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 IPHONE FEATURE

10 Dreamcast games we'd like to see on iOS and Android

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Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
The mostly successful launch of Crazy Taxi on iOS has got us pondering one of gaming's great subjects - ace old Dreamcast games.

More specifically, we've been wondering which other delights released on Sega's great underappreciated (commercially, at least) 128-bit console would be ripe for an iOS or Android conversion.

To be clear here, we're not just compiling another Dreamcast best-of list. There are plenty of those sorts of lists on the internet already - just Google it... but not yet.

Nope, we're thinking of the Dreamcast games that were almost designed with both the strengths and constraints of touchy feely devices running iOS or Android in mind. (Dreamcast devs were renowned for their soothsaying skills, you see.)

Space Channel 5

The iPad and the iPhone do rhythm-action very well indeed. Those lovely responsive touchscreens might not be great for fighting games, but they're perfect for tapping away to a funky beat.

And the beats don't come much funkier than those in Space Channel 5.

It's the usual beat-matching fare, but with a retro-futuristic The Jetsons vibe and lots of gaudy Japanese visuals. Space Channel 5 is one of the best examples of the genre, and it would work beautifully on iPhone and iPad.

Power Stone 2

If we were to compile a list of sadly defunct console franchises, Power Stone would be in there somewhere.

It's a brilliantly madcap 3D arena brawler with OTT power-ups and the ability to use the environment to your advantage.

While Power Stone 2 is the best of the two instalments in the series, a PSP conversion that bundled both titles into the excellent Power Stone Collection was released a few years ago. We wouldn't mind some of that on iOS or Android. At all.

Skies of Arcadia

The iOS platform has rather unexpectedly revitalised the JRPG scene in recent years. It makes sense when you think about it, though: these tactical, story-driven games don't suffer from the constraints of virtual controls like more action-oriented conversions.

That's why we reckon Skies of Arcadia would be a perfect fit for Apple's mobile platform.

It's arguably the best RPG game on the Dreamcast, with its quirky Jules Verne universe populated by sky pirates and floating islands. It also eschews the use of grumpy lead characters and calamitous events in favour of a refreshingly light-hearted tone.

Ferrari F355 Challenge

Sega is one of the best in the business when it comes to arcade racers, but Ferrari F355 Challenge is often overlooked - mainly because it's not your typical arcade racer.

While the Dreamcast original was based on a whopping great arcade machine, the game handles more like a home console racing sim.

As the name suggests, it's based around the Ferrari F355. In fact, the Ferrari F355 is the only model in the game.

It's got a surprisingly precise handling model for a Sega racer, but we reckon the emphasis on tight, accurate control could work well with the excellent accelerometers on iOS and 'droid devices. Purists will no doubt be spitting coffee all over their Ferrari jackets at the idea, however.

Ikaruga

If it's a little hyperbolic to say that iOS has been the saviour of the 2D shmup, it's certainly given the flagging genre a pep talk.

The platform has already attracted fan-favourite shoot-'em-up developer Cave, so it's really about time Treasure jumped on board, too.

How about a conversion of one of the Japanese company's best-loved titles, for starters?

Ikaruga made its console debut on Dreamcast, where it picked up a cult following for its fresh light / dark switching gameplay and stunning two-tone visuals. It would work great on iOS - particularly on iPad.

The Typing of the Dead

For this quirky little gem, WOW Entertainment took the popular House of the Dead arcade light gun game and grafted it onto an educational spelling game.

Yes, you read that right. In order to fend off the undead in The Typing of the Dead, you have to be quick and accurate with your spelling.

Sounds like it would be right at home on iOS, right? Funnily enough, there's already an iOS version called Flick Of The Dead, but it's only out in Japan. How about an English translation, eh, WOW?

Rez

We thought long and hard about putting Rez on this list. It holds a special place in many gamers' hearts - not least our own - so an ill-fitting conversion of this Dreamcast gem is almost too horrible to conceive.

And yet there's a part of us that thinks this could really work - at least, on an iPad or a Nexus 7.

It's a kind of third-person on-rails shooter with beat matching and light show elements mixed in. The gameplay involves targeting multiple opponents by sweeping an aiming reticule over them, rather like clicking and dragging on a desktop. This simple mechanic could be made to work pretty smoothly on iOS and Android, we reckon.

Shenmue

Shenmue is arguably the gaming series that's most representative of the Dreamcast itself. It's brave, quirky, ahead of its time, adored by a small group of gamers, and a bit of a sales flop.

It puts you in the shoes of Ryo Hazuki, who attempts to solve the mystery of his father's murder.

When we say that you're put in Ryu's shoes, we mean it - you'll chat to locals, indulge in leisure activities, work jobs, and train yourself in advanced martial arts.

Shenmue's range of diversions and mini-games could be made to work well on iOS and Android, and we'd like to think that success on those two platforms would prompt a conclusion to Ryu's unfinished story.

Seaman

Okay, this one's a bit of a left field choice. But, Seaman IS probably the Dreamcast title that could well fit best on iOS.

It's a life simulator in which you nurture a bizarre intelligent sea creature with a man's head. 'Nintendogs on acid' might be the only way to describe it. The fact that it's narrated by Leonard Nimoy only adds to the off-kilter charm.

The Dreamcast original came bundled with a microphone peripheral so you could talk to your weird fishy pet, which would translate perfectly to mic-laden iOS and Android gizmos. How your average Draw Something fan would receive the game is another matter entirely.

Sega Bass Fishing

Sticking with the aquatic theme - but in slightly more grounded territory - we have Sega Bass Fishing.

Only Sega could make fishing exciting, and that's exactly what it managed to do here.

As with Seaman, Sega Bass Fishing had its own special controller when it launched on Dreamcast. Again, though, the motion-sensing technology that required such extra hardware is now built into iOS and 'droid handsets, so you'd be able to cast your line with a flick of the wrist.
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 18 October 2012
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