payoff (your character transforming into their power mode) almost always meant victory. And that’s about it. Being a fighting game, it’s pretty simple.
There were PSP remakes of both Power Stone and its sequels, but no one bought them or even realized they existed, so a proper remake is in order. A modern remake wouldn’t have to change much. If anything, the game just needs a facelift for the modern era, a couple of control tweaks, and it would be all set.
2) Skies of Arcadia
In the late 90s, JRPGs were at their peak in both quality and popularity. This was almost entirely due to the awesome PSX run for Final Fantasy. Because of this massive franchise, a lot of other JRPGs ended up being overlooked, none more criminally than Skies of Arcadia.
Skies of Arcadia was a sci fi JRPG made by Sega. In my opinion, it’s one of the best games Sega has ever made, yet no one ever talks about it; besides the handfuls of people who have played it, of course.
In Skies of Arcadia, you follow Vyse the air pirate and his friends as they stop nefarious forces from destroying the world. While the story isn’t necessarily the most original, the Jules Verne-inspired steampunk pirate setting manages to set it apart from other JRPGs at the time.
Gameplay wise, it’s your typical turn-based RPG. There are some interesting aspects like a fairly detailed skill system, but the meat of the game is in the pirate-related moments. You search for buried treasure, have ship battles, and even find and hire crew members. It’s also pretty fun to go sailing through the skies on your airship.
The game was remade for Gamecube a long time ago, which means it’s more than overdue for some love. If there’s one thing that definitely needs some work, it’s the sound design. Sound effects sound like they were recorded underwater, the music, while awesome, isn’t mixed well with the rest of the game, and there isn’t any voice acting outside of a series of grunts and exclamations. With the return of all these late 90s, early 2000s RPGs lately, the world needs Skies of Arcadia to come back.
Climax Graphics actually made one more game after Blue Stinger before sadly fading away. One game that is potentially the campiest, silliest, and most surreal game you or anyone you know will ever play. Illbleed doesn’t just deserve a remake, it deserves the recognition of being one of the best-worst games of all time.
I honestly can’t begin to describe this game. It’s impractical to play, the story is horrible, the voice acting is cringe-worthy, but every second you play of this game is enlightening. Whether or not any of it is intentional, the whole game will have you in stitches; from the zombie giant who is obsessed with baseball, to the the talking toy of a dead child going on an adventure through hell to find his nude figurine of a wife.
Revealing too much would be a detriment to your experience in Illbleed, but at its very core, you control one of four (sort of five, maybe six) characters that must traverse through some sort of “haunted” environment. Unfortunately, if your character gets scared or injured, they have a chance of dying. To combat this outcome, you must find the Horror Monitor in each stage, a bizarre set of goggles that can predict jump scares, helping your characters cope with them with a cool, “Yeah!”
The depth Illbleed goes to for game mechanics and gags is incredible. The new game plus mode alone has one of the most satisfying and hilarious endings that has ever been in a video game. You may regret playing this game at first, there’s no doubt about that, but very quickly you will realize it’s all worth it.
Illbleed deserves a remake for sure, but a port to a modern console would be enough. Anything more or less would detract from its charm.
Is there a dreamcast game you think should get a remake? Let us know in the comments below!
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