The Vita Lounge dammit!
Calm down, dear - I'll tell you for why. But before I do, let me just say that after having more than a passing interest in the Dreamcast for the best part of 20 years, I'm well aware of actual portable Dreamcasts. Oh, and Treamcasts. Now that's out of the way, on with the show...!
Incidentally, Sega has offered far more in the way of classic game support to Nintendo's 3DS than the PS Vita, what with the awesome Sega 3D Classics compendiums and all, but with regards to actual titles that you can also play on a Dreamcast...well the Vita has many more. And while they may not be necessarily based on Dreamcast code, they're basically the same games in most cases. So, with this in mind which Dreamcast games, or those with Dreamcast derivatives can you expect to find on your trusty old PlayStation Vita? Below you'll find a little list, along with some observations on the conversions and comparisons to the Dreamcast originals.
Crazy Taxi Fare Wars came to the PSP in 2007 and was developed by Sniper Studios, a short-lived developer made up of ex-Electronic Arts and Sega staff, according to the Wikipedia entry. Sniper Studios no longer exists and this curious outfit only have the one credit to their name...which is Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars. Fare Wars is a double game pack comprising the first two Crazy Taxi games, but not the third...which may have been down to a licensing issue with Microsoft as Crazy Taxi 3 was an Xbox exclusive on consoles.
Another PSP game masquerading on the Vita, Capcom's Power Stone Collection fares slightly better than Fare Wars in that both of the games it contains are pretty much identical to the originals. There is no slowdown and the graphics are pretty faithful and on top of this it even features the VMU mini games as extras. Initially, only Falcon's Aerial Adventure is available but with continued play in the main Power Stone games you can unlock others. Naturally, the GUI isn't a VMU (it looks more like a Game & Watch), but it does a pretty good job of emulating the authentic LCD experience of the humble VMU. A VMU being emulated on a PSP being emulated on a Vita. Now there's a thing.
SNK's The Last Blade 2 is widely regarded as one of the finest 2D fighters on the Dreamcast, and with good reason. Set in feudal Japan, the game's combat leans more towards precise weapon-based techniques and is a far more skilful experience than many a 2D brawler. Indeed, upon first sampling The Last Blade 2 (on the Neo-Geo AES, no less), I couldn't help but feel a little overwhelmed by just how uncompromising the fighting mechanics were. That said, after a good while with the Dreamcast game I found my rhythm and The Last Blade 2 revealed its delights as one of the finest one-on-one fighters not just on the Dreamcast, but to ever grace a cartridge or optical media.
As with The Last Blade 2, Garou: Mark of the Wolves is remaster of sorts for both the PS Vita and PlayStation 4 and has pretty much the same going for it as the other SNK fighter mentioned above. Garou (or Fatal Fury in the US) is another Dreamcast brawler that pushed the envelope for how good these types of games could get on home consoles. The music is outstanding and the artwork is the typical SNK mastery. It has a truly awesome cast of characters and some fantastic locations in which to put fists and feet on a direct collision course with someone's chin. Between Garou and The Last Blade, you really do have two of the best 2D fighting games ever created.
OK, so I'm taking liberties now with Dragon's Crown but there's a couple of interesting points when it comes to Vanillaware's medieval phantasy beat 'em up. First and foremost, while it categorically isn't a game you can (or ever could) play on a Dreamcast, Dragon's Crown started life as an intended Dreamcast game. There is plenty of documentation to back this up over at Unseen64, and the Wikipedia entry on Dragon's Crown also has some intriguing information on the early roots of this fine Guardian Heroes-style side-scroller.
to this Eurogamer article the game was going to be reinstated, but as of January 2017 Dragon's Crown has still not reappeared, so the only way you can get it if you're in Europe is if you purchased it before it vanished and can still access the download from your library. Very strange.
Of course, the PS Vita and the PSP before it both have the ability to play emulated original PlayStation games, many of which also appeared on the Dreamcast. Naturally, the Dreamcast versions of these titles were enhanced in various ways due to the Sega system's vastly superior specifications. However, in the name of completeness I thought it should also be noted that the following games are all available through the PlayStation Store and can also be found on the Dreamcast: Rayman 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, several Guilty Gear games, Fighting Force 2, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and Tomb Raider: Chronicles.
Of course, if you want to get technical you could say that any PS1 game that also appeared on Dreamcast can be played on a PSP if it is cracked and has the right firmware installed...but for the sake of consistency and not getting thrown into the black hole of Calcutta, we'll just keep it to 'official' titles available through 'legal' channels.