SEGA Launches Mega Drive Classics Hub on Steam

I wish I still had my old SEGA Mega Drive (that’s a Genesis to readers from the Americas). I miss it. But, while I search for an acceptable replacement for my childhood console on eBay, SEGA has been kind enough to launch a new Mega Drive emulator on Steam, bringing with it a whole host of classic games from the early-Nineties.

“The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub will be launching on Steam April 28th as a free update & there’s no need to purchase games you already own on Steam to use it,” SEGA has announced.

“The new-look system is based on a bedroom of an early nineties SEGA fan with dynamic time-of-day conditions, retro SEGA paraphernalia, a shelf full of MEGA Drive games (including the ones you own) and of course a CRT TV,” according to SEGA. “That’s not all, every single MEGA Drive game will now feature Steam Workshop support allowing you share modified versions of your favourite retro SEGA titles.”

The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub features:

  • Spot-on emulation;
  • Local co-op for games that support it;
  • Optional graphic enhancement filters;
  • The ability to save at any point in the gameplay;
  • Full controller / keyboard support.

Games available for the SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub include the Streets of Rage trilogy, Ecco the Dolphin, Altered Beast, and forgotten RPG classic Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole.

Sega to Support Modding of Games via Steam Workshop

Steam used to hold a collection of games, both old and new, but with its constant updates and the ability to download the games on any internet connected PC, people love the new choices they’ve been given. This love only grows when you give them back a childhood classic, which for many are centered around the games that the Sega Mega Drive offered them, and Sega wants this to grow by supporting not just the games on Steam but also the modified versions that will be shared via Steam Workshop.

Steam Workshop is the user content sharing part of Steam, letting you add mods and tweaks that include the likes of replacing dragons with trains or a new map for your army to conquer. In this respect support for user-created content will be supported by Sega alongside the new Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub being released on Steam on April 28th.

Clearly designed for a VR generation, the hub will include the system being placed in a bedroom, much like the ones where you first encountered the games. With graphical enhancement filters, full controller and keyboard support and “spot-on emulation” listed in the release, you can replay Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Ecco and even Columns just like you did when you were younger.

Conquer The Past and Future In Humble Sega Strategy Bundle

Another month another bundle, and this time, you will be conquering time itself with the Sega Strategy Bundle.

Starting at $1 you can grab the Company of Heroes Complete Edition and The Dawn Of War Master Collection. If playing as the USA, Germany or England wasn’t enough for you in the past, then maybe taking to the 41st century and deploying the undying living metal of the Necron or the righteous fury of the Sisters of Battle could tempt you. With the complete Medieval 2: Total War and Rome Total War collections included the distant past isn’t far from being conquered either. Rounding off the $1 collection is a bundle of classic Sega games such as Shining Force and Columns.

The pay more than average tier features the highly anticipated sequel to the Dawn Of War series, in its complete Grand Master collection none the less. Take to Japan in the Total War: Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai Collection or take on an alternative world in Valkyria Chronicles, with tanks and special powers fueling and fighting conflicts. If you are one for a slower pace then why not try the Eastside Hockey Manager or enjoy the 66% off Football Manager 2016 code you can grab from the Humble Store.

Finally at $12 or more you unlock Company of Heroes 2 Master Collection, bringing a whole new light to the series with new gameplay mechanics focused on the war on the eastern front. Joining Company of Heroes 2 is Total War Attila, with enhanced graphics, AI and gameplay mechanics bringing you to the internal and external conflicts that helped shape the name of Attila the Hun.

Make War Not Love 3 Bundle is Now Free on Steam

Back in their heyday, SEGA used to release a huge array of unique games including Golden Axe, Shenmue, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and more. Furthermore, they continued to innovate and worked on new IPs instead of relying too much on previously successful titles. Throughout history, SEGA made a profound impact on the industry, and spearheaded new experiences. For example, Shenmue is one of my favourite games of all time, and it’s quite difficult to explain. It almost falls into a genre of its own, and feels so special to anyone who played it at the time. Even today, the game’s beautiful setting, and endearing story holds up remarkably well.

