Happy Sonic 2sday! The beloved sequel to SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog turns 25 years old today. To celebrate, the 2013 remastered version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 from Taxman and Stealth (of Sonic Mania fame) is now free-to-play (ad-supported) on iOS and Android devices. Of course, if you already own the game, you can restore your purchase and wipe away those pesky ads.
Another SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive classic has been added to the SEGA Forever free-to-play smart device gaming lineup. Based on the System 16 arcade game Cyber Police ESWAT, ESWAT: City Under Siege is a rather faithful arcade port. A run n’ gun, ESWAT stars a police officer (given the name Duke Oda in Japanese versions) who makes his way through the crime-ridden Liberty City, taking down lawbreakers. Promoted to the police department’s top unit, the ESWAT (Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics), Oda is given a powerful exoskeleton and is tasked with taking down the super computer E.Y.E.
A little SEGA trivia: Streets of Rage/Bare Knuckle started development under the working title of D-SWAT were the D stood for Dragon, making it sort of a sequel/spin-off to the ESWAT series. It later became its own thing, but an interesting factoid.
The latest SEGA Forever title has been revealed, releasing later today, and it is none other than the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive classic Decap Attack. A westernized version of the Japanese Mega Drive game Magical Hat no Buttobi Tabo! Daibōken, Decap Attack is arguably the better game if only because it stars a decapitated mummy named Chuck D. Head. As with previous SAEGA Forever titles, they are available on smart devices and are free-to-play. Expect Decap Attack to roll out later today!
The SEGA Forever lineup expands today as the classic SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive action RPG Beyond Oasis (The Story of Thor: A Successor of the Light in Europe) becomes the latest free-to-play mobile release. Developed by Ancient, with music by Yuzo Koshiro and released in 1994, Beyond Oasis stars Prince Ali in his quest for the Gold Armlet to save Oasis. Beyond Oasis is best played with the six-button pad, and SEGA has not forgotten this as a six-button arrangement is how the mobile port is played. Players can also utilize a rewind feature, which jumps back 15 seconds (at the cost of watching an ad).
Beyond Oasis will release to the App Store and Google Play store later this afternoon.
The SEGA Forever lineup of classic console games on mobile devices has slowly been expanding since the service was announced two months ago. So far, we’ve mainly seen SEGA Genesis games and pre-existing mobile games based on Dreamcast titles, and while the latest addition doesn’t break this trend it is a cool game. 1988’s Space Harrier II was a launch title for the SEGA Mega Drive in Japan, and was special as it was a console-exclusive sequel to an arcade classic. While fans debate whether Space Harrier II was a worthy sequel, most fans of the franchise can agree that the sequel does not see a lot of love when it comes to rereleases. So with that in mind, it’s great to see it joining the SEGA Forever lineup.
Since launching the service, SEGA has been updating the emulator and added some additional visual options for graphics and controls. As an iPhone 7 owner, I’ve seen an increase in quality, but I can’t speak for all devices and operating systems. Check it out for yourself, as it’s free-to-play.
The SEGA Forever lineup expanded today with the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive version of Golden Axe, available free-to-play now on iOS and Android devices. Like Ristar, this release features improved emulation, new screen modes, customizable controls and controller support. As an iPhone 7 owner, the game plays much better than the first wave of SEGA Forever titles. No doubt helped by the improvements to the emulator. It’s a shame this isn’t the superior arcade version, as I would love to eventually see the excellent Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder.
The Revenge of Shinobi comes to SEGA Forever’s mobile line-up. This is a new “censored version” that has been around since the SEGA Vintage Collection era, which changes Joe Musashi’s face in the title screen due to the face basically resembling Sonny Chiba. Some hardcore fans take issue with this change because the original ‘Sonny Chiba copied face’ seems angry and bold while the edited version of Joe Musashi looks rather sad. Its also funny to note that the SEGA Forever trailer above even makes a joke about it being changed. You can see bothf faces below (Left original, right the new one):
The Revenge of Shinobi isn’t new to censorship, considering that the game has been heavily changed in the past due to copyright infringement on popular IPs such as Godzillia, Spiderman and even Batman. The Revenge of Shinobi is considered to be one of the best sequels of all time, adding much more depth than the original arcade Shinobi ever had. The Revenge of Shinobi also featured a critically acclaimed soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage series) which should be enough to download and try it. The only thing is, have they fixed the audio in the emulation? Like all SEGA Forever titles, the game is free to play with ads and $1.99 to keep ad-free forever.
