As Christmas quickly approaches, I thought it would be fun to take a look at all of the Sega Dreamcast games that take place during the holiday season or otherwise have Christmas-related content. So here it is: The complete list of Sega Dreamcast Christmas games!
"Merry Christmas, and let's challenge the stamps!"
Definitely the most Christmas-y game on the Dreamcast, Blue Stinger is a cult classic horror adventure game that takes place during the Christmas season and really leans into the holiday atmosphere. The environments are decked out with decorations, one of the main characters wears a Santa suit for a significant chunk of the game, and there's a catchy Christmas jingle that plays in certain parts of the town. It's a great and very unique game, one of the Dreamcast best exclusives, and all of the Christmas cheer it contains makes it a great game to play during the holiday season. It's become a yearly tradition for me to play it every December. Best Christmas game ever!
Another horror game for the Dreamcast that just so happens to take place during Christmas is WARP's D2, the final game in the D series that also included the original D and Enemy Zero. Kenji Eno's Dreamcast exclusive magnum opus has you take control of Laura Parton in the snowy, monster-infested landscapes of Canada after surviving a plane crash. The Christmas theme here is somewhat light, but the game does have numerous references to the holiday in its story and presentation, and the desolate snow-covered mountains you traverse throughout the game definitely provide a nice wintery atmosphere. D2 is one of the Dreamcast's most high profile exclusive games, and one that makes for a great playthrough for the December holiday season.
Yu Suzuki's iconic Dreamcast RPG Shenmue is another game that takes place during the Christmas season. While the game starts in late November, the majority of the game will take place through December and into the New Year (depending on how fast you progress the story). When the in-game calendar reaches the 14th of December, the Dobuita area gets decked out with Christmas decorations, and carols like "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night" are blared through the outdoor loudspeakers as you pass by. When the real time weather system blesses you with a snowy day during this period, it really gives the game a nice comfy Christmas feeling. Shenmue should be in every Dreamcast owner's collection, and it's a great game to play during the season.
Official Dreamcast Magazine commissioned Toy Commander developer No Cliché to create an exclusive Christmas-themed expansion level for their Janurary 2001 Holiday demo disc. You control a jet pack-wielding Santa Claus as you search for presents hidden in the level so you can deliver them under the Christmas tree. While it's only one stage, it's a great little side-mission to get you into the Christmas spirit. And while the retail release of Toy Commander isn't exactly a Christmas game, I think it also fits the spirit of this list as a game that would likely remind you of playing with all of the new toys you got for Christmas during your childhood. It's a fantastic game that's still exclusive to the Sega Dreamcast!
The Grinch is a game based off of the Dr. Seuss classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and the Jim Carrey movie of the same name. You play as the title character, attempting to ruin Christmas for all of the Whos in Whoville. It's mostly a platforming style game with some stealth elements. And while it's no forgotten masterpiece or anything, you can still have some fun here. It's a port of a game that was originally developed with the PlayStation as the target platform, so the graphics are fairly lacking for a Dreamcast game, but don't let that stop you from checking it out if you're looking for another Christmas related game to play on Sega's little white box.
Pen Pen TriIcelon
Pen Pen TriIcelon is a pretty iconic racing game for the Sega Dreamcast, being one of the first titles shown for the upcoming Japanese launch of the console in 1998, and the Dreamcast is still the only platform you can play it on. It's a fun, wacky, and colorful character-based racing game, and it has a light Christmas theme in some stages. The Sweets courses in the game feature snowy tracks filled with candy, Christmas trees, and lights. Some of the characters in the game even had a crossover role in Blue Stinger, too!
Games with Christmas DLC
There are also a few games that aren't Christmas-related by default, but feature Christmas-themed bonus content via DLC that are listed below.
Sonic Adventure features a ton of downloadable "Events" for additional seasonal and promotional content. There are 2 Christmas DLC events, the 1998 Japanese Christmas event, and the 1999 Christmas event. Both will work on North American and PAL copies of the game, adding Christmas trees and music to Station Square, along with several messages wishing you a Merry Christmas. It's super cozy! And while the vanilla game of Sonic Adventure isn't really Christmas related, thanks to my childhood nostalgia of getting the game as a Christmas present and playing it that day, it will always be a game that gets me into the spirit of the holidays.
Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Adventure 2's Christmas DLC isn't quite as festive as it was in the first game, basically just dressing the main character models in festive outfits like a Santa suit for Sonic. Still, it's nice that they included it and it's a fun novelty to play around with..
And that's it, every Christmas game released for the Sega Dreamcast! Hopefully Santa leaves some of them under the tree for you this year!