Sadly, SEGA’s floundering attitude towards console hardware confused consumers and made them extremely angry. The company bamboozled gamers with quick-fire releases of the 32X, SEGA Saturn and eventually SEGA Dreamcast. As you can imagine, console players like to invest in a system and feel like it’s going to be supported for a considerable amount of time. SEGA didn’t understand this notion and alienated early adopters. It’s such a crying shame that part of the Dreamcast’s failure stemmed from poor business decisions. This meant people distrusted SEGA and couldn’t be convinced to purchase their latest product.

This is rather upsetting because the Dreamcast has a phenomenal library, and cancelled well before its time. Thankfully, SEGA still exists as a publisher and releases some games. Although, the quality of these has become suspect in recent years as demonstrated by Sonic Boom. It’s unfair to say this is the complete picture though because Sonic Generations really evoked the old school SEGA feel. During this week, the company collaborated with Valve to offer a host of classic titles for free!

The bundle includes Golden Axe, Hell Yeah! Pimp My Rabbit Pack, Hell Yeah! Virtual Rabbit Missions, Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, Jet Set Radio and SEGA Classics. This equates to a value of £22.64 and should provide hours of entertainment! To add the bundle to your library all you need to do is navigate to this Steam page, and click Install Game. Once completed all of the games will be permanently added to your library.

What is your favourite retro game of all time?

Dreamcast 2 Project Getting “Inviting Response” From SEGA

I have many fond memories of SEGA consoles, having owned the original SEGA Master System, the Master System II, Megadrive I and II, SEGA CD, 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Gear and finally, I was hoping to get my hands on the Dreamcast 2, but that plan never really saw the light of day. Some of you may know that when SEGA threw in the hardware towel, the Xbox from Microsoft was the next thing on the horizon and was released as a spiritual successor to the Dreamcast, which is why we saw games like Shenmue released on the system.

Project Dream have been working hard to revive SEGA consoles for real, not just in spirit, pitching the idea of a new Dreamcast and they’ve even gathered over 27 thousand petition signatures. Now they’re getting some more important names to support them; people who work at SEGA.

Two of Project Dream’s leaders, Bertie Wiseman and Joanne Freeman, spoke with Twinfinite about their involvement with SEGA, saying interactions so far have been fairly inviting. “It went from me ringing up to pester them for not replying to our mail and the receptionist asking for a full lowdown on what we wanted to talk to people about,” said Joanne. After multiple pitches, contacts and phone calls, the team says they have made contact with multiple SEGA names, including a senior member of SEGA Sammy.

“It all kind of happened quite quickly, and by the end of it, he finished chatting with me on the phone and sent one of our team members a message to say ‘send what you got through when you’re ready, and I’ll make sure it gets to the right people.’”

“We’ve been messaging a few other people. Some have gotten back to us and some haven’t,” Joanne continued, “but we haven’t had a negative response from SEGA, I can 100% say that. It’s been a mildly inviting response.”

“We don’t know what’s going to happen, but hope it’s a situation where it all goes well and they say ‘yep, great, we love the idea we’ll run with it.’” Should SEGA decide not to associate with the project, the team “would like to carry on with a spiritual successor to the console.”

Project Dream are getting ready to present their ideas to SEGA and see if they can get a real product and a real business idea together. The fact SEGA isn’t shutting them down at the first hurdle is promising, but there’s still a few major hurdles to cross.

SEGA Teasing Classic IP Revival

SEGA, it’s no secret that they’re working on a new game, being one of the world’s long-standing studios, they’re hardly going to be doing anything else right now! However, what their upcoming game is remains to be seen, but they’re already teasing that it may be something pretty special.

SEGA has a huge catalogue of games behind them, spanning many gaming generations right back to the Sega Master System console that went head to head with the original NES. So the prospect of them bringing back an old IP in their new game is certainly an interesting one, but it doesn’t give us much of a clue as to what it could be. We’ve already had a few HD remakes over the year, as well as a fair few Sonic games, and a bunch of spin-offs here, there and everywhere. However, with this year being Sonic’s 25th year on this Earth, he does seem a likely candidate once again.

Sega posted on Twitter and Facebook “If you’re a fan of the classics, you’ll definitely want to tune in tomorrow for our new game announcement.” although their posts have now been removed, but not before getting enough people’s attention.

