We all know that XBOX was gonna be a kick ass system back in the day, but when I was deciding whether to purchase the console, what really pushed me towards it was SEGA triple threat of offerings: Jet Set Radio Future, Shenmue II, and Panzer Dragoon Orta. You see, I was a die hard SEGA fan and I had built up a massive Dreamcast collection at the time. I knew the system was dead in the water but I also thought that it was the greatest system (and I am sure alot still harbour similar feelings for the DC) and it still had a lot of legs for me. But as I saw the info coming down the pipe on these new games I could not resist.
First up was Jet Set Radio Future. It was a futuristic look at, not so much as a sequal, to the DC’s Jet Grind Radio which was the game that made famous the cell shaded look. I played JSRF from pillar to post, unlocking all there was to unlock, beating all the chalenges, and just enjoying the game in general. While not capturing the imagination of the mainstream gamer, those who enjoed the first would love the second as it was greatly expanded on. Trippy music, crazy cut scenes, mad graphics, and speedy game play were the order of the day. This game brought me to the dance. If you have never played it, give it a chance. It will surprize you.
I had beat Shenmue on the DC ages ago. I did not realize that I would have to wait a year into the XBOX’s run to play the sequal, but I was super-glad for the oppotunity to play a superior version. Shenmue II blew the doors out on this series with it’s greatly expanded storyline, and if you are like me you loved Shenmue for its story. Shenmue II also included as the huge bonus Shenmue: The Movie. What more could you ask for. Unforunatly what we all wanted was Shenmue III, but with Shemue Online coming to the PC’s in Asia, Shenmue II may stand as the final chapter. That would be a sad thing indeed.
Panzer Dragoon Orta is the best looking shooter on the XBOX. From the storied Saturn trilogy, the long awaited sequal burst its way onto the XBOX map and wowed all those who crossed its path. Traditionally I am not very good with the shooter genre, but there is just something about the Panzer Dragoon universe that draws you in and does not let go. A definate showpiece in your collection.
Where does that leave us now. Well SEGA’s merger with Sammy has slowed there hit production. Instead of giving us the games we want like Crazy Taxi Online, or Panzer Dragoon Saga II, we are instead treated to the likes of ‘Shadow’ the HedgeHog or Iron Pheonix. I hope that SEGA can return to former glories and maybe make the games that will make people take a 360.