Tag Archives: sega

The Black Tie Event Presents… Games I Quit Playing After 10 Seconds

Tighten that tie, shine those shoes, and button up that jacket, it’s about to get classy up in here. And by classy I mean, really really bad gaming. So bad in fact, you’ll be the best looking thing here. Well second best next to me.

There are a lot of reasons why people stop playing games. Usually these involve responsibilities around the house, work, or school. Not me. No sir. I refuse responsibilities. I am over that. That, my friend, is child’s play. I stop playing certain games because they are crap. Let me demonstrate with a few select titles that have forced me to hit the power button.

Double Dragon – Sega Game Gear

Level 1… first weapon you pick up is a… gun. A gun? There is a gun in Double Dragon. A gun. Why do you need a gun? You are a bad ass, fighting to get back your kidnapped girlfriend, and you’re going to opt for a gun? Who thought that was a good idea? Not one Double Dragon game has you picking up and using a gun. Not one. Stupid.

Beetlejuice – NES

Everyone knows that LJN = Crap. And if you don’t know, well I invite you to pick up a copy of this jeweled dump entitled Beetlejuice.

There are a lot of things wrong with this game. And when I say a lot… I mean the entire game is just one big wrong. But the thing that gets me the most is the hidden traps. Take a look above.

More than half of the screen is red. Red means danger. Red means death. If your screen is more than half a ticket to a watery grave, who would want to continue? There are pit falls everywhere! I understand that a game should be challenging and teach the player to overcome its obstacles, but come on.

Swamp Thing – NES

You play the role of Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing can duck. Swamp Thing can punch.

Swamp Thing can not duck and punch. Swamp Thing Swamp.

Spelunker – NES

Upon starting this game, I quickly realized that this was a plat former. Apparently a very good one considering the reviews and scores. And I am all about trying new things especially those held in high regards. I was gravely mistaken with this title. Let’s take a look at the first level.

As you can see, you are a spelunker… what ever that is. And you have been descended down into a cavern on a platform. Before you is a ledge. Now what do you do…?

Don’t jump to the ledge. Dear god, don’t do that. Because apparently if fall more than 1 foot, you will die. Yup… one foot death. Super… Don’t spelunkers usually have ropes?

Austin Powers: Oh, Behave – Gameboy Advance

OK, so I know what you’re thinking. It’s an Austin Power’s game, there’s no way this can be good. And I’m going to tell you right now… you are 100 percent correct. This game is terrible. But, luckily, I didn’t even get to the “game” the first time I loaded this bad boy up. Take a look at this.

You see the joke? The programmers actually thought it would be funny to have a loading screen for a cartage game. But the in between lines of Austin Power memes is really what got me. Then this happens.

That’s right. Austin Power 2000 complete with it’s own hourglass so that you may watch the loading process unfold. Isn’t that just great? Isn’t it? Here’s the screen I saw next.

Ah, static. It’s it beautiful. I turned the game off if anyone was wondering.

Are there any games that you just had to turn off? Let us know in the comments. And bring your black ties.

Why Sega Consoles Were Shit Until the Dreamcast

Below is my opinion about why Sega sucked as a console game company. This is just my opinion. With that in mind, what I write here is completely true and if you don’t agree with me then you are wrong.

Sega was a main driver for coin-op and amusement games back in the 1950’s before switching over to the home video game console market in 1982 with the release of the SG-1000. But the console was released a year before the American video game market crash of 1983 where Sega shown heavy losses.

After a few companies changing hands, Sega was finally bought by CSK and renamed the company to Sega Enterprises Ltd, headquartered in Japan. A couple of years after that the company started trading stock on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Everything seemed to be going well again until…

Now, in terms of tearing Sega consoles down, I’m going to leave out the Sega Master System. This was the company’s first attempt to rejoin the home console market and no one should be at fault for their beginnings. The time was a scary one for anyone wanting to develop games and it’s only fair that they had a first good shot before trying to really compete in the market. Plus it helps my argument because they should have learned from their mistakes.

So on to why Sega consoles are shit!

