Top 12 Disney Games on the Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast's short lifespan (relatively speaking) didn't lend itself to a large number of "big" licenses coming to the console. Alongside Sega's own franchises, we received a third-party lineup that was - again, relative to other consoles - not huge, with a couple of noticeable exceptions (think Capcom). This proved to be both a blessing and a curse for the Dreamcast. It allowed the console to hold a rather unique place amongst its peers: it wasn't plagued by sub-standard licensed games, but was also missing some rather popular titles, which led to the console being considered a little more "niche". Of course we did receive our share of big name releases, and alongside the sports leagues, professional skateboarder and vehicle licenses, we did see a small but not inconsequential number of games that fell under the umbrella of the worldwide media behemoth Disney.

Many of Disney's licenses, above and beyond their big-eared animated rodent, are popular the world over. And, as long as there have been licensed video games, Disney have been publishing tie-in games in order to ring as much money out of their animated movie releases as possible. Unlike some of their competitors though, Disney has a rather unique place in gaming with a series of titles released, especially in the early '90s, that were really rather good. Far from being quick movie adaptations, the likes of Castle of Illusion, Aladdin and The Jungle Book helped define the 2D platformer age and have aged particularly well both technically and in the nostalgic memory of players. 

Disney's legacy on the Dreamcast is perhaps not quite so fondly remembered, but there were still some decent animated adventures. Plus, thanks to the company's subsequent attempts at monopolising the entertainment industry, these days the Dreamcast now finds itself the home to several Disney-owned licenses that are worthy of at least a look. Some of the games on this list are probably not what you were expecting to see when you clicked onto this article (sorry!), but thanks to Disney's rather aggressive business pursuits, all of the games on this list technically now fall under the umbrella of The Mouse, even if they didn't originally on release...

(All pictures in this article were either taken by myself using my rather mediocre screen capturing setup, or from the fine folks over at MobyGames.)

12. Disney's Dinosaur

Just breaking into the top dozen of Disney titles on the Dreamcast is this tie-in with the somewhat forgotten 2000s movie "Dinosaur" - which always seems to be referred to as "Disney's Dinosaur" for some reason. Whilst it isn't one of the company's biggest or most fondly remembered films, it was still a decent family-friendly romp, and anything with dinosaurs in is always going to have a ready-made fanbase of kids who can't get enough of the prehistoric reptiles. 

As a game it has some interesting points – it's a puzzle adventure title aimed at the kid's market where you switch between a trio of characters, each of whom have different abilities and skills, and make progress by utilising the right character for the right task. The isometric/top-down graphics are nice and there are loads of snippets from the film included, but the game suffers from being just a bit average – which is a criticism that can be levelled against the movie as well. The puzzles aren't all that interesting, relying on the sort of generic setup that the all-encompassing "action-adventure" genre revels in. The combat is disappointing and the controls leave something to be desired. It's not a terrible game, especially if you're part of the target market or a fan of the film, but it's all a bit too generic and unremarkable to make it any higher on this list.

11. Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

Next up and just missing out on a spot in the top ten is an adaption of an animated TV series which itself is a spin-off from Disney Pixar's ever-popular Toy Story franchise. Centred around the exploits of the Buzz Lightyear character (although not the toy version we've come to love, but rather the character which the toy is based on in the film's own lore) this is a fun if sometimes generic action-adventure title, developed by Traveller's Tales (who are more well known today for developing the incredibly popular and multi-license spanning Lego games).

The action involves platforming, running, shooting and beating similar looking baddies, quite typical for a licensed game of this type. Whilst it is never particularly innovative, it does at least deliver an approachable and enjoyable gameplay experience. Graphically, the PlayStation roots of the game are rather glaring with blocky characters and a lack of texture that stands in stark contract to the best the Dreamcast has to offer, although they are still bright and colourful (it's worth noting the Dreamcast version was the first to release, although it's glaringly obvious that it was developed in tandem with the inferior hardware of Sony's machine). The links to the Sony release are also evident in the game's general performance, which holds up for the most part, although sometimes descends into bouts of slowdown. The game does deliver in other areas though, with a decent soundtrack and plenty of snippets of dialogue taken from the show, as well as some sort video clips. The issue throughout the game is that there isn't anything to really criticise - it does a good job at bringing the TV series to life for its young audience, but can never escape being a quite average, middle-of-the-road licensed title that feels very similar to a bunch of other similar games in the early 3D age. For those who love the character and have nostalgia for the series, it's worth a look today and it's far from being a bad game - but don't expect a poll-topping title here. 

