Tagged "Sonic"

Apr 17
By Matt Gander In Cache in the Attic 3 Comments

Proving that us videogamers really are just big kids, a lot of videogame related toys have sold for stunning amounts on eBay this month.

The most noteworthy of these is a golden vinyl Uncharted 3 toy said to be one of only 11 in the world. “For ages 15 and up” pointed out the seller but we don’t think anybody under the age of 15 would have had the money to buy it – it ended at £627.

A set of Battletoads figures from 1992 also fetched $71 (8 bids). We like the way that the seller included a photo of the reverse of the figures just so we could check out the toads’ tight buns.

A set of ceramic Donkey Kong figures from 1998 – including Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and the hateable Funky Kong – didn’t sell for quite as much as the above, but $23.50 (4 bids) seems pretty good seeing that don’t appear to be that well made. Hard to believe they’re official merchandise, actually.

This Super Mario ‘crash action police car’ from the dire Mario Bros. Movie sold for a whole lot more – £57.99 (7 bids). We wonder if Bob Hoskins has a few of these up in his loft?

Sticking with merchandise for a little longer, this Mass Effect lithograph – one of only 75 sold – didn’t have a bad ending. It sold for $760.00 attracting only 6 bidders. An animation cel from the DiC Sonic cartoon didn’t fetch anywhere near as much ending at just $10.45. We wouldn’t advise clicking on this link to see it – it was an image of Dr. Robotnik in the shower. Nude, obviously.

How about some other stuff that was never available in shops? We’re quite surprised how cheaply this GameCube development kit sold for. It went for only £275 even though the seller was confident that it has never been used. This DS download station demo pod cart didn’t sell for a lot either, ending at only £22.99. Perhaps it would have sold for more if he’d bothered to mention what was on it.

A couple of Jaguar games have gone for a small packet. Both of these were released very late in the Jaguar’s life. So much so that it didn’t even have a pulse at the time. Battlesphere blasted $710 (2 bids) out of somebody’s PayPal account while Gorf for the Jaguar CD sold for the same amount but attracted 17 bidders. “Game has been played once by me,” said the seller. That bad, eh?

We’ve also discovered this month that there are more N-Gage collectors out there than we previously though. A rare copy of Sega Rally, which was released only in Australia, went for $455.00 after 19 bids. Hardest game to find on the system, apparently.

That’s nothing compared to what this Korean 3DO beat’em up sold for though. A colossal $1,725.00 (16 bids). We’re quite amused that the back of the box for The Eye of Typhoon features the same three screenshots.

Finishing off this month’s round-up are a couple of limited edition box sets. An incredibly rare factory sealed ‘Treasure Box Edition’ of Dead Island sold for £423 (27 bids). It was only available in Australia and came with a polo shirt, poster, comic book and some other stuff all enclosed in a wooden box. A Zelda: Ocarina of Time special edition managed to clear that figure though, ending at £789.99 (14 bids). What’s in the box? Not much – just the game, a badge and a T-shirt. The t-shirt was unworn though. It’s always nice to know that your expensive purchase isn’t going to stink of BO, isn’t it?

Feb 07
By Matt Gander In Blog 1 Comment

The recent announcement of Platinum Games’ involvement with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance just goes to show how unpredictable the world of video games can be at times. If only it were a little more unpredictable then maybe would we end up with one or more of the games below, fabricated from our very own imaginations.

We’d like… an Earth Defence Force developed by Volition – the brains behind Red Faction (RIP).

Why? While Red Faction and Earth Defence Force share the same focus on destruction, Volition’s games were backed with their own Geo Mod technology that let buildings explode in a spectacular fashion. Earth Defence Force’s buildings merely crumbled amidst some crudely drawn clouds of pixel dust.

What are the chances? Slim seeing as D3 publishes the EDF series and Volition are owned by THQ. If THQ go bust and Volition are sold off, then maybe.

We’d like… a Duke Nukem game developed by People Can Fly – the Bulletstorm chaps.

Why? The similarities between Duke Nukem and Bulletstorm are vast. They both star a foul-mouthed lead character who’s quite happy to kick the opposition when they’re down. The weapon assortment is likewise similar, with a mix of imaginative weapons such as shrink-rays and a gun that fires rocket-propelled drills. If there was one company that we know full well could turn Duke’s fortunes around, it would be People Can Fly.

What are the chances? Although the ending to Duke Nukem Forever hinted at a new Duke ‘em up, People Can Fly are reportedly working on a new Gears of War trilogy.

