SLaVE announced for SEGA Dreamcast

The Dreamcast’s life-after-death continues with yet another new game from the indie scene: Jay Townsend’s SLaVE. This new game is considerably different from most other indie projects the Dreamcast has received over the last few years. Neither a sh’mup nor an old school RPG, SLaVE is instead a colorful first person shooter built around an enhanced Doom engine called 3DGE.

Jay Townsend is making this game in collaboration with indie developer Isotope and GOAT Store Publishing. Only 484 copies of the game will be produced, including 400 limited edition copies and 84 “Limited Limited” edition copies, which will be sold for $20.84 and $30.84 respectively. You can pre-order them here. Production is slated to begin in April 2015.

SLaVE is supposed to combine the game design sensibilities and aesthetics of 80s arcade shooters with old school first person shooters like Doom and Wolfenstein. The game was originally revealed for the PC and is not currently slated for any other platforms besides the Dreamcast.

This isn’t the only Dreamcast project GOAT Store and Isotope are working on. Earlier this year GOAT Store revealed that it would be publishing another Isotope project running on the same technology, Hypertension: Harmony of Darkness. Check out a developers diary for SLaVE and a trailer for Hypertension below the fold. Check out the official press release here.

SEGA Saturday Morning Ads: It’s Evening in America…

The Dreamcast had one of the best advertisement campaigns in video game history. Period. Its ads took all of the best parts of SEGA’s Genesis era advertisement and infused it with fun and consistent quality. Every single time I click a Dreamcast ad and expect something ho-hum, I’m surprised by yet another kick-ass ad.

Here we have a parody of the classic Reagan re-election ad, “Morning in America”. With narration by Seaman. And whistling by guys from Quake 3, NFL 2K and NBA 2K. And a bunch of SEGA characters screwing around inside people’s Dreamcasts. And while Seaman gives a beautiful speech about Americans coming together so they can whoop each other’s asses, you’ve got gamers celebrating and raging over victories and losses. You’ve got house fires, decapitated teddy bears and exploding trailers. This ad is a perfect example of a great SEGA ad: well written, well directed, well voiced, plenty of game footage and plenty to get you pumped.

This ad is a thing of beauty. I hope you enjoy it, have a fine Saturday morning and play some Dreamcast.

SEGA Import Guide: Cool Cool Toon (SEGA Dreamcast)

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More than eight years since the death of SEGA’s final console, SEGA fans have been left digging deeper and deeper into their console’s libraries, looking for new games to play. Though impressions, reviews and videos for SEGA’s English language releases are typically easy to find, information on their console’s Japanese exclusive selection of games can be quite elusive. That is why we at SEGAbits are launching a new feature focused on the quality and playability of SEGA console regional exclusives. Today, we will be looking at an obscure rhythm game released by SNK exclusively for the Dreamcast in mid-2000: Cool Cool Toon. I’d like to give a special shout out to my niece for getting me this for my birthday!

Cool Cool Toon is a unique game in SNK’s Dreamcast library. A rhythm game made from the ground up for the Dreamcast, it was neither a fighting game nor an arcade port. It is so far removed from what SNK did for the system that it doesn’t even look like an SNK game at first glance. It does share one common thread with other SNK games though: it is very easy to pick up and play.

Tuesday Tunes: Propeller Arena’s Shaving Your Life

I thought it would be best to start out the month with something many of you may have never heard, at least not in a SEGA game. The above track is a little gem from the canceled (and subsequently leaked) SEGA Dreamcast game, Propeller Arena. We’ll be covering the game in more detail later this month, but for now I’d like to talk about the game’s soundtrack.

Propeller Arena’s soundtrack is filled to the brim of punk rock, including nine tracks from five different guest bands. I have to admit that I don’t really care for a lot of it (including many of the AM2 produced tracks), but there are definitely some gems in it that I absolutely love. The above track was composed by a “Mad Caddies”, a band I definitely intend to check out after this. Whenever I’m blasting through the game I usually try to keep it on this and one or two other tracks because it does a great job getting your blood pumping while you’re dogfighting seven other planes over cityscapes, volcanic islands and castle.

Below I’ve included another track that I discovered when I downloaded the game’s OST. I suspect it’s something I need to unlock since I can’t currently find it in the game’s options menu. I also can’t find any info of it online, so I have no idea who made it. Should I ever find out I’ll be sure to give it its own Tuesday Tune, since it is my favorite track in the OST bar none.

Please check out “Welcome to the Promised Land” below the fold.

Retro Review: Shadow Squadron (SEGA 32X)

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Anyone who thinks the 32X was nothing more than a steaming pile of shit has never played Shadow Squadron. If they had, they’d not only know that the 32X had its share of great titles, they’d know it played host to what was quite easily the best space sim available for fourth generation consoles. It may have paled in comparison to PC sims like Wing Commander and the X-Wing series, but it beat the shit out of anything on the 16-bit consoles.

