Friday Nov 04, 2011
Shinobi on Nintendo 3DS is nearly here! We’re in the launch month, only two weeks away (depending on your region) from the launch of the game. As we build up, we have some content that I think everyone who is interested in the title will enjoy, starting with a blog introducing a few of the team from Griptonite! We asked the team to prepare a few answers to some important questions with anecdotes from their past.
Enjoy the two parts to this blog and we’ve even got some special concept art peppered in for your enjoyment!
Tell us a bit about Griptonite, what is your design philosophy?
Griptonite has always been a very versatile studio that has produced a wide variety of game genres. We’re probably best known for our side-scrolling gameplay featured in games like Spider-Man Web of Shadows, Assassin’s Creed II: Discoveries and Spyro: The Eternal Night. These games all share a similar combat system where an emphasis is placed on fluid controls and high-action 2D combat with a premium placed on timing. The goal is to reward the skilled player while still allowing the “button-masher” a great experience.
What’s it like working on Shinobi? What does Shinobi mean to you?
Kris Durrschmidt – Lead Designer – “I grew up with four younger brothers in a fairly poor military family. So I only got a video game (sometimes two!) for the most part on Christmas or on my birthday. We were also a SEGA family. We were the envy of the neighborhood with our Master System! Our living room was always crowded with friends waiting to get their turns at playing the original Shinobi, Afterburner, Hang-On, Outrun and many other SEGA hits.
Our family moved onto the Genesis in 1989. The first time I popped in Altered Beast that came with the system back then, my mind was BLOWN. I mean seriously! Those sprites were so amazingly HUGE and detailed! I was a freshman in high school when I got Revenge of Shinobi on the SEGA Genesis for my birthday. That game was a turning point in my life. Revenge of Shinobi is THE game that made me want to work in video games when I “grew up”. I spent my summers dreaming up all sorts of Shinobi art, scenarios and watching tons of Sho Kosugi ninja movies!
I was so excited for Shinobi III that when I heard it was coming I decided it was time to get a job at McDonald’s so I could afford to get it the day it came out. Shinobi III is still in my personal top ten games of all time list. The balance and thought that went into the design of Shinobi III, is in my mind, near perfection. I still regularly play this game. It is on my Genesis right next to my desk!
Fast forward many years, military service and 10 years with Griptonite Games and I finally got a shot of a lifetime working on a game franchise that defined my young adulthood.
When Shinobi got the green light to be developed, it didn’t take too long before it really hit me hard about how epic this responsibility was. I realized there were millions of people out there, just like me that love Shinobi to death and would be furious if something went wrong with their favorite franchise. It is this realization that drives every single decision that the team made (sometimes really “passionate” debates) and kept me up a lot at night.
I could talk forever about Shinobi and my favorite SEGA games, but to the point, everyone behind the development of this Shinobi game is a huge fan of SEGA and the Shinobi franchise. We made the Shinobi game that we wanted to play (we crammed a lot of goodness into this one!) and we hope that everyone else who is also a fan of Shinobi would recognize and enjoy what we have created.”
Brandon Gillam – Lead Artist – When I was assigned Lead Artist on Shinobi, my brain exploded. I have been a fan of the series from the beginning. We used to play Shinobi Arcade with our plastic katanas in our t-shirts back in the day. I wanted to keep the look clean and simple, so the gameplay and difficulty could take center stage. I wanted to design our hero with a techy edge, as Maeda-san did as well. The final product has that infuriating die and die again gameplay that made the arcade so fun. To me, that is the essence of the franchise and my colleagues really delivered on the “be a REAL ninja, or die” mentality that old games are known for, but we’ve added plenty of goodies and combat moves that give the fighting a modern feel. It’s pretty intense walking into an IP this legendary, but I feel we’ve done it justice.