We’d like… to see Nintendo’s take on Sonic.

Why? It would be interesting to see how Nintendo would handle the blue blur if tasked with making a Sonic game. Would they play it safe and go for 2D or try to apply the things they’ve learned from the Mario Galaxy series and have a stab at making a decent 3D Sonic game? Would they redraw Sonic and give him a new look? What new power-ups would Nintendo devise? The mind boggles.

What are the chances? It would certainly gain a lot of press attention if Nintendo were to announce such a thing for the Wii U, and the Mario & Sonic games have proven to be very big sellers despite not quite being triple-A quality. What would be in it for Sega though? And do Nintendo really need to borrow another company’s character when Mario games shift plenty? Again, lots of questions.

We’d like… Star Wars: Battlefront 3, developed by DICE and running on the Frostbite engine.

Why? Battlefield 3’s multiplayer gives Call of Duty a run for its money and the large maps, use of vehicles and different character classes would apply to the Star Wars universe with ease. Seeing as the technology is already in place, DICE could probably knock it out in a year or so. EA could even call it Star Wars: Battlefield 3 if they were worried it wouldn’t sell well. We wouldn’t mind.

What are the chances? EA’s future for DICE no doubt consists of Battlefield, Battlefield and more Battlefield. However, EA is very good at sharing resources with their other in-house studios and they’ve dabbled with the Star Wars license recently for the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. They’d have to snag the Star Wars rights from LucasArts, mind.

We’d like… a fitness game disguised as an adventure game.

Why? There’s a stigma attached to fitness games such as Zumba Fitness. We won’t beat about the bush here – that stigma is that these games are primarily for females. Sure, a few male-focused fitness games exist such as UFC Trainer but they’re still not every gamer’s cup of tea.

We propose an adventure game controlled entirely by motion via the Kinect, split into 30 half-hour segments with a new chapter available every day. Previous chapters can be played if you’re wanting a longer workout. Along the way the main character will have to climb up mountains, fight bad guys, run away from trouble and engage other energetic pursuits that’ll require the player to run on the spot, kick and punch and jump around. Perhaps the main character could even get more toned as you play, reflecting your hard work. Doesn’t that sound more appealing than having Mel B yell “Feel the burn!” repeatedly?

What are the chances? Something like this already does exist – Jillian Michael’s Fitness Adventure, which has an adventure mode set within jungle temples. It’s still not something we’d leave out on view when our friends popped over though.

We’d like… a game based on the Asian movie extravaganza, Battle Royale.

Why? Battle Royale is perfect fodder for a non-linear, open world, video game. Not seen the movie? Allow us to bring you up to speed. A coach full of Asian high-school students gets hijacked. When the students awake they find themselves on a small island where they’re told that they must kill each other to survive. The last student standing gets to go home. Each student is handed a random weapon, from crossbows to frying pans, and they’re left to decide their outcome. The rebels get stuck into killing, the girls find refuge in a light house and have what can only be called a slumber party and the nerds get busy on their laptops to try and find a way to defuse the explosive collars around their necks.

Just think about the possible number of endings, which would add replay value, and how the random weapon selection would alter the way you play. Then there’s the potential boss battles against the school rebels, and having to decide who you can trust. The collars also prevent the students from staying in the same place for too long, so you’d be constantly kept on your toes.

What are the chances? Stranger things have happened, and it’s not like older movies aren’t made into modern day video games. Gremlins, Jaws and Back to the Future have all hit Wii recently. Just don’t let Techland, of Dead Island fame, near it. Y’hear?

Jan 25
By Matt Gander In Cache in the Attic No Comments

It has been said that during the winter, sales of retro games boom as a lot of people spend their evenings staying in the warm and thus need entertaining. We wouldn’t be surprised if a few people hope to recreate the magic of a Christmas long gone by purchasing a vintage console off eBay too.

This month’s eBay round-up backs this up with lots of things selling for silly prices. Money is hard to come by in January? Not if you’re a retro gamer it would seem.

Quite a few Sega Master System items have caught our attention. An Action Replay cheat cartridge sold for £109 on Buy It Now, a copy of Power Strike II went for £91 and a TecToy version of Road Rash shifted for £34.

A French seller has also been listing some reproduction carts containing the Game Gear versions of Sonic Triple Trouble and Sonic Drift Racing complete with authentic looking cases but only the former found a buyer.

