SEGA will take us back to mid 1980s Hong Kong and Japan with the re-release of Shenmue I & II on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on August 21st. The publisher confirmed the price, release date, discount and various technical details surrounding this dual port in an F.A.Q posted on the official SEGA website.
Shenmue I & II will be priced at $39.99 CDN and includes the full version of the 1999 Dreamcast title and its 2002 Sequel. In their F.A.Q SEGA confirmed that the codebase for this port comes from the Xbox Version of both games which was originally released back in 2003 in North America. Working from the XBOX version ensures that features like photo mode, filters and better overall anti-aliasing are supported from the start. Gameplay segments will support 16:9 HD resolutions but cut-scenes will be preserved in their original 4:3 presentation. A “modern control scheme” has also been implemented that maps Ryu’s movement to the analog sticks rather than the D-Pad, as originally intended.
A number of other small additions have also been added to the Shenmue I & II port including both Japanese / English dialogue, configurable controls on PC, Achievements and the ability to save anywhere.
As well as the herculean effort of porting the code to the new platforms, there is a huge number of things we have added:
- Choice of Japanese or English speech in both games
- Saves can be carried over from Shenmue into Shenmue II on all platforms
- Saving anywhere in both games
- HD resolution rendering
- Updated UI
- New post processing effects for both games
- Full controller support and configurable mouse and keyboard for PC users
- Full Achievement support for both games on all platforms
Above: A Trailer From 2000 Official Dreamcast Magazine.
Shenmue I was heralded back in 1999 for its pseudo open world approach to game design – allowing players to explore a fully realized slice of Japan in full 3D with a working internal clock, the ability to rent motel rooms, visit pachinko parlors and even work a part time job. Players take on the role of Ryo Hazuki who witnesses the murder of his father – which launches a multinational adventure that spans multiple games as players help Ryo with his quest for vengeance.
On PC Shenmue I & II‘s minimum specs are quite relaxed:
- OS: Windows 7 64Bit
- Processor: Intel i3-560 / AMD FX-4300
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti (1GB Vram) / AMD Radeon 6990
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 30 GB available space
Posted on September 10, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards
It is that time of year once again where we look back at SEGA’s last home console – the Dreamcast. Powered by a then beefy 200 MHZ Hitachi processor and boasting 16MB of RAM, the specs on the DC might seem absolutely laughable by today’s standards but SEGA’s first party developers transported us to fantastical worlds with just as much computing power as you might find on a 2007 smartphone.
Considering that this anniversary is the console’s 18th birthday, several video game outlets, former executives (like former SEGA of America VP Peter Moore) and developers marked the occasion with a tweet or two.
Peter Moore celebrated with a well-framed image of a launch DC unity complete with commemorative plaque and bottle of Sake.
It was 18 years ago today we launched the Sega Dreamcast in the US, blazing the trail for online gaming as we know it today. Gone too soon.. pic.twitter.com/vwa7SFuMzN
— Peter Moore (@PeterMooreLFC) September 9, 2017
Sonic The Hedgehog’s official twitter account reminded us that the VMUs were more than just memory cards – they had their own little games that could keep us entertained for hours.
Here’s to one of the world’s best consoles. Happy 18th Anniversary, Dreamcast! pic.twitter.com/Bq5jKKpqEP
— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) September 9, 2017
IGN.com is old enough that their now shuttered Dreamcast Site wasn’t even their first channel. I’ll remember early mornings reading the weekly Q & A reader mail section – hoping that Brandon Justice would respond to my DC obsessed fan mail.
— IGN (@IGN) September 9, 2017
Remember that awesome black SEGA Sports limited edition Dreamcast? I wanted one so bad in 2000 and not because of the SEGA Sports branding. I looked forward to removing the SEGA Sports sticker and seating the sweet rare black Dreamcast next to my N64. Sadly, didn’t happen – I got a launch gray model that Christmas.
— Pitfall Harry (@retrodeals) September 10, 2017
Lastly let us not forget that Dreamcast ushered in the age of online gaming with the PlanetWEB browser and SEGA Net supported games. Phantasy Star Online got he hooked into MMORPGs and tied up my parent’s phone line for months. Thanks to Joypad for reminding us that you can still load the Google homepage on it!
