Random thoughts on SEGA....

tsumake

New Member
I must admit, before I bought a used Saturn out of sheer curiosity, I was never much for Sega. Sure, I bought a model 1 genesis but I only got two games for it (Sonic 2 and Sonic Spinball). After getting the saturn and hooking that baby up, I popped in a used copy of Mega Man X4. I was surprised at how smooth the 2d graphics were! This was better than the PSX version....wha? How could this be? After that I did some research. It was then that I found that the system was originally going to be a 2d powerhouse, but then added some 3d components after finding out about Sony's little plan...

From then on, it grew. I frequented this site, as well as neo-geo.com. I started using Ebay (I don't know if that's a good thing, but where else you gonna find this stuff these days...oh yeah, Amazon.com's got some stuff....anyway...). And here's the interesting thing: new games became rather, er, passe. It's as if I'm going over a part of my gaming life I missed out on, because these systems were so damn expensive back then, and enjoying them even more. Now, I'm a hardcore pc gamer. I've been reading PC Gamer ever since it came out in 95. I love computer games. But I feel the market today is rather stagnant, IMHO. Ok, yeah, I know Unreal II went gold, Max payne is amazing, Counterstrike WCIII, Doom III's on the horizon, Republic the Revolution (drools....) Simcity 4... not bad these days. But to be honest I'm just a little itsy bit tired of having to friggin upgrade my computer every couple of months! (exaggeration..) I mean, have you heard how much Simcity 4 is supposed to be a system hog! SIMCITY 4. IT'S A 2D GAME!!!! WTF??? Suffice to say, I could shell enormous amounts of money on computer games and components to make them run spiffy, or I could shell out twenty bucks and buy a used copy of Final Fantasy VII and enjoy an amazing game. I still love computer games (I want Unreal II) but come on....

Is it me, or were games better made back in the day? Not to be nostalgic or conservative on the issue, but there was a certain aesthetic to games back then, even in the 32 bit, 3D era. NiGHTS is an incredibly solid game experience. The Panzer Dragoon series really pushed a genre into new territories.

Also, have you noticed that no one seems to be pushing the 2d limit? Sure, there's a nice texture here and there and there's bump-mapping cel shading, but what about a 2d game that kicks it up a notch? (Before you pounce, I'm fully aware of Viewtiful Joe and I've sort of answered my question, but what else is there?) Neo Geo Games still look great today, and I know it's in due to craftsmanship and attention to detail, but isn't it also due to the fact that there hasn't been any really big advancements in 2d lately, save for making polygons look prettier? While I'm on a rant, what about good old adventure games? *turns into grumpy old man*

To sum up this madness, I've found a new hobby and love. I'm still waiting for the day I can get my hands on a Neo Geo. Ditto for getting a copy of Radiant Silvergun. Alas, I don't know jack about soldering and I don't want to ruin my Saturn, so I'm buying originals, which makes me feel morally competent. I just finished PDS today (was worth every penny I spent on it, and that's a lot of pennies....) and started PDO on my xbox.

I sign off with a big question: Will sega enter the console arena ever again? Sure, I bet they're making a bundle with software right now but man could they make a system! I love my dreamcast and even prefer it to my PS2 and the saturn is amazing. The closest I can get to a Neo Geo experience is with my dreamcast and an arcade pad. Anyway, has anyone heard of any rumors? I know the console industry is tough as hell to get into these days, and unless you have billions to buy your way into the industry a la xbox, no dice. But does that mean the end of the Sega console?

Oops, another question...has anyone noticed the whole nostalgia thing going on with console games? Look at Shinobi, Contra Shattered soldier, the snes rebirth on the GBA. I can see the GBA thing, but old school contra? Has the industry reached an age where gamers yearn for the old stuff once more? I just find it odd that it's happening right now. Any thoughts?

Thanks for the long read. Had a lot of thoughts, wanted to stick my two bits in see what everyone else comes up with.
 

