The Weekly Five: You’re a SLACKER, SEGA!

Obviously, I love me my SEGA. Why else would I be writing for this place? But just because I love them, doesn’t mean I can’t be a little bit peeved with them when it comes to a few things. In this week’s Weekly Five, I’ll be going down my list of areas in which SEGA is slacking.

Sonic 4 Episode 2 – Where is the news?

I’ll get the Sonic complaint out of the way: “Hey SEGA, where the hell is the Sonic 4 Episode 2 news?” I understand from a marketing standpoint that SEGA wouldn’t want to advertise the return of classic Sonic 2D gameplay in Generations, while at the same time advertising the return of modern Sonic 2D gameplay in Sonic the Hedgehog 4. SEGA would essentially be pushing THREE types of Sonic gameplay, and I think that would be a bit too much for rabid fanboys (and girls) to handle.

But at the very least, SEGA should talk a bit more about the episodic sequel of the sequel. If improvements are being made to the controls, why not share a few tidbits? If Tails is to appear, why not show off a new render? Even a small bit of concept art for a new zone would be a lot. Instead, we get the occasional mention of episode 2 from PR guys and SEGA higher ups. The good news is that despite slacking for nearly a year, recent comments from Mike Hayes hint that some news is to come “soon”. Let’s just hope it is before the one year anniversary of episode 1.

Virtual-On Force – A Western release would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Since December of 2010 there has been an XBOX 360 port of the 2001 arcade title Virtual-On Force. Too bad it is only in Japan. While yes, the game is region free so is an easy import, I think the game really deserves a western release. Unlike the many SEGA RPGs that never make it out of Japan, Virtual-On requires little to no localization. Why not release it as a budget title or as an XBLA game? Push the four player aspect, perhaps bundle it with a download code for the first Virtual-On? There are a number of easy ways to release this game. I can only assume that SEGA believes the cost of releasing the title would be greater than the profit they would make. If that is the case, then why not release it as a limited edition or as already stated before, an XBLA title? They could even expand their audience with a PS3 version.

BRING BACK PUYO PUYO!

Like Virtual-On, the Puyo Puyo series of puzzle games have minimal dialogue and are due for a return to the West. SEGA has always been slacking when it came to Western Puyo Puyo releases. Puyo Pop Fever was the last game of the series to receive release in all three territories. After that, the series has remained a Japan exclusive. Thus, American and Euro fans of the series were never able to play Puyo Puyo Fever 2, Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary, Puyo Puyo Fever Touch and Puyo Puyo 7. Now that the series is turning 20, surely Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary would receive a release outside Japan? Nope! Even this special entry in the series is not going further than Japan.

I understand that puzzle games might not have as much popularity in America and Europe as they do in Japan, and that not every single Puyo game needs to be given a wider release. But considering the last Puyo game hit the DS five years ago, I think now is the time for another Western release.

So… how about that Dreamcast Collection?

Last summer, Mike Hayes said: “We hope to have somewhere between 18 to 24. Around that.”. That was in reference to how many Dreamcast games we can expect to have on XBLA and PSN by this summer.

So, how many did we actually get? Four! Yes, four freakin’ Dreamcast games! And even then, two of the titles have yet to be released outside of the Dreamcast Collection disc release! What the hell, SEGA? At the very least, release Space Channel 5 Part 2 and SEGA Bass Fishing to PSN and XBLA before you put the Dreamcast Collection concept to rest.

I have to wonder, was the concept a failure? Sure the first three titles had issues, but Space Channel 5 Part 2 played like a dream and Sonic Adventure’s only fault was a lack of 16:9 support. From what I recall, Sonic Adventure remained in the XBLA top downloads menu for quite some time, it must have sold more than enough to make a profit. If we can’t expect the promised 18 to 24 titles, can we at least expect another four before the end of 2011? This, in my opinion, is SEGA’s biggest “slack”.

There sure are a lot of PSP games stuck in Japan

I’m not a PSP owner, nor do I follow many of the SEGA franchises on the PSP, but I definitely have noticed that a number of SEGA developed PSP games never receive a release outside Japan. Valkyria Chronicles 3, the Shining series and Hatsune Miku are games that I read about constantly on SEGA fan sites and forums, and yet SEGA West has yet to show any signs of releasing those titles outside of Japan. Once again, I understand that localization costs and small fanbases are the main reason for this, but still… it’s very disappointing from a fan perspective.

In the comments section, feel free to join me in a moan.

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13 responses to “The Weekly Five: You’re a SLACKER, SEGA!

  1. SeanNOLA says:

    I asked about all of these things at e3, but got kinda round-about answers on all of them:

    I got a “Yes, we are still planning to release more Sonic 4 episodes as part of the 20th Anniversary Celebration, but don’t want to to be overshadowed by Sonic Generations”

    I got a “We hope to revisit the Dreamcast collection some time in the near future” (but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think they were thrilled with the reviews/sales of the games they released, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the collection got shit-canned)

    I got an “anything could happen” when I asked about Valkyria Chronicles 3 in the US.

    Oh, and you didn’t bring it up, but I got an “I sure hope so, but I wouldn’t hold your breath” in regards to PSO2 in the US.

  2. George says:

    Damn, thumbs up to all of this. I would have added just “There are a ton of games only in Japan”. Not just PSP stuff… mostly PSP stuff though.

  3. David says:

    I called it when they announced the “Dreamcast” Collection. Some of them were not even Dreamcast releases in the first place like Sonic Adventure.

    They picked possibly the worst Dreamcast titles to use for the opening releases and they’ll now use that as an excuse to leave the truly great Dreamcast titles in a dusty pile of Sega BS forever!

    They should have released possibly one game a month, starting with Jet Set Radio, etc. Instead they slapped the games that were easiest to port over.

  4. crackdude says:

    Where is Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity?!? Just make some DLC for PSP2 with Fanta machines or something lol

  5. unknown says:

    And announcing if generations is coming to PC or not

  6. -nSega54- says:

    I made a big stink about it back when it came out, and I still stand by the opinion that the Dreamcast Collection did more to hurt the DC’s legacy than to help it. It would be nice for SEGA to deliver to us a proper collection, not another 4 games (read: bad ports) halfheartedly thrown together.

  7. Good picks, but Virtual On Oratorio Tangram was not “the first Virtual On” unless you meant for them to include a download code for VOOM, which is not on XBLA.

  8. Sorry bout that, came out wrong. My mind was thinking “the first VO game to hit XBLA”, not “the first VO game of the series”. I was aware of the Saturn version, though I was talking about VOOT.

  9. Diarrhea_Of_The_Mouth says:

    Too bad you forgot about the Fukushima incident there. IIRC, I remember quite a few video game blogs/news sites stating that plenty of games would be delayed/cancelled. Looks like that hit Sega as well.

  10. CosmicCastaway says:

    I’m still quite surprised that SEGA hasn’t even announced a Western release for Valkyria Chronicles 3. I’d love to get the Shining games and the Hatsune Miku titles as well, but Valkyria Chronicles 3 seems like a must have!

  11. I have not forgotten about the Fukushima incident. Note that all the games I have mentioned were released well before the disaster. VOF in December ’10 and VC3 in January ’11. By that point I’d think the games would be out of SoJ’s hands and could be localized by teams outside of Japan.

    Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary would not have released outside Japan regardless of what happened.

  12. A new Panzer Dragoon RPG or even porting Saga would be great. I like your image. I just bought the Back to the Future trilogy on Blu-Ray and watched them all this week. Great Scott! Heavy!

  13. Heavy? Weight has nothing to do with it! 😉

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