Archive for the ‘Genesis/Mega Drive’ Category
Phantasy Star series celebrates 25th anniversary with release of Phantasy Star Complete Collection, out now on Japanese PSNDecember 20, 2012
On this day in 1987, SEGA released a science-fiction/fantasy role-playing game by the name of Phantasy Star for their Master System console in Japan. It was later localized in English and Spanish, ported to numerous systems, and spawned three direct sequels and several spin-off titles. Hugely successful and highly innovative for its time, Phantasy Star helped to lay the groundwork for the role-playing game genre alongside it’s contemporary, Final Fantasy, with both titles being released within days of each other. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important video games of all time, and has consistently been listed as one of the very best games of its kind.
SEGA is celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary with the release of the Phantasy Star Complete Collection, which is now available on the Japanese PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 for the price of ¥800 (approximately $10 USD). Phantasy Star, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III, and Phantasy Star IV are all fully translated and playable in English, so these titles should not be overlooked by English speakers.
Originally released for the PlayStation 2 as part of the SEGA AGES series, the collection includes the following titles:
–Phantasy Star (Master System)
–Phantasy Star II (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star II Text Adventures (Genesis/Mega Drive)
–Phantasy Star Adventure (Game Gear)
–Phantasy Star Gaiden (Game Gear)
Phantasy Star II Text Adventures is a compilation of eight visual novels, each centered around one of the main characters from Phantasy Star II and was first available through the SEGA Meganet modem accessory for the Genesis/Mega Drive console, while the eight stories — made available in two separate compilations — were later ported to the console’s SEGA CD/Mega CD add-on. Phantasy Star Adventure and Phantasy Star Gaiden were both released for the SEGA Game Gear in 1992, just months apart each other. Adventure was the first Phantasy Star title to be released for SEGA’s handled and features a different gameplay style than other titles in the series, being a first-person text-based adventure game that takes place during the events of Phantasy Star II. Gaiden, on the other hand, is a traditional role-playing game in the style of Phantasy Star I, which Gaiden is an indirect sequel to. It’s worth noting, however, that according to series continuity both Adventure and Gaiden are considered non-canon.
No announcements have yet been made on the possibility of an international release, though anyone with a Japanese PlayStation Network account can purchase the collection in any territory.
UPDATE: A trailer for Phantasy Star Complete Collection has been released — be sure to check it out after the break.
With the release the fourth volume of SEGA’s new series of game compilations, appropriately titled the SEGA Vintage Collection, two more classic titles for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive are now available — the funktastic co-operative games ToeJam and Earl and its sequel, ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron. After the break, we’ve included a basic overview of these titles and our general thoughts on them.
Space Harrier to receive 3D update on Nintendo 3DS, Space Harrier Collection out now on Japanese PSNNovember 22, 2012
Japanese video game news website Gamer has revealed that the arcade classic third-person action/shooter Space Harrier will be receiving an updated port on Nintendo’s 3DS titled 3D Space Harrier, which will be optimized for the handheld’s dual widescreen displays and will feature newly added stereoscopic 3D graphics. Developed by AM2 under the direction of legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, Space Harrier has long been held as one of the greatest and most recognizable arcade games of all of time, revolutionizing the medium as a both a technical benchmark for games at the time and defined a genre with its fun and riveting gameplay, which still attracts scores of fans to this very day. Reports say that this port is intended to be the definitive version of the game, and whilst no further details have yet been revealed, the title is expected to launch on the Nintendo eShop at some point in the near future.
In other Space Harrier news, Space Harrier II: Space Harrier Complete Collection has been released on PlayStation 3 on the Japanese PlayStation Network. This compilation — which was originally released on the PlayStation 2 as part of the SEGA AGES 2500 series — brings the arcade versions of Space Harrier and Space Harrier 3-D [not to be confused with 3D Space Harrier] (both for the Mark III system) and the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Space Harrier II together, also featuring some bonus content and extras, including official art from all of the games. There’s been no word as of yet whether or not Space Harrier II: Space Harrier Complete Collection will be released outside of Japan, but it is currently available for the price of ¥800 (roughly $10 USD).
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.
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.
Ristar (also known as Ristar the Shooting Star) is the 1995 platformer developed by Sonic Team and released for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and later for the SEGA Game Gear. The game follows the titular young star as he travels across the Valdi Galaxy in pursuit of the evil space pirate Kaiser Greedy, who has kidnapped the Legendary Hero that watches over the galaxy and protects it from harm. Although it is often overshadowed by Sonic Team’s other popular series, including Phantasy Star, Samba de Amigo, NiGHTS, and, of course, Sonic the Hedgehog, Ristar has managed to hold its own over a veritable who’s who of video game classics, and today it is often considered to be one of the very best and most beloved games on the platform.
Without further ado, let’s blast off and take a look at a cheerful little tune called “Star Humming”.
SEGA Vintage Collection has been recently released on both XBLA and PSN – for the XBox 360 and PS3 respectfully. Known as SEGA AGES Online in Japan, it features proper emulations of SEGA classics – both console and arcade – with an abundance of features. It is developed by M2, former SNK employees responsible for SEGA’s Virtual Console offerings on Wii and many previous SEGA AGES games on PS2. Extensive emulation options, high definition artwork wallpapers, leader boards, saving, replays, achievements/trophies, new trial modes, and on-line play are all included, bringing these games back to life in a respectable, professional manner. With it being an on-going series of releases of classic games, it might be helpful to get a basic overview of what is included, how it fairs, and how others view the games released so far. Below is a compilation of this.
Date Released: April 1, 1994
Date Reviewed: August 19th, 2012
Genre: 2D Platformer/role-playing game
Players: 1 Player
Length: 5-8 hours
Monster World IV is the 1994 platformer/role-playing game developed by Westone and released exclusively for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive. Canonically, it is the sixth and final game in the Wonder Boy series, also being the fourth overall game in the related Monster World sub-series, which grew out of the former with the release of the Wonder Boy in Monster Land for the arcade and SEGA Master System in 1987 and 1988, respectively. Monster World IV had never seen an international release, being exclusive to Japan until very recently, when it was released on the Virtual Console for Nintendo’s Wii, as well as part of SEGA’s new Vintage Collection series, which brought it and Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Wonder Boy in Monster World to the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 and Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360. The wait, however, was well worth it, as Monster World IV is easily one of the finest games for the Genesis/Mega Drive, and it is sure to become an instant classic for many who haven’t yet experienced this wonderful gem of a game.