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Rev. Rob DreamcastTo celebrate the closing of the tenth year of Dreamcast gaming in the United States, The Rev. Rob Times proudly presents a synopsis of ten great Dreamcast games that most people never played. They’re not the ten best, but far from the ten worst. The thing they all have in common is style; the originality and quirkiness that defined Dreamcast. That, and none of them were big sellers.

Number 10: Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern
Released: August 31, 2001
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: Ubi Soft 
Developer: Ubi Studios UK 
Genre: Adventure

I’m the only person I know who likes this game. In fact, I am the only person I know who's ever even played it. I picked this up shortly after it was released. Sega was pulling the plug on Dreamcast and there was something of a game shortage. 

What I got was a surprisingly good and immersive adventure. You're introduced to the world of Pern; a far away planet that's inhabited by humans and dragons. There's just one problem, a comet passes by the planet once every 200 years or so and carries with it the thread, which are an organism that can destroy all life. Brave dragonriders take to the skies to destroy them with dragon fire to keep their world safe. I had never read any of the Dragon Riders of Pern books before, so this was all new to me. The Pern universe is an excellent setting for a video game. 

None of this happens in the game. It takes place in a time long after the last threat, and most of the populous isn't aware of the danger because no one who lived through it is still alive. So, what do dragonriders do during peace time? They're basically peace keepers, like planet's police, and are resent ed by many of the citizens. 

Players take control of D'Kor who is aided by his dragon, Zenth, and fire lizards. Fire lizards are like mini dragons. Your fire lizard follows you around wherever you go and hovers over items/areas that can be interacted with. D'Kor also has a dragon, but you'll never see them fly together in anything by a cut scene. Riders and their dragons are psychically linked, so Zenth is a constant companion and guide. 

I happened to really like Shenmue, and that's the closest thing that Dragon Riders is like. A straight up adventure with a lot of emphasis talking to NPCs and exploring. There are lots of mini quests to do which earn knowledge and reputation. The game puts up blocks so that you can't progress until you have a high enough ranking. 

The graphics are not Shenmue quality, however. Fortunately, the voice acting is much better. Ubi Studios UK did a more than competent job of casting voice actors and recording the lines. Even author Anne McCaffrey has a guest role. 

Combat really took some getting used to. Action it is not. D'Kor draws his sword and stands in one spot. Attacking is achieved by pointing toward the direction of the enemy. There's also the ability to block. 

The game was obviously rushed in an attempt to get it to the market before Dreamcast was completely dead. This is evident in a number of glitches that crop up. I recommend saving as often as possible. I had to twice restart my game because of bugs. 

I enjoyed the game so much that after I completed it I went and bought the first book... which really wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. Nonetheless, if any video game or movie were to come out of this property, I would be first in line to check it out.

Number 9: Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage
Released: March 15, 2000
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: Eidos Interactive 
Developer: Yuke's 
Genre: Action

Eidos published a lot games for Dreamcast, but Sword of the Berserk was the only one that was exclusive. Most were ports of PSOne games, like Tomb Raider, that were better off never being released. When Eidos cancelled the Dreamcast version of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, Dreamcast fans were furious. But, in March 2000, the Dreamcast market was pretty dry, and Sword of the Berserk represented a genre of bloody hack and slash fun that was underrepresented on Sega's thinking console. 

I didn't find out until later that this was based on a popular Japanese manga called "Berzerk," or that there was an anime series. I just knew that the game was easy to play, and that watching enemies gush with blood after whacking them with an over sized sword in a way that would make Ed Boon blush is cool. 

And is it fun? Well, yeah. It really is. It's not deep, it's short, and it's not fantastic, but it's entertaining for the few hours that it lasts. The game has a plot that revolves around saving a girl named Rita, who is a travelling performer that the protagonist (Guts) saves from bandits in the opening FMV. Guts has two traveling companions. Casca is mute and I get the feeling that Guts thinks she's cute. Puck is a naked genderless fairy. There are also plant zombies that kill people for no reason. So, you take Guts on a quest to heal Casca and stop the insane zombies. 

In battle you can use your ridiculously large sword combined with special moves to slice through a dozen enemies at a time with massive combos and much visual impressiveness. And that's what they get for standing so close to you. You also have projectile weapons (grenades, gun, infinite throwing knives) which comes in handy when enemies have a cross bow, or when you're in a place that's too frustratingly narrow to actually use the sword that you've come to love like a pet. There are some occasional camera issues too. It pays off though when you go into a "rage." The screen is tinted red, Guts' one eye glows red, and enemies just explode into red splatters. Very satisfying.

