Best DC Games -
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Best DC Platform Games
Super Mario Bros., a simple platform game, ushered in the post-crash video game revival back in 1985. Since then we've seen thousands of platformers. Literally. Platform games were the bread and butter of the 8 and 16-bit systems, and continue to thrive on the portables of today. On the 32/64-bit systems, they're not quite as popular as they once were, despite their mutation into 3D action/adventure games. Still, the Dreamcast has a small selection of top-tier platform games.
Dave Perryís original MDK was a burst of originality that brought some refreshing design ideas to a tired genre, First Person Shooters. It was among the first to pull the camera back to a third person view, giving you full awareness of what your character was doing at all times. The gameplay was innovative too - gliding, sniping, and the Worldís Most Interesting Bomb were but three aspects. MDK2 is even better, and the Dreamcast version is excellent. Whilst the PC version enjoys the accuracy of a keyboard and mouse control system, us Dreamcast owners must make do with the joypad. Whilst initially highly frustrating, with time the controls become easier to use and youíll be sniping those aliens from afar like a pro.
Weird, wild alien worlds await.
The Dreamcast version runs at a solid 30 FPS and uses a nice mix of alien, Unreal-esque landscapes. While the graphic detail and sound are nothing much to write home about, itís the extensive use of creative ideas within the game which will keep you coming back to eventually finish the game. But be warned; MDK2 isnít for the faint-hearted. The game has a very steep learning curve and can be frustrating. Compared to Fur Fighters, this isnít the easiest title to get into. If you get stuck thereís little else to do, whereas in the former you can go back to the Village or back to a previous level to collect more goodies or find more babies. Still, if third person action games are your thing and youíve got the requisite skills, then MDK2 is a good title to add to your library.
The original Rayman appeared during the 32-bit generation, but was overlooked by many due to the flash and glitz of the 3D platformers of the time. Now, this sequel strikes back with some of the best graphics yet seen, and gameplay to match. The game boasts one of the most lavish and beautiful 3D cartoon worlds yet produced in a video game. The game feels literally alive, and the superb soundtrack and sound effects help boost the immersion further.
Stunning and fun.
The game is a standard 3D platformer, and it is huge. Despite having a map screen and clearly defined levels, it has a very Half-Life-ish feel to it in that it feels like one giant world youíre playing in. The game isnít too challenging and you will finish it with time, however there are many hidden bonuses and the obligatory Mario 64-esque collectables to try and attain (Sonic had its Emblems, Rayman has its "Lums"). If youíre after a fantastic 3D platformer that will keep you entertained for a long time and will dazzle you with its fantastic graphics and locations, then Rayman 2 is an essential purchase.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Sonic Adventure was a launch title for the Dreamcast in the west. The character himself needs no introduction, heís been around since the Mega Drive/Genesis and is still Segaís mascot. Sonic Adventure isnít far removed from the Mega Drive titles, except its in full 3D. You control Sonic as he speeds through the levels, and we do mean speeds. This is right up there with WipeOut for the title of the fastest game ever. However, the game is actually quite small, certainly when compared to Rayman 2. The real enjoyment lies in gaining "emblems", awards rewarded for completing all the gameís levels within a certain time, or with a certain amount of rings. With 130 to earn, you'll be busy for quite a while.
Speed is the name of the game.
For an early title, the game also makes great use of online functionality, letting you upload your fastest times for the different levels to see how you rank across the world. The graphics still look very impressive, as Sonic Team really know how to get the most out of the machineís hardware. The leap the 16-bit Sonic 2 was over the original was great, and it's expected that the upcoming Sonic Adventure 2 will follow this precedent. For now, it's hard to go wrong with Sonic Adventure, especially since it's been rereleased as a budget title. If you donít have it already, it's definitely worth picking up.
As the 3D sequel to the largely unknown 32-bit original, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is dark action adventure at its finest. Through a third person camera, players must guide Raziel, a banished vampire henchman of Lord Kain, through a dark world where he must ingest his enemiesí souls to survive. While the gameís graphics arenít amazing, they do run at a (mostly) smooth 60FPS and still have a great atmosphere to them. The game really excels in the sound department, with great background ambience and superb voice acting for all the gameís characters.
Platforming for goths?
You must travel between two different planes, the material and the spectral worlds. The game contains various puzzles which can only be solved by traversing the two worlds. Action sequences are satisfyingly brutal and require you to impale your enemies and then suck out their soul before they can regain their strength. The game is very large and has an extensive world to explore. New data constantly streams straight off the disc, which removes those pesky loading times and makes it even easier to get sucked into the gameís compelling plot. Despite the ability to save at any time, this is one action game that will last you a long time, and is definitely worth looking into.
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