SEGA Talk Podcast #34: Seaman (1999)

The often requested episode of SEGA Talk is here! Barry and George discuss Seaman, Yoot Saito’s strange SEGA Dreamcast experiment. Learn how the idea came about, the speech recognition tech that made the game possible, what Yoot has been up to since and more!

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Yoot Saito hints at a Seaman return

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“Don’t Panic!” That’s what the t-shirts read in a tweet from Seaman creator Yoot Saito (it’s also on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I doubt there is a connection). The tweet reads “Seemingly, a new project is being started. Guess what from the web-address on their back.” with the web address linking to www.seaman.ai which is currently shown as being under construction. We’ve covered a lot of Seaman news over the past five years, with the most notable headlines being “Nikkei reports that Seaman’s being revived on the 3DS” in 2012, “Nintendo trademarks point towards a new Seaman game” in 2013 and “Devolver Digital wants to make a new Seaman game” in 2015.

Could the mystery project be a remaster, a sequel, a Nintendo exclusive or a team up with a developer like Devolver Digital? Perhaps a Kickstarter will soon be launched? We’ll have to wait and see.

Yoot Saito to host Classic Game Postmortem for Seaman at GDC 2017

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What?

The 2017 Game Developers Conference is just a little over a month away, and just last week it was announced that Japanese game designer Yoot Saito is set to host a behind-the-scenes look at the hit Dreamcast game Seaman in a Classic Game Postmortem. Yes, that’s right, I said “hit”. Despite the quirky nature of Seaman, it went on to become one of the most popular Dreamcast games in Japan – even outselling Shenmue!

The postmortem is set to be an hour long, and given Saito’s unique ideas for games it is sure to be an incredibly interesting discussion. The conference runs from February 27 to March 3, and date and time for the Seaman postmortem are still to be determined. You can learn more about the postmortem and GDC 2017 here.

Seaman creator returning to the gaming industry

lancado-primeiro-no-dreamcast-seaman-mostra-um-perturbador-homem-peixe-que-conversa-com-o-jogador-por-meio-do-microfone-do-videogame-1344280599341_956x500.0Yoot Saito the Seaman creator who also developed games like SimTower and Odama will now be returning to creating more video games. He announced this while speaking at the fourth annual BitSummit festival in Japan where he said he needed to get out of R&D and back into making video games for money.

“That’s the motivation. Computer games make money.” – Yoot Saito (Seaman Creator)

Seaman creator’s last released title was 2012’s luggage friendly 3DS title Aero Porter and then Earthbook which was a iOS app that no one cared about according to Saito, which ended up losing money. He didn’t go into specifics as to what he wanted to do for his next game but he didn’t rule out a spiritual successor but said the average player isn’t ready for a brand-new genre. I have to agree with Yoot Saito, while I would love a new wacky crazy genre created by him, I don’t think the average gamer would care, sadly.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a spiritual successor to Seaman, even if its just a mobile phone app. As long as the microtransactions to don’t take away from the game’s unique fun factor. Who knows, it could be the next wacky app to make it big. What are your thoughts on Yoot Saito returning to game development?

[Source: Destructoid]

Seaman creator on Iwata, talks about canceled Seaman 3DS game

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We know that Seaman creator and IP right holder Yoot Saito has been trying to get a Seaman game off the ground for a long while. We know that in early 2008 he tried to revive the game on mobile devices with Gabo, where your fish is more evolved into an actual ape, this is a year after Seaman 2 released on Playstation 2 in Japan. The game never got a release. We also know that as early as 2012 that Nintendo had been thinking about reviving Seaman on the 3DS and in 2013 Nintendo even tradmarked ‘Mysterious Pet: Legend of the Fish with a Human Face’, which sounds like a game we all know and love. Yoot Saito finally spills the beans on Seaman 3DS which he admits he was working on for awhile, in his farewell post to late Satoru Iwata.

He also talks about how he first met Iwata back in 1996 and how he gave him the job of looking for different types of games for Nintendo platforms. Saito also talks about how his suggestions lead to the Wii controller’s speakers and how him and Iwata experimented with StreetPass technically back in the original Gameboy days. It is a really a fantastic read and shows you why Satoru Iwata will be sorely missed in the video game industry. He was one in a billion. Read the translated blog post after the jump!