1. Variations of 1 console

The Sega Genesis 1 was released in 1989. Although technical superior to the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Sega Genesis failed to really gain momentum in the U.S. market. A lot of this is due to great advertising ventures on the part of Nintendo and the president of Sega at the time just not knowing his ass from a hole in the ground. What’s a company to do to get back into the console war? Not focus on software! Are you crazy ha ha software that’s a good one. Let’s re-release the same system 4 more times. Yeah… that’ll work…

sega genesis consoles 800x600

A. Sega Genesis 2

So rather than trying to develop better games for the console, Sega thought it would be a good idea to just re-release the Genesis. In comes the Sega Genesis 2!

So is it faster? No. Can it produce better visuals? No. Is the sound quality better? No. Just a cosmetic change. Nothing else. Does it look better than the Sega Genesis 1? Well, that’s debatable. Sure, it might look sleeker, but it lost some features from it’s predecessor. Most notably the headphone jack. The headphone jack on the console allowed the player to plug in headphones, which muted the T.V. speakers giving the player the ability to play quietly. A feature that I can guarantee all parents missed. No one wants to hear you shooting through Space Harrier especially not your tired mother who just got off the 12 hour late shift to pick your dumbass up from school only to come home, cook dinner for you and the rest of the family with no “thank you” from anyone!

B. Sega Genesis 3

Yes. There was another one. It’s so small, you can fit it in your pocket! Because that’s what you want to do with a home video game console. The reason it’s called a home console is because you are suppose to play it at home! You can literally put this system in your back pocket granted you still have those JNCO pants lying around from when you were trying to hit on that Emo chick at school.

And guess what? It’s even less compatible then the previous two. Less games work on the Genesis 3, particularly games containing the DSP chip and it’s also incompatible with the Sega CD, 32x and Power Base Converter (more shit I’ll get to in a minute). Unbelievable.

C. Sega Nomad

A portable Sega Genesis? Sounds good right? Well it wasn’t. This was just another ill faded attempt to keep the Genesis library alive because Sega feared the up coming generation of consoles and they had every right to be so. Plus it’s bulky, killed batteries, and the button set up was atrocious.

D. Sega Firecore

The Sega Firecore was released 2009! Yes. 2009. Sega was once again trying to bank on the one of the largest libraries for a gaming console one last time. The Firecore is smaller than the Genesis 3 (what? The 3 wasn’t small enough?) and is just as incompatible as the Genesis 3 was. Oh! But wait! There’s 20 built in games! Give me a break.

2. Shitty Add-ons

Sega was known for being a head of the curve. The issue with this is technology didn’t have a chance to catch up before Sega got their hands on it and tried to sell it off as an amazing add-on.

sega battleship

A. Sega CD

The Sega CD was released in 1992 as an add-on for the Sega Genesis. It could play CD-Rom based games by attaching it to the Genesis, plugging in it’s own power cable, and it’s own video cable. Yeah… all of that just to play more shitty games. CD-Roms were new even to PCs at the time and the biggest complaint was loading times. You bring that to an under powered console and the loading times almost triple. Oh, and since there was more than 1 Sega Genesis, they had to release 2 Sega CDs. One was not compatible with the other.

The technology was so new, in fact, that it didn’t have the ability to use the full dimensions of the screen for full motion video which was the point of the CD all along. It had a larger memory bank so that meant bigger and better games right? Let’s not think about moving all of that memory to the T.V. screen.

B. Sega 32X

The 32X was released for the up coming doom of the 16-bit era. The thought was more bits the better game. Even today, game companies believe that as long as the game looks beautiful it can make up for it’s short comings in the gameplay arena. They were wrong then and are still wrong today. Again, the 32x wasn’t compatible with every version of the Genesis, but you were able to use it on the Genesis 1 and 2. That’s a plus I guess. Too bad there weren’t any good games for it except for rehashes of games that were already released on better consoles and/or the PC.

