SEGA Retrospective: 20 years of Fighters Megamix

megamix20

Between the likes of Marvel vs Capcom, Super Smash Bros and NEO GEO Battle Coliseum, suffice to say that it is characteristic of the crossover fighting game sub-genre to not take yourself so seriously. Put any worries about canon to rest, don’t sweat character balance too much, and just have a good time. SEGA’s one and only foray into the world of crossover fighters dropped twenty years ago today, and if it’s not immediately obvious that they’ve let their hair down, it will be once you unlock Rent-A-Hero.

Fighters Megamix bills itself as a crossover between the Virtua Fighter and Fighting Vipers franchises, two series which mean considerably less to your average Joe today than they did back in 1996. I remember when Masahiro Sakurai unveiled the Akira and Jacky Mii costumes for Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Twitter blew up with questions along the lines of “what the hell is Virtua Fighter?” Nevertheless, Fighters Megamix has carved its way into the libraries of many fighting and retro game fans in recent years, largely due to its outrageous roster.

Admit it. You know about this game because of the car. I don’t judge you. It’s been twenty years.

SEGA Talk Podcast #06: NiGHTS into Dreams… (1996)

We have a very special episode of the SEGA Talk Podcast as we cover not only NiGHTS into Dreams… but also Christmas NiGHTS. We have a interesting discussion on the development of NiGHTS into Dreams…, how it shifted Sonic Team into creating a new mascot, the game’s iconic soundtrack, and even speak about our thoughts on the game play. Make sure to stay on to hear us talk about Christmas NiGHTS during the end of the podcast to get some holiday cheers. Get your eggnog, turn up your speakers and let’s talk about NiGHTS into Dreams…  (and Christmas NiGHTS)

[iTunesStitcher – Play Music – RSSDownload]

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!

SEGA Talk Podcast #05: Panzer Dragoon (1995)

We are back with another SEGA Talk podcast, on this episode we take to the skies as we discuss Team Andromeda’s SEGA Saturn classic Panzer Dragoon. Tune in and hear us talk about Panzer Dragoon pushing the rail shooting genre to 3D, its unique art style, full motion CGI and of course its legendary soundtrack. So sit back, hang out and let’s talk some Panzer Dragoon.

[iTunesStitcher – Play Music – RSSDownload]

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!

SEGA survey results reveal what franchise fans want to see return

Sonic___SEGA_All-Stars_Racing-PCArtwork4539Sonic_Racing_GroupHave you been looking forward to the SEGA survey results for the brand Japanese consumers want to see revived? If you guys didn’t know about the SEGA survey, we did a post about it earlier this week. SEGA has revealed not only what franchise fans want to see revived, but also what brand their most invested in and their favorite characters. Get ready for some unexpected results!

So hit the jump to see all the answers, including how many people voted for each brand, after the jump.

[Via: NeoGAF]

Multi-System Emulator Mednafen Now Has SEGA Saturn Support

The SEGA Saturn emulation scene is pretty lacking compared to other, more popular consoles from the same time period but we have gotten impressive emulators like Yabause and SSF. But if that wasn’t enough the SEGA Saturn has now been added to the multi-system emulator Mednafen.

If you never heard of Mednafen, it is trying to provide an all-in-one emulation package that spans a ton of consoles including:

  • Atari Lynx
  • Neo Geo Pocket (Color)
  • WonderSwan
  • GameBoy (Color)
  • GameBoy Advance
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom
  • Virtual Boy
  • PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 (CD)
  • SuperGrafx
  • PC-FX
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Sega Genesis/Megadrive
  • Sega Master System
  • Sony PlayStation

According to the new Mednafen 0.9.38.7 update, the SEGA Saturn emulation is being added as experimental. You can check out a video of the emulator running Guardian Heroes above.

[Via: Retro Collect]

Multiplayer Showcase Faces Sudden Death in Saturn Bomberman

Its the final minutes until the big 25h anniversary party for our good buddy, Sonic, but wait! Those aren’t rings falling from the sky, its a bunch of weights and a myriad of bombs which means its the last few rounds of Saturn Bomberman before we share our verdict on the game. In the last part of the episode, the group talks about the sudden death mode, discovers a connection with Bomberman and wrestling and share our strategies of playing the game. Also how did people play the game in the mid to late nineties? The round table discussion features my friends Chance, Krys, Randy and Chelsea.

Did you play Saturn Bomberman back in the day? How did you set up the game to play with friends? Do you think other Bomberman games do the job better? Be sure to sound off in the comments!

Multiplayer Showcase Sets the Stage with Saturn Bomberman

Wondering what to look for in a SEGA Saturn game now that Saturn game encryption has finally been cracked? Why not one of the biggest multiplayer experiences on the console? Multiplayer Showcase continues to take a look at Saturn Bomberman by covering our favorite stages, gimmicks, exploit the dinosaurs and try to figure out what the kick power up looks like. The round table discussion features my friends Chance, Krys, Randy and Chelsea. (Who didn’t play with us but has actually played the game before!) We talk about the simple wide stage. What are your favorite levels or gimmicks from the game? Do the dinosaurs break the game for you or your friends? Sound off in the comments section.

SEGA Saturn copy protection cracked after 22 years

The SEGA Saturn has long been that one SEGA console that was near impossible to crack, and console owners could forget trying to easily play copied games (which currently relies on a mod chip and burning CDs). But now, thanks to electronics fellow and coder James Laird-Wah aka “Dr Abrasive”, the Saturn’s copy protection has finally been cracked.

