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How did Last Bronx not become a franchise?

PopetherevXXVIII

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I've been buying Saturn games like a madman. I'm replacing my US System with a Japanese system in a few months.

I finally got my hands on a game I've waited 2 decades to really dig into and that was Last Bronx. So Yesterday I got about 5 games in the Mail, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Cyber Bots, Last Bronx, Pocket Fighter and Sexy Parodius.I thought Last Bronx would be a game I play once then put away. But I found the fastest, deepest smoothest 3d fighter on the Saturn. The music is great, the Character designs, Fact it has a story, I'm enjoying this one. I have NO IDEA what the options screen says though.

I watched Kim Justice's fantastic documentary about How Page 3 girls were used in it's adverting and it was popular enough in Japan for a movie, but no sequels, It got a PS2 Sega Ages disc, but again no sequel.

They nailed it the first time, Sega could've had their Akira meets Soul Calibur here. But they didn't, what gives?

Fighting Vipers is clunky, Viruta FIghter on Saturn never quite felt right. DOA and my Framemister don;'t get along, Anarchy in the Nippon is a good time but has been dethroned by Last Bronx. I doubt DXhrid is going to wow me as much and we can ignore Toshinden.

Insight?
 
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JackalSpat

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Jun 2, 2019
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Last Bronx is truly one of the better looking and technically impressive Saturn games, It is a shame the system was already starting its death spiral by the time it hit the West.

If I had to speculate why it never took off as a franchise, I would argue that it was superseded in the arcade by the much more technologically advanced and popular Virtua Fighter 3 (which released only a month later!), the fighting system is largely derivative of Virtua Fighter, and that the Japanese-centric characters/storyline aren't particularly memorable.

As far as the the home release is concerned, I distinctly remember many Saturn gamers considering it a "hold over" release until Virtua Fighter 3 arrived--still considered an eventuality in late 1997--and while it received glowing reviews, it was just lost in the shadow of its far more influential cousin.
 

PopetherevXXVIII

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Of course now it's one of those stupid expensive games, while the import version is relatively cheap.
 

Cerv3ro

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I think it was due to the massive amount of Sega 3D fighting games in a short time, and all very arcade.
Technically is a very good game but at the time it was not enought to beat the game that was launch very close to it: Soul Blade.
Later, another 2 fighting games like VF Kis and Megamix so maybe people dind't saw nothing special on it and the sales may confirm this i guess.
 

Allie

The Original VF3 Fangirl™
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Based on the sheer amount of merchandise that exists, I think it's safe to conclude that Sega was either pushing hard for Last Bronx to succeed, or it became a genuine phenomenon in its native country. However, I don't believe the average western gamer would have cared much for its locations being genuine places around Tokyo or the character designs taking inspiration from actual Japanese fashion, so there was little point in Sega translating such things as the four-part radio drama collection and live action movie - not that spin-off titles of this kind had much impact overseas, beyond perhaps the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter franchises.

Another factor that probably didn't help Last Bronx was its arrival into arcades just as the infinitely superior Virtua Fighter 3 launched (though I would say that, right?) or the Saturn conversion being sandwiched between AM2's Fighters Megamix and the upcoming VF3, which of course failed to see the light of day anywhere. Also, I seem to recall quite a few gaming magazines unfairly comparing Last Bronx to Namco's Soul Edge, or Soul Blade as it was known here in the UK. Outside both prominently featuring weapons, I always felt they were quite different, though I can appreciate they were often lumped together for a very specific reason...

For a while in the 1990s, it seems as if the BBFC had a real bee in its proverbial bonnet when it came to media depictions of nunchaku, and while Soul Blade has this removed and a prominent 15 rating mark placed on its cover, Last Bronx received the same age rating, only without the inclusion of a BBFC or the same weapon being censored at all. Furthermore, there was a lot of buzz around the same time regarding Sega's ability to get Duke Nukem 3D passed uncut on the Saturn with a BBFC 18 mark. Along with the aforementioned Daily Star promotional campaign, did Sega perhaps hinder Last Bronx across Europe by catering to a more adult market?