Taron Millet – Gameplay Programmer – Everyone on the team was a big fan of the classic Shinobi games (particularly Shinobi III on the Genesis), though personally I also really enjoyed the PS2 Shinobi for its own sake. I often feel modern games are missing the charm – and the challenge – that Shinobi once offered, so it was a great opportunity to bring that style of gameplay to a new system like the Nintendo 3DS and show that classic game design still has a lot to offer. The designers and I carefully studied what exactly made games like Shinobi III so great and incorporated as much of that as possible, but at the same time we looked at what things people didn’t like so much and found ways to improve upon those, as well as adding in the great features expected in modern games like achievements and unlockables. I truly believe that anyone who enjoyed the classic side-scrolling Shinobi games are going to love what we’ve done here once they get their hands on it!
More to come!
Check back next week for more questions and more concept art!
Wednesday Nov 02, 2011
Right before Comic-con earlier in the year, we were struggling to find some art that we could use that would fit a three color screen print. Asking around and knocking on some digital doors we came across some amazing Shinobi art that was not only a perfect fit, it was totally badass. You might have seen the art across our updates leading up to Comic-con show in San Diego:
While getting the art organized and set for the show, I had an ongoing conversation with Kris about his work, because frankly, I think it’s awesome. Kris let me in on a secret – he had been preparing the art for a comic, just in his free time, just for fun. You see, Kris is a big fan of Shinobi, in fact the entire Griptonite team is, and the passion for the game sometimes comes out in unexpected ways. In this case, it was one of the slickest looking art pieces I’d seen for the title. So, with a bit of prep and planning, we’re very happy to post this for all to view. Many thanks again go out to Kris for making this happen!
Be sure to click in and view each image in flickr, the images here are at half size here on the blog and it deserves to be admired at full resolution.
Monday Oct 24, 2011
This week we have a special reveal of something I am very excited about – a digital comic that serves as a mini-prequel to the story of Shinobi 3DS. You might have caught some of the art amongst our updates, such as the Comic-con poster we printed on site. The art is from Griptonite lead designer Kris Durrschmidt and is fantastic, highly detailed, and a true fit for the Shinobi franchise. We think you’ll agree.
Facebook Comic Reveal
We’re starting with the first three panels today and will be rolling out the rest across Facebook until Thursday. Click page 1 below to be whisked away to the Facebook page with panels 2 and 3! Check back each day for an update, we’ll have updates each day until Thursday!
Wednesday Oct 05, 2011
New York Comic Con is coming up soon. What’s SEGA up to at the show? Well, we’ve got a few things up our sleeves. Although we don’t have our own booth on the convention floor this year, there will be SEGA games to play!
You can play Sonic Generations in the Archie booth (1630), as well as the Nintendo booth (1538). We had great crowds for the game at Archie’s booth at San Diego Comic Con, and we know New York can step up!
You can also play Shinobi in the Nintendo booth (1538).
Party with SEGA and Heavy.com Thursday Night
We’ve teamed up with Heavy.com to throw the Dead Man’s Ball for The House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut! After preview night at Comic Con, get your House of the Dead costumes on (encouraged, but not required) and head over to Marquee to party with us!
Where: Marquee, 289 10th Avenue (between 26th & 27th St), New York NY
When: Thursday, October 13th from 9pm until midnight
It just wouldn’t be a trip to NYC without Aaron (RubyEclipse) and I having Junior’s Cheesecake at least once.. and this trip will be no exception. I’ve been a fan of theirs for years, and at I introduced him to to the wonders of Junior’s at New York Comic Con 2009. It was a particularly stressful show for a few (not important) reasons, and as we walked back to our hotel after the last day of the show, I looked at him and simply said “follow me. You need cheesecake.” He resisted at first, but then we ended up with this.
… and then last year at NYCC, there was this.
With many other slices of cheesecake (and even ordering it to be FedExed to us and bringing it home on planes) in between.
You can bet that we’ll keep the food blog going while we’re in NYC!
