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The pressing Sega Questions...

PopetherevXXVIII

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After my Last Bronx thread I got thinking, because I'm in a transitional period and have way too much time on my hands......


Anyways There are many great mysteries with Sega we can discuss. Some of these are mine, some of these people have brought up over the years. Yes, some of these are joke questions I still expect answers to....

Why didn't Revenge of Death Adder get a Saturn Port?

Why was Sega so reckless with their source code?

Why didn't the Saturn get any follow ups to Genesis classics?

If the Dreamcast is thinking, what is it thinking about?

Why wasn't Phil Collins and or Peter Gabriel involved in Genesis Marketing?

Why did Bernie Stolar sabotage the Sega Saturn? He was an Ex Sony Employee....Mole?

What ever happened to all those planned Saturn Ports to the PS1 Sega discussed?

Why Streets of Rage 4 now when Sega shut down at least 3 other attempts to make it?

Why do Sonic fans get Sonic game design better than Sonic team does?

Why are Sonic fans so annoying?

Is Sonic Lost World Sonic Xtreme?

Will Ryu Ga Gotoku studio ever realize there's more Shinjuku beyond Kabukicho?

Why couldn't Sega Of Japan and Sega USA get along, what went wrong?

Should Burning rangers have been delayed to be a Dreamcast game?
 

Awbacon

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Because SEGA basically made it their mission to make the wrong business decision at every turn. Sometimes it feels like they were self sabotaging on purpose
 

Allie

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Let's see if I can possibly answer some of these questions...

Why didn't Revenge of Death Adder get a Saturn Port?
On the one hand, Sega clearly wanted to move away from certain franchises established during the 16-bit era (Streets Of Rage, anyone?) by creating several CS Teams with the purpose of creating new IP, while others were updated to have more of a "next generation" look, including Shinobi-X, Hang On GP and Golden Axe: The Duel. Even the company's mascot was stuck waiting to make the leap from Mega Drive to Saturn, and when he did finally return, what did we get? A more polished version of Sonic 3D, the admittedly impressive Sonic Jam compilation and the technically remarkable Sonic R, but none of these were really a worthy follow-up to Sonic 3 & Knuckles - of course, Sonic Adventure was in development and would surface early into the Dreamcast's life, though it should be noted that Sonic Xtreme nearly became a thing long before even that. Similarly, I'm aware that we very nearly got a 3D Streets Of Rage in the form of what became Fighting Force, but the general point still stands: Sega desperately hoped its fans would embrace the likes of Panzer Dragoon, Clockwork Knight, Victory Goal and even BUG! over what it felt were outdated ideas, which most would have preferred. Why couldn't they have given us both, as might have been the case with Revenge Of Death Adder and Golden Axe: The Duel?

Why was Sega so reckless with their source code?
My understanding is that a lot of the partial or complete source code lost (for games such as Virtua Fighter 2 and Panzer Dragoon Saga) occurred during Sega's corporate restructuring in the early 2000s, though it's also believed that Tantalus might have lost a hard drive of original data for The House Of The Dead that had been provided by AM1 to help in the process of converting this game to the Saturn. With most of the affected titles being the kind it's possible to continue releasing by simply porting other versions, Sega probably doesn't have much great need or financial incentive to hunt down any assets that may still exist. If they ever did want an archivist to go through their vaults, I'd happily donate my services in return for a comfortable wage and a place to live in Japan... ;)

Why didn't the Saturn get any follow ups to Genesis classics?
I've already answered this to a degree, but it should also be noted that a lot of the 16-bit games that did receive updates or sequels on Saturn were those best suited to making the jump from two to three dimensions, such as Hang On and After Burner, the latter receiving a spiritual successor of sorts in Sky Target. Come to think of it, why did that pre-rendered Ecco footage surface (heh) early in the Saturn's life if Sega had no intention of continuing this series? Also, wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to have a new Eternal Champions exist for those who didn't think Virtua Fighter was all that? How come the powers that be were only prepared to push one flagship fighting series rather than having two? Just a few years later, they'd have Virtua Fighter 3, Fighting Vipers, Sonic The Fighters, Last Bronx and even Fighters Megamix all competing for the attention of gamers, with all but one of these coming from AM2. Was there really no space for a new Eternal Champions, not to mention Golden Axe, Shinobi, Streets Of Rage or Ecco? Also, instead of the Sega Ages campaign, what if proper new sequels to After Burner, Space Harrier, OutRun, Power Drift and Galaxy Force had been developed for the Saturn instead? Even though I brought it up just a few sentences ago, Sky Target doesn't really count, and while I'm a massive fan of the series, couldn't there have been a next generation Space Harrier to accompany the first two Panzer Dragoon games?

If the Dreamcast is thinking, what is it thinking about?
"Why didn't I launch with a solid library of truly arcade-perfect Model 3 games? Why am I always looking over my shoulder for the PS2?"

Why wasn't Phil Collins and or Peter Gabriel involved in Genesis Marketing?
I see what you did there! For a while later in their careers, it does seem as if the remaining guys in Genesis had something of a self-deprecating sense of humour, and although a cross marketing campaign with Sega might have worked in the US, they're a British group, and the joke would have been lost on us. Between the "Six Of The Best" reunion concert in 1982 and a 1999 remake of The Carpet Crawlers (which turned out to be the group's last new release overall), did Peter Gabriel even still want to be associated with Genesis in the 1990s? Whatever the case, I do agree that it's interesting to imagine the possibilities if only the Sega-Genesis connection had been taken to its somewhat logical conclusion.

Why did Bernie Stolar sabotage the Sega Saturn? He was an Ex Sony Employee....Mole?
Between his anti-2D stance, an issue with RPGs (especially those by Working Designs in particular), introducing the five star policy then just as quickly declaring that the Saturn wasn't Sega's future at a time when rumours were already in full force about its next generation plans, it looks as if Bernie Stolar was hellbent on poisoning the chalice he took over from Tom Kalinske. As for whether Bernie was a mole from Sony, I doubt it - just look at how much the PlayStation's software library blossomed once he left that company. For one, would he have allowed the likes of Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid to become major hardware-sellers?

