The SEGA Five: Why every Sonic fan needs to play Knuckles’ Chaotix

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The 32X gets a lot of shit, and with good reason. The system stands as SEGA’s most abject failure, featuring the smallest library and shortest lifespan of any SEGA platform. It failed to live up to the promises SEGA made to its consumers and is a classic example of SEGA’s mid-90’s mismanagement.

An unfortunate side-effect of the 32X’s infamy is that the system’s better games are often ignored, or even worse, get the same shit that the 32X does. Knuckles’ Chaotix is a game that unfortunately suffers from both of these issues, and after having spent several days playing the game for 32X month, I’ve got to say that it’s a real shame. As far as I’m concerned, Knuckles’ Chaotix is a game every Sonic fan ought to play at least once, and here are five reasons why.

The SEGA Five: Opa-Opa’s greatest cameo appearances

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Before Sonic came along in 1991, SEGA had its fair share of mascots. Ask a SEGA fan in the 1980’s who SEGA’s current mascot was, and you’d likely receive a variety of answers. Some may point to the Shinobi arcade game star Joe Musashi, while others may point to the Mario-like Master System star Alex Kidd. Opa-Opa of Fantasy Zone was another of these mascots vying for the SEGA throne, and if you ask me he was the most worthy of the crown. While Opa-Opa lacked an expressive face, a drawback that some say was the reason Alex Kidd came out ahead of the sentient spaceship, I say he made up for it with a simple yet memorable design that evoked SEGA’s quirky nature at the time. Opa-Opa is both cute with his bright colors and white wings, and hardcore with his jet propulsion and firepower. He also fits in perfectly with the “blue skies” aesthetic SEGA is well known for thanks to the fact that the skies are where Opa-Opa spends a majority of his time.

Since his debut in 1986, Opa-Opa has made cameo appearances in several SEGA games, a testament to Opa-Opa’s original design. In fact, Opa-Opa’s cameo career began the very year he debuted and his cameo appearances continue through to today. In this week’s Weekly Five we’ll be highlighting some of Opa-Opa’s greatest appearances, from playable to non-playable and from obscure to blatantly obvious. Yes, Shenmue made the list, you can stop holding your breath Ryo Hazuki fans.

The SEGA Five: Best SEGA games on the Xbox 360

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Today is the launch day for the Xbox One in America, and as people head to stores to pick up the latest console, the Xbox 360 officially becomes a “last gen” machine. Last week George named the five best SEGA titles to grace the Playstation 3, and seeing as how I’m the site’s Xbox guy, I thought I’d do the same for the Xbox 360. As with George’s list, these are my personal picks, so feel free to add any titles in the comments section!

The SEGA Five: Cancelled SEGA 32X games that could have been great

Written by My Life with SEGA’s A.J. Rosa

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Much has been said about SEGA’s last console add-on. Jaremy Parish of 1UP.com stated in his article ’20 Years Ago, SEGA Gave Us the SEGA CD’ that the 32X “tainted just about everything it touched.” GamesRadar was far more damning with their Top-10 List of Worst Consoles, where the “product of boneheaded short-sightedness” placed ninth. Oh, that wasn’t harsh enough. They went on to call it “an embarrassing footnote in console history, as well as an object lesson in why console makers shouldn’t split their user base with pricey add-ons.”

Obviously, the 32X has left quite an impression. That’s nothing new though. Prior to it’s release, the 32X was met with some enthusiasm; most notably, I feel, in EGM2’s July ’94 issue. In their special feature “32X Brings the Arcade Home!”, they were impressed with its technical specifications and ever widening list of third-party support, such as Activision, Atlus, Capcom, Core Design, Crystal Dynamics, GameTek, Interplay, Konami, Time Warner Interactive, Vic Tokai, Virgin Interactive, Acclaim and Sunsoft….just to name a few. Kenji Hiraoka, former president of Konami of America, is quoted “We have seen the specs on 32X, and are thoroughly impressed by how powerful it is. We can make amazing games on this platform.”

Shame they didn’t, which brings us to…. My personal Top 5 List of Cancelled 32X Titles!

SEGA Five: How to be the best Dreamcast collector that you can be

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In celebration of Dreamcast month, the Friday Five is back! In this installment, I thought I’d share some collecting tips for both budding, and seasoned, Dreamcast collectors. Despite the Dreamcast’s short lifespan, the console has a vast library and a number of accessories. In total, there exist around seven hundred and twenty Dreamcast games, both licensed and unlicensed. Accessories range from various controllers, to keyboards, mice, lightguns, twinsticks, arcade sticks, cameras, and more! Suffice to say, collecting for the Dreamcast is a lot of fun.

Let’s kick off the list with one of the most important things a Dreamcast collector needs to remember…

My five favorite things in Sonic 4 Episode II

While I’ve yet to post up my iOS review for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2, I can say that after playing a majority of the XBLA version and half the iOS version I am enjoying the game. Not every aspect is perfect, more on that in my review, however there are a lot of things I’m liking. In this week’s Weekly Five we’ll take a look at five things found in Sonic 4 Episode II that I’ve enjoyed the most. My favorites, if you will.