10. ESPN International Track and Field

Due to being acquired by Disney back in 1996, titles branded with the name of sports broadcaster ESPN most definitely qualify for this list, and we have no less than two such examples which saw a release on the Dreamcast. One of these was the awful ESPN NBA 2Night (which most definitely is not good enough to appear here), but the other was the rather enjoyable ESPN International Track and Field. With its ESPN branding in both the US and PAL regions (with the Japanese Olympic committee instead holding this place for the Japanese release)  it combines a big sports license with Konami's genre-leading multi-sport mastery. 

Whilst its pedigree is unquestionable, its porting from the PlayStation is rather more suspect. Angular athletes and poor textures are impossible to overlook visually, and as with similar ports to the Dreamcast, they stand in stark contrast to those titles that utilise the console properly. There aren't many events on offer (just eight to start with, plus a further four to unlock) and the controls are too simple, which, when coupled with a difficulty level that is too low, means there is little depth - players will find themselves breaking multiple world records on their first few attempts! In fact, for a solo player, it's very difficult to find much in the way of positive things to say about the game - but that changes when you have a few friends round. With others, the game excels like all of its genre cousins do - E-sports the way we used to do them back in my day. It's always fun to beat your friend in the 100m, even if it means giving him a dead arm to do so, and as a post-pub button masher it does a lot really quite well. Lacking from a single player perspective, its heritage and enjoyable multiplayer elevates it into the top ten here.

9. Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

Traveller's Tales' second appearance on this list sees them tackling the official tie-in of Pixar's classic Toy Story 2, a movie which has become a favourite with Disney fans the world over. TT had already tackled the transition to video gaming for the first entry in the film franchise which ended up being a highly impressive, technically proficient 16-bit title. Whilst there is much to enjoy with Toy Story 2 on Dreamcast, they didn't quite manage to hit gold in that same way this time around. 

Whilst Toy Story 2 saw some enhancements for its release on Sega's Dream machine, the visuals aren't a massive step up from the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions (which arrived more than six months before this release) with a grainy, low resolution look. In other areas, though, it is really charming. Exploring the well-designed environments, hunting for tokens and defeating a variety of toys which are all presented with respect for the source material, is enjoyable. There are also a few cool sections (like the first-person shooting mode) which add variety and harken back to some of the genre-breaking elements of the 16-bit Toy Story title. 

It's just a shame that there are some issues present which dent some of the enjoyment you can get out of the game. The control is loose, with a poor camera, and the stuttering frame rate and respawning enemies will frustrate the younger target audience and annoy the rest of us as well. The missions are on the generic side of things and repeat too often, and whilst some nice bosses and the aforementioned breaks in genre style add some much needed variety, it ultimately never rises above being a rather bland, often frustrating, 3D action-adventure licensed title. The reason it beats several other games lower down on this list is solely the nostalgia and weight of the franchise. This is Toy Story 2, a genuine animated classic that many of us will have fond memories of and which a return to now, in retrospect, is rather enjoyable no matter what medium it's done in. 

8. 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue

It's a bit odd playing this one in 2024. You'd be forgiven, if you're not a real Disney nut, for thinking that this kid-friendly 3D platformer-adventure was a tie in with an animated sequel to the Disney classic, as I certainly did. However I'd forgotten that the movie tie-in here is actually with a live action release (and a quite enjoyable one too, if that's your sort of thing). Somehow this makes the game more impressive, adding a spot of imagination to proceedings. 