I'd have loved a sequel to this game, but at least it's not been completely forgotten by Sega. In addition to forming part of the AGES 2500 series on PlayStation 2 in Japan a few years back, it's still possible we may see this one revisited in its original form now that Sega has perfected the art of emulating Model 2 games on modern platforms... Maybe it would be an ideal project for M2, or possibly as an arcade title in a future installment of the Yakuza series? As for a direct follow-up, where could the story have really gone except for adding new characters or even introducing a fresh roster brought together under similar circumstances?
 

PopetherevXXVIII

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Watch Ichiban play Last Bronx in Shin Yakuza.

Think about this, Toshinden has something like 5 games, Anarchy in the Nippon, a game I really like got a PSX sequel, Zero Divide got 3 games, Fighting Vipers got a sequel, Yet Last Bronx and Fighter's Megamix are one game wonders with the later being stuck on Saturn.
Even Pretty fighter some how became a francise and those games are horrible.

Imagine all the people they could put in a Fighter's Megamix 2 IF THEY WANTED TO MAKE IT.

I like Last Bronx a fair bit more than Virtua Fighter (Not counting 5 which is where the series both peaked and ended) and A LOT MORE than Fighting Vipers. It's probably as close as Sega got to the Speed Namco's fighters have.

Last Bronx is always going to be one of those great Sega Why? games, along with why Revenge of Death Adder never went to Saturn, Why very few Genesis games got follow ups on the Saturn, and Why Bernie Stolar was such a dick bag sabotaging the Saturn in the US......

But we'll leave those for another thread.
 

Allie

The Original VF3 Fangirl™
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While I can appreciate that many Sega fans were hoping that Fighters Megamix would become its in-house equivalent to The King Of Fighters, the Street Fighter Zero/Alpha series (which included characters from Final Fight) or the Smash Bros. series, this was only intended as a one-off. A detail that seems to have been forgotten is that AM2 was originally developing this one under the title of Fighting Festival, the end result being released not long after Sonic Team had delivered Christmas NiGHTS. Just as that "game" was a glorified sampler for NiGHTS with a new festive theme and the opportunity to push its underlying engine technology ever so slightly, it's clear that Megamix was built on the recent Saturn conversion of Fighting Vipers, only with a massively improved roster and even a similar bonus card game to that used in the aforementioned Christmas NiGHTS. However, where Sonic team's offering used this to present* a diverse range of additional modes plus more useless features, Megamix allowed you to simply build up a collection of CG portrait images, following on from these being something AM2 pushed heavily around the time of Virtua Fighter 2. Also, there's a feeling that Megamix was something of a stop-gap until the arrival of VF3 on Saturn, but we all know how that turned out...

*I didn't even notice this near-pun until I went to check my post before hitting the submit button!
 

Awbacon

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Sega really could capitalize on a KOF style game. Like 98 or 2002...the Dream Match entries.

Take your entire roster of fighting game characters (NO SONIC!) and pair it down to the best. Last Bronx, Virtua Fighter, throw in a few from Streets of Rage, etc etc etc.

Big 3D fighting game, 40+ character roster...shut up and take my money!
 

Getta Robo

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I'm afraid that's not in isolated incidence by Sega, but unfortunately they have a long recorded history upon abandoning or destroying their franchises.
Ecco the dolphin, Eternal champions, Alex Kid and the list goes on..
 

Allie

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May 30, 2019
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Sega really could capitalize on a KOF style game. Like 98 or 2002...the Dream Match entries.

Take your entire roster of fighting game characters (NO SONIC!) and pair it down to the best. Last Bronx, Virtua Fighter, throw in a few from Streets of Rage, etc etc etc.

Big 3D fighting game, 40+ character roster...shut up and take my money!

More than even another Fighters Megamix style crossover, I'd love for Sega's track record in the racing genre to receive a similarly celebratory treatment. While the licensed aspects of such classic franchises as OutRun, Daytona USA, Sega Rally, Indy 500, SCUD Race, Sega Touring Car, Motor Raid, Le Mans 24 and Sega GT may be difficult to acquire, there are so many iconic track designs that would make for a great "Drivers Megamix" style mashup (and that's without also taking into consideration Virtua Racing or the many additional circuits available in its home variations - this also applies to the Daytona series). At one point, didn't C&VG magazine even report on this as one of their annual April Fool hoaxes? I can dream...
 
