Publisher: Interplay (2000)
Rating: Teen (animated blood, animated violence)
Publisher: Crave (2000)
Magforce attempts to mimic the futuristic hovercraft racing thrills of Wipeout
(Playstation, 1995), but it's a lukewarm effort. There are a few vertigo-inducing drops and loops, but the game fails to convey that sense of breakneck speed you look for in a racer. Still, the frame-rate is smooth, and I like how the tracks are sufficiently wide. Magforce Racing's single innovation is its "magnet button", a minor gimmick that lets you defy gravity on certain sections of the track. I found it to be fairly worthless. What this game really
needs is a map and a real
countdown at the beginning of each race (it counts down to two!). But worst of all is the lame weapon system. Yes, there are missiles, lasers, and mines, but hitting an opponent is rare, and even scoring a direct hit only slows him down momentarily. Worse yet, you often end up plowing into the back of guy you just shot, slowing you
down in the process! The clunky, oversized vehicles are uninteresting, and the background scenery mainly consists of generic buildings and barren landscapes. The sparse electronic soundtrack is appropriate but equally forgettable. On the bright side, my friends were impressed with the four-player split-screen mode, and best times are automatically saved to memory card. A single-player mode challenges you to finish first on all the tracks so you can advance to the next class, but inexplicably, the menu screens do not
indicate which tracks you've already beaten! Magforce Racing is not a terrible game, but with no distinguishing characteristics, it offers little incentive to play. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Atlus (2000)
Rating: Mature (animated violence)
Publisher: Sega (2000)
Sega Bass Fishing was an excellent early Dreamcast title, and this sequel improves on it in many ways. In Bass Fishing, all you could catch was bass, but in Marine Fishing, 15 different varieties of fish are available, including blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, and Mako shark! Unlike Bass Fishing where it was easy to catch a fish, these fish battle you to the bitter end, making it more satisfying when you haul one in. The scenic fishing spots are large and wide open. You can post your catches on-line, and even save your fish in your own personal aquarium. There are mini games and over 200 bonus items to unlock. Be sure to use Sega's Fishing Rod controller for maximum fun and realism. Marine Fishing may be the best fishing game I've ever played. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 2300
Publisher: Capcom (2001)
Marvel Vs. Capcom
Publisher: Capcom (1999)
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
Publisher: Capcom (2000)
Metropolis Street Racer
Publisher: Sega (2000)
Now we're talking about some serious
racing action! MSR was developed by the people who made Project Gotham for the XBox, and the similarities are unmistakable. Metropolis Street Racer is a very realistic racing simulator with tracks set in a variety of real cities. The graphics are noticeably brighter and more colorful than Project Gotham, featuring cities painstakingly modeled after the real things. The cars also look detailed and shiny, and handle remarkably well. The courses are fairly simple, but it still can be hard to judge the turns. The difficulty is a bit excessive, and you'll need to master the hand brake to do well. A highly original "Kudos" system rewards good driving technique with bonus points, but unlike Gotham, you can also LOSE Kudos, which really sucks! Complementing the fine graphics is a superb soundtrack that will have you tapping your toes to a wide array of songs. My main problem with MSR is all the menus you need to trudge through. Even in the so-called "quick-start" option, it seems like you need to go through a dozen menus just to set up a two-player game. Not for the squeamish, MSR is a racer for gamers who crave a real
challenge. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Mortal Kombat Gold
Publisher: Midway (1999)
Rating: Mature (animated violence, animated blood and gore)
Mortal Kombat Gold is basically a polished version of Mortal Kombat 4, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The gameplay is reasonably good, with beautiful graphics and silky smooth action. Although the characters are rendered in 3D, the gameplay is still primarily 2D. Compared to the much blockier Playstation version, Gold looks like a whole new game altogether. I especially enjoyed checking out the mysterious background scenery and violent special moves. The 20 characters include most of your original favorites like Scorpion, Sub Zero, Raiden, Mileena, and Sonya. A few of the fighters from MK3 have also survived including the yellow robot warrior Cyrax. While Gold promises some "Dreamcast only" surprises, the gameplay is largely unchanged. There are weapons that appear at random, but they rarely have much impact. And unfortunately, one of the best moves from MK4, the sidestep, doesn't work very well here. According to the instructions, you must "tap" the right trigger twice to get it to work, but it's extremely erratic, and you can't even reconfigure it on the options screen! That problem sucked a lot of the fun out of the game, and that's a shame, because otherwise this is an good-looking fighter. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Namco (1999)