— Joypad (@Joypadbar) September 10, 2017
[Header Image Credit: e84rx]
Posted on June 29, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards
Some of you reading this might remember the SNES paint program Mario Paint and the Super Nintendo styled mouse that came packed with the cartridge. Twenty-five years after the peripherals’ initial release for Ninty’s fourth generation console, it is seeing a resurgence thanks to a Nintendo partner – hardware manufacturer Hyperkin.
I can’t seem to find which company manufactured the 1990s original version of the SNES mouse so perhaps Nintendo produced it themselves. Hyperkin’s re-release of the pointing device adopts the same grey color scheme, small physical size and twin purple buttons that made the OG mouse so unique. One particular change with the 2017 Hyperkin version is the length of the cord – 1992’s version had a cord that was shorter than that of the included SNES controllers. They’ve kept the SNES controller port support as well, meaning that this mouse will work with existing Super Nintendo consoles and the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic.
Here are a few promo shots and the official features list from Hyperkin:
- SNES compatible
- Perfect with Mario Paint and other compatible SNES mouse titles
- Iconic retro-style color scheme
- Smooth and responsive cursor control, perfect for drawing, commanding troops, or fragging enemies
- 6 ft. cable
The Retro Style Mouse will retail for $19.99 USD, no word on if we’ll be able to hack Mario Paint on to our SNES Classics when they become available. Other games that supported the mouse back in the 90s included the arcade port of Terminator 2 and the SNES version of Jurassic Park – needless to say those won’t come standard on the SNES Classic either.
Posted on June 21, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards
SEGA has announced the rumored SEGA Forever, a mobile-centric collection of classic titles spanning over 20 years of releases and three console generations. With 5 SEGA exclusive Genesis titles available at launch – Sonic The Hedgehog, Comix Zone, Phantasy Star II, Altered Beast and Kid Chameleon – there’s quite a few different genres represented. SEGA Forever games support features like cloud saves, Bluetooth controllers, save states and offline play regardless of the player’s advertising status. As with the Crazy Taxi port released a couple of weeks ago – games in SEGA Forever collection will be supported by periodic in-game advertisements, however, these can be removed for $1.99 USD per title.
SEGA is promising to release more classic titles from the Master Drive, Genesis, Saturn and even 1999’s Dreamcast (a personal favorite) at some point down the line. Players should expect new releases every two weeks or so but SEGA has not yet confirmed any future titles for the service.
Check out some media below and make sure to check the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for SEGA Forever when it launches tomorrow.
Posted on April 21, 2017 by Meghan Kass
Back in the ancient year of 1989, there was a game called Wonderboy III: The Dragon’s Trap. This game was the third in the Wonderboy series, brought to us by Sega. These platformer/action adventure games about Wonder Boy trying to undo the curse that changes him into various monsters was well received and given a lot of love by critics and gamers alike.It was praised for its beautiful, colorful sprites and backgrounds, its challenging gameplay and overall fun. Fast forward to 2016 and an indie developer Lizardcube and publisher DotEmu announced a remake of Wonderboy III, appropriately calling it Wonderboy: Dragon’s Trap. Now, as of April 18th, 2017 the remake is released. Was this remake worth the effort? Did it do the original justice? And is it worth the price?
The first major difference to be noted are the graphics. Lizardcube gave the game a complete overhaul and new style. Still bright and colorful, but more of a gradient and definitely less blocky than the original. The models look far more like the animals and humans they supposed to be and the detailing has been greatly increased. This is only logical considering the advances games have made graphically, but the style stands on its own merits. It has a cute, super deformed style for the humans and a smooth, round, chubby look for the rest of the enemies and characters. This was definitely an upgrade from the original. You can even see a comparison by switching from the “retro” style to the remade style. I switched back and forth multiple times and was astounded at the change. It made me appreciate Lizardcube’s efforts even more. The animations were more realistic looking too. Sword swings looked smoother, the fire faded the further it traveled and had more of a gradient in color and the facial expressions on enemies as they were hit was extremely satisfying.
