One of Sega's final releases for the Dreamcast, Cosmic Smash is a title that gained very little fame at the time of launch, largely because it was only released in Japan. It also didn't help that the NAOMI arcade game on which it is based didn't get a widespread release. Despite this, the game has attained cult classic status with collectors and is arguably one of the best Dreamcast games.
Sega Rosso's Cosmic Smash is unique in that it was released in a DVD-style case rather than a traditional CD jewel case, as was the fashion for Japanese Dreamcast titles. This fact alone has made it more desirable to collectors, and, as a result, its value has risen sharply over the past decade or so.
As for the game itself, it's basically a cross between the sport of squash and Atari's Breakout. Released close to Rez, another Dreamcast classic, the games feel like a natural pairing thanks to their trippy, futuristic visuals and equally tripped-out audio.
The gameplay is also a lot deeper than you might at first suspect; mastering the powerful 'trick shot' system is a challenge, as these shots not only take a short time to charge, but also require joystick movements to pull them off – and, to make things even more demanding, they cause the in-game timer to drop faster, which means there's a risk-verses-reward element in play. Progression through the game is also different each time you play; you can choose routes to take through the game's subway-style level structure.
Cosmic Smash is a game that has sadly been forgotten by Sega; it hasn't been re-released on any other system and hasn't made it onto any digital storefronts. That has kept the value of the Dreamcast original high – but, for once, we'd say this is one title that is worth its asking price.