I feel like I should
like this fast-moving puzzle game a lot more than I actually do. Mr. Driller is a cute little fellow who drills down through colorful blocks while trying to avoid the mini-avalanches he triggers. Like any good puzzle game, both skill and strategy is involved. I always thought that moving quickly downward was the best strategy, but a friend demonstrated that a slower, more deliberate approach can really pay off. I love Mr. Driller's crisp arcade graphics and brisk pacing, but I could never quite wrap my brain around the strategy. I understand how some blocks will join with each other and some will disintegrate, but I found it hard to process on the fly. The controls are responsive enough, and the upbeat musical score sounds like something you'd hear in a Sonic game. I really don't quite "get it", but Mr. Driller seems to have developed a very devoted following among the Dreamcast faithful. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness
Publisher: Namco (2000)
Publisher: Sega (1999)
Due to crazy amount of time and money Sega invested in NFL 2K, I didn't think the lower-priority NBA 2K would be up to the same standards. Fortunately that does not appear to be the case, as NBA 2K takes the sport to a whole new level! The game is FAST and the graphics are fantastic. Each player looks exactly like his real life counterpart, with changing facial expressions and shifting eyes. The players perform their patented moves and even react to fouls called against them. In fact, even the coach and the players on the bench react to what's going on in the game. The arenas and crowds are detailed and realistic, although the cheerleaders are glaring omissions. The audio is amazing, with two-man commentary and players who shout at each other. Control is responsive, allowing you to perform a nice variety of moves, including backing-down a defender, cross-over dribbles, and calling for a pick. You even have total control of alley-OOPS! All the new NBA rules have been incorporated into the game, and when you play in season mode, every statistic imaginable is tracked. The user interface looks just like NFL 2K, and allows you to completely customize the game as well as create new players. NBA 2K is great but not perfect. It seems as if illegal defense penalties are never called, and during the season, injuries happen far too often. Another flaw is the horrible new free-throw method, which requires you to push the analog R and L buttons at the same time in order to line up two arrows. It's really, really dumb. But overall, NBA 2K is far and away the best basketball game so far. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (2000)
This year's edition of Sega's basketball game doesn't look a whole lot different than last year, but it does play better and has an on-line mode that works fine. Other new additions include a franchise mode, historic players dating back to the 50's, street courts, a few new moves, and additional camera angles. The new moves include a much-needed juke move and new animations include players encouraging each other during foul shots. Unfortunately, the horrendous foul-shooting system from last year is back! You have to gently squeeze the analog shoulder buttons to aim arrows, which is not only unintuitive, but it's nearly impossible if you've had any caffeine. Another problem is that the computer cheats when it's losing at the end of the game! Sega missed a few opportunities to improve the presentation. The coaches and bench players are present but rarely seen during the game. And where are the cheerleaders?? I have to admit that the commentary is improved, with more varied and more intelligent color commentary. NBA 2K1 isn't a huge improvement over last year, but it's still the best basketball game out there. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (2001)
The world's best basketball video game has returned for another slightly improved iteration. NBA 2K2 features fluid gameplay, excellent control, and intelligent computer players. Yes, there are some new moves and animations, but only die-hard fans will be able to distinguish between this and last year's edition. I should also mention that I've detected occasional graphic flaws you wouldn't expect from a third-generation game. Shots from behind the backboard sometimes pass through the backboard, and some shots change their arc ever so slightly in mid-air. And let's not forget the goofy foul-shooting system that once again rears its ugly head. NBA 2K2 is only a miniscule step forward, and only serious basketball fans should feel obligated to trade up. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Midway (1999)