Devolver Digital wants to make a new Seaman game

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The Seaman franchise caused a lot of confusion for us here at SEGAbits when it was announced and, well, probably more confusion when we first played it on Dreamcast. That doesn’t mean the game didn’t have a fanbase, the game was the third highest selling Dreamcast game in Japan when it was released and the sequel Seaman 2 (Japan only) sold similar numbers when released in 2007.

In 2008 the creator and company president behind Seaman and Seaman 2, Vivarium Inc, actually tried to get a Seaman spin-off called GABO! on to the Apple App Store. Sadly they where rejected by Apple and doesn’t seem like the game ever came out.

Now flash forward to the present, Chief Financial Officer from the US publisher Devolver Digital has openly asked SEGA to allow them to handle a new entry to the Seaman franchise via the power of Twitter. Devolver Digital is known for publishing titles like Hotline Miami, Shadow Warriror and bringing back the Serious Sam franchise. The only issue I see here is that Devolver Digital is a publisher, basically what SEGA (and their other company they own, Atlus) does already (and has been doing for decades).

But since SEGA hasn’t done anything with the the IP in 8 years, can it really hurt them to license it to another publisher and get it off the ground? What are your thoughts?

Nintendo trademarks point towards a new Seaman game

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In February of last year, we reported on Nintendo wanting bring other publishers’ classic titles to their handheld, and Seaman was said to be one such game. Even earlier than that in 2010, Seaman creator Yoot Saito hinted that Seaman could very well be seeing a 3DS revival. Now, the blog Esuteru reports that Nintendo has registered trademarks that read very much like the beloved SEGA Dreamcast game. The trademarks are for games entitled “Mysterious Pet: Legend of the Fish With A Human Face” and “Mysterious Partner: Legend of the Fish With A Human Face”. While Vivarium Inc., the Nintendo 3DS, and Seaman himself were not mentioned in the trademarks, the previously mentioned news stories do support the possibility of these trademarks being a Seaman sequel or spiritual successor to Seaman. Siliconera notes that Yoot Saito worked directly with Nintendo on the Gamecube’s Odama and most recently developed Aero Porter for the 3DS.

What do you think? Would you want a talking fish in your pocket?

Nikkei reports that Seaman’s being revived on the 3DS

Hold onto your hats, SEGA fans! It looks like the world’s douchiest sea creature may finally be seeing a return…on the Nintendo 3DS. In what’s being cited as an initiative by Nintendo to bring other publishers’ classic titles to their handheld, Seaman has been said by Nikkei to be one such game. No other details were given.

We’ll keep you updated on this news as it unravels. The advantages to a 3DS Seaman title would include the system’s built-in microphone, its touch screen, and, assuming they go all out with this, you’d also of course get to see Seaman’s ugly face in full 3D!

Keep in mind that this is not yet an official announcement, but Seaman creator Yoot Saito’s hint back in 2010 that Seaman could very well be seeing a 3DS revival adds credibility to the story.

Thanks to Chaosmaster8753 for the tip.

New Dreamcast documentary speaks with Masayoshi Kikuchi (Jet Set Radio), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez), Rieko Kodama (Skies of Arcadia), and more

To celebrate the upcoming 20th year anniversary of the SEGA Dreamcast, the Japanese YouTube channel Archipel has decided to go talk to Japanese creators that worked on software for the Dreamcast. This is just the first part and the people they got from SEGA is pretty crazy:

Hiroshi Iuchi (Ikaruga), Kenji Kanno (Crazy Taxi), Masayoshi Kikuchi (Jet Set Radio), Rieko Kodama (Eternal Arcadia/Skies of Arcadia), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Space Channel 5 / Rez), Tetsu Okano (Segagaga), Yoot Saito (Seaman), and Hiroaki Yotoriyama (Soulcalibur)!

Its nice to see some of these creators sit down and talk about their time working on the very iconic Dreamcast, pretty excited to see part two of this documentary series. If you haven’t seen Archipel’s content, you should totally check out other documentaries they have done.

What is the most underrated SEGA Dreamcast game?

Now that the console turns 20 years old over in Japan, the SEGA Dreamcast library has been dived into for over two decades, having people find buried treasure throughout the consoles library. But it still remains that a lot of hardcore users all have one or two titles that only they appreciate and no one talks about really.