What ever happened to all those planned Saturn Ports to the PS1 Sega discussed?
I believe you're referring to the announced PS versions of Virtua Fighter 2, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and NiGHTS, plus a new fully polygonal 2.5D update to the original Sonic The Hedgehog? Now there's an interesting question... Did any of these ever go into development? Now that I think about it, what happened to the similarly promised M2 version of Virtua Fighter 3, or its counterpart for the Game.com, never mind that Sonic Xtreme was also supposedly heading to Tiger's handheld?

Why Streets of Rage 4 now when Sega shut down at least 3 other attempts to make it?
I've already briefly covered Fighting Force, but what of the other two attempts, indeed? That prototype footage of a planned Dreamcast sequel always felt so pointless to me, especially when a conversion of Spikeout would have done many of the same things and looked infinitely better. More recently, wasn't there also a 2D sequel pitched? Someone high up the food chain at Sega was once quoted as saying they rejected a fourth Streets Of Rage because they didn't recognise just how big this series once was for the company, possibly because it was being proposed under its original Japanese title of Bare Knuckle. Whatever the case, it's clear those in charge don't care much for this franchise, which leads me on to the next question...

Why do Sonic fans get Sonic game design better than Sonic team does?
The simple answer? Takashi Iizuka. No, seriously. While I can appreciate that he's one of the most enduring figures within Sonic Team, this guy is also responsible for a lot of the design elements that have become a foundation of sorts for entire games, rather than being mere gimmicks. I seem to recall one of his ideas being to have short tube-like sections connecting larger hub style areas in Sonic Adventure to hide load times, and where that was once necessary to mask technical limitations, now it's regularly exploited as a call back to the iconic special stage of Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Similarly, the grinding mechanic that's so often one of the more annoying parts about modern day Sonic games came from his mind. At least he learned from the massive failure experienced by Journey Of Dreams to leave NiGHTS alone, though I fear my words may be a little premature, since there's currently a lot of talk about a possible new game in that series being unveiled soon. In short, Sonic Team desperately needs Yuji Naka, Naoto Ohshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara back!
As for why the average fan can do better, it's probably because the wider community has spent literally years dissecting each of what they deservedly consider the classic games, using various software creators to refine and reinvent certain elements without the burden of needing to keep churning out new product that must sell a justifiable amount to keep their developers in business. From this highly understanding, productive and fertile environment, Sega finally reached out to select talents, though I still don't feel their efforts are enough. Sure, it was great to see Taxman and Stealth go from message board heroes to the saviors of Sega, but why end there? Sonic Mania had the right idea by trying to offer a "parallel universe" type scenario where the Saturn launched with an evolution of the improvements first introduced with Knuckles Chaotix, but wasn't the plan originally to have Sonic Team develop something that demonstrated more of the Saturn's 3D capabilities while retaining a side-on perspective, much like Clockwork Knight, only presumably a lot faster? Taking this concept further, why hasn't Sonic Team reached out to Andrew75 or XL2 to finally show what could be done with all the potential behind Sonic Xtreme?

Why are Sonic fans so annoying?
As someone who was a member of the SSRG community back in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I fondly remember the enthusiasm when Simon Wai discovered that Sonic 2 prototype. Before long, everyone was quick to find whatever they could in this ROM's code, and I even briefly had a site dedicated to sharing some of my own findings in that build along with the Sonic Crackers alpha. From this limited experience, I saw the wider fanbase already splintering between Emulation Zone, Sonic Cult and countless other spin-off (sorry!) groups. I wouldn't dare paint everyone with the same brush, yet a large amount of people cling to the belief that they alone know what's best for Sonic, which naturally leads to division and hostility. Sonic Retro is definitely the closest thing I've seen to a truly unified approach, concentrating on the documentation of fact and leaving such discussion to a forum-based format.

Is Sonic Lost World Sonic Xtreme?
I'm not convinced... Lost World might have recycled a few basic ideas from the ill-fated Xtreme project, but even that never appeared to have a singular direction, so it's possible many of the aspects that are thought of as being direct nods were purely coincidental. On the other hand, perhaps the inspiration many see as coming from Xtreme were the result of Sega merely taking note of what worked in Super Mario Galaxy?

Will Ryu Ga Gotoku studio ever realize there's more Shinjuku beyond Kabukicho?
I've often seen the Yakuza series described as being Sega keeping the spirit of Yu Suzuki's more ambitious Shenmue alive without the record-shattering production budget, though it should be noted that AM2 never paid a small fortune to have its characters voiced by relatively known actors. I suspect the reason even more recent games in the greater Yakuza franchise have still to branch out from the same limited area is because it would be financially risky to have its scope expanded beyond introducing a few smaller locations, new characters and minor additional gameplay elements, particularly when you factor in how much of a drain on resources modern development can be. I can't imagine the creation of the in-house Dragon technology came cheap, while Shenmue III is being produced on Unreal Engine 4 to keep its own costs down.

Why couldn't Sega Of Japan and Sega USA get along, what went wrong?
There are so many factors at play here beyond the obvious cultural differences... For one, I was surprised to learn that Sonic never really took off in Japan during the Mega Drive era, with the entire Project Sonic campaign being an opportunity to raise awareness of the company's mascot in his native country. By contrast, American gamers didn't need reintroducing to the character through the Saturn version of Sonic 3D or Sonic R, though I can imagine that many saw the Sonic World portion of Sonic Jam as a teaser of what they'd soon be playing when Sonic Adventure finally arrived. Similarly, it's incredible to look back and think that management within Sega's Japanese headquarters initially resisted Tom Kalinske's proposal to have the original Sonic packed in with the Mega Drive Genesis, which they'd continue with Sonic 2 and even Sonic 3 in some regions. On the one hand, I can appreciate the argument coming from Japan that you just don't release hardware with a killer app included, but then the Saturn included Virtua Fighter in many parts of the world. Sega is a confusing company, and it is indeed a shame there was so much division within the company at a time it could have done with showing a more united front in order to counter Sony, never mind Nintendo as well.

