Author Archive

Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed review (All versions)

February 17, 2013

Untitled

Date Released: Winter 2012 for most versions
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2013
Genre: 3D Party Racer
Players: 1-4 players locally (up to 5 on Wii U), 10 online
Length: 3-30 minutes per event, 12-25 hours to unlock all content
Replayability: High

—————–

Introduction

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is the sequel to 2010’s crossover party racer Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Not simply a basic sequel, the game focuses around the concept of vehicles that change during the race to traverse over land, water and the sky with a few courses that even head through lava or outer space. Presented as kid-friendly but designed to be enjoyable for all ages, Transformed is a quality racer for fans of SEGA and the genre. Difficult but not unfair, the game succeeds in making a unique and fun game for groups online or off, but somewhat sloppy direction and awkward marketing attempts keep it from becoming a true classic.

(more…)

Advertisements

Model 2 Digital Collection Review

January 5, 2013

AM2 continues their high quality digital remasters with a set based on SEGA’s revolutionary Model 2 arcade hardware. Yu Suzuki, the head of SEGA’s AM2 studio helped create the platform in the early 1990s using incredibly sophisticated military technology. This allowed for not just higher quality visuals through 3D models and textures, but more effective controls and artificial intelligence to a scale thought completely improbable for the time.

As iconic and important the hardware was to video games, each game released in this digital Model 2 collection has only ever seen improper ports due to the power of home platforms at the time being far below what the games required, such as the SEGA Saturn. This current set of releases features the legendary Virtua Fighter 2, the wacky Fighting Vipers and Sonic the Fighters, one of the most obscure Sonic the Hedgehog games of all time.

(more…)

Jet Set Radio (HD) Review

December 9, 2012

Jet Grind Set Radio Future Grind Radio Set Future Future Radio

Date Released: Fall 2012
Date Reviewed: December 5, 2012
Genre: 3D Platformer
Players: 1 Player
Length: 7 hours for main game, 25+ for extra content
Replayability: Very good

—————————————————

Introduction

Jet Set Radio is the unique 2000 platforming game where players take control of a rebellious group of spray-painting, rollerblading teenagers who intend on seperating the government’s corrupt and overblown power over the people of a fictional variation of a futuristic Tokyo, Japan called Tokyo-to. Originally available on the SEGA Dreamcast, Jet Set Radio has gone on to only have one true sequel, but a strong cult following and has been featured in references and cameos in several unrelated games. This modern high definition version is one of SEGA’s highest quality re-releases of all their past titles to date.

(more…)

Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers, and Sonic the Fighters now available on XBLA and PSN

November 28, 2012

The first three games in SEGA’s collection of Model 2 arcade games is available now on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. The three games available now are:

  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Fighting Vipers
  • Sonic the Fighters

Each game is developed by the iconic AM2 studio and as these titles imply, they are all in the fighting game genre. All games are hardware-perfect ports of the originals, but all include features spanning new secret characters, the ability to select updated or downgraded arcade releases, and of course online play. Unlike their original announcements, each game is priced at $5 USD (400 Microsoft Points on XBLA).

The games will also become available on the European PSN on December 5th, while Virtual-On and Virtua Striker, which are also part of this collection, will be released early next year.

Included after the break is the trailer for all of the released and upcoming games in the Model 2 collection.

(more…)

Ryu ga Gotoku 5 (Yakuza 5) demo available for download on Japanese PSN

November 26, 2012

A demo for Ryu ga Gotoku 5 (Yakuza 5 in English speaking regions) is featured on the Japanese PlayStation Network on the PlayStation 3 console. In the demo, players will take control of Kazuma Kiryu and can test out new additions and tweaks to the games mechanics, such as the overhauled battle system and the new taxi segments. Please note that the demo takes up a total space of 1456 MB of the PlayStation 3’s hard drive.

A continuation of SEGA’s epic action role playing franchise, Ryu ga Gotoku 5 takes place across five different massive locations along with five playable characters in the most expansive game the series has seen to date. The title will be available in Japan later this week and although it has no announcement of a release in other territories at this time, anyone will be able to download the demo with a Japanese PlayStation Network account.

