Multiplayer Showcase looks at Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

Multiplayer Showcase is the review show where you get to see me and some friends of mine play multiplayer games that have been long forgotten and give it a proper analysis by sharing our opinions on the game in a roundtable discussion to see how things have held up for gaming’s past brightest stars and lowest points.

This episode compares the boxing gloves to the green shells with the Mario Kart-inspired Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. I never got to play this game much with friends locally. I’ve certainly played it online some time ago, but as you might recall, there are limitations added when playing online, so playing with a group of people with everything unlocked lets everyone dig in for some four player action coupled with SEGA nostalgia.

SEGA News Bits: Shinobi movie adaptation reaction

Way back in December 2014 it was announced that SEGA was planning to move many of their classic franchises into the realms of movies and television. Stories International, a joint venture between SEGA and Hakuhodo DY Group launched in 2011, would manage and maintain these brands and work with external studios and creatives to make SEGA franchise based movies a reality. Now, we have news that Shinobi is the first of these SEGA franchises heading to the big screen with Marc Platt (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Drive, Josie and the Pussycats) and cohort Adam Siegel producing. In this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry break down the story, take a look at Platt and Siegel’s background in the motion picture industry, and speculate how a Shinobi movie might play out.

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Swingin’ Report Show #86: Strike Harbinger Game Designer and SEGA Tournament Champion Chris Tang

On this episode of the Swingin’ Report Show podcast, Barry sits down with game designer and gaming tournament champion Chris Tang at the Galloping Ghost Arcade’s SEGA Week. SEGA fans may know Chris best as the winner of SEGA’s Sonic & Knuckles Rock the Rock competition in 1994, and before that Chris was a finalist in 1990’s Nintendo World Championships. Since then, Chris has worked on games at Atari and Capcom, including Gauntlet IV, Primal Rage, Street Fighter III, Rival Schools and Power Stone. Now, Chris is hard at work on a new game inspired by classic SEGA titles like Space Harrier and Phantasy Star. The game, titled Strike Harbinger, combines the fast paced forward flying gameplay of Space Harrier with the RPG and combat elements of Phantasy Star while utilizing a unique control structure that evokes Virtual On.

Strike Harbinger – developed by Chris’s company HitSparks Games – was revealed Saturday, April 30th at Galloping Ghost Arcade where I had the pleasure to meet Chris and the game’s Senior Artist Kiyoshi Okuma, whose past work includes Gauntlet: Legends, World Series Baseball 2K2, The Sims 2 and Darkspore. I also had the honor to be the first member of the public to play the game, and following that experience I chatted with Chris about his life as a tournament gamer, his career, and his plans for Strike Harbinger. 

Want more information on Strike Harbinger? Stay tuned for an upcoming SEGA News Bits as well as a SEGA Week writeup!

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SEGA News Bits: Atlus and SEGA Europe Localization Discussion

Life as a SEGA and Atlus fan in Europe has been tough. Between SEGA Europe not releasing titles like SEGA 3D Classics Collection, 7th Dragon III: Code VFD and Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X and Atlus severing ties with NIS America, the promise of new games appears hopeless. In this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry put themselves in the European state of mind and discuss the latest on SEGA Europe’s localization woes and what the Atlus and NIS America break-up could mean for the future of the Persona and Etrian Odyssey franchises.

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SEGA News Bits: Mega Drive Classics on Steam to support hacked ROMs

Just over a week ago, SEGA Mega Drive Classics on Steam was announced to have a free update that adds additional features to games you may already own. Features include a new hub from which you can access all your games from a virtual bedroom complete with a TV and a games shelf. While that is neat and all, what really caught our attention was the mention of modified and hacked ROMs being supported. If the game is in the collection, you are free to mess with the code and share your creations with the Steam world. Pretty crazy, right? Join George and Barry as they discuss this strange turn in SEGA being cool with us messing with their games. Check the updated SEGA Mega Drive Classics out today and tell us what you think of it in the comments below!

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SEGA Memories: Looking back on Fleetway’s Sonic the Comic

s5Remember when Knuckles used to ride a pterodactyl? Remember that time Eggman was called “Kintobor”? And who could forget how Super Sonic was Sonic’s evil split personality? What’s that? You don’t remember? Well then, you’ve probably never seen Fleetway’s unique spin on the Sonic universe before.

Whether you’ve read it or not, most people are at least a little familiar with Archie’s long running comic series based on the blue blur. However, as a poor little English boy, I grew up with quite a different set of comics in my youth. In this installment of SEGA Memories, I look back on this unique moment in Sonic history.

SEGA Talk: Our Ideal Sonic 25th Anniversary Game (Feat. Matt from Tails’ Channel)

Welcome to our newest video series, SEGA Talk! Like SEGA News Bits, SEGA Talk features hosts George and Barry discussing all things SEGA. However, instead of detailing the latest in SEGA news, we bring on a guest to take part in a round table SEGA discussion. To kick things off we are joined by Matt from Tails’ Channel to share what we think the ideal Sonic 25th anniversary game would be.

Want the SEGA Talk crew to tackle a topic? Submit topics and questions for future SEGA Talk episodes, as well as suggestions for guests, using our handy contact form or you can leave a comment below or on the YouTube video.

