a.) Throw up
b.) Get naked
c.) Soil myself (or a combination of all three...)
So as you can imagine I don't get invited out much! However, it would seem that more sober minded types actually invite large groups of friends round then crank up the old Dreamcast.
Samba De Amigo: OK! The obvious choice, perhaps. Before the Wii came out, the Dreamcast had taken rhythm based games to a new level. Using a pair of motion sensor maracas and a grinning, on screen dancing monkey, players could shake along to a number of tunes including the Chumbawumba classic "Tub Thumping" or my own favourite, the theme from Rocky. A series of coloured dots fly out from the middle of the screen toward points at the right or left of the screen, based at the top, bottom or middle. The object of the game involves shaking the maracas in sync with the dots and occasionally striking a pose, which matches that of an, on screen, maraca holding, stick man.
Largely heralded as an innovative and definitive Dreamcast game, Samba De Amigo saw a brief re-emergence on the PS2 as part of the Sega Superstars package. And our very own Gagaman(n) has brought a lot of traffic to the 'Yard, by postulating that this could be a perfect game for re-release on the Wii.
Watching your mates wiggling their maracas after a few shandies is very funny! For a comprehensive analysis of this particular title look here... And if you want to have a go yourself, you can buy the game and some third party maracas here...
Space Channel 5: Who could resist the gorgeous Ulala, roving reporter for the orbiting Space Channel 5? And news just in, the planet has been invaded by a fleet of funky (but evil) aliens who are hypnotising and kidnapping its inhabitants, through the medium of dance!Another rhythm game, Space Channel 5 demands you mash buttons and the D pad in the right sequence, as Ulala dances. Ulala shouts out instructions that you have to follow... ("Up, down, up, down, shoot, shoot, shoot!") The pace starts off slow, but as you progress through the levels of the game, the sequence of instructions gets more complicated and frantic.
The real party element comes from trying to remember these sequences whilst your brain becomes slowly more sozzled. The graphics and stylisation of this game are fabulous, but the music is what makes it for me. A soundtrack that could perhaps be described as "Retro-Futuristic Lounge music", plays throughout the game. If you successfully follow Ulala's directions you rescue people, if not, the aliens capture them and the music begins to distort out of tune and tempo... absolutely brilliant! Play through the levels and Michael Jackson turns up as Space Michael, but don't let that put you off...
Soul Calibur: This classic weapon based fighter has oft been celebrated on these hallowed pages, so no need to describe its game-play (See Fideo Friday). Suffice to say, that anyone can pick it up and play like an ass kicking ninja on steroids. And your friends will be so blown away by the graphics that you'll have an immediate conversation starter, about how seriously fucking great the Dreamcast is and how it never should have been beaten in the last gen console wars, by an over-hyped black DVD player from those corporate whores at Sony (Ahem!)
Chu Chu Rocket!: Four controllers, a cacophony of colours and a load of manic mice. Chu Chu Rocket! was developed by Sonic Team as the first Online game for the Dreamcast.
"ChuChu Rocket!'s multiplayer mode revolves around up to four players placing arrows on the level at once, trying to direct mice into their own rockets and cats into other players' rockets. Each player can only have three arrows on-screen at a time and cannot place them on other players' arrows or their own arrows. Although a simple concept, this quickly becomes frantic with the relentless speed of the mice and four players fighting over them." (Says Wikipedia)
What's great about this particular title, is that it's quality, but also the cheapest Dreamcast game you can buy... You'll usually be able to snag it for 99p at Gamestation. I think Sega gave it away with the Dreamcast, but as I was too stupid to get one back then you'll have to confirm that for me...
Who Want's To Be A Millionaire?: If you've seen the show, you'll know what this is, a general knowledge multiple choice quiz, where the player (up to four) can gamble ever increasing amounts of cash as questions get harder... Drinking and quizzes go great together, and it's particularly gratifying to see your mates crash and burn at £500,000 by making a cocky assertion when they could have used a life-line.
Speaking of the lifelines, "Ask the audience" gives you a graph showing the most likely answer, "50:50" cuts the multiple choice answers down from four to two. But the "phone a friend" life line is the funniest part of the game. Eidos picked the most rediculous voice actors ever to pose as your fictional chums, and their voices and accents are unintentionally hilarious. The 'dramatic' pauses intended to build up tension are a pain in the arse though, and the voice of host Chris Tarrant, can really get on your tits after a bit...
Loony Tunes Space Race: I could have chosen Wacky Races, Disney's Magical Racing or South Park Rally for this post, as all three games are based on the Mario Kart model of weapons based racing.
The thing that makes this particular game a little bit better than the rest, however, is that rather than driving a vehicle you fly a rocket! This gives the game a feeling of Wipeout, as you defy gravity around the circuit... In four player mode the game becomes hilarious as you use picked up "Acme Brand" weapons to sabotage your mate's progress. I've played this a few times with friends and its a riot if you've knocked a couple of beers back (are you noticing a recurrent theme here??)
This is just a sample of games that are party friendly... I'm sure you know loads more!
Oh! And as I've mentioned before, the Dreamcast can DJ at your party with its MP3 peripheral and a stereo hook up. Top banana!