Ammut

New Member
Ahh, will there be a next Sega console. A question in any sega fan's mind? No....just a question of when ???

Unfortunately, Sega will not produce another console until they gather sufficient (see:eek:ne hell of a lot ) funds, there will be no plans of any kind in reality. A new entry in the market, especially bearing the name SEGA ( a name of glory for true gamers, a name of failure to the critics) would have to be @$#^ amazing to even stand a chance to break even. Sega is slowly on the road to recovery but another big gamble could easily be the end for them. Sit tight, young gamer, as Sega climbs the ropes to become the top 3rd party contender and garner a big enough following to open up shop again. It may be weird to see the Sega screen on Gamecube (sure was for me) but take happiness in the fact that Sega actually climbed out of the red this year and is not going the path of SNK (may it rest in peace).

Here's my vision of sega climbing to the top (bear with me):

The year is 2008. Ps3, Xbox Next, and the next incarnation of nintendo is out...all doing fairly well and are on a quite level playing field in the market after their 2nd/1.5/1st year entry (ps3, XBN, N, respectively)

Sega is at the top of the field, leading the gaming industry with revolutionary games (having launch titles on all 3 systems)

in 2007, after a very successful 2006, Sega announces few games and the highest anticipated titles are confirmed in development, but with long-away close together release dates. Statements issue that lots of time is needed to work on these massive projects and they will all be ready around the same time, just in time for christmas rush. Gamers are told to save up and prepare for the next generation in software.

Sept 9,2008: New commercials hit the airwaves, speaking of a 'revolution'. Tv ads state, with triumphant music 'A revolution is amoung us' 'here comes the revolution' and later 'it is time...for revolution'

Media speculates about the ads-no one knows what it's about.

October-Sega advertises commercials that show SMS, Genesis, SCD, 32x, saturn, and Dreamcast systems/games in a quick blur, following with the statement

SEGA-We.Are.Games.Believe it.

All previously announced Sega games are now shifted to the same day, November 11th. When questioned why they were changed, development is stated to be ahead of schedual.

Late october-Revolution commercials increase, public in dismay...Sega continues commercials aswell

Nov 1st, Sega calls a conference to announce 'the biggest news in recent gaming history'. In it, plans for a new sega console are revealed...leading to a huge industry uproar. Speculation begins.

Nov 3rd, Sega calls another conference to order. It announces that its new console is ready to go, filling up news sources everywhere. It states that it will be available before Christmas and will be the hottest xmas item of all time. Media is full of questions.

Nov 5th-New commercials arise, at first looking like a glitch as the revolution commecial starts but is cut off by the sega promo....showing the new system off at the end with the 'it is time for a revolution-welcome to the revolution'

followed by a 'futuristic' Sega scream


Nov 6th, after public reaction simmers a bit, Sega issues a statement saying that the new console is on its way to stores with 12 Sega launch titles and various 3rd party titles. November 11th is the date they will go on sale. The secret is out.

On this day, Sega announces that all future Sega games will be exclusively for this console, removing many sales from other systems. A demo of the system is given and everyone is amazed. Vendors glee with delight as customers ready to purchase.

Nov-8th sega announces that ps3, XBN, or Nconsole can be traded in for a 'Revolution'-infuriating the competition further.

Nov 9th-Sega releases full specs and games list of the console, revealing many 3rd party compagnies (included are Capcom, tecmo, and Square) have had dev kits for many months-under contract to say nothing about them. Their main games for the system are shown and are to be released around christmas. Sega also announces that the system will come with many built in old school games and direct online play (maybe even Death tank...online...lol) out of the box. Though simple games, it is a great addition...including a few popular SMS/Genny games.

Nov 10th-Full steam ahead, stores prepare and advertisements multiply....every kid wants one for xmas.

Nov11th-launch day. at 1:11, stores open and the massive amount of sales amazes vendors-they want more and more and more of this stuff. Sega sets an easy record breaker.