Fastest Food Alive takes a look at a modern promotional item advertising something classic: SEGA Forever Gold Rings cereal! Made to resemble a box of cereal, complete with actual cereal and a toy surprise, SEGA Forever Gold Rings was released to spread the word of the SEGA Forever classic games collection. The collection will bring games from the SG-1000 through to the Dreamcast to mobile devices in a free to play or $1.99 each to remove ads format.
Virtua Tennis Challenge, originally released to mobile devices in 2012, has been given the SEGA Forever upgrade and is now free to play or $1.99 to remove ads. Users who originally downloaded the game before the update can restore their purchase and remove the ads. Virtua Tennis Challenge was teased in our SEGA Forever interview, in which mobile games community manager Danny Russell confirmed that SEGA Forever would see existing titles brought into the service. This is great news, as Virtua Tennis Challenge was one of those games badly needing a 64-bit support update.
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After weeks of teasing, SEGA Forever was officially revealed to be a classic games collection initiative to bring everything from the SG-1000 to the SEGA Dreamcast to mobile platforms, with the big surprise being that all the games are free to play (with the option to buy). The collection kicked off with five SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis titles, including four emulated games including Altered Beast, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star II and Comic Zone, and the remastered Sonic the Hedgehog from Christian Whitehead. After playing the games and experiencing how the service works, we had a ton of questions for SEGA. Thanks to mobile games community manager Danny Russell, we received a speedy reply and every single one of our questions got answered!
SEGA has officially revealed their SEGA Forever launch, which will offer an array of SEGA titles. While at launch SEGA Forever is sticking with SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive titles, the service makes promises of exploring a ever expanding catalog of retro games from across all SEGA platforms. On this episode of the SEGA News Bits we take a look at all the information we know regarding SEGA Forever’s launch, its promises, our thoughts the project and take a look at all the teased upcoming games in their launch trailer. It seems opinions for SEGA Forever has been mixed since it was shown off officially this morning.
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SEGA Forever has officially been revealed, the service has been a mystery to fans since it was leaked a while back as it was being tested. We even did a SEGA News Bits on SEGA Forever (expect a follow up one now that the product has been fully detailed) on what the service could be. But what is it? According to the press release, which you can read in full after the break, SEGA Forever is a mobile name for classic SEGA re-releases on both Android and iPhone. Prior to this, a rumor came around that it was supposed to be ‘a subscription service’, but this press release says you get the option to play either free, ad supported version of the game or unlock it forever (SEGA Forever) for $1.99.
They promise to cover the following SEGA consoles:
The service will launch on June 22nd with the following five games, new releases every couple of weeks:
Sonic the Hedgehog
Phantasy Star II
The press release also goes into the fact that the games will support leaderboards, cloud saves, offline play, controller support, community news feed, and a ton of languages for menus. So the real question is, what is you opinion on SEGA Forever? Is this what you expected, another re-branding service for retro SEGA re-releases?
I think SEGA wants to date us. I mean, they sent us a SEGA mixtape and included a love note. We’re not going to say no, we are a fan site of course! Actually, the mixtape and included note and pen are a clever way to launch the upcoming SEGA Forever, which we guessed to be a retro SEGA games collection for mobile which will include arcade and SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive titles. As the SEGA Forever social media accounts hint, Comix Zone will be the first title with Crazy Taxi likely being grandfathered in. There is no evidence, yet, that this is a subscription service and we’re sure to learn more late this week or early next. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the tape and note (and pen)!