Weekly Five Rewind: Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing 2 Predictions

Well, the hedgehog is out of the bag. Yes, there will be a Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing 2, dubbed “Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed”. Back in January 2011, following the release of the first game, I ran through five things an All-Stars Racing sequel must have. Now that the sequel has been announced, let’s take a look back at what we wished for, and what SEGA and Sumo Digital now promises to deliver. You’d be surprised by how well SEGA listened to fans on this one.

Why Dreamcast fans should be hyped for Sturmwind

The world of independent Dreamcast games has been quiet since the release of NG:DEV.TEAM’s Fast Striker. Established indie Dreamcast games publisher RedSpotGames is looking to break that silence with the upcoming shoot ’em up Sturmwind. While Sturmwind IS another shoot ’em up aka shmup, a popular genre in the Dreamcast indie scene, don’t let that fact dissuade you from checking out the title when it releases this year. In this week’s Weekly Five we’ll run through the reasons why Sturmwind may be worth your time (and money).

SEGA Five: Bein’ bad – SEGA style

Admit it. When a game gives you the option to be bad, you go for it. Unlike the stupid real world, video games have no repercussions. While game designers may not intend for you to do these bad things, or there are in-game penalties, in the end it’s just a game so you can be bad to your heart’s content, hit the reset button and return to playing the game as it was intended. In this week’s Weekly Five, we celebrate Friday the 13th with five SEGA games which allow you to be (you guessed it) bad.

The Weekly Five: The Shenmue HD Wish List

To wash the yucky taste of today’s big news story out of our mouths, let’s focus on something positive. Recently, SEGA has been hinting at an HD Shenmue 1 and 2 rerelease. Given the latest announcement of putting more focus on digital releases, Shenmue HD could become even more of a reality. As SEGA has yet to release an official announcement, we can do what Shenmue fans do best and speculate! This week’s Weekly Five will take a look at what we want to see in a Shenmue rerelease. Let’s begin, shall we? [insert sailor joke here]

The SEGA Five: Jet Set Radio Regional Rumble

Continuing the Jet Set Radio hype, this week’s Weekly Five will be taking a look at three regional versions of Jet Set/Grind Radio. Those unacquainted with the US, European and Japanese versions of Jet Set Radio may be thinking: “whats the big deal? A ton of Dreamcast titles were released in three regions.” Well, unlike most Dreamcast games, Jet Set Radio had rather notable differences between regional releases. Each version features unique graffiti tags, unique songs, different stages, different character names and voices and even different titles. Of the three, which is the best? That’s what we’ll try to decide today, by comparing five aspects of the games and choosing a winner! Let’s begin.

Five Things You May Not Have Known About Jet Set Radio

While I may write about Sonic a lot, my favorite SEGA franchise is actually Jet Set Radio. Ever since playing the original game in 2000, my perception of games has never been the same. Jet Set Radio was more than just a fun game, it was an experience. It introduced me to a world that oozed with color, funky music and over the top characters and settings. Unlike Sonic, however, the Jet Set Radio franchise is insanely small. All fans really have to soak up are two great games, a fun handheld title and the upcoming port. Articles about the series are rare, and the amount of Jet Set Radio merchandise produced could easily fill a small shelf. As a tribute to my favorite SEGA game, I thought I’d increase the web article count by one with five things about Jet Set Radio that the regular SEGA fan may not know about. If, after reading this weekly five, you have learned nothing then consider yourself a Jet Set Radio super fan!

The Weekly Five: Star Wars Games on SEGA Consoles

When I was a kid, most of my free time involved the three S’s: SEGA, Star Wars and The Simpsons. Sometimes, though very rarely, these things would mix. Simpsons games would appear on the Genesis, The Simpsons would parody Star Wars and Sonic 2 would feature the Death Star inspired Death Egg. Despite all this intermingling of my favorite media properties, I never was able to play a Star Wars game on my SEGA Genesis due to Nintendo getting all the games. I recall seeing the Super Star Wars Trilogy in magazines and thinking “why can’t the Genesis get those!?”. As time went on, Star Wars games began to appear on SEGA consoles, and in 1999 I finally owned a console that would receive some of these games. Now, in 2012, I’ve amassed most of the SEGA consoles and all of the Star Wars games. With The Phantom Menace 3D hitting theaters this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to look back at five of my favorite Star Wars games that appeared on SEGA consoles. Do they still hold up? Let’s find out!

The Weekly Five: Celebrating 18 Years of Sonic 3

February 2nd, dubbed Hedgehog Day, marked the 18th anniversary of the American release of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Damn, does that make me feel old. Sonic 3 marked a very important point in the Sonic franchise. At the time of release, Sonic mania was in full force. The franchise had multiple TV shows airing, comic books, fast food promotions and even had a float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. In early 1994 it was near impossible to avoid Sonic, and the release of Sonic 3 only made the franchise even more of a hot commodity. It’s no question that SEGA had a lot riding on the success of the game. Of course, 18 years later we’re still talking about it, so clearly SEGA was successful. In this week’s weekly five, we’ll take a walk down memory lane and look back on just why we love Sonic 3 so much.