Friday Sep 30, 2011
Our newest Shinobi 3DS trailer features new and exciting information – yes, no exaggeration – fans of the Shinobi series will be able to play as the legendary Joe Musashi! As part of the Street Pass features within the new Shinobi game, players will guide Joe through a series of challenges that are just as deadly as his first outing in the arcades. Deadly not only for the maps themselves, but the one-hit-death mechanics at play that mirror that of the original arcade Shinobi. Check the trailer for more:
See those glowing red walls? Ya, those are bad and quite a challenge to get through. Don’t be fooled by a trailer that has a clean playthrough, you’ll find these maps to be extra tough! As always, feedback, we love it – post away!
Friday Sep 16, 2011
Updates from the Tokyo Game Show! Today is the official start of the consumer days from the Japanese show, but for the last two days the SEGA team has been on site demoing for press and business alike. Unlike most shows where it’s either a consumer focus or a business focus (like E3, for example) – TGS merges the two for a full featured show. Today’s blog is a wrap up from the last two days of floor time, including photos, updates, and more food!
The TGS Show Floor
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from the Tokyo Game Show in presentation and layout. I’ve done a fair amount of shows, most of the big ones, and the TGS show floor definitely a bit different. The show is in a massive hall spread out amongst two large hangar style areas, featuring massive booths from the top publishers, and smaller booths peppered in from smaller devs and companies.
I had a chance to walk the floor a bit before the show started and get some shots of the SEGA space before anyone came into play. The layout is very clean and leads you quickly from one game to the next, with queues for each. Each game also features a special gift at the end of play, a reward or a thank you for the time spent. Check the end of the blog for the full merch photo!
Binary Domain was a big focus of the show for SEGA, with a massive booth that had both upstairs play areas, and secluded downstairs rooms for the voice recognition features. In the game, you can direct your team to execute on tactics entirely through voice commands. Of course this is not required, you can use the controller as well, but in the heat of battle it’s far more efficient to call out tactics rather than stop and direct – it works quite well!
Special Gift – A Binary Domain pen was given out to players who played the demo. Part mechanical, part not, naturally…
Anarchy Reigns, or Max Anarchy as it’s known in Japan, was a drawing quite a crowd during the show and for good reason – it’s PlatinumGames after all. The demo was similar to the E3 code, with a timed four player brawl and multiple characters to choose from. Having wrecked folks at the E3 show with Zero, I thought I’d have another go with Jack and see how I did – not so good this time haha. I didn’t do the worst, but had fun and enjoyed seeing player’s eyes light up with big, signature moves from the characters.
Special Gift – Jack’s Golden Chainsaw was passed out in the form of a thin metal book mark – but it also includes a code to unlock this golden edition within the final game!
This panoramic shot from the booth gives you a sense of the hallway that goes through the middle. Next to Anarchy Reigns is Puyo-pop, Sonic Generations, Shinobi. It eventually leads back out to Phantasy Star Online 2 and the front area of the SEGA booth.
Shinobi was quite popular on the floor as well, and I couldn’t help but jump in and play a bit myself. I know this game and play it regularly, so the rep was a bit surprised when they started to tell me how to play, I realized I was actually a bit better than they expected. The gameplay is tight and fluid, it’s fun to pick up and have a go, it was excellent to have another pass at it.
Special Gift – Shinobi featured a glossy sticker from some of the high res art for the game.
Recently announced Rhythm Thief was on display and was massively fun. The booth area was really slick as well, with many differnet stations set up to play the game, maybe 20 in total. I can’t stop gushing about how much fun the demo was, the only thing I didn’t like was the fact that I couldn’t understand any of the dialog.
The game is a Rhythm game, as the title suggests, but with excellent story told through cutscenes as well as exploration around town. Once you explore the town, you can jump into missions which feature different Rhythm based games. For example, the first section featured dancing with timed swipes of the touch pad for moves. Depending on how well you did, the ranking would go up and you’d be rewarded with a slick animation transition. Another section was almost steath style, as you moved in a museum area after hours and dodged guards. Statues would appear on a side scrolling path and you’d match pose of the statue to evade the guard’s gaze. Really fun and very stylized, it’s a big game on my list for the 3DS.
