Ristar joins SEGA Forever line-up

Ristar3Sonic Team’s Ristar might have only had one game, but it was a pretty damn good one. The stretchy armed platformer featured fantastic music, vibrant and colorful world. The game was also more of a slower platformer, having Sonic Team take a break from Sonic the Hedgehog games was a nice change of pace. If you never played the game, I feel like you should try it on a better emulator than what is being offered right now on SEGA Forever, but if a mobile phone is all you have then you can give the game a try for free, with ads. If you like what you played, you can always keep it ad-free for only $1.99. I have downloaded and played it a bit, the emulation on this title is a bit better, but still having issues with sound (on my Android device).


It seems that Ristar had a sneak launch, while SEGA Forever teased the game, they haven’t officially announced it coming out. No trailer like they did for The Revenge of Shinobi last week and no tweet (as of writing this). If you want to learn more about the future of the SEGA Forever line of games, check out our interview with Danny Russell (Mobile Games Community Manager at SEGA).

Round Table: How we would like to see Ristar brought into the modern era

Ristar week has been a blast, but it ain’t over until we throw a round table! This week, our writers answer the question: “How would you like to see Ristar brought into the modern era?” Despite Ristar’s short lifespan in the 90’s, the character’s popularity has endured, as evidenced by our full week of Ristar coverage and Ristar’s inclusion as a cameo in Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing and his second cameo as the flagman for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. But cameos are not enough for SEGA’s star headed platformer, we think he deserves more.

Read on to see how we would like to see Ristar brought into the modern era!

The SEGA Five: Ristar’s Coolest Bosses

Ristar has some of the most spectacular and varied bosses I’ve ever experienced in a sidescrolling platformer. Though they aren’t all hits (such as Scorch’s somewhat irritating Simon Say’s sub boss) the five bosses below will remain some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had on the Genesis (and Game Gear), Ristar’s rogues gallery has some star players that are worth highlighting. I’d like to note that I purposefully left out the final bosses of the games, partially to avoid spoiling people who haven’t beaten these cult classics, and to highlight some more varied experiences from the games.

Some of these bosses never received official names. This article will be referencing the names used in Ristar Star Cluster for this article.

Retro Review: Ristar the Shooting Star

 Ristar title copy

SEGA’s catalog is quite literally littered with spectacular characters and franchises that either never took off or never made it to the west. We each have our favorites and one of mine is a little game for the Genesis called Ristar, a glowing example of SEGA’s mascot aspirations that was unfortunately unable to find an audience.

Back in the early Genesis days, SEGA was looking for their Mario killer. After Alex Kidd failed to save the Master System from being anything more than a speed bump to the NES’s growing monopoly, SEGA knew it needed a mascot that could capture the imagination (and money) of gamers. As we all know, they would eventually come up with Sonic the Hedgehog. Along the way, however, they created some other concepts, including a bunny that could throw things at enemies. This concept would percolate within SEGA for years, until it was finally released in 1995 as Ristar.

Art of SEGA: Ristar the Shooting Star

All Sonic fans are familiar with the work of Yuji Uekawa. He has been the franchise’s primary character designer for nearly two decades now, taking the reigns in 1996 with Sonic 3D Blast. He’s most notable for completely redesigning Sonic and his friends for the new millennium in Sonic Adventure, and has played a pivotal role in the character design of most Sonic and Sonic Team titles since then.

Before Sonic though, Uekawa had Ristar. He was Ristar’s lead character designer, designing all of the characters in the game including Ristar himself. Unfortunately, there is no art book for Ristar, so we had to rip the designs straight from the Japanese version of the manual, which is filled with beautiful illustrations of Ristar and other characters, as well as a few nice instructional comics and backgrounds. We’ll also be including the sprite artwork from the credits.

The character artwork was taken from SEGA Retro’s Ristar manual scans. The sprite artwork was ripped by Dr. Schnaps. The various bits of trivia and character information can be sourced to Ristar Cluster. Enjoy!

