Swingin’ Report Show #80: Interview with Aaron Webber, Sonic the Hedgehog PR & Social Media Manager

He’s back! After leaving SEGA of America in 2014, Aaron Webber has returned as the PR & Social Media Manager for the Sonic the Hedgehog brand. Since returning, Aaron has been making waves on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, catching both fan and media attention with his sly wit and deep knowledge of the franchise.

Aaron was kind enough to sit down with us for an hour in his first interview since returning to SEGA to talk about his new role, SEGA’s move to LA, his approach to interacting with fans, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, his favorite Sonic games, and answers to some burning canon questions!

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Year of the Developers: From the Gridiron to the Basketball court, these are the games of SEGA’s Visual Concepts

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This month we will be celebrating the games of Visual Concepts, a western developer that is best known for the creation of the 2K Sports franchise of games. Not only did they have a long history battling EA on the Dreamcast; but they continue to battle against the EA Sports brand video games even after leaving our favorite publisher. What better month than July to focus on this largely overlooked and talented US-based development team. After the break, let’s look back at the games and history of Visual Concepts!

Hit Reset sharpens his skills in Wild Woody for the SEGA CD

This time on Hit Reset, we take a look at a long forgotten footnote in SEGA’s history, a mascot platformer by the name of Wild Woody. Barely remembered at its release and even less remembered now, Wild Woody is generally considered to be one of the worst platformers ever made during the era.

However, I see things just a little bit differently. Wild Woody has some things no other game ever had, for better or worse. So, if you wanna learn what in the hell this odd platformer is, or watch me defent a notoriously bad game, well, this is your shot, and trust me, i have quite a bit of help to do this…

Thanks to Joesph Kerska (the real, original voice of Woody), Bumblefoot (the game’s composer), and everyone else who helped make this video far better then it had any right to be.

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Classic SEGA Ads: F-Zero GX for Nintendo Gamecube will make your heart race

It has been a little over 14 years since SEGA went third party, and while at the time it was a shock to learn that the company would be releasing games on once rival consoles, now most fans have grown accustomed to third party SEGA. In fact, it has been so long since the announcement that now we have a whole new generation of fans who pinpoint a third party SEGA game as their introduction to the company! I’m not one to use the tired expression “I feel old”, but that realization almost makes me want to utter it (almost). Back in the early 2000s, when third party SEGA went into full swing, fans were seeing the likes of Crazy Taxi on PS2, Sonic Adventure on Gamecube, and Jet Set Radio‘s sequel JSRF on the Xbox. Shocking, sure, but nothing could give SEGA fans whiplash like the announcement that SEGA’s own Amusement Vision team were to develop a new game in a fully Nintendo owned classic franchise – enter F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX.

Swingin’ Report Show #79: Shenmue 3 E3 Reveal & Kickstarter

We’re still pinching ourselves, because we can’t believe this is real life. Yu Suzuki is finally set to make Shenmue 3, having just announced the long awaited game at E3 and launching a Kickstarter to fund the project this week. On this episode of the Swingin’ Report Show, George and Barry discuss their reactions to the news, share opinions on the Kickstarter, and tackle the misconceptions of Sony’s involvement. We also speculate what Suzuki has planned for the third game based on past interviews and recently revealed details.

Check out Shenmue 3 on Kickstarter at kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3

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SEGA Tunes: Hideki Naganuma brings The Concept of Love to Ollie King

While SEGA’s arcade skateboarding title Ollie King is often given Smilebit credit, as mentioned in our kick-off retrospective, the title is still very much an Amusement Vision game. Still, given the Smilebit talent involved in Ollie King‘s creation, I can easily see why people make the mistake. Hell, I thought the game was a Smilebit arcade game until I played it for the first and only time at a GameWorks in Schaumburg, Illinois back in 2005 and saw that “AV” logo. While Ollie King‘s art style and graphics are very much in the same style as Smilebit’s JSRF, and what really pushes the Smilebit feel over the edge is the incredible soundtrack from SEGA music veteran Hideki Naganuma. Not only does the game feature original tracks including pulse-pounders like “Boarder 70″, “Let It Go”, and “Too Fast”, slower celebrative tracks like “Funk to the Top”, as well as the lovingly wacky “Brother Goes Away”, the game also features two remixes of original tracks from Jet Set Radio Future!

This is Saturn gets puzzled, with Puyo Puyo Sun

This is Saturn bounces back with Puyos, Suns, Arle Nadja, Satan, and more!

This time, we’re having a look at the third game in the incredibly popular Puyo Puyo series, Puyo Puyo Sun! Many’s first experience with the puzzler series was Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine; a game I personally still don’t like much. But can the same be said of Sun? Find out in this episode of This is Saturn!

This is Saturn is a video series created by British teenager Liam ‘TrackerTD’ Ashcroft, aiming to give an alternative and in-depth look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of SEGA Saturn gaming, all whilst maintaining a somewhat strong accent.

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Classic SEGA Ads: Super Monkey Ball 2 is like a party but better than a party!

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When SEGA made the announcement that they were going third party, a lot of fans felt the pain of not seeing SEGA games on SEGA hardware anymore. But that pain didn’t last long, as over the next few years SEGA would release a slew of modern day classics to the Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo Gamecube. Each console had their own unique games, and each could claim a certain SEGA IP. While Xbox and Playstation owners had the more adult Virtua Fighter and Panzer Dragoon games, the kid friendly Gamecube had the Super Monkey Ball series. I’ll admit, as a PS2 and Xbox owner at the time, I wrote the Super Monkey Ball games off as kiddie nonsense. Boy was that a mistake.

SEGAbits & Sonic Retro present Boom Talkalaka #4: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Emergency Broadcast

SEGAbits and Sonic Retro team up to bring you a podcast focused on SEGA’s new Sonic Boom franchise! Hosted by Barry the Nomad of SEGAbits.com and David the Lurker of SonicRetro.org, Boom Talkalaka features discussion of the many aspects of Sonic Boom – from comics and episodes of the cartoon, to the video games and toys.

In this emergency broadcast, Barry and David discuss SEGA’s surprising reveal of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for Nintendo 3DS. That’s right, the games aren’t over yet! Oh… but the comics are, as we also discuss the sad cancellation of Archie’s Sonic Boom comics which will occur with issue 11. We also discuss the premiere of the TV series in Europe and *SPOILER ALERT* discuss a shocking revelation that alters the very fabric of Sonic Boom’s reality!

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My Life with SEGA puts the Dreamcast Dream Movie VCD player to the test

Thanks to the efforts of Derek Pascarella of backdrift.net and ‘Pasca Entertainment’, Andrew Rosa reviews the Dream Movie VCD & MP3 Player from Innovation for SEGA Dreamcast.

Yes, the Video CD format may be as dead as 8-track tapes and MiniDisc. Regardless, the Saturn and Dreamcast VCD peripherals are rare, expensive, and in high demand. Aside from their ‘collectible’ status, why are so many SEGA fans so anxious to watch VHS-quality video on their SEGA consoles?

We honestly have no idea, but if you’re curious to see how this dated format fares on Dreamcast, as well as how it compares to Saturn, you’ve come to the right place.

Do you own the Dream Movie hardware but your disc is damaged or missing? Download the CDI file and burn a replacement today! You’re welcome.

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