This week, Sega has released more from their vintage library for the modern consoles with the return of their Sega Vintage Collection line. Xbox 360 owners can invest in the game packs for 800 Microsoft Points, or individually on Playstation 3 for $5 each. These collections offers a variety of Master System, Mega Drive/Genesis and Arcade titles this time around, which also includes the release of Monster World IV which was released previously for the Nintendo Wii, now for next generation consoles.
These collections are significant, besides the fact that the Xbox Live Arcade releases come in packs of three, they’re being handled by M2 as opposed to Digital Eclipse/Backbone. Which also means a number of features that are actually interesting, which involve sound tests as well as leaderboards for the “Trial” mini games based around core sections of each game, replay modes that allow you to record and share your gameplay, and online multiplayer for supported titles. In addition, Super Hang-On features a 3D mode for 3D-enabled televisions. These packs include Alex Kidd & Co. and Monster World Collection this week. Next week will see the release of the Golden Axe Collection and the Streets of Rage Collection. Hit the jump for the complete list of games as well as screenshots.
When people tell the short version of the development of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, there are usually two names dropped: Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima. The former, though starting out as a programmer, soon became the figurehead of Sonic Team, his smiling mug plastered all over any material regarding the behind-the-scene events. The latter, of course, being the man who designed the characters including the star. However, there was a third man who, one could argue, shaped the title into the addictive game that people still play to this day. That man’s name is Hirokazu Yasuhara, who was the lead Game Planner of the original Mega Drive quartet, as well as the Director to Sonic 3 & Knuckles. While the designs to the characters were amazing, and there was a solid engine being built around it, the actual layout of the game would have been very, very different had Yasuhara not been there to design those level maps that have been burned into our minds over the last two decades. Who knows how things would have gone if he had flown to the United States when he originally planned instead of being delayed to shape one of the biggest video game franchises of all time?
That is why this news, for anyone who was there during the height of the Mega Drive’s success, is a bit crazy to take in. As of today, reported on Gamasutra and confirmed by his own LinkedIn page, Hirokazu Yasuhara is now employed at Nintendo Software Technology, a subsidiary of Nintendo of America. Best known for their work on the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, nothing has been said of what plans Nintendo has in store for the former Sega employee. Since he’s still in the United States, its very unlikely that he’ll have any role in one of the main Super Mario titles, but still. If you were to tell any 90′s kid that the man responsible for the layout of everything from the Green Hill Zone to Death Egg would one day be working at the house Mario built, would they have believed it?
Since the unveiling of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, Sega has been extremely careful to point out how the latest installment in the “Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Saga” has improved over its predecessor, and that they have been listening. From the physics to the art style to the implementation of new ideas, it is clear that the people behind the game are trying more than they did the first go-round. Sure, you can argue for hours on end if they have been succeeding, but regardless, there is one component of the game that has, until now, been missing from public scrutiny. I am talking, of course, about the original soundtrack to the game. There’s no need to repeat the jokes hurled at Episode 1‘s final score, but people have been wondering what sort of instrumentation the next episode would contain. Would it be a repeat of Episode 1, would it be something much closer to the classic Mega Drive sound, or would it attempt to be a bit more high definition? While bits and pieces could be heard over convention noise during the last time a playable build was available to the public, YouTube channel WounChannel have upload yet another runthrough of the beginning to Sylvania Castle, this time with no ambient noise of excited cell phone enthusiasts.
There you have it, the music to Act 1 of Sylvania Castle. While it might not be the huge change some people were hoping for, at the very least it clues us in as to how the rest of the game should be sounding.
As tribute to Takashi Iizuka’s hallowing vision of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, I’ve recrafted the beautiful lyrics of Reach for the Stars, and elevated them to new heights. Brand new, never explored, never walked-on heights, to create a theme song worthy of being called the theme of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. It is truly the Sonic 4 theme song as you imagined it. Real talk.
It’s that time of the year again, folks. The weather is getting warmer, people are barbecuing… and SAGE is on the menu, right next to the potato salad. Delicious! Well, get ready for another grand year of fan games, events and mingling because it’s right around the corner!
So make those finishing touches on your labors of love, and get ready to show them off! To submit your demos or to schedule an event, send the following respective application to: [email protected]
SAGE 2010 is coming to a computer near you August 8th – August 14th at http://www.sagexpo.org!
The subject of your e-mail should be “Booth.” Your e-mail should contain a link to your booth where we may download a working demo of your game. This should be the final booth location of where you would like your demo to be linked to on the SAGE website. If this booth location changes, please notify us no later than 48 hours before the beginning of SAGE.
The subject of your e-mail should be “Event” or “SAGEcast” respectively. Your e-mail should contain a description of the event/SAGEcast you would like to host and what day(s) you would like the event/SAGEcast to occur on. If you require specific time(s) to host your event, please provide it to us in your application. If no specific time is provided, we will schedule you at the most appropriate time(s) alongside other events. You will be notified of the time(s) we schedule for you within 24 hours after your intial application e-mail.
More information, like guests, events and confirmed fan projects, to come in the near future. Get excited!