I think there’s no better way to end 32X month then with a look back at one of the platform’s best titles. Known as Stellar Assault in Europe and Japan, Shadow Squadron was one of the closest things the 32X had to a true killer app during its brief lifespan. Check below the fold as we explore what makes this hidden, forgotten gem so special.

SEGA Saturday Morning Ads: Doom 32X helps butchers keep their mind off work

 

Alright, we haven’t been too kind to SEGA’s marketing campaign for the 32X, so I thought it would be great to end things on a high note: the Doom ad. The Doom ad is fucking awesome, embodying everything that was great about SEGA marketing in those days.

Is it edgy? Yeah. Does it match the tone of the game? Hell yeah. Does it make you want to go out and buy the game? Fuck yeah. Doom was known for being a gory, violent, bloody game, and on the higher difficulties it could be a hell of a meat grinder. Placing it in a slaughter house, with lots of kid friendly gore and even an actual meat grinder? Having butchers who are surrounded by real gore every day talking about how intense the violence in Doom is? Genius. This is an ad that understood its product and knew how to sell it, easily making it the best 32X ad SEGA’s produced. It’s simple, smart and doesn’t get into any of the distracting weirdness or camera mugging of other ads. Most importantly, this ad didn’t just tell, it showed, something every other 32X ad failed to do.

So enjoy, and be sure to tune in next week, as we start taking a look back at a considerably better advertisement campaign for another, more successful SEGA platform…

Rise From Your Grave: Spot Goes to Hollywood for the SEGA 32X

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Back in 1995, SEGA promised 50 titles for the 32X by the end of that year. Unfortunately, the onslaught of the “true” next gen systems from SEGA and Sony would take its toll on SEGA’s little mushroom, and it died a silent death with only 39 titles in its library. Numerous titles were canceled, many of them notable, including Daytona USA and Castlevania Bloodletting. Some however, were just prettier ports of Genesis titles. Today’s game is one of those titles, a never before seen version of Spot Goes to Hollywood. Dumped to a mere 35 reproduction carts earlier this year, this ROM has yet to be released to the public.

Today, SEGAbits is proud to present a first look at a game only a few hundred people have ever seen before. What is it like? What makes it unique to other versions of the game? Answers lie below the fold.

A User’s Guide to Darxide for the SEGA 32X

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Since the day I joined SEGAbits, one of my goals has always been to shed light and draw attention to some of the more obscure games in SEGA’s history. With 32X month in full swing, it just didn’t seem right to let the month pass without writing some kind of article that sheds light on one of the rarest titles in the system’s small library: Darxide. This is a game that few people have played and even fewer people know how to play, so today I’m not only going to go over the history of the game, I’m also going to explain its mechanics so that if you do ever get to play the game, you’ll know how.

Tuesday Tunes: Kolibri’s Infestation

Kolibri is a neat little cute-em up shooter from the Ecco development team Novotrade. It’s probably best described as a mix between Ecco the Dolphin and Fantasy Zone. In some levels the goal is to fly around a level to seek out and destroy enemies. In others, you need to solve an environmental puzzle to progress to the stage goal. Finally, some stages are just straight up, left-to-right scrolling shooter stages. It’s an interesting and unique game with a soundtrack to match.

The soundtrack was composed by Zsolt Dvornik, a Hungarian Jazz guitarist. It sounds reminiscent of Ecco’s soundtrack: atmospheric and subdued. Infestation has a very primal sound that goes extremely well with the game’s realistic art style and wilderness setting. Compared to the bombastic soundtrack of most other side scrolling shooters, Kolibri is a unique and wholly different beast.

SEGA Saturday Morning Ads: SEGA Does the Math

That awkward sexually infused ad we featured at the beginning of the month wasn’t the only 32X ad rapper Chill E.B. starred in. He also featured in this other, considerably better advertisement that focused on the math rather than the weird sexual innuendo one could infer from two consoles hooking-up.

That math is pretty sketchy though, as it often was in these ads. Much like how bits and blast processing were little more than marketing terms that oversimplified complex technology, the math here seems to have very little basis in fact. I could believe the 32X being significantly more powerful than the SNES, but I sincerely doubt that the 32X was four times more powerful than the 3D0. The console that was two and a half times more expensive at the time, and even though it was being sold for a significant profit by companies that didn’t see a dime in software profits I find it hard to believe that the 32X could have simultaneously over-powered and underpriced the competition, at least without magic. The fact that the 3D0 produced better looking games doesn’t help SEGA’s case, either.

Of course, the 32X died off so quickly we likely never got to see what the hardware was truly capable, so who knows? Either way, this ad is one of the best that the 32X got. It emphasized what the consumers cared about: graphics and games. It highlighted the right and actually demonstrated what the 32X was capable of. The math may have been bullshit, but at least the games weren’t!