SEGA Tunes: Ristar’s Du-Di-Da!!

Planet Sonata is probably my favorite stage in Ristar. The first stage has you carrying metronomes to song birds and gradually activating the instruments for the stage’s background music. It all culminates in the stage’s boss fight, which attacks you to the rhythm of this theme! Planet Sonata is a perfect example of what makes Ristar special: it’s creative, unique, and introduces gimmicks and elements that are then discarded for the rest of the game in favor of other gimmicks.

If the early stages of Ristar don’t grab you, I would encourage you to at least try to stick around until Planet Sonata

SEGA Retrospective: It’s Ristar Week, c’mon!


I’d like to welcome you to Ristar Week! This week we’ll be focusing on Ristar’s depressingly short run as a video game star, looking back on the character’s two games. Sonic Team’s star-faced hero never got his due back when he first came around. Debuting just a few months after the release of the 32X and just a few months before the US debut of the Saturn, Ristar came out at a time when the Genesis was no longer a console SEGA was interested in selling. As a result, Ristar was ignored and became a cult classic. This week, SEGAbits will be giving Ristar his long overdue respect.

  First, though, a little history lesson.

SEGA Tunes: Ristar’s Planet Freon – Ring Rink

As we near Christmas day, I knew a festive Tuesday Tunes was in order. The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is filled with great wintery tunes, but I felt Sonic has been covered far too much on Tuesday Tunes (and for a good reason, Sonic music is awesome!). Christmas NiGHTS would be perfect, but it’s too obvious. Shenmue‘s Christmas tunes would be perfect, but we’ve aleady covered them. And that’s when it hit me, Sonic Team’s Ristar has an excellent winter tune. The game’s fifth stage, Planet Freon, is a planet made entirely of ice and snow. But you won’t find Imperial Walkers and Wampas on this ice planet, instead you’ll find downhill skiing and a bizarre alien enemy chucking snowballs. The music for the first portion of the stage begins almost as if you’re about to hear Jingle Bells, but what follows is a catchy tune with solid drum beats and a peppy tune perfectly suitable for a winter wonderland. So as the sun goes down on this Christmas eve, why not revisit this SEGA Genesis classic? It’s the best present you can give yourself.

Ristar revealed to be the flagman in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

In the last All-Stars Racing title, fans pushed for NiGHTS and Ristar and ended up with NiGHTS making a cameo as the flagman and Ristar appearing alongside the track in the Death Egg DLC. Now, in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, NiGHTS moved his way up to the racing roster leaving the flagman spot open. Sumo Digital hinted that a flying character would take NiGHTS place, and fans speculated on a number of characters including Opa Opa. But in the end, thanks to a preview from ve3tro.com, Ristar has been confirmed as the game’s flagman.

You know the development team tried their best when the race starts and Ristar is cheerfully waving the flag. Each of the courses is a visual treat that will certainly make gamers smile. The various transformations that take place in real time make it even more exciting to look at.

SEGAbits @ SAGE 2022: Interview with Noah Copeland on Sonic Triple Trouble 16-BIT – PART ONE

As part of our SAGE coverage, we managed to get a hold of Noah Copeland to come have a chat with us about the development of his fangame Sonic Triple Trouble 16 bit. This love letter to the classic Game Gear game released to much fanfair last month, remaking the original games visual to fit perfectly with it’s classic Mega Drive counterparts, featuring the ability to switch between Sonic or Tails as well as multiple playable characters. Hit the break for the first of two part interview with Noah as he goes into more detail about the fan games history and development ideology!

See the complete SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Mini 2 lineup – European release confirmed!

TONS of SEGA Mega Drive Mini 2 and SEGA Genesis Mini 2 news today! First up, Europe WILL be getting the mini console as well. It will release October 27th alongside the Japanese and American models. At the moment we do not know if the lineup will differ for Europe, but for now it seems it will be the same as the American lineup.