Should Burning rangers have been delayed to be a Dreamcast game?
If anything, Burning Rangers should have been even more of a spectacular send-off for the Saturn. Part of its problem was development being significantly delayed while core gameplay aspects were revised, including the removal of a planned co-operative feature that can still be seen in early media along with a very different HUD that was to have shown a compass very similar to that later seen in the prototype Saturn footage of Shenmue, plus such games as Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders and perhaps most notably Crazy Taxi. Although it pushes the basic NiGHTS engine to previously unseen levels, I always got the impression that BR would have benefited from even longer to iron out some of the polygon flickering also seen much less prominently in Sonic Team's previous full game (and Christmas NiGHTS, for that matter), but Sega was never going to let such a high profile title slip into the latter half of 1998, especially when this would have not only jeopardised its possibility of release outside Japan, but might have almost certainly ensured it wouldn't be able to make back the large amounts I can only assume it cost to produce then promote in the first place.
Now, would BR have been more suited to the Dreamcast? As seen in Sonic Adventure, also built on an even more heavily modified version of the same basic underlying engine technology, it's likely Sonic Team wouldn't have needed to worry about such factors as glitching polygons, difficulty generating transparency effects or limiting the amount of data it could store on a disc - just try and picture BR with a far more organic and flowing voice navigation system, plus longer video sequences. In a way, it looks as if Sega wasn't quite done with the underlying concept behind BR, since Brave Firefighters took this concept even further. However, where BR could have taken full advantage of the extra power the Saturn's follow-up offered, BF was only possible because of AM1 using the even more recent Hikaru board, which built on Sega's home console of the time to allow for flame, water and smoke effects that I'm sure would have required considerable downgrading if converted back to Dreamcast.

P.S. I really enjoyed writing this!
 
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Tongara

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Let's see if I can possibly answer some of these questions...



On the one hand, Sega clearly wanted to move away from certain franchises established during the 16-bit era (Streets Of Rage, anyone?) by creating several CS Teams with the purpose of creating new IP, while others were updated to have more of a "next generation" look, including Shinobi-X, Hang On GP and Golden Axe: The Duel. Even the company's mascot was stuck waiting to make the leap from Mega Drive to Saturn, and when he did finally return, what did we get? A more polished version of Sonic 3D, the admittedly impressive Sonic Jam compilation and the technically remarkable Sonic R, but none of these were really a worthy follow-up to Sonic 3 & Knuckles - of course, Sonic Adventure was in development and would surface early into the Dreamcast's life, though it should be noted that Sonic Xtreme nearly became a thing long before even that. Similarly, I'm aware that we very nearly got a 3D Streets Of Rage in the form of what became Fighting Force, but the general point still stands: Sega desperately hoped its fans would embrace the likes of Panzer Dragoon, Clockwork Knight, Victory Goal and even BUG! over what it felt were outdated ideas, which most would have preferred. Why couldn't they have given us both, as might have been the case with Revenge Of Death Adder and Golden Axe: The Duel?



My understanding is that a lot of the partial or complete source code lost (for games such as Virtua Fighter 2 and Panzer Dragoon Saga) occurred during Sega's corporate restructuring in the early 2000s, though it's also believed that Tantalus might have lost a hard drive of original data for The House Of The Dead that had been provided by AM1 to help in the process of converting this game to the Saturn. With most of the affected titles being the kind it's possible to continue releasing by simply porting other versions, Sega probably doesn't have much great need or financial incentive to hunt down any assets that may still exist. If they ever did want an archivist to go through their vaults, I'd happily donate my services in return for a comfortable wage and a place to live in Japan... ;)



I've already answered this to a degree, but it should also be noted that a lot of the 16-bit games that did receive updates or sequels on Saturn were those best suited to making the jump from two to three dimensions, such as Hang On and After Burner, the latter receiving a spiritual successor of sorts in Sky Target. Come to think of it, why did that pre-rendered Ecco footage surface (heh) early in the Saturn's life if Sega had no intention of continuing this series? Also, wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to have a new Eternal Champions exist for those who didn't think Virtua Fighter was all that? How come the powers that be were only prepared to push one flagship fighting series rather than having two? Just a few years later, they'd have Virtua Fighter 3, Fighting Vipers, Sonic The Fighters, Last Bronx and even Fighters Megamix all competing for the attention of gamers, with all but one of these coming from AM2. Was there really no space for a new Eternal Champions, not to mention Golden Axe, Shinobi, Streets Of Rage or Ecco? Also, instead of the Sega Ages campaign, what if proper new sequels to After Burner, Space Harrier, OutRun, Power Drift and Galaxy Force had been developed for the Saturn instead? Even though I brought it up just a few sentences ago, Sky Target doesn't really count, and while I'm a massive fan of the series, couldn't there have been a next generation Space Harrier to accompany the first two Panzer Dragoon games?



"Why didn't I launch with a solid library of truly arcade-perfect Model 3 games? Why am I always looking over my shoulder for the PS2?"



I see what you did there! For a while later in their careers, it does seem as if the remaining guys in Genesis had something of a self-deprecating sense of humour, and although a cross marketing campaign with Sega might have worked in the US, they're a British group, and the joke would have been lost on us. Between the "Six Of The Best" reunion concert in 1982 and a 1999 remake of The Carpet Crawlers (which turned out to be the group's last new release overall), did Peter Gabriel even still want to be associated with Genesis in the 1990s? Whatever the case, I do agree that it's interesting to imagine the possibilities if only the Sega-Genesis connection had been taken to its somewhat logical conclusion.