If you have a Dreamcast, and you haven't played this, it's worth the $10 that it goes for used. Just watch the video and see just how much blood can be on the screen at one time.

Number 8: Charge 'N Blast
Released: February 8, 2001
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: Xicat Interactive 
Developer: SIMS 
Genre: Action

One thing that SEGA had going for it was its huge arcade catalog. SEGA made some of the best arcade games of all time, and used that as a selling point for Master System, Genesis, 32X, Saturn, and to a lesser extent, Dreamcast. By the time that Dreamcast came around, arcades were already on the decline. Nevertheless, SEGA ported a number of its arcade properties to its newest home console. Some, like Crazy Taxi, were smash hits. Others, like Charge 'N Blast never received wide exposure. 

A lot of arcade games don't translate well to home consoles. They're short, lack depth, and don't have a lot of replay value. Charge 'N Blast definitely fits into this category, and unlike Crazy Taxi, there aren't a lot of extras crammed in for the home release. 

This is a straight arcade port from SIMS, which was a SEGA subsidiary at the time (and is now independent), and is one example of several where SEGA opted to not publish its own game on its own console. Thanks be to Xicat for bringing this previously unreleased arcade game to U.S. gamers. 

The "plot" is typically thin. This time we're saving the world from bad aliens that come from meteors. 

Though short and only moderately difficult, the game is fun and surprisingly unique. The player selects one of three characters to take care of the world saving. Each has slightly different sets of three weapons. The levels are divided into "war zones." 

In the war zone the objective is to destroy all of the attacking aliens before time runs out. The character's movement is limited to strafing left and right with the L and R triggers in order to dodge attacks and projectiles. To kill the enemies a weapon must first be charged by pressing X, Y, or B. The longer the weapon charges the more powerful the shot will be. The analog stick is used to aim the weapon, and then the A button is used to blast. 

Several weapons have lock-on targeting which makes it easy to attack a number of enemies at one time. Further, others have splash damage. 

Once each war zone is cleared, time is added to the clock and the player moves on to the next war zone. At the end of each level there's a boss battle. Each boss has a shield generator which must be destroyed before the boss can take damage. Using any of the lock-on weapons makes this task pretty easy whether you’re battling a gigantic bug, Godzilla, or a bomb hurling octopus. 

The environments are partially destructible, which is a nice touch. Sometimes there are hidden power ups to be found, and other times part of the objective is to not blow stuff up. 

The two-player mode is particularly fun, but extremely frustrating if the other player isn't any good, because in co-op mode both players share the same life bar. 

Charge 'N Blast isn't a "must own" game by any means, but is relatively cheap. For those who enjoy fast paced retro arcade action, this game is worth picking up.

Number 7: Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm
Released: June 30, 2000
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: Crave Entertainment
Developer: Treyarch
Genre: Action/Adventure

Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm, I feel, is one of those hidden gems for a system. A game that didn't do fantastic at retail, a game that didn't get the best reviews, but a good game nonetheless. It’s a game that really is worth the monetary and time investment to play.

Draconus is one of those games that I picked up used, well after it came out. I was so excited about Dreamcast back then that most of the games that I knew I would like, I had on preorder, and therefore got them on day one. This game had virtually no hype. I had no idea what to expect. I worked for Babbage's back then, so I took advantage of the "free rental" policy. After one day I was hooked, and I went back to work and made the purchase.

This is a decidedly action game with strong adventure elements. In the beginning players have the option of playing as a male character (Cynric) who has more strength, or as a female character (Aeowyn, a sorceress) who has a little more speed. There's zero reason to not play as the male character, as sorcery is contingent on finding items throughout the game. Cynric can be just as proficient as Aeowyn in the mystic arts.

The setting is fantasy. The story is very Tolken-esque. It has to do with reuniting a kingdom of many races, humans, elves, trolls, et cetera, and overcoming a great evil. The level design is sprawling and interesting, and there is an incentive to explore in the form of hidden items that are necessary to increase stats.

Action is hack and slash. It's fun. Pretty damn fun, actually. Putting down hordes of goblins is satisfying. After all, how dare they mess with you in the first place? The audacity.

