A Quick Look At Yu Suzuki Game Works

Retro compilations on the Dreamcast are a mixed bag. We recently cast a judgemental eye over Namco Museum and came to the conclusion that while the game selection is great, the lack of any kind of extra content made it feel as if the collection was a rush job - especially when compared to the fantastic PlayStation editions. Prior to that, we looked at Atari Anniversary Edition and Sega Smash Pack...but now shit is about to get real. No more messing about - let's take a quick look at Yu Suzuki Game Works Volume 1.
Released exclusively in Japan at the end of 2001, Game Works is a rather excellent collection of classic arcade games created by the eponymous Yu Suzuki. The package comprises a disc containing 5 Sega arcade classics and a commemorative book that explains the history of the games, the development and the cabinets themselves.

Well, that's what I imagine it contains - I can't actually read it because it's all in Japanese and I can barely read English so my guess is as good as yours. Unless you speak/read Japanese. Probably should have gotten Ross to write this...but hey ho. Hindsight is always 20/20. The copy of the book and game I used to write this is not actually mine - I'm far too poor to afford to buy my own copy. No, this belongs to a gentleman named Jake who runs the excellent Megadrive.me site, so I would like to thank him for supplying this copy of Game Works; and I'd also recommend you head over to his site if the Megadrive/Genesis is a console you're interested in.

So Game Works, then. As mentioned, the disc contains five different Sega arcade greats - all of which were created by Yu suzuki. These games are:
  • Power Drift
  • Outrun
  • After Burner II
  • Hang-On
  • Space Harrier
I think the only one of these that hasn't made an appearance on the Dreamcast as part of some other game (see Shenmue for further info) is Power Drift. For the most part, they're all fairly accurate conversions/ports as far as I can tell and all play just as you'd expect. There are some oddities though. For example, the car in Outrun is not the usual Ferrari you'd expect to see (pictured below) and the advertising boards in Hang-On say stuff like 'Dobuita' and 'Shenmue.' I'm almost certain that someone out there knows all the minute differences in these versions of popular arcade classics, so if you do please feel free to comment.
At the bottom of this post you'll find a short (well, 10 minute) video of some gameplay and my voice waffling over the top, but the real point of this was just to show some images of the lovely book and the games themselves.
There will most likely be people out there who have never even heard of this collection simply because it's so uncommon and hard to find these days (and good luck finding it on eBay for less than about £80) so I thought it'd be cool to bring it back up again. Thinking about why Sega chose to create this package as an homage to Yu Suzuki and not simply release another Sega Ages style thing specifically for the Dreamcast, it's probably because most of the games had already been converted to the Dreamcast for use in Shenmue (as previously noted); and it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer to bunch them all together and release them as a collector's piece. And rinse more money out of folk. Who said that?!

Jokes aside, as far is retro compilations go this one is hard to beat and the fact that it's called 'Volume 1' possibly means that Sega had plans to release other volumes too in the future. Maybe if the Dreamcast hadn't been killed off so early we'd have gotten a 'Volume 2' featuring Scud Race et al. Maybe.

You may also like quick looks at:
Namco Museum
Atari Anniversary Edition
Sega Smash Pack


Unknown said...

I'm so jealous, great article. That's such a cool collection. And an even better collector piece. Is this your personal copy? They all look like great games.

Tom Charnock said...

No, it's not mine - I mentioned several times that I borrowed it from Jake at Megadrive.me! But yeah, I agree it's a very cool item!

hoogafanter said...

They have this for about $130 on ebay... I would bite but I got all these games 7 different ways lol