On Game Gear meanwhile a factory sealed system sold for £225 on a US auction, a copy of The Itchy & Scratchy Game in its fetching bright yellow box went for £79.99 while a copy of the European-exclusive James Pond: Operation Starfi5h went for £50.

From Sega to Sony. A brand new PSone “bumdle” sold for £74 after 13 bids, containing a new joypad, memory card and a factory sealed copy of Spyro. A fully working PS2 development kit with manuals and software also went for £280. The seller wanted £50 postage. Is it made out of lead?

Onto Nintendo. The highest grossing auction this month was for a factory sealed copy of 10 Yard Fight on NES, which still had the plastic shelf hanger on it. It ended at $2,125 (£1,368) after 14 bids. Selling for a similar amount was this copy of Zelda II on Famicom, sealed and marked “Not for Resale”. It really is a curious looking little thing. A factory sealed Captain Commando on SNES also ended at $1,332.98 (£858.49) from 12 bids while a sealed copy of Konami’s Metal Warriors sold for slightly more – $1,350.00 (£869.45).

The seller of this Atari Lynx bundle undersold it a bit. Well, it sold at a decent price (£154) but you would have thought he would have made a bigger deal out of it including 47 games. That’s got to be half the entire Lynx catalogue.

In last month’s round-up we covered the fact that the Sonic Generations collector’s edition has been selling for large amounts. The prices have dropped at little – this one went for £86 (8 bids) and this one for £84 (27 bids) – but a few auctions have reached almost £200, like this one.

Dec 28
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

UK retailers have some incredible discounts at the moment – GAME has been selling Xenoblade: Chronicles and RAGE for £9.98 while yesterday Morrisons reduced half a dozen 3DS games to £7 a pop.

We’ll have to wait until next week though to see how the sales have affected the UK chart, as this week’s UK top 40 only takes us up to 24th December.

There’s a bit of a shake around in the top ten. Most significantly, FIFA 12 is back on top while the Christmas number one – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – now resides at #8. There’s a new entry at #10 too – EA’s new hope Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Rayman Origins is doing much better now that the price has been cut to around £20 – it’s now at #19, up from #25. Pre-Christmas price cuts for Sonic Generations have also helped Sega’s platformer with the blue blur dashing up from #19 to #15.

We’ll also be interested to see how Nintendo’s Boom Street on Wii does next week, as Nintendo rather curiously pulled the release date forward from early January to the end of December. Early reviews haven’t been too bad including a 7 from gamesTM.

Dec 15
By Matt Gander In Cache in the Attic 1 Comment

Usually our eBay round-ups are distinctly retro flavoured, but we’re kicking this month’s run down off with some new games.

The Sonic Generations Collector’s Edition is highly sought after, especially seeing it wasn’t released in the US. This big box pack, which comes with a Sonic statue and a ‘gold’ ring, has been selling from everything from £94 to £230. It goes without saying that if you see one of these in Cash Converters, snap it up.

America did though get Metal Gear Solid HD Collection before us Europeans and as the PS3 version is region free a lot of people have turned to eBay. A limited edition version also exists which comes with an art book. One of these sets went for £101 after 20 bids. Zavvi has the rights to the UK limited edition of which only 10,000 copies are being made – 6,000 on PS3 and 4,000 on Xbox 360. At the time of typing you can still pre-order it for £69.99 yet that hasn’t stopped people from bidding on this auction which ended at £240 after 25 bids.

Limited edition packs are nothing new. A seller has been trying to get shot of three very rare limited edition sets for the Mega Drive – Primal Rage, Phantom 2040 and Batman Forever – for £1,249.99 a pop but had no luck. He did later however sell the Phantom 2040 set for £376 (19 bids).

A seller also bagged £570 (24 bids) for the rare Sega 32X PAL version of Primal Rage. Just to show how common the US version is in comparison, a US version sold for £25.

On the SNES an apparently new copy of Titus’ Wild Guns fetched £537 (27 bids) while a new copy of Puzzle Bobble: Bust A Move went for £144 after 14 bids. How about a new SNES to play them on? A new Killer Instinct bundle sold for £195 (19 bids).

An Amstrad GX4000 console won’t set you back much. We’ve even heard of people struggling to sell them. A few games for it though are now worth a pretty penny – Panza Kick Boxing, Plotting and TinTin on the Moon sold for €134 (£114), €75 (£64) and €36 (£31) respectively. You have to feel sorry for any child that was given one of these for Xmas instead of a Mega Drive. It did though have a very good version of Pang.

