Common Themes in Dreamcast-Land

Ever since I was bought a Dreamcast for my Birthday in the November of 1999, right up until this year in which the last commercial games have been released in Japan, I have probably played close to 150 Dreamcast games in some form or another. Well, that’s only a guess, but counting all the games I’ve owned, then sold off to pay for others, and the odd ISO burning, it’s probably accurate. From all this button bashing, stick wiggling, and indeed, maraca shaking, be it fantastic games like Crazy taxi and Jet Set Radio to the mediocre ones like Redline Racer Nightmare Creatures 2, once in a while a strange phenomenon of deja vu occurs. Here I list just four that I’ve noticed quite frequently, but if anyone can jog my memory of any others that are not just common themes on all consoles, then be my guest.

San Francisco
Ah yes, the city with all those steep roads and palm trees. Firstly, we have the superb Crazy Taxi. Super Runabout, a game that plays very much like Crazy Taxi (only with more modes of transport and lousy controls) is also set there. San Francisco Rush 2049 is set in a futuristic (and somewhat void of human life) version of the place, but is still San fran none the less, and then there’s the first level in Sonic Adventure 2, which was also directly inspired by the city. I've also been reminded that the city also features (in great detail, but like Rush 2049, rather empty) in MSR.

Appearances: 6

Michael Jackson
Until Sega's last console came and went, the freaky ex-pop star had only made an appearance in one game, the Mega Drive title Moonwalker, based on his film of the same name. On the Dreamcast, however, he has popped up a few times in very unexpected places. He first popped up out of nowhere near the end of Space Channel 5, in which you save him from aliens so he can join your posse. In Space Channel 5: Part 2, he is part of your team from the very beginning, and has more of his trademark moves. He also begged Midway to add him to the line up of Ready to Rumble: Round 2, although I can’t really imagine him being all too tough in a real fight, to be honest. Finally, he had a unofficial appearance in 102 Dalmatians. Well, I think it’s him.

Appearances: 3 or 4

Yes, there have been fishing games in the past on many other formats, but thanks to Sega's rather clever Fishing controller, the Dreamcast sports quite a big collection of them. It all started with Sega Bass Fishing. followed by it's much superior follow-up Sega marine Fishing, as well a aproper, but dull as hell, sequel in the console's dying days with Sega Bass Fishing 2. While us Brit's only got one of these titles, the rest of the world not only got these 3 Sega games, but a few third-party titles as well, although these were more of the simulator breed, so they would be no interest to anyone under the age of 60 anyway. These games included Reel Fishing Wild and Fish Eyes Wild, for the record. Who wants to sit there waiting for the miserable sods to bite when you can have Mako sharks falling over each other to have a nibble of your bait in Marine Fishing? It doesn't' end there though, as Fish have popped up in two more games. Sonic Adventure featured the excruciating fishing levels starring Fat-Arse the cat, that may of been a bit mode enjoyable if you could play them with the fishing controller, and finally we have the only fish on the system that you don't have to yank out of the water to weigh, Seaman, the talking, (eventually) walking fish with a miserable boat face and additude to boot. Thought fishing was sad? Try talking to a mutant fish about Evolution and Politics! Speaking of Sonic and Fishing, look below for images of Sonic being tossed out for the fishes is Sega bass!

Appearances: 7

Bruce Lee knock-offs
This is actually a trend I’ve noticed in most popular fighting games series’, not just on Dreamcast, but I need more than three common themes in over wise this post will look rather spineless. We’re talking about the characters with the same squawky voice, same muscle-bound but skinny body, same eyebrows and sometimes even a pair of nun chucks, all of which the king of kung-fu were known for. On the Dreamcast alone we have Capcom’s Fei-Long in Super Street Fighter IIX and Street Fighter Alpha 3, Jann Lee in Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 2, Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat Gold, and Maxi in Soul Calibur. That’s not even including characters that share his same fighting techniques, just the ones that act and look a bit like him as well.

Appearances: At least 5

Note to self: never write an article in Word processor then try to copy it into Blogger. This post took so long to tinker with it should be illegal.


Anonymous said...

You say that Micheal Jackson had only appeared in one game before the Dreamcast came along, technically he was also in the isometric Shooter/Fighter that was the arcade version of Moonwalker

...and what is the comments section for other than being a massive pedantic geek

Anonymous said...

The one thing that always sticks in my mind from the dreamcast (great console btw, I still play Soul Calibur, Street Fighter 3 Third Strike and Ikaruga)is the giant scrolling word fetish. Dreamcast had loads of these, it might have just been a capcom fetish but it always seemed more prevalent on the dc. Nowadays it all looks so prim and proper, well I say balls to that where is my giant neon letters telling me what I just shelled out my cash for, and if it scrolls accross the screen in caps too then that is just fine.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the almost fully working San Francisco in PGR Grandaddy Metropolis Street Racer.

Animated AF said...

Of course! I knew there was another one somewhere! I'll add it in.

Anonymous said...

I think there were mutant fish in House of the Dead 2, obscure wire-frame fish-like things in Rez, and fish underwater in Crazy Taxi. If my memory serves me well.

Animated AF said...

Excluding the HOTD2 mutant fish, none of those other fish had key roles in the game. Nice try =P

Tom Charnock said...

there are also fish in Rayman 2, Sonic Adventure and Hydro Thunder! :)

Anonymous said...

uh, what about Ecco?

Animated AF said...

Ecco's not a fish, though/ It has fish in it but...yeah, shut up.

Tom Charnock said...

Yeah. Shut up, fool.

gnome said...

Before I too shut up, may I just gasp and add (in an impressed voise): "How very perceptive"?

fatherkrishna said...

Lets not forget the prediposition towards fairies... Sword Of The Beserk, Blue Stinger and Ryu in Shenmue (see Gaymue thread...)