SEGA Talk Podcast #13: Virtua Fighter (1993)

Welcome to another episode of our SEGA Talk podcast, where we pick a SEGA game  and have a talk on various subjects regarding said game. On this episode we discuss  SEGA-AM2’s iconic 3D fighter Virtua Fighter! George and Barry talk about the games’ development,  success, and our personal thoughts on how the game has stood the test of time. If you are a big SEGA or Virtua Fighter fan, give the podcast a listen. You might learn a few new thinks regarding Virtua Fighter’s history and even if you don’t, its nice to support us… Right? Let us know what you love about Space Harrier in the comments below!

[iTunes – Stitcher – YouTube – Play Music – RSS – Download]

If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 2: The 90s Golden Age

THE NUMBER ONE ARCADE ENTERPRISE

The Model series of arcade hardware by Yu Suzuki in co-operation with Lockhead Martin, where the next step in the Sega arcade world. Virtua Fighter sold Sega Saturns in Japan.

The Model series of arcade hardware by Yu Suzuki in co-operation with Lockhead Martin, where the next step in the Sega arcade world. Virtua Fighter sold Sega Saturns in Japan.

In Part 1, we looked at Sega’s origins and their Japanese game development during the 80s. In Part 2 we turn our attention to the golden age, when Sega was fought in the console wars and arcades were in full-force globally. Throughout the 90s, Sega would really grow up and mature and have individual divisions, splitting into arcade and consumer software and product development. Many of the programmers, designers and planners of the 80s and earlier would become managers and producers of their own divisions.
Let’s start Part 2 off with the growth of their AM studios, which is short for Amusement Machine Research and Development.

Classic SEGA Ads: SEGA Does the Math

That awkward sexually infused ad we featured at the beginning of the month wasn’t the only 32X ad rapper Chill E.B. starred in. He also featured in this other, considerably better advertisement that focused on the math rather than the weird sexual innuendo one could infer from two consoles hooking-up.

That math is pretty sketchy though, as it often was in these ads. Much like how bits and blast processing were little more than marketing terms that oversimplified complex technology, the math here seems to have very little basis in fact. I could believe the 32X being significantly more powerful than the SNES, but I sincerely doubt that the 32X was four times more powerful than the 3D0. The console that was two and a half times more expensive at the time, and even though it was being sold for a significant profit by companies that didn’t see a dime in software profits I find it hard to believe that the 32X could have simultaneously over-powered and underpriced the competition, at least without magic. The fact that the 3D0 produced better looking games doesn’t help SEGA’s case, either.

Of course, the 32X died off so quickly we likely never got to see what the hardware was truly capable, so who knows? Either way, this ad is one of the best that the 32X got. It emphasized what the consumers cared about: graphics and games. It highlighted the right and actually demonstrated what the 32X was capable of. The math may have been bullshit, but at least the games weren’t!

My Life with SEGA sees red in Mortal Kombat II for the SEGA 32X

The ‘shroom finally blows…. out its candles with the third and final part of the 32X Anniversary Special with a very special 2-Man Scramble that’s dripping with blood. Oh yeah, it’s Mortal Kombat II.

In 1993, this critical and commercial treasure spread faster than herpes in a whore house. After having been unleashed in arcades across the planet, Mortal Kombat II soon spread to nearly every single home console/handheld available at the time. Even though SEGA’s ill-conceived 32-bit add-on went the way of the Virtual Boy in less than a year, its port of the Midway smash is still well regarded to this day….

Is this port a flawless victory? Find out with AJ, Mickey Mac, and newcomer, Erica Winter, before we open presents.

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

SEGA Tunes: Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 – Stage 1

There is nothing I love more in Genesis music than cheesy vocal samples, and the 32X shoot ’em up Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 is full of them. This week on Tuesday Tunes, we’re shining the spotlight on the kickass Stage 1 music from the 32X sequel to SEGA’s arcade classic Zaxxon. While the original Zaxxon was devoid of music, like many arcade space shooters of the early 80’s the game relied solely on sound effects, select home releases of the game introduced catchy stage music. The SEGA Master System’s Zaxxon 3D, a console exclusive, was the games first true sequel (Super Zaxxon was more of an upgrade to the original game) and featured a full soundtrack of exciting music. But it was the SEGA Genesis 32X exclusive Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 that truly brought the series’ music to – as SEGA would say – the next level. Utilizing the 32X’s enhanced sound capabilities, Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 features hectic, driving stage music filled with vocal samples like “GO!”, “WOO!” and unintelligible shouting. For a game as difficult as Zaxxon for the 32X, good music goes a long way in keeping the adrenaline pumping.

After the break, jam out to Stage 2’s music.

SEGAbits Plays Episode #3: SEGA Genesis, SEGA CD, and 32X

In our latest episode of SEGAbits Plays, Barry walks George through an assortment of SEGA Genesis, SEGA CD and 32X games. Games featured include Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Tail Spin for the Genesis, Eternal Champions for the SEGA CD, and Motocross Championship and Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 for the 32X. Stay tuned for our next episode as we play through the best and the worst that the SEGA 32X has to offer!

This episode was recorded after we interviewed former SEGA of America President Tom Kalinske – a man who was influential in the success of the SEGA Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as the release of SEGA’s 32X. Listen to the full interview here.

Round Table: Our Favorite SEGA 32X Games

roundtablefavroties The 32x might be an add-on with only under 40 games released for the short lived unit, but it wasn’t hard for most of the staff here to pick their favorite game. Even though the library was small there was quite a few good original titles and faithful arcade ports that make all us SEGA fans mouth’s drool. Some games really showed off what the 32x was capable of, others focused more on delivering great game over graphics. Check out the games we chose after the break and you can tell us in the comments what your favorite 32x game is.