Not comparing it to the original, the game for me still stood on its own. It is a challenging action platformer. You make your way through each level, fighting various colorful enemies until you reach a boss; unfortunately, this boss will inevitably change you into a beast of some sort. Wil you be a lizard? A mouse? A lion? Who knows what each new form you will take. What I enjoyed most was the new skills each form gave you. It made each level fresh and not as repetitive as a retro platformer can tend to get. I also loved that you could go to previous levels and use your new skills to get to new areas you couldn’t previously. My only complaint came from some of the controls not doing exactly what I wanted when I gave the command. Sometimes jumps wouldn’t stick correctly or an attack hit like I expected it to. It didn’t happen for most of the game and overall the experience seemed fair, although quite challenging as a retro gaming experience should.
After all is said and done, this is a wonderful remake and action platforming experience. If you enjoy old school gaming experiences, this is definitely worth the price. The beautiful art, whimsical soundtrack and fun gameplay make for a full, enjoyable experience that will take you back in time with a fresh coat of paint, or you could even have the full retro experience if you wish. It is worth the price for fans of platformers looking for just a little more than a straight port of a nostalgic favorite. Customers can buy this game for the PS4, Xboxone and in June it will be available for the PC. Go wild and have fun!
Posted on November 21, 2016 by Meghan Kass
When I was younger, I played a lot of simple games. I clearly remember getting a CD with a collection of old games, including Dangerous Dave and Skunny the Squirrel games. In between playing Civilization games and Sims games and my NES, I played these quite often. These games weren’t the most sophisticated by any means, nor were they even great, but they made me smile and they were oddly relaxing and had short play times for when I wanted to play a game,, but didn’t have enough time to invest in a longer game (I was a busy kid with a bedtime, after all). After playing the Pirate Pop Plus, I can say, this game would have fit right in with those nostalgic titles I enjoyed in that obscure collection of odd computer games. It is not the most sophisticated, complex or story driven game, but it brought me a relaxing, enjoyable time.
Pirate Pop Plus is the newest title by 13AM Games, developers of Runbow and aims to recreate a classic arcade game from the late ‘80s. In this game you are the pirate, Pete Jr., who after waking up discovers that his arch nemesis, Bubble Pirate has trapped the local townsfolk in his devious bubbles. Pete Jr. must grab his anchor, and battle it out with Bubble Pirate to save the locals and of course, collect treasure. You pop bubbles without being hit and hurt by them all while being thrown off by Bubble Pirate’s anti gravity device that will send you flying around the screen. This is a game of endurance to see how long you can go and how many points and coins you can collect. You can use the coin to customize your portable game border. You can add stickers, change the color of the system, or you can try to test your skill on the “hyper” difficulty and see what new treasures await. You also can obtain weapons to shoot the bubbles more effectively and could save Pete Jr.’s life.
As far as simple games go, there are definitely worse games than this one. The gameplay was smooth with the exception of Pete Jr sometimes moving too fast or too far to make precise movem
ents and avoid bubbles or shoot my anchor correctly to hit the target. In spite of some flaws, this game still had me playing and trying to unlock my favorite colors and decals and even to see just how far I could go. Along with games like snake, Dangerous Dave and other repetitive simple games, this game is addictive. I feel some might get bored of the repetitive nature of the game and to some it may not be worth the money, as it seems like something to be played on the original Gameboy or an older cell phone, but for those who grew up with these types of games and looks back fondly on them, it is worth it for some quick, fun gameplay and cute pixel art.
Pirate Pop plus may seem out of place in 2016, but it is a game that is addictive and entertaining for someone looking for a quick fix after a busy day. While it may not be to everyone’s taste, I had a fun trip down memory lane, back to those days I explored little unknown games that were unique and quirky. This game has beautiful art, a love of old arcade games and plenty of things to unlock and scores to beat to keep you playing. If you can spare the $5 on steam, Wii U or New 3ds and enjoy old arcade style games, I recommend it, but unless you are a fan of this particular type of game, it may be a pass in favor of something slightly more fulfilling.
Posted on June 1, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards
Prepare to surf like it’s 9.9.1999 all over again!
One dedicated Sonic Adventure fan hasn’t given up the dream of built-in 56k modems and 640×480 official websites rendered in HTML4. Load up your favorite PC browser, or for the full experience plug in a Dreamcast console to a CRT television and surf on over to sonic-adventure.com to relive Sonic Team’s official site for the original Sonic Adventure as it existed from 09.09.99 thru late 2000.
