Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sega's Screws Are Coming Loose???

What's going on over there at Sega???

Oh Panzer Dragoon, Phantasy Star, Sonic 4, that Olympics game no one seems to care about, Jet Set Radio, Hatsune Miku, Shogun 2, and Binary Domain pimpage.


And according to the rumor (probably some bumbling idiot at Sega), the ports have been completed for more than a year now.  And Sega's just waiting to gauge the popularity of the series and the likelihood of Shenmue 3.


I know, I know, game publishers don't just release all their games at one time but IIRC, there's been a drought of Dreamcast titles over the years (remember Mike Hayes' 18-24 DC ports prediction???).  It sure as hell wouldn't have hurt to release Shenmue 1, then 2 later, then ultimately 3!!!

Then again, if the fans had it their way, we would've gotten Shenmue 3 much earlier and this whole delay wouldn't be an issue.

Nice to have the good old Sega back.


So.  Onto my next point.  And that is about RACING GAMES!  Please bear with me, I'm not going to turn this into a "Dear Sega, please hire me to make Daytona 3" post, but here's what I wanna know, Sega...:

When are you making any NEW racing games?

I know there's a few. There was Sega Rally Revo (2007), Sega Race TV (2008), OutRun Online Arcade (2009), Sonic Free Riders (2010), Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010), Sega Rally Online Arcade (2011), Initial D Stage 6 (2011), and obviously Daytona USA (2011).  So that's great right?

Let's go thru the list:

*Sega Rally Revo - good Sega racer with loads of content, but handling is not as good as original, EDIT: made by Western Sega developer so that's okay
*Sega Race TV - arcades only, unique idea but not that great of a game
*OutRun Online Arcade - port of an already existing game, no longer available
*Sonic Free Riders - mega crap tied to the Kinect
*Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - good but ALSO MADE BY SUMO DIGITAL
*Sega Rally Online Arcade - port of an already existing game (sort of) with less content
*Initial D Stage 6 - arcades only, just a expansion pack obviously
*Daytona USA - best thing Sega's done recently but it's just the original Daytona with better graphics and (dead) online play (already available on the Model2 emulator)
*Any other racing games out there I never heard of...SEGA PLEASE ADVERTISE THEM MORE AND MAYBE I WOULD ACTUALLY MENTION THEM

In all honestly, I think Sega is skimming the surface of the racing genre.  And I'm not talking "Daytona 3" but other stuff.  I want Scud Race, Daytona 2, Initial D, even f'n Sega Race TV to come home.  Maybe even a new Sega GT, Virtua Racing, Crazy Taxi, F-Zero, F355 Challenge.  Or even a new IP altogether!!

"Eric, you're overdoing it, Sega can only do so much."  Come on look at the 80's and 90's and Sega was the King of Speed.  Spittin out OutRun, Daytona USA, Scud Race, Virtua Racing, Crazy Taxi, Initial D, yada yada yada.  Sega NEVER backed down.  All in, balls out, but look at 'em now.  They're scared.  They assume the racing genre is dead.  They play it safe like....oh, here's a Dreamcast port, here's a semi-decent Sonic game, here's a new Yakuza, here's a Hatsune Miku game for the Japanese kiddies, HERE'S A MUTHA-F***IN URINAL GAME!!!  WHAT NOW, BITCH???

I occasionally talk Sega to people at school.  It's unanimous among everyone that Sega has simply lost their identity.  They impress no one anymore.  They need to go back to the drawing board, they say.  And IMO, going back to the drawing board doesn't mean "here's an HD Dreamcast port, not STFU and go play it."  Sega doesn't go the extra mile anymore. EDIT: Lest you forget, Marvel parted ways with Sega so we're not getting any more crummy movie-based games so perhaps Sega should exert more energy into actual GOOD games...

EDIT: "Eric, put a smiley face on everything."  If you want a happy blog, go read SEGAbits, SegaShiro, Sonic Stadium, official Sega blogs, etc. where everything's all good.  I'm shooting from the hip here baby.  Not everything Sega does is perfectly great and someone's gotta say it.

This rant is crap, I know, but sometimes, you gotta kick someone's ass to get them to step up to the plate. God forbid I actually run out of Sega racer related material to talk about!!!  If it weren't for the fans (and Sumo Digital) making arcade emulators, fan games, art, etc. then there would hardly be anything to talk about.    Otherwise I would become the clean-up hitter on the gaming media and crap racing games.  Sure, it's great the new Daytona port got people talking about the game again BUT WE WANT MORE THAN THAT!!!  UNLEASH THE AM2 STUDIO FOR ONCE!!!  BRING BACK YU SUZUKI...yada yada yada, you already know what I'm driving at.

The fans have to save Sega, no doubt about it.  Clamoring for more ports on Twitter/Facebook/message boards is nice and all BUT GET ACTIVE AND DO/MAKE STUFF WHENEVER YOU CAN!!!

