Happy Birthday, Sonic – now give us our presents! Today marks Sonic the Hedgehog’s 26th anniversary, which officially signals the end of Sonic’s 25th. While the past year has been light on games, the biggest moments for the franchise has been a change in focus in several areas. Sonic Boom has seen a massive downgrade. Originally a multimedia alternate branch from the main Sonic franchise, featuring games, toys, comics, an animated show and a big fan event in New York in 2014; now only the animated series remains. As of this moment, no season 3 is confirmed and less than twenty season 2 episodes have yet to be aired. Could Sonic Boom be on the way out? Funnily enough, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice was the only Sonic game to release during the 25th anniversary timeframe, making it technically the 25th anniversary game. A Japan only special edition with 25th anniversary swag supports this.
Nintendo unveiled their latest home console, the Nintendo Switch. Codenamed the Nintendo NX, the Switch was long rumored to be both a home console and a handheld system, and following the debut video the end product appears to be right on with leaks and predictions. Obviously SEGAbits is not a Nintendo site, so we don’t news the debut of new hardware from other companies. But since SEGA is a third-party software developer and they have been confirmed to be supporting the Switch I thought an op-ed was in order. Based on SEGA’s past with Nintendo hardware, what can we expect from the company? How could SEGA’s recent internal changes affect how they approach the Switch?
This article is from the opinion of the author only. None of the statements here are necessarily associated with SEGABits or SEGA as a whole.
Puyo Puyo Chronicles. This was a game that was expected to come out for the majority of the year, since it’s the 25th Anniversary of the franchise. Normally when it comes to anniversaries SEGA focuses their cards on Sonic, but people outside of Japan don’t know Puyo Puyo also gets attention with a sudden boom of merchandising and a new game. This also happened with Puyo Puyo’s 15th and 20th anniversary, where they got rather expansive games in the form of Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary and Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary, respectively. The fact the franchise has endured for 25 years defying the “hiatus” problem many of SEGA’s franchises suffer from for one reason or another, should be a testament to it’s strength as an IP.
However, something is notably different this time around in contrast to the past.
You are reading the title, dumbfounded that a SEGA fanboy like myself would tell the glamorous SEGA to take notes from Nintendo. You might be more confused after I made a jab at the NES Classic Edition on twitter the other day. While personally, I don’t care about a replica box that only plays a set amount of emulated games, I know there is a huge market for it in the states. These things are the Tiger Electronic toys of our time (maybe that’s too harsh)! But Nintendo has announced a few things with this project that I think SEGA should seriously take a closer look at, especially if they will be taking this whole ‘plug-in-play’ market a bit more seriously.
So let’s talk about the SEGA’s emulated machines, the NES Classic Edition and what SEGA can do to capitalize on the attention that these devices will receive because Nintendo joined the ranks.
Update: So after a bit of internet sleuthing and comments from those who have dealt with SEGA home console conspiracy artists in the past, all of this very well may be the work of the infamous Zach Morris. Mr. Morris, or whatever his name is, has been up to this sort of nonsense since 2003.
Because people often just read headlines and run to their local GameStop to have a in-depth chat with the guy at the desk to talk about how SEGA is totally making a new console and it is going to be dubbed the Dreamcast 2, I thought I’d present a short opinion piece on the Project Dream team and their plans to get SEGA to develop a Dreamcast 2. To be quite honest, after having read the Project Dream team’s plans and having heard about the project with one of their members for the past month I was ready to just ignore the whole thing. But given a few news sites are enthusiastically running the story and no doubt more will pick it up and run with it, I thought it best that SEGAbits said something about it. I should make note that this is not a news piece, it is an opinion piece.
When speaking of the SEGA Dreamcast “nostalgia” is a word that is often mentioned, and it wouldn’t be an incorrect description of many gamers’ feelings towards the system. Countless articles and blog posts have been written about the prominence of the Dreamcast and how it died too soon. From that love of the little white box, an incredible scene of independent developers and publishers has continued the dream over the past decade with a steady stream of new games and multiplatform releases.
Given that we know the news that SEGA doesn’t have plans on publishing Phantasy Star Online 2 outside of Japan, at least for the Playstation 4 (though the PC and Vita versions have been out for over 3 years, so I assume those aren’t coming either). I stated in my original article that I thought it was a really bad decision and got many people upset while they tried to debate me on the topic even though I never really stated why I felt it was a bad decision. So, here it is, my article talking about why SEGA West not bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 is just another stupid decision by the company that has had a long history of bad decisions.
I decided that it was time I did a write up about why SEGA West not bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 outside of Japan is bad, not only for their in-house IP but also for their overall brand.
Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future were two incredibly different games, each with a style all its own.
Considered by some to be a sequel and by others to be a reboot of the original, Jet Set Radio Future set itself apart from its Dreamcast predecessor in a variety of ways, one of which being its incredible soundtrack.
In celebration of Smilebit month, I sat down and listened to the Jet Set Radio Future soundtrack in its entirety, taking it all in and really trying to gauge why it seems both so alike, and yet so different, from the tunes that made up the music of its predecessor.
