SEGA Memories: Playing Jet Set Radio Future for three days straight in 2002!


2016 is a big year for milestone SEGA anniversaries, and while the Jet Set Radio franchise didn’t make our mega list (which you can check out right here), I’d be remiss as a Jet Set Radio fan if I didn’t tip my hat to the sequel Jet Set Radio Future which turns 14 today in North America. As an all-encompassing SEGA fan, I don’t really pledge allegiance to one franchise. Everything from Space Channel 5 to Guardian Heroes to Valkyria Chronicles pull at my SEGA fan heartstrings. But one franchise that gets to me more than any other is Jet Set Radio. Playing the first game on the Dreamcast was more than your typical “yay, a new game” experience. Jet Set Radio introduced me to a crazy new world where bright colors, catchy music and offbeat street culture melded together into a game that I couldn’t stop playing. It wasn’t so much the gameplay the grabbed me, as it was the world of Tokyo-to. Popping the game into my Dreamcast was another free trip to explore my favorite video game world.

So you can imagine my excitement when Jet Set Radio Future was announced, featuring a much larger world and even better graphics. The only catch? It was on a console I had never intended to buy at the time, Microsoft’s Xbox.

SEGA Memories: Owing a debt to the SEGA Dreamcast


With Dreamcast month currently underway, I thought I’d share my launch memories with all of you. It’s a little different from the launch discussion we’ll be talking about in our next round table, because I already had an import Dreamcast for a little while. This is more about helping a small business out by giving them a bigger launch while helping big business sell out it’s stock. Well…that and paying off some debt.

SEGA Memories: 2003’s strange case of Beta-7

2003 was a strange time for SEGA fans. It was the first year following the Dreamcast’s discontinuation with no new games released, new SEGA titles began to release on rival consoles, and a shocking conspiracy unfolded behind the doors of SEGA of America and Visual Concepts. In March, 2003, SEGA and Visual Concepts began beta testing NFL 2k4 – which later was released as ESPN NFL Football. In an effort to fine tune the game, a couple dozen gamers were assembled at an office park in Winter Park, Florida with the promise of trying out an exciting new product. Each gamer present, now given the role of video game beta tester, were given code names: Beta-1, Beta-2, Beta-3, etc. Each beta tester was paired with another tester, and the pairs were tasked with testing various modes and features. One innovative feature which SEGA was keep to promote was the game’s “crash-cam”, a mode which allowed players to experience the game in a first person perspective complete with a simulated on-screen helmet. The privilege of testing this mode fell on the pair of Beta-7 and Beta-8, with Beta-7 being the first to try it out. At first, everything was normal for Beta-7. The new mode was described by him as “SICK” and “awesome”, everything was going great… until he blacked out.

SEGA Memories: Fred Durst pimps the Dreamcast

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In an act of sheer epic randomness, one of my buds recently reminded me of one of SEGA’s most unlikely of past sponsors. It was back during the Dreamcast era, as many of their publicity stunts were. SEGA was trying hard to get their online service, SegaNet, to gain traction. To do so, they enlisted the help of none other than a certain popular band… one who had just made it ridiculously big with a song called Nookie.

Yes, I’m talking about Limp Bizkit. Believe it or not, they’re actually still around today, but there was a time when they were at the top of the music industry, and that time coincided with the final months of the Dreamcast.

With their album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, set to release in October of 2000, Limp Bizkit was preparing to embark on a major tour. SEGA, seeing their golden opportunity, chose to serve as one of the tour’s sponsors. It might seem ridiculous now, but at the time this was actually a huge snag for them, as Limp Bizkit and their form of rap metal was on the edge of releasing what would become the fastest-selling rock album on record; an honor that it, amazingly, still holds to this day.

For more, including a quote from SEGA from back then, read on.

SEGA Memories: Space Channel 5 premieres in Universal City Walk’s Cinema Plaza

Back in the Dreamcast era, SEGA would have big promotional events for their titles. Yes, even niche stuff like Space Channel 5, which most publishers wouldn’t spend too much advertising dollars on. SEGA on the other hand had a huge E3 booth for the game, but after when the game was nearing its ‘debut’ they decided to premiere the game to the public, like it was a Hollywood picture. How would they do that? Premiere the game at an event over at Universal City Walk’s Cinema Plaza!

SEGA Memories: Dave’s Sega Saturn Page


Obviously SEGAbits isn’t the first and won’t be the last website dedicated to the big blue. Throughout the life of the internet, there have been thousands upon thousands of SEGA related websites and out of all those websites there are few webpages that we would visit regularly. Dave’s Sega Saturn Page was one of those sites I always kept bookmarked along with others that we will most likely cover here on Monday Memories.