3. Memorable Franchises

Everyone knows that if a console is going to survive it comes from the software. Yes, the hardware is important because if the console just doesn’t work, no one is going to make games for it. But your games have to be top notch in notoriety and popularity. These are the games that will live on longer than the console itself. These are the games that players will go out and buy every time a new iteration comes out because they are characters we are familiar with, we care about, and want to know how the story continues. And you need more than just one. One character will not push your name to the end of time. You need to develop a multiple of franchises to reach every demographic. No, you won’t hit them all, but you will give your players a choice. And they have to be worth playing.

nintendo vs sega

This took me longer to do than to write the actual article ha ha

Now take a second and really look at the image above. How many of the Nintendo characters can you name compared to the number of Sega characters you can name. Now, if you can name all of them then you are a true retro gamer and I award you 10 Viking points. If you named more Nintendo than Sega, you sir (or madam) are a typical video game player. If you named more Sega than Nintendo then you are a Sega fan boy and let the flame war begin! And if you can’t name any of them, there’s really no reason for you to be on this blog. I mean, I’m not that pretty looking…

But really, the only Sega franchise that made anything of its self was Sonic and maybe Phantasy Star to some degree. And just like Mega Man, they whored Sonic out to every venue they could get their hands on. Now, some of you could say that Nintendo followed the same path with some if not most of their franchised faces, but there was one thing that Nintendo did differently that Sega did not. Well, I don’t know if I can tell you. It’s kind of a secret. OK, you’re cool, I guess I can trust you… OK… here it is… THE GAMES WERE GOOD!

3. Sega Saturn shenanigans

The Sega Saturn was released on May 11, 1995 a whole 4 months before the legendary “Saturnday” that never came to be. Again, the Saturn on a technical stand point was leaps and bounds ahead of it’s competition. But there was one thing that really brought the system down, at least in my opinion. And it shows that the previous point really hits the mark.

No Sonic Sega Saturn

1. No Sonic pack-in

Sonic was named the mascot of the Sega Corp back when the Genesis was released. And let’s face it, he was way cooler than Mario (and continued to be until Smash Bros was released. That game is something else.)

But how can you decide as a company not to pack in a game that features your mascot? Your leading 1st party franchise? When Nintendo decides to release a new console, the first game that’s tested and released is a Mario game (sans the initial release of the Wii, but now the New Super Mario Bros is a pack-in). How, in good conscious, can you believe that to demonstrate your fantastic new piece of hardware on any other game than your pride and joy? Your milk and honey? Your… hookers and blow…? I don’t know where that can from.

2. Early release

Just thought of another reason that caused Sega to fail with the Saturn: they gave up. Just gave up. Hey guys, it’s not working… the games are few and far between… people are complaining about price… Nintendo… Mario… blah blah blah. Fuck it, let’s make another one!

If you invest time, money, and a shit load of people into a project, you don’t just pull out the second things go awry. You bite down, grip it, and ride it till the end. I mean, come on, Sega is one of the notorious for arcade gaming. It’s not like one failed system is going to sink the company. It takes time to sink a company that big. Even with all of the shit they’ve released after the death of the Dreamcast, they are still running. And they will continue to run. Because all and all, Sega is pretty kick ass when there’s not some jackass making decisions.

Final Thoughts: Could Sega retain their rightful place at the top?

Yes… but it’ll never happen. You know as well as I do we are not lucky enough to have a Dreamcast 2 in our life time. But I’ll tell you this, from the talks and trends I’ve been seeing in the game market, physical media will be a thing of the past in the next “next” generation. All of our games will be downloaded over the space waves and onto a dedicated disk on the console itself.

If Sega would look at the industry for just a moment they would realize that there is a market for physical media. There’s a market for “real” gamers who take initiative to actually sit down and play games. Evaluate it, rate it, and if it’s worth it, recommend it to others. Not play it for five minutes, short attention spanned, and trash it.

Sega could have a great come back by being the “other” video game console. And if that happens, I will be the first in line to pre order. But it better have a Sonic pack-in.