Like the classic NBA Jam (SNES 1993), Showtime offers lightening-fast, high-flying basketball action for one to four players. The 3D players are rather angular in appearance, but their movements are smooth and the dunks are SWEET. This game uses the real NBA theme music, making it sound like an actual telecast, and a high-octane announcer makes insightful observations like "Boom-shaka-laka!!" Showtime could have been awesome, but there are serious issues regarding the computer-controlled players. To put it bluntly - they cheat!! These guys goal-tend on a regular basis, and automatically grab every rebound or loose ball. In addition, their three-point, end-of-half, desperation shots ALWAYS go in the basket! Even at the lowest difficulty, the computer will frustrate you to no end! What does it all mean? It means you'll have to play a two-on-two (four-player) game to truly enjoy NBA Showtime. That's where the game REALLY shines. The action is non-stop, and the in-your-face dunks are amazing. Unfortunately, if you don't have four players, this game is pretty worthless. Other problems include a severe lack of options and an excessive number of loading screens. The Matrix-like camera sweeps that happen at the end of each half are meant to look dramatic, but usually just look silly. With some tweaking (or game testing) Showtime could have been great, but instead it's just so-so. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
NCAA College Football 2K2
Publisher: Sega (2001)
Reviewing this game after
playing EA's NCAA College Football 2004
on the Playstation 2, I'm quite amazed at how well 2K2 has held up. You'd think the graphics would be a big step down, but that's not the case. As a matter of fact, the players look cleaner and the grass and crowd look even more realistic in 2K2. Some of the animations, like runners getting tripped up around the ankles and receivers leaping high into the air aren't even present
in the newer college football games. Playing offense is a little tougher than I'd like it to be, but that just adds to the challenge. Using the Dreamcast VMUs, you have the option of selecting your plays from the viewport of your own controller, but that small window doesn't display much information, so you'll already need to be familiar with the plays before you try that. I do wish this game had included more option plays, which are a staple of most college team offenses. Thanks to the wide-ranging trigger buttons of the Dreamcast controller, the instant replay feature is a pleasure to use, letting you adjust the speed of each playback with precision. The stereo sound is used to good effect, as you'll hear voices yelling from multiple directions before the ball is hiked. NCAA 2K2's play-by-play features two commentators who are somewhat boring but usually accurate. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of NCAA College Football 2K2. Not only is it a terrific Dreamcast sports game, but it even stands up to more recent football titles. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (1999)
Publisher: Sega (2000)
Publisher: Sega (2001)
By the time NFL 2K2 was released, the franchise was no longer the spectacle it once was, and Sega was closing down shop on the Dreamcast. Even so, NFL 2K2 offers some slick refinements including better graphics, improved animations, and team-specific playbooks. The players look far less angular this year, and players are different sizes depending on their position. Quarterbacks and receivers tend to be thinner, while the linemen are usually big and bulky. The user interface feels different but it's not necessarily an improvement. One useful new feature is the "bluff" mode which allows you to disguise your play selection when playing against a friend. NFL 2K2's ground game puts Madden to shame as runningbacks fight off tacklers and roll off defenders, resulting in plays worthy of the instant replay (imagine that!). Tipped balls are prevalent, but the game sometimes has difficulty differentiating fumbles from incomplete passes. In one my games a player was injured and writhing in pain in the middle of the field. Finally a teammate ran over to him in an apparent effort to help, but instead of lending a hand he he carefully stepped around the poor chump and continued towards the sideline. Too funny! 2K2's two-man commentating is far more insightful than anything you'll find in Madden, but what's the deal with the volume levels? Their voices seem to fade in and out, and it can be annoying. The game supports up to eight players on-line. NFL 2K2 continued the steady progression of the series, and it's one heck of a football game. After this, the 2K series enjoyed a short stint on the Xbox platform before Electronic Arts instituted its infamous NFL monopoly. Play NFL 2K2 if you want to remember how much better things used
to be! © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Midway (1999)
Publisher: Midway (2000)
NFL Blitz 2001 offers a wealth of new features including create-a-team, create-a-player, new stadiums, expanded playbooks, mini-games, and updated rosters. Sadly, nobody really gives a [expletive]!
