Posts Tagged ‘sega’
This week Fred sits down with Ali of 42 Level One to discuss the more popular 32-bit generation of CD-ROM consoles. What started as a disaster with the 3DO Interactive Player gave way to the big releases of the Sega Saturn and the Sony Playstation. While the Saturn may seem dead in the water for the West, it was a strong presence in the East. Finally everything wraps up with the beloved console that lacked sales: the Sega Dreamcast.
This is an update on a topic from the past. This week Fred and Jam are re-hashing the original episode Blast Processing: The Story of Sonic (Part 1) and discussing Sonic the Hedgehog. As a change of pace, they discuss the iconography of the blue hedgehog and how he evolved over time. Be sure to listen to the end of the show for a very special message from Jamalais.
Rise Of Nightmares
The Xbox Kinect 1.0. Yes I’m talking about Microsoft’s first attempt at motion controls on the fantastic Xbox 360 console. The device actually sold pretty well to begin with people seemed to buy into Microsoft’s marketing for the device for about 5 minutes and then people left it on the side lines only to pull it out from the dusty corner of the living room when a new entry in the Dance Central series released. Then Kinect 2.0 happened and no one cared, so the real horror here is Kinect’s failure to capture an audience. Of course you’d have seen the title and you know that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No horror fans, today we are going to talk about the reason I kinda wanted to buy a Kinect for the Xbox 360 in the first place a little Sega title called Rise of Nightmares.
Rise of Nightmares to me is House of the Dead for the Kinect. Now I know that’s an incredibly bold statement to make since the House of the Dead series is just light gun zombie shooting bliss and Rise of Nightmares, well its a Kinect game and that just makes people just groan generally. We’re gamers right? we don’t like standing up and flailing our arms around we like to sit on sofa and be lazy. Unless of course your like Fred and you stand up to play games anyway in which case buy this game and enjoy.
This week Jam’s pick was Psychic World. An action platformer originally released on the MSX as Psycho World (it was Japan only), this title received wider regard in the West as a Game Gear title and those in Europe may have also played the Sega Master System version. Fred and Jam dissect the development, gameplay, and version differences between this largely forgotten title by an almost unknown developer.
Sega celebrated Sonic’s 25th Anniversary with a whopping 4 hour livestream for a relatively small amount of content. The stream was loaded with audio issues as well, so I guess it’s only fitting that a duplicating echo effect is present through this entire show as well, although we feel it’s still good enough to listen to and enjoy. Fred and Jam are joined by 42 Level One’s Andy and Ali to discuss the blue hedgehog’s upcoming endeavors.
Recently I saw on twitter that Sega was asking its fans to fill out a online survey to help them figure out what they need to do next for the company. That or it’s a long list of tick boxes just to take our e-mail address and sell it on to third parties. Well I got half way through the survey where I had typed a long page essay of why I wanted another sexy Altered Beast arcade game only to realize, “you know what? I’m going to write a letter instead!” So here it is folks, my open letter to Sega on some loving advice – from the heart – to get them back on track:
Sega is most famous for hyper segmenting its markets in the 16-bit generation with the Sega CD and 32X. This resulted in reduced audiences each time a game was developed. This was especially the case in 1994 when the Genesis/Mega Drive was struggling to keep up with the more popular SNES, the Sega CD was limited by the high price of hardware, and the 32X just plain didn’t have games. Fred and Jam discuss the attributes and games that make these two add-ons significant.
This is probably my most anticipated game of 2016. A new game for the Wonder Boy, well its spiritual successor. The latest trailer for Monster Boy looks like a love letter to Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap by featuring animal transformations in the game. Inspiration and love from both Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Wonder Boy in Monster World by featuring the infamous merchant sections from Land. It was interesting to see the trailer features animated cutscenes which look kinda cute. The developers have been allowed to practically mimic the formula made famous by the Wonder Boy series, Sega just didn’t want to give up the name for some reason. I guess Sega’s just going to sit on that IP and do nothing with it while other developers work around them, thanks Sega stay classy.
Interesting to note the game is going to be released to PS4, Xbox One, and PC but it has been rumoured the game will come to Wii U and PS Vita if the game does well. Not only would I love for this game to come to a portable device but I want Sega to release a complete Wonder Boy Collection. We were fortunate enough to get a Wonder Boy Collection of three games on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 but there are still several games on the series that very much need a re release. Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap one of the best Sega Master System (and Game Gear) games for the system can only be found on the original Wiis virtual console which is quite disappointing. The only glimmer of hope is Monster Boy sells 40 billion copies and Sega at least considers releasing the old games. But I guess I’ll keep dreaming.
At the end of the day I’m hugely excited for Monster Boy. Hopefully the game will do well and we will see ports to other consoles but more importantly I want to see sequels. I want more games like this and hopefully it will encourage more developers to attempt to bring back for forgotten gems from the past, even if they can’t use the name. If you can’t call it Kid Chameleon call it Power Helmets ….. anyone buy that?
Formerly known as “Is it Kusoge?” the series has changed to “How Bad Could It Be?” and we’re playing notoriously bad games. In addition, these videos are more brief cut together highlight reels to determine what Fred thinks of the game. This time he’s looking at the 2006 release of Sonic the Hedgehog on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. How bad could it be?
Warning: This video contains adult language.
Altered Beast was a game that lived in screenshots. Like it or not, the arcade System 16 classic was less known for the roller skating rinks, bars, and bowling alleys that it was intended to get popular on and instead became the poster child for early Genesis advertising. I say this as someone who was under 10 years old at the time it premiered, though, so perhaps it was burning up the arcades, but all I seem to remember was it coming home. I did get a chance to play the title in coin-op form at my local bowling alley, but after a handful of attempts that never got me further than the second level I gave up on replaying the game. When it came home, however, I needed it on my Genesis and I replayed it constantly. In fact, for a game that is not only easy but also quick to complete (probably about 30 minutes), I find myself replaying it more than most other games from my past. This even more odd given that, sadly, Altered Beast is not a very good game.
The premise is that of a centurion of Greece brought back by Zeus to save Athena, his daughter, who has been kidnapped. Upon your resurrection, you now gain the ability to take the form of different animals in a sort of “were-” hybrid (werewolf, weredragon, werebear, etc) that can be accomplished by collecting power-ups in the level. Beyond that Altered Beast is nothing more than a walk to the right and beat up everything in your path game, often known today as a brawler, but given that it pre-dates most of the Konami licensed brawlers and Capcom’s Final Fight, it was significant for the time. Levels can vary in length, but if you know the game in the least – and what needs to be done – you’ll clear each one in 5 minutes or less. Given that there’s only 5 levels, that’s a short time span. When I refer to knowing what needs to be done, that’s the need to destroy the albino wolves in each level, which contain the power-ups needed to make your character’s strength grow and eventually trigger “beast mode.” Each level rotation has 3 albino wolves and it takes 3 power-ups to go into beast mode, so you have to do it right the first time through or go through another rotation of the level that is usually harder than the first. Beast mode refers to your character transforming into the aforementioned were-beasts from earlier and has even crept its way into pop culture as a meme. While there are new enemies in each level, they all take basically the same amount of hits to defeat and aside form some basic change in behavior, don’t differentiate very much. That’s still not to say this game didn’t have talent behind it because designer Makoto Uchida would earn some notoriety for his future work on Golden Axe and a personal favorite Dynamite Deka (Die Hard Arcade series). Co-designer Hirokazu Yasuhara is even more notable with his planning and design on the early Sonic the Hedgehog titles before moving on and being involved in the design of Jak & Daxter titles with Naughty Dog and eventually the first Uncharted.