Between his anti-2D stance, an issue with RPGs (especially those by Working Designs in particular), introducing the five star policy then just as quickly declaring that the Saturn wasn't Sega's future at a time when rumours were already in full force about its next generation plans, it looks as if Bernie Stolar was hellbent on poisoning the chalice he took over from Tom Kalinske. As for whether Bernie was a mole from Sony, I doubt it - just look at how much the PlayStation's software library blossomed once he left that company. For one, would he have allowed the likes of Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid to become major hardware-sellers?



I believe you're referring to the announced PS versions of Virtua Fighter 2, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and NiGHTS, plus a new fully polygonal 2.5D update to the original Sonic The Hedgehog? Now there's an interesting question... Did any of these ever go into development? Now that I think about it, what happened to the similarly promised M2 version of Virtua Fighter 3, or its counterpart for the Game.com, never mind that Sonic Xtreme was also supposedly heading to Tiger's handheld?



I've already briefly covered Fighting Force, but what of the other two attempts, indeed? That prototype footage of a planned Dreamcast sequel always felt so pointless to me, especially when a conversion of Spikeout would have done many of the same things and looked infinitely better. More recently, wasn't there also a 2D sequel pitched? Someone high up the food chain at Sega was once quoted as saying they rejected a fourth Streets Of Rage because they didn't recognise just how big this series once was for the company, possibly because it was being proposed under its original Japanese title of Bare Knuckle. Whatever the case, it's clear those in charge don't care much for this franchise, which leads me on to the next question...



The simple answer? Takashi Iizuka. No, seriously. While I can appreciate that he's one of the most enduring figures within Sonic Team, this guy is also responsible for a lot of the design elements that have become a foundation of sorts for entire games, rather than being mere gimmicks. I seem to recall one of his ideas being to have short tube-like sections connecting larger hub style areas in Sonic Adventure to hide load times, and where that was once necessary to mask technical limitations, now it's regularly exploited as a call back to the iconic special stage of Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Similarly, the grinding mechanic that's so often one of the more annoying parts about modern day Sonic games came from his mind. At least he learned from the massive failure experienced by Journey Of Dreams to leave NiGHTS alone, though I fear my words may be a little premature, since there's currently a lot of talk about a possible new game in that series being unveiled soon. In short, Sonic Team desperately needs Yuji Naka, Naoto Ohshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara back!
As for why the average fan can do better, it's probably because the wider community has spent literally years dissecting each of what they deservedly consider the classic games, using various software creators to refine and reinvent certain elements without the burden of needing to keep churning out new product that must sell a justifiable amount to keep their developers in business. From this highly understanding, productive and fertile environment, Sega finally reached out to select talents, though I still don't feel their efforts are enough. Sure, it was great to see Taxman and Stealth go from message board heroes to the saviors of Sega, but why end there? Sonic Mania had the right idea by trying to offer a "parallel universe" type scenario where the Saturn launched with an evolution of the improvements first introduced with Knuckles Chaotix, but wasn't the plan originally to have Sonic Team develop something that demonstrated more of the Saturn's 3D capabilities while retaining a side-on perspective, much like Clockwork Knight, only presumably a lot faster? Taking this concept further, why hasn't Sonic Team reached out to Andrew75 or XL2 to finally show what could be done with all the potential behind Sonic Xtreme?



As someone who was a member of the SSRG community back in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I fondly remember the enthusiasm when Simon Wai discovered that Sonic 2 prototype. Before long, everyone was quick to find whatever they could in this ROM's code, and I even briefly had a site dedicated to sharing some of my own findings in that build along with the Sonic Crackers alpha. From this limited experience, I saw the wider fanbase already splintering between Emulation Zone, Sonic Cult and countless other spin-off (sorry!) groups. I wouldn't dare paint everyone with the same brush, yet a large amount of people cling to the belief that they alone know what's best for Sonic, which naturally leads to division and hostility. Sonic Retro is definitely the closest thing I've seen to a truly unified approach, concentrating on the documentation of fact and leaving such discussion to a forum-based format.



I'm not convinced... Lost World might have recycled a few basic ideas from the ill-fated Xtreme project, but even that never appeared to have a singular direction, so it's possible many of the aspects that are thought of as being direct nods were purely coincidental. On the other hand, perhaps the inspiration many see as coming from Xtreme were the result of Sega merely taking note of what worked in Super Mario Galaxy?



I've often seen the Yakuza series described as being Sega keeping the spirit of Yu Suzuki's more ambitious Shenmue alive without the record-shattering production budget, though it should be noted that AM2 never paid a small fortune to have its characters voiced by relatively known actors. I suspect the reason even more recent games in the greater Yakuza franchise have still to branch out from the same limited area is because it would be financially risky to have its scope expanded beyond introducing a few smaller locations, new characters and minor additional gameplay elements, particularly when you factor in how much of a drain on resources modern development can be. I can't imagine the creation of the in-house Dragon technology came cheap, while Shenmue III is being produced on Unreal Engine 4 to keep its own costs down.



There are so many factors at play here beyond the obvious cultural differences... For one, I was surprised to learn that Sonic never really took off in Japan during the Mega Drive era, with the entire Project Sonic campaign being an opportunity to raise awareness of the company's mascot in his native country. By contrast, American gamers didn't need reintroducing to the character through the Saturn version of Sonic 3D or Sonic R, though I can imagine that many saw the Sonic World portion of Sonic Jam as a teaser of what they'd soon be playing when Sonic Adventure finally arrived. Similarly, it's incredible to look back and think that management within Sega's Japanese headquarters initially resisted Tom Kalinske's proposal to have the original Sonic packed in with the Mega Drive Genesis, which they'd continue with Sonic 2 and even Sonic 3 in some regions. On the one hand, I can appreciate the argument coming from Japan that you just don't release hardware with a killer app included, but then the Saturn included Virtua Fighter in many parts of the world. Sega is a confusing company, and it is indeed a shame there was so much division within the company at a time it could have done with showing a more united front in order to counter Sony, never mind Nintendo as well.



