We’re at Episode 25 of SEGA Sequel Saturdays, and for this edition I’m compelled to ask a simple question: what the heck is Anarchy Reigns? Though SEGA has, from the start, released a relatively consistent stream of footage and tidbits of into, I can’t shake the feeling that I have no idea what the game is going to be, and each new bit of footage or information we receive has the effect of confusing me more and more. To be fair to SEGA, the game’s not planned for release until January 2012, which means we’re still a long way off, but today I’m asking a couple of questions that I really want to have answered, in some form, for me to ultimately decide whether I’m excited for this game or not.
SEGA Sequel Saturdays
For Episode 23, I thought I’d go back to in-house SEGA: a fan favorite, and one of the many greats to come from the Dreamcast era. Of course, you can see from the picture that I’ve picked Skies of Arcadia. As an RPG it was, in many ways, as traditional as they get. It had turn-based combat, it had a lack of voice overs, it had chirpy characters, and it had a bright and colorful world much more reminiscent of Japanese RPGs out of the old days than the much darker turn they took with the likes of Final Fantasy VI and VII. That said, Skies of Arcadia also took place in a world in the sky, a truly incredible setting which remains one of the most impressive worlds created for a Japanese RPG that I’ve ever experienced.
For the 22nd episode of SEGA Sequel Saturdays and following my feature from a couple weeks back on a potential sequel to House of the Dead: Overkill, I thought I’d take a look at another game that targeted the same demographic, MadWorld. It was the first release from the newly-formed Platinum Games, it’s still one of the only games to feature a black and white (and red, of course) color scheme, and it also happens to be one of the funniest games on the Wii system. It was definitely not a game without its share of flaws, but it was what could have been the start of a very promising franchise and it’d be great to see a sequel that expanded on the many great ideas that were only teased in the original.
(Note; We all of course know that MadWorld characters are slated to appear in Platinum Games’ next title, fighting game Anarchy Reigns, though it’s too early to tell whether that actually makes it a sequel to MadWorld or an entirely different type of game that just happens to feature its characters. This feature won’t be about Anarchy Reigns.)
Apologies in advance for adding yet another Sonic story to our collection. I always cringe when I see Sonic dominating our weekly stories just because I know that there are so many other great IP from SEGA to focus on, and I know that, to a lot of people, Sonic is all that makes up SEGA, and that’s unfortunate. It just so happens though that there has been a lot more Sonic news this week to report on than usual, thanks in large part to his big focus at E3 and of course Sonic Boom, but in truth, I’d planned on writing this as far back as a couple weeks ago, so I guess it can’t be helped.
This week’s SEGA Sequel Saturdays will be taking a look at another risky SEGA sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, which, like Jet Set Radio Future of last week, made bold changes to what many thought was a successful formula and, as a result, delivered an experience that was entirely different from what people expected.
Has it really been 20 weeks? Holy crap! Well, at any rate, for Episode 20 and probably the next episode or so, I’m going to be taking a look at sequels that really pushed the boundaries of what one would expect as a followup to another game. When making a sequel, a developer has a few different choices. Sometimes, they choose to take the easy way out, simply repeating the formula from the sequel’s predecessor and hoping that their audience is simply looking for more of the same….something that didn’t work for The Hangover 2, that’s for sure. Other times, a developer might try to tweak the formula, but still aim to deliver the same overall experience, abeit one that’s been improved. Then, there are developers who decide to take their sequel in an entirely different direction, by far the riskiest strategy of the 3. Sometimes it works, and the fans accept it, and then other times….tweaking the formula too drastically can result in a sequel that the fans hate. This week I’m going to take a look at Jet Set Radio Future, a game I’ve talked about in this feature before; what made it so different, why it was such a risky game to make, and, well, did these changes work?
Welcome back to SEGA Sequel Saturdays. For Episode 19 we have our first reader-submitted Sequel Saturdays column, and the honor goes to CosmicCastaway, who’s going to be telling us about Golden Axe, a series I know almost nothing about. There happen to be lots of those, so if any of you out there have an idea for an episode of Sequel Saturdays that hasn’t been done before, and want to write one, hit up my Private Messages and, as long as it’s not for a series that I was already planning on writing about, I’ll see what I can do. Anyway, let’s get right to it. Hit the break to read CosmicCastaway’s feature on Golden Axe.
It might seem crazy now, but there was a time when the Wii was genuinely looked at by some publishers as a system where adult-targeted games could flourish. (Welcome to Sequel Saturdays number 18. Remember readers, if you want to write one of these yourselves, drop me a PM and we’ll work something out.) SEGA deserves credit for trying, as they delivered not only one ultraviolent Wii game, (PlatinumGames’ MadWorld) but two, and House of the Dead: Overkill was a bold step not only because it was a violent game on a Nintendo system, but because it was a classic SEGA franchise that had been given a pretty big makeover. The game was not developed by the studio responsible for the other HOTD games, in fact, it wasn’t developed by SEGA at all. The reigns were handed over to UK studio Headstrong Games, who took the opportunity and totally ran with it.
