Three months until the release of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and there is still a lot we don’t know. What racers have we yet to see? How does the vehicle mod system work? Is Cream the Rabbit somewhere in the game? Thankfully, we’re not completely in the dark, as Sumo Digital and SEGA have revealed quite a bit since the game’s announcement. I thought I’d write up a short article collecting all we know of the game’s track roster. What has been announced, what has yet to be announced and what SEGA eras are getting represented? After the break, we’ll answer those questions! But not the one about Cream, sorry.
It’s sad to see how bad Sega is doing these days. With the whole restructuring and with many offices closing it’s hard not to worry about our favorite game company’s future. Heck, if I were Kellie, Ken or the rest of the community staff, I’d be dusting off my resume’s right about now. But I feel many of us kinda saw this coming. We promoted and championed our favorite new Sega games (and still do) only to see them poorly marketed and handled like garbage with little promotion outside of Sega’s own website. So why is Sega doing so badly as of late? What are they doing wrong? Read on to see my own personal feelings on the matter. Just remember folks, this is an opinion article.
There have been a lot of talks since SEGA announced that Sonic 4: Episode 2 wouldn’t be headed for the Nintendo Wii. Many long time Sonic fans got angry, mostly because they only own Wiis. I know some of you might grunt at the thought of only owning a Nintendo Wii, but that’s their choice.
Not to mention that the first title appeared on the Wiiware service, got pretty good scores on the service. So why do you think SEGA pulled it and why do I think they should reconsider putting it back on the Wii?
Last time, Kotaku got their report on SEGA’s restructuring all wrong. This time, while their hearts are very much in the right place, they’re miseducating their readers on SEGA’s 1996 3D fighting game Sonic the Fighters. You can check their full article out here. Give it a read and come back for the
Last Friday we learned the sad news that SEGA West was restructuring, downsizing and canceling certain games. I think we’ve all discussed the news enough, what I wanted to focus on in this editorial are the gaming sites who did an awful job of reporting the news. For whatever reason, unpaid fans who write for blogs do a better job reading press releases and reporting on them than big name sites like Kotaku. I also wanted to draw attention to a general gaming blog, toplessrobot.com, who did an equally awful job in reporting on the news.
In February 2007, Sonic the Hedgehog was still fresh in the memories of Sonic fans. Yet they already had a new game to play in the form of the Wii exclusive Sonic and the Secret Rings. Secret Rings was a radically different kind of Sonic game, featuring on-rails play and a heavy emphasis on motion controls. Secret Rings had been championed the previous year by journalists as a Sonic game that was actually good, that took a radically different approach to the formula to solve the franchise’s problems. What gamers actually got was a mixed bag of great and poor design decisions that was still a huge step up from Sonic 06, and would start Sonic on his slow, winding road to recovery.
This six part series looks at the disaster that was Sonic’s 15th anniversary, and how the series slowly redeemed itself over the following five years, culminating Sonic’s next anniversary title, Sonic Generations.
It’s a little hard to believe that it’s already been five years since Sonic the Hedgehog or “Sonic 06” as it’s called by fans, made its debut. It feels like only yesterday that this infamous train wreck of a game was released and utterly destroyed what little credibility the character had left in gaming. Of course, by 2006 bad Sonic games were nothing new for anybody. Even in his halcyon days Sonic still churned out stinkers, like the infamously not 3D Sonic 3D Blast, and the utterly horrible (and largely forgotten) Sonic Jam for the Game.com. Heck, the franchise had churned out a whopper of a stinker just a year before in the form of Shadow the Hedgehog, the first Sonic game from Sonic Team to average in the 4s on Game Rankings. Even so, Sonic 2006 represented something new for the franchise: it was the first main entry considered utterly deplorable by both critics and fans alike. Sure, Sonic has had his “controversial” games. Sonic Heroes sparked some massive debates on the SEGA forums back in the day and the Sonic Adventure series had its share of dissenters in the press that grew ever more vocal as they were re-released on other platforms. None of them have received the amount of vitriol and did the same amount of damage to the franchise that Sonic 2006 was able to do with its released.
