The often forgotten Panzer Dragoon spin-offs, and why they are forgotten

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You might assume that Panzer Dragoon only had 4 games in the series: the original Panzer Dragoon, Zwei, Saga, and Orta. That’s understandable, as these were the only major releases in the franchise. However, Panzer Dragoon does have a few skeletons in the closet. However, what I’m going to show you today, well, you may wish I had never revealed these secret games to you.

Classic SEGA Ads: Tiger Electronics puts the “L” in Virtua Fighter

If you thought Virtua Fighter in arcades and on the SEGA Saturn was as real as it could get, Tiger Electronics asks you to think again! Released in 1995, Tiger’s R-Zone (not to be confused with Pizza Hut’s P’Zone) was a portable headset and attached controller that promised a virtual reality experience, but ended up just delivering a headache. Unlike other Tiger Electronic LCD games, R-Zone took cartridges.

Each cartridge contained a transparent LCD display, projecting the game onto a mirrored surface placed just inches from the players eye. As was the norm for VR at the time, red was the color of choice. Leeching off of popular franchises to survive, the R-Zone featured Men in Black, Jurassic Park, Batman, Star Wars, and SEGA’s own Virtua Fighter. Don’t let the ad above deceive you, despite being right in your face, R-Zone’s Virtua Fighter was as far from virtual Virtua Fighter as one could get. Wait… did that kid say “brain chop”?!?

Classic SEGA Ads: Let your imagination run wild with Tiger’s After Burner!

In an era where most home gaming consoles were couldn’t produce anything more than simple 8-bit sprites, video game companies did have to occasionally get a little…creative with their marketing. This goes double for Tiger, whose LCD games were about as immersive as…well I don’t think there is anything less immersive then a Tiger LCD game. So naturally, Tiger encouraged the kids of the eighties to imagine their own arcade experience! After all, who needs stereo surround sound, fluid super scaling graphics and a full motion cabinet when you have the power of you mind?! This kid certainly doesn’t. He even brought his own flight helmet!

To be fair though, throwing a kid into a jet fighter was a pretty common way to market the game. SEGA took it a step further with their Master System commercial. This kid didn’t just imagine flying through some hazy clouds, he imagined a whole damn plane! The kid from Suburban Commando, which we highlighted earlier this week, even took it a step further by completely changing the setting of the game, complete with some new enemies.

If there’s anything I miss about games from the 8 and 16 bit era, it’s how vague their stories and characters were. Sure, I love having deep, interesting characters and engaging stories in my games, but an unfortunate side effect of this is that we can’t let our imaginations run wild about the nature of the game’s world and characters anymore. Oh well, I guess we’ll always have the imaginary jets of our childhoods at least, right?

 

A look at the rare Sonic Adventure LCD game from Tiger Electronics

Over at the Sonic Stadium message boards, fans got to talking about a rarely seen Sonic Adventure LCD game from Tiger Electronics released in 2000. The game, which resembles a tiny arcade cabinet, is unique in that is isn’t simply one of those low end Tiger handhelds. Instead, it is closer to the Game.com, which while still pretty low end, is capable of presenting multiple stages, enemies, and bosses. The Sonic Adventure LCD game was released as part of Tiger’s “Arcade Games” series which featured four other Dreamcast games: Q-Bert, NFL Blitz 2000, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, and Hydro Thunder. In total, Sonic Adventure features seven stages: Emerald Coast, Windy Valley, Ice Cap, Speed Highway, Red Mountain, Sky Deck, and Final Egg. Some of the bosses include Chaos 0, Egg Hornet, and the Egg Viper. While a very rare game to find, thanks to Sonic Stadium forum member iDEATH, we now have a look at this rare game from Sonic’s Dreamcast days!

Is that a SEGA arcade in your pocket?

A little over a month ago I went to my family cabin in northern Minnesota. It had been nearly seven years since I had last been there, and yet when I went back to the same bargain warehouse that I had been to back in 2003 I found the exact same SEGA Tiger LCD handhelds that I had seen hanging on the pegs all those years ago. Guess nobody wanted them.

The Tiger SEGA Pocket Arcade line hit stores during the Saturn years at a time when the clunky old Tiger handhelds were on their way out. Tiger, it seemed, was struggling in a world of Game Boy Colors and was attempting to use the names of big name SEGA Saturn console titles to sell cheap little flip open handhelds. I’m going to assume Tiger failed as a good number of these were found at an overstock warehouse, marked down from $15 to $8 to a final $4.79.

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