Blitz has always been all about head-to-head football action, and these extraneous features do little more than clutter up the main menu. Fortunately, NFL Blitz 2001 is more fun than the last year's edition, mainly because it's slower
. You now have reasonable time to pass the ball, and receivers actually get open on occasion. The control scheme has been simplified, but having to use the left trigger for turbo is awkward! The graphics have allegedly been overhauled, but to be honest I couldn't tell the difference. The playbook is much bigger, and the cheerleaders on the load screens are definitely hot. The zany one-liners and hysterical "after the whistle" late-hits are back, but they are largely unchanged from last year. The turnovers are still too frequent, and in a single play I once witnessed three fumbles!
Also, the field goals are so freakin' long that they actually appear to hit the sky
on occasion! That's pretty high! And is there a reason why the names on the team selection screen aren't in alphabetical order? That's just stupid. NFL Bltz 2001 can't stand up to the original Blitz, but it's still the best one you'll find for your Dreamcast. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
NFL Quarterback Club 2000
Publisher: Acclaim (1999)
NFL Quarterback Club 2001
Publisher: Acclaim (2000)
Publisher: Sega (2000)
In 2000 Sega Sports was a big deal with hits like NFL 2K
(Sega, 1999) and NBA 2K
(Sega, 1999) pushing the envelope with their mind-blowing realism. Sega sports titles had a slick, television-style presentation EA's games lacked. NHL 2K definitely looks like a winner on the surface with lifelike player models scraping and spraying the reflective ice. The action kicks off with that raucous "yall ready for this?"
theme song. The action is fast but a little choppy - especially during shots on goal. The control scheme seems reasonable but I'm surprised they went with B for speed boost instead of a trigger. The triggers are reserved for changing lines and strategies, something I've never seen anybody do. It's hard to tell who has the puck when players are bunched up. On defense it's easy to jar the puck loose but the body checks lack impact - mainly due to the hollow sound effects. But my biggest gripe is that it's just too damn hard to score - regardless of skill level. I consider myself an expert at one-timers but even perfectly orchestrated shots fail to find the net. The goalie always snares the puck, leaving no rebound opportunities. I once played to a 0-0 tie with over 100 shots
taken combined. No wonder the commentators' favorite line is "easy save!"
