Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dreamcast Party Isn't Over Yet!

You may be puzzled as to why the 10th Anniversary image has returned and turned blue. No, the swirl is not holding its breath, it's the European Dreamcast logo!

October 14, 1999 saw the release of the Dreamcast to Europe and Australia. Why was the logo blue? Well, this was done to avoid copyright complications with a video game/DVD publisher named Tivola, which already used an Orange swirl as their logo. Maybe it was meant to happen, as the blue swirl has since defined a different Dreamcast territory with fans who feel as much love for the blue swirl as Americans feel towards the red swirl. The name "Blue Swirl" even became the name of one of the best VMU resources on the internet.

While I'll leave the proper tributes and historical recollections to real European Dreamcast fans, I did want to share some PAL Dreamcast games that American Dreamcast fans didn't receive, but should definitely import.

Shenmue II
While Americans were crying over the exclusive deal that Sega had made with Microsoft, effectively delaying the US release of part 2 for a year, Europeans were basking in the glory of this game. I remember importing this within a month of the release and feeling so elite, or 1337 as the kids used to say.

Jet Set Radio
Yeah, its almost the exact same game as the American release but the small differences make this a must for any JSR fan. For starters, this is the only english-language version of Jet Set Radio. In fact, this is the only version of the game to open with the proper english logo. Secondly, many of the US exclusive tracks were switched up with with much more fitting funky beats. I'll take "Recipe for the Perfect Afro" over "just Got Wicked" anyday. Finally, some of the exclusive US graffiti has been switched out for band logos and images of the UK contributors.

Like Shenmue II, Headhunter never hit the states as it was reserved for the PS2. I'll admit, the PS2 version looks better, especially the video cutscenes, but there is something special about playing a game on the Dreamcast.

Again, a Dreamcast game that was cancelled for a US PS2 release. While the Japanese version is the same game, the PAL version is just as good. Get whichever region you find for the lowest price.

Evil Twin
A mysterious game that I know little about. The star looks a bit like Chucky from the Child's Play films. I remember seing screens of this before it went MIA in the States. It did, however, see a PAL release and had decent reviews online.

EDIT: Cosmic Smash removed per Gagaman's comment. Shame it never made it to Europe!


  1. Cosmic Smash never came out in Europe. That box art is one by that guy that sells a bunch of fake boxes and manuals with CD-Rs of the games. I've seen Cosmic Smash mentioned as a Euro release quite a few places though, so I don't blame you for thinking that. Not sure how that misinformation spread about so much..

  2. Thanks for the clarification! It's a shame it never became a PAL, and even more of a shame that folks think it was actually released. I pity the guy who has been scouring ebay for a PAL copy.