[Special Note: Today’s screens are from the website MobyGames and VGChartz. Due to Astal’s age and obscurity, MobyGames’ own screen captures are the most extensive collection available. For now.]
This week’s Sequel Saturday is going to be somewhat different from past entries. For one, this article will be asking for a remake, not a sequel. Rather than asking for sweeping changes in game play, I will be addressing things I would like to see improved in an Astal remake, and how I’d like it to be sold. Now let’s get started, shall we?
Hey guys, welcome to Episode 16 of SEGA Sequel Saturdays. Before I get into it this week, there’s some business to take care of. I’d like to start by thanking George and Nuckles87 for contributing episodes to this feature, either when I haven’t been able to, or, in some cases, when I’ve been totally out of ideas. I’d also like to thank all of you who read these and create discussions each week by commenting. It makes writing them fun and rewarding, and I’d love to see this continue as a weekly feature. I feel that the best way to do that is, well, to open the floor to you guys. If you want to write an episode of Sequel Saturdays, drop a me a private message or say so in the comments section. You’d send me your write-up and I’d format, edit, and post it. I’d love to keep this feature going and if you would too, and if you want to write an episode, definitely let me know.
Alright, that out of the way, let’s jump into this week’s episode, this one about a good old childhood franchise of mine.
Hello and welcome to your weekly dose of potential SEGA Sequel Awesomeness (yeah I did just say that). Before I get started on Episode 14, though, I’d like to give a shout out to another pretty amazing sequel that has nothing to do with SEGA. As anyone who has been following my Twitter likely knows by now, I’ve been seriously loving the new Mortal Kombat game. If you’ve ever been a fan of the Mortal Kombat series, especially games 1-4, I’d definitely recommend checking MK9 out on your HD system of choice, really a lot of fun.
Anyway, without further ado…this is one I’ve been wanting to write since last week, when IGN’s Martin Robinson did an article celebrating the Amusement Vision-developed F-Zero GX. After reading his piece, what I had always thought in the back of my head was brought completely to the surface: I don’t think a new F-Zero game could be as good as GX was without SEGA’s Amusement Vision back at the helm.
Hello and welcome to my first entry in nSEGA’s incredibly awesome “SEGA Sequel Saturdays” Segment. This is something I had actually promised to do a long time ago on behalf of Panzer Dragoon Orta. It’s something I’ll get to eventually, nSEGA, I swear! In the meantime, last week’s write up on a sequel to Ecco has inspired me to try my hand at it. After all, I beat the game years ago! So that people know where I’m coming from, I figure I’ll detail my history with the Ecco franchise. Any peeps not interested in that, feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.
This will actually be a short one because all things considered, I haven’t spent a ton of time with this series. (And welcome to Episode 12.) I remember my first experience with Ecco was on the Sega Genesis with Ecco: The Tides of Time, which was actually the 2nd game in the series. As a little kid I struggled to get a grasp of how the game worked, and after many tries, I was finally able to progress through several levels, but was never able to finish it. I was a little older when Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future hit the Dreamcast, but found myself making even less progress, taking countless tries at the demo (which was the game’s first level) before finally getting to level 2.
Immediately after I did that, I rented the full game and attempted to play through it, and the 2nd level was as difficult to figure out as the 1st. As it would turn out, I never got past the 2nd level. But what a seriously good-looking game it was. It’s actually pretty impressive, in hindsight, that Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future carried several traits of, well, an open world game, and keep in mind that this was in the pre-GTA3 era. With the “open world” element having now become a staple of modern video gaming, it would be interesting to see this series given another try.
Hey guys, hope everyone in Internetland enjoyed their April Fools day! Welcome to Episode 11 of SEGA Sequel Saturdays. This week I’ll be expressing my thoughts on the (inevitable) sequel to a game that just released, Yakuza 4. SEGAbits’ official review will be up soon, but you can read my own opinion on Yakuza 4 at my blog, here. I feel that Yakuza 4’s a fun game with lots and lots to do and some great storytelling, but at the same time, its formula is really beginning to show its age. I don’t think Yakuza 5 is even worth announcing if we’re not going to be getting some big changes and updates, and here’s what I think they should be.
Episode 9 time, ladies and gentlemen. Back when SEGA announced that a return to 2D Sonic was being developed, (then code-named Project Needlemouse,) there was a surge of excitement throughout the industry and the fanbase. After so many years, and after a series of hit-or-miss 3D Sonic games, SonicTeam was finally about to deliver us a modern-day console 2D Sonic game. At the time, my opinion was that that SEGA absolutely could not afford to wuss out with the name: if they were really going to do this, I said, there was no point without calling it Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Sure enough, Project Needlemouse did become Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and well…read on.
Last week, SEGA Sequel Saturdays took a look at 5 of my favorite SEGA Sequels and why they managed to overcome my usual “sequel hatred” to become games that I really enjoyed. This week, it only seemed natural to look at the other side of that; to write about 5 of my least-favorite sequels and why I feel they failed to deliver. So, without further ado, let’s jump into episode 8!
(As always, feel free to throw in your own two cents via the comments section.)