Special Gift – A tote bag that is amazing and a special gift for Kellie when I return to the office. Check the end of the blog for a photo; so cool! These bags were carried around everywhere on the show floor.
Phantasy Star Online 2 was packed and for good reason – it’s awesome. As a huge Phantasy Star fan myself, it was great to see the game being played and loved by so many. My roots with the SEGA office are tied to the Phantasy Star Series, so I had a chance to meet a lot of the folks I’ve worked with over the years and watch the game from afar. Really loving the look and feel of the game so far, and as a fanboy, will be watching this title for every update.
Black Panther 2 was shown on the floor, as well as the ladies from the game across a fairly extravagant seating area. I’m afraid I didn’t get a chance to play with the game, but the booth was quite crowded and seemed very popular.
Special Gift – Axe Body wipes. No really. They feature a fantastic image of a guy on a subway with a swooning girl on the seat next to him. Photos of this will be postes as soon as I get this back from my friend.
Each of the larger companies at TGS had a stage for presentations. Featured above is Nagoshi-san, discussing all elements from the upcoming Binary Domain. There was also a live demo of the voice commands for your squad from the demo on the floor and a longer trailer outlinging the story of the game. Really good presentation, Binary Domain is looking like a fantastic title. The pace of the game is slower, and while I’ve seen comparisons to Vanquish, you’ll find it’s more tactical and team focused, than the PlatinumGames release. The more I see of the game, the more I like it.
At the end of the show, the girls that were on staff for all of the booths line up for a photo opportunity with media and consumers. I honestly thought this was a joke when someone told me it was going to happen, but sure enough, here it is. As random as this was, it seems the best way to end on the overall show coverage from the SEGA booth!
Special Gifts and Collectibles!
Behind Closed Doors
I asked if I could take photos or blog the stuff behind the scenes, see Wouter’s response below:
Even though this blog is massive already, I’m still going to post food from the past two days – it’s just too delicious out here. Seriously, if nothing else, go to Japan for the food, everything I’ve had has been great.
We’ve managed to eat Izakaya twice now on the trip and looking at the photos above, you should have a clear understanding why. The style is a mix of different types of foods, from Sashimi, to sushi, to gyoza, to … well to everything honestly. This is the perfect end of day meal, as we can sit around and relax at a slower pace and order food to share amongst the table. Lots of different things to taste and try.
This is a shot from lunch at TGS with Wouter and Tokuhara-san, the producer on Super Monkey Ball Vita. They are both eating shake chicken, or chicken shake … or … Ok, so you get a cup with battered and fried chicken inside and the spice / flavor in as well. Shake the chicken in the cup to mix it all up and eat from there. It’s pretty interesting presentation and both confirmed, quite good as well.
Vending machines in Japan are everywhere, with all sorts of of flavors and styles. I bought this solely because it was adorable and I’m not even that big of a apple juice! It was still quite good and still many more things to try!
More to come!
If you’ve made it this far – thank you! It’s been really fun to write these updates and I hope you’ve been enjoying them. I’m planning to one more based on today’s activities and general city exploration – we’ll see how that turns out!
If you’ve got questions on anything, do let me know – can’t promise I can answer all, but I’ll be happy to try!
Wednesday Sep 07, 2011
We are very happy to unveil the newest Trailer for our upcoming Shinobi on the Nintendo 3DS!
Action, platforming, and difficulty all return in the newest Shinobi release; faithful fans will be satisfied, while newcomers to the series will see what all the fuss has been about.
Wednesday Aug 17, 2011
I am, without a doubt, very excited for the upcoming Shinobi game and am always happy when I get to post up new information about the game. Having seen first hand the work that Griptonite has put into the title, I know that fans of Shinobi and fans of action games are going to be all over the title. In fact, I don’t have to wonder about what reactions will be – I know from our events at E3 and San Diego Comic-con! Feedback from the demo has been nothing short of fantastic and folks that play love it.
