In my previous blog entry, I reported the Dreamcast Collection being confirmed by Sega and expressed a little bit of disappointment in what was included. After reading some of the comments posted on Sega’s Facebook, official message board and blog posts, I let things sink in and thought about the whole thing. I think it’s safe to say that some fans are upset for the absolute wrong reasons, including myself somewhat.
Let’s start with the first reason fans are upset – the collection itself. When most fans heard the title, they assumed it’d be a massive collection of Dreamcast games compiled onto a disc. The problem with this is that it’d be impossible to plant down several Dreamcast games onto one disc unless it were Blu-ray. However, this isn’t the case as Dreamcast Collection isn’t going to be available for the PlayStation 3 and will only be available for the Xbox 360 and PC. Dreamcast games normally take up 1GB of space, which was the max capacity a GD-ROM (the Dreamcast’s proprietary disc) could hold. Assuming the four titles included in the collection took up 1GB each, that’d make the total around 4GB, which is the max capacity of a regular, single-layer DVD. Should they spring for a dual-layer DVD to add in more? Well, that’s where the next problem comes in.
Fans expected Sega to include titles like Shenmue and Shenmue II, as well as Skies of Arcadia and Jet Set Radio. We’ll start off with the obvious; the Shenmue series and Skies of Arcadia are multi-disc games. This means they would take up more space, including the Shenmue series for being roughly three to four discs long in length. While time could be saved by using the Xbox port of Shenmue II, it could also lead to the same emulation issues the game has when using the original Xbox disc on an Xbox 360. Be sure to also consider the fact that none of those games are currently available right now.
Yes, we all know you want those games right off the bat, but remember that Sega is also a company that needs to make a profit. If you were to offer all of your best games right off the bat, what incentive would customers have to buy possible later collections with the lesser known games? What Sega’s doing here is broadening their reach on what’s already available (and about to be available). If you already own some of these games, this compilation is not for you. This set’s intended for people who don’t have enough room on their 360 hard drives to store all four of them, as well as giving PC gamers a chance to own this collection. In the end, Sega isn’t to blame for the disappointment. In reality, it’s the fanbase that’s to blame. They got their hopes up over the announcement of a product, expecting it to be something else and then throwing a tantrum when it didn’t live up to their expectations. The exact same thing happened with Nintendo’s release of Super Mario All-Stars on the Wii.
One other complaint I see happens to be about the inclusion of Sega Bass Fishing. Plenty of people are questioning whether it was truly worth adding and if anyone even wanted it to begin with. The answer to both of those is “yes.” Most of the complaints seem to stem from the idea that “fishing game = bad.” Normally, I’d agree if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s surprisingly a good arcade game. Then again it shouldn’t be surprising, considering who it’s coming from. A bit of research shows that AM1 was responsible for the arcade version, while SIMS developed the Dreamcast port. AM1 is well known for having worked on the arcade versions of Altered Beast, Golden Axe and even The House of the Dead series. You might also know them as Wow Entertainment, who made the Sega GT series. While SIMS doesn’t have a large library, they did bring port The House of the Dead 2 and Sega Bass Fishing over to the Dreamcast. To top it off, it is one of the few Dreamcast titles to sell over a million units in order to reach the “Sega All-Stars” budget re-release lineup Sega created, similar to Nintendo’s “Players’ Choice” and Sony’s “Greatest Hits.”
Finally, the number one thing I notice and even Sega knows full and well about are people asking for games that appeared on the Dreamcast but were never made by Sega. If you were to look around, you’ll no doubt encounter someone asking Sega to release the Power Stone titles, Soul Calibur and even Grandia II. The problem here is that, as I meantioned, Sega does not own these games. In fact, all of those third party titles I mentioned were released on different platforms, such as the PSP, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and PC. Just because it appeared on the console does not mean Sega owned it at all. That would be like expecting Sony to release a Pokémon collection on the PSP. It’s just not gonna happen.
So all in all, is it something you *have* to get? If you already own the games, then no. If you’ve been looking to grab these but didn’t have the space on your Xbox 360 hard drive or were waiting for a PC release, then this set will definitely tide you over. For $30, you’ll be getting four Dreamcast games in one package. That’s definitely a bargain compared to the total cost of getting them individually.