Developed by Toys for Bob (branded as Crystal Dynamics) and ported by Prolific Publishing, 102 Dalmatians takes the rather predictable genre route that numerous other era movie tie-ins did, but does so in a much more polished way which not only takes advantage of the license, but also remembers to be enjoyable at the same time. You control the adorable Oddball or Domino on a mission (as the title suggests) to rescue your spotted canine pals from the evil Cruella de Vil. It doesn't take advantage of the power of Sega's machine and relies a little too heavily on some gaming clichés, but the colourful levels (many of which boast an artistic touch which recalls classic Disney animation) are a pleasure to play, the controls are good and there's loads of variety with some really interesting mini-games. Fans of the movie are well served with numerous nods to various scenes, and there's a slickness to the presentation and the audio. It's also very user friendly, which marks it out as a great child-friendly title to introduce the Dreamcast to youngsters. 

7. Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles

Whilst few of us could have foreseen it back in 1999, Star Wars is now an established part of the Disney empire. Living through the relative drought that was the early '90s was a tough time for many Star Wars fans, and the idea that there would be a day where we'd be seeing countless TV shows, new trilogies of films and sections of theme parks all dedicated to the adventures in a galaxy far, far away seemed out of reach. Thanks in large part to the deep pockets of Disney, this is now the reality we live in. Star Wars is, unquestionably, bigger than ever - and that is saying something.

The first stab at new on-screen content for the franchise, however, was not an outright success. Episode I: The Phantom Menace may have had somewhat of a critical reappraisal in recent years, but for me it will always be a slightly lumbering, slightly boring continuation of the original films, reliant too heavily on a few set pieces (one of which may very well feature in a slightly higher place in this article), and lacking the simple joy that George Lucas brought us in the late '70s.

Video gaming, however, was one medium in which Star Wars always shone brightly, even in the "barren years" between Return and the prequel trilogy. The excellent 16-bit platformers on the SNES, the glorious arcade releases, the X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter series, Dark Forces, Jedi Knight... the list goes on. So when Lucas finally managed to conjure up Episode I for an eager public, we knew it was pretty much guaranteed that we'd see some virtual companion pieces to it, and boy - did we ever. For the next couple of years after the film's release, we saw the official tie-in game for the movie, an arcade racer, a couple of handheld titles, some fighter combat titles, and numerous other games that introduced lore seen in the new film to the Star Wars game universe. On the Dreamcast we received a few titles - one didn't make this list (whilst it may be the least "Episode I" game of the bunch, it's still breathtakingly awful), one sits further up this list, then here in the seventh spot, we have Jedi Power Battles - a title which, whilst not perfect, is a pretty enjoyable romp around the universe.

Originally released to a rather dismal reception on the PlayStation, Jedi Power Battles on the Dreamcast is a much improved product. A 3D roaming beat 'em up, it's the lightsabers which are central to the game's combat (as they should be) as you follow the plot of the film (albeit in a rather loose fashion), visiting the various cinematic locales. Visually, its roots on Sony's machine are rather obvious, lacking the crispness of many Dreamcast releases, while also having various graphical bugs to contend with, but the characters themselves, as well as the animation, are of a decent quality. The gameplay consists of defeating large swathes of  enemies with your trusty saber and even throws some force elements into the mix, which is always a popular choice with Star Wars games. Unfortunately the gameplay does get a tad repetitive quite quickly as the action itself doesn't differ a whole lot from scene to scene. You can target your opponents, but this is a bit fiddly and the controls do have a tendency to feel a bit unresponsive at times, but for the most part, the combat is satisfying enough to battle through. The two-player co-operative mode, in which you can play through the whole game, is a very welcome inclusion and is by far the best way to experience the game. The game is certainly a bit rough around the edges, and the satisfying combat can't help but get a little tiresome after a while, but this is a really decent game and one of the best Episode I tie-in games. But there is another...

6. Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour

When ranking these games, I tried to take into account how "Disney" they felt. Whilst for the most part this ended up being thrown out of the window in exchange for just enjoying the best games outright, Magical Racing Tour owes a lot of its ranking here to the fact that it is both simultaneously the most Disney title on the console, and the least. Confused? Well you're probably feeling the same as I did when I booted up this game to see a complete lack of any characters that were beloved by fans, aside from a couple of annoying chipmunks - but let's step back a second.