Nov-Jan Christmas rises sales even further, leading to an approximate 3.5 Million units sold....sega is back on the map. The competition scrambles to make up but Sega is bounds ahead....a better console, most wanted games, and best 3rd party relation.

2008-Takes 45% of the market in a storm....

Lol, thats all of my little fantasy...that was lonnnnng, sorry guys....I got off track.

Hope you like it.

And yes, developers have lost their touch-old games are better.

---Ammut
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by tsumake@Jan. 16 2003, 8:16 pm

1) I mean, have you heard how much Simcity 4 is supposed to be a system hog! SIMCITY 4. IT'S A 2D GAME!!!! WTF???

2) Is it me, or were games better made back in the day? Not to be nostalgic or conservative on the issue, but there was a certain aesthetic to games back then, even in the 32 bit, 3D era.

3) Oops, another question...has anyone noticed the whole nostalgia thing going on with console games? Look at Shinobi, Contra Shattered soldier, the snes rebirth on the GBA. I can see the GBA thing, but old school contra? Has the industry reached an age where gamers yearn for the old stuff once more? I just find it odd that it's happening right now. Any thoughts?

Here's some replies to a few of your comments:

1) Even though Sim City 4 is 2D graphics, it's a simulator -- hense the name. It has lots of calculations going on at the same time to keep your city running. It's more than what you see. That what make those games so interesting.

2) I don't know if games were made better back then. You have to remember, there were a lot of very crappy games back then too. It's always common for people to, when they look back to the past, to mainly remember the good things. However to a certain extent, there probably wasn't as much rushing to meet deadlines in the video games industry as their is now, which would lead to a high quality product.

3) Yeah I'm loving the whole nostalgia thing. It's mostly because gamers aren't just kids anymore. A lot of the gamers now are people like me who played these older games when I was a kid and a teen. I'm hoping they release more older style games and re-do classic and update some graphics. NiGHTs needs a re-do so bad -- just think how awesome it would be if running on a modern system ** drool **
 

alpharogue

New Member
SEGA will resurface sometime in the future, oh yes! There is too much of a fanbase in the world for them to press on; just look at this website!! It is only a matter of regrouping, time, and money. They are still making kick ass games for Xbox and arcade so invest in these gems to help 'em out quicker. I agree 100% with Ammut's vision; I can even see it happening. The game market is flooded with rollercoaster rides right now and it will never stay the same. Things always change and life finds a way.


In the end, we will be happy SEGA gamers and stay that way until the new unveil of a beautiful, glorious, next generation console with quality that reflects and shines into the future!
 

tsumake

New Member
I'm happy to see positive comments for my rant! I was a little zealous there and it was late.

Has anyone heard of game studies? It's a new academic discipline that studies computer and video games. It's almost like Film Studies. Here's the site:

www.gamestudies.org

I believe that this discipline will be embraced by the academic community within the next couple of years. With computer and video games becoming more and more a fixture in the mainstream, people will have to take notice. Has anyone heard of this before? Before you see the site, remember that this is an academic forum, so the articles are extremely dry and if you're not into this stuff, really boring. But there's some really interesting stuff on there, like an analysis of the dialogue of Final Fantasy VII. I think it's neat to see a hobby of yours taken seriously. Of course, there's always the problem of overanalyzing something and ruining its content. I'm a Film Studies Major, and while I know my stuff, I try to stay away from embracing the concept that "art is a social statement." Ugh....

To get to point, because of my interest in games, I read some books on the history of videogames. There's one called "The Ultimate History or Video Games." I was somewhat disappointed by it because I felt it was poorly constructed and didn't give too much depth into the industry - it focused more on the antics of, say, Nolan Bushnell and his pothead friends at Atari, rather than how his business related to events happening during the time, like how was he able to enter such a young market, what were the economic conditions, etc. But this is a book geared towards casual readers and enthusiasts and any author who writes for USA today can't be expected to write anything brilliant. But it was a good primer for me on the overall history of the industry, as before I knew nothing.