The site was originally accessible through the Sonic Adventure GD-Rom, when the game was running on a Dreancast players could launch a built-in browser that would load up Sonic-Adventure.com. Sonic Team would post official rankings from their World Rankings contest for all to see (manually I might add, as this was before unified gamertags and dynamic web pages. It also included small guides that gave players hints to achieve at least an A ranking on all courses in Sonic Adventure as well as guides for all of the included mini-games.
Sadly not all of the original functionality was able to be restored. Since these pages were salvaged from the Internet Way Back Machine only the static pages work properly. The original official Sonic Adventure site allowed users to store up to one pet Chao in the “Chao Garden” section as well as trade Chaos with their friends from around the world. Sadly, the links to these functions just bring you to a 404 page because the new owner of Sonic-Adventure.com doesn’t have the original scripts to store the Chao data.
Why not head on over to Sonic-Adventure.com for yourself and relive the Dreamcast days? It’s still thinking!
Posted on May 15, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards
The 1990s were a magical time when Jolt Cola was still readily available, Bill Clinton was President, SEGA & Sonic the Hedgehog rivaled Nintendo & Mario in popularity and you could totally get away with wearing a beanie to work! Prepare yourselves for possibly one of the most 90s videos you’ve ever seen courtesy of the 1996 SEGA USA Testing Department – “The SEGA TEST”.
Early ‘96 was an odd time for the folks at SEGA USA – SEGA was coming off a particular strong ’94 where they had outsold the SNES in North America, the begging of ’96 was officially six months into the launch of the SEGA Saturn and former SEGA of America CEO Tom Kolinsky had yet to leave the hardware manufacturer.
I don’t think I have enough RADICAL words to really sum up how XTREME this “testamentary” is so here – in all of this glory, this image shall sum up SEGA in the mid-90s:
If you’ve watched the embedded video already and wondered what happened to some of the folks featured in the video: According to LinkedIN Mark Paraiagua went to QA for OPENTV before working at HP. Jeff Junio went on to work for 3DO, became a Game Designer for Rock Star games before moving on to SGN. Janine Cook still works for SEGA of America as a producer after moving around to various other gaming related businesses including EA Canada.
It is quite interesting to get an inside(ish) look at what working for one of the major videogame companies in the mid-90s was like, even if the that look is thoroughly washed through the corporate lens.
Posted on December 18, 2015 by Erika
Fans new and old of the ColecoVision will probably be surprised to hear that a new cartridge-based system in partnership with Retro Video Game Systems, Inc will be coming out in early 2016. Dubbed the COLECO Chameleon, the system will be capable of playing classic games, and is also noted for being able to play new releases in 8-bit, 16-bit-, and 32-bit styles, which are still quite popular formats with adult gamers today. In a day of age where games are played on discs or flash cards, having a new cartridge-based system will be quite interesting to see that isn’t just a rehash of old systems released like the Sega Genesis or Atari 2600.
While information is still somewhat scant, it’s going to be demoed at the Toy Fair New York 2016, February 13-16. Upon some digging from their Twitter @RETROVGS, RGS had an unfunded Indiegogo campaign for a “RETRO VGS” system which looks quite similar to the now upcoming COLECO Chameleon, not only in design, but also it’s aim for a cartridge-based gaming system. With that said, this current console project looks to be a re-tooling of their previous attempt at doing a game system.
Going off of that, it wouldn’t be too far off to guess that the specifications will be quite similar to the following listed from that Indiegogo page:Read More
Posted on October 4, 2015 by Kenny Keelan
Did you see IGN’s cheese fest of what Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain would look like if it were done using clips of pre-existing 80s movies? Did you like it? No, me neither. Yes, we get it, Solid Snake was based on the main protagonist of Escape from L.A. Kojima pulled a lot of influence from old-school action movies that he liked. Anyone who’s a big fan of Metal Gear is pretty familiar with that.
There’s someone out there, though, in YouTube land that pulled it off properly by making it look like a trailer straight out of the beginning of another movie’s VHS tape. It’s pretty grand, you should definitely check it out: