On January 4th 2006, I submitted to Gamefaqs a review for Shadow the Hedgehog , a game which at the time I boldly declared “the worst SEGA game I’ve ever played.” To date, the 2/10 score I gave it is the lowest I’ve scored a game in any context, on any site I’ve reviewed for, and nothing I’ve played either before or since has inspired a similar score. My outlook on SEGA at the time was incredibly bleak; it was a game that really tore down my confidence in the company and where it was headed, and for those reasons I’ve left this review, for the most part, as is, as a piece of history for how I viewed SEGA at the time, and where I feared the company was headed. Though I’ve edited it a little for form and trimmed it down, the message remains intact. Read on for my thoughts on Shadow the Hedgehog, directly from 2006, as I sat down to review what was (and still is) the worst game I had ever played.
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In the mid-nineties the rise of 3D gaming left many of SEGA’s older franchises behind. While most were either abandoned or received largely forgotten two dimensional entries, some were completely reinvented for the third dimension. Though it doesn’t bear the After Burner name, Sky Target was in fact the first 3D entry in SEGA’s After Burner franchise. Released in 1995, the arcade version of Sky Target never achieved its predecessor’s success, failing to even leave Japan. Western gamers wouldn’t get to play Sky Target until SEGA ported the game to the Saturn in 1997, where it would be quickly forgotten.
At first glance, After Burner looks like the perfect candidate for a transition to the third dimension. After all, the game is already trying to simulate 3D play. In reality, Sky Target’s design decisions actually perfectly illustrate why so many SEGA franchises struggled (or failed) to make the 3D jump to begin with. Sky Target would introduce many drastic changes to the After Burner formula, many of which would find their way into 2006’s After Burner Climax. Do these design decisions work, though? Does Sky Target live up to the reputation built by its predecessor?
When After Burner blasted into arcades in 1987 it quickly became a smashing success, emerging as one of SEGA’s top franchises. Naturally, SEGA endeavored to port the game to every single piece of home gaming hardware under the sun. Famicom, Master System, Commodore 64, DOS, you name a gaming platform that was still relevant in the late 1980s, and chances are that platform got a port (or two) of After Burner.
Unfortunately, none of these systems were capable of doing After Burner’s explosive graphics and frenetic game play the justice they deserved, and so these ports fell short. It would take eight years for home consoles to catch up to SEGA’s arcade technology. Once they did SEGA wasted no time in finally bringing After Burner home in the form of After Burner Complete, an exclusive to SEGA’s brand new, ill-fated add-on, the 32X.
The above sentence is found on the official website for the book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation” by Blake J. Harris, and having read through the book myself, it’s an accurate description. Upon reading “Console Wars”, I couldn’t help but feeling a bit bloodied and bruised, but proud to have chosen the side that I’m on as a fan. “Console Wars” is not a detached history lesson of the SEGA vs. Nintendo rivalry of the 90′s, it does not read as several wikipedia articles.
Instead, “Console Wars” is a very real and personal story largely told from the perspective of SEGA of America President and CEO Tom Kalinske during the first 6 years of the 90′s. Taking the journey along with Tom, readers also occasionally go behind-the-scenes with Nintendo and Sony, and receive a few extended history lessons on the histories of companies like SEGA, Nintendo, Sony, and others. This mix provides the reader with both factual and emotional reasons for why SEGA and Nintendo did what they did, and as such is the most honest and truest account I have ever read of this period of video game history.
From their garage hidden amidst the alleyways of Shibuya, to the neon-drenched streets of Benten-Cho, they ride high on the funky rhythms being streamed directly into their brains. They are the GGs, and when their story was first told on the Dreamcast, it brought the world the beautiful synergy of cel-shaded graphics played to Hideki Naganuma’s incredible soundtrack. It was a game that further cemented the Dreamcast’s place as the platform for artsy and innovative adventures, and while some aspects of its gameplay still frustrate slightly, Jet Set Radio is every bit as fun as it was back in the day.
The old adage “You get what you pay for” tends to hold true more often than not. After all, if you’re in a Walgreens pharmacy you’re probably not looking to buy a video game console. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the AtGames Sega Genesis is a poor quality console. At $30, it’s pretty tempting, but buyer beware there is some drawbacks to this system. Read on to find out if it’s worth your gas money for this cheaply produced retro console and find out how you can win it!
With the remake of Castle of Illusion gracing the PSN/XBLA this past summer, it seemed only fitting to revisit its sequel, World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, for Genesis Month. Though it featured far superior graphics and an expanded scope, along with the addition of Donald Duck and cooperative play, World of Illusion has, for whatever reason, struggled to retain the same classic status as its predecessor.
And that’s unfortunate, because World of Illusion is an incredibly capable sequel to Mickey Mouse’s first Genesis adventure; one that sends its title characters into an enchanting world and builds upon the magic of Castle of Illusion to deliver an entirely satisfying follow-up.
Oh man, I have waited too long to use that image.
A.J. Rosa is a man of many talents – and a man of many games. I mean, hey; if he lacked games, My Life With SEGA wouldn’t still be running to this day! A short while ago, some of you may remember A.J. held a competition in conjunction with this very site, in celebration of the 3rd Anniversary of SEGAbits. The winner would receive A.J.’s personal SEGA Genesis Model 2, and the copy of Technocop he reviewed for My Life With SEGA.
Lo and behold, I ended up winning said contest – and so despite being one of the few staff members of SEGAbits from the UK, I don’t have to watch Genesis Month pass by whilst I cradle my beloved Mega Drive – and hey, I’d promised A.J. I’d post up my impressions of Technocop, so now’s as good a time as any.
Hatsune Miku Project Diva f on the PlayStation Vita is a great game! Hatsune Miku Project Diva f PS Vita is similar to Hatsune Miku Project Diva F on the PS3. The PS Vita version came out in Japan first and the PS3 second. In the west that release order was reversed. I’m pretty busy with stuff right now so this is just a mini-review, but I had to talk about a few things and how awesome this game is.
People don’t often think of the Genesis as a polygon pusher…mostly because it wasn’t. That didn’t stop some developers from trying to turn it into one though! Enter Hard Drivin’, a port of Atari’s 1988 3D polygon racing game. Ported to the Genesis in 1991, this game was one of the earliest examples of 3D graphics on a home console and given the limitations of the hardware, is surprisingly not a complete and utter disaster. That is not to say the game is good, though. Far from it in fact.