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We Played and Ranked EVERY SINGLE Dreamcast Game

Oops, we did it again. We played with your hearts, and got lost in the games. Oh, baby, baby. Remember when we ranked every N64 game? Well say hello to our Dreamcast ranking!

The end of the ’90s were sick, huh?  On 9/9/99, the sickest day you could release a system, SEGA gave us the Dreamcast; a too good for this world console that flew high and burned bright. Also it would play copies of games you’d burned on CD-R’s. It was the best. 

Despite the leap in graphics being a little less discernible than generations before, SEGA innovated in every way possible with the Dreamcast. You could kill zombies by typing on a keyboard, raise a fish with a microphone, and play minigames on the VMU memory card. Whereas an alien presumably could have come down in 1997 and seen a N64 controller and said “What is that?”, an alien lucky enough to have come down a few years later might’ve spotted a Dreamcast controller and VMU setup and said, “What are those?”

Basically, the Dreamcast was an improvement in every way. You’ll find influential games like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Unreal Tournament next to system sellers like Soulcalibur and Sonic Adventure next to superior versions of games that came out on every system under the sun like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Rayman 2 next to little weird games we ought to talk about more like Cannon Spike and Dynamite Cop and holy shit, this was just an incredible console. At 244 North American releases, it’s about 50 less than the N64, yet it seems pretty inarguable that the drop-off to forgettable games happens much, much farther down this list. And while this is sure to inspire debate and discussion, we think by the end you’ll agree that it was an objectively better system than the Nintendo 64, and that Sonic could definitely beat Mario in a fight.

So here you go, every Dreamcast game released in North America, ranked and reviewed!

— Mark Roebuck

List by: Chris Colman, John Danek, Christian Dawson, Chandler Dean, Kyle Duggan, Seth Finkelstein, Luca Fisher, Ryan Fleishman, Noah Hunter, Jeremy Kaplowitz, James Knapp, Walker MacDonald, Kevin Podas, Gabe Porter, William Quant, Mark Roebuck, Taylor Roebuck, Jon Ruggiero, Cameron Snow, Rob Steinberg, Brad Waters, Aaron Weerasinghe, Thomas Wilde, and a guy that’s stuck in a hole

#244. Spirit of Speed 1937

June 27, 2000
Broadsword Interactive

Ennui sports

Spirit of Speed 1937 is exactly what it claims to be: the withering ghost of what could have been a decent historical racing game. It is a spirit trapped in purgatory, riding on empty tracks devoid of life entirely. There is no sense of weight or momentum in the vehicles, either — no boosts, no stakes, just wheels spinning and dragging steel corpses through a merry-go-round of despair. The car is exempt from conventional physics, or even physics in general. It is exempt from reality itself, as dead as the game’s premise.

There’s no soundtrack during races; the whole experience is a silent drudgery paced at a trembling, unstable 30 frames per second. It’s as if the game itself knows how frail and weak it is, possessing the player with a sense of both boredom and vague unease. The first race in the game’s Championship Mode requires 10 laps around a shoddy, mud-colored replica of the Tripoli 1937 Grand Prix, where each lap takes about 3 minutes. According to my math, that would mean at least a half hour of riding in circles through beige nothingness and the occasional palm tree. Each lap is its own memento mori; why do we race? What is it for? One day, we will reach the end of this senseless course we call life, and we will ask ourselves: are we proud of what we’ve done? Well, the developers certainly shouldn’t be. — Luca Fisher

#243. Spec Ops II: Omega Squad

October 25, 2000
Zombie Studios, Runecraft
Ripcord Games

It’s a game?

Like, I get it. Not every game can go out there and be a rockstar. That being said, it should at least attempt to be an enjoyable and engaging experience. Spec Ops II: Omega Squad says “fuck all that” and opts to be one of the most god-awful experiences on the Dreamcast.

The story is established by a series of increasingly dull pictures of middle aged white men pointing at things and looking at computer screens. Things are said, maybe, I don’t know. I got bored and skipped it because every military sim FPS is judged solely on its combat, right?

Choosing to invade Antarctica for reasons unknown, I was dropped into a white barren wasteland that had fewer textures than the dolphin in Waverace 64. As I trudged forward at a snail’s pace, the game would load in the mountains at a jarring rate. Guards were randomly placed but easily dispatched by my rectangle gun. I walked for a solid five minutes until a random RPG caught me in the face and completely reset the level. At that point, I had suffered enough. Spec Ops II is just horrifically bad. It looks and feels more like a very early tech demo than an actual game that people spent money on. Avoid it at all costs. — C. Dawson

#242. Iron Aces

February 7, 2001
Xicate Interactive

This game gave me flashbacks.

Iron Aces looks and performs as well as the Wright brothers’ first plane. All of the assets in the game are forced to fight over a pool of six polygons and flying higher than a few dozen feet over the ground cause them to disappear. Riding that line has the potential to induce a seizure as the ground textures rapidly pop in and out.

