Saturday, 18 April 2020

What Horror Games Are On The Dreamcast? The Ultimate Buying Guide To Sega Dreamcast Horror Games!

The Dreamcast was home to a fair number of noteworthy horror games, many of which remain exclusive to the platform. In no particular order, here's a list of the horror games available on the Sega Dreamcast.


Blue Stinger

 
Blue Stinger Sega Dreamcast horror game Cover Art
Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2251117


Released as a pre-launch title for the Dreamcast in North America (it came out a few days before the Dreamcast was officially released on 9/9/99), Blue Stinger was the system's first horror game and it definitely didn't disappoint. There was nothing else quite like this epic adventure game at the time, or even until the release of Dead Rising on the Xbox 360 in 2006. Mixing arcade style beat-em-up and hack and slash melee action with over-the-top gunplay, a fully-realized 3D world that felt a lot bigger and more realistic than anything that had come before it, incredible monster designs, an epic big budget movie-like soundtrack, insane Christmas setting, River City Ransom-esque character upgrades and tons of optional weapons to play around with, this criminally underrated Dreamcast exclusive is one of my favorites of all time on any platform.

D2


D2 Sega Dreamcast horror game Cover Art


One part interactive movie, one part RPG, part point and click adventure, with a little bit of hunting simulation mixed in for good measure, D2 is the very unique Dreamcast exclusive sequel to the original D for the 3DO, Sega Saturn, and Sony PlayStation. The story has absolutely nothing to do with the first game other than featuring the same "digital actress" Laura, but the gameplay will definitely be familiar to anyone who's played WARP's earlier horror titles. Be prepared to watch a lot of lengthy cutscenes as you traverse through this bizarre horror adventure set in the snowy Canadian wilderness. Also another Dreamcast horror game that takes place during Christmas!

Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Resident Evil: Code Veronica Sega Dreamcast horror game Cover Art


Capcom brought out the big guns for this at-the-time Dreamcast exclusive that was actually supposed to be Resident Evil 3. Code Veronica was a huge upgrade to the series, finally offering fully 3D graphics which are some of the best on the system, while retaining the familiar gameplay and ambience the series was known for. This is definitely on of the best of the old-school style Resident Evil games - personally I'd rank it right up there with the original game.


Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


After bringing us the amazing Code Veronica, Capcom gave Dreamcast gamers a version of the classic Resident Evil 2. It's more or less the same game that we saw back on the Playstation, but the graphics are definitely a lot better. Either way, you can't go wrong with playing this one on the Dreamcast as it's arguably the best version of the game that was released back in the day.


Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


And after Resident Evil 2, Capcom kept the hits coming with a port of the sequel Resident Evil 3. This one has you playing as Jill Valentine trying to escape Raccoon City and takes place at the same time as RE2, originally being developed as a side story rather than a fully fledged sequel. This one offers some great mechanics including a dodge move and the ability to go up and down stairs in real time, and a terrifying new foe named Nemesis who stalks you throughout the game. This more action-focused take on the classic Resident Evil formula gives the Dreamcast yet another great horror title.


Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare

Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


Not to be outdone by Capcom, Infogrames brought us a brand new entry to the original survival horror series, Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare, after a 6 year hiatus. This was a more modern re-imaging of the classic series, the first of two reboots the series would see. The game retains the static cinematic camera angles with gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds, and adds a dynamic flashlight mechanic that still looks great to this day. If you're into the classic survival horror style adventure games, Alone in the Dark is a must play, and it gets my vote as the scariest game for the Dreamcast, with some of the best atmosphere of any horror game ever made.


Carrier

Carrier Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12704635


Right before the release of Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Jaleco came out with their take on the survival horror genre with the Dreamcast exclusive Carrier. It's the unintentionally campy low budget b-movie to Resident Evil's comparatively more serious blockbuster horror game, but it's still a good solid horror adventure that brought a unique element to the genre - Having to scan NPCs to figure out whether they're actually monsters or not, a la The Thing. It's a pretty cool mechanic and one that makes Carrier worth checking out.


Illbleed

Illbleed Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


From the makers of Blue Stinger (fittingly renaming their company Crazy Games for this release), Illbleed is another horror game that really had no peers at the time of its release. While it's nowhere near as good as Blue Stinger as an actual playable game, the insane, over-the-top atmosphere and B-movie inspired charm makes this one an experience like no other that every horror fan should check out. You'll puke with pleasure! You'll vomit with excitement! You'll shit with fear!


Dino Crisis

Dino Crisis Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


Coming to the Dreamcast courtesy of Capcom yet again, this Jurassic Park meets Resident Evil style mashup was an instant classic horror title. You've got vicious dinosaurs, big guns, a mysterious lab, and a hot redhead in skin-tight military gear - What's not to love? To top it all off, the Dreamcast port is definitely the best way to play this game.


Zombie Revenge

Zombie Revenge Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


After giving us a port of the arcade classic The House of the Dead 2, Sega came back with a brand new spin-off from the series called Zombie Revenge. The game takes place in the same universe but is now an arcade beat-em-up with a heavy emphasis on gunplay. If you're familiar with the Die Hard Arcade/Dynamite Cop/Dynamite Deka series you'll feel right at home here with tons of crazy, over-the-top weapons you can pick up that are a blast to use.


