hellomrkearns Something about the arcade ports makes them even more dreamcasty.
The most “Dreamcasty” thing is putting a Dreamcast on your main character, like in Typing of the Dead and Virtual On!
What really had me thinking about the look of the Dreamcast was the Steam release of Sonic Adventure DX. I tried to do a Let’s Play a few months back, but got kind of distracted thinking about the weird freak-out face Sonic makes near the start of the story.
“Tails! Look out! You’re going to crash! AAH!”
Sonic’s surprised face is such a bizarre contortion of polygons, and in DX the effect is so extreme as to knock my soul out of my body. I kept thinking I don’t think it was that ridiculous on the Dreamcast.
I kept getting that feeling while recording and editing my way through Sonic’s story. My roommate is young enough to have grown up on the Gamecube version of DX, so in a fit of curiosity we set up their copy in the living room to compare and contrast, and then a day later I’d brought in my Dreamcast to further compare and contrast. I had to have seen the opening for Sonic Adventure like ten times that week.
This is good if you want to compare a game against its own flawed ports, and Sonic Adventure is one of the gold standards for the Dreamcast’s visual feel. No doubt we’ll bring up DX if we ever to decide to hone in on the Gamecube’s visual feel as well. But here’s one example that I stole from a game magazine way back in the days I would still memorize game magazine knowledge that still holds up twenty years later: the Dreamcast port of Spider-Man.
Right from the jump you can see that Spidey had a higher poly model with more striking colors and details like the webbing pattern on his costume. It’s hard to think of a Spider-Man game now and not think of that pattern, isn’t it? But due to graphical limitations, the earlier PSX version had to go without.
Spidey also has fingers in the Dreamcast version, and the game now runs at a steady 60 frames. Many of the other models were re-done with more detail and less cartoonish exaggeration to take advantage of the higher resolutions as well.