The death of Hugh Hefner reminded me of all the times Playboy crossed paths with my favorite pieces of pop culture entertainment, and while franchises like The Simpsons (Marge Simpson’s “photoshoot”) and Star Wars (Episode III’s Bai Ling) have had their day on the Playboy cover, SEGA fans have to dig a bit deeper. Back in the 70’s, SEGA had not yet entered the home console market as they were largely an amusement machine company. However, in the spring of 1977 (just prior to the Atari 2600 and around the time Star Wars hit theaters) SEGA debuted their big screen television Sega-Vision.
Classic SEGA Magazine
During their short run, the US Official Dreamcast Magazine managed to produce some excellent covers showcasing a wide range of Dreamcast titles. Unlike other gaming magazines tied to a single company, ODCM didn’t rely on mascots to sell the latest issue. Amazingly, Sonic only appeared on two covers during the magazine’s run; the promotional Issue 0 and the premiere issue. from issue 2 and beyond, ODCM shifted the spotlight to both first and third party franchises from a range of genres. Either it was a testament to the console’s strong library, or the editorial staff’s taste, but not a single issue of the magazine gave a cover story to a dud of a game. In this installment of Classic SEGA Magazine Corner we’re taking a look at issue 4 which gave Space Channel 5‘s Ulala the cover treatment, a full introductory spread, and the top slot in an article about great Dreamcast games due for release in 2000. Enough talk, let’s crack this issue open!
As Smilebit Month comes to an end, we crack open one more classic magazine for a look at what gaming journalists thought of a SEGA classic. GameFan magazine was quite a unique publication at the time. From 1992 to 2000, GameFan not only covered general gaming news, but also anime, manga, and featured extensive import coverage. It really was the perfect magazine for gaming fans who were also steeped in anime and importing the latest and greatest RPGs and generally more off the wall titles. So, of course, it was only fitting that SEGA’s Jet Grind Radio received the GameFan cover treatment for their August 2000 issue and had a four page preview and interview with the then unknown Smilebit team.
As evidenced last month, the unofficial Microsoft Xbox magazine Xbox Nation (XBN) really liked Smilebit. Their premiere issue featured Smilebit’s Jet Set Radio Future, which is surprising given Halo‘s dominance at the time, and their third issue featured a Panzer Dragoon Orta cover and an eight page preview and interview with former Team Andromeda staff. As the magazine continued, XBN kept up on various SEGA and Smilebit titles. In the magazine’s sixth issue they returned to Japan for another Smilebit interview, this time with Panzer Dragoon Orta artists Takashi Iwade and Kentaro Yoshida. Let’s crack open this issue to see what these legends had to say!
When SEGA announced that they were discontinuing the Dreamcast in 2001, like many SEGA fans I was in a daze. What competitor console would I buy to continue to enjoy SEGA games? How could I keep up on SEGA news with the cancellation of the fantastic Official SEGA Dreamcast Magazine? With the knowledge that certain internal development teams would be shifting focus to specific consoles, fans had to decide if they were to become a Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo owner (or all three if you were one of those spoiled kids). As a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog and Jet Set Radio, the decision was clear. I was to become an Xbox owner. SEGA told fans that Sonic would be multi-platform, despite Sonic Team’s Nintendo leanings, and that Smilebit would be releasing games to the Xbox. These were deciding factors for sure, but what really tipped me over the edge into pledging allegiance to the Xbox was Xbox Nation, the independent Xbox magazine.
Today marks a big day for fans of Phantasy Star, as it’s the 27th anniversary of the original game and the franchise as well. On December 20th, 1987, SEGA’s now iconic RPG released to the Sega Mark III. Following the original’s release, three numeric sequels released to the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis and further installments released to numerous other platforms. The series has come a long way since 1987, and it’s amazing that it continues to this day with the releases of Phantasy Star Online 2 and Phantasy Star Nova. But rather than focusing on the newest installments, and grumbling about how we still can’t play them in the West, let’s take a trip back to the Fall of 1988 when SEGA’s The Team SEGA Newsletter previewed Phantasy Star for the Master System.
Jet Set Radio Week rolls onwards! Today’s feature dusts off a classic issue of the Official Dreamcast Magazine (ODCM), which was published in the United States from June 1999 (the premiere Issue 0) to March 2001 (the final issue 12). Issue 6, which we’re shining the spotlight on today, released in the summer of 2000 and was a much anticipated issue as it featured an extensive preview of the upcoming Jet Set Radio – which was retitled Jet Grind Radio for the US market at the time the magazine went to print.
The author of the preview, Francesca Reyes (former Editor-In-Chief of the Official Xbox Magazine), is a name SEGAbits readers may remember. Francesca, as well as former ODCM Editor-In-Chief Simon Cox and former Gamespot Editor-In-Cheif Ricardo Torres, joined us for our 50th podcast to celebrate the Dreamcast’s birthday and talk about the history of the magazine. For the preview, Francesca not only flew out to Japan to go hands on with the game, but she also met with SEGA’s ragtag Smilebit team! After the break, let’s crack open this classic issue and see what this wacky cel shaded graffiti game is all about.
Oh snap, is this magazine already 20 years old? SEGA Visions magazine was the first official magazine of SEGA of America. It was launched to compete against Nintendo Power. It was actually free for a year if you owned a SEGA console. Not bad, not bad at all.
In this issue we will be looking at SEGA of America talking a bit about their new hero, Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s so odd reading their description of what Sonic is like, since we have known him for 20 years.
The other scans show SEGA’s Game Gear US launch and profiles of people that used to work at SEGA… 20 years ago. Interesting indeed.
Continuing an article series started by SEGAbits writer MadeManG74, I present another classic SEGA magazine: Electronic Gaming Monthly Number 22, released May 1991. SEGA and Sonic fans of course recognize May ’91 as the month before Sonic the Hedgehog hit stores. American magazine EGM joined the hype wagon and gave Sonic his own cover and a two page preview spread. Check out the article that was, most likely, the first real preview many had seen of the now classic SEGA series!
Welcome back, true believers, to another trip down memory lane. This time it’s back to September 2001 by way of Dreamcast Magazine!
Dreamcast Magazine was an unofficial UK based mag, and as you can see, it stuck with SEGA’s white box of wonder until the bitter end. Unlike last week’s look at SEGA Megazone during the lead up to the Saturn, this magazine is from the darker days, when the Dreamcast console had been discontinued and releases were beginning to slow down to a trickle. You can tell a console is struggling when the magazine cover article is a game that was never intended for it. As you will all know though, the Dreamcast went out with a hell of a bang, and was still giving us a number of great titles to play.
Hit the jump to see tears of both joy and sorrow from the end days of Dreamcast Magazine.
Ahh the Halcyon years of gaming before the internet. When gamers roamed the earth, waiting eagerly each month for a new issue of their favourite magazine to get the latest news and reviews for upcoming games. Let’s take a look back at a classic SEGA periodical with the July 1995 issue of SEGA Megazone Magazine. If you think this is nifty, wait until you hit the jump and see the rest of what the magazine had in stock. There will be boobs…