Evil Dead: Hail to the King

Evil Dead: Hail to the King Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


Evil Dead: Hail to the King is a very Resident Evil-inspired horror game based on the Evil Dead films. Instead of just being a rehash of the story from the movies, Hail to the King offers a brand new story featuring voice acting by the one and only Bruce Campbell. While the gameplay has some quirks to it that can be somewhat irritating, it's completely playable and a pretty amusing time once you've adapted to its style of play, and the original story is a hoot. Definitely a must-have for Evil Dead fans and/or fans of survival horror games looking for a solid horror adventure to play through on the Dreamcast.


The House of the Dead 2

The House of the Dead 2 Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


Sega brought the sequel to the hit arcade original home to the Dreamcast on launch day, and it provides a subliminal on rails lightgun shooter experience. Dismembering zombies up close and personal has never been as satisfying as it is here in this arcade classic.


The Typing of the Dead

The Typing of the Dead Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


It's The House of the Dead 2 again, only with typing instead of shooting. Improve your words per minute in this quirky cult classic, surely the greatest typing tutor game ever created!


The Ring: Terror's Realm

The Ring: Terror's Realm Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art
Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2114575

Based on the popular-novel-turned-into-popular-movie series Ringu, the Dreamcast got an exclusive survival horror title that was released in the west as The Ring: Terror's Realm. Unfortunately, it's not very good. Production values are extremely low, with poor graphics and a mind-numbingly repetitive soundtrack, this definitely feels and plays like a budget title. It's not completely unplayable or anything though and die-hard horror fans might find some redeeming qualities hiding somewhere in here.

Shadow Man


Shadow Man Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


Acclaim brought a port of its multi-platform hit Shadow Man to the Dreamcast, which combines classic gothic horror elements with 3D Zelda-inspired gameplay and progression. The atmosphere in this one is really great, with excellent writing, voice acting, music and sound, and it plays extremely well to boot. This horror adventure is as close as you're going to get to a Zelda/Metroid style game on the Dreamcast. Highly recommended.


Sword of the Berserk: Gut's Rage

Sword of the Berserk: Gut's Rage Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


While this might not be a pure horror game, the story and atmosphere have enough horror themes that I'm putting it on the list anyway. Sword of the Berserk: Gut's Rage is based on the manga and anime series of the same name and features a brand new original story that is very well written and interesting. Which is good because the excellent real time cinemas are the majority of the game. Between the extremely well done story segments you get an excellent and surprisingly deep hack and slash action game somewhat reminiscent of Devil May Cry, which forces you to take into account your surroundings as you slice your way through hoards of mutated zombies. This Dreamcast exclusive is a unique and fantastic beat-em-up adventure and a must have for the system.


Nightmare Creatures II


Nightmare Creatures II Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art



Nightmare Creatures II is a hack and slash horror adventure that came over to the Dreamcast straight from the Playstation, and it definitely shows. But despite it's visual shortcomings, the game still manages to provide a nice creepy gothic atmosphere. There's not a lot of depth to the gameplay here, but it's decent enough experience that's worth checking out.

Half Life



While the Dreamcast port of Half Life was unfortunately canceled before it could finish development, a fairly complete and fully playable beta was leaked years ago. It's not well optimized for the system, but it can be played to completion, and this all time first person shooter classic is a great horror title and makes an excellent addition to the Dreamcast's horror library. If you have never played the original Half Life, you owe it to yourself to finally experience this amazing title.

The expansion packs Blue Shift and Opposing Force are available to download and play on the Dreamcast as well.


They Hunger

They Hunger Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


They Hunger was a free Half Life mod by the magazine PC Gamer that was brought to the Dreamcast by fans thanks to the previously mentioned unfinished Half Life port to Dreamcast that actually supports mods! If you're looking for a pure horror FPS, this is one of the best in its genre - truly an incredible experience featuring amazingly creepy atmosphere. A great addition to any Dreamcast horror fan's library!

The other horror-themed Half Life mods ported by fans won't get their own writeups here but here's the list of all that are currently available:
  • Paranoia 
  • U.S.S. Darkstar 
  • Gunman Chronicles 
  • Grunt 

Seven Mansions: Ghastly Smile

Seven Mansions: Ghastly Smile Sega Dreamcast horror game cover art


Seven Mansions: Ghastly Smile is a horror game with a unique-at-the-time 2 player mechanic. While the game was never officially released outside of Japan, it has since been fan translated into English so it's now playable for Western audiences. As far as the game itself goes, it's not very good - I'd rate it on the same tier as The Ring - but if you're looking for another horror game on the Dreamcast to play, this is one.

 DOOM

Doom Sega Dreamcast Cover Art


Thanks to the hard work of the Dreamcast homebrew scene, Doom, Doom II, and a ton of mods are all available to play on the system. Not much more to say about this one, you should know what Doom is all about by now - shooting through hordes of demons as you try to escape a military base  on Mars where everything's gone completely FUBAR.

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