The controls are abysmal and shooting down an enemy aircraft is as difficult as birthing digested Chipotle. Despite being advertised as a WWII game, it’s like a movie that says “based on true events” and the only similarity is a detail or two. Iron Aces reimagines the entirety of WWII with major players having control of a group of four islands. That’s right, rather than experience classic battles or journey to a variety of historic locales, developer Marionette decided that four islands would do the trick and then peaced out.

When using WWII as a backdrop for a game, it’s pretty hard to fuck things up. You can get as creative as you would like and tell all kinds of different stories. Plus, WWII fans have such a raging hard-on for anything related to it that they’re willing to plop down money on all kinds of nonsense. However, Iron Aces is bad enough to give even the staunchest war buff a moment of pause. — C. Dawson

#241. Sydney 2000

March 16, 2000

Attention to Detail
Eidos Interactive

The events in Sydney 2000 are:

  • 100 Meter Sprint – Tap A and B fast . 1/10
  • 110 Meter Hurdles – Tap A and B fast, tap X to jump over a hurdle. 1/10
  • Javelin – Tap A and B fast then hold X to throw the thing, then do that three times. 1/10
  • Hammer – Same as javelin but different thing. 1/10
  • Triple Jump – Tap A and B fast then hit X three times. 1/10
  • High Jump – Tap A and B fast then hold X to jump, release X to pull legs in. 1/10
  • Skeet Shooting – Tap X, aim, and tap X again. 2/10
  • Super Heavyweight Weight Lifting – Tap A and B fast, hit X, tap A and B fast, hit X. 1/10
  • 100 Meter Freestyle Swimming – Tap A and B fast, press X to turn, then tap A and B fast. 2/10
  • 10 Meter Platform Diving – Play Simon Says and Superman N64. 1/10
  • Chase Cycling – Tap A and B fast, not at all controlling the bike. 1/10
  • Kayak K1 Slalom – Actually play a video game. 4/10

This game is as terrible as the IOC.

— J. Ruggiero

#240. Seventh Cross Evolution

December 18, 1999
NEC Home Electronics
UFO Interactive

I’ve had the misfortune of playing Seventh Cross Evolution and I still have no idea what the hell it’s about. The game starts with some heavy JRPG vibes as players assign colors to different stats like attack and defense that may or may not come into play later. It was never clear.

From that point, players are dumped into a pond where they take the form of what appeared to be a single-celled organism. The objective is to swim around, eating what you can, in order to evolve to the next stage. However, should a creature eat you, you’re kicked back to square one and must start all over again like a digital Sisyphus.

It’s a thoroughly mind-numbing affair and barely qualifies as gameplay. The graphics look like an early PlayStation title with the water textures freezing up whenever you make a turn. The only enemy I encountered, a crab, would murder me without any sort of a fight, and once it had my scent, there was no losing it. Seventh Cross Evolution is the kind of game you get someone if you really hate them. Maybe if you have a really bratty person in need of some punishment but even then, it’s a lot of emotional and mental trauma to inflict on someone. — C. Dawson

#239. ECW Hardcore Revolution

February 29, 2000
Acclaim Studios Salt Lake City

No, no, how could you follow me?? I left you for dead in the N64 games article as one of the worst 11 games on the entire system! How the hell could you have risen to haunt me again after completely burying you underneath a story about how watching two men tumble unprotected onto a concrete floor was better for my psyche than playing you? Guess I can get away with doing the same thing again since you’re exactly the same game. Who wants to hear another ECW story about how fucking insane New Jack was?

In November of 1996, our favorite psychopath New Jack was supposed to be in a match against a guy that no-showed. A dude named Eric Kulas stepped up to take his place, going by the name Mass Transit, a wrestling bus driver. Kulas tried to tell New Jack how the match should go and told Jack to gig him so he could bleed. New Jack, pissed from being told what to do by an obvious greenhorn and also from just being New Jack, ripped the kid’s forehead open with a scalpel and beat the shit out of him (he survived). Lucky for ECW, it turns out Mass Transit had lied about all his credentials and had no actual wrestling experience and was also only 17. And that’s how you almost destroy a promotion’s chances of ever becoming successful overnight! Yay!

I’d much rather recount these kinds of grizzly events than ever have to touch or review ECW Hardcore Revolution ever again. If Hard Drive ever straps me down and forces me to once more, I cannot be held responsible for going all New Jack on the editing staff. — William Quant 

#238. Test Drive 6

December 15, 1999
Pitbull Syndicate
Infrogrames North America

Can I give this a negative score?

At this point, I’ve learned that developer Pitbull Syndicate has zero ability to make a good game. From the graphics to the gameplay, each of their 10 published games have been absolute dogshit. Small wonder the studio went under in 2009.

