Retro Review: Space Channel 5 (Sega Dreamcast/PS2)


The Dreamcast era was a unique time for SEGA when it came to marketing their characters. While the Saturn’s launch made the error of shifting the spotlight away from Sonic the Hedgehog, the Dreamcast launch proved that there was more than enough room for established characters as well as new faces. Joining Sonic was a lineup of first party and third party faces, from Midway’s Afro Thunder of Ready 2 Rumble and Namco’s Soulcalibur fighters to SEGA’s own creations.

Space Channel 5’s Ulala was without a doubt the most heavily marketed of these new characters, with her face seen just about everywhere. Ulala appeared in a promotional stage show at Universal City Walk, she dominated SEGA’s booth at 2000’s E3, she was seen in print and on TV and even appeared as product placement in the 2001 movie Josie and the Pussycats. There was even talk of Ulala hosting her own TV show! Suffice to say, there came a point in Space Channel 5‘s promotion where Ulala nearly overshadowed her own game. There is no doubt that Ulala is a fantastic character (she is a favorite of the SEGAbits staff, so much so that we named our podcast after her report show), but has the original game stood the test of time? Let’s find out as we look back at the United Game Artists’ classic Space Channel 5!

Retro Review: Jet Set Radio


From their garage hidden amidst the alleyways of Shibuya, to the neon-drenched streets of Benten-Cho, they ride high on the funky rhythms being streamed directly into their brains. They are the GGs, and when their story was first told on the Dreamcast, it brought the world the beautiful synergy of cel-shaded graphics played to Hideki Naganuma’s incredible soundtrack. It was a game that further cemented the Dreamcast’s place as the platform for artsy and innovative adventures, and while some aspects of its gameplay still frustrate slightly, Jet Set Radio is every bit as fun as it was back in the day.

Retro Review: Technocop


Oh man, I have waited too long to use that image.

A.J. Rosa is a man of many talents – and a man of many games. I mean, hey; if he lacked games, My Life With SEGA wouldn’t still be running to this day! A short while ago, some of you may remember A.J. held a competition in conjunction with this very site, in celebration of the 3rd Anniversary of SEGAbits. The winner would receive A.J.’s personal SEGA Genesis Model 2, and the copy of Technocop he reviewed for My Life With SEGA.

Lo and behold, I ended up winning said contest – and so despite being one of the few staff members of SEGAbits from the UK, I don’t have to watch Genesis Month pass by whilst I cradle my beloved Mega Drive – and hey, I’d promised A.J. I’d post up my impressions of Technocop, so now’s as good a time as any.

Retro Review: Hard Drivin’

hard drivin copy

People don’t often think of the Genesis as a polygon pusher…mostly because it wasn’t. That didn’t stop some developers from trying to turn it into one though! Enter Hard Drivin’, a port of Atari’s 1988 3D polygon racing game. Ported to the Genesis in 1991, this game was one of the earliest examples of 3D graphics on a home console and given the limitations of the hardware, is surprisingly not a complete and utter disaster. That is not to say the game is good, though. Far from it in fact.

Retro Review: Sakura Taisen 2

After the first Sakura Taisen game was met with commercial and critical success in 1996, a sequel was inevitable. The SEGA Saturn, though successful in Japan, was hemorrhaging money abroad, making a sequel to one of the company’s few late 90s success stories all the more important. So, SEGA collaborated with RED again to produce a sequel.

Sakura Taisen 2: Kimi, Shinitamou Koto Nakare, which roughly translates to “Beloved, You Must Not Die” was released for the SEGA Saturn on April 4th, 1998 as a three disc set. Introducing two new characters and improved game play, it remains the most successful game in the series. It sold over half a million copies, making it the second best-selling dating sim of all time. It was re-released for the SEGA Dreamcast two years later with brand new features that showed what the system was capable of.

Here is our retro review of Sakura Taisen 2 for the Saturn and Dreamcast.

Retro Review: Sakura Taisen

Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) is a Strategy RPG adventure series that features a unique sim-based story system developed by AM7 Team Shinobi (Overworks) from SEGA along with Red Entertainment. The series first began in 1996 for the Sega Saturn and spawned several sequels, including OVA adaptations, TV anime series, a movie, and other merchandises. While the game was a successful Sega IP in Japan, it never had a release in the West until the release of the fifth game, which was released and published by NIS America. However, the series has had a cult following within the Sega & anime community fan base with english releases of anime videos. Want to know what I think about the game and how awesome it is? Read on to find out.