Swingin’ Report Show #73: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal Interview with Mat Kraemer of Sanzaru Games

This week on the Swingin’ Report Show podcast Barry and George are joined by Mat Kraemer, Lead Designer at Sanzaru Games, developer of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS. Topics covered include the development process of the handheld title, how Sanzaru interacted with various teams including the TV show crew and the team at Big Red Button, what Sonic games Sanzaru looked to for inspiration, and Mat’s favorite classic SEGA games and consoles.

There has been a lot of talk about the Sonic Boom franchise this past week, so it was great to sit down with Mat to learn more about how the 3DS game came to be. Hey! Why are you still reading this when you should be listening?

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Swingin’ Report Show #72: Halloween Special featuring The SEGA Fall Lineup

Fall is in the air, the leaves are changing color and new console and PC games are releasing from SEGA! This week on the Swingin’ Report Show podcast, George and Barry look back on SEGA’s scariest games, and discuss the latest current and upcoming SEGA titles. We discuss why The House of the Dead has endured as a franchise for so long, talk SEGA’s most underrated scary titles, share our thoughts on the recently released Alien: Isolation and Bayonetta 2, and celebrate Valkyria Chronicles PC release announcement.

We also look ahead to November, as Barry talks about his experience playing Sonic Boom for Wii U and 3DS at SEGA’s New York event and details the first issue of Archie’s Sonic Boom comic book. November’s console theme month is also revealed, and we tease an upcoming special edition podcast that is going to be Mega fun. Give it a listen and Happy Halloween!

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Swingin’ Report Show #71: Phantasy Star Online with Susan Arendt & James Mielke

Dreamcast Month comes to an end at SEGAbits with a special episode of the Swingin’ Report Show podcast in which we celebrate one of the most memorable Dreamcast games – Phantasy Star Online.

Joining Barry and George on this episode are two gaming industry greats! Taking a telepipe to the Pioneer 2 is Susan Arendt – Managing Editor of Joystiq.com, former Editor-In-Chief at The Escapist, and former contributor to GameShark, Shojo Beat Magazine, and Wired. And back from busting a blue rappy it’s James Mielke – Founder of BitSummit, former Editor-In-Chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly and 1UP.com, and former producer at Q Entertainment and Q-Games.

Join us for a special round table looking back on PSO, from pre-release hype, to launch, and memories of the many versions and episodic sequels. As a bonus, James reveals that he has an army of super soldiers and he shares some inside info on where Phantasy Star Online 2 is at in English translation and what may be holding up a Western release.

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Swingin’ Report Show #70: SEGA Dreamcast 15th Anniversary Special with The Dreamcast Junkyard

This week on the SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show podcast, Barry and George celebrate 15 years of the SEGA Dreamcast with Tomleecee and Aaron aka The Gagaman of The Dreamcast Junkyard.

Being from the UK, Tom and Aaron bring the unique perspective of what the SEGA Dreamcast launch was like in Europe. Topics include UK marketing, the delayed launch, games exclusive to the region, the official and unofficial magazines, the collecting scene, and Tom and Aaron’s thoughts on the US release. We also have a discussion on SEGA’s decision to change the red swirl to blue, and which region had the best box art.

You can follow Tomleecee and The Gagaman on Twitter, and make sure to visit The Dreamcast Junkyard, RetroCollect, and Lucky Hit!

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Swingin’ Report Show #69: Night Trap ReVamped with Digital Pictures Co-Founder Tom Zito

Digital Pictures was a pioneer in the world of interactive full motion video, bringing a cinematic feel to games at a time when players were used to two dimensional sprites. Their titles, which included Night Trap, Sewer Shark, Corpse Killer, Supreme Warrior, the Make My Video series, and many more, spanned a number of genres and appeared on several platforms throughout the 90s. Now, their most famous title Night Trap is set to make a return to modern platforms with former Digital Pictures members leading the way. Director/co-designer Jim Riley, co-designer Rob Fulop, technical director Mark Klein, and executive producer Tom Zito have formed Night Trap, LLC and have established a Kickstarter initiative dubbed Night Trap ReVamped.