Test Drive 6 was chasing the popularity that the Need for Speed series had attained with its police chase mechanics. Players can play a police pursuit mode or traditional race mode. Cars can be upgraded and bets placed on each race which determines the prize pool. Just don’t expect to win as, no matter how upgraded your vehicle is, there is an extremely low chance of finishing in the top three.

The cars are blocks of rough edges with no sense of weight or speed. The atrocious background graphics struggle to load as players careen from barrier to barrier along the tracks. Worst of all, an absurd amount of money must have been spent to license the rights to Fear Factory’s cover of “Cars” as it is played at every possible opportunity.

Do yourself a favor and skip this one entirely. — C. Dawson

#237. Reel Fishing: Wild

July 24, 2001
Westone Bit Entertainment, Tiny Art, T’s Music
Natsume Inc.

What if the minigame was the whole game?

I love fishing games. Well, I love fishing mini-games. From Ocarina of Time to Destiny 2, if there’s a fishing mini-game, I’m on it like stink on an anime convention. So, when Grandma decided to get a much younger me a game all about fishing (because mainstream games back then were too violent), I went into it optimistically.

I was disappointed then and am borderline angry now. I don’t know if there’s a level past the Japanese Stream because I cannot get a bite to save my life. It’s all the fun of real-life fishing, except you’re sitting in your grandmother’s den for the weekend because your permanently absent father can’t be bothered to spend time with you.

There are various rods, wheels, and lures available, but you can go fuck yourself if you think it will make any difference. Add in some stock image backgrounds, terrible music that loops far too frequently, and textures that pop in when the camera transitions to underwater scenes and I’m glad the cancer is winning, Grandma. -— C. Dawson

#236. POD SpeedZone

December 6, 2000

It’s a game.

Generic racing games with a cheap combat mechanic on the Dreamcast are as prolific as chlamydia in a koala enclosure. POD SpeedZone is the very definition of a bargain bin game. I don’t know if developers had cracked some kind of code that made this type of game especially easy to make but the market was absolutely saturated with them. It’s akin to trying to walk through tall grass in the Kanto region.

The graphics look like a smattering of toy cars glued to a collage of fecal samples. The tracks were likely designed by a five-year-old riding a sugar high. The overall theme is dystopian sci-fi which, at the time, had been done to the point of inducing nausea. You’d stand a better chance at chugging bacon grease and keeping it down.

Overall, POD SpeedZone is an incredibly forgettable game that had all the staying power of a fart in the wind. I wish I could get back the time I spent having to play this game but I’ll make the sacrifice that you never have to suffer through it. — C. Dawson

#235. South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack

December 1, 1999
Acclaim Studios Austin
Acclaim Entertainment

Chef’s Luv Shack was being made early in South Park’s run, so the developers were forced to cling to every little joke the show had made for content. Who could forget classic characters like Four Assed Monkey? The Bookmobile guy? No? What about screaming the word “Beefcake”? The voices Matt and Trey provide make you wonder if they just sent in audio clips from the show. On the other hand, poor Isaac Hayes has to read off each question. Then some random announcer carries most of the dialogue.

This game is incredibly short. It just kinda ends after a few rounds without really changing anything up. It’s just a couple of questions, a minigame, and repeat. Many of the non South Park questions are easy ’70s pop culture stuff which admittedly is pretty funny when you consider that most of the people who played this were probably like 12 years old. Do you love South Park? Then you’ll love being quizzed about Foreigner songs! The minigames are sort of fun but simple gags that should’ve been something played in flash on eBaum’s World. At the end of the day it’s a quiz game, so there’s not much expectation, but Chef’s Luv Shack still falls short. Holy shit, dude. — Rob Steinberg

#234. Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise From The Ashes

April 26, 2000
BEC, Studio Cliche, Studio Orphee

“White Dingos” is Australian for “racist.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Gundam. I, like many others, was bitten by the mecha bug when Gundam Wing was a core part of the Toonami programming block. Riding on those coattails, Bandai decided to bring over one of their most recent Gundam titles to Western audiences.

Gundam Side Story 0079 is full of problems inherent to both the Gundam anime and games. The big draw for both is the epic battles. However, like the anime, too much time is spent setting the stage for these battles. Like many future games to come, Gundam Side Story 0079 is incredibly barebones. The plot is banal while the controls are absolutely horrendous and the visuals make it look like a late PS1 game rather than a Dreamcast title.

Perhaps the greatest sin was the bait-and-switch when it came to the Gundam selection. The game was heavily advertised with tie-ins and references to Gundam Wing. Players seeing it on the shelf would likely only recognize Gundam, grab it, and be greatly confused as to why Wing Zero wasn’t beating the ever-loving shit out of Leos. — C. Dawson

#233. Floigan Brothers: Episode 1

July 30, 2001
Visual Concepts

Proof that god despises each and every one of us.

