Month: June 2014

Introducing The Sega Channel

I missed this on various forums somehow, but it’s better late than never.

The Sega Channel is a new Youtube endeavor to highlight Sega games in the same vein of G4 TV’s Icons. Hopefully they keep going and honing their style. Be sure to check out some of their older videos on the SMS.

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Introducing the Dreamcast Moband Adapter

Assembler Games user Dreamcast recently posted their work in progress, the Dreamcast Moband, a Modem to Broadband replacement adapter. Essentially, once finished, it will allow a standard DC to communicate via ethernet cables without needing one of those Broadband Adapters that still go for hundreds of dollars. Now DC homebrew developers will have a new tool to help develop online games or functionality for the Dreamcast.

Dreamcast moband

You can learn more about it by checking out this thread on Assembler Games.

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Great Sega Sales at GreenManGaming Today

If you’re looking for some new (or old) Sega PC games to play, then go check out GreenManGaming’s Sega sale today. Games and bundles are reduced by as much as 80% and everything is un-lockable on Steam as well. There’s everything from Aliens Colonial Marines to Sonic to Sega’s popular RTS games. Oh, and a Typing of the Dead: Overkill bundle.

You get Jet Set Radio for free with any other game purchased on that page today. Not bad.

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Sonic Boom TV Series E3 Trailer

So… this actually seems a lot better than I had assumed it was going to be. Our kids seemed to like it and I didn’t roll my eyes. Could this be the best Sonic animated series since Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic SatAm)? Maybe.

The show is being created by OuiDo! Entertainment in collaboration with Sega of America. It will debut in America on Cartoon Network and on Canal J and Gulli in France sometime in October 2014. The show picks up the story after the Wii U game Rise of Lyric and 3DS game Shattered Crystal.

The Sonic Boom TV Series is part of Sega’s new push to make Sonic more appealing to Western audiences.

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Bayonetta 2 to Arrive in October, Include First Game

Bayonetta 2

The original Bayonetta was a fantastic action game developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega in 2009. Sadly, their publication deal together ended, but we’re at least seeing more of this wonderful witch. On the Wii-U, at least. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Bayonetta 2 is going to arrive on the Wii-U in October 2014 and was recently revealed to include the original game (at least for the retail version). The game will also include some special Nintendo-inspired costumes like Link, Princess Peach, and Samus. The costumes may or may not force sound effects from their respective games to be used during Bayonetta (it’s not 100% clear in the trailer).

Bayonetta was one of my favorite games of the prior console generation and I’d highly recommend Wii-U owners to take a look at it’s sequel. At worst, you can play the first game, which I know is very, very solid.

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Sponsored Post: Widening the Blue Blur’s Appeal

Sonic the Hedgehog touted to make another splash on the casual gaming scene

Mobile devices have certainly been instrumental in bringing more people into the video gaming fold. It was rather unexpected too, given the nature of these portable devices. After all, as any hardcore gamer will tell you, the accuracy and responsiveness provided by tactile game controls (d-pad, analog stick, face buttons, etc.) will beat out touchscreen-only interfaces 9 times out of 10.

However, it’s perhaps this very reason why the video game industry got a huge market demographic boost. The control limitations imposed by mobile gadgets forced game developers to design games that were simple enough to play through using just touch and/or tilt controls; a design philosophy that’s not dissimilar to arcade machines pre-console boom. And just like how those old arcade machines were able to attract people who’ve never even thought about the concept of interactive entertainment before, present day mobile games have done the same to folks who don’t even know the difference between Pac-Man and Pacquiao.

In other words, casual gaming was born.

Statistics definitely back this gaming phenomenon up. Online games developer AlchemyBet – a major presence in gaming site Pocket Fruity – reports that in a study conducted by Information Solutions Group, more than 125 million gadget users in the US and the UK have been getting into mobile games. Tellingly, 27% of female gamers comprise the 25-34 age group, just a hair’s breadth away from the 28% posted by male gamers. More interestingly, there’s even a 35-44 gamer age category; and that group includes 23% of the total count of female gamers, versus the males’ 19%. Clearly, the allure of casual games is a rather broad one.