Rumours are suggesting an announcement today from Sega regarding the new game, so we shouldn’t have long to wait, but what game are you hoping to see Sega produce again? Would you like to see that game done with an HD makeover, a simple re-release, complete remake or even just a sequel? Personally, I’d like to see them bring back something like Streets of Rage, as we haven’t had a lot of games like that in recent years, at least not outside of the Indie gaming scene.

Come on SEGA, make this a good one and not another kart game, please!

Fan Starts Petition for an HD SEGA Dreamcast

Petitions used to be political tools as a show of strength by the proletariat, signing one’s name to a formal document in protest at, say, a local park being sold off to Barratt Homes. The age of the internet, though, has turned the humble petition into a medium for spoilt children to throw their toys out of the pram.

Do you want a sarcasm font on social media because the concept of the absurd flies over your head? Start a petition! Think that Taco Bell should give a minimum of two hot sauce packets with each meal? Petition away! Have an irrational hated of sporks? This is what petitions were made for! Want your favourite band, S Club 7, to reform? After all, there ain’t no party like an S Club party. You know what to do…

In that vein, Australian gamer Ben Plato has launched a petition for SEGA to release a Limited Edition, HD version of its Dreamcast console, because there is a massive void in the world that only such a box can fill.

“The new console should have a new but similar design, wifi, wireless controllers (4 maximum) 720p or 1080p HD upscaling and HDMI output, internal 500g Hard Drive and a GD-Rom drive,” Plato writes.

“The console should be able to play original Dreamcast GD-Roms and also have the ability to connect online to a Dreamcast Classics Store to purchase and download classic Dreamcast titles in digital form where it can be played directly from the Hard Drive,” he adds.

It should also have a cup holder, a picture of my favourite fictional dog (Snoopy, by the way), and tell me that I’m lovely every 30 minutes. Are you listening, SEGA?

The petition already has 19,273 signatories on Change.org.

“By making the console made to order,” Plato asserts, “there is less risk of financial loss.”

Cue a second petition when SEGA releases its Limited Edition HD Dreamcast with Go-Faster Stripes for £2,000 in order to claw back the R&D costs of producing such a console for only 20,000 people.

SEGA Could Re-Release Shenmue I And II

SEGA has been sorely neglecting the Shenmue franchise for over a decade despite the passionate pleas of its fanbase. One could argue it was down the soaring costs of Shenmue and financial risk. However, the series desperately deserved a final chapter to finish the story and remaster of the original classics. The term genius can be applied too loosely in modern society, but Yu Suzuki is a genius of game design.

Thankfully, the advent of crowdfunding helped Suzuki find a platform to produce Shenmue 3 and ask fans for help with the development costs. Initially, the project was a resounding success but the rate of financial payment reduced quite rapidly. This caused some concerns as critics believed the raised amount wouldn’t cover the costs to produce an authentic Shenmue experience.

Whatever the case, it seems Shenmue 3 has multiple sources of revenue and it’s finally happening after all these years! Up to this point, SEGA has remained fairly distant but it seems like they are more open to revisiting the series and possibly releasing a HD remaster. SEGA Europe’s marketing director Jon Rooke told Marketing Week:

“Yes, we want to innovate and back smarthphones and virtual reality but our key purpose is to go back to what the brand used to stand for,” 

“I think the buzz around Shenmue 3 shows that people love our legacy,”

“Over the next few years, we want to use engaging content and marketing to remind the public why they fell in love with Sega in the first place.”

Would you buy Shenmue I and II if a remaster came to PC?

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War Free To Play on Steam This Weekend

The Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War franchise is free to play on Steam this weekend, SEGA has announced. The real-time strategy games, based on the Games Workshop tabletop wargame of the same name, are free-to-play right now, and will be until midnight GMT (1pm PDT) on Sunday, 27th September.

SEGA has also included a number of bonuses to satisfy existing players, which includes the following:

  • The Temple of Cyrene is a brand new, official multiplayer map we’re adding into the Dawn of War I rotation. This map will be playable in DoW I, as well as the Dark Crusade and Soulstorm expansions. The Temple of Cyrene sits on the blasted landscape of a world scoured clean by the Exterminatus of the Imperial Inquisition. Homeworld of Gabriel Angelos, Cyrene is now a ghost-world of ruined cities and ashen fields. Fight for supremacy amidst the remains of Cyrene’s once-mighty temples. Claim the three critical locations at the heart of the ruins or drive into enemy bases and deliver annihilation.
  • In Dawn of War II, we’re giving away four free sets of Wargear; The Vanguard, Sniper, Sternguard, and Destroyer, to equip in the main campaign that were previously only available as pre-order DLC, or as rare loot drops. Now everyone will be able to equip items like the Veteran’s Grenades, Blade of Ulyus, Armor of the Destroyer, and many more to complete your sets!

The Warhammer games eligible for free weekend play are Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, including the Dark Crusade, Soulstorm, and Winter Assault expansions, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, plus the Chaos Rising and Retribution expansions.

Thank you Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Candy Crush Voted UK’s Favourite Video Game

YouGov conducted a poll to find out the UK’s favourite video game of all time. The top spot was taken by Candy Crush with 11.3% of vote while the Grand Theft Auto series attained 10.6% in second place. Interestingly, Candy Crush’s popularity varies dramatically between genders and its success relies on a 24.3% female player base. In contrast, males only attributed to 3.4% of the vote. Other notable mentions include Mario Kart, Tetris, Tomb Raider, The Sims and Call of Duty. Although, I am surprised to see Civilization rated so highly and above a number of iconic Nintendo franchises.

The survey initially asked a sample size of more than 3300 people and a shortlist of 16 was created. From this data, each person was allowed to select their favourite from the 16 choices on offer. While 3300 is a good number, it’s still fairly small size and might explain some of the surprising results. Additionally, women only accounted for 41% of the gamers surveyed. This contravenes with recent evidence which suggests 52% of gamers in the UK are actually women.

YouGov also investigated the nation’s favourite retro gaming consoles and pitted Mario against Sonic in a battle to find out the UK’s favourite character.

This chart illustrates the PlayStation’s dominance and how closely matched the Megadrive and SNES are. These results are mostly in-tune with what I expected, but I thought the SNES would have been within 1-2% of the Megadrive.

What is your favourite video game of all-time, and do you feel these results are an accurate representation of the modern games industry?

President of Sega Japan Eventually Realises Games Should Be Good

Games should be good. It’s quite the epiphany, right? Sadly, it may have occurred to Hajime Satomi, President of Sega, two decades too late. After the failure of it Dreamcast console, bankruptcy, and a shift into mobile gaming, Satomi has finally realised that the quality of its games should have been paramount, and the lack of which has contributed to the company’s downfall.

Speaking to Famitsu, Satomi said, “As far as the Western market goes, we learned a lot from Atlus [developer owned by Sega]. If we can make a title with proper quality, I believe there’s a good chance for it to do well even in the West for players that like to play Japanese games.”

He added, “I’ve been talking to the employees about how we should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on. Especially in North America and Europe, where it’s always been more of a focus on schedules, I believe that if we can’t maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all.”

It seems that Satomi can now acknowledge how Sega alienated the fanbase it worked so hard to accrue during the 1990s, conceding that “We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega, but looking back, there have been some titles that have partially betrayed that trust in the past 10 years.” He lamented, “Sega in the ‘90s was known for its brand, but after that, we’ve lost trust and we were left with nothing but reputation. For this reason, we’d like to win back the customers’ trust and become a brand once again.”

Can Satomi and Sega put their money where their mouth is? We’ll find out soon, with Satomi assuring, “Since we’re seriously considering quality I can’t make that promise for the time being but I believe we will announce something for home consoles at Tokyo Game Show.”

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Sega and Relic Want to Revive the Company of Heroes 2 With a New Expansion

It’s been a long time since I heard about any news regarding the Company of Heroes title. The hype around it suddenly died soon after it got released, though the expansions that came after it did try to keep it going. The latest one, Adrenaline Assault, also shifted the focus on the eastern World War II front, taking the focus off the Allied forces and placing the Red Army in the spotlight.

This time around, the focus will move to the Brits and their forces. The upcoming expansion will be called Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces and will introduce fifteen new unites and six commanders, along with eight new multiplayer maps. It will also be a standalone multiplayer expansion, which means you don’t need to have Company of Heroes 2 in order to play it.

