Anyone familiar with the gaming industry can tell you – if there’s one thing the current, possibly-maybe-winding-down-soon console generation is lacking, it’s aquatic adventure titles starring time-traveling dolphins. That’s an oversight Ecco the Dolphin creator Ed Annunziata intends to correct.
Nostalgia does not a game make. Nostalgia is the stuff of memories, the stuff of impressions often from a time where taste is unrefined and based on “video games” versus reality (usually video games win, hopefully). Jet Set Radio feels really old. It’s rife with this strange mix of a great gameplay idea, nifty characters and a zany environment but it’s all bogged down with bad level design and flow. By no means is it “bad”, but it’s certainly not up to today’s standards of platforming games, and the proof is in a classic Xbox game: Jet Set Radio Future. There’s a reason they made it the same game but better.
For those of you out of the SEGA-centric loop, Jet Set Radio is an HD remake of the Dreamcast release of Jet Set Radio, a 3D action platformer involving crazy Japanese youth, graffiti and magnetized roller blades. The theme of a group of graffiti-wielding roller blade punks combattin an oppressive, insane private authority muscling in on the town of Tokyo-to (not to be confused with Tokyo) is the setup for Jet Set Radio. Players select from different characters from a group of rudies (the aforementioned punks) called the GGs. Tokyo-to is divided into three major areas each with three sub-areas where players must complete various story challenges to unlock more characters and get to the bottom of the recent craziness in the city. The idea works. It’s just the rest of the game that’s hit and miss.
One can’t skim the internet without running into a forum thread about the potential release of Shenmue 3–the next installment in a saga that began on Sega’s Dreamcast in November of 2000. Fans of the series sip on every drip of information on its development, though nothing of the sort truly exists. Shenmue’s creator, Yu Suzuki, even left Sega last year though some reports suggest he still has a consultant role within the company. Despite these gloomy prospects, die hard fans are still hopeful that the third of the series will finally breach the coffin it had been placed in so long ago.
William Shakespeare once said: “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor…If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart…If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.”
Had William Shakespeare been around in the 21st Century, we believe he’d be referring to Shenmue. Never will you discover a title so adored by critics and gamers and abhorred by others in the same demographic. You play as Ryo Hazuki, an unassuming young man on a quest to avenge his father’s death. In order to achieve this, Ryo must emphatically harass the locals of a small Japanese town by asking questions like the infamous, “Are you guys sailors?” Ryo finds himself in a lot of trouble during his exploration of leads, but he can always stop by the arcade and play an emulated, in-game version of a few arcade hits. Read the rest of this entry »
Sega seems to be doing a lot of porting these days don’t they? From re-releases of Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure to even franchises on the Sega Saturn with Guardian Heroes and Radiant Silvergun. With the HD Jet Set Radio finally on the way, we thought we’d take a look at five games that should be re-made in HD for our digital platform. Some of them could be huge online hits and some are just bizarre games that would work great under a 1200 or less MSP price-point. So let’s worry about Y2K again before worrying about the apocalypse in this list.
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After the Brand Manager Ben Harborne teased we’d be getting Shenmue as our next XBLA Dreamcast title, he quickly said “we might be working on it” with no full confirmation as of yet. But Eurogamer found out that an anonymous source speaking with Gamerzines that “Shenmue HD is real [and has been] finished for well over a year”. Not to mention as is the sequel! Both are in HD but when will Sega release them? Their source says they’re sitting on it for the right time, possibly to coincide with an upcoming third game which fans have been screaming about for a while now. It’d be nice if they’d just release Shenmue, lord knows we want to know where sailors hang out.
Ever since its announcement, fans have been wondering what kind of soundtrack Jet Set Radio HD would have. With music playing such an integral role in the game, questions around the plausibility of licensing the game’s original music line up have reared their head. Sega has clarified the situation, announcing that sixteen of the game’s thirty tracks have been retained and will be present in the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game. As many have suspected, cost and problems getting in touch with several record labels have proven to be troublesome for Sega. On the bright side, the publisher has confirmed that the game will be running at a solid 60 frames per second, the prospect of which should have fans jumping for joy.
For younger generations and those unfamiliar, Jet Set Radio was originally released for the Dreamcast way back in 2000. The game instantly became a cult classic with its bright cel-shaded art style, hip soundtrack and focus on counter-culture. In the game, you take control over a character on rollerblades armed with a can of spray paint and tasked with “tagging” as much territory as possible. You’ll face off against rival spray painting gangs in contests, outrun the police and of course the environment itself, as you perform tricks and turn urban areas into living, breathing pieces of art. To get a look at the game in action, check out the debut trailer here. Jet Set Radio HD is scheduled to hit XBLA this summer.
Sega Bass Fishing was developed and published by Sega. It was released October 5, 2011 and retails for 800 MSP.
Sega Bass Fishing was originally an arcade game that was then brought over to the Dreamcast. What we get now on XBLA is an almost exact replica of the Dreamcast version sans the fishing controller. Sega Bass Fishing is an arcade style fishing game. It mixes serious fishing technique and approaches with arcade style speed and action. Far from being a simulation (10 to 20 pound largemouth bass are commonplace here) it still manages to feel like authentic fishing. This old-school game is sure to be a favorite amongst old fans but still has the goods to entertain a new audience.
Rez HD was developed by Q Entertainment and retails for 800 MSP. It was released January 30, 2008.
Originally conceived as a Sega Dreamcast game and later ported to the PlayStation 2, Rez HD is a completely revamped version of its earlier counterparts that keeps the on-rails shooter gameplay intact while adding the graphical upgrade that most XBLA ports receive. Three years after it’s original XBLA release, it is still one of the best titles on the Marketplace.
Sega released the Dreamcast Collection on Xbox 360 a while back with XBLA ports of Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure also with Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Sega Bass Fishing. The latter two haven’t come out on XBLA but Sega assures that it’s coming in the late summer after missing the initial early 2011 release. No price announced but Sonic and Taxi were both 800 MSP when released.
Last September, Sega taunted Dreamcast fans by saying that enough interest in Chu Chu Rocket! would be enough to bring the beloved puzzle game to Xbox Live Arcade. Given lukewarm critical and fan response to Sega’s latest XBLA offering, we think the company should do just about anything to make its fans happy right now. Read the rest of this entry »