SEGA Memories: My First E3

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There is nothing quite like your first E3. Before I first went to E3 back in 2010, the event seemed like this wondrous and mythical place, like Narnia. A place that you read about and see pictures of, but never a place you actually go to. In 2010, thanks in part to some incredibly good luck, spurred on by a personal loss that made me decide to go out and see the world, I stepped through the wardrobe and raced off to something I had been dreaming about going to since middle school, but never in a million years thought I would be able to actually see.

It all started just a few weeks before the event. I had just lost someone dear to me and I was anxious to find something to do with myself. That’s when Sharky contacted me and told me that SEGA was interested in inviting SEGAbits to E3, but no one on the site would be able to attend. SEGAbits had caught my interest a few months after its debut, but I had decided not to apply for because I knew I wouldn’t be able to write for it regularly. After hearing  that they might be getting an invite to E3, I jumped at the chance and offered myself up as a part time writer and as someone who could cover E3 for them. I quickly wrote up a review of House of the Dead: Overkill, and kept my fingers crossed that it would pan out. Unfortunately, it didn’t. SEGA had sent out the industry passes to other people, and I resigned myself to being a faraway spectator of E3 again. No big deal, this was how these things normally worked out anyway.

SEGA Memories: Wacky Worlds

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These days, gamers can be quite adamant about the legitimacy of video games as an art form. I certainly wouldn’t disagree: a case can be made that making great video games requires just as much creativity as any book or movie. But I think what often gets lost in this pursuit to prove that the video game is a form of artistic expression is the fact that video games are also, essentially, toys. Especially games from the 80s and 90s, and Wacky Worlds was one of my favorite toys from the 90s.

SEGA Memories: Evolution 2 – A larger and better adventure


‘Sup y’all? Welcome to another episode of Monday Memories! Last week I discussed Evolution: The World of Sacred Device, Sting’s RPG for the Dreamcast launch. As a kid who was new to Japanese RPGs, I found it to be a fun and memorable adventure; though to Japanese RPG fans at the time, it was probably more along the lines of, “that lame dungeon crawler those Dreamcast owners are stuck with while we play Final Fantasy VIII.”

The Dreamcast would of course go on to see many far more developed Japanese RPGs by the end of its lifespan, but Evolution 2: Far Off Promise is one that I’d say deserves the “you tried your best” award by stepping up to the plate and offering some big improvements over its predecessor. As a little kid, my mind was blown.

SEGA Memories: How Evolution proved that one man’s trash was another’s treasure


For those of us who love video games, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the various consoles we’ve come in contact with throughout our lives have left behind their own unique memories. Gaming is an interactive medium, afterall, and it’s an art form that you don’t simply sit there and view, but one which you fully interact with. And it’s this interaction, I feel, that can make the experience so much more personal, by and large, than going to the movies for a couple of hours.

The Dreamcast, for me, was the system where I completed what had been my gradual transition from “childhood gamer” to “hardcore gamer.” It was when I went from simply playing multiplayer games with my friends, or games that I’d seen advertised on TV, to someone who actively looked up and discussed video games on the internet. It was when I began to follow the industry more closely and discover genres that I’d never known existed. And in the case of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device, it was my first real Japanese RPG experience.

SEGA Memories: SEGA debuts Sonic & Knuckles with a MTV special ‘Rock the Rock’


Welcome to a new entry for our Monday Memories weekly (hopefully from now on) articles. This week we’ll be taking you all the way back to the year 1994, at the height of SEGA’s popularity. They had a great mascot that released three main games in his franchise, sold tons of SEGA Genesis/Mega Drives around the world, and had a new upcoming game: Sonic & Knuckles.

What better way to introduce the game to America than an MTV special entitled “Rock the Rock” on Alcatraz Island?

SEGA Memories: SEGA’s amazing E3 2000 floor show

I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not too excited for this year’s E3. Why? Well, for starters, no SEGA press show. Of course, there has been no SEGA press show for many years so that’s an old complaint. But as the years have passed, it feels like SEGA has done less and less in terms of spectacle at E3. No press shows, as mentioned, no big reveals and most importantly: no awesome floor shows. That’s why this week’s Monday Memories article exists, to take you back to 2000 when SEGA had a floor show worthy of Disneyland.

SEGA Memories: Panzer Dragoon Orta

Everyone has that “one game” that defines their tastes and preferences for the rest of their lives. That one game that helped them discover or rediscover a genre. That one game they fell in love with and, to this day, hold it aloft as the best game ever made. Being a SEGA fan working on a SEGA site, it should come as no surprise to anyone that for me, that game was a SEGA game. What may come as a surprise though, is that it wasn’t a game made for a SEGA console, or some original genre-defining experience. It was instead, simply a master class release for the dying rail shooter genre: Panzer Dragoon Orta.