Now, I know sega has had a disasterous career with consoles, from the 32x to the saturn to even the dreamcast. While I'm not the most knowlegable on the subject, I'm guessing it's partly due to Sega rushing out their products to beat the competition. They did this with the Saturn and the Dreamcast. Now, the hardware's solid, but their software collection needs some tune ups. Why is that? Is it because the developers are too concerned with Nintendo and Sony to work with Sega? Did Sega try to expand farther than they should? This is just speculation, but I think during the nineties, Sega bit off more than they could chew at a time when powerhouse companies muscled into the arena. Sony is a huge industry with tons of money to back up their system, so is Microsoft. Nintendo has developed a cult following with their work which helps to stabilize them (don't get me wrong, I like Nintendo's work). Sega seems dead in the water here.

Now, to complement Ammut's vision, I think he's right. What Sega is doing is smart. They're making high quality software that sells well. Also, they're now getting a better understanding of the software development community. Make a friend here in Acclaim, a friend in Lionhead Studios, Cranky Pants, and boom, you have allies. With these allies, Sega can thrust ahead with a new console and also have the developers to make great games for it. So in essence, I think Sega's licking its wounds for the time, making some great games to appeal to the niche crowd for the hell of it and learning the lay of the land in the process.

I'm interested to hear what anyone else has to say about Sega, so please chip in!
 

Cloud121

Member
Now.. if only Sony will leave the damn gaming business with their poorly constructed hardware (PSX and PS2 launches are prefect examples), and leave all their brain-washed followers dead in the water, perhaps the brain-washed types will actually know a good game when they see it. No... GTA: Vice City is NOT a good game!

And if only Square wouldn't be so selective on it's development, maybe then we'd see a few Square games on the next Sega console.

What pains and sickens me is that I used to be one of the brain-washed types! I hated Sega (outside the arcade games)! Then again... even during my fanboyism, I did pump a large sum of cash into the VF2 and HoTD games
The funny thing is... I console that turns the tide for me is their most un-appreciated console (32x and Sega CD are add-ons, don't count).
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by Cloud121@Jan. 17 2003, 3:32 pm

And if only Square wouldn't be so selective on it's development, maybe then we'd see a few Square games on the next Sega console.

At least they're doing stuff with Nintendo again
 

tsumake

New Member
Originally posted by Cloud121@Jan. 17 2003, 3:32 pm

Now.. if only Sony will leave the damn gaming business with their poorly constructed hardware (PSX and PS2 launches are prefect examples), and leave all their brain-washed followers dead in the water, perhaps the brain-washed types will actually know a good game when they see it. No... GTA: Vice City is NOT a good game!

I have an early model PSX and early model PS2. My ps2 is all ready acting funky and I don't need to mention my psx. The only reason I haven't traded it in or sold it is because of the ps2-only games (like GTA:VC - I like it, but understand the criticisms). But hey, I just found out they're releasing Vice City on PC! @#$@#$%#@! OF COURSE they don't say anything until it's been out there and the @ssholes at gamestop say they'll never release it to pc.....so the only good reason to keep my ps2 now is Shinobi, Final fantasy and other rpgs and shattered soldier, and CvSNK 2, none of that EO crap. But my god, they're even releasing Summoner 2 to GC! Damn, now I'm having second thoughts....
 

CrazyGoon

Member
Like racketboy said before, the deadlines back then may not have been as strict as they are now, leading to a more 'complete' product (If that's what you mean by better). Also keep in mind that a 2D game is created much faster than a full-3D game, giving the producers more time to make adjustments/ improvements for the final copy.

