- Sonic Everywhere Pack (17 Sonic PC games) – $18.74
- Aliens: Colonial Marines – $1.99
- Company of Heroes – $1.49
So, what are you picking up?
So, what are you picking up?
SEGA’s press site has released a batch of new screenshots for the upcoming Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game Alien Isolation, developed by The Creative Assembly. Like previously released screens, we see a quiet and creepy setting in which you play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda trapped in isolation on a space station with the titular alien. Some cool elements on display are the electronics Amanda uses which double as the game’s HUD, clearly inspired by the 1979 film. After the break check out a full gallery of the latest screens! Alien Isolation is expected to release in the 4th quarter of 2014.
Ghostbusters for the SEGA Genesis is a game that holds a very special place in my heart. During Christmas 1991 I received my Model 1 SEGA Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog bundled in, and from that point forward I was a SEGA fan. Owning a Genesis also meant that a whole world of games opened up to me, and since the console was a little over two years old, I spent much of 1992 buying up games I had missed out on. Buying games in the early ’90′s was tough. Nowadays we have instant access to the internet, so it’s easy to spot a game on the shelf, Google search reviews, and make the decision to purchase. Back in ’92 all I had to go by was the box art and the few screenshots provided on the back. Being a huge fan of both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters, it only made sense for me to seek out the Genesis titles those franchises provided, and boy did I strike gold.
Having just recently written about the history of Sonic’s many redesigns, it’s fitting that sketch comedy group BEASTS reached out to us to share a video they made on the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog. BEASTS member James McNicholas shared the following information with us:
Let’s face it: video games are weird. Those from the 80s and 90s are arguably weirdest of all — try explaining the logic behind Pac Man to someone whose never encountered it.
Few games make less sense than Sonic The Hedgehog, with its blue rodents, gold rings and magic emeralds. Fortunately, sketch group BEASTS have stumbled upon this footage of SEGA’s planning meeting for the original Sonic. Hope you like it!
BEASTS are comprised of Ciaran Dowd, James McNicholas and Owen Roberts. They’ve been going for two years, and have two sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival under our belts. You can find nice things that other journalists have said about them here (they don’t put the nasty ones up). They’re also over on Twitter @BEASTScomedy.
As regards the sketch itself, you’ll notice two of the characters are named Yuji and Naoto – an allusion to messrs Naka and Oshima. “Mr. Needlemouse”, as you’re probably aware, was the name given to the prototype for the Sonic character on Naoto Oshima’s early concept art.
Thanks to BEASTS for reaching out to us and sharing their work!
Via Polygon comes news that the SEGA Genesis shooter Steel Empire, also known as Empire of Steel in Europe and Koutetsu Teikoku (鋼鉄帝国) in Japan, is set for a Nintendo 3DS release later this month. Members from the original development team, HOT-B, reformed to create Starfish which will be publishing the 3DS remake. Mebuis is in charge of remaking the game. Steel Empire is expected to release at the end of the month as a 2,940 yen eShop download.
Yoshinori Satake, former Hot-B lead game designer, is currently working on a sequel to the original game, entitled Burning Steel.
In the early 90s SEGA was in a pretty good place. They had finally managed to break through Nintendo’s monopoly over the market, Sonic was a hit and the Genesis was on top. Even so, the Genesis’s position was still precarious. By 1992 the Genesis was four years old and its age was beginning to show. The SNES was beginning to really show off its superior graphics and sound capabilities and the incredible Mode 7 effect on display in Mario Kart was out of the Genesis’s reach (at least, until the release of Pier Solar twenty years later).
So how does SEGA respond? With awesome marketing of course! Marketing that brags about the one thing that the Genesis can do better than the Super Nintendo: speed. What makes this ad even more spectacular is how it takes Mario Kart, the SNES’s most impressive looking game at the time, and compares it to a broken down jalopy. That takes some serious balls.
Blast processing may have been bullshit, but you can’t deny the sheer effectiveness of this ad. Especially since the Genesis continued to dominate the industry in the West after 1992.
Back in September of last year, SEGA announced an ambitious cross-promotional network for Japan called “Noah Pass” to help its fellow developers undercut the cost of advertising on networks such as GREE and DeNA. After initially launching with thirty developers, SEGA has revealed that fifty-one companies are now participating and that it reaches over 33 million users, numbers which no doubt pleases SEGA.
The main benefits of using Noah Pass include reducing advertising costs by eighty percent and not requiring gamers to register like other networks do. This helps to drive traffic from one game to another and keeps players downloading games from Noah Pass publishers. Currently SEGA, Capcom and Sqaure Enix (In the form of Taito) are all part of Noah Pass, and there no restriction on the number of publishers that can join the network.
In mid-January we made the announcement that all year long we’d be celebrating five famous (and infamous) pieces of SEGA hardware hitting milestone anniversaries in what we dubbed 2014: The Year of the SEGA Console. While the 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Pico are slated for month long celebrations later this year, all of March will be focused on SEGA’s 16-bit underdog the SEGA Genesis.
As an American who grew up in the late 80′s and early 90′s, the Genesis is a console that is near and dear to my heart. The Genesis was my introduction to the world of SEGA games, as well as the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. I know I’m not alone, as that period from 1989 to the mid ’90′s is filled with nostalgic memories for many SEGA fans of the era. As time went on, I became more savvy of SEGA’s impact on other territories, leading to the realization that the Genesis was actually the Mega Drive to everywhere else but America. Still, to me it was the Genesis, not the Mega Drive, that shaped my SEGA fandom and played a major part of defining my childhood.
To honor the Genesis, we plan to feature exciting content both here at SEGAbits and at the SEGAbits YouTube Channel. Expect to see another SEGAbits Franchise Week – this time dedicated to a certain bare knuckle brawler – as well as retro reviews, interviews, round tables, special edition podcasts, and a few surprises. So plug in your controller of choice, clean off those cartridges, and power on for SEGA GENESIS MONTH!
SEGA Corporation president Naoya Tsurumi will be stepping down from his positions as President, Representative Director and Chief Operating Officer and to be replaced by Hideki Okamura (pictured above) as of April 1st, 2014. Okamura has been a long time SEGA employee but has mostly held marketing positions since joining the company in the 1990s. He moves from his position as Chairman of TMS Entertainment, whilst Tsurumi becomes Vice Chairman of the Board. Also announced today by SEGA Sammy is that the group is expecting lower forecasts for the full year. Hit the break to get a rundown on the full figures and how SEGA Sammy hopes to rectify the situation.
Following the reveal of Sonic Boom, SEGA and Sonic fan communities exploded with discussion regarding the redesigns of the characters. Things like muscles, sports tape, scarves, tool belts, and blue arms became the subject of heated debates. Before the assurance from SEGA staff that the new game and TV show were a branch of the franchise and not a reboot, fans were both delighted and angered at the idea of Sonic undergoing another redesign after getting to know Modern Sonic for the past 7 years. Of course, fans of the franchise are not new to redesigns of SEGA’s mascot, so they can’t be blamed for assuming that Sonic was undergoing another permanent major change. While Sonic Boom Sonic and Modern Sonic “will continue to move forward in parallel” to each other, as stated by Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, the new Westernized design of Sonic is here to stay – at least for the near future.
As we move forward into the Sonic Boom era, we thought it would be fitting to look back at five major moments in Sonic’s history of redesigns, from buttface to green eyes and beyond. “Buttface” is enough incentive to read on, right?