Today, we have new screens up showing off a few new environments and a teaser for one of the first bosses you encounter:
We have a few more screens tucked away in our Flickr account, head on over and take a look. As always, you feedback is especially important to us – so let us know what you think of the recent release!
Friday Jun 03, 2011
E3 is just a few days away ( #SegaE3 ), and we’re excited to announce our roster of titles to be shown! We will have more than 13 new games across all major platforms, including several games in stunning stereoscopic 3D, support for PlayStation Move for the PlayStation 3, Kinect for the Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS. The lineup spans multiple genres and includes adaptations of blockbuster film franchises, an original squad-based shooter from the creative mind of some of SEGA’s most popular franchises, the first “M-rated” game on Kinect, AAA digital titles, an all-new title from critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames, and many more!
Also, as you probably know by now, we’ll celebrate this year’s 20th birthday of Sonic the Hedgehog with Sonic Boom, featuring Sonic Generations™ on Wednesday, June 8th, 6PM PST at the Club NOKIA in Downtown Los Angeles.
We’ll be posting lots of blogs, Facebook updates, and tweets during the show! We want to hear what you think, so please use the hashtag #SegaE3 for tweets about all of our E3 activity, including our games, our booth, and Sonic Boom!
The list of titles in display at SEGA’s E3 booth (South Exhibit Hall, Booth 2023) includes among others:
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Aliens: Colonial Marines (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) – Launch Date: Spring 2012
From the award-winning first-person shooter powerhouse Gearbox Software comes Aliens: Colonial Marines, the highly anticipated horror-based action FPS set in the Aliens universe with cooperative multiplayer at its core. Bringing new levels of bone-chilling suspense and adrenaline-filled action to the renowned franchise, the game pits players against the universe’s ultimate alien killing machines, the Xenomorphs, in claustrophobic environments guaranteed to produce horrifying shocks and surprises.
ANARCHY REIGNS (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ) – Launch Date: January 2012
ANARCHY REIGNS is the much anticipated next title from critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames. With ANARCHY REIGNS, PlatinumGames will be using their hallmark creativity and technical excellence to challenge the boundaries of the conventional brawler genre by allowing multiple players to get involved in heavy-hitting action simultaneously. ANARCHY REIGNS incorporates a diverse range of multiplayer modes to provide players with different challenges, including a co-op survival mode and an all-out Battle Royal mode, where players can challenge others in a full-on fight for victory. Additionally, all modes will be available as offline single-player experiences as well. In the single player campaign mode, players can choose between Jack and Leo for different story experiences.
Binary Domain (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Launch Date: Early 2012
Binary Domain is an original IP by Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator behind some of SEGA’s most well-known video game franchises, including the critically acclaimed Yakuza series. The atmospheric squad-based shooter puts players in the middle of a fast-paced and intense battle against hordes of deadly robots, and a secret that could threaten all mankind. Fighting upward through the derelict lower levels of 2080 Tokyo into the beautiful upper city, players control an international Special Forces squad, specializing in covert ops, which sets out to battle to the heart of the crisis.
Captain America: Super Soldier
Captain America: Super Soldier (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS) – Launch Date: (US) July 19; (EU) July, 15, 2011; 3DS in Fall 2011
Become Captain America, the ultimate Super-Soldier, in the darkest days of World War II as you face the Red Skull and his army in this epic third-person action adventure. Wield Captain America’s legendary shield to take out multiple enemies at once, deflect incoming fire back at your enemies, solve puzzles, and scale walls. Above all, hurl yourself shield-first into the fray, with the superior force of the world’s first Super-Soldier at your fingertips. Engage in devastating open combat and acrobatic platforming to infiltrate Hydra’s massive and mysterious castle complex and battle the infamous Iron Cross, the forces of Hydra, and a host of nefarious enemies serving the Red Skull in an all-new Captain America story and adventure.