Sega has always been known to be the first to try out new ideas. It's always a risk to stray away from the current stuff and try something new, but you will never know unless you give it a try - which is why I like Sega
NiGHTS is a great example of what you can get from trying something new, and of course, it's SEGA who was the one that made it possible. Seriously, I was looking forward to Sonic 4 which should have been another 2D platformer, but instead, Sega decided to try something new and they came up with Knuckles Chaotix. It may have not been what the Sonic fans were wanting, though IMHO, it still was a great game. And of course there's Panzer Dragoon, another great discovery by Sega. There really isn't anything that can compare to riding a dragon


Your right about developers not pushing 2D to it's limits. 2D just doesn't seem to appeal to the masses thesedays, otherwise you'd see a lot more 2D games roaming the shelves.

Ikaruga was a tasty treat, it just leaves you asking for more. And although it is suburb, there isn't many other 2D games to push the systems to their limits - And I'm not just talking about Shooters. Sure, I could go on and on expressing my anger about how the 2D games have been disolved ever since 3D games were introduced, however, I wont because it would be boring. :
:

Yes, I do notice the whole nostalgia thing going on with the games. This is mainly Nintendo's doing and primarly for the GBA. I noticed it when Super Mario Advance came out. I think its a smart idea of nintendo's because they are appealing towards the old-school gamers (as racketboy has said) as well as the modern gamer - who keeping in mind has never played a Nes. The way I see it, Nintendo is getting away with releasing 'old' games, which a lot of kids nowadays would think are completely new. Talking about Super Mario Advanced 1-3, Game & Watch Gallery, Zelda - Link to the Past. Not that I have anything against this either as long as they are making some original 'art', which they are (eg, Advance Wars). Though I do find it sad that Nintendo owns the handheld market. ???

As for Sega's future in console gaming, they are doing the right thing atm by making strong third party alliances and by continuing to make great games. They are on the right road towards making a comeback (like in Ammuts vision) it's only a matter of regrouping, time and money, as alpharogue has said, before we ever see that heavenly 4-letter word on our consoles.
 

tsumake

New Member
Originally posted by CrazyGoon@Jan. 18 2003, 12:50 pm

Your right about developers not pushing 2D to it's limits. 2D just doesn't seem to appeal to the masses thesedays, otherwise you'd see a lot more 2D games roaming the shelves.

Ikaruga was a tasty treat, it just leaves you asking for more. And although it is suburb, there isn't many other 2D games to push the systems to their limits - And I'm not just talking about Shooters. Sure, I could go on and on expressing my anger about how the 2D games have been disolved ever since 3D games were introduced, however, I wont because it would be boring. :
:

What do you think about titles like Viewtiful Joe? Guilty Gear X has added antialiasing to the 2d fighter, but is that really an advance?

BTW, how was the Saturn as a 2d system compared to the Neo Geo? Does anybody know? Oh, and how are new systems like GC PS2 and XBOX in 2d rendering? Which is the leader in such respects?
 

racketboy

Member
Lemme just say I'd rather see Nintendo lead in the handheld market than Sony or Microsoft.

Nintendo has the software power of old classics that help make the GBA great. They also make a lot of great add ons -- I'm especially looking forward to the GB Player for the Game Cube.

On another note, to answer tsumake's questions, I think the hi-res sprites on GGX was an advance. If Capcom vs SNK 2 would have done that, it would have been absolutely gorgeous. It was still beautiful though. I've mentioned this a while ago, but just think how awesome a game it would be if you take the 2D and psudo-3D effects of games such as Ikaruga, GGX, and others and apply them to a 2D game like Sonic, Mario, or Castlevania. Then throw in an awesome soundtrack and maybe some well-done cutscenes. That would be a old-school gamer's dream. I'm almost positive that if they spent some time on it, it would sell like hotcakes.
 