Tom Zito joins Barry on our latest Swingin’ Report Show to discuss the creation of Digital Pictures, the never released Control-Vision game console from Hasbro which was to use VHS tapes as cartridges (originally codenamed NEMO), Night Trap‘s releases both past and present, and his team’s plans for the Night Trap ReVamped Kickstarter. This episode is a must for retro SEGA fans and fans of innovations in the video game industry – give it a listen and be sure to check out Night Trap ReVamped!

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Swingin’ Report Show #68: Indie SEGA Dreamcast interview with the Elysian Shadows Team – Kickstarter Edition

The team behind the indie RPG Elysian Shadows returns to the Swingin’ Report Show following the launch of their Kickstarter. As discussed in early June, the game is heading to the SEGA Dreamcast, but this time the team has many more details and ideas for the beloved SEGA console. Check out our interview to hear the team’s plans for the game, what SEGA titles influenced them, and how far they’re potentially willing to go to support the many Dreamcast features and accessories. You can find their Kickstarter here, or search “Elysian Shadows” on Kickstarter.

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Swingin’ Report Show #67: Mega-Bit Figures Inspired by SEGA Genesis Interview

This week on the Swingin’ Report Show podcast, Barry and George are joined by Nate Mitchell – head of Squid Kids Ink and creator of the So Analog line of figures featuring old entertainment media with eyes, arms, and legs. Nate’s latest project is Mega-Bit, a SEGA Genesis game cartridge inspired line of So Analog figures featuring officially licensed SEGA classics.

To make his SEGA toys a reality, Nate has created a Kickstarter with SEGA’s approval. Those who support the project receive some awesome incentives including limited edition figures featuring Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, and Shinobi. Support Nate and his Mega-Bit toys today!

Following the interview, Barry and George share their thoughts on 3D Fantasy Zone II and Alien: Isolation‘s recently revealed DLC starring the cast of the original film.

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Swingin’ Report Show #66: Interview with Roger Craig Smith, voice of Batman, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many more!


 
This week on the Swingin’ Report Show, hosts Barry and George welcome a guest who has helped shape the sound of SEGA’s speedy mascot – Roger Craig Smith, voice actor of Sonic the Hedgehog! Roger is also well known for voicing Batman, Captain America, Chris Redfield, Ezio Auditore, and more. Recent projects include Batman: Arkham Origins which features the recently released “Cold, Cold Heart” DLC pack and SEGA’s Sonic Boom which spans video games and a television show which release later this year.

Join us as we talk with Roger about voicing Gotham’s Dark Knight and Green Hill’s Blue Blur. Roger also provides details on how he got into the business, and has some great advice for aspiring voice actors. Yes, we even asked him about his work on Valkyria Chronicles and his earliest work as Sonic at Alton Towers.

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Swingin’ Report Show #65: TooManyGames 2014 Gaming Convention Wrap-Up

Last week’s assault on TooManyGames in Oaks, PA was a big success! Our panel, “Surviving the Dreamcast Apocalypse: SEGA Fans in the 21st Century”, was packed to the point of standing room only. The panel itself went very well, with a great round table conversation about the Dreamcast’s demise and SEGA’s future, an exciting new episode of My Life with SEGA, a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes of Sonic 2‘s Hidden Palace Zone, and tons of SEGA prizes. This week’s episode of the Swingin’ Report Show features Barry, A.J., and Kori-Maru’s thoughts on the convention, a bit of gloating about retro gaming purchases, and that awkward feeling of meeting people from the internet in person for the first time. Unfortunately for George, he wasn’t there, but he lives vicariously though us in our lively post convention wrap-up.

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Swingin’ Report Show #64: E3 2014 Special


This week we are chatting all about SEGA/Atlus’ presence at E3 2014. We talk all about the SEGA software including what we thought about our hands on with Sonic Boom video games, Alien Isolation and even the Nintendo published Bayonetta 2.

On the Atlus side we talk about playing Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Citizens of Earth and much more.

Want to catch all our E3 2014 coverage? You can by clicking here.