So the question for this post is, in your humble opinion, what is the most underrated SEGA Dreamcast game? Of course this can have many answers and some of the choices will be personal. I could go on in this post talking about underrated games like Napple Tale, MDK 2, Super Magnetic Neo, Toy Commander, Cannon Spike, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The Last Blade 2, Tech Romancer, Elemental Gimmick Gear, SegaGaGa, Record of the Lodoss War, Cosmic Smash, Seaman, and many more. But I want to hear your underrated Dreamcast titles and why you consider them underrated!

SEGA Retrospective: An overview of Japanese only SEGA games, Part 2

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When SEGA dropped out of the hardware business, SEGA fans wanted more games than ever before. Sadly, that didn’t happen as best as it could have. While several great SEGA games came to the west, several never saw a release outside Japan. In part two of this SEGA retrospective, we go through every system’s Japanese exclusives and add our own opinions on games SEGA should have localized and how they could have handled the Japanese line-up better.

SEGA Retrospective: An overview of Japanese Only SEGA games

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Sega is a Japanese company first and foremost, no way around it. As I did in the previous two articles of mine, I will delve into the Japanese side of Sega, and exclusively tailor this to Japanese only Sega games that have not made into the west, as well as how those types of games evolved. Read on for a retrospective look back at some games you likely never heard or about and surely never played!

SEGAbits presents The Top 100 SEGA Games

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At long last, The Top 100 SEGA Games list is here! Those who follow the site know that this ginormous list has been a long time coming. Back in October 2015 we began gathering top 25 lists from the SEGAbits community and the SEGA fan community as a whole for what was at the time intended to be compiled into a list of top 50 SEGA games. The reason for a list was a reaction to a certain big name gaming site that released a top 100 video games list without a single SEGA title. How IGNorant.

Seeing as a ranked top 25 list is a lot to ask, we gave fans all of 2016 to submit lists that followed strict guidelines. Games had to satisfy two of the following: be published by SEGA, be developed by SEGA, IP owned by SEGA. Also games had to be released between 1960 and October 19th, 2015. Once the lists were collected, we had over fifty lists of top 25 games. That’s over 1,250 entries covering nearly 300 games! Now, after six months of compiling, counting, sorting and writing up descriptions we are finally very happy to present to you The Top 100 SEGA Games!

Special thanks to the SEGAbits writing team for pitching in to tally votes and write descriptions when I felt that the task was impossible. And of course, special thanks to SEGA for making the games we love.

Peter Moore talks SEGA Dreamcast days in recent IGN Unfiltered Interview

Peter Moore talked about the SEGA Dreamcast days in a Unfiltered interview posted up by IGN. The video is an hour and a half talk about the man’s career and what led him to be EA’s Chief Competition Officer. Some of the games that he said made him smile from the Dreamcast era included Seaman, Samba De Amigo and he even mentions Yu Suzuki’s SEGA-AM2 studio with Shenmue.

Peter Moore worked for the underdog brands which included Reebok, SEGA and later the Xbox division. Peter Moore is a interesting guy and this interview shows it with a few more bits like his son being a SEGA Saturn owner before he worked at SEGA, pitching his ideas to SEGA Japan and the mysteries behind his marketing TV spots. Really makes you miss the days of SEGA hardware, huh?

Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: The Official Dreamcast Magazine blasts off with Space Channel 5

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During their short run, the US Official Dreamcast Magazine managed to produce some excellent covers showcasing a wide range of Dreamcast titles. Unlike other gaming magazines tied to a single company, ODCM didn’t rely on mascots to sell the latest issue. Amazingly, Sonic only appeared on two covers during the magazine’s run; the promotional Issue 0 and the premiere issue. from issue 2 and beyond, ODCM shifted the spotlight to both first and third party franchises from a range of genres. Either it was a testament to the console’s strong library, or the editorial staff’s taste, but not a single issue of the magazine gave a cover story to a dud of a game. In this installment of Classic SEGA Magazine Corner we’re taking a look at issue 4 which gave Space Channel 5‘s Ulala the cover treatment, a full introductory spread, and the top slot in an article about great Dreamcast games due for release in 2000. Enough talk, let’s crack this issue open!