Developed by Crystal Dynamics (with the Dreamcast version again being ported by Prolific Publishing), this awkwardly named title has a pretty simple, and rather ingenious, concept at its heart - a kart racing game with the various, world-renowned Disney theme park attractions as the basis of its stages. With a license that rich, Magical Racing Tour had a legitimate prospect of dethroning the Italian plumber from karting dominance, as it could potentially call upon the legions of characters, franchises and Disney spectacle to deliver an experience for the ages. Unfortunately, there was a reason why this dream didn't materialise. One look at the cast of unknown characters (with a few C-list Disney ones thrown in) and you sense things may be going in a direction you could not have foreseen. To be fair, the tracks are pretty good, although overly long, based as they are around the various park locations that any regular visitor to a Disney theme park will be more than familiar with. Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain and Jungle Cruise all make an appearance and there are plenty of little references in each track to illicit a smile from any fan, including the accurate soundtrack for each "ride" (mostly - a few use different music). But racing through these rides without popular Disney characters just feels... odd. There's no Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, no Goofy or Minnie; not even characters from classic animated movies like Alice in Wonderland, Snow White or Aladdin. Instead we have Chip and Dale and Jimminy Cricket as the only recognisable faces amongst a bunch of anthropomorphised racers with little charm. Obviously the license only covered the park's rides themselves, but you'd have thought at least Mickey or Donald would make an appearance? These choices result in a game that ends up feeling both very Disney (as a real nostalgia trip for any park visitors) and very un-Disney (a bunch of unlikable characters with only the veneer of the Disney magic). 

As a game, whilst it has its fair share of problems, this is a decent kart racer. Control is solid (often a real issue with these types of releases), there is plenty of content, and the visuals are varied, bright and colourful. There is also a fair amount of challenge, which, whilst probably off-putting for what you'd expect to be the game's target audience, at least lends itself to having some shelf life. Unfortunately, some of this challenge comes from a cheating AI that consistently uses the numerous track shortcuts before you even know they exist, and generally doesn't act very much like a human player would. If you have a friend over and think that playing the game's multiplayer mode might be a great way to ease this issue somewhat, all I can is good luck, as the multiplayer mode is sadly near unplayable due to frame rate and slow down issues that plague the whole game - but this mode more drastically. Visually, the game can look a little bit of a mess as well, with decidedly PS1-quality graphics and a sometimes overly muddy look to proceedings. These issues are annoying but don't devalue the game completely, and whilst it is no Mario-beater, Magical Racing Tour still manages to remain a charming and fun little racer.

5. Donald Duck Quack Attack / Goin' Quackers

We're getting to the cream of the top now as we enter the top five with a game that Disney purists would probably say (spoiler alert) is the highest ranked "traditional" Disney title in this article. First appearing back in the 1930s, Donald Duck is known worldwide and has garnered quite the following. His image has appeared on all manner of merchandise, animated features, comic books, theme park attractions, cartoon series and beyond, and has an almost cult-like following in some parts of Europe. For me, Donald is a better character than the squeaky clean Mickey, with an ever-present element of anarchy that makes him a bit more endearing. Of course not everyone shares the same love for this hero - but he's less annoying than Goofy at least, right?

Disney's avian mascot made his way to the Dreamcast in this clearly Crash Bandicoot-inspired 3D platformer. Unlike many games of this era which were labelled as such, the platforming here is very much ever present (the tendency to label any 3D cartoon-style action game as a 3D "platformer" is something I've done myself more than once) and it feels like a real 3D evolution of earlier platform titles. Levels are played from different camera angles, with colourful visuals that capture the magic of Donald Duck's adventures, with some solid platforming mechanics and lots of classic animated humour thrown in. The boss battles are really good fun, serving to mix up the platforming elements with bold, colourful 3D stages. Presentation wise, it really delivers, and brings that Disney charm to fruition really successfully. The game, however, is far too easy and far too short, with each of the world's levels being a little too similar to each other. It's not a chore to replay levels to make sure everything is collected for purposes of full completion, but there isn't quite enough content here to get excited by. Ubisoft clearly went with a game that would cater to the young audience that they presumed would embrace a Donald Duck title, but reducing the challenge really underestimated just how good kids are at games, and reduced the interest the more nostalgic gamer can have with the game as a consequence. It's a fun and enjoyable game, no doubt, and it's only really the lack of ambition and challenge which keeps it from being a proper classic. On the Dreamcast, though, there's nothing better for "traditional" Disney fans.