The characters have the ability to attack with a blade, block with a shield, and use some magic. There's a great deal of swordplay, and towards the end there's even more blocking as the difficulty increases... to near ridiculous proportions in the last stage and final battle. But that ought to satisfy gamers who say they don't find challenges in games any longer. There is obviously magic, but I used it mostly for healing, and not so much for offense.

The game is pretty good looking for a first generation Dreamcast title. Even the voice acting is better than one would expect. I chalk that up to the talent having British accents. The controls are responsive, and the glitches are kept to a minimum, though they're not non-existent. On occasion your arm and sword may go through a hillside. The biggest drawback is the Dreamcast's limited single analog stick. Draconus screams for dual analog control. Alas, it's impossible.

Even with those shortcomings, Draconus is a game that should be in everyone's Dreamcast library. If you haven't given it a chance yet, then do so. It's worth it.

Number 6: Super Magnetic Neo

Released: July 31, 2000
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: Crave Entertainment 
Developer: Genki 
Genre: Platform

Awww... shoot. Crave thought they had a cool new platform star with enough power to run with Sonic, Mario, and Crash in Neo, the lead character in Super Magnetic Neo. I guess they didn't, but at least Neo is a lot cooler than Kao. 

It's not for lack of a good effort, either. Super Magnetic Neo is actually a pretty good game. It's not easy to start up a new platformer franchise. In the 90s the genre was overdone, and a lot of it didn't translate well to 3D. Even today a lot of the "newer" franchises in the genre incorporate driving and shooting to enhance the game play. 

Not Neo. He was born in 3D and the game was made specifically for the Sega Dreamcast. The visuals were bright and colorful. The characters were large, and developer Genki threw in a lot of Japanese flavor that has been missing from the US market (and still is). The game looks a lot like a bright, vivid cartoon. 

There's a story, though it's really not all that important to the game play. It involves a professor who invented Neo and Pinki, the cutesy evil baby villain, and her gang of baddies. All pretty typical wacky, strange, and wired Japanese fare. 

In the game there are four themed worlds, each has four levels that are quite varied. Neo will be dashing through lush green levels like Sonic, skidding down snow gullies like NiGHTS, running through caves dodging boulders, avoiding lava pits, and riding in mine carts like Indiana Jones, carefully platforming on tenuous ledges in the sky like Mario, and dashing around on a horse like Link. Each level is linear, moving forward, but some turn into 3D side scrolling action. As gamers have come to expect, each world is rounded out by a boss fight.

What makes the game unique is that Neo is superly magnetically charged. He can use positive or negative polarity to repel, or entrap enemies, grab on to other objects, and repel himself throughout levels. This part is crucial. Using the wrong polarity at the wrong time will get you dead with a quickness. 

If you like platformers and own a Dreamcast, then Super Magnetic Neo should be in your collection. It's not on par with Sonic Adventure or Mario 64, but among other second tier platforming games, it's well above the rest.

Number 5: D2
Released: August 22, 2000
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: SEGA 
Developer: Warp 
Genre: Adventure

In 1995 WARP released D, a quirky fully computer animated "interactive movie" which began a cult following of the developer in the US. In D, players controlled Laura Harris, a young and attractive woman from LA. The gameplay was set on a track, preventing the player from exploring the pre-rendered 3D world. Gamers who interacted with D led our heroine Laura through the twisted mind of her father, who butchered a number of people in a LA County Hospital, where he was a doctor. 

The game combines disturbing images, psychosis, imaginative puzzles, a twisted plot and decision making, which is - of course - accompanied by brilliant audio and sound effects. A pure adventure game, don't expect to find action here. 

Though the game sold poorly in the U.S. on the 3DO, Acclaim took it upon themselves to take the game to the masses in America by publishing it on both Saturn and Playstation, thereby expanding the audience. 

In 1998, WARP became the first 3rd party publisher to commit to the newly announced Sega Dreamcast. Two years later, D2 was released, reuniting gamers with Laura once again... and this time, she could be controlled in a fully 3D world. 

[Note: D2 for Dreamcast is not at all similar to the D2 title that WARP developed for the ill-fated M2 console. See: Kenji Eno’s Warp: Where are they now?]

Combining adventure, survival horror, and RPG elements together, D2 was such a unique title that many did not know what to think about it. It was too slow to be an action title; it had too much action to be a pure adventure, and it didn't have enough RPG elements to make it a true RPG - though it did have a leveling system and random encounters. 