My Life with SEGA goes back in time to play BC Racers on the SEGA 32X

Welcome back to the 32X birthday celebration! This week, A.J. Rosa and Mickey Mac burn….ummm, rubble? Yeah, on the mean streets of “Bedrock”, or wherever the Hell it is, in BC Racers for the 32X! Developed and published by Core Designs and first released on the Sega CD, or Mega CD for those across the pond, though it was later ported to the 32X. While it does take place in the Chuck Rock universe, the narrative is virtually meaningless to our dim-witted duo….

It’s all about that need. The need….for SPEED! Sure, we’ll go with that.

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

SEGA Tunes: 1, 2, 3, GO! Virtua Racing Deluxe’s Replay

This week on Tuesday Tunes we have a look at Virtua Racing Deluxe‘s song ‘Replay‘. Not only is this 32x port one of the best ports of the game to a console, it also has a pretty catchy soundtrack to boot.

Here we have an epic build up to a nearly nine minute song that is filled with nice dancing beats and epic saxophones that will put your ears’ in a 90’s nostalgia mood.

This is one of my favorite Virtua Racing tracks. Have you got a favorite of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Kickstarter for Night Trap ReVamped launched


We told you before that there was going to be a Kickstarter to bring back the FMV ‘classic’ to a new generation. The game was originally released on SEGA CD then later ported to 32x, 3DO and DOS/Mac. The project is asking for $330,000 dollars to remake this game in HD.

A minimum pledge of $20 dollars will net you a copy on either PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

You can check out their Kickstarter here. If you want to check out a sample of the HD footage from the game, check out this video.

Classic SEGA Ads: Identify your dead console at the morgue in this SEGA 32X commercial

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.55.08 AM
 
Last week’s SEGA Saturday Morning Ads was pretty harsh on the 32X’s misleading commercial, but this week I have nothing but love for this featured 32X commercial. sh

The ad begins with a teenager, a cop, and a mortician in a morgue pulling a slab out of refrigeration. A droll narrator says “For those who purchased something other than a SEGA Genesis…”. On the slab sits a mystery video game console under a sheet, however the identity of the console is vague. It resembles a Nintendo 64, but given the N64 didn’t release until 1996 (assuming this ad aired in ’94 or ’95), it’s more likely a shot at the SNES or simply a no name console that is meant to be any Nintendo or Sony product. The shocked teenager identifies the mystery console as his as the narrator concludes “…our sincere condolences.” Didn’t buy a SEGA console? Sucks to be you.

The SEGA Five: Why every Sonic fan needs to play Knuckles’ Chaotix

Chaotix_title

The 32X gets a lot of shit, and with good reason. The system stands as SEGA’s most abject failure, featuring the smallest library and shortest lifespan of any SEGA platform. It failed to live up to the promises SEGA made to its consumers and is a classic example of SEGA’s mid-90’s mismanagement.

An unfortunate side-effect of the 32X’s infamy is that the system’s better games are often ignored, or even worse, get the same shit that the 32X does. Knuckles’ Chaotix is a game that unfortunately suffers from both of these issues, and after having spent several days playing the game for 32X month, I’ve got to say that it’s a real shame. As far as I’m concerned, Knuckles’ Chaotix is a game every Sonic fan ought to play at least once, and here are five reasons why.

My Life with SEGA travels to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars Arcade for the SEGA 32X

That’s right, gang! My Life with SEGA has decided to celebrate the ill-fated 32X on its 20th anniversary by rehashing its not-so-exciting adventures in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Arcade! Yeah, baby! This time, AJ is not alone. AJ and his faithful sidekick Mickey Mac, are going up against the Galactic Empire in a desperate attempt to see the fuckin’ ending!

If you wish to see the original solo – pardon the pun – review of Star Wars Arcade, you can find it after the break!

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

SEGA Channel Retro: SEGA Multiplayer Showcase & Knuckles’ Chaotix

Last weekend saw an extravaganza of rarely seen footage of more multiplayer madness with SEGA featuring me and some of my friends. Last time we went through several Sonic games from the Game Boy Advance line-up rummaging for chao, racing to the finish, exchanging fists and more. This time we’ve not only gone back to Sonic Advance 3 with a full house of four players, we also got to check out the multiplayer mode of the Game Boy Advance conversion of Jet Set Radio from the developers behind the GBA version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Finally our last surprise was us racing in the future with San Francisco Rush 2049 on SEGA Dreamcast.

Also appearing only on Twitch is a silent longplay of Knuckles’ Chaotix running at 60 frames per second as part of SEGAbits’ 32X month. If you missed out on these liveshowings, be sure to subscribe to us on Twitch or YouTube for updates when we go live again or to catch up on our previous showings.

Classic SEGA Ads: SEGA 32X – “Just stick it in your Genesis!”

Throughout the 90s, SEGA were the kings of video game slogans. “Welcome to the Next Level”, “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t”, “A little bit too real”, “It’s Thinking”. These are slogans us fans still use proudly to this day. Unfortunately for the 32X, “Just stick it in your Genesis!” did more harm than good. Today’s ad features the return of our edgy friend from SEGA’s SEGA CD commercial in which he famously interrupted a teenager watching television to aggressively ask him why he didn’t own a SEGA CD. The SEGA CD ad was loud, in your face, and incredibly memorable for all the right reasons. The 32X follow-up? Not so much.