Consolification: Armada for the Sega Dreamcast
So my history with console games is VERY scattered (why do you think this blog focuses mostly on computer-based games?). I had all the Ataris up to the 5200, as well as the Vectrex and so on, but when I got my first PC in the mid 1980s, all of that stopped…
Until maybe 2002, when I made my first foray back into consoles for nearly 20 years with the purchase of a used Sega Dreamcast, and I purchased it for only one game…
Crazy Taxi. Yup, you read right, I purchased an entire console for Crazy Taxi. I seriously love the game that much. However, once I got the machine, I read about this highly acclaimed space game that got rave reviews called Armada. I therefore snagged a cheap copy and dove right in. Several hours later, my girlfriend at the time had to pry the controller out of my hand. I was hooked.
Armada may, at first blush, look like a clone of Asteroids, but it is so much more. It’s a shooter, to be sure — and there is TONS to shoot at — but it’s also an RPG with more depth than one might imagine. In this universe being overrun by the Armada, you choose a race — one of six, each with their own traits — and fly around the galaxy completing missions, collecting experience and money and making new friends and enemies along the way.
With each kill you get experience and money, and new levels upgrade your ship naturally (you can also buy upgrades with your collected funds). You can run into other allied pilots along the way and ask them to join you for a while as you run a mission or kill dozens of Armada at random. You can run into a freighter which needs escort to its destination. You can go down on a planet and fight there in the skies as well. There’s so much to do in this game its downright silly, and it had AMAZING same-screen local multiplayer for four players.
Now, the Dreamcast was my last console until I got a Playstation 3 in 2010, but space games on that seem few and far between. However, in that time, I returned to Armada many, many times over the years, putting in dozens of hours into the game. Why am I bringing this up now, you might ask?
Because for some reason, earlier this evening, I had a hankering to play it again, so for the first time in a couple of years — since I got an HDTV — I loaded up Armada and prepared to be shocked at how ugly it looked on my new 1080p plasma.
To my shock, it actually looked alright, and it played as awesomely as ever. I just lost well over an hour to the game without even realizing it. THAT is the mark of a great game my friends. I therefore felt the need to post about it, to see if anyone else around these parts has played this tremendous game, so thoughts and stories could be shared. :)
If y’all HAVEN’T played the game, for further reading, here’s its Wikipedia entry, as well as reviews from IGN, Adrenaline Vault and Planet Dreamcast. I also found a great video series, starting with the one below:
Seriously folks, if I could convince those who haven’t played it to round up a used Dreamcast and this one game, I would. It’s that good. :)
So if you HAVE played the game, let’s talk! ;) Thanks for reading. :)