Moigle and Hoigle Floigan are utterly disgusting little men. They live in an oversized house with wall ladders, ceiling-high shelves, and train tracks inexplicably laid across the floor. There is a fascinating element of torture to this: the smaller brother, Hoigle, simply cannot function in this space. It is seemingly designed to be hostile towards him — he is too short to reach anything, and must complete ridiculous, sisyphean tasks to appease his lunkhead brother Moigle. If Hoigle refuses, makes any mistake, or even fucking breathes in Moigle’s direction the wrong way, Moigle flies into a hunger-induced rage and beats the everloving crap out of him.

This is a mechanical feature, by the way: Hoigle will need to step on the “Angry Pad” that appears when Moigle starts punching him, which will then cause some event to occur. In the tutorial, this prompts Moigle to hit Hoigle with a baseball bat and send him flying onto a previously-unreachable shelf. Everything about this situation is a horrific window into the lives of these two codependent, dysfunctional brothers who should absolutely not live together or even communicate in any capacity.

Unfortunately, they do communicate with each other. A lot. But they don’t talk to each other so much as at each other, attempting to court the player with an endless succession of tacky vaudeville routines. Every attempt at humor throughout the dialogue is so overwrought, tacky, and needlessly complicated that it sucks the joy out of one’s soul. This is true of the mechanics, as well — why must nearly every interaction from high-fiving to gardening require a tedious, Mario-Party-esque minigame? And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s also a point and click logic nightmare: one puzzle requires you to punch and insult Moigle to get him to literally cry a river in your junkyard so that you can cross a bridge. During another, Moigle literally pulls an entire scarecrow out of his ass. There is no explanation for this. Perhaps we should be grateful for that.

Though it may be hard to imagine, this was a highly-anticipated IP that SEGA of America invested quite a bit of time, manpower, and big ol’ dollar bills into. They even wanted to build an online play infrastructure for this game, where players could trade their Moigles between each other (for reasons unknown). The back of the box has a line about Moigle’s “highly sophisticated AI” creating “intense, emotional gameplay”, evoking the buzzword-filled Chat GPT shovelware of today. Maybe the game really was ahead of its time, after all.

Even more horrifying, there were plans for later episodes. If SEGA had its way, there would be a long-running series of games about these two idiots Moigling and Hoigling all over the place. The dedication to this game was as delusional as the product itself: Bernie Stolar, then-president of SEGA of America, had the audacity to claim that “Floigan will do for SEGA what Mario did for Nintendo”. It is terrifying to imagine a universe where it did.  — L. Fisher

#232. The Ring: Terror’s Realm

September 29, 2000
Asmik Ace Entertainment

The Ring: Terror’s Realm is a cautionary tale about the dangers of downloading bootleg games onto your work computer. Four CDC lab workers, including the protagonist’s boyfriend, all die mysteriously on the same day while running a cryptic computer program called — you guessed it — RING. The main character investigates, finding that it’s basically a VR game, complete with a neat little title screen and a tutorial, and then a sudden phone call informs her she only has seven days to live.

Many survival horror games from this era are indistinguishable Resident Evil clones with the same combat, mapping, inventory, etc. But this manages to stand out from the rest, achieving a truly unmatched level of playability that I’d describe as “remarkably clunky.” The voice acting and graphics are… distracting. Some of the character models are so visually jarring it feels like they were made sarcastically.

TL;DR: Basically, CDC lab workers receive death threats from an anonymous creep who found them on the computer, and it’s our job to stop the spread. Which should be easy, because no one wants to play this bullshit. — Taylor Roebuck

#231. Psychic Force 2012

November 10, 1999

Peak late 90s generic anime action.

I like to think that there’s something enjoyable about every game, that there’s one kernel of something good that can be found. “Different strokes for different folks,” you know? Psychic Force 2012 spit directly in my face for having the audacity to think that.

This 3D brawler where everyone can fly and has psychokinetic powers is an absolute mess. Stages are pixelated piles of garbage, characters look like their polygons were rationed due to a war effort, and the gameplay is so mind-numbingly easy, a literal toddler could beat it.

During my time with it, I found that spamming my ranged attack was all I needed to succeed. Literally pressing “B” alone, I was able to clear through all eight stages that comprise the Story and Arcade modes. What’s the difference between the two? Some dialogue between each fight and a cutscene entirely in Japanese with no subtitles.

Psychic Force 2012 is an expensive coaster and nothing more. — C. Dawson

#230. The Grinch

November 22, 2000
Artificial Mind and Movement 

Clad in sunglasses, the Grinch is a beast; he faces the camera, saying “fuck the police”!

Originally made for the PS1,
The Grinch rises once more for an encore of fun.
The Dreamcast is his next victim—hooray!—published by Konami back in the day.