Finally, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one that always sells for a packet but this auction ended higher than most – €369 (£315) from 15 bids. We’re quite amazed it has held its value seeing it has been on Xbox Live Arcade for a couple of years now.

Dec 07
By Matt Gander In We've Got Issues No Comments

Usually once a month we carefully hand-select a vintage videogame magazine from our extensive collection and give it a going over, but with Christmas upon us this month we’re instead looking at something different. That something is Grandream’s Official Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook from 1992.

As a youth, the Beano and Dandy Christmas annuals would take me hours to read through. I can remember being disappointed with this annual as I finished it in next to no time at all. A bit like Sonic 2, then.

Between the hardback covers were three Sonic comic strips, one rather sanitised Shinobi strip, an embarrassingly poor interview with Sonic himself and a rather out of place news section. The Sonic strips were drawn and written by different writers so they were rather inconsistent quality. The first started off with Robotnik watching a Tom and Jerry-style cartoon and then copying ideas from it. Cue Robotnik painting a fake tunnel on the side of a mountain. The second strip was set in Spring Yard Zone and saw Robotnik in his blimp chasing Sonic through the level. Eventually Robotnik built up so much speed that he vanished off the edge of the page. The final strip didn’t buck the trend for stupid ideas – here Sonic fooled Robotnik with a wooden cut-out and then attacked him from behind, before freeing his chums who have been locked in a shed. Just like in the game!

There was a quiz about half way through the book, which again is beyond poor. A screenshot of Tazmania on Mega Drive, with the question being “What game is this?” There are a few photos of ‘90s celebrities too which the reader was tasked with identifying. The photo of Julian Clary holding a Mega Drive joypad upside down is still rather amusing. There was also a photo of Andi Peters playing Ecco the Dolphin and one of Graham Gooch holding a Game Gear above a set of cricket wickets.

Towards the end of the book was a review section – Sonic 2, Sherlock Holmes, Wolfchild, The Flintstones and Jaguar XJ220 were given a quick going over. The reviewer described the sound in The Flintstones as being “fun”. Also: the reviewer claimed that when playing Sonic 2 in two-player, players compete to see who can get the most points.

The news section meanwhile contained a look at the then newly redesigned Mega Drive II and a piece confirming that Street Fighter II was coming to Mega Drive. The Master System didn’t get a single mention at all. There was though a competition to win a Mega CD, with a closing date of 28th February 1994 – more than a year after the book was released.

At least the Shinobi comic was nicely drawn, even if the story was as thin as the paper it was printed on. Joe Musashi broke into a building, had a fight with another ninja and then walked off into the distance victorious.

It could have been worse, I suppose. I could have received the Official 1992 Neighbours Annual for Christmas instead.

Oct 26
By Matt Gander In Cache in the Attic No Comments

We’ll kick off this month’s eBay round-up with Dreamcast malarkey, seeing it was 12 years ago this month that the system was released in Europe.

Selling for a fair old whack was a game that has only just been re-released – Resident Evil: Code Veronica. It wasn’t the retail version that sold for £124.99 though but rather a press promo copy.

A collector’s edition of the rare Japan-only shoot ’em up Under Defeat, which came with a CD, poster and sticker, nearly broke £100 too, selling for £99.95 on Buy It Now. Two copies of Samba de Amigo went for £84.95 and £71.99 (2 bids) respectively, complete with the maracas and mat.

Usually it’s the games released late in a system’s life that sell for hefty amounts in years to come. The Dreamcast’s back catalogue is no different – this month saw Evolution 2 sell for £55, Rez for £49.99, dull party game Sonic Shuffle for £39.99 and Capcom’s Cannon Spike for £38 (7 bids). It’s a little known fact Cannon Spike stars Arthur from Ghouls & Ghosts, Cammy from Street Fighter and Mega Man.

Speaking of the blue bomber, as fan’s often call him, an auction for two Mega Man SNES games ended at £489 (17 bids). Mega Man 7 and Mega Man X, if you’re wondering. I used to own Mega Man X when it was first released. I think I traded it in for Stunt Race FX.

Also in the world of Nintendo, a rather nicely looked after Nintendo 64 collection sold for £929 (24 bids), which included 40 boxed games like the desirable Sin & Punishment, Banjo-Tooie, Resident Evil 2 and Paper Mario. If I were the buyer I’d be sticking that copy of Carmageddon 64 straight back on eBay. Or in the bin.

