Dreamcast games seem like a mighty fine fit on the Nintendo Switch. While Sony was scarfing up RPGs and single player experiences in 1999, SEGA began scrounging up arcade action and multiplayer games left and right, making its beloved yet short-lived console a bastion for those who love both local and online multiplayer. It’s these games which would have the best chance of thriving on the Nintendo Switch thanks to its unique multiplayer capabilities. Play them online, play them with a friend in your house, play them with your friends’ Switches for a good old fashioned LAN party.
As brethren in the “mid-generation” console gang, the Nintendo Switch and the Dreamcast go hand in hand. Here’s what we would like to see make its way to the Nintendo Switch over the coming years.
Jet Set Radio
The most obvious selection of the bunch. SEGA’s skating and vandalism game still resonates today with its fans, and its rebellious nature could thrive easily in a video game industry that is defined by big titles demanding conformity and colorful indie games inspiring all sorts of wacky ideas. Jet Set Radio falls into the later, and with a few tweaks to its multiplayer capabilities and graphical output, it could find a solid home on the Switch.
Its soundtrack alone is enough to be worthy of a comeback. Jet Set Radio is a game that dared to be different, and that’s a theme that matches with the Switch’s ambition of flying in the face of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Power Stone/Power Stone 2
While SoulCalibur remains the defining “best” fighting game on the SEGA Dreamcast, Power Stone is a better choice for a Nintendo Switch port. If we were to get a SoulCalibur build, it would most likely be the remastered HD version, which fans believe misses the point and falls way short of the masterpiece original.
No question, Power Stone is the better choice. It supports up to four players and had endless possibilities for a night of good times. It’s a game that won’t be overshadowed by the barrage of excellent 2D fighting games from the SNK catalog thanks to its unique overhead perspective on combat, and it somewhat falls into the same category as Super Smash Brothers in the amount of mayhem it allows.
Both the original and its sequel came to the PSP in fine fashion, but the problem is not many gamers, in North America at least where Monster Hunter hadn’t caught on yet, played their PSP with multiplayer in mind. The re-release flopped and Capcom is not likely to ever look at it again. That’s a shame because Power Stone is exactly the kind of game that would thrive on the Nintendo Switch.
Phantasy Star Online
Here’s a game that I will love until the end of my days, no matter how dead and buried below the ground it currently lies. Phantasy Star Online is very much a product of its time. It’s an early online console RPG that blends action and dungeon crawling with the raids you see in most modern MMORPGs. The difference, aside from SEGA’s pristine and classic presentation, is that this game came out before online gaming became a mainstay of the gaming world.
Those who gamed on it during the Dreamcast and even the GameCube eras got a look at how civil and friendly an online community could be. Advanced gamers would drop rare items just because they had no use for them, not demanding any money or trades in return, and everyone just seemed to get along. Phantasy Star Online felt like more like a game and less like a second job like most online MOBAs and MMORPGs have become these days. No clans, no teams, no in-game economy, no vile competition. It was the nicest, tightest online community you’ll ever find.
Probably because players couldn’t talk to each other and could only communicate through emojis.
SEGA is not likely to ever put this officially online again, but with a group of friends huddled around four Switches, it could be an excellent LAN game for old time’s sake.
Tough call here between Ikaruga and Crazy Taxi, but Ikaruga’s native multiplayer is the deal breaker. This game is a masterpiece of its genre, and fans hold it in the highest of regards. Ikaruga is often referred to as a thinking man’s SHMUP, as in it relies more on your ability to strategize and react to tight situations with your color swap ability rather than your tight reflexes.
Plus, I remember when the game came to the GameCube that players all tried to turn their televisions on their sides. This is because we weren’t yet used to vertical shooters in the Western world. Now, with the flip of your Nintendo Switch, the dream is entirely possible! It’s so easy to just turn the thing, much easier than turning a 60-inch television vertically, that’s for sure.
As IGN so eloquently put it so many years ago “our FROTHING DEMAND for this game INCREASES.” Well, as much as we like to poke fun, even in 2017, that statement has never been truer thanks to the Switch.
Skies of Arcadia
Not every game we’d play on the Nintendo Switch has to be arcade action or a multiplayer extravaganza. Skies of Arcadia is perhaps the most beloved of all the SEGA Dreamcast’s cult-hits, and it’s a JRPG! Let’s not forget that it is a very good one as well. I’m not going to call it a masterpiece like some will, but with the ability to play it in a boosted screen resolution and a few tweaks to its loading times and random battle encounters, it could be retooled into something much more fitted for the modern age.
Heck, why not take the Dragon Quest route and just do away with random encounters altogether. Fans wouldn’t mind one bit!
Sadly, the most accessible version of this game currently resides on the GameCube, but that only means it is automatically nominated for a Virtual Console port if Nintendo ever gets around to putting GameCube games on the Switch. Oh! Joyous day if that were ever to occur for Skies of Arcadia.