What’s more is the studio that fathered this game:
Behaviour Interactive, of Dead By Daylight fame!

Perhaps you question my turns of phrase?
My friend, look no further than how the game plays!
Every line is rhymed exactly like this,
and I assure you it’s real, I’m not taking the piss.
Indeed the late Doctor, who could not consent,
now weeps in his grave, a silent lament.
The rhymes are as forced as a horse dragging carts,
and the jump is as weightless as the Grinch’s cruel farts.

And speaking of flatulence, with his “robust behind”,
the Grinch will certainly blow your mind.
The central mechanic of this lazy port
is a Pancake Attack, or something of that sort.
The Grinch leaps into action, then plummets on down,
his ass truly crushing present boxes in town.
Perhaps his behind is his strongest charm;
he can’t really kick, or punch with his arm.
Nay, the Grinch is a non-violent beast.
Compared to most, he has standards, at least!
But the horrors go on, as you may expect,
for the Grinch can fight, too, with his “noxious bad breath”.
In wispy clouds of cartoon smoke,
children run at the scent that Grinchy breathing provokes.

Alas, the conclusion is woeful at best;
a hasty adaptation of the original text.
The Grinch has no sequence of pulling his sleigh,
and simply decides he will go save the day.
But after crying for the Whos and returning their gifts,
the Grinch does something unexpected: he drifts!
In the last ten minutes of this horrible thing,
the Grinch mounts a motorcycle and drives into the ring.
Grinch Kart is real, alive and well,
and reader, I tell you, playing it was hell.

Finally the race did come to an end,
and at last this review I could finally send.
The game’s budget was small, the pennies were pinched,
and when the credits stopped rolling, they read: “YA GRINCHED!”

… anyway, when is Dead By Daylight gonna add the Grinch to the roster? — Luca Fisher

#229. Wild Metal

January 31, 2000
DMA Design
Rockstar Games

The only “wild” thing here is how this game was actually released.

Upon loading Wild Metal for the first time, I had to make sure it was actually a Dreamcast title and not something from the Nokia N-Gage library. From abysmal controls to even worse graphics, this has all the hallmarks of a mobile game that received a terrible port.

This arcade-style tank battler is one of the absolute worst games I’ve ever played. Players select one of several tanks and duke it out on bland and uninteresting planets. There is a scant offering of enemies on each map, with several of them being aerial. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue except, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to aim up. Games like Wild Metal actively break my spirit. I feel worse for having played them and no amount of scrubbing in the shower will cleanse me of its filth. — C. Dawson

#228. MTV Sports: Skateboarding Featuring Andy Macdonald

October 20, 2000

Check the Oxford English Dictionary for the definition of “poser” and you’ll find a bunch of dumb words when they could just use a picture of this game. MTV, in an early attempt to get far away from music television, put out a series of “x-treme” sports games with THQ. The games are cash grabs clearly created to dig into the success of other games, notably the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. The MTV Sports label released two snowboarding games, a BMX game with T.J. Lavin, who sold his soul to MTV and has to host The Challenge forever, and this.

Everything that made the Tony Hawk games engaging and fun is missing here. Sure, there’s an alright soundtrack and similar controls to THPS, but it seems like this game wasn’t tested properly. Grinds are next-to-impossible to pull off, and the bailing animation looks more awkward than a modern Skate glitch.

The only reason to play this is the small chance that you can use it to communicate through time to Rob Dyrdek (one of the included skaters) that he needs to stay far away from MTV unless he wants to review YouTube videos for well over a decade. — J. Ruggiero

#227. Championship Surfer

December 4, 2000
Krome Studios
Mattel Interactive

The poor man’s Tony Hawk.

You know, I’ve actually been surfing once. I never managed to get on top of the board. It hit me in the head more than once and at the end of the day I had a nasty case of sun poisoning. On the whole, that experience was far more enjoyable than playing Championship Surfer.

I’m still not sure if the handful of surfing games that came out in the late 90s and early 00s were due to popular demand or the industry’s desire to try and cash in on the popularity of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Odds are the target demographic was actual surfers that lived on the coasts. However, those potential players would actually be out actually surfing. That leaves a collective of kids in the Midwest playing a game where the only context they have is that surfing involves a person, a board, and a wave. In that regard, Championship Surfer nailed it. In literally every other aspect, Championship Surfer is an absolute failure. — C. Dawson

#226. Conflict Zone

December 17, 2001
MASA Group

Nope. Nope. Nope.

Conflict Zone’s cover has a generic soldier carrying a girl of indiscriminate age through a battlefield. Is he saving her? Is she now his child bride? Is it a combination of the two? There are disturbingly few answers in Conflict Zone.

Released in 2001 but taking place in 2011, this RTS makes light of war and how it impacts civilians. Briefings are filled with horrible sight gags and paragraph after paragraph of exposition. The long and short of it is that first-world countries have united against developing countries in a bid for world order.