Internet Killed Console Gaming–Point 2

 

Oh, Internet… It’s a love and hate relationship. I’ve become so tied to the Internet, like most of us, and it’s hard to live in a life where you don’t exist. I also can’t stand what you’ve done to one of my most precious loves: console gaming. There’s nothing like hooking a system up to my T.V., holding that controller pad in my hands for the first time and wasting away in the glow from the television set for hours on end. But you have to stop!

Point 2 – Broken games

nes360

I’m a firm believer that it’s about the game play not the graphics which decides the top performers in the gaming world. Shiny cutting edge graphics are no match for great story telling and compelling character arches. You can have the faster processors and load times, but I will not play it if the game just down right sucks. And the Internet has allowed more of these shitty games through the gates with the idea that “We’ll make it better!”

A.

The Internet has made game developers of all kinds lazy. They release broken games with slapped together physics just so they can hit their delivery date to get full exposure for important dead lines such as a system launch date. By doing so, we as gamers, are now teaching these corporations that it’s OK if your game is broken, we will wait for updates and sometimes, even pay to get them. What has become of us?

A perfect example is the newly released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, Skyrim quickly become the number 1 game at the top of many reviewers charts. The crowd was unanimous: this is an amazing game. Or is it?

Released on November 11, 2011, the first patch was made available for download on November 29, 2011. 18 days after the game was released to stores. 18 days! Now, what did the patch do? Well let’s see what the book of knowledge has to say:

Patch 1.2 was released on November 29, 2011 to fix some of the game’s issues;however, some players reported new bugs in the game following the patch, including more frequent game crashes.

wikipedia.org

18 days after it’s initial release, the game was already broken to the point of the system crashes deeming it completely unplayable. What happened? Well, I will admit that Skyrim is a fucking huge game. I’m talking big. But, the thing you need to remember is that this is the fifth in the series. This is not the first game released by Bethesda Game Studios. With the reputation they have created for themselves, they are vets even gods among game developers. 18 days… it only took players 18 days for them to realize that the game was broken to the point of it being unplayable.

So, they released a patch. To fix things. But that didn’t help. So they released 5 more patches to get the game into fighting shape, the last of which was pushed out on March 20, 2012 again to fix the bugs and system crashes. To me, this shows that Bethesda released a broken game, an unfinished product, a worthless attempt to get my money.

My point is, if the game isn’t ready to be released then don’t release it. There’s a reason that every game company has play testers. They are there to find issues with a game that wouldn’t be found by someone who is making the game.  A new set of eyes if you will. Now, I’m not saying that these play testers will find “every bug imaginable” but if it’s crashing your system… that’s a problem… especially if they need to release 5 different patches to fix the problem. Only with the ability of the Internet can a game company get away with this and make it the norm.

If you have the ability to fix an already released product months if not years after it’s release date, then where is the bar? What would stop a company from releasing a game that just consists of an environment and few if not any actually playable game aspects? I mean, couldn’t the definition of a game be ripped down to just an avatar running around on the screen with no real objectives? Anything is possible.

The lack of updates throughout the life of a video game has forced some game developers in the past to really go that extra mile to do something amazing… Case in point —

B.

Final Fantasy

250px-FF1_USA_boxart

Some of you have heard of a small company called Square (now known as Square Enix). But a few of you may not know that Square was, at one point,  becoming a distant memory. Yes, they were at their wits end ready to call it quits.

Square was at the bottom of the barrel with it came to video games back in the mid to late 1980s. They just couldn’t put anything together to turn a profit. They had one more game in them and if it didn’t work out, well… that was it. Close the doors, pack up all of the Japanese porn and call it quits. It was literally their “Final Fantasy”.

The idea came from a similar company called Enix (which they ended up purchasing, I’m sorry “merging” with later in 2003). The game was called Dragon Quest: an RPG for the Nintendo Famicom. It was a hit, but Square thought they could do it one better. Final Fantasy was released in December 1987. It spawned many squeals and is easily the only reason why Square still exists.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. With all of the technology we have available, what would be of Square if they decided to start today? If those dead drop games they released before Final Fantasy were able to be updated, to fix bugs, in short, to make the game better, would Final Fantasy ever be? Without getting too philosophical, yes, someone down the road would have created the game sooner or later. But would it have been Square? Probably not. Because they weren’t faced with that moment of terror that could close them down forever. They didn’t have the ability to fix a crappy game like game devs do today. Once it was released it was up to the players to decide if the game be worthy or not. If not, that was it. No second chances. Nothing. You’re done. Thanks for playing.

