Tag Archives: Sega

Atari A to Z: Loco

Pardon me, boy, is that Sega’s Super Locomotive? Why no, good sir, it’s Alligata Software’s Loco, a gratuitous “homage” to Super Locomotive which creator Antony Crowther got away with thanks to Super Locomotive’s relatively unknown status!

Loco is an interesting concept for a game; you’re driving a steam locomotive down never-ending tracks, fending off attacks from small aeroplanes and inconveniently placed handcars that have been carelessly discarded around the railway network. You’ll never get where you’re supposedly going — this is an arcade-style game through and through — but in games like this it’s all about the journey, not the destination.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Golden Axed: A Prototype with a Dark Past

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.

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short;Play: Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game

I’ve always loved a good multi-sport athletics game, right back to the good old days of Epyx’s “Games” series on 8- and 16-bit platforms.

With the 2020 Olympics being cancelled (sorry, “postponed”) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there I was thinking there wasn’t an official video game out there. But there was! It came out in 2019 and is a Japan-only release, but has full English support. You can read more about it here.

Or you can watch me show off all 18 events to varying degrees of success in the video below, of course. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

short;Play: The Club

The dearly departed Bizarre Creations were best known for their racing games — Metropolis Street Racer on Dreamcast, the Project Gotham series on Xbox platforms and the wonderful game that would, sadly, turn out to be their death-knell: Blur.

But throughout the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, they actually fiddled around with quite a few different styles of game. They made a James Bond game, for one — you better believe that will show up at some point in the near future — as well as the delightful “techno-classical” rhythm game Boom Boom Rocket.

Today we’re taking a look at The Club, a Sega-published game that combines gritty third-person shooter action with arcadey scoring and racing mechanics; a modern-day (well, late 2000s) Outtrigger, in many ways. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Game of the Games That Never Were

With a few exceptions, officially licensed video game adaptations of the Olympics tend to be little more than footnotes in video gaming history.

Often regarded by critics as collections of minigames rather than anything of real substance, they tend to enjoy a brief period of popularity around the time of the real-life Games they find themselves based on, then afterwards fall into complete obscurity, never to be seen again. Which puts Sega’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game (Tokyo 2020 hereafter) in a rather interesting position.

First releasing in Japan in July of 2019, a full year before the actual Tokyo 2020 games were set to begin, it now finds itself in the peculiar position of being an official adaptation of an event that never happened — and that, at the time of writing, we’re not 100% sure will happen as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues. Which makes it an interesting historical curiosity at the very least — but thankfully it’s also an entertaining game, too. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Game of the Games That Never Were

Atari A to Z: Death Race

Sadly, this game is nothing to do with the movie of the same name. Instead, it’s Atlantis Software’s budget-price attempt to recreate the experience of Sega’s early arcade game Turbo, albeit a few years late.

The latter years of the Atari 8-bit saw a lot of publishers specialising in budget-price, cassette-only releases for around the £2 mark. This put them firmly in “pocket money” territory for a lot of young gamers, but the quality did vary quite a bit, with Atlantis Software’s titles generally not being received all that well by the press of the day.

How does Death Race stack up in the grand scheme of things? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Zaxxon

Early arcade ports certainly varied quite significantly in quality, and opinion appears to be a bit divided online as to whether or not Ron J Fortier’s Atari 8-bit take on Sega’s classic Zaxxon is “good” or not.

Well, “good” or not, that’s what we’re taking a look at today — and it turns out there are two slightly different versions of the game out there. (I discovered after I made the video that these are due to there being a 16K cassette version and a 48K disk version — in the video you’ll see the disk version first, followed by the more limited cassette version.)

Enjoy this take on a classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: OutRun

Ah, OutRun. A true classic of the “vanishing point” racer genre. A fine example of Sega’s “Super Scaler” technology at work. And, apparently, recipient of an absolutely terrible Atari ST port by Probe and US Gold.

I’ve always been a believer in giving things a fair chance on their own merits, though, and I never played the ST version of OutRun back in the day. I played Turbo OutRun, which was terrible, but never the original.

Time to rectify that, then! Check out the video below to see how I got on, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Phantasy Star Online 2: Day 1 As an ARKS Operative

Well, after an inordinately long wait — about eight years, to be exact — Phantasy Star Online 2 has finally arrived, for both Xbox One and PC players… and possibly with other platforms to follow.

To say that English speakers have been eagerly awaiting this game is something of an understatement. The Dreamcast original, being one of the original breakout successes in online gaming — and many players’ first experience with cooperative, social online gaming — is a widely beloved game, so in the eight years since Phantasy Star Online 2 released in Japan, people have been finding increasingly creative ways to get their fix, with particularly dedicated fans even going so far as to provide translation patches.

Now, none of those workarounds and fiddly tweaks are needed; everyone can just play Phantasy Star Online 2 as they please. So I thought it would probably be a good idea to jump in on the PC launch day and have a go. Read on to find out how that all went.

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Sega Ages Phantasy Star – Classic Dungeon Crawling, Modern Conveniences

Although at the time of writing a lot of people are super-excited for the impending PC release of Phantasy Star Online 2, the series as a whole isn’t anywhere near as well-known as the heavy-hitting classics of the RPG genre.

Indeed, Phantasy Star as a whole has always been something of a niche interest series — perhaps in part due to the majority of its “golden age” being released on platforms that were not typically renowned for their role-playing games.

The first game in particular is very interesting to return to, especially when you consider its original release date as a contemporary of the first Final Fantasy and the second Dragon Quest. And the Sega Ages version for Nintendo Switch is the definitive way to experience it — so let’s explore that now!

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