This should have been been a no-brainer. Hardened gamers will tell you that Sega’s Dreamcast console had some of the very best games ever devised – and that putting four of them onto one disc to enjoy again is a golden idea.
And so it is that we find ourselves faced with the gaming equivalent of a publisher being faced with an open goal, and doing everything in its power to slice the ball wide. In the case of the Dreamcast Collection, to drag the analogy out a little further, the proverbial ball manages to end up in the net – but only after coming off the crossbar and both posts first.
There are two reasons the Dreamcast Collection doesn’t go to plan. The first is the four games that have been chosen. The second is the execution of them.
The games themselves are Sega Bass Fishing, Space Channel 5 Part 2, Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure. On the whole, they’re faithful, not upgraded but competent port-overs. Yet there are annoyances – such as music being changed, presumably due to rights issues – that rankle.
But, crucially, who picked these four? Who chose these over Shenmue? Over Daytona? Typing Of The Dead? Jet Set Radio? Virtua Tennis? Who decided that Sega Bass Fishing, robbed of the fishing rod peripheral that was the only factor that really made it interesting, would be a good choice? And while Space Channel 5 is a fine call, wouldn’t it have made more sense to start with the original?
For the £30 asking price, there’s little doubt that you’ll get £7.50 apiece out of each of the games here (and it’s even cheaper if you buy the PC version). But nonetheless, it’s a missed opportunity – and unless this particular pack sells lots of copies, there’s a very real chance that this will be the best that Dreamcast nostalgics will get to relive its glory days, short of buying an old console and getting the games that way.