An incredibly rare Zelda III and Metroid III double pack netted one seller £524.42 (38 bids) while a Game & Watch LCD game sold for £797.77 (23 bids). There’s a little bit of history behind the Game & Watch – it was originally known as Helmet, but the distributor changed the name to Headache for the UK market thinking the word helmet was a bit too rude.

Back to Sega now. Think Virtua Racing on the Saturn was the closest to the arcade? Well about having the actual arcade cabinet in your home? Somebody with room to spare paid £360 for a Virtua Racing coin-op after 14 bids. A boxed copy of Tails’ Adventure on Game Gear – which we hope makes it onto the 3DS virtual console some when – sold for £160 (29 bids), and a set of unboxed Sonic Adventure figures sold for £165 (4 bids).

A bundle of eight Master System games almost hit £200 too. The high price is down to the fact that the bundle contained Masters of Combat, a 2D fighting game that was a very late release. If you read the seller’s notes he explains that people were offering him as little as £20 for it outside of the auction.

There hasn’t been much going on in the PlayStation collecting scene apart from the usual likes of Suikoden and Castlevania selling for loads. We did though think that it was odd that this sealed copy of Tomb Raider sold for £60. A copy of the often forgotten Squaresoft 3D brawler Ehrgeiz went for £62.99 too, still sealed. It’s not a very good game but it features Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, which makes it desirable to collectors.

We rarely feature Atari in these round-ups, so here’s some Atari stuff that’s been selling for significant amounts. The toilet-shaped Atari Jaguar CD had very few games and even fewer good ones, but that didn’t stop somebody acquiring one for £147 after 13 bids. A sealed copy of Atari Karts on Jaguar sold for £89 on Buy It Now, while a prototype Atari 2600 cartridge of the bizarrely named Rabbit Transit went for $250 (£156) attracting just one bidder. Nobody wanted these new Atari bed sheets though, and at £69 a set it’s not surprising.

Back in the world of the modern, a Crackdown 2 Xbox 360 – of which only five were made – sold for an eyebrow raising £1,320 after 4 bids. Let’s hope it doesn’t red ring, eh?

Oct 14
By Matt Gander In Retro 22 Comments

If you’ve been a reader of Games Asylum since the beginning, then you have our sympathy. Those that have been with us the whole time though will know that Games Asylum’s roots go back to a Dreamcast site named DigiApe.

Glamorous it wasn’t, being a mixture of HTML coding errors and sloppy grammar and spelling but what it lacked in looks it made up for in enthusiasm – we honestly thought Sega was onto a winner with the Dreamcast.

It’s with DigiApe that myself, Adam and Jake cut our journalistic teeth, with my first ever review being Mattel’s Championship Surfer. Yeah, that old classic. Jake meanwhile made his debut as a news hound by reporting on Virtua Striker 3. He said that the players had nice looking shins. Adam? We forgot but it was probably something about monkeys.

We were keen to report all news Dreamcast related, right down to writing up the review scores from the likes of DC-UK and the Official Dreamcast Magazine. When Sega ditched the Dreamcast the site became a depressing sight – every other news story was confirmation of an anticipated release being canned – and when new releases became thin on the ground, the multi-format site you see here sprang up in its place.

It goes without saying that the Dreamcast has a special place in our collective hearts, and with today marking 12 years since the system launched in Europe there is no better time to share our memories of Sega’s dream machine. Except maybe for its 10th birthday, but we missed that.

Matt

Sonic Adventure

Being the Sega fan boy I was even the screenshots of Godzilla – the first Dreamcast game to be announced – was enough to make me want Sega’s latest. It was Sonic Adventure though that made most put down their deposits.

I can recall downloading the trailer on the college’s then speedy ADSL connection and then after an hour or so of waiting, watching it again and again. Come the Dreamcast’s release it was this and Power Stone I picked up from a midnight launch at Electronics Boutique. The infamous whale chase scene from the first level sticks in my mind the most; and it was that scene that was enough to persuade a friend to buy a Dreamcast the day after launch.

The adventure sections weren’t very well thought out at all, being downright confusing in places, but the chance to run around loops and sprint round corkscrews at high speed made up for the messes that they were.

Power Stone

As Teletext’s Digister said all those years ago, this is “the closest you’ll get to ever being in a bar fight”.

Battles were pleasingly chaotic, and each of the environments had their own secret bits to find, such as being able to swing around the lampposts and kick your rival in the face on the 18th century London stage. Pots, tables and chairs could be thrown and weapons were fun to use too. Once three gems were collected you could change into a character that looked like they’d walked off the set of Power Rangers. This is a good thing.