The game begins with Laura on a flight which is being hijacked... and then the plane gets hit with a meteor and goes down. She awakes to find herself alone, except for one new friend who also survived the crash. Don't get too attached, however, because the strange mutagen that's creating the monsters will take over Laura's companion turning her into a topless tentacled hentai lover's wet dream.

Gameplay is driven by mystery. Where are the other survivors? What is creating the monsters? How can it be stopped? Why was Laura brought here?

The game world features free roaming in a 3D environment in the Canadian tundra. The world is white and desolate with the occasional bit of brush, birds, or rabbits dotting the landscape. Those woodland critters are extremely important for survival. Successfully hunting them provides valuable meat which is used to regain health. 

When a random encounter takes place the free roaming ends and RPG elements take over. Laura is stationary in battle and can pivot 360 degrees to shoot enemies, each of which have a weak point. In battle items can be used (including health items) and weapons can be changed. A good hunter with a large meat supply might never die in combat. 

This is one game that made pretty good use of the VMU, which acts as a compass. This comes in pretty handy as it's relatively easy to become snow blind and wander in circles. 

The size and scope of D2 was epic for its time, featuring a very large playing field, fully interactive 3D environment, immense story, and a well crafted, twisted plot.

Number 4: StarLancer
Released: November 28, 2000
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: Crave Entertainment 
Developer: Warthog/Digital Anvil 
Genre: Space Combat Simulation

While all of my Dreamcast friends were off playing NFL2K1 online, I was tearing it up with StarLancer, which is easily one of the best games in its genre in the last decade, and hands down the best game of its kind of ever to grace a home console. I'm still waiting for a game to be this good on a home console. 

So, where to begin? StarLancer Is a flight sim, but it's a flight sim in space. You know what that means? You don't need to worry about gravity and you can travel in any direction. What's more is that it's a combat game, so you're guaranteed action, and lots of it, because again, you're in space, there's no "ground" to be rendered so they can use all of the system resources for more bad guys and better AI. The game is just beautiful. 

The basic gist of the plot is that there are two warring factions in the solar system, the Alliance and the Coalition. After a great many years of fighting, a peace treaty is signed. But anytime a military conglomeration takes the name "The Coalition," they can almost never be trusted (plus, they speak in Russian accents). The Coalition double-crosses the alliance, which in turn retreats to Neptune. They're desperate for recruits, so you're the best they can come up with. This whole plot is told through a computer generated cut scene. It's worth mentioning that the voice acting is pretty good. The pre-rendered scenes are par for the day. 

Once you get into the campaign, you begin with a basic ship as a member of the 45th squadron. Missions vary in difficulty as the game goes on. Mission objectives vary as well. They range from the standard "kill everyone" to scavenger hunts, to the usually frustrating "babysitting" mission in which you have to prevent another craft from being destroyed by taking out missiles, to very specific objectives, like take out the cannons on this asteroid, or destroy these supplies. 

As the missions go on, the variety of ships and weapons increases, each with their own set of weaknesses and strengths. All ships have shields, but some have better shields. Some ships also have armor in case the shields fail. Some are faster, some are less agile, and some can carry more weapons. Basic stuff. Towards the end of the game, you'll get a ship that has a cloaking device, which is pretty much required for the last mission to be successful. Of course, you can also customize your weapons between missions. What kind of a game would it be without that?

One touch that I liked is the news reports that display between missions. These reports would vary depending on the outcome of the mission, and the level of success. By the end of the game, your 45th squadron is essentially famous. 

StarLancer was a PC game. Usually a reviewer would take this time to bitch that the complex keyboard controls translate horribly to a console controller, and therefore the entire game is ruined. I'm not going to do that, because I found the controls to be intuitive and precise. I had no trouble manipulating my craft on any axis, X, Y, or Z. And I had no problem tearing it up in the game or online against PC players. (I was never defeated.)

Basic features that we've come to expect from this genre are present, such as the ability to change camera angles, or give orders to other members of the squadron.

Online play was a blast. There were several modes of play that the person setting up the game lobby could choose from. Most games where straight up death match, in which the objective is to have the highest number of kills. This could be spiced up by the presence of torrents on asteroids, or by items that can be collected in play field, like extra missiles. 

