Friday, June 10, 2011

Sonic's Making A Comeback...Shenmue, Not So Much

SEGAbits is a good website that I should read more often.  Anyway, this is worth mentioning.  Sega held an event called "Sonic Boom" at a club right up the road from E3.  Sonic fans gathered to wear funny hats, play Sonic Generations demos, drink Sonic-related beverages and cupcakes, meet Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka, and check out the Crush 40 concert.  This is some guy's account from SEGAbitsAlso, here's some screenshots from the Sega America blog.

To tell you the truth, as stupid as this event seemed, it sounded like a good time...  I'm starting to feel good for Sonic fans again.  Go get 'em, guys.  EDIT: Might wanna read part 2 of Sonic Boom here.

Also, Sonic on the cover of Nintendo Power.  SEGAbits, mind if I steal your bandwidth?  Thanks!

There's something weird about seeing old-school Sonic on the (rather plain) cover of Nintendo Power...but it just means that SONIC'S MAKING A COMEBACK, BABY!!!  Move over Mario, move over Link, move over Samus, move over Pikachu...


Alllllrriiiggghhhtttt...enough with that, here's more SEGAbits for you.  This is an article.  Mike Hayes, the President and CEO of Sega West (Europe & America), was talking about Shenmue at a CVG interview (nice of the man to spend time with the people...). 

Trust me,” he continued, “We hear loud and clear about Shenmue, and we’re not going to close our ears to it."

To be fair to us we’ve done Sonic 4, Afterburner, Golden Axe and Shinobi on 3DS. We do listen. It’s not like we’ve got our fingers in our ears, we take that very seriously and value the small but vocal people. Sonic 4 was the perfect example that we’re listening to those guys. Generations is too – and that will show when people get to see it for themselves.

Me and a lot of other people always cheer on Sega in hopes that it'll influence them.  And it is GOOD that we have a CEO who will point out Game X, Game Y, Game Z and say, "Look, we're trying."  Good!  Talk is cheap, but better to have talk than to be blissfully ignorant to the fans!

EDIT: Just realized this is the same Mike Hayes that said we'd get 18-24 Dreamcast ports by 2012.  So that's not good although that was a long time ago so MAYBE we'll overlook this.

Then this is what the article writer goes on to say:

But rebooting a series is only half the battle Mike, it’s all well and good to say ‘hey look we gave you Golden Axe and Sonic 4’ but the simple fact is that if you are going to reboot a series it has, I repeat has to be done with care… If you’re going to just hand out your classics to unproven, bulls*** American developers that usually work on license titles (like the Shinobi reboot) then I’m not sure any Sega fan will be thanking you for that!

Well, not very flattering of (some) American devs, but he's right.  You only get ONE chance (maybe two, like OutRun 2 or Sega Rally) at a remake/port.  For instance, a developer can't come out with, say, a new Jet Set Radio game which sucks (or at least has moderate yet inexcusable flaws) and then say, "Oops, we screwed up, let's remake the game from scratch again."  You might be able to release patches or DLC to salvage it but devs just can't mull over the same idea for too long without losing everyone's interest (and thus profits).

I’m more than happy to see Shenmue continue like most old Sega IPs. In fact I would be extremely excited, it is my favourite series of all time! But if it was farmed out to some developer I’ve never heard of, heck if it came from ANY developer besides AM2 then Mike, frankly I don’t want it…

Does anyone trust anything besides AM2?  Anyway, I highly doubt they'll trust Shenmue 3 with anyone other than Yu Suzuki and AM2.  I don't think Sega will go that low and give it to some chump studio...

But that's all well and good, it's common sense, etc.  Legendary game series deserve top-notch care...


And going through these stories makes me feel good.  I'm going to say this and it may shock a few of you: I'm a little more optimistic about Sega these days thanks to both the company and the fans.  Well, they're not perfect (Binary Domain, Dreamcast ports, etc.)  , but they're not screwing around as much these days.  We're fortunate cause we have home ports of Crazy Taxi, Sega Rally 3, and OutRun 2.  We've also got Daytona 1 & 2 plus Scud Race on emulators.  We got Sega & Sonic All-Stars Racing.  Sonic games are getting better.  Massive amounts of new Daytona 2 media.  You know what I'm talking about.  WE CAN DO IT, SEGA!!!

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