Detailed in the extended video above is the process which Dr Abrasive took to achieve this. Essentially, games are loaded from USB via the expansion card port. The Saturn was so difficult to crack due to DRM requiring discs to have a physical mark on them (called a wobble) which was etched into the CD. Dr Abrasive got past this by figuring out how the disc drive worked and emulating it via USB. The project is still in the testing phase, but there are plans to make boards available for sale. The work will eventually open up doors to homebrew communities and preserve the console’s functionality years beyond the eventual death of the CD drive.

You can follow the project at Dr Abrasive’s Twitter account and at the official Assembler Games topic, and you can join the discussion at the SEGAbits forums.

SEGA News Bits: NiGHTS into Dreams turns 20 years old

NiGHTS Into Dreams hit the SEGA Saturn 20 years ago, leaving a generation of gamers mesmerized by its beautiful 3D graphics and surreal dream world. Today on the SEGA News Bits we will be talking all about Sonic Team’s NiGHTS franchise including a retrospective (of its two whole games) and even cameos the purple jester has made through its 20 years of existence.

So sit back, hit play and let’s chat about NiGHTS into Dreams. If you like these SEGA News Bits videos, hit subscribe on our YouTube channel to see more!

Multiplayer Showcase Lights the Fuse with Saturn Bomberman

Why stick to fireworks when you can use bombs? A new Multiplayer Showcase installment is out featuring one of the most popular SEGA Saturn multiplayer experiences, Saturn Bomberman starring Hudson Soft’s all-star lineup in a massive free-for-all. We’ll be taking a look at the different stages and examine the differences in the eight and ten player modes, the Saturn’s six player adapter, and how the title holds up to the rest of the Bomberman lineup.

This episode is going to be released in smaller chunks which allows the episode to come out faster. Be sure to subscribe to the channel to keep up with new installments and more multiplayer matches.

SEGA News Bits: Shining series turns 25 years old

25 years ago today, on March 29th 1991, Shining in the Darkness released to the Japanese Mega Drive. While the original game did not light the world on fire, the later Shining Force games would become some of the best strategy RPGs ever produced. The series is still going strong, at least in Japan, with Blade Arcus from Shining EX releasing just last year.

Whatever you may think about the recent installments, most fans agree that the Shining Force games were legendary and the original Shining in the Darkness is to thank for starting the franchise. Join us on this SEGA News Bits as we share our Shining memories and talk about the possible future of the series, and don’t forget to brush up on all the SEGA anniversaries hitting this year!

If you enjoy the SEGA News Bits video formats make sure to like, share and subscribe to our YouTube for more.

 

SEGA Retrospective: The career of Tomoko Sasaki, composer of NiGHTS Into Dreams…

Screenshot_234

There are typically three things that people associate with SEGA: Sonic the Hedgehog, consoles that never got to shine, and great music. SEGA has undoubtedly housed some of the most creative composers in the industry, making everything from sweeping, pseudo-orchestral soundscapes, to fast-paced, pumped-up techno. But the best composers don’t let their skill and talent end with their music.

Enter Tomoko Sasaki, best known to SEGA fans as the main composer of NiGHTS into Dreams…. Her sound, helped along by Naofumi Hataya and Fumie Kumatani, is what arguably sold NiGHTS‘ surreal dream worlds and energetic gameplay. It’s often considered one of the best soundtracks in SEGA history, let alone on the Saturn, but it was only Sasaki’s third composition. And even then, it wasn’t even the strangest thing she ever did.

SEGA Games That Are Celebrating Big Anniversaries in 2016

SEGAbitsAnniversary2016

SEGA has created some highly popular and cult classic series of games that have stuck with people over the years. While most of you guys already know that Sonic the Hedgehog is celebrating his big 25th Anniversary this year, many other games get ignored because they aren’t as relevant as they used to be. Today we will list those mostly ignored video game franchises we all love. Did your favorite game make our list?

Classic Virtua Fighter figures now available for pre-order

FIGURE-016527_08Are you a big fan of the low polygon models used in the original Virtua Fighter? Today is your lucky day because Figma’s classic Akira and Sarah figures are now available to pre-order at AmiAmi. Each figure will cost you 3,560 yen (about $30 usd).

Each figure comes with:

  • Main figure
  • Base
  • Standard expression part
  • Shouting expression part
  • Hand parts

The figures will have a ‘variety of hand parts’ so you can pose them to fit your needs. Not to mention the screaming face. Look at the gallery after the break. According to Figma, they will be making Player 2 variants soon, you can see those figures in the image above. The figures are set to ship this upcoming September, so this is a long pre-order.

A Compilation of Panzer Dragoon Saga’s In-Game Artwork

Panzer Dragoon Saga End Result Screen 2

Years ago, I ended up trying to extract some artwork images from Panzer Dragoon Saga, the Sega Saturn classic and only RPG in the Panzer Dragoon series. While I managed to write a small program to extract the grayscale versions of the images out of the game’s files, actually getting the images in color proved to be a bit more challenging. I never did figure out how to apply the color palette to the images, but I did manage to find a workaround. I looked up the exact address where the Sega Saturn stored the images and the color palettes in its internal memory, and then used the Sega Saturm emulator Yabause to inject all of the images and the corresponding color palettes at the correct location in the memory, while the game was running and showing the opening menu. In doing so, I could alter the background of the start screen and grab each of the images.

The artwork consists of the following:

  • Four images that were shown when you were asked to switch between the game’s four CDs.
  • Four images shown at the end of the game when you viewed your statistics (like how much of the game’s map you explored). The images differed depending on how well you performed throughout the game.
  • The image shown in the background of the Save menu.
  • The images shown at the game’s title screen, for both the US/EU and Japanese version.

But I never did upload those images to Panzer Dragoon Legacy. More recently, someone posted a thread on Panzer Dragoon Legacy’s forum asking for those images, and I finally got around to uploading them. You can view the images by visiting the link below:

Panzer Dragoon Saga in-game background art