Due to low friend requests accepted, Retro staff’s scheduling and among several other issues, we’ll be postponing the Community Day Stream for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. While the numbers are kind of low, make no mistake about it, those of you who sent in friend requests, you guys rock. Seriously. We’ll check back in January to let you know when we’ll reschedule the stream. Especially those of you who are just getting the game for the holidays. If you haven’t already, send a friend request to VidyaRetro on Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii U if you want in on the action.
In the meantime though, we’ll be doing a stream with who we’ve got showcasing a number of Sega Saturn games. Including a number of Sega’s lesser known mascots, some real oddities and more. We’ll be kicking things off around 4PM Central, an hour earlier than originally planned. Hope to see you there for the usual whimsy, banter and of course, the games.
It’s out there.
I used to be big on Retronauts, one of my favorite podcasts that I listened to at every release up until it’s host Jeremy Parish lost interest and eventually wound up as Editor in Chief of 1UP.com. Then writer Bob Mackey would pick the ball back up and relaunch the show as a live podcast to keep the show going despite the hardships that had hit 1UP in recent times. Admittably I don’t listen to it as often, change does become difficult to swallow sometimes, but every now and then comes an episode that strikes all the right chords of what I used to love on Retronauts: Silly non sequiturs overshadowed by rare facts and industry insight, along with uncovering childhood memories of yore, no matter how time-tested or scathing as they may have been.
This particular episode rings true for sure as Retronauts Live, in it’s new iteration, has a bigger emphasis on the hosts talking directly to the developers and figure heads of the industry, with the most recent episode featuring Victor Ireland, co-founder of Working Designs, a company driven to bringing niche Japanese titles to western markets adapted for their tastes and boasting a high quality standard for the games as proudly as possible. While the episode does cover topics regarding the Playstation, there’s still plenty of talk of Vic’s company dealing with Sega, including stories on Vay for Sega CD, the dire development on the last Sega Saturn game in the US, Magic Knight Rayearth, and extensive coverage on the Lunar series. Not to mention Working Design’s position during the brief decision from Sega of America to transform Popful Mail for Sega CD into Sister Sonic. Yes! The Hedgehog! Imagine playing a Falcom game designed around an as-then unnamed female relative, (Not Sonia the Hedgehog,) of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Check out the podcast here complete with shownotes. If you aren’t up for people talking about old video games, now’s a good time as any to shoehorn the opening theme to the Sega CD version of Lunar – The Silver Star (In English!) as they sure don’t make any upbeat video game music like this anymore. Or click here if you prefer it in Japanese…
On the sixth day of Christmas, Retro gave to me…
…some videos that make me want to go the store.
Let’s be perfectly honest here: while we may love Sonic the Hedgehog and Sega as a whole, at the end of the day they are a business, which means they want to sell the public something. It certainly helps when it’s something we really, really, want, of course. And what better time is more appropriate to dwell on consumerism than Christmas? We all know that people buy the most around the holiday season, so why wouldn’t you want to try and advertise the world of Sega while visions of sugarplums dance in your head?
Daytona USA is making it’s first lap on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade this week. If you’re a bad enough mother of a driver, chances are you’ve already snagged yourself a copy of the game. If you’re just plain bad at Daytona, then do yourself a favor by checking out these videos of You Tube user Trojan X who was able to beat the AI on the highest difficulty in all three tracks using manual transmission while keeping up top speed. Be sure to watch all three videos to get an idea on how to tackle the three courses.
The technique that’s prominent in these videos is the Gear Drift. When tacking the tightest corners, turn early, shift into second, while turning along the curve, shift into third then gradually correct your steering as you approach the straight, and resume gaining speed. Don’t hit the brakes, otherwise you’ll find yourself sliding all over the place! Lastly, be sure to memorize each track. Play offline for some practice sessions before taking on other opponents.
Amongst the trove of Sega Genesis ROMs that come out almost like clockwork every year, Sega, AM2 and Treasure have been throwing out a number of surprises lately. That bunny sure had it in for us.
Consider this as your friendly reminder. Just announced by SEGA is the re-release of Daytona USA for both Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. The Sega Saturn (and arcade!) Now featuring a widescreen presentation, online multiplayer, leaderboards, native steering wheel support, and possibly the biggest feature: Karaoke Mode so you can put on your best Takenobu Mitsuyoshi. Both versions are slated for release in the US on October 25th (PSN) and 26th (XBLA) for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Space Bucks. Be sure to check out the trailer in this post for footage of the game in action.
As of yesterday, it’s been fifteen years since we were introduced to the combination of technology, mismanagement, and gameplay that would make up the legendary Sega Saturn to us Americans. Remember the odd ads of the Saturn Girl and how our Rods and Cones were going to be blown away by the graphics and games? Let’s take the time to reflect on how much we were blown away.
We all remember the on-LSD marketing taken by SOA, featuring naked women representing game goddesses, bodybuilders using Saturn to underscore their success, our eyes reacting to the greatness. For the games, we were introduced to combinations of falling PS1s and A Clockwork Orange-esque crash test dummies demonstrating why you had to buy one. Of course no one did (Sony was on top of the invisible sphere that surrounds the Solar System) and the American launch was famously botched: to beat Sony, Sega released the console weeks in advance, with only one game ready for the American market. It pissed off gamers and developers, but those who decided to stick on were ready for a bumpy ride.
With Bernie Stolar at the wheel, we were treated to the epitome of the 3D action platform genre in full force. It was a shame most of the shit on the Saturn was never brought over to America, though when we did get a unique gem (Shining Force 3 part 1 was a 3D RPG, Mega Man 8 was a 2D side scroller, Sonic Jam and the Ages boxes were compilations) we didn’t hesitate to buy. But we still passed on the Saturn. So the question remains now: were we wrong? Was it the future of gaming?
Fuck no. Just get your barf bag and get on, because this 15th Anniversary is funded by Segata Sanshiro and Mr. Floating Old Head.