4. Spider-Man

Disney's 21st century expansion has really turned the image of the company around in many peoples eyes. No longer just a vehicle for more traditional animated fairy tale and mythological takes, Disney is now a juggernaut of a company, with two enormously popular franchises very much at the wheel and driving them into an action-packed future. One of these, of course, is Star Wars, which has already been seen on this list, but alongside George Lucas's epic galactic war of good and evil sits an even more expansive universe - the Marvel universe. Whilst always immensely popular, most Marvel properties have taken on a whole new level of rabid fandom with the multi-film cinematic universe, theme park rides and countless merchandise tie-ins seen in the last two decades. One character, however, who sort of transcended the "Marvel" tag and had already created his own individual cult, is Spider-Man.

As a kid growing up, I wasn't into American comics (and I'm still not today, being very much a fan of the 2000AD style of British comics, but that's a whole other story), but I was aware of some of the big hitters, usually through other mediums. Superman was known through his film exploits, Batman will always be synonymous with Sunday afternoon viewings of Adam West, and I hazily remember the exploits of Lou Ferrigno-era Hulk... but alongside them there was Spider-Man. The animated series was incredibly popular, the theme tune is an all-time classic, and there was always something just a little cool about a kid getting bit by a spider then taking on bad guys. I enjoyed Spider-Man's earlier video gaming exploits - the Master System game may not be super highly regarded, but it's an early gaming memory for me, while the Mega-CD release sort of blew my mind with its scope. Then there's this 3D outing, originally developed by Neversoft (famous for the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series), and ported by Treyarch (who also handled the Dreamcast Hawk ports).

Spidey's appearance on the Dreamcast is a welcome one, especially for those raised on a diet of animated Spider-Man on television. As soon as the remixed version of the '60s series' soundtrack kicks in, you know it is going to be good. This action-adventure throws in a heap of characters, plenty of items to unlock, and a varied set of levels, all of which utilise Spider-Man's various arachnid abilities. Whether swinging from building to building, webbing up the bad guys, or just indulging in some good old fisticuffs, it uses the source material incredibly well and plays great. Camera control is a little off at times, but you'll be having too much fun kicking arse to care - and besides, this just about gets away with being an early enough example of a 3D console game to get away with it. Stan Lee and the voice actors from the '90s Spider-Man series providing their voices to the well-scripted story elements is an excellent touch, whilst having comic covers for each chapter just adds a little bit of class to an exceptionally presented game. The story features a reformed Doc Ock and a Spider-Man doppelgänger, and is generally pretty good, with plenty of comic book clichés. It also features some pretty spectacular boss battles which are well worth making your way through the game for. It does have a tendency to look a little bit too much like a PlayStation game at times, and the graphics (using the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater engine) can occasionally be a little bland, but the character animation is superb. It feels a little long in the tooth nowadays, what with the various web-slinging exploits that have come out since surpassing the ideas present here, but Spider-Man was arguably the first great 3D Spider-Man title and is a welcome addition to the Dreamcast (and Disney) library.

3. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

The short lifespan of the Dreamcast meant we were lacking in various types of games, one of those being the "super hero" game. Not a genre in of itself - rather a broad church of games with (mainly) American licensed comic book heroes as their main characters - the super hero game has been a mainstay in video gaming right from the earliest days of home entertainment. On the Dreamcast, we had to make do with only a few examples (including the preceding entry in this list) - but what we did have in plentiful supply was one-on-one fighters. With the exception of the Sega Saturn, there may have never been a fighting game lineup quite as good as that found on the Dreamcast, pound for pound and taking into account how long the console was around for. Much of this lineup of exceptional genre hits was down to one company - Capcom. The Japanese publisher/developer shared Sega's exalted position at the top of '90s arcades, and in the Dreamcast era they treated us to a stellar catalogue of fighting games, many of which still hold up today. Quite possibly chief among these were their crossover fighting titles - including this entry in the list, Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes.

Following on from solely Marvel-licensed 2D fighters of the mid-'90s, Capcom started to cross over their own characters with the comic brand, initially with Street Fighter/Marvel mash ups (which were very good) and then with this full-on Marvel/Capcom brawler which scaled new heights. Whilst based on the same combo style that the Street Fighter series both pioneered and mastered, the game differs in key areas. The bouts are all tag team-based, allowing for multiple unlikely combinations between characters from the two camps. Combos are huge - 30-40 chains are common, and the gameplay can be as much vertical as it is horizontal, with mid-air combos playing as vital a role as the massive projectile-based hyper combos. The multitude of moves are aimed at easy execution for accessibility, and with elements such as calling in secondary characters to deliver blows, and the "cross fever" mode which utilises all four controller ports for intense two-on-two fighting alongside the dizzying levels of fan service, Capcom made this for the fans of both brands and for fighting game newcomers as much as diehard fans of the genre. It looks and sounds as superb as you'd expect - Capcom's technical mastery delivers no slowdown, with slick controls and top notch music and speech, whilst visually there is a bold and colourful cast with vibrant backgrounds which combines both the artistry of the Capcom back-catalogue and the timeless comic book designs that Marvel are renowned for. 

You will need an arcade stick, or the ASCII fighting pad, to get the most out of the game as the standard Dreamcast controller is a bit useless. It's also best to dust off the old CRT TV to let the 2D artwork really shine as it doesn't "pop" quite so much on a modern flat screen display. Whilst the game is overshadowed by its own sequel on the Dreamcast (most notably due to the considerably larger roster), I find the slightly less chaotic nature of the fighting still makes the game one to play for any fighting fan or Marvel fanboy. Is it really the "Disney" game you expected when clicking on this article? I'd expect not, but it's one hell of a game either way.

2. Star Wars Episode I: Racer

Out of the trio of Star Wars titles for the Dreamcast, this one stands heads and shoulders above the rest. It doesn't deliver a space-epic title full of fighter-to-capital ship combat, lightsaber duels or legions of stormtroopers to take down, but instead focuses on one element from one single movie and turns it into a title that manages to touch on elements of Star Wars in-universe lore that few others touched. All in the guise of a racing title; not exactly the genre immediately associated with the series.

Whilst we never received a port of the excellent Sega-developed Star Wars: Arcade Racer (a truly spectacular game) on the Dreamcast, the one truly iconic moment from the first of the prequel trilogy did make its way to the console with a port of this well-received Nintendo 64/PC racer. Ultra-fast racing around diverse and epic looking locations spanning the Star Wars Universe was the game's promise, and it delivered. The speed is the number one attraction here and it is spectacular, giving a real sense of velocity that few "futuristic racers" manage to achieve. The blurry graphics of the Nintendo 64 version have been improved upon significantly for the Dreamcast port, and the controls have been tightened up, creating the best home version of the game both aesthetically and from a gameplay perspective. Whilst visually it's not quite up there with the best on the console, it still manages to handle the speed of the racing well, and the scenic tracks will be both instantly recognisable to Star Wars fans, and visually appealing to everyone. The action is excellent and is backed by the magnificent soundtrack of the films, with neat touches like on-the-fly repairs, upgrade options, shortcuts, competitive AI, and generally a polished, solid and smooth racing title. The multiplayer retains a decent frame rate, and whilst the graphics are still a little below some Dreamcast compatriots, it's the speed which impresses most, even with a second player. There are a few flaws - a bit of a difficulty spike can stall progress significantly, tracks can be overly long, and there are some long loading pauses – but overall this is an exciting excursion to the Star Wars universe, one which utilises the source material well, and featuring some thrilling racing action. Quite probably the best Star Wars licensed title on any Sega home machine.

