As the Sega obsessive among the Mages, I offered to look at three franchises that never made it to 3D on the Sega side of the fence…continuing the countdown that The Well-Red Mage began….
28 – Favourite game developer?
Do you even have to ask me?
Yes, Nintendo are more innovative and Sony have dominated the market for 20 years or so…but if you mention gaming to me, I’ll always think Sega first.
I grew up with Sega machines (the Master System and Mega Drive) and though I moved over to Sony when the Mega Drive started to wind down in 1997, the 8-bit and 16-bit Sega consoles made a huge impression on me. Part of that reason was the games Sega made.
I think the reason that Sega games made such an impression on me is simply down to the fact they were immediate and fun. Sega was an arcade developer and I think that carried over into their console games. When reading about Sega on the internet, a few years ago, I heard the term ‘blue skies gaming’ used and I couldn’t agree more. Sega games seem like they are set in a world where it’s always sunny, there’s no stress and you can simply pick up a pad and play.
Games like Crazy Taxi, Outrun and Super Hang On are great examples of this – all racing games, but based around the sheer adrenaline of getting to the next goal, music blaring as the wind hits your face. There’s no unnecessary details, no complicated mechanics to learn. You can simply pick up the game and play it. That’s something I miss in modern gaming – I don’t want an epic tutorial, let me learn how to play the game myself! I love any game that is ‘simple to play but hard to master’ – anything that rewards skill and practice!
I know Sega have made their mistakes over the past 25 years, but I’d miss them if they weren’t around. Their legacy is a great one and I wish we could see more of it. I like what Sega Forever are doing, but there are so many more games they could release. Still, it’s better than nothing I guess.
At the start of December, I asked to be part of Adventure Rules’ event ‘Charming and Open.’ His explanation of the event is as follows;
“Charming and Open is inspired by a move of the same name in the tabletop RPG Dungeon World. In the game, it allows a character to ask a direct question and get an honest answer, but there’s a catch – in speaking openly enough to ask that question, they give the target the opportunity to ask a question on the same terms. This idea of an open exchange of questions to which both parties must give an honest answer is the basis of the community event”
So, I asked him what his redress would be – was there a game he wanted to complete but had missed out on?
The question posed to me was;
“What are your dream game announcements for 2018, the ones you wouldn’t even think were possible but would be the most exciting if they were real?”
I wasn’t too sure of the answer at first. See, I’m not really someone who thinks too much about new games. I’m a scavenger when it comes to games , I simply play what I can get hold of, whether it’s cheap or in my backlog.
Then, someone said something on Twitter that instantly captured my imagination. A bit of investigation got me thinking. I’m going to steal from The Well-Red Mage here, just to show you the exact quote that I found during my investigation…
“OutRun 3 is not on plan at the moment but it is something that is on our radar.”
Paul Williams, CEO of Sega Amusements International, interview with T3, 16 December 2017
I loved Outrun and Outrun 2, but had forgotten about them, confident that the series had quietly come to an end. I hadn’t entertained the idea of an Outrun 3, convinced that SEGA are now only really interested in Sonic, Football Manager and retro reissues. Not remaking classic IPs.
But…then I’m forgetting how much Outrun 2 surprised me. It’s the perfect sequel – it keeps the good things from the original Outrun (beautiful ‘blue sky’ graphics, amazing soundtrack and chilled arcade gameplay) and improves the weaknesses of the original (more depth added, more locations, more options, more modes, improved controls). To illustrate a point, I proudly took my copy of Outrun 2 around a friend’s house…only to realise that it’s not a 2 player game. I simply hadn’t thought about it…Outrun 2 was such great escapism that I hadn’t entertained the idea that I might one day want someone else to play it with me. Truthfully, Outrun 2 doesn’t need a 2 player mode…it’s the perfect escape from everyday life.
Enough about the past though. Outrun 3 is the future I’m dreaming of now. In my head, it’s the launch game for the new Sega console…I know, I know. Realistically, it’s the best arcade racer ever. Great ‘blue skies’ graphics, an update of one of gaming’s best soundtracks…but now with even more cars, locations, competitions. Maybe even an open world story mode where you finally find out why you’re racing a car across a country with your girlfriend in tow? Actually…no, scrap that, leave that sort of thing to Need of Speed….