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Swingin’ Report Show #63: Indie SEGA Dreamcast interview with the Elysian Shadows Team


Had a chance to  chat with the developers behind the upcoming indie Dreamcast title Elysian Shadows. Lots of exclusive bits of information dropped including characters that will be in the game, differences between versions and much more. If you have been wanting to know more about this game, this is definitely the podcast to listen to. Don’t forget that August 1st will be the start of the Kickstarter!  With Elysian Shadows hitting the Dreamcast before any other platform, its easy to continue saying “It’s still thinking”.

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Swingin’ Report Show #62: Console Wars with Tom Kalinske – SEGA of America’s President (’90-’96)

This is it! Our third Console Wars focused episode of the Swingin’ Report Show in which we speak with the man himself, SEGA of America’s former President Tom Kalinske! Tom has an amazing history with the toy and game industry. Before his years with SEGA, Tom served as President and CEO of Mattel, reviving the Barbie brand and creating the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line. During his time at SEGA, Tom reinvigorated the SEGA Genesis brand, helped in the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, and led the launch of many famous pieces of SEGA hardware including the Game Gear, Pico, 32X, Nomad, and Saturn.

Tom Kalinske’s career is chronicled in the book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation” by Blake J. Harris, and if you haven’t purchased a copy yet, do so today. If you’ve read the book, are reading the book, are awaiting delivery of the book, or are simply a fan of SEGA during the 90’s, our latest show is a must listen!

Also, make sure to check out our other Console Wars interviews including our discussion of SEGA’s marketing efforts with SEGA’s former Director of Marketing Al Nilsen and our interview with the author of Console Wars, Blake J. Harris.

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Swingin’ Report Show #61: Console Wars Release Day Party with Author Blake J. Harris

Happy Console Wars release day! That’s right, the long talked about book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation” by Blake J. Harris is now available to purchase anywhere where books are sold.

For this week’s podcast, the book’s author Blake J. Harris joined Barry and George to talk about his influences, the process of writing such an epic story, his upcoming documentary, and his teaming up with Scott Rudin and Seth Rogen. Blake also shares stories that didn’t make the final cut, and his thoughts on modern day SEGA and Nintendo. We also reveal our Console Wars giveaway winners, so if you entered on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to win a copy of the book courtesy of HarperCollins, give the show a listen and find out if you’ve won! We’ll also make an official winners announcement on our social networks later today.

More “Console Wars” content is to come, including a podcast with Tom Kalinske himself!

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Swingin’ Report Show #60: Console Wars with Al Nilsen, SEGA’s Director of Marketing (’89-’93)

The SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show is back, and boy do we have a special episode for you! Joining us for our 60th episode is Al Nilsen, SEGA of America’s Director of Marketing from 1989 through 1993. Al and his team were behind everything from the early days of the SEGA Genesis, including promoting the famous “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” campaign, the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog, implementing the legendary “Sonic 2sday” worldwide launch of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992, and rolling out the “Welcome to the Next Level” campaign. Suffice to say, Al is a legend, so the opportunity to sit down and talk about the good ol’ days for an hour and a half was a dream come true for us as SEGA fans.

Al’s appearance is in anticipation of the release of “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation” by author Blake J. Harris, which you can pre-order today from Amazon.com. “Console Wars” tells the story of SEGA vs. Nintendo during the early 90’s, as told from the perspective of SEGA of America president Tom Kalinske. Based on over two hundred interviews with former SEGA and Nintendo employees, “Console Wars” is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

Expect more “Console Wars” content throughout May, including a podcast with the author Blake J. Harris next week, and a podcast with Tom Kalinske himself the week after that! We also have some surprises, but in the meantime enjoy Al’s interview!

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Swingin’ Report Show #59: Sonic’s SEGA Genesis Spin-off Special

The triple threat of George, Barry, and Bartman sit down for a round table discussion of Sonic the Hedgehog’s lesser appreciated SEGA Genesis titles: the spin-offs. We cover it all! From Dr. “don’t-call-him-Eggman-yet” Robotnik’s breakout role in Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, to Sonic’s transition from platforming icon to pinball with arms and legs in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, to Sonic’s take on the classic Flicky formula in Sonic 3D Blast. Even the digital sticker book Wacky Worlds gets some discussion.

So join us in a walk down memory lane (or is that “pain”?) as we relive and dissect Sonic’s SEGA Genesis spin-offs!

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