Let’s look at today’s games. What if a company, that released a crappy game, who now has the chance to fix it a second time, does instead of scraping the entire project and go for something different? We’ll never know for sure what amazing games we could be playing other than the 20th version of Call of Duty. But I can tell you, you back someone into a corner with one last chance, the possibility of doing something wonderful and beautiful is more likely than not. Think about that…

Join me for point 3 where I discuss the losing game of…. TROLLS!

Point One

FIGHTWARE – The Ultimate Gaming System–Part 1

what is FIGHTWARE

FIGHTWARE is an idea that can create the ultimate gaming experience in emulation. It combines the love of retro gaming with the computing power of today to allow the player to replicate the gaming experience of conventional consoles in a all-in-one tight, cute little package.

Basically it’s a computer. Just like all modern consoles, it will consist of a motherboard, hard drive disk, controllers, etc. But the beauty of FIGHTWARE is to strive to feel exactly like you are playing on the actual console with real controllers rather than on a computer keyboard. With today’s technology in emulation, anything is possible.

why “FIGHTWARE”

A name is just a name. Actually, my original name for this console was “Agent Orange”. I just thought it was a sweet ass name. Could call it AO for short. But after some serious thinking, and realizing that it might upset some people, I decided on FIGHTWARE. It has a better ring to it than AO does. When you ask someone what they’re doing  they would say something like “I’m playing Xbox” or “I’m playing Playstation”. I’m playing “Agent Orange” doesn’t really sound good. I’m playing FIGHTWARE sounds way better. Then again it might just be me. I can go either way.

is FIGHTWARE legal?

Short answer, No. According to the law of copyright, you are allowed to have one soft copy (in this case a rom) if you own the hard copy that you’ve legally paid for. This is an old law and more often then not, this is also against the law. The main purpose of FIGHTWARE is to play through emulation, but there can be so much more you can do with the system which will be outlined in later installments. So no, it’s not legal. With that in mind, let’s continue shall we?

origins

FIGHTWARE was created out of my lonely days of trying to mod my original X-Box console. The idea that I could put emulators and roms on the system and play them without having to blow into cartridge slots, wiping smuggie discs on my white tee, or placing a Coke can on top of the console to play got my heart pumping. A modded X-Box. It was heaven to a retro gamer like me.

But… talk about a pain in the ass to get working. You need the correct game to load the installer, a Memory Card with the files on it. Just getting the files over to the memory card was a pain. Or you could get an Action Replay which is fine, back then, but now finding one is almost impossible. Most people at game stores have no idea that an Action Replay was made for the original Xbox. Then I get those dumb looks and crazy questions of “Why? Original Xbox? Just buy a 360.” I don’t want a 360. I want to mod my Xbox. Back off nerd so lame that even I wouldn’t talk to you on the street!

And updating the system or adding anything new was a pain as well. You had to connect a patch network cable to your computer, run a certain kind of FTP software because NO OTHER FTP PROGRAM WOULD WORK CORRECTLY!!! make sure that HDD was “unlocked” and that the system defaults were set to even be able to connect to your computer. Pain in the ass!

So you might be thinking “Well, I mean yeah it’s a pain, but it’s got to be easier than creating your own custom console.” And to that, I would say you are correct. At least in part. The hardest part of this whole idea of FIGHTWARE is the beginning stages. Getting everything together, connecting hardware, making sure everything works correctly. But after that’s all good, it’s a simple plug and play concept for everything else. And you will be much happier to use an original NES controller to play those roms rather than the bulky X-Box controller. Even the S version doesn’t feel well to the hands. Plus you wouldn’t be restricted to out-dated hardware to make things happen. Still with me?

The next installment for FIGHTWARE will be about the hardware.