As part of Sega’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the company has been putting out a number of limited-time-only free minigames on Steam, including a Streets of Rage-inspired brawler based on the Yakuza series, a tank blaster based on Company of Heroes and a Fantasy Zone/Endless crossover.
By far the most controversial of these freebie releases is an unfinished prototype that has become known as Golden Axed. It was originally intended to be part of an ambitious series known as Sega Reborn, which would not only feature reimaginings of Sega classics such as Shinobi, Altered Beast and Streets of Rage, but also tie them all together with some sort of coherent plot and a “hub world” to explore.
The project as a whole never happened, but the team from Sega’s Australian studio behind the pitch did manage to put together a short prototype for the Golden Axe part of the whole package. But there’s an interesting — and somewhat depressing — story behind it that is well worth sharing. So let’s explore further.
As we’ve seen a number of times on this series, the late ’70s and early ’80s were a period of experimentation, where developers were trying to figure out exactly what a video game really was.
One angle of attack some people took was to recreate well-known physical games in the digital realm. To that end, we saw virtual adaptations of popular board and card games — and we had Holey Moley, an Atari 2600 take on the classic fairground Whack-A-Mole game.
Holey Moley never saw an actual release back in the day, but now we can enjoy it on modern platforms thanks to Atari Flashback Classics. So enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Hey look everybody, it’s Asteroids! Again. You’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last time Asteroids appears in the Atari Flashback Classics compilation, at least.
Today we’re looking at the Atari 5200 version of the game, which didn’t actually see a commercial release despite originally being intended as a launch title for the platform. It’s based closely on the version released for Atari 8-bit computers, and is a solid adaptation of the formula for 1-4 players simultaneously.
I didn’t like this all that much when I was kid (primarily because I was bobbins at it) but nowadays I find its chunky shooting action rather satisfying!