If anything, Burning Rangers should have been even more of a spectacular send-off for the Saturn. Part of its problem was development being significantly delayed while core gameplay aspects were revised, including the removal of a planned co-operative feature that can still be seen in early media along with a very different HUD that was to have shown a compass very similar to that later seen in the prototype Saturn footage of Shenmue, plus such games as Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders and perhaps most notably Crazy Taxi. Although it pushes the basic NiGHTS engine to previously unseen levels, I always got the impression that BR would have benefited from even longer to iron out some of the polygon flickering also seen much less prominently in Sonic Team's previous full game (and Christmas NiGHTS, for that matter), but Sega was never going to let such a high profile title slip into the latter half of 1998, especially when this would have not only jeopardised its possibility of release outside Japan, but might have almost certainly ensured it wouldn't be able to make back the large amounts I can only assume it cost to produce then promote in the first place.
Now, would BR have been more suited to the Dreamcast? As seen in Sonic Adventure, also built on an even more heavily modified version of the same basic underlying engine technology, it's likely Sonic Team wouldn't have needed to worry about such factors as glitching polygons, difficulty generating transparency effects or limiting the amount of data it could store on a disc - just try and picture BR with a far more organic and flowing voice navigation system, plus longer video sequences. In a way, it looks as if Sega wasn't quite done with the underlying concept behind BR, since Brave Firefighters took this concept even further. However, where BR could have taken full advantage of the extra power the Saturn's follow-up offered, BF was only possible because of AM1 using the even more recent Hikaru board, which built on Sega's home console of the time to allow for flame, water and smoke effects that I'm sure would have required considerable downgrading if converted back to Dreamcast.

P.S. I really enjoyed writing this!
Nothing much to add, but I love reading your long-winded SEGA info rants, in the most genuinely appreciative way~ <3 haha
 

Druid II

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>Why didn't Revenge of Death Adder get a Saturn Port?
Old game, and they already had a new Golden Axe game in the pipeline (The Duel).

>Why was Sega so reckless with their source code?
In the span of a decade they went from nearly merging with Bandai to nearly going bankrupt to having major restructurings to being bought up (and restructured AGAIN). Frankly I'm surprised they even have any source code at all.

>Why didn't the Saturn get any follow ups to Genesis classics?
1. Sega is always making new IPs, they only start thinking in sequels when they have something making mad dosh like Virtua Fighter or Sonic or Yakuza.
2. reinforcing 1, Genesis didn't have follow ups to Master System classics, and Dreamcast didn't have follow ups to Saturn classics either - not any more than the Saturn had for the Genesis.

>If the Dreamcast is thinking, what is it thinking about?
Something to the effect of "how can marketing guys come up with so much bullshit?"

>Why wasn't Phil Collins and or Peter Gabriel involved in Genesis Marketing?
No budget. They couldn't even afford a second analog stick!

>Why did Bernie Stolar sabotage the Sega Saturn? He was an Ex Sony Employee....Mole?
SOJ wanted to sabotage the Saturn too, all Bernie did was his job. They were looking for Saturn replacements as early as 1996. I'm not even being sarcastic with this.
For what it's worth: Bernie got back to them by announcing the Dreamcast for $200 (Sega told him to go for $250 so they could make money off the hardware).

>What ever happened to all those planned Saturn Ports to the PS1 Sega discussed?
Drawing a complete blank on those discussions, but iirc there were a couple of Compile titles released on the PS1 by Sega themselves.

>Why Streets of Rage 4 now when Sega shut down at least 3 other attempts to make it?
Because nowadays Sega is such a cheap whore that they are outsourcing development of EMULATOR COMPILATIONS; they don't have the capacity even for that. Seriously though: they got an offer from a company who have a track record and a full engine to use; they just have to slap artwork and music on to it, plus 1 weeks worth of level design and then ship it.

>Why do Sonic fans get Sonic game design better than Sonic team does?
They don't, but you think they do because they are using all those old graphics that give you nostalgia boners.

>Why are Sonic fans so annoying?
see above, also autism.

>Is Sonic Lost World Sonic Xtreme?


>Will Ryu Ga Gotoku studio ever realize there's more Shinjuku beyond Kabukicho?


>Why couldn't Sega Of Japan and Sega USA get along, what went wrong?
Tom Kalinske hurt their precious yamato pride.

>Should Burning rangers have been delayed to be a Dreamcast game?
should've been delayed until Sonic Team can come up with reliable collision detection and 3d camera code, but then it would still be under development even today..
 

PopetherevXXVIII

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Waiting on an oil change so I might as well ask more...

Is Sega Touring Car Championship really THAT bad?

Crazy Taxi's soundtrack The hell does Offspring's Way down the line have to do with reckless driving?

What voodoo is M2 practicing to make these ports so good?

Shinobi X or Legions/Den? I can't choose both soundtracks are good.

The Dreamcast sold 14 million units but the way people talk about it you'd think it sold 114 million...where were all these fanboys in 2000?

Is the Dreamcast controller a violation of the Geneva Conventions?
 

Allie

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Let's see...

Is Sega Touring Car Championship really THAT bad?
I've never had a problem with the Saturn version, and I was even able to complete every mode after only a few hours of figuring out the (supposedly awful, context-sensitive) controls. Best of all, I did all this without the need for a 3D Control Pad or Arcade Racer, though I do have both - the latter comes in very useful if your console's memory is ever wiped and you want to unlock everything the easy way.
On the other hand, I could never get to grips with the Model 2C original, even when using analogue steering. Say what you want about the quality of their work in other departments, but at least CRI provided options to adjust the controls, and I'm fairly certain they also tuned the handling. Has anyone ever produced a comparison that studies this particular detail? From what I've seen, most articles seem to concentrate on the visual aspect, though I don't even mind the much lower frame rate or resolution, especially when trackside detail is so high... Yes, that was an intentional nod to the amazing soundtrack!