AMERICA (and the west in general), taking back racing games from the Japanese cause Japan sucks at making games now.  Sadly, with what???  Burnout, Need for Speed, Forza (well that one's actually good so it gets a pass), Flatout, Trackmania, Motorstorm, Fast & Furious, Split/Second...I mean, GOOD LORD CAN JAPAN STEP UP FOR ONCE AND SAVE US FROM THIS GARBAGE????????  Whatever. Yeah, this is a jackass post, but SOMEONE'S GOTTA SAY IT and if I don't, then who will????


EDIT: A brief addendum and I'll say this about what Sega should do.  This reminds me of a real-world experience.  My father manages a small chain of fishing/tobacco stores along the Gulf Coast.  Don't give me any crap about cigarettes cause if people want to smoke then let 'em.  The government taxes the crap out of tobacco anyway so you sure are sticking it to us.

So anyway, when asked how he can compete against major retailers like Wal-Mart, he said "It's a more personal experience...if you need help with your fishing reels or your technique, we're there to help."

So here's what I think.  Sega is VERY FAR from outmuscling big players like Activision, Electronic Arts, Sony, Capcom, and Nintendo.  If Sega takes the bland route by releasing a couple of super hero/military/puzzle games, they'll squeak by and nothing else...

What can Sega do?  Do what Sega does best.  Make those wacky blue-sky games you can't get anywhere else.  Not the same lock-step march that every other publisher does.  Sega barely cashes in on their nostalgia.  Will Sega get a clue?  No, cause they stink.  You don't necessarily need a Dreamcast 2 to do this.  Get some new talent, some bold new producers cause Sega is blowing it as far as I'm concerned.  Make some good in-house games for once.  That's all, later.


  1. As realistic as we need to be about the gaming industry, this is the drive that people like you and me need to get into it and make a difference. I read a comment saying how pathetic it is that people are more willing to buy HD-releases more than anything else - if that's true it says a lot about the current state of modern games. That or the power of nostalgia. Again, why I don't feel most American games have that same feel as Japanese games do.

    Personally I'm rather skeptical of the news of Shenmue "HD", or at least that it's been complete for some time. Or worried. Is it another copy-paste job or is it getting a proper HD treatment? Then again that new Neo-Geo handheld was recently confirmed as valid. I hope I'm wrong on my doubts.

    Slight correction, though: Sega Rally Revo was done by Sega Racing Studio; Sumo Digital did Sega Rally Online Arcade.

  2. Well at some point in time, you gotta ignite a bunsen burner under these guys feet if you want to get something done. Need more shakers & movers. Seriously, it's a Catch 22 since as Sega gets more inept, their need for shakers gets bigger yet less people will work for them the more inept they get. Sega just can't win.

    Don't know what else to say. From a glance, there's more "nostalgic" Japanese games than there are American games, mostly because American games are just rehashes of the same-old same-old. But that's just my opinion.

  3. Frankly, I don't care whether they really remade it all in HD or not. What worries me is that if Sega ever releases Shenmue 3, everybody is certain to be disappointed. I mean, seeing how Shenmue 2 ended, with floating magical swords and other ridiculous events, Shenmue 3 is probably going to expand even further into the "fantasy land" and people are sure to be pissed that it's not realistic anymore. Not to mention, after so many years of waiting, everyone's expectations are unrealistically high.

  4. I kind of agree. But with the way Sega held out for sooooooo long, Shenmue 3 needs to be this perfect game that competes with high-budget games like Mass Effect, Bioshock, etc. Frankly, the later Sega releases Shenmue 3, the worse the situation gets....

  5. True. I have to admit I felt somewhat baffled when the fantasy elements were suddenly introduced at the end of Shenmue II. Of course, this is after 95% of the saga so far had such an emphasis on realism. Honestly I said to myself, "I hope the series doesn't turn into another Japanese fantasy game." And this was a time when realism for many games (that I'd eventually dread) was still a long ways away. But trailers for Shenmue Online seemed to point in that direction. But given what we've seen and my trust in Suzuki, I'm still curious and will support him regardless. I think it'd be rather odd if after years of trailers and media painted the Shenmue experience and goal as another reality, just for them to do a 180 on the whole thing.

    I suppose my above concern is if the port would be inferior to the original such as Crazy Taxi, if it has been done as long as it supposedly has. But given today's gaming standards, I imagine a lot of reviews would ignore the actual game for what it is, and do nothing but unfairly compare it to other games in today's market that likely wouldn't exist if not for Shenmue, while declaring the other game as superior. I don't imagine Shenmue getting much love from today's modern gamers, which'll make the chances of Shenmue III much worse. And like you guys said, if Shenmue III does get made, the expectations from both Shenmue fans and gaming media will be ridiculously high. I wouldn't be surprised if it got the same reception of games in the Sega vs. Namco days: Sega may have originated it, but this other game has a better "coolness" factor, therefore superior.

    But here's hoping for the best, still.

  6. I'm a bit anxious for Sega to release any delayed sequel...Shenmue 3, Daytona 3, OutRun 3, etc. But if the fans want it, I say go for it. Have faith in Yu Suzuki.