In a live stream, the final Mega Drive Mini 2 titles were revealed. They are: Star Cruiser, Night Trap – MEGA CD, Mahou no Shoujo: Silky Lip, Granada, Ex-Ranza, Shin Souseiky Ragnacenty, Midnight Resistance, Chelnov, Honoo no Tokyuuji Dodge Danpei, Captain Tsubasa, Super Locomotive (arcade port), Party Quiz Mega Q 2022 (MEGA Q with modern questions), Party Quiz Sega Q (MEGA Q with SEGA questions and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi as the host), Devi & Pii (unreleased Takashi Iizuka game), VS Puyo Puyo SUN (Mega Drive port of the Saturn game), Space Harrier (remastered), Space Harrier II (remastered). If you would like more details and factoids on these titles, I suggest this Twitter thread from GSK. Personally, I am excited to see ports of Space Harrier and Spacer Harrier II that play like the arcade original.

Also revealed on the live stream were new merch, including a Mega Drive 2 keychain, business card holder and a slick travel case. It was also revealed that the console’s staff role will play over the MEGA CD loading screen, which will change according to your language settings, and the credits can be toggled on and off. Also, select games will include regional variations based on console language settings. Sadly, not ALL titles will do this with Popful Mail being one of them.

FINALLY, the full SEGA Genesis Mini 2 lineup was revealed, which can be seen in the video above. After the break, check out the full lineup for both consoles including regional exclusives in bold.

SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Mini Review – Mini Console, Mega Heart

Well it’s the 30th anniversary of the SEGA Genesis (aka the Mega Drive). The SEGA Genesis for decades now has been fondly looked back due to it’s strong kit and solid lineup of games, which is reflected in it being SEGA’s best selling console of all time. While it did eventually stutter late into it’s life, ironically from SEGA themselves trying to expand on the console with peripherals like the SEGA CD and SEGA 32X, those that remember the system back in the day remember SEGA’s aggressive push to outsmart their main competition Nintendo. This resulted in quite a number of notable titles being developed over the years, both from SEGA themselves with their arcade ports and original titles, to other third parties contributing to the system like Compile, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Konami, and Namco.

Now 30 years later due to the “mini console” fad, SEGA is now pumping out a huge love letter in a tiny package, simply called the SEGA Genesis Mini. Will this small machine bring out that nostalgic heart tug, or is it more like an embarrassing memory from ages ago?

SEGA Genesis Classics hits Nintendo Switch on December 7

It looks like the Nintendo Switch version of the SEGA Genesis Classics compilation will hit the console hybrid portable this December 7, 2018. Looks like they really wanted to hit that holiday period. The collection will feature over 50 SEGA Genesis era titles.

Hot on the heels of the Sega Ages titles announced last week and set to launch during the Tokyo Gaming Show, SEGA continues a winter of bringing great classics to the portable Switch. Retro fans can now finally play the Genesis / Mega Drive collection on their way to school or work, in their lunch break or basically anywhere on the go! Sega Genesis Classics / Sega Mega Drive Classics has over 50 retro favorites to experience across every genre: arcade action, shooters, beat’m ups, puzzlers and hidden gems, with a raft of modern features. Exclusively for the Nintendo Switch players can now compete in same-screen local coop mode and use each Joy-Con individually if desired. Familiar features like online multiplayer, achievements, mirror modes, rewind and save states are all part of the collection for everyone to revisit and enjoy.
You can check out the list of games included after the break.

The Top 10 SEGA Genesis Classics Games

In 2017 we announced the Top 100 SEGA Games, as decided by the SEGAbits staff, readers and social media followers. With the upcoming SEGA Genesis Classics collection for Playstation 4 and Xbox One, releasing May 29, we thought it would be fun to use the data collected for the Top 100 SEGA Games and see what the top 10 most popular games in the SEGA Genesis Classics are. After the break, check out the list and in the comments below let us know your favorite Genesis/Mega Drive games!