Jet Set Radio available for PlayStation Vita this week, mobile versions late November

November 18, 2012

The high definition upgraded version of Jet Set Radio will finally be available for PlayStation Vita users this week for download on the PlayStation Network. It was previously released this fall on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam for Windows PC.

Originally launched in 2000 on the SEGA Dreamcast, Jet Set Radio was praised for it’s unique take on the platforming genre, along with it’s graphical style and soundtrack, most of which is included in this version. Modern alterations, such as new camera controls and achievements/trophies have been added, the Vita release includes even more functions, such as optional touch-based spraying.

In addition, Android and iOS versions of the game will be released at the end of month. Jet Set Radio is available on all platforms for $10 USD, the title is set to be the first free game on PlayStation Vita for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed demo now available on Xbox LIVE, coming soon to PSN

November 16, 2012

A demo for the upcoming Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace for free in all regions the service exists. PlayStation 3 will also receive this, but once the network is updated, which is independent by region. It is currently unknown if any other platforms will also receive a demo version of the game, as SEGA has not announced any as of yet.

The demo features only Sonic as a playable racer, but has tracks based on the classic Panzer Dragoon and Golden Axe titles, the later of which is not a race, but a ‘boost challenge’. Both levels use the unique transforming mechanic where the player’s car turns into a boat or a plane when necessary.

A sequel to Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is available to purchase on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this week for most Europeans, but will be available for North Americans next week. The Nintendo Wii U version will launch with the console the week after and the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita versions will be available in December. The PC version has no release date at the posting of this article, but is expected in 2012.

ToeJam & Earl 1 and 2 available on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network

November 7, 2012

ToeJam & Earl and ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron have both been released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 online stores. Both games, originally available on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive in the early 1990s now have new content and features such as online co-op added by M2, who created the high quality ports of titles like Monster World IV and The Revenge of Shinobi earlier this year.

The first in the series is especially unique as a top down rougue-like where players can split up to explore pre-made or randomized environments either by oneself or co-operatively with a friend. The sequel is a side-scrolling platformer that focuses more on character interactions, but is still based around collecting and optional, but recommended two player gameplay.

On PlayStation Network each title is sold individually for 5 USD. On Xbox Live Arcade both games are sold together in a bundle with the name SEGA Vintage Collection: ToeJam & Earl and costs 800 Microsoft Points, or rather 10 USD.

Vanquish available for purchase on PlayStation Network

November 6, 2012

Today Sony added Vanquish, SEGA and PlatinumGames’ 2010 action shooting game to their North American PlayStation Store on PlayStation Network. This allows one to purchase the full PlayStation 3 title and directly download it to keep on their HDD. A retail release, the game was also added to Microsoft’s Games on Demand service on Xbox Live in May of last year (originally $40 USD, it has dropped in price to half that since), although unlike that version, the extra optional downloadable content is included in the PlayStation Network purchase.

At the price of $19.99 USD, shooter fans will be hard pressed to find a better deal for this unique game bundled with all of its extra content. Be sure to read our review to help make your purchase.

Pier Solar HD upgrade on Kickstarter

November 5, 2012

A complete high definition remake of the recent indie RPG Genesis/Mega Drive title Pier Solar and the Great Architects has been added to the Kickstarter pledging platform. If successful, developer WaterMelon plans releases on not just the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade, PC, Mac and Linux, but also the SEGA Dreamcast. Concepts, new art and more have all been detailed for what this new version will have are listed on the Kickstarter page.

Originally started in June of 2004, Pier Solar and the Great Architects was completed in early 2011 and was made available for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and SEGA CD consoles. It is especially unique in that it had a 64 meg cartridge – Officially making it the largest game on the console ever. It is also the first ever game on the platform to optionally utilize both the cartridge slot and the SEGA CD add-on at the same time.

[Source: Pier Solar HD Kickstarter page via Official Site]