Amusingly, one of the characters had a name change for the western release – Fokker became Falcon, for the obvious reason.

I usually roll my eyes when Capcom announces that they’re re-releasing one of their older games on PSN or XBLA, but this is one I’d be genuinely thrilled to see appear as a download.

Shenmue

It’s easy to forget how long Europe had to wait for Shenmue. Eleven months after it was released in Japan, to be precise. All the while the magazines of the era drip fed us information and the latest screenshots of the English translation, teasing us with tidbits.

Worth the wait? Absolutely. The task at hand was clear – to find who came to Ryo’s house that rainy day and killed his father – but distractions lay around every corner. Playing some of Sega’s classic arcade games, collecting gashpon toys, having a game darts and testing your might at arm wrestling. And of course, looking for sailors. This was part of the plot though. Honest.

We never saw a conclusion to the Shenmue trilogy so I just assume that at the end of Shenmue II the cave’s roof fell in mere seconds after the picture faded out.

Jake

TrickStyle

The Dreamcast was released just as I headed off to university. The game that most captured the collective attention of my flat in halls of residence wasn’t one of the obvious big hitters, but TrickStyle, Acclaim’s middlingly-received hoverboard racer, developed by a pre-Burnout Criterion.

But I bloody loved it – a nice feel to the anti-gravity board, good tracks, and tricks on top of it all.

My flatmates took to it as well, but not in two-player mode. It was for time trials that we’d pile into my room, taking it in turns to attempt to put together that perfect lap.

Favourite Dreamcast game? Yup.

Metropolis Street Racer

MSR was rather better critically received, but as I recall had its fair share of detractors on the online forums of the day. Yes, the Kudos system was flawed and a touch arbitrary, but it was at least consistent – accept that it works how it does, play on that basis, and there’s no problem. As far as I was concerned, anyway.

It’s the locations that really stick in my mind, though. I only appreciated quite how accurately they represented the real-world when I was walking around London from one games show to another, in what must have been 2001, and realised that I only knew where I was going because of MSR. An precursor to Google Street View, if you like.

That also goes to show that I probably played it rather too much.

Crazy Taxi

Did the demise of the Dreamcast bring to an end the era when arcade conversions were kind of a big deal? Probably. Does that also mean that console games today are a bit less fun, in an instant, throwaway sort of way? Possibly.

Crazy Taxi was nothing but fun. Stupid, repetitive, unforgiving, loud, brash fun. It’s one-note gameplay probably has more in common with mobile apps than with modern console games. Times have changed.

Eurogamer‘s recent review of the XBLA and PSN release of the game makes me even more nervous to revisit the game. It was definitely good then, though.

Adam

Jet Set Radio

According to The Wayback Machine, this was the first game I reviewed on this site’s predecessor DigiApe. I liked it a lot back then, and it remains one of my favourite memories of the Dreamcast. I believe I said it was the “best game since Crazy Taxi”, and gave it a lofty 9.5/10, back when I was a foolish 17 year old who thought review scores with decimal places made sense.

Due to its innovative-for-the-time cel shaded graphics, it probably holds up pretty well today. I’ll remember it as one of the most stylish, and really quite fun, games of its time.

Phantasy Star Online

“Is this the best game in existence?” I asked (not too seriously I hope) back in the year 2000. Further research has gone on to show that no, Phantasy Star Online probably isn’t the best game in existence, but it’s still a bit of a landmark title. This was World of Warcraft four years before World of Warcraft (albeit limited to four players and without a massive persistent online world). Or more accurately, it was the first noteworthy online RPG to grace a console.

It was a bit magical, and there hasn’t really been anything like it since, aside from the slightly disappointing Phantasy Star Universe and various PSP titles. PSO remains an iconic name, and fans can still look forward to the much anticipated Phantasy Star Online 2, due for release next year.

Samba de Amigo

Ok, this wouldn’t really make my top three Dreamcast games, but the other two guys above me picked Shenmue and Crazy Taxi. Still, Samba de Amigo is great for three reasons – monkeys, maracas, and Ricky Martin. You can’t really ask for much more than that.

At the time it came packed with a set of maracas, and a slightly extortionate price tag. Clearly it’s a game that has stood the test of time, as Sega re-released it on the Wii a few years ago. If only we knew back then, what we now know about a certain Ricky Martin.

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