CRUSH3D (Nintendo 3DS) – Launch Date: (US) September 6, (EU) September 9, 2011
Redesigned for Nintendo 3DS, CRUSH3D is the unique platform game that gives you the ability to change perspective from 2D to 3D as you try to solve brain-teasing puzzles. Built on the foundation of the award winning CRUSH, CRUSH3D features a host of exciting new features specifically designed for the Nintendo 3DS system, including new locations, characters and an intuitive hint system. Navigate across the surreal platforms of Danny’s mind by ‘crushing’ your way from a 2-dimensional to a 3-dimensional world and back again whenever you need to.
Guardian Heroes (Xbox LIVE Arcade) – Launch Date: Late Summer 2011
Coming exclusively to Xbox LIVE® Arcade, get ready for more swords and sorcery than you can shake your magical staff at. An ancient evil threatens the world after years of peace. Step into the shoes of one of five mighty heroes; each with their own unique attacks and customizable stats. As you fight through forests, graveyards, castles and volcanoes, your every decision will decide the ultimate fate of the world. Do you have what it takes to be a Guardian Hero? Due out this summer, Guardian Heroes features Co-Op and Online play for you and your friends, multiple game modes, optimized graphics, and brand new achievements for Xbox LIVE.
House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut
House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut (PlayStation Move for PlayStation 3) – Launch Date: (US) October 25, (EU) October 28, 2011
The pulp-style reinvention of the classic light-gun shooter comes to the PlayStation 3 in this exclusive Extended Cut with an avalanche of new content including brand new levels, weapons, mutants and more. Experience the over-the-top, mutant blasting madness with your PlayStation Move motion controller for PS3 all in stunning 3D and re-mastered HD graphics.
Renegade Ops (Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC digital download) – Launch Date: 2011
Created by Swedish developer Avalanche Studios, Renegade Ops will unleash unprecedented mayhem and exhilarating destruction. Players are sent behind enemy lines in a mobile commando unit to defeat Inferno, a madman intent on global domination. Defeat enemies across a range of stunning environments using a wide variety of vehicles and weapons, from dispersing electromagnetic shock waves to the deployment of a huge Gatling gun armed to the teeth. Players have the choice to fight alone in single-player mode, team up offline with two-player split screen or join the dynamic 4-player online co-op experience.
Rise of Nightmares
Rise of Nightmares (Kinect for Xbox 360) – Launch Date: TBA
Rise of Nightmares offers a spine-tingling horror experience unique to the massively successful Kinect. Using their whole body the player will experience fear and tension as never before in this first-person horror adventure. Fight off hordes of undead creatures and mad scientists in this uniquely horror themed adventure that sees players desperately searching for their kidnapped wife.
SEGA Rally Online Arcade
SEGA Rally Online Arcade (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Launch Date: Out Now on Xbox LIVE Arcade, Coming Soon on PlayStation Network)
When was the last time you enjoyed getting dragged through the mud? Race through five different types of terrain in more rally-bred vehicles than a baker can shake his dozen at – including the Ford Focus RS, the classic Lancia Delta Integrale and the ferocious Bowler Nemesis. Play through a slew of modes including Time Trials, Single Races, and Championship Events. Cut to the chase and face off online in a variety of 6 Player multiplayer racing events – isn’t it about time you showed your friends who’s numero uno?
Shinobi (Nintendo 3DS) – Launch Date: September 2011
Shinobi for the Nintendo 3DS sees the eagerly anticipated return of the legendary Shinobi. We follow our hero, Jiro Musashi, through a wide variety of exotic locations as he battles his way past hordes of enemies using magical Ninja powers in this intense action-filled title. Shinobi will include some classic gameplay elements found in previous Shinobi titles, while introducing several exciting new features and experiences specifically designed to take advantage of the technology offered by the Nintendo 3DS system.
Sonic Generations (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS) – Launch Date: Holiday 2011
Delivering the definitive gaming experience for Sonic fans old and new and part of the celebrations for Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th Anniversary, Sonic Generations sees Sonic the Hedgehog playable as both the much loved classic 1991 character, and the modern day video game hero he has become. In this exciting new fast paced adventure set across three defining eras from 20 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, you can now speed through some of the most iconic environments, playing as Classic Sonic in re-imagined 2D side scrolling levels, and as Modern Sonic in all new, stunning 3D levels.