What, pray tell, is the setting for this war against the poors? Why, it’s Ukraine! Yes, Conflict Zone is uncannily accurate in its predictions in all except the timeline. As such, it is profoundly uncomfortable to play. Especially when you also factor in how each side utilizes civilians and the media as resources.

So, I’m just going to forget that this even existed and throw it into the trash like it’s a lostprophets album. — C. Dawson

#225. ESPN NBA2Night

November 20, 2000
Sunset Entertainment

Oh, hi! Have we met? I’m the guy they keep in a hole and force to tweet out video game deals all the time. I think I see what happened here. They chucked a copy of a Dreamcast game down here with a pencil and notebook, and I think I’m meant to review it. They had me do a fishing game for the N64 list. Anyway, I dont know what these idiots think I’m gonna do without a Dreamcast, television, or electricity, but it’s also not hard to hell that this is a debut game from a franchise that only lasted for two years. ESPN branding or not, competing against 2K was a tall order, and these Konami games just didn’t bring enough to the table to command anyone’s attention. That’s what I think. But hey, I’m just a guy in a hole! — Guy Who is Stuck in a Hole

#224. Roadsters

March 16, 2000
Player 1

Zoom zoom.

Roadsters feels like a game that would come on the Pizza Hut demo discs. You’d finish your Book It! reading, go in for your free personal pan pizza, and beg your parents for the demo disc they had on display. Full of greasy pan pizza and with your dirty little mitts on a demo disc, you’d go home and try out several different games for days on end.

The problem is that Roadsters, a fully-developed entire ass game, is about as fleshed out as one of those demos. Players pick an annoying driver who won’t shut up for the entirety of the race and a horribly rendered car and they’re off to the races.

The cars inexplicably have handling that is simultaneously too tight and too lose. It’s like moving left or right is exponential as moving the stick a little bit doesn’t do a damn thing and holding it for too long sends the care careening into a wall or obstacle.

It feels bad and looks even worse. Roadsters is the video game equivalent of diarrhea. — C. Dawson

#223. Nightmare Creatures II

June 8, 2000

Kalisto Entertainment

Nightmare Creatures II is like if someone played Resident Evil and thought the only redeeming quality was the camera angles. It’s a dull, uninspired sequel that doesn’t just fail to improve on its predecessor but pretty much undermines it at most turns. It’s a bad game through and through. Gameplay is as limited as it is tedious and for a survival horror game the only thing frightening about it is some of the writing. Much like an actual nightmare, it’s best to just realize that this game can’t actually hurt you if you don’t let it, and not bother playing it in the first place. — James Knapp

#222. Charge ‘N Blast

February 7, 2001

Xicat Interactive

“Did it do well in the arcade? Fuck it. Port it.”

Throughout the lifespan of the Dreamcast, Sega and other developers/publishers had a bad habit of porting over titles that had performed even moderately well in an arcade. Charge ‘N Blast is one such title.

Booting it up and loading into the first mission immediately smacks of a poorly made arcade shooter. Players are stuck in gallery shooting mode where they must take on extraterrestrial bugs. Aiming is a pain in the ass and firing the oversized weapon requires charging the ammunition while enemies frantically scurry towards you. Simply put, Charge ‘N Blast just isn’t fun. There are three playable characters whose differences are “fuck” and “all.” While it may have been good for gobbling a few quarters, it’s definitely not worth the admission of a full-priced game. — C. Dawson

#221. Ducati World Racing Challenge

March 1, 2001
Attention To Detail
Acclaim Entertainment

*Annoying motorcycle noises*

Look at the man on the jewel case. No, not the bright red racer hauling ass through a sick turn. No, not the badass biker cruising on his hog with those “don’t fuck with me” shades that every white dad pairs with his jean shorts. Yes, that’s him in the back. He is the fabled King in Yellow.

Though his madness-inducing smile may be hidden, those piercing eyes surrounded by a murder of crow’s feet pierce through the core of any mortal being. His horrible voice can be heard through your speakers as your motorcycle tops out too quickly and screams in anguish. There is no escape from the King in Yellow. His voice will follow you into your dreams. When the inevitable nightmares wake you, his eyes will be watching you from the darkened shadows of your room.

Though his accursed attempt to infiltrate the mortal realm spelled doom for Sega with their final console, it meant that this evil entity would be sealed away for a while longer. If encountered in the wild, players are advised to destroy the unholy container and its accursed contents. — C. Dawson

#220. Samba de Amigo

October 17, 2000
Sonic Team

I’m nowhere near high enough for this.

Prior to the release of the game that would arguably kick off the rhythm game craze, Guitar Hero, there was Samba De Amigo. At the time, Sega was all for trying out new things in the arcade and then porting them over to the Dreamcast.

