Classic SEGA Ads: “Open New Sense” with Rez on the Playstation 2

It’s unfortunate that a game like United Game Artists’ Rez, the third and final title from the developer, ended up releasing at the time it did. One one hand it could be said that it was one of the Dreamcast’s final great games from an in-house developer, but on the other hand due to the time in which it was released over in Japan, US and European releases were at the time up in the air. While the United States missed out on Shenmue II, Headhunter, and Rez, those in Europe were lucky enough to end up with all three titles for their blue swirl emblazoned console. When it comes to digging up english language commercials for Rez, prepare to be disappointed. Due to SEGA’s shifting interests, english Dreamcast ads for the game are non-existent. In fact, when digging for UGA game ads, I didn’t even come across a Japanese Dreamcast ad for the game.

Thankfully, not all is lost! Rez saw worldwide release on Sony’s Playstation 2, and while english ads still seemingly never materialized, we did get a collection of corny Japanese ads for the game. The first, seen above, features a man on a toilet who gets into a wall pounding contest with a man who really has to go. They end up pounding the wall in rhythm, and in turn they “Open New Sense” before the man outside punches straight through the wall.

Retro Review: Space Channel 5 (Sega Dreamcast/PS2)

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The Dreamcast era was a unique time for SEGA when it came to marketing their characters. While the Saturn’s launch made the error of shifting the spotlight away from Sonic the Hedgehog, the Dreamcast launch proved that there was more than enough room for established characters as well as new faces. Joining Sonic was a lineup of first party and third party faces, from Midway’s Afro Thunder of Ready 2 Rumble and Namco’s Soulcalibur fighters to SEGA’s own creations.

Space Channel 5’s Ulala was without a doubt the most heavily marketed of these new characters, with her face seen just about everywhere. Ulala appeared in a promotional stage show at Universal City Walk, she dominated SEGA’s booth at 2000’s E3, she was seen in print and on TV and even appeared as product placement in the 2001 movie Josie and the Pussycats. There was even talk of Ulala hosting her own TV show! Suffice to say, there came a point in Space Channel 5‘s promotion where Ulala nearly overshadowed her own game. There is no doubt that Ulala is a fantastic character (she is a favorite of the SEGAbits staff, so much so that we named our podcast after her report show), but has the original game stood the test of time? Let’s find out as we look back at the United Game Artists’ classic Space Channel 5!

SEGA Tunes: Fan recreates the unreleased Rez edit of Adam Freeland’s “Fear”

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Like Space Channel 5, United Game Artists’ Rez was a game in which music was not only a defining element, but a vital one. While Rez played very similarly to the Panzer Dragoon rail shooters, music acted as a heartbeat for the game, a pulse which every action was tied to. To say Rez was a rhythm game, however, would be inaccurate. Attacking enemies out of synch with the beat was doable, and in some of the more hectic moments of the game it was necessary. Yet if you truly gave in to the game’s soundtrack and pulse you’d discover a whole other level of play where music and visuals meld into some magical new sensation.

Rez’s soundtrack featured the likes of Keiichi Sugiyama, Ken Ishii, Mist, Joujouka and Adam Freeland. Each artist contributed a unique sound a feel for their respective stages, and no track was more memorable than Adam Freeland’s “Fear”. Perhaps I say this because the track accompanies the final stage, a moment when the game is building to its big climax and the player is now fully invested. “Fear” itself is quite epic, starting small and building to a electronic string section crescendo. Seeing as Rez‘s soundtrack is popular with fans, the music is readily available on both an official game soundtrack and on albums from the individual artists. However, unique to Adam Freeland’s “Fear” is the fact that while the track is out there, the in-game edit is not… until now.

Classic SEGA ads: Space Channel 5’s killer Dreamcast commercial

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SEGA fans love to wax nostalgic on old commercials. Whether they’re the fast paced and competitive ads of the Genesis/Mega Drive era, the bizarre ads of the Saturn era, or in the case of today’s featured SEGA ad, the American Dreamcast campaign featuring fun vignettes taking place inside the console. We’ve featured an ad from this campaign before, and its no wonder we’re going back to the same well because it truly is one of SEGA’s best. The campaign’s concept was simple. Viewers would be introduced to the Dreamcast console’s triangular orange light which acted as a gateway to a magical world inside the console consisting of several levels. On each of these was a different scenario, it could be a DJ party or it could be a sleepy cantina. Sometimes viewers would be treated to an epic crossover of characters from recently released and upcoming Dreamcast titles and every ad ended with a zoom out featuring the console, controller and the memorable slogan “It’s thinking…”.

Presenting “My Life with SEGA: Nothing Else Matters ”, a short film by A.J. Rosa

Andrew Rosa and Mickey Mac team up once again to take on a new threat. Their new flagship, SEGA Saturn, must ward off an army of palette swapped goons loyal to the Sony Empire in this high-octane geek-fest that DOES what Ninten-WON’T.

Starring Mike Bean (Getting it ‘N’), Mickey Mac (2-Man Scramble), Erica Winter (Raven Heights Radio Podcast) and Alex Gonzales. Written, Edited and Directed by Andrew Rosa.

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel! After the break, check out a collection of outtakes from the production of the short film.

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!

Swingin’ Report Show #78: Interview with Sam Mullen, Localization Producer, SEGA of America

On this episode of the SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show, we’re joined by SEGA of America Localization Producer Sam Mullen! In his role at SEGA, Sam has managed the localization process of several Japanese titles including Binary Domain, Rise of Nightmares, and the Hatsune Miku titles. Currently he is working on SEGA’s line of 3D Classics titles which include arcade and SEGA Genesis favorites as well as Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX for the Nintendo 3DS.

Learn about what the process of localization entails as well as what to expect from SEGA’s upcoming 3DS titles in this week’s show! Oh, and see a surprise cameo from former Brand Manager Aaron Webber who happened to be at SEGA of America HQ while we were recording this episode.

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SEGAbits & Sonic Retro present Boom Talkalaka #3: TV and Comics and Crossovers, oh my!

SEGAbits and Sonic Retro team up to bring you a podcast focused on SEGA’s 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 episode, Barry and David discuss an early version of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric under the working title Sonic Synergy and take a look at concept art of elaborate in-store Sonic Boom displays. Also covered are the latest TV show episodes, the second comic book arc, the upcoming Worlds Unite comic book crossover, and we share our thoughts on the future of the new branch on the Sonic the Hedgehog tree.

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Bits of Passion puts Tommy and Kimberly to the test in Power Rangers: The Movie for the SEGA Genesis

Andrew Rosa of “My Life with SEGA” and Erica Winter (Raven Heights Radio Podcast Network) team up as their childhood power couple, Tommy Oliver and Kimberly Hart in Power Rangers: The Movie for the SEGA Genesis. Make sure to watch the My Life with SEGA video review of the game if you haven’t already!

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!