29. Red Dog: Superior Firepower (SEGA/Argonaut Games)
One of those games that passed everybody by, most Dreamcast owners probably never even heard of the understocked, under-promoted Red Dog. Designed by the team behind Super Nintendo classic Star Fox, this played much the same way as the tank sections of that game only without the restriction of being on-rails.
The immersive physics ensure the all-terrain buggy you cart around in is really fun to control, especially as you boost around corners and speed over bumps in the road. There’s also a varied array of weapons and cool gadgets for the vehicle, which you can play about with whilst exploring the game’s six distinct maps to a pumping techno soundtrack.
Yes, there are only six levels and – seeing as you’d be unlikely to revisit the wealth of split-screen multi-player options on the disc ten years on – this accounts for Red Dog’s relatively low placing on this list. However, for hardened Dreamcast collectors looking to catch-up on some curios they missed the first time around, the superior shoot-em-up gameplay is well worth raiding second hand bins for.
28. Seaman (SEGA/Vivarium)
SL: A life changing experience… or at least a terrifyingly unnerving one – Seaman really does need to seen to be believed. Sitting up late at night and having a conversation with a human faced fish, or hearing Leonard Nimoy scalding you for not keeping the tank clean, you quickly realize this could only have existed during the ground-breaking Dreamcast era.
Never released in Europe, Seaman was a pet game which played like a cross between more recent games Nintendogs and Spore. In it gamers were invited to help cultivate a tank full of fish with human faces. That’s really what it was. Possibly the oddest game ever conceived, you used the Dreamcast microphone to teach your Seaman language, starting with baby talk and ending up with it capable of more complex stuff.
Truth be know, the mic didn’t always work that well – which is hardly surprising seeing as how similar speech recognition software-based games rarely ever seem to work even a decade later – but it was still an interesting piece of work.
The best thing about it is that the Seaman grow up to say some really creepy things, such as “put this tongue in that mouth? Dream on” and the ominous “so listen… do you have any kids?” Phrases made even more creepy by the fact that they speak like the G-man from Half-Life. And the whole thing was narrated by Leonard Nemoy… for some reason.
Not really a game you ever have to actually play yourself, if you don’t have the requisite patience the of best Seaman can be effectively gleaned by watching clips online.
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This article was first posted on August 29, 2011