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Tongara

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More than even another Fighters Megamix style crossover, I'd love for Sega's track record in the racing genre to receive a similarly celebratory treatment. While the licensed aspects of such classic franchises as OutRun, Daytona USA, Sega Rally, Indy 500, SCUD Race, Sega Touring Car, Motor Raid, Le Mans 24 and Sega GT may be difficult to acquire, there are so many iconic track designs that would make for a great "Drivers Megamix" style mashup (and that's without also taking into consideration Virtua Racing or the many additional circuits available in its home variations - this also applies to the Daytona series). At one point, didn't C&VG magazine even report on this as one of their annual April Fool hoaxes? I can dream...
Gotta have the Sonic R racers, too~ haha
 
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Allie

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I deliberately chose not to include Sonic R (or Metropolis Street Racer, for that matter) in my original list of potential games for a Drivers Megamix because I'd still like to see this revisited and expanded. Sonic R was so unique within Sega's racing heritage, and it's a real shame that Jon Burton stopped posting* new videos to his GameHut channel on YouTube, as I was really hoping he might produce a similar "director's cut" for Sonic R like the ROM patch he made to be applied over the original 16-bit version of Sonic 3D. At the very least, I'd been holding out for an official Sonic R level editor, though it's possible this may yet happen thanks to the Sonic fan community...

*From what I can tell, Jon backed off from sharing any further content when a proposed streaming platform he was heavily involved with started receiving a lot of criticism from a large number of his regular viewers.
 
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Tongara

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I deliberately chose not to include Sonic R (or Metropolis Street Racer, for that matter) in my original list of potential games for a Drivers Megamix because I'd still like to see this revisited and expanded. Sonic R was so unique within Sega's racing heritage, and it's a real shame that Jon Burton stopped posting* new videos to his GameHut channel on YouTube, as I was really hoping he might produce a similar "director's cut" for Sonic R like the ROM patch he made to be applied over the original 16-bit version of Sonic 3D. At the very least, I'd been holding out for an official Sonic R level editor, though it's possible this may yet happen thanks to the Sonic fan community...

*From what I can tell, Jon backed off from sharing any further content when a proposed streaming platform he was heavily involved with started receiving a lot of criticism from a large number of his regular viewers.
Yeah, I thought that was a shame, too...
Another thing that was a shame was that he never shared the high resolution versions of the level maps featured in the credits of the game, etc. He showed them in a video, and they were shared with the press at some point (leading to the low-res versions currently online, but yeah...
 
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Allie

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Yeah, I thought that was a shame, too...
Another thing that was a shame was that he never shared the high resolution versions of the level maps featured in the credits of the game, etc. He showed them in a video, and they were shared with the press at some point (leading to the low-res versions currently online, but yeah...

I could theoretically rip those maps from that video, but they'd suffer as a result of YouTube's compression. Besides, I've got higher resolution copies than it's possible to currently find online, even at Sonic Retro... Here you go:
 

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Tongara

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I could theoretically rip those maps from that video, but they'd suffer as a result of YouTube's compression. Besides, I've got higher resolution copies than it's possible to currently find online, even at Sonic Retro... Here you go:
Thank you, I appreciate them!
Yeah, taking then from the video sadly would npr produce tge greatest results due to Youtube compresdion, so until tge day comes where he finally releases them, these are lovely~ <3

The mentioned video for anyone confused, btw:
 

speedyink

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*From what I can tell, Jon backed off from sharing any further content when a proposed streaming platform he was heavily involved with started receiving a lot of criticism from a large number of his regular viewers.

And this is why we can't have nice things. Thanks, dumbass people who heckle ex developers into silence.
 

Tongara

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And this is why we can't have nice things. Thanks, dumbass people who heckle ex developers into silence.
Yeah, no... It was less about that and more about people disagreeing with the concept itself. He does atill post, just much more sparingly.

No one was "silenced" in this case, he just seemingly did not like the reaction to his "game streaming" service and how it was proposed to the public, and so has decided to take his toys and leave the playground.
 
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speedyink

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Yeah, no... It was less about that and more about people disagreeing with the concept itself. He does atill post, just much more sparingly.

No one was "silenced" in this case, he just seemingly did not like the reaction to his "game streaming" service and how it was proposed to the public, and so has decided to take his toys and leave the playground.

Yeah this does seem totally different compared to some past cases then, in which case my post seems like an over reaction. The whole thing does sound interesting though..
 
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