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SEGA Retrospective: From Wonder Boy to Monster World to Adventure Island and beyond

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Over the years, video game franchises have come in many styles. Platforming, fighting, puzzle, shooting, the list is never ending. But one thing many franchises have in common is that they have to start somewhere, setting up the foundation for future titles to follow up and improve on. However, on occasion, something happens down the line that causes the franchise to become twisted, causing things to become complicated. Copyright issues might make the prospect of new titles impossible so spiritual successors might be necessary (For example Bayonetta being the successor to Devil May Cry), or the franchise suffers from an identity crisis when localized like with Puyo Puyo, or games having inconsistent releases cause confusion like the infamous Final Fantasy I to VI problem.

By far one of the most curious cases is with a franchise called Wonder Boy (Aka Monster World).

Shmuplations releases translated interview with SEGA of Japan hardware legend Hideki Sato

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Thanks to shmuplations.com, we now have the full interview with SEGA of Japan’s Hideki Sato, the legend who helmed SEGA’s console R&D during the 16-bit era and later became the company president in 2002. The interview initially appeared in the Japanese publication Famitsu DC in 1998 and was later republished in the 2001 “SEGA Consumer History” book. Several hardcore fans, myself included, have that book in their collection, but were unable to read the interview due to the obvious language barrier. Now we have the whole thing in english! Check out the full translated interview here. The interview is in two parts, with part one covering the Dreamcast and part two covering past hardware.

Thanks shmuplations.com!

 

A User’s Guide to Puyo Puyo Tsu (Puyo Puyo 2)

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3D Puyo Puyo 2, better known under the Japanese name Puyo Puyo Tsu, is one of several games as part of the upcoming SEGA 3D Classic Collection. Puyo Puyo Tsu is considered an arcade classic in Japan, with it being played on a high level even today and setting the standards for future Puyo Puyo games like the concept of offsetting, All Clear, and standardizing four colors. But playing the game might be intimidating since for people this might be the first time playing the game. Luckily this guide will explain how the game works so you can feel more confident.

Fastest Food Alive: A look back at the 1993 & 1995 Sonic the Hedgehog Cookie Crisp Cereal promotions

Our Fastest Food Alive video series continues as we look at more food promotional items from Sonic the Hedgehog’s past! Last time we took a trip to McDonald’s, this time we’re staying home and having breakfast. What’s on the menu? Cookie Crisp Cereal! In 1993 and 1995, Sonic was a toy surprise in specially marked boxes of the chocolate chip cookie inspired cereal. First as a plastic figure in 1993, oddly standing on a skateboard, and again in 1995 as a set of 16 POGS. Remember those things? Click play on the video above and take a trip down memory lane as we check out this food promotions and give a short history lesson on Cookie Crisp Cereal.

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SEGA News Bits: Flappy Bird Comes To Dreamcast’s VMU

Remember Flappy Bird, the mobile game that apparently destroyed people’s lives because of its simplicity? A SEGA fan going by the name of guacasaurus_mex has recreated Flappy Bird for SEGA’s Visual Memory Unit, so if you want to play it make sure you have some spare CR-2032 lithium batteries and lots of patience. Hit the play above and listen to me and Barry talk about Flappy Bird, VMUs and even Rappy Bird?

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SEGA News Bits: Shining series turns 25 years old

25 years ago today, on March 29th 1991, Shining in the Darkness released to the Japanese Mega Drive. While the original game did not light the world on fire, the later Shining Force games would become some of the best strategy RPGs ever produced. The series is still going strong, at least in Japan, with Blade Arcus from Shining EX releasing just last year.

Whatever you may think about the recent installments, most fans agree that the Shining Force games were legendary and the original Shining in the Darkness is to thank for starting the franchise. Join us on this SEGA News Bits as we share our Shining memories and talk about the possible future of the series, and don’t forget to brush up on all the SEGA anniversaries hitting this year!

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SEGA News Bits: Fantasy Zone turns 30 years old

2016 is filled with milestone SEGA anniversaries, and one of the most anticipated by us – for obvious reasons – was Fantasy Zone! Join us on this SEGA News Bits as we discuss our thoughts on the franchise’s past, present and future.

Released to arcades on March 28, 1986, the Fantasy Zone franchise has released a surprising amount of games in its 30 year history. Despite the many titles, the story often remains the same: the sentient spaceship Opa Opa traverses the Fantasy Zone, sometimes joined by his brother Upa Upa, battling bizarre bosses and upping his arsenal thanks to a floating Parts Shop. Outside the franchise, Opa Opa has made appearances in both All-Stars Racing games as well as Amusement Visions’ Planet Harriers, a 3D installment in the Space Harrier franchise which also takes place in Opa Opa’s Fantasy Zone.

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SEGA Tunes: The career of Tomoko Sasaki, composer of NiGHTS Into Dreams…

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There are typically three things that people associate with SEGA: Sonic the Hedgehog, consoles that never got to shine, and great music. SEGA has undoubtedly housed some of the most creative composers in the industry, making everything from sweeping, pseudo-orchestral soundscapes, to fast-paced, pumped-up techno. But the best composers don’t let their skill and talent end with their music.

Enter Tomoko Sasaki, best known to SEGA fans as the main composer of NiGHTS into Dreams…. Her sound, helped along by Naofumi Hataya and Fumie Kumatani, is what arguably sold NiGHTS‘ surreal dream worlds and energetic gameplay. It’s often considered one of the best soundtracks in SEGA history, let alone on the Saturn, but it was only Sasaki’s third composition. And even then, it wasn’t even the strangest thing she ever did.