The 5 Most Underrated Sega Dreamcast Light Gun Games

Wondering what the 5 best Dreamcast light gun games are? Well, that puts us in a weird position. You see, there are only 5 Dreamcast light gun games altogether: Death Crimson OX, Sega Smash Pack Volume 1, Demolition Racer: No Exit, Confidential Mission, and House of the Dead 2.

But no matter. You asked for it (presumably) so we’re giving it to you: a list of all 5 Sega Dreamcast light gun games ranked from worst to best. We’ve researched all 5 titles and reviewed each one in detail below.

Which ones are worth buying and which ones are crap? Is it even worth it to get a Dreamcast and light gun peripheral to play these games?

(Spoiler: Yes it is.) Find out all you need to know in this buyers’ guide. Just remember, Light Guns only work on Old School Tube TV's and here is the reason why.

5. Death Crimson OX

Death Crimson OX is a generally disliked Dreamcast port of an obscure arcade game based on a Death Crimson OX - Sega DreamCast Gun Gamesuniversally hated, Japan-exclusive light gun game for Sega Saturn. That makes it the third game in a series of light gun shooters that no one has ever liked. (Well, almost no one, that is.)

The very existence of this game is baffling beyond any possible explanation. It means that real humans intentionally pitched, greenlit, funded, completed, and distributed internationally a sequel to Death Crimson—a game infamously regarded as the worst Saturn/light gun game ever made.

As for the game itself, is Death Crimson OX as bad as it sounds? Well, it’s not good. Most reviewers describe it as a cheap knockoff of House of the Dead.

It’s plagued throughout by odd graphical glitches, poor pacing, awkward enemy placement, and a nonsensically random assortment of enemies from unrelated genres. Apparently, zombies, robots, and even butterflies have put aside their differences to join forces against you, for some reason. Speaking of logic and reason, the plot is an overly simple melodrama that is somehow incomprehensibly convoluted at the same time.

Play this game only if you enjoy the mocking humor of the “so-bad-it’s-good” genre. We know we do.

4. Sega Smash Pack Volume 1

Sega Smash Pack Volume 1, a compilation of old Sega games released on Sega Dreamcast by Sega, should have been an easy win for Sega. All Sega had to do was emulate their old gamesBest Light gun games on their newest and most powerful console.

Strangely, the emulation quality is very poor and full of game-wrecking problems that ruin this would-be nostalgic adventure. The sound effects and music, for example, are unexplainably worse than their original versions. And many of the games suffer an aggravating amount of slowdown.

The included light-gun-compatible game is Virtua Cop 2, which we’ve reviewed in detail here (specifically, the Saturn version). Strangely, instead of porting the original arcade version, this compilation ports a previously Japan-only Dreamcast release.

And, technically, that version was a port of the PC version, which was a slightly upgraded version of the Saturn port. What happened, Sega?

As you can imagine, it plays like what it is, a copy of a copy of a copy—a third-hand Xerox of an already downgraded port. The framerate is choppy and there’s some delay in the responsiveness of the controls. Play this only if you have no other way of playing these games.

3. Demolition Racer: No Exit

The first Demolition Racer was an awesomely creative demolition derby/racing game for PS1. The Death Crimson OX - DreamCast Light Gunscreative part is that, in order to succeed, you must be good at both parts: racing and demolishing.

Your score is calculated by multiplying your finishing position by the points you earned damaging other vehicles. Scoring high requires skill, fast thinking, and lots of practice.

Smart aspects of the game aside, it’s always fun to smash things! And this game lets you bust through piles of cars at top speed without pesky consequences like paying for damages or getting killed.

Best of all, the No Exit version on Dreamcast adds a load of great bonus content to an already good game. Additions include new cars, new tracks, and bonus minigames, including a light-gun-compatible game mode called “Big Car Hunter.” Since all previous aspects of the game are already intended as short, fast diversions, these little extras definitely add to the overall value.

As for the light gun minigame itself, it’s a guilty pleasure—but, like, really guilty. You point your gun at the screen and just start blasting the other drivers away.

It basically puts you in the role of a lone terrorist, sniping hapless contestants at a stadium event. That’s pretty messed up for a game that came out just one year after the Columbine High School Massacre.

2. Confidential Mission

Don’t let the ridiculously bland title of this game fool you. Fans of the Virtua Cop games simply must, must, MUST play Confidential Mission.

It plays exactly like a Virtua Cop game in disguise, which is fitting since this game is about secretConfidential Mission - Sega DreamCast Light Gun Games agents instead of police officers. Plus, the plot/style is directly ripped off from Goldeneye, ramping up the classic shooting game nostalgia even more.

All the familiar game mechanics you know and love from Virtua Cop 2 are present. Target cursors appear around enemies and must be hit as quickly as possible. Shooting a hand disarms your opponent and shooting their heads drops them instantly.

And, as in Virtua Cop 2, your performance affects the direction of the game. Play it right and you’ll unlock secret shortcuts and the stylish action sequences that accompany them. Even the “good ending” is only unlocked by completing the final mission successfully.

Better still is, well, everything else. The graphics are vastly superior to the blocky, untextured polygons in Virtua Cop.

Every aspect of Confidential Mission is more realistic, intense, and action-packed than its spiritual predecessors. From shootouts on top of speeding trains to intense boss fights with super cyber-soldiers, everything in Confidential Mission is explosively memorable.

Furthermore, throughout all video gaming history, only a handful of arcade ports have been deemed “better than the original.” Confidential Mission for Dreamcast is one of them.

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1. House of the Dead 2

Most gamers are familiar with the House of the Dead series due to its popularity in arcades HousetheDead 2 Best DreamCast Light Gunaround the world. Those lucky/tragic enough to own a Dreamcast in its heyday remember House of the Dead 2 for a different reason. It brought the beloved arcade hit home as both a Dreamcast launch title (North America) and the first game compatible with the Dream Blaster light gun peripheral.

Still, at the time, disgruntled Sega fans were still stewing over the last House of the Dead port for Sega Saturn. It was disappointing, to say the least.

So, how does House of the Dead 2 for Dreamcast stack up? It’s famously and phenomenally awesome.

The problems of Sega’s previous home version of House of the Dead are gone. That is, the graphics are excellent, the framerate is near-perfect, and there are a shocking number of monsters onscreen simultaneously.

Almost nothing is altered from the arcade original. And this all makes sense considering the Dreamcast was designed based on Sega’s then-current arcade hardware.

Without a doubt, House of the Dead 2 is light gun gaming at its finest, refined as such by Sega’s experienced genre experts. In addition to excellent pacing and frantic intensity, this game also features performance-based rewards, like Confidential Mission. This means that your performance, especially concerning the innocent lives you save, affects the game's progression.

Now, are we saying that House of the Dead 2 is better than Confidential Mission? It’s possible, but also highly debatable (in other words, a matter of opinion). But the fact that you can consider it a tie is extra impressive for House of the Dead 2, which predates Confidential Mission by 2 years.

Try the Best Sega Dreamcast Light Gun Games Yourself

If you own a Sega Dreamcast and a Dream Blaster gun peripheral, you owe it to yourself to try these excellent Dreamcast light gun games for yourself. If your Dreamcast collection is lacking, get the console, games, and accessories you need right here in our video game store.

Want to discover more awesome light gun games? Read our recent article on the Best Sega Saturn light gun games

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Saturday, 20 April 2024