Where to Find Us
SEGA will be located at BOOTH 2023 in the South Exhibit Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Posted by Kellie in Aliens: Colonial Marines, Anarchy Reigns, Binary Domain, Captain America: Super Soldier, CRUSH3D, E3 2011, Guardian Heroes, House of the Dead: Overkill - Extended Cut, Renegade Ops, SEGA, Shinobi, Sonic Boom, Sonic Generations, XBox Live Arcade on 9:17:11AM Jun 03, 2011 | Comments (63)
Wednesday Apr 20, 2011
In case you’ve missed it we have, right now, a huge selection of our Xbox Live Arcade titles on sale — 19 in all, as well as all avatar items discounted until April 25th. The full list of discounted titles with old and new prices is below, so let’s get to that:
And, as I said, all of the avatar items are discounted as well. There is what I would call a plethora — a wealth — of titles here; a wide variety. Something for everyone!
Many of these — particularly those involving rapid hedgehogs — you are all quite familiar with. They need no introduction. Some of these I feel compelled to call out: I had almost forgotten some existed on XBLA until now, and others are simply games I love to talk about at every opportunity.
For the record, many Sonic games are on sale. By which I mean, all of them. Sonic and the 2nd one and the one with Knuckles and the other one with Knuckles; Sonic 4 and the one with Knuckles and Big the Cat.
After Burner Climax
There is never a wrong time for After Burner Climax — it represents both SEGA’s arcade lineage and some of the most mind-bending arcade technology ever delivered. For me, it reaches back to one of my favorite 80s games, the 8-bit version of the original arcade title. A challenging game that invites you to blaze through it over and over, in glorious HD.
Phantasy Star II
Honor bound to mention this title, as I continue to represent the series to this day and the originals are some of the finest examples of the genre. A step up from the insidious grinding of the Master System original, Phantasy Star 2 has excellent heroes and villains to spend your time with.
Cyber Troopers Virtual On Oratorio Tangram
One of the first titles I ever wrote about as a Community Manager here, this is one I’d nearly forgotten about. Seeing it on sale a) warms my heart and b) makes me want to turn into a giant robot and blow other robots up. This game boasts one of the most awesome titles on XBLA and is, in fact, one of the coolest games in the genre. That genre is “robots who fight each other”; with multiplayer and a pedigree from the finest in Japanese robot battlin’ entertainment, what are you waiting for?
Streets of Rage 2
Because it’s Streets of Rage 2, for goodness sakes. The best side-scrolling brawler of the 90s, and therefore, of all-time. The music was excellent, and it was incredibly realistic, in that you could heal yourself by turkey legs concealed under breakable objects while fighting off swarms of thugs with co-ordinated names and jean jackets. I’ve heard Tokyo is actually a lot like this.
Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure
The advanced guard of the Dreamcast’s digital return — Sonic and friends adventure across the expanse of the Dreamcast platform in Sonic Adventure, in a unique combination of high speed action, epic story, and puzzle-based adventure. Meanwhile, Crazy Taxi turns you loose on streets that unmistakably pay homage to my own city of San Francisco, featuring an incredibly realistic driving sim of what it is actually like to drive in this city arcade-fueled driving mayhem. For the screenshot here, I picked my favorite one — the one where the car is driving fast and all crazy, and in which you are making crazy money.
Ecco the Dolphin
The most eerie, haunting, difficult, and enchanting game you could possibly have devised of an adorable dolphin searching for his lost pod. Rumors of a next gen sequel are unconfirmed as of press time.
The original, the arcade version, the quarter taking, green ninja wasting, shuriken flinging, advancing wall of spinning-head boss-round having, Joe Musashi-introducing master of side-scrolling 2D old-school excellence. I remember playing this one in the local Safeway back in nineteen eighty-something, thinking I could master it because I had the Master System version at home. I was wrong. This one is hard. Ninjitsu!
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