Elemental Gimmick Gear
EGG is the quintessential Dreamcast game. Its title makes no sense whatsoever, the gameplay has barely any mainstream appeal, and the box art would convince absolutely no one to pick it up (except maybe fans of choose your own adventure books). Any rational publisher who saw this come up on their list of potential games to port over from Japan would strike it down and run away.
Someone at Hudson stuck with it, and now we have this unholy marriage of 3D polygon battles and 2D overhead dungeons, narrated by tiny movie files and a thick, text heavy script. It's an odd blend of '90s and '00s design, and as such we urge everyone to give it a moment's notice. Hell, if nothing else the soundtrack should impress.
Within the shooter genre there rests a mini-genre of the multi-directional shooter, and Bangai-O was one of the best. You pilot a mech, flying around in 2D stages brimming with enemy fire. Like Smash TV, you use separate controls for movement and firing.
A unique element is the super-bomb ability which increases in power depending on how many enemy missiles are really close to you, so you had to risk near death to unleash your ultimate weapon. If you cant find this old classic, you can always try Bangai-O Spirits, the Nintendo DS sequel.
Test Drive V-Rally
In its brief two years, Dreamcast managed to rack up quite the impressive list of racing games: Sega Rally, Daytona, Metropolis Street Racer (which became Project Gotham), Sega GT, San Francisco Rush 2049 we could go on. But if we had to choose just one to promote - one that likely rolled right on past your radar - we'd have to go with V-Rally.
Most of the other racing options were exaggerated (Rush) or lined with pavement, and Sega Rally was arguably popular enough to gain an off-road following. V-Rally, meanwhile, offers 80 courses, a notable metal soundtrack, and expertly tuned handling for era-appropriate authenticity without a great deal of fanfare surrounding it.
If you relish the chance to dance around billions of projectiles with no margin for error, games like Mars Matrix and Giga Wing are your new best friends. Its a pity the now-infamous Ikaruga never made it over here on Dreamcast (GameCube ended up with it in 2003), but taking Matrix as a consolation prize is more than acceptable.
Make no mistake, this is hard. In fact, we'd probably use a different four letter word to describe what it's like to get your ass handed to you over and over, but for those who live and breathe this type of gameplay and never knew Matrix existed, it's one of your best options.
The ultimate "Wait, what?" game for the Dreamcast. Out of all the borderline unmarketable video games on the platform, ChuChu Rocket! is the pinnacle, the unquestionable oddity that exemplifies the creative freedom Sega allowed its developers: give directions to mice so they can board rockets and avoid orange alien space cats. What!?
Frenzied as the main game was, Rocket will also be remembered as Segas first crack at true online gaming. Unsurprisingly, the 56k modem experience was limited and many basic functions (lobbies, for one) were clunky or barely functional. Forget all that. Fire it up and play with four in-house pals and you will love this. If not, you are possibly dead. You should see a doctor about that.
A wonderful game that may or may not have taken place within a little boys imagination, Toy Commander put players in control of a series of toy-sized vehicles in a big, dangerous house. While the overarching theme was that a war was being fought between the little boy and all but a few of his toys, the missions were actually pretty diverse, ranging from aerial dogfights to tank combat (with pencils as missiles!) to straight-up races that could take you up walls and across ceilings. It's wildly imaginative and wildly fun, but there was a lot of that on the Dreamcast, so its not all that surprising that it sort of got lost in the shuffle.