So yeah, Outrun 3 is my answer…I’m not going to hold my breath though…..
🎶 22 December 2017: It’s now Christmas Eve and you’re throwing a lively party for all your friends, family and favourite characters. Which video game soundtracks would be on your playlist?
There are so many good video game soundtracks to chose from. I’m not really a soundtrack person though – I like hearing real musicians play songs from games…Sega games!
I’d definitely say the Outrun soundtrack…an all time gaming classic. Let the SST Band, comprised of Sega in-house musicians, show you a Passing Breeze!
Another Sega game I love is Super Hang On. I raved about the sound track to this recently as part of the 30 Day Video Game Challenge. Here is Tetrimino with their take on Outride A Crisis…it’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard.
Of course, no party is complete without 1) moshing and 2) Altered Beast. So I’d let Brazilian metallers Megadriver take us out….
🎅 21 December 2017: You receive a call from Santa, as the elves desperately need a hand in the workshop getting all the toys ready. Which video game character would you recruit to help out?
There is only one creature able to help out in this situation….
That’s right – I’d call in Sonic The Hedgehog to help Santa out! There’s a few good reasons…
- He’s really really quick
- He does have experience of ice and places covered in ice.
- He has lots of friends – might be good for some of them to make themselves useful for a change…
- It might get him away from the Mario vs Sonic Olympic games Nintendo keep bringing out.
- He’d probably do it for pizza and some gold rings.
So, in closing, I think it’s the best option for both mankind and Sonic. We get our presents and Sonic gets pizza, rings and an excuse not to be involved in sporting mini games…
19: Picture of a game setting you wished you lived in?
An easy one for me this – as someone who hates the cold and lives in England, there are lots of tropical places I could move to!
However, there is one winner for me, just for sheer variety of locations.
Yup, it’s the beautiful world of Outrun 2. The above is the first stage which looks fantastic. I’d happily live there, in Palm Beach, watching sports cars race about and humming ‘Magical Sound Shower.’
The other reason I’d live in Outrun 2’s world is because I could do some great sight seeing. Bored of the beach? Then I’d race down the road to this city complete with Sonic statue, in about ten minutes. Why does a city have a giant Sonic statue anyway? I’m not complaining, but I’d love to have been at the planning meeting where the idea of building a statue of a giant blue hedgehog was proposed and passed!
So yeah, Palm Beach in Outrun 2’s world is where I’d like to live. Anyway, back to the cold of Northern England….
👪 20 December 2017: You’re wrapping presents while listening to cheesy festive tunes, and start to reminisce about holidays past. What’s your favourite Christmas gaming memory?
An easy answer for me this – Christmas 1994, when I got my Mega Drive.
I remember it so well…it was Christmas Eve and our presents were out on the table in the corner, ready for Christmas Day. My main present was a big box shaped present…it was obviously a Mega Drive, but my ten year old mind was suffering some serious anxiety over this. I wanted a Mega Drive so badly…I had decided that I needed to move on from the Master System (the Master System would remain with me and my family until 2010, so don’t feel too sorry for it!) and upgrade…I was ready for 16-bit!
So…I had a discreet feel of the box. Surprisingly though, I couldn’t tell if the present contained a Mega Drive by touch alone. Oh no….so, I discreetly tore part of the wrapping off the present. Just at the back where no-one could see. Underneath, there was a black section of cardboard with the familar ‘white wire’ design. This confirmed that I was to be the proud owner of a Mega Drive and I relaxed.
Cue Christmas Day and after being ‘surprised’ by my new Mega Drive, I spent a fun day playing all my new games…Chuck Rock, Sonic 1…and Kid Chameleon, amongst others. Despite Kid Chameleon, I had a great day and finished with a all-nighter (well, until 10pm…I was ten!) on European Club Soccer, a game I considered to be amazing thanks to it’s kit design feature and cheery 90’s music.
In hindsight, it was a great day and I can’t say I’ve ever quite had a Christmas Day as exciting in terms of gaming. I can remember what I got every Christmas, but nothing was as good as that year…to get such a great system and so many good games (and Kid Chameleon) was a really memorable experience for me.
You know, maybe I should get a Mega Drive and European Club Soccer for this Christmas, so I can relive that great Christmas?