tsumake

New Member
Ok, I've mentioned this about a dozen times all ready, but what does everyone think about Viewtiful Joe? It looks to be a beautiful 2d action platformer. Any thoughts as to why Capcom's going this route? Is it because they don't want to end up like SNK? I suggest this because Capcom is known primarily for their fighting and perhaps schumps games (yes, they've branched out since then, but it's just a suggestion). I think we're on the cusp of something here. The electronic gaming industry is old enough to merit remakes and revisit old standards. I hope this nostalgic walk doesn't become Hollywoodized in the sense that they just regurgitate the styles from great games of the past. Companies like Treasure understand the old school genres and have added new twists to them, essentializing elements, excising fluff. I hope this digging into the past brings new light into gameplay styles.

racketboy, I agree with you. I'd like to see another 2d sonic game. In fact, I think if games like Viewtiful Joe set a precedent, we will. It would be the "chic" thing to do, like cel-shading.

BTW--isn't it amazing what these consoles of old could do? A neo geo had only a 12 mhz processor and look at how beautiful its games were! The original psx was only around 60 mhz (I could be wrong) and the N64 was at 90mhz. But I guess since games are now in 3D, it's hard to maximize them for performance. Max Payne took nearly five years to make, but the code was rock solid and could run fine on a PIII 500mhz - amazing! I guess that's why it takes a few years to see what a console is really capable of. Now, if the Xbox can pull of a game like Fable....
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by tsumake@Jan. 18 2003, 2:38 pm

Ok, I've mentioned this about a dozen times all ready, but what does everyone think about Viewtiful Joe?

Crap! I've seen screenshots before, but I just downloaded a movie clip of it and it looks awesome! If it turns out as good as it looks and gets decent reviews, I will be getting that.

I love that cell shaded stuff -- my favorite being, Jet Grind Radio, of course
 

tsumake

New Member
Everyone keeps listing Ikaruga as "2D". Don't mean to be picky, but it's technically 3D done at a relatively stagnant angle. It's almost like a "rail shooter" but done in a schmup fashion. I'm splitting hairs, but a reel 2d shooter is like Raiden, Mars Matrix, etc. I'm not against combining 2D/3D elements - I love Ikaruga. I just want to clarify.
 

CrazyGoon

Member
Yes, games like Viewtiful Joe are pushing 2D to new heights. I hadn't heard of it until now for I am not really watching the scene. I haven't seen any movie of it though the screens look very crisp
I don't own a gamecube though as far as the 3 systems go, I would probably go with one seeming that they are producing more and more 'original' titles.

And racketboy is completely right about redoing 2D games with todays technology being an old-school gamers dream. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water. Though Nintendo is already showing signs of this by re-releasing the Resident Evil series. Lets just hope these 2D games (like Viewtiful Joe) take off, then maybe some old 2D classics may be redone.

I would also prefer seeing nintendo lead in the handheld market rather than sony or microsoft, though also, I would prefer it if there were other handheld systems out there to put up decent competition, and to show off some of their own exclusive games for thier system. I guess i'm just trying to relive the good ol days where there were no duplicates of games designed for other systems.

As for the shooters -

Raiden is a 2D shooter

Star fox is a 3D shooter

Ikaruga is a 2D shooter with 3D effects..

Dunno what 'real' is supposed to be though.

As far as shooters go, if you can move your plane

left/right/forward and backward then it's 2D

If you can move it up/down aswell then it's 3D

Dunno what to say about the nostalgic walk becoming Hollywoodized. Though ever noticed how as soon as a movie is made there is a game for that movie? Boring..
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by CrazyGoon@Jan. 18 2003, 11:42 pm

I would also prefer seeing nintendo lead in the handheld market rather than sony or microsoft, though also, I would prefer it if there were other handheld systems out there to put up decent competition, and to show off some of their own exclusive games for thier system.

There are a couple of other handhelds out there.

Both of the have better specs than GBA, but just don't have the software support yet.

Here's one of them:

http://www.lik-sang.com/info.ph....2b180d8

There's also PDAs that are catching on for gaming.

And who can forget those incredible cell phone games
 
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