Crazy Taxi's soundtrack The hell does Offspring's Way down the line have to do with reckless driving?
Speaking of Sega and its late '90s soundtracks, how many people fondly recall Crazy Taxi as their "gateway drug" of sorts into the music of either The Offspring or Bad Religion? None of their contributions had anything to do with the actual game's content from a lyrical perspective, but they sure did fit the mood sonically. If anything, I wish there were more tracks available, but I guess that's one advantage of the sequels. Unfortunately, I can't forgive those later reissues that had the more popular licensed tunes stripped out. Could this be a reason we never saw a home port of Top Skater, perhaps?

EDIT: Now that I think about it, maybe Way Down The Line, Them And Us and Ten In 2010 were specifically included as commentaries on the overpopulation of the city in Crazy Taxi?

What voodoo is M2 practicing to make these ports so good?
Apart from having access to the source code for many of the games they've so far tackled, M2 is home to a certain Rieko "Phoenix Rie" Kodama, whose first credited project for Sega was Champion Boxing all the way back in 1984, which also happened to be Yu Suzuki's company debut. In addition to having such a major figure within its ranks, this small team has quite a few experts in the hardware and programming quirks that made up so much of Sega's classic arcade machines, so they're in the best possible hands. Recently, it was teased that M2 has now mastered Saturn emulation, so could a follow-up to the Mega Drive Mini be on the cards?

Shinobi X or Legions/Den? I can't choose both soundtracks are good.
I can only base this on personal opinion, but Shinobi X wins out for me, as its localised soundtrack was an early project for Richard Jacques, who was asked to create something closer to what Yuzo Koshiro might have done, only taking full advantage of the extra power offered by the Saturn's audio processor.

The Dreamcast sold 14 million units but the way people talk about it you'd think it sold 114 million...where were all these fanboys in 2000?
You could ask the same question about the Saturn, which has seen its cult following only grow in the years since it was dismissed as a failure. Ironically, the situation is very different in Japan, where the console initially performed quite well and can now be found for next to nothing along a large portion of its library.

Is the Dreamcast controller a violation of the Geneva Conventions?
I'm not sure if anyone else here watches Adam Koralik's YouTube channel, but his most recent monthly podcast actually covered this very subject. However, there was one point he failed to make: Dreamcast's controller lacks the C and Z buttons of its 32-bit predecessor, making games such as Virtua Fighter 3tb, Marvel VS Capcom, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Mortal Kombat Gold more awkward than they might have been if the conventional three-button-per-row setup had been utilised. Curiously, there appears to be some evidence that Sega made the switch from six to four face buttons late into the console's R&D cycle, as some third party devices reintroduced this feature with full support, though naturally very few games could use it outside of those that allowed you to completely reconfigure pad input. More than even this, however, I'd argue that the standard Dreamcast controller does indeed violate the Geneva Convention due to how unforgiving its shift triggers can be after a long session of any racing game that requires these for acceleration and braking. For the record, I love Sega Rally 2 and Metropolis Street Racer, but my index fingers quickly grew to hate them both with a burning passion!
 
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Druid II

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Waiting on an oil change so I might as well ask more...

Is Sega Touring Car Championship really THAT bad?

Crazy Taxi's soundtrack The hell does Offspring's Way down the line have to do with reckless driving?

What voodoo is M2 practicing to make these ports so good?

Shinobi X or Legions/Den? I can't choose both soundtracks are good.

The Dreamcast sold 14 million units but the way people talk about it you'd think it sold 114 million...where were all these fanboys in 2000?

Is the Dreamcast controller a violation of the Geneva Conventions?
Yes.
 

PopetherevXXVIII

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Retrobit's wireless Saturn/Dreamcast controllers can't get here fast enough.

Since you're having so much fun with these

Why does the Atomiswave exist? The Naomi/2/Hikiru boards seemed adequate.

Does Alex kid Resent Sonic? Is Astal seething somewhere?

Given what tech Demos have shown, was the Megasis ever pushed to it limits?

Is there any scenero where the 32x could have been successful?

if the Dreamcast lived on would the Xbox have taken off like it did?

Was Jim Carey a mistake? Danny Devito as Eggman...( Or if you watch Always Sunny, Big the Cat)

The American Dreamcast Magazine mentioned Tekken Tag and Tekken 4 going to Dreamcast, was there any real chance of that happening?

While I'm at it and veering off to Namco and Sega's odd relationship:
The closest Sega ever got to Ridge Racer is.....
 
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Allie

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Let's go again!

Why does the Atomiswave exist? The Naomi/2/Hikiru boards seemed adequate.
The Atomiswave really is an odd beast within Sega's arcade hardware library... On the one hand, it takes the underlying Dreamcast base and expands on this with double the VRAM and four times as much audio memory. However, that advantage still doesn't make it as powerful as the NAOMI board, though Sammy clearly intended for this to be a lower budget solution - let's not forget that Sammy merging with Sega brought in a push to save money where possible, and I'm sure the bean counters at the resulting Sega Sammy Holdings felt even NAOMI was too expensive for their taste!

Does Alex kid Resent Sonic? Is Astal seething somewhere?
For those of you familiar with The Villain Pub, a recurring joke within the How It Should Have Ended universe, I've often imagined a similar band of failed Sega platforming mascots who complain about being left in the dust by the (often inexplicably) persistent Sonic, who I'm sure only remains popular due to a mixture of complacency and the powers that be pushing him so hard, even when Sonic Team appears to be running on fumes creatively. I'm telling you, Alex Kidd, Astal, Bug and Sir Tongara de Pepperouchau III are all stuck in a broom cupboard within Sega's headquarters, desperate for their chance at redemption...

Given what tech Demos have shown, was the Megasis ever pushed to it limits?
I've never really liked this kind of question, because I don't believe there's ever been an example of a commercial project that succeeded in making full use of its host console's power. Tech demos are certainly interesting from a "what if" kind of perspective, though how many of these would be as impressive once such factors as AI and collision detection are taken into consideration?