Why is it the second best Disney title on the console though? Well first of all it's about as close to experiencing a Star Wars ride as you can get, whilst also retaining intense and fun gameplay. There's also fan service aplenty and a sense of spectacle that fits into the Disney theme park style quite well. It's another title that the traditional Disney fan won't claim as their own, but its very nearly the best Disney-owned license on the console. There is one more though...

1. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

We've reached the end of this journey into the best Disney licenses on the Dreamcast. Whilst some of the titles that have made up the lower ends of this list could not truly be called "great games", it's only fitting that we round things off with an awesome, license-spanning, spectacular treat of a title that oozes style and fan service but retains that most important of all elements - being a damn good game.

If Marvel vs. Capcom was the appetiser of Dreamcast crossover fighting insanity, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the main course; a sumptuous meal of exalted fighting game mechanics and some of the most recognisable characters in the world. Take everything from the last game, turn it right the way up to 11, and you get this almost mind-bogglingly deep sequel. The two-on-two battles have gone and have been replaced by three-on-three interchangeable fights. There are 56 characters on offer – 56. In 2000. It was impressive then, and still remains so now. From a Marvel point of view, the cast is a real all-star lineup; Captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk all make an appearance, alongside X-Men favourites (Wolverine, Storm, Gambit, and more), and arch Marvel villains such as Doctor Doom and Magneto. There's so many more that space doesn't permit me listing, but suffice to say that your favourites are almost certainly here. 

Each character is animated with Capcom's trademark 2D style, with some gorgeous Marvel-style artwork in between battles too. The backgrounds are also now rendered in 3D and look ace. Visually, it's both a step up from its predecessor and a proper eye-popping graphical spectacle. The combos and hyper-combos that are unleashed are spectacular screen filling affairs - this is fighting using every pixel of space available. When in battle, instead of having a third "support" character as was the case in the first MvC game, you can now call in combos or assists from your other team members and each have different effects – three in all per character. This delivers a huge amount of depth and plenty of opportunity to explore the many different moves. Each mode allows you to acquire points which can be spent at the in-game shop where extra characters, outfits and scenes can be bought to appease even the most ardent fanboy. This means you need to spend some serious time with the game to unlock everything it has to offer, but luckily the gameplay holds up for this extended play time. 

MvC 2 isn't exactly the refined Capcom fighting style that Street Fighter aficionados are used to however, instead focusing on the outrageous, the flamboyant, of style - maybe - over substance. Beginners can button mash whilst the grizzled veterans can learn the subtleties, and whilst that may annoy some of the more devout, it opens the game up to an audience few other fighters can (arguably only Soulcalibur matches its mass appeal on the Dreamcast). There are only four attack buttons used, which reduces the complexity of the game while also making the Dreamcast pad a viable choice (unlike the original game where an arcade stick was pretty much a requisite). Bouts will descend into absolute carnage in no time, and the visual glory is mesmerising.

Now that Marvel is such a core and beloved part of the Disney family, MvC2 can take its rightful place at the top of the Disney-on-Dreamcast pile. It does everything you want from a fighting game, everything you want as a Marvel fan, and is a game that you can get properly excited about, even now.


Did you enjoy our look at the best Disney games on the Dreamcast? Did we miss something out that we should have included? Maybe you're the one person who thinks Star Wars Demolition deserved a place in this top twelve? Leave a comment or get in touch with us at all our normal social media places.


DCGX said...

When I saw the title of this article I immediately wondered if there were that many Disney games on Dreamcast, but this is really stretching it lol

I recently played through 'Goin' Quakers,' and you're right all around. The presentation is fantastic and it's a lot of fun, but way too easy and short. I beat it 100% in one sitting.

I have the other Disney games, sans 'Dinosaur,' but haven't played them yet. I have played the Star Wars and versus games. Solid.

zgillet said...

Oooooooh.... "Disney" games.