Two other modes of play that stand out in my mind were vampire and tag (I might be off on the exact names of these modes of play). In vampire, one person was cloaked, but had no shields. You could only score points if you made a kill while being the vampire. You could only be the vampire if you kill the vampire. In tag, there's a bomb. To pass the bomb to another person, you need to shoot them. Whoever has the bomb when the timer expires, dies. Whoever passed the bomb gets the point. 

Unfortunately, there were never that many people who played StarLancer, but for a while there were usually a couple games with eight people in them at any given time. In the end I would just create a room and sit for 10 minutes until someone else joined. Eventually, no one else ever came. 

Even without the online component, StarLancer is an amazing game. It's fun, interesting, there's a challenge, and it looks great. Thanks be to the Roberts brothers (creators of Wing Commander), and Digital Anvil for developing this game. I loved it then, and I still do today.

Number 3: The Typing of the Dead
Released: January 24, 2001
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: SEGA
Genre: Keyboard Action

"No! Not G. How could this happen."
"I don't wanna die."
"My God."
"Don't come, don't come."

The House of the Dead 2 is pretty well known among gamers. This arcade shooter turned Dreamcast launch title was the next progression of the original House of the Dead, a light gun shooter on rails in a world being taken over by zombies where everyone speaks in the worst imaginable dialog. So, you can see why I was so excited when, seemingly out of the blue, Sega announced The Typing of the Dead.

The game, for those who haven't heard of it, is a clone, a hack of The House of the Dead 2. The game is the same. The character's lines are just as bad. You're still on rails. There's just one difference. Instead of wielding guns, the player characters have a special Dreamcast backpack, to which a keyboard is strapped.

To play the game, a Dreamcast compatible keyboard is required. I had one already, because I used my Dreamcast to surf the net until I got my first computer in late 1999. However, they were cheap then and are much cheaper now. About the only thing they're good for these days is playing Typing of the Dead. I recommend owning two keyboards for multiplayer action.

The enemies on screen are defeated by typing a character, a word, or phrase. Instead of winning by being a great shot, you win by being a fast and accurate typist. As you type the word or phrase, the correct characters come off of the screen. Be sure to watch the screen as you type, because if you miss one you have to pick up  where you left off.

As previously mentioned, this game is good to go for two players. In that mode, each enemy has the word or phrase that kills them displayed thrice, once for player one, and once for player two, and once just for reference. Here's a tip: Never, ever start typing the same phrase as your partner, because then you're duplicating effort, and there's usually other threats on the screen. Press the Esc key to cancel out.

This is a great game to bust out with people who've never seen anything like it. It's surprisingly fun, and hilarious to watch body parts fly off as characters are typed. It's an interesting party game, even today.

Number 2: Toy Commander
Released: November 4, 1999
Platform: Dreamcast
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: No Cliché
Genre: Simulation

No Cliché was a Sega first party developer in Europe since 1997 when Sega of Europe purchased Adeline Software International. At the helm was Frédérick Raynal, designer of Alone In the Dark. The company operated until 2001 when SOE decided to stop all in house development. No Cliché was the first in house studio that Sega pulled the plug on as they exited the hardware biz. Raynal now consults for Ubi Soft.

Toy Commander is an example of a game that simply has too much originality. Casual gamers love familiarity. The feeling that gamers get when they pick up a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and within the first ten minutes they know the game because they've played essentially the same game dozens of times before in the past 10 years.

Another one of Toy Commander's obvious flaws is imagination. The development team was clearly trying their damnedest to piss of casual gamers. First originality and now this? Get the hell out of here with that crap! Just see what I mean.

Players take control of a little boy's toys. The boy has set up various scenarios in different rooms in his house. Each room contains multiple missions. After clearing a room, other rooms become available. A room can never be truly cleared until the "room boss" has been defeated. However, the boss is not available unless you beat his completion time for at least three missions.

Early missions are little more than training exorcises to practice landing aircraft, using helicopters to put sugar into a bowl, or using a jeep to push eggs into a pot.

Later missions are combat and strategy centric. Using an airplane to prevent submarines from sinking a supply ships in a flooded house. Disabling an enemy base with a fighter plane so that a waiting truck can sneak in, steal a bomb, and blow up their bridge to thwart the enemy convoy. Preventing a gigantic fire breathing monster from destroying a toy town. Several missions allow for multiple types of vehicles to be used, and they must be used in conjunction to clear the level.