Sega apparently sees this casual gaming scene as one of the more viable avenues to resurrect its once highly regarded mascot. It’s no secret that Sonic has been through some rather tough times of late; and the hype surrounding the upcoming Sonic Boom aside, the popularity of everyone’s favorite hedgehog is still nowhere near where it was during his 16-bit glory days.

That being said, there is hope yet for Sonic to make a strong comeback. There have been a few bright spots in his post-Genesis career, one of which was the critical and commercial success garnered by the mobile-only Sonic Jump; particularly its 2012 remake optimized for iOS and Android. Featuring simplistic controls that required merely required players to tilt their mobile gadgets – as well as pull off the occasional double-tap on their screens – the title was quite the fun diversionary romp that appealed to a wide range of people, gamer or not.

As a testament to its popularity, Sega has even announced a sequel at this year’s E3. Called Sonic Jump Fever, the game now allows you to control other characters from the get-go, including fan-favorite Knuckles. Other gameplay improvements include helpful boosters, unique character upgrades, and the so-called “Fever Mode,” which lets your character go into hyper-speed for even higher combo scores.

Only time will tell if this upcoming title will be able to help restore Sonic’s faded star power; and more importantly, if it will lead to Sega’s renewed focus on quality mobile titles. Until then, Sonic hopefuls will most certainly have their fingers crossed.

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Shin Megami Tensei PS2 Games Hitting PSN

Jack-Frost5It brings me great joy to be able to talk about Shin Megami Tensei games here now and feel on-topic.

This is just a note to let you all know that most of Atlus’ SMT PS2 games are now on PSN (at least in America). Each of them will run you $9.99, which is a bargain compared to what you’d spend on even a used retail copy of the original releases.

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, which I’ve played extensively and really enjoyed, was put up a while back. I’ve always described the core series SMT games to people as “Pokemon with friggin’ demons.” If you enjoy a post-apocalyptic setting, dark atmosphere, and demon fighting, raising, and breeding; you can’t go wrong with this one.

Digital Devil Saga showed up a couple weeks ago and I’ll be grabbing it as well as it’s sequel, Devil Devil Saga 2, which is out today.

For the record, Persona 3 FES and 4 have been up for a bit, as has Devil Summoner 1. We’re just missing Devil Summoner 2 now…

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Bummer For The Day

I recently obtained a new smartphone and decided to re-emerge myself into to world of podcasting again. I subscribed to all of my favorites and got around to the Sega Addict podcast to discover… it’s no more. This is a real downer.

If you’ve never checked it out before, head over and give them a listen. There’s 150 podcasts filled with Sega memories and a ton of good humor.

They have spun off a new infrequently published podcast called Gaming of the Shrew that now covers all things gaming.

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Keeping the Dream Alive

ShenmueIt’s hard for Shenmue fans to let the promising and ambitious series go. The game was a technical achievement on the Dreamcast back in 1999 and touched many hearts with it’s endearing charms. The climax and epilogue at the end of Shenmue II certainly doesn’t help the hunger.

Recently, there’s been a bunch of news concerning the franchise.

First, back in March, Yu Suzuki stated he’s actively looking into ways to continue the series. One of those possibilities is a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it, but he gave no solid details. He told Eurogamer “just now, I don’t have anything I can say yet. I can’t announce right now – but I’m making something.”

Did you just feel butterflies in your stomach?

Later in the month, the new Xbox chief at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, revealed that the most requested game from Xbox owners is in fact Shenmue III.

Then, yet again, in May, Sega renewed the Shenmue trademark. This is most likely a move to protect their IP, but with all of the positive buzz this Spring, perhaps the wheels really are turning. A fanboy can only hope.

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