Since the reveal of Binary Domain’s box art, I’ve been thinking about just what is it that makes it so… ineffective. I hesitate to use the word “bad”, as artistry clearly went into producing the cover. However, I think the reason for the cover’s failing is that not a lot of thought went into it. Sure they threw a lot into the scene, but perhaps they threw in too much? I’ve been working in the graphic design industry for five years now, so I thought I’d put some of my professional experience to practice and pick apart Binary Domain’s cover art problems, and perhaps find a better solution. Is it worth the time picking apart the game’s cover? Of course it is! As a new IP, the only thing the game has going for it is SEGA’s name when it comes to appearing on a shelf. First impressions are key for a new franchise, and sadly Binary Domain is not making a good first impression.
With less than a week to go ’til Sonic Generations, I thought it would be fun to take a leap back and run through the original stages featured in Generations. What made the original stages so memorable? Are they a fitting choice for representation of the game they originally appeared in? Were there better choices that could have been made? Those questions and more will be explored after the break!
Through the next few years, I would continue to explore the Dreamcast. Starting in 2003 however, my focus began to shift towards the Xbox, as games like Halo, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Splinter Cell blew me away. Even while these new games mesmerized me, I would continue to look for new Dreamcast games to play, trying to find the next gem.
After watching the Shenmue trailer on my Dreamcast’s demo disc, and after seeing the outrage that the cancellation of Shenmue 2 received, I decided to pick Suzuki’s epic up. The actual game wouldn’t win me over so easily, though. Shenmue was unlike anything I had ever played. It was slow and rigid. The character couldn’t jump or do anything particularly interesting. What kept me coming back was the world and the story. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The cinematics put Sonic Adventure to shame. The storyline was almost like a movie.
To Read Part 1, go here.
In July, reality finally caught up with me. Something had possessed me to join the SEGA forums. Because I hated being told that my name was already taken, and I figured the Knuckles name must already be taken given he’s such an awesome character, I decided to cut to the chase and just leave the K out of my name. Upon joining the forums, I discovered the Dreamcast had been canned and, being a teenager, I immediately latched on to the first online petition I saw. Those were the days. Keeping a thread ever present at the top of the forum whenever I got home from school or my friend’s house. Arguing with older, wiser, more realistic individuals like the naïve teenager I was, a large part of my Dreamcast experience came from defending it from bashers and supporting a petition that SEGA probably never even saw, let alone cared about.
Today celebrates the North American launch of the Sega Dreamcast. Hard to believe that it really has been 12 years, but it was on September 9th, 1999 when SEGA’s final console had its North American release, and the gaming landscape arguably hasn’t been the same since.
There are of course many ways that I can, as a writer for a SEGA-driven website, choose to honor the system. In the end, though, I’ve decided to shed some light on Dreamcast games that don’t often make any lists, that aren’t looked back fondly upon, that will likley divide up even people who read this editorial. But these are games that were not met with warm reception, even back in the day, but that I loved anyway. Someone’s gotta remember them, right?
Years of the Dreamcast is my first stab at autobiographical writing. It is long and is largely a tribute to the Dreamcast’s effect on my life. For those of you brave enough to read a bit about my boring life, my hat goes off to you. I hope you enjoy reading about my Dreamcast experience, and are willing to share yours with the community as well.
Believe it or not, I didn’t really get into gaming with the SEGA Genesis. Or the SNES. Or any other old school console for that matter. Sure, I PLAYED games on my Genesis and Game Gear back in the day, like Sonic, Lion King, and Ecco, but as soon as the Genesis croaked in 1996 I nearly left gaming all together in favor of other interests, including something that got me to buy a Genesis in the first place: Archie’s Sonic comics. I completely passed over the 32 bit generation, something I now sincerely regret given SEGA had some of its best games during that era.
It wasn’t until 2000 that a game console again caught my interest: a SEGA Dreamcast in a Target demo kiosk. I had been playing the N64 and Playstation in kiosks for years, and as much fun as I had had with them, this new system, this Dreamcast, felt like something special. The game on display, Sonic Adventure, was immediately playable. There was no wandering around or collecting of trinkets required to progress: an entire level was immediately opened up to me after the title screen.
Well GagaMan is at it again (actually he was at it a while back, we’re just late with sharing it), in order to celebrate Sonic’s 20th Anniversary on time. DCJY dusted off their copy of Sonic Adventure 2: Birthday Pack and gave those who still haven’t owned it a definitive look at one of the most cherished Dreamcast Collectibles.
The review is even more spectacular, it echoing my own personal perspective towards the Gamecube (well that’s what the next Generation of Sonic fans grew up on).
Whether you like it or not a new Generation of fans have grown up on it, with just as much nostalgia for it as we have for the old games _ Master Gaga.
Hit the Jump for the Review it is worth watching