Of course, these are toys and aren't really armed. The little boy in the game "imagines" that thumb tacks are land mines, that pen caps are missiles. As if a boy growing up with modern video games could ever imagine such things. What a total joke! Weapons, repair kits, and fuel can be found through each stage and often respawn. Other times there are rewards for destroying enemies or household objects. (There are even four player versus modes!)

What's worse is that No Cliché were creative when designing the levels and physics in the game. You literally cannot get a vehicle stuck behind an invisible wall. There's no place you go where there's not a way out from.

The physics don't even make sense. Gamers used to ultra-realism would probably be so shocked they would simply need to turn the game off. You see, jeeps and trucks can actually drive up walls. Not just speed boost up a wall, but actually drive on them as if it was the ground and even come to a stop without falling off! Fixed wing craft are no better. If the engine is cut completely it won't stall or crash. I guess players just have to "imagine" that there's really supposed to be a little boy holding on to the toys this whole time, or whatever.

If there is such a thing as a videogame archeologist, then that's the only person who I could, in good conscience, recommend playing Toy Commander. Everyone else has existed in a world of cookie cutter sandbox games for so long that playing Toy Commander would come about as naturally as hunting woolly mammoth.

If you weren’t able to pick up the sarcasm, then get your snark detector checked. Toy Commander is one of the best games ever made in all of history.

Number 1: Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship
Released: Not Released 
Platform: Dreamcast
Developer: AM2
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Arcade Flight Combat

Take flight to the skies of big cities, volcanoes, castles and more in what would've been a pretty good eight player online game. 

This was a game that I was really looking forward to after checking it out at E3 2001. Dreamcast needed more games like this with fast paced online arcade style action. Disappointingly, the game was never released. 

The story goes that the game was done, and as far as I can tell, it is complete. However, following the events of September 11th, 2001, Sega decided against publishing it because of one level called "Tower City" that would've allowed people to crash their planes into skyscrapers.

Propeller Arena is a game that takes place in the future but uses WWII era planes. You see, in the future it is a sport for a bunch of pilots to try and shoot each other down. Planes include the P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning, the German made Messerschmitt Bf 109, and British Spitfire. There are eight characters to choose from, each is associated to one of the aforementioned planes. 

There are also eight levels that consist of having battles over what appears to be Cape Canaveral, a big city, an erupting volcano, high above the clouds, at the ruins of a castle, in a lightning storm, in the American Southwest, and near some icebergs. 

The environments create obstacles, like buildings to fly around, structures to fly through, or dangerous balls of fire flying through the air. There are power-ups to be gotten in the game, and sometimes these are put in places that are somewhat tricky to get to. Typical power-ups are weapons, bombs and missiles, health, or items that mess with the opponent, such as reversing or freezing their controls.

The flight range is pretty limited. The levels are small and if you go up too high you'll stall. The basic controls are good. Advanced controls, on the other hand, are not what I would call intuitive. For example, you can simply pull up to loop, or to the side to barrel roll. No, you have to perform a specific button combination like in Street Fighter to pull off a move. Its okay, but I would've preferred more simple controls. I'm not a really a fan of them having to be special moves. 

One thing that threw me off the first time I played it is that there are not targeting vectors for the enemy planes to show you where to aim to lead into your target. At least there are a wide number of views, including cockpit. 

The soundtrack is very punk, a la Crazy Taxi, but with a lot less talent. There are nine licensed tracks from bands like Zero Down, Rise Against, and No Use for a Name. On top of that there are 11 original punk tracks by AM2. Fortunately, there is a way to turn off the BGM, change the track, or turn it down. 

Speaking of sound, the announcer is annoying as sin. "Danger," "Danger!" Pfftt... Danger my a%$. I've never been shot down once when he said danger, and he says it all of the damn time. I like to imagine that Sega would've smoothed this out a little bit before publishing it, but I doubt it. 

The graphics in the game are good, really good. The planes look nice and the environments are a lot better than I expected. As it should be, because it's not like there's a lot to render. The character models, on the other hand, look like total garbage. There’s no excuse for how bad they are. 

For the low, low price of absolutely free, everyone should play Propeller Arena. Sure it would've been a lot cooler playing with eight people online with voice chat, but the single player and split screen modes are fun for a while. While it's not the killer app that would've saved the Dreamcast that some of its fans claim it to be, it's a pretty cool arcade game.

[Editor’s note: The YouTube videos displayed in this article are not the property of The Rev. Rob Times, and The Rev. Rob Times assumes no responsibility for their content.]