Is there any scenero where the 32x could have been successful?
With many gamers already waiting for the Saturn, which journalists had been hyping up as Sega's true next generation platform, my opinion is that 32X would have been DOA in any scenario where Saturn remained on the horizon. I'm not suggesting that Sega should have abandoned its plans beyond the 32X entirely, but consumers quickly saw through its status as a mere stop-gap, with even developers forced to choose between supporting an add-on that was doomed to a brief shelf life or concentrating on Saturn projects. In the end, 32X died with a pitiful software library to its name, while the Saturn was always playing catch-up with the PlayStation in this respect, when perhaps the ideal outcome would have been for Sega to... Ah, forget it! When you have the Saturn rushed to launch in as crucial a market as America, catching all but a few in-house programming teams who knew of this plan off-guard, any talk of a potential best case situation goes out of the window. Even then, Sega's own first party efforts clearly had to be compromised. Can you picture what might have been if the Saturn hadn't arrived until around the same time as the Nintendo 64? Sega could have continued slowly introducing its players to polygonal 3D environments, abandoning the Saturn as we know it today for an infinitely more powerful solution that could have equalled or even surpassed the Model 2 board, blowing PlayStation out of the water and laying waste to Sony's dreams of becoming a contender altogether.

if the Dreamcast lived on would the Xbox have taken off like it did?
In many ways, the original Xbox takes many of the ideas established with the Dreamcast and ran with these, so you could say that Microsoft's console wouldn't have otherwise been necessary if Sega hadn't bowed out of the console market when it did. Besides, had the Dreamcast survived into 2002, just try and picture the games that wouldn't have gone to rival hardware manufacturers: Virtua Fighter 4, Super Monkey Ball, Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Gunvalkyrie, The House Of The Dead III, Sega GT 2002, ToeJam & Earl III and even the unreleased Ecco II: Sentinels Of The Universe were all earmarked for Dreamcast at some point, along with Halo (when that was still to have been a real time strategy game). Throw in a proper follow-up to Sonic Adventure 2 instead of what became Sonic Heroes along with Shenmue III, and that's a final year line-up to die for without even factoring in whatever may have come from sustained additional third party support!

Was Jim Carey a mistake? Danny Devito as Eggman...( Or if you watch Always Sunny, Big the Cat)
A movie with Jim Carrey at his mid-1990s career peak might just have worked, though both this actor and the Sonic franchise in general are now long past the point where I can picture this idea working.

The American Dreamcast Magazine mentioned Tekken Tag and Tekken 4 going to Dreamcast, was there any real chance of that happening?
I wasn't aware the US ODM ever suggested that Tekken Tag Tournament or Tekken 4 were Dreamcast-bound, but it does seem possible. Surely there were plans for Namco to convert something with a higher profile than Mr. Driller after its phenomenal upgrade of Soul Calibur, which it pains me to admit knocked Sega's relatively disappointing Virtua Fighter 3tb out of the park as a launch-era title?

While I'm at it and veering off to Namco and Sega's odd relationship:
The closest Sega ever got to Ridge Racer is.....
The answer literally is Ridge Racer. Early into the Saturn's life, Namco officially announced plans to bring Cyber Sled to Sega's new console, followed by Ridge Racer then possibly Tekken. Of these, the last two never went into development, although several discs of material and even playable code relating to the ill-fated conversion of Cyber Sled have been doing the rounds for years, surfacing a while back over at ASSEMblergames. Unfortunately, despite some limited video footage being shared, I don't believe that a leak ever occurred. I'm somewhat curious and optimistic, but Cyber Sled is hardly the killer app that never was. As for whether Ridge Racer would fare any better, who cares when Sega provided us with no less than three very different takes on the infinitely superior (IMO, at least) Daytona USA, or two if you count Daytona USA Circuit Edition as just a more polished Japanese exclusive variant of Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition, even if the US versions of "CCE" has minor differences when compared to its slightly earlier PAL counterpart?
 

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I like the DC controller. Maybe I'm weird. I it's because it's the one I grew up with.
 

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So the other day I got a copy of Ridge Racer Revolution my Japanese PS2 struggled to read it, when I ripped it on my computer the drive was making jet engine sounds.

Only my Saturn read it properly as a music CD. I got a refund as I couldn't properly test it on any other hardware, Even epsxe wasn't playing nice.

All Sega's one game wonders Astal and Ristar have to be the most befuddling. I guess word is SOA never wanted it to sell so they didn't even print the name on the Spine. Ristar could have been something special. It doesn't help there are Sonic fans that insist every Sonic game is good or just keep buying it because it's Sonic.

When even was the last good Sonic team developed Sonic game?
 

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Retrobit's wireless Saturn/Dreamcast controllers can't get here fast enough.

Since you're having so much fun with these

Why does the Atomiswave exist? The Naomi/2/Hikiru boards seemed adequate.

Does Alex kid Resent Sonic? Is Astal seething somewhere?

Given what tech Demos have shown, was the Megasis ever pushed to it limits?

Is there any scenero where the 32x could have been successful?

if the Dreamcast lived on would the Xbox have taken off like it did?

Was Jim Carey a mistake? Danny Devito as Eggman...( Or if you watch Always Sunny, Big the Cat)

The American Dreamcast Magazine mentioned Tekken Tag and Tekken 4 going to Dreamcast, was there any real chance of that happening?

While I'm at it and veering off to Namco and Sega's odd relationship:
The closest Sega ever got to Ridge Racer is.....
 

Allie

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When even was the last good Sonic team developed Sonic game?
While this may not be a popular opinion, I'd have to go with the original Sonic Adventure... Sure, it wasn't technically perfect (the camera in particular is frustrating), but at least Sonic Team was still trying to push the series forward. By contrast, I felt that Sonic Adventure 2 leaned too heavily on the wrong ideas, and Sonic Heroes was so broken that I've still not finished it all these years later.

As a side note, I really love Sonic Shuffle. By making such novel use of the Dreamcast's Visual Memory Unit, it's unlikely we'll ever see this game brought to any other platform. Where most gamers complained about its pace being negatively affected due to the regular pauses for disc accessing, I found this works to its advantage if you try enjoying it with some party food and/or drink!
 