I’ll admit that it’s a unique concept and applaud developer Sonic Team for doing something different. However, to play this incredibly niche game, players would need to buy the special maraca controllers which were only partially compatible with two other games, Mr. Driller and Cool Cool Toon. A Wii port was eventually developed with additional songs and online play available. It goes to show how ahead of its time this title was.

That being said, if you don’t have either decades-old console with a working copy of the game, you’ll be left with an emulator and a controller. It’s still technically playable but is the furthest thing from fun. Using the D-pad and face buttons to hit each of the “notes,” players can work through such hits as Chumbawumba’s “Tub Thumping.”

Overall, it’s a product of its time and one of those “you had to be there” experiences. Though, at the time, there would likely be a distinct possibility of your alcoholic aunt having a go and getting way too into it. Maybe that was fun, maybe it wasn’t. I don’t know your aunt. — C. Dawson

#219. Striker Pro 2000

May 9, 2000
Rage Software
Infogrames North America

I didn’t know there was something more boring than watching soccer.

Oof. I have never been a fan of soccer and soccer-adjacent activities. I think it began when I was in kindergarten and was yelled at for running the wrong way several times. It’s not my fault. I didn’t want to be chasing a ball in a field. I wanted to be in my bedroom making Batman and the Ninja Turtles fight Voltron.

Striker Pro 2000 is kind of awful. The menus are rife with a Web 2.0 design aesthetic. Navigating them is even worse as rather than having the D-pad do all the heavy lifting, the developer assigned face buttons to everything. The announcers are so thoroughly European with their slang that I have zero idea what they’re actually saying. Finally, the gameplay is so unenthusiastic as to be actively repulsive.

For those that are actually interested in a competent soccer title, the consensus appears to be that Virtua Striker 2 is your best bet. Don’t waste your time with this dud. — C. Dawson

#218. ESPN International Track & Field

September 27, 2000
Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka

Just why?

As someone who actively participated in track and field for nearly a decade, I have never understood the appeal video games based on it. If you want a racing game, there are so many that do it better thanks to a variety of vehicles. If you want a sports game, pick a more interesting sport. If you want to experience running, head down to your local high school’s track and get runnin’.

ESPN International Track & Field is mind-boggling in just how terrible it is. Look at your controller. Do you see all those useful buttons on it? Rip off every single one until you’re left with X, B, and the Left Trigger. Okay, now you’re ready. 

Each of the various events in the game breaks down to mashing on the X and B buttons to build speed or strength. The Left Trigger is used for activating certain actions like throwing a javelin or lifting a weight. The big killer here is the stamina drain that is building up speed or strength. You could give this to a 15-year-old boy in his prime and he would not have the forearm endurance required to complete a championship.

If, for whatever reason, you’re into titles like this, skip ESPN International Track & Field and go with the greatest curling game of all time, Nagano Winter Olympics ‘98C. Dawson

#217. 4 Wheel Thunder

May 3, 2000
Kalisto Entertainment
Midway Home Entertainment

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

In theory, it’s not hard to make a good monster truck game. You put in some big-ass trucks, destructible items like cars, maybe a demolition derby, and enough in-game physics to do some sweet stunts. Guess what’s not in 4 Wheel Thunder? Yep, all of it.

4 Wheel Thunder is an abhorrent racer where the track design is awful and the vehicle you’re using doesn’t matter. Littered throughout each course are speed boosts that must be used liberally if you want to not be dead last. The AI is ruthlessly difficult as it takes every turn perfectly and knows every shortcut. How this was eventually converted into part of Midway’s Thunder series of games is beyond me. It’s the kind of game one would get for a four-year-old who is the perfect audience for monster trucks. The problem is that the four-year-old would also have enough common sense to realize this game is utter garbage. — C. Dawson

#216. F-1 World Grand Prix

Video System
April 25, 2000

Right up top here I’m gonna show my hand as to my Americanism and just say that Formula One racing is boring as hell. That’s not saying NASCAR isn’t boring too. And I fully get that it takes a lot of talent and skill to be a professional racecar driver, but that same thing could be said about professional jugglers and when was the last time you genuinely found one of them interesting? At least with NASCAR you get to witness the circus of social mayhem going on around it while you get progressively more tanked on $11 Bud Limes (although given the right setting, that same thing could also be said of jugglers). F-1 World Grand Prix just lets you pretend to fine-tune your well made European automobile while you cautiously guide it around a sterile raceway rendered in 1999 quality graphics. If given the choice whether or not to play this game again, honestly, I would rather watch a juggler. — J. Knapp

#215. Confidential Mission

May 15, 2001

The illegitimate child of James Bond and House of the Dead.