Well, you may have overslept, but there’s still time to catch what looks like a gorgeous day.
The sun, positioned high in a cloudless blue sky, beams down upon the bustling metropolis, its light casting a slight shimmer on the horizon. On most days your schedule’s packed; from time spent racing through the city streets, fighting off the Rokkaku Police and rival gangs, and doing everything in your power to recruit newbies, those in the GG’s rarely have time to slow down and appreciate the scenery.
Today was different, though. Today was your day off, and you figured you’d make the most of it and visit some of your favorite locales in the great city of Tokyo-to for a very different type of adventure from your typical day-to-day craziness.
Image credits: Will of the Ancients
As one of my favorite video game franchises, Panzer Dragoon contains many memorable experiences for me. From my first time flying through the sunken ruins in the original to my final battle in Saga, this series will always hold a unique place in my collection of gaming experiences.
With Team Andromeda Month winding down, I wanted to share some of these experiences. In the interest of keeping things interesting, since most Panzer games tend to end on a high note, I won’t be talking much about final stages or boss battles. I will also be spreading them across all of the games in the franchise in order to avoid favoring any one game too much over the others, as they are all worth talking about. Keep in mind this is a personal list, so feel free to chime in with your own top five moments in the comments!
Nearly ten years ago, Skies of Arcadia completely changed the way I viewed video games. What I once saw as a passive medium, where I followed a trail of bread crumbs from point to point to see what the developers had in store for me, I now saw something greater.
Arcadia drew me into its world in a way no game has before or since with colorful characters, beautiful locales, and a sense of adventure that the game not only emphasizes, but cherishes. Even today, when I come back to the game after having experienced the likes of Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Skyrim, I still get a feeling of adventure that no other game seems able to provide in quite the same way. Naturally, there are some spoilers ahead, so if you’d prefer to go into this game ignorant, don’t read any further!
Skies of Arcadia is a game that made a huge impact on me as a fan of SEGA and Role-Playing games. Before it, I had very little exposure to RPGs. I had seen Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, but very rarely did I play them. The only one I actually played was Phantasy Star IV. While I enjoyed it, I was a bit too young to really be able to understand or get into it. I still had fond memories of playing it with my neighbor, and when I got older and had the chance to finally play it again, it became one of my favorite games of all time. It never would have happened without Skies of Arcadia.
At the time the game came out on the Dreamcast, I was around 10 years old. Old enough to start wrapping my head around more complex games. However, I didn’t have a Dreamcast at the time, only a Nintendo 64. My cousin had the Dreamcast though, and I was super close with him. He was like an older brother to me. He picked on me a bit, but he also showed me lots of cool stuff, even stuff I probably wasn’t supposed to see or play at my age yet. He was also a huge RPG fan, and had always tried to get me into them, but I never did get engrossed with them that much. Then, one weekend when he came to visit, he brought Skies of Arcadia. We spent an entire night playing it, and I don’t remember how long we played it for, but it was almost sunrise before we finally had to give into sleep.
Like most long suffering Sonic the Hedgehog fans I have a love/hate relationship with the Sonic series. For every step forward Sonic takes, he takes two steps backwards or worse. I’m sure we call all agree, we’d like to see our beloved Sonic series shine again. Unfortunately we don’t all agree on how to achieve this goal. By creating various ‘generations of Sonic’ with a variety of differently play style,s SEGA have built a polarized, multifaceted fan base who all want something different from the series. From classic Sonic fans who like 2D side scrolling to Adventure fans who enjoy a varied play styles and a story driven experience and not forgetting the Rush fans that just want a good bit of fast.
Is any one group of the Sonic fan base more correct than the other? No, of course not- it takes all sorts. Though I do love the classics, I am no stranger to the modern Sonic games and I believe both have plenty to offer. I enjoy both Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations. I routinely return to Sonic Rush and it’s incredible OST. I spent an unhealthy portion of my teenage years in a stuffy dark bedroom playing the Sonic Adventure titles.
So is it possible to cater to the entire multifaceted Sonic fanbase? Probably not! But is it possible to create a Sonic game the majority of us can enjoy without it being a bloated hot mess? Maybe! Here are some of my suggestions.
If there’s one type of game that has struggled to find its footing in the modern era, it’s been the Japanese RPG. Looking at a console generation that has seen a major RPG from the creator of Final Fantasy struggle to achieve a Western release, and one where the once-mighty RPG giant Square-Enix has become more known for Tomb Raider than for their RPG output, it’s without a doubt been an interesting ride for the genre.
In recent years it’s been the games that have deviated most from the typical format, such as the Persona series and Dark Souls, that have garnered the most mainstream appeal outside of your usual Final Fantasy releases. As the seventh console generation wound to a close, however, we’ve also seen the smallest signs of a shift back. With more traditional Japanese RPGs like the 3DS’ Bravely Default being warmly received worldwide, it’s shown that developers can look to the past to find inspiration for the future.
And if they look back at Skies of Arcadia, there’s plenty they can learn from the Dreamcast’s biggest traditional RPG.