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I'm going to go with Generations and or Colors.

But Mania and Generations have the same problem, too much old not enough new.

I liked Adventure 2 I've lost literal days to the Chao garden.

Unleashed still holds up graphically but the Warehog levels are too long and the Day levels too short.

Most of my Sonic enjoyment these days comes from playing the creative Rom hacks on my Everdrive.

Sonic fans get Sonic I can't say the same for Mega Man fans where level design is hard for the sake of hard in those Rom hacks and most Mario Maker levels are more Meat boy than Mario. My favorite Mario Maker levels tend to be my own.

SEGA needs to do a Sonic Maker and they need to do it soon.

...
I didn't know until today or even notice each version of Virtua Fighter 5 has a different Soundtrack... Sarah's Final showdown theme is a banger.

Virtua Fighter actually has..well it has a story I don't know how interesting it is but they have one.
Why didn't SEGA ever bother trying to tell that story in game? Or did that effort become Shenmue..

It's also curious how close VF's story is to aspects of Tekken's

And the ultimate Question...

Best VF Waifu Aoi or Sarah?
 
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Allie

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Virtua Fighter actually has..well it has a story I don't know how interesting it is but they have one.
Why didn't SEGA ever bother trying to tell that story in game? Or did that effort become Shenmue..

It's also curious how close VF's story is to aspects of Tekken's

And the ultimate Question...

Best VF Waifu Aoi or Sarah?
There were at least two games planned to expand on the storyline of the Virtua Fighter series - one of these evolved over time into Shenmue, or VF RPG: Akira's Quest as it was once known early into production, while the other has been described as an action game codenamed Project Chicago that would have featured Jacky Bryant fighting the Judgement 6 group to save his sister, Sarah. From what I once read, elements of this latter concept were recycled into the plot of Virtua Cop 3, and its driving mechanics supposedly formed the basis of what became OutRun 2.

For those who aren't fully versed in the VF universe, the red sports car that Jacky is often seen driving in CG materials is a fictional vehicle known as the Galaxy, and a poster advertising this can even be found in Sarah's subway level of VF3. I can definitely imagine AM2 reworking that back into the Ferrari expected of a proper OutRun sequel, though I'm not sure what about VC3 had its origins in a potential VF spin-off... Maybe its setting or enemies? Would the result have been similar to Namco's Death By Degrees, perhaps?

Any similarities between VF and Tekken surely come from both having Seiichi Ishii credited as a designer, since a lot of the leftover character ideas still hidden away in the arcade ROM of VF1 would resurface in the first Tekken. Where he'd switch from working at Sega to joining Namco, it should be noted that Kenji Sasaki went the other way, helping develop Ridge Racer at Namco then moving to Sega, which benefited from his input on Sega Rally, Sega Touring Car and the Initial D series.

P.S. I would answer your question, but as you can probably tell, I'm a little biased!
 

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I've always preferred Tekken to Virtua Fighter but since I got my Xbox one X I've grown to appreciate Virtua Fighter 5 Final showdown. I really like VF3 as well it's a shame it wasn't well received as it really had alot of depth with the Dodge button. Plus Sarah was really hot in 3. I remember nothing about 4 or 4 Evolution.

EGM hyped VF3 like crazy and it stuck. If I'm not mistaken that Namie Amuro disc was a test for VF3 Saturn.
I imagine Saturn VF3 would have looked like a nicer Anarchy in the Nippon.

SEGA still owes us an Arcade perfect port.

What was the deal with VF Kids? Seems like a pointless game.
 

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As I've said in other threads (both here and at ASSEMblergames before that), the most likely benchmark for what Saturn owners could expect from a VF3 conversion is Fighters Megamix, though it's also been claimed that its last known build had levels featuring some basic polygonal details. You're right in saying that Digital Dance Mix was an animation test of sorts for Saturn VF3, and Virtua Fighter Kids served a similar purpose - it was designed to showcase the kind of advanced sprite-based facial movements that would have benefited AM2 in later projects, including the 32-bit prototype of what became Shenmue...
 

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I've never been the biggest Virtua fighter fan, I recall waiting for a flight home in Gatwick airport eating with one hand and playing VF1 with my free hand and getting pretty far. I have Remix and 2 on Saturn, 2 has a insanely large save file size for some reason. I don't play it often and when I do I'm just Sarah. Pai is my mortal Enemy.

I just never saw the depth, just that it was pppppppK +repeat until Lion, beat him some other way then pppppppk until Dural.

I did like quest mode they put in Vanilla VF5 I think that was very well done. Final Showdown I've been playing alot lately, but it still feels like it's ppppppk repeat until Akira\Dural.

What am I missing?
 

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While it's true that the PPPK approach will get you so far in the VF series, especially its first two installments, I found that VF3 introduced a more organic "flow" that encouraged the development of strategy. Given enough time and exploration, you'll likely end up gravitating to a certain character - in my case it was Kage, followed by Akira - who helps reveal this hidden quality. Even with their return to older basic ring shapes, VF4 and VF5 built on this core system, which makes going back to anything before VF3 quite difficult for me now.

I wouldn't suggest that Virtua Fighter is for everyone, but I'd definitely recommend you at least dig a little deeper than simply button mashing. Sure, that will get you past a few of the initial CPU opponents, though AM2 was clearly looking to create a tournament staple, and it's no surprise to see this franchise developing so much of a following in Japan particularly. If only the west had been more receptive to VF in general, although I suspect most American gamers preferred either the familiarity of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat's violence, and here in Europe the franchise as a whole hardly made a dent beyond receiving journalistic praise.

P.S. Isn't the large save file of Saturn VF2 a result of your play style being recorded for the ranking mode and so the AI can adapt to this in future rounds? Also, can I just say that I've really enjoyed this discussion? I'm starting to feel very much at home within this relatively new community!
 
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