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Co-Op Classics: Ten Years of Dreamcast Co-Op
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Co-Op Classics: Ten Years of Dreamcast Co-Op

Another classic video game console celebrates a milestone this week.  Sega's Dreamcast was released in North America ten years ago this past week, on 9/9/99.  Though the console was short lived, it has developed quite a following, even a decade later.  Many features of the Dreamcast were ahead of its time, most notably a standard modem and internet support allowing online co-op for the first time on a home console.  To celebrate the 10th birthday of Sega's final console, we'll take a look at some of the best co-op games the system had to offer, as submitted by staff and readers.

The Shoot 'Em Ups

Gunbird 2 - This game really stands out from the shooter crowd.  Instead of an airplane or spacecraft, you control a flying character, choosing from a list including a giant robot and Morrigan from the Darkstalkers fighting game series.  If you have a bit of spare time, you might check out this (likely NSFW) Youtube review of the game, which defies description.  Co-Optimus user Arne says of Gunbird 2: "Silly, short, but entertaining".

Ikaruga - This is one of the top shmups of all time, according to most.  While it has most recently been available on Xbox Live Arcade, and the Nintendo Gamecube before, the Dreamcast had the first console port.  An elegant color change system and extreme difficulty make Ikaruga a fine example of the best the Dreamcast had to offer as far as co-op shooters are concerned.

Giga Wing 1 and 2 - This is another excellent shooter for the Dreamcast.  One of the "bullet hell" variety, with hundreds of projectiles on screen at once, Giga Wing featured a reflecting shield mechanic.  Enemies destroyed in this way dropped multipliers, allowing for incredibly high scores.  The world record for the original is 291,252,468,839,040 points.  Also notable for a 4 player co-op mode, fairly scarce in shooters of this type.