The Dreamcast was full of peripherals. From maracas to microphones, it certainly wasn’t afraid to try new things. That acceptance of alternate control methods and willingness to port arcade titles meant that there were a few games that made use of a light gun. While The House of the Dead 2 was the undisputed light gun darling of the console, Confidential Mission was the awkward girl who just didn’t understand why no one liked her. Your personality was as flat as your “jokes,” Jennifer.

Confidential Mission leans into the self-mockery of being a poor imitation of James Bond without any of the humor. The male lead, Howard Gibson, has a generic “European” accent that isn’t quite discernable. His girl Friday is Jean Clifford who serves as nothing more than a digital host for the second player. The villains are over the top but are as memorable as a fart in the elevator.

The enemy density is ridiculous and playing it without a light gun is a miserable experience. Where The House of the Dead 2 was terrible in all the right ways, Confidential Mission only succeeds in being banal. — C. Dawson

#214. Incoming

December 1, 1999
Rage Software

Why did the early 2000s hate aliens so much?

Looking back at old reviews of Incoming makes me feel like if I brought a reviewer from then to the present time, they would lose their goddamned minds like a medieval peasant eating a Dorito.

Incoming has aged about as gracefully as an 80s rock star. The core gameplay is alright but not very innovative or engaging. Players take control of anti-air turrets, helicopters, and tanks to repel an alien invasion. The plot is worse than your average anime fan fiction and the whole thing stops being entertaining about 15 minutes in.

While the PC version might have been melting desktops at the time, the Dreamcast version was a step down in terms of graphical fidelity. Mythbusters proved a turd can be polished, there’s no helping Incoming. It’s a relic of the past and better off left there. — C. Dawson

#213. Virtua Athlete 2000

September 13, 2000

Stumbling out of the blocks.

What the actual fuck. Who kept approving these track and field games? For those that haven’t had the distinct displeasure of playing one of God’s mistakes, let me sum it up for you real quick. In literally every event, you’re going to hammer on the X or A button like a 20-year-old flicking the bean before ending things abruptly with a timed press of the B button. For those that have utilized this strategy in their own lives, you will shamefully remember that the results were often disappointing.

The only “good” thing about Virtua Athlete 2000 is the ability to create your own athlete. Despite your best efforts, they will always look like an escaped figure from a third-rate wax museum. You then take this mute abomination to the field where their success is determined by you having a turbo button on your controller or not.

Completing a tournament is an endurance test and, like fucking with a half-limp dick, you’ll be wishing it was over almost immediately so you can lay in bed alone with your shame. — C. Dawson

#212. NFL Quarterback Club 2000

November 29, 1999
Acclaim Studios Austin

Acclaim Sports

It’s really hard to come up with something clever to write when a game is as distractingly dull as NFL Quarterback Club 2000. At the time this game was released the blueprint for what makes a compelling console sports game had already been well established, but for whatever reason Acclaim decided that what was holding back the genre was them having any semblance of personality. Gameplay feels like you’re picking filing options in an off-brand tax software, and even the spectacle aspects that series’ like Madden use to make its players feel like they’re actually experiencing a football game, as opposed to watching a powerpoint presentation on proton mass, are completely absent. Is it at least technically competent? Hell, who even cares. There’s not even enough here to salvage a middling compliment. — J. Knapp

#211. 4×4 Evo

October 31, 2000
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers

I can’t even with this game.

You can race damn near anything in gaming. Cars, boats, planes, hoverbikes…anything. However, SUVs, just straight up SUVs that your average person drives around on the regular, why are we racing these? It’s like a bunch of moms just dropped off their kids at school and decided to rip around a trailer park before hitting the nearest Starbucks.

4×4 Evo is the furthest thing from revolutionary. It isn’t even particularly good. Instead, what it should be remembered for is being one of the first games to have cross-platform online play. Players on Windows, Mac, and Dreamcast could race against one another on premade or user-generated tracks. In 2001 when dial-up was common and DSL was the cream of the crop, this was mind-blowing.

4×4 Evo still has online capability thanks to a server hosted by Dreamcast-Talk. So, if you have a fondness for this below-average racer, then by all means, have at it. Otherwise, there are plenty of other off-road games that are miles ahead. — C. Dawson

#210. Jeremy McGrath Motocross 2000

August 8, 2000
Acclaim Studios Salt Lake City

Firing this game up starts promising, as the sounds of The Offspring, The Official Band of Extremely Taking It To the Max™, welcome you to Jeremy McGrath’s Motocross Bullshit. Starting a race brought many questions, like, ‘Does this game think I’m sick?’ and ‘Why is it letting me win?’ I start a race on even the highest difficulty and half of my opponents just all fucking take each other out like they’ve never rode dirt bikes before, leaving me free to struggle through the race and crash four times and still win. They also blew their good music budget on The Offspring, I’m afraid. Everything else is bland rubbish. One of the five or six worst motocross games I’ve ever played. — M. Roebuck

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