The two-man commentator team has a lot to say but they tend to repeat platitudes like "aww man
- that had
to hurt!" There's really no interesting animations, cut-scenes, or interviews to make it feel like a televised broadcast. NHL 2K comes off pretty flat, lacking that arcade flair you expect from Sega. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Sega (2002)
Sad to say, NHL 2K2 was the last official game Sega released for the Dreamcast. NHL 2K2 is certainly a step up from the original NHL 2K
(Sega, 2000), with improved graphics and added depth. The players are far more detailed and the smooth framerate is pleasing to the eye. The controls are so complex that paging through the manual might scare away casual players. Beyond the standard controls, you can do things like hook, deke, side step, protect puck, and block dump. I'm a three-button kind of guy myself. I like how the game lets me play as the original
Mighty Ducks with the fun colors and cool logo. NHL 2K2 game is played from a lower, closer perspective than the first game, giving you a more realistic vantage point. The hits are harder and there are even some rebound opportunities. Despite the visual makeover, NHL 2K2 still suffers from 2K's primary flaw, which is difficulty in scoring. These goalies tend to gobble up everything in the vicinity, so your best chance to score is hoping your opponent gets careless and wanders his goalie away from the net! The commentator team is surprisingly understated compared to the last game, with the color guy only chiming in two or three times per game
. On a positive note, the option menus are loaded with options like choosing jerseys, adjusting the game speed, or setting the fight frequency. NHL 2K2 is a good looking game but I'm afraid its playability never lived up to the standards set by 16-bit classics like NHL '94
(Genesis, 1993). © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Namco (2000)
Publisher: NG:Dev Team (2014)
I nearly mis-
reviewed this new shooter from the good people at NG:Dev Team after mistaking it for side-scroller. In fact this is a conventional vertical shooter with the horizontal mode set as its default
. Neo XYX lets you spray projectiles and unleash screen-sized fireballs on big, fat mechanical beasts. The parade of adversaries is relentless, but their waves of projectiles aren't as insane as other "bullet hell" titles. The pink bullets are well-defined and there's always a window for escape. It helps that the collision detection is forgiving and there's hardly any slowdown. At first Neo XYX wasn't quite "clicking" with me, but I couldn't figure out why. I found the graphics surprisingly pixelated. Once I switched to the vertical display mode however, it was like night and day. The game doesn't fill up the screen (only the middle section), but the condensed action sharpens the graphics and gives you a much
better perspective. Be sure to pay attention to the "how to play" screen to learn how the chains work. When you miss a chain a word bubble next to your ship says "DOH!" like Homer Simpson. Racking up a high score is fun, especially since it saves your initials along with best scores. What Neo XYX is lacking is imagination. Your enemies are cookie-cutter and the stages are nothing to write home. Heck, in the first two it looks like you're flying over green cesspools!
The visuals improve with the shimmering water of stage three, but the general lack of eye candy is disappointing. Using continues lets you progress deep into the game, but it won't let you to rank in. The intro and game over screens feature some neat sci-fi art, but the music is so-so. I seem to have a lot of complaints about Neo XYX, but I can't stop playing it so I guess it can't be all that bad. © Copyright 2014 The Video Game Critic.
Nightmare Creatures II
Publisher: Konami (2000)
Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I tend to enjoy scary games even when the gameplay is a little weak. If you enjoyed the first Nightmare Creatures (Playstation), you'll be happy to know that this edition provides plenty more frantic action, weird monsters, and creepy locales. For those new to the series, Nightmare Creatures is part exploration and a whole lot of fighting. You wander around dilapidated old buildings and dark streets, picking up objects and power-ups between battles with monsters. Like the first game, the atmosphere is extremely dark and foreboding, and the Dreamcast's graphic power makes the locations look even more eerie. The buildings are nicely detailed, and each room has its own distinctive look. Bloodcurdling sound effects like crashing thunder, rain, creaking doors, and rattling chains add to the experience. The cover of the game boasts music by Rob Zombie, but thankfully that's limited to the title screen. The in-game music is sparse but effectively bone-chilling. Exploring the linear levels is fun, but the fighting system is weak. It lacks technique and gets pretty repetitive. Most of the combat is of the button-mashing variety, and you are forced to perform fatalities whether you want to or not. The rumble pack is supported, but it tends to be either off or running at full rattle. It got so annoying I turned it off. There's another problem that I've also encountered in other games: When given the choice of Continue or Quit, you can't tell which color is the "select" color. Despite its flaws, Nightmare Creatures still delivers its share of creepy arcade action. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Select new range: [Previous] [A-B] [C-E] [F-G] [H-L] M-N [O-R] [Sa-Sm] [Sn-Sz] [T] [U-Z] [Next]
[Dreamcast index] [Back to Top]
Screen shots courtesy of IGN.com, Gaming Age Online, Shinforce, Sega.com, Racket Boy, Wikipedia, GameSpot, Video Games Museum, Moby Games, Sega Dreamcast.com, The Dreamcast Junkyard