In addition to the expansion, Relic and Sega is planning a big update for all Company of Heroes 2 titles too. The latter will feature an improved balance between all factions, improved animations and visual improvements to the majority of units. It’s nice to see they are still supporting the Company of Heroes 2 title, but will this move to attract more players actually work this time?

The expansion and update are said to arrive on the 3rd of September, having the expansion cost £9.99. Sega said it will also offer a 20% discount to players who already own any Company of Heroes title, but only for pre-order purchases.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of SegaBits

A Strain on Resources for SEGA?

This year has been a bit of a weird one for E3, Bethesda Softworks are holding a first ever press conference on the lead up to the show, computer software and hardware manufacturers will be presenting at the show and now it seems that SEGA won’t have a dedicated booth; for the first time in the entire history of the expo.

A spokesperson confirmed that the publisher will not have a dedicated booth on the show floor, but will still have presence on business partners stalls to showcase games such as Total War: Warhammer; this means that there won’t be a huge SEGA logo guiding visitors into the SEGA-focused area. The official reason for this is being pinned on the recent announcement of a structure at headquarters, leaving less time and resources to coordinate at the event.

“Over the next months, Sega of America will be focusing on the restructure and relocation to Southern California, and we have decided to not attend E3 with our own booth this year,” a Sega rep told Game Informer. “With the majority of our bigger titles launching later in 2015/2016, particularly those from our AAA studios Relic Entertainment, Sports Interactive, and Creative Assembly, we are concentrating our efforts for some of these major announcements after our relocation.”

Now not presenting at a show isn’t unheard of; Blizzard didn’t hold Blizzcon in 2012, but has grown in size and popularity since. Still, it can’t be good news with the loss of many jobs expected from the restructure, could this be a sign of a shrinking SEGA?

Will you be disappointed that SEGA won’t be showcasing at E3? What are you looking forward to the most from the event? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.

PS4 Beats PS2 Sales

Back in early 2000, Sony brought us the PlayStation 2, the console that set the world alight; bringing amazing quality to the masses. Back then, the PS2 was almost unrivalled, the Sega Dreamcast was the only real competition as the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox were not released until over 18 months later; this allowed the PS2 to sell over 155 million units in total.

Today, it was announced that the PlayStation 4 has knocked its older brother off the top spot for like-for-like sales. In just 18 months, the PS4 has sold over 2 million units in the UK alone, outpacing the PS2. This now means that roughly 3% of the UK population owns a PS4, or about 7.5% of UK homes.

Worldwide, Sony have announced a total sales figure of 22.3 million units since launch, smashing its closest rival Microsoft with an estimated 14 million units and doubling the Nintendo Wii U of just 9.9 million units.

It isn’t overly surprising that the PS4 is the most popular console in the UK, for years Sony has held a strong market lead over its console rivals in Europe as well as Japan. In the US, Sony has had a tougher time where the Xbox 360 was dominating the previous generation console sales, but due to early slip-ups in the early stages of the Xbox One, Sony has maintained a lead there too.

I personally don’t own a console, I just don’t find the free time to justify the cost. Are you one of the 3% of UK residents that own a PS4 or do you own a Xbox One? What about in other countries, do you and your friends all own the same console? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing this information.

SEGA and the Creative Assembly Announce Total War: Warhammer

Total War fans will be thrilled to find out that SEGA and The Creative Assembly recently announced the next installment in the renowned strategy game series. Unlike its predecessors, Total War: Warhammer will deliver a unique high fantasy experience, which means that regular soldiers will be accompanied by flying creatures, large monsters and lots of magic. The campaign for the upcoming game will be focused on a harsh place called the Old World, which will allow the player to engage in deadly conflict or forge alliances whenever possible. Playable races include the men of the Empire led by Karl Franz, the Greenskins commanded by Grimgor Ironhide, the Dwarfs ordered by High King Thorgrim and the Vampire Counts led by Mannfred von Carstien.

“Whichever race you choose to play as and however you seek conquest, you will be faced with a conflict that threatens to tear the very fabric of reality asunder.”

Total War: Warhammer is being designed to provide hundreds of hours of gameplay, and it will be followed up by two standalone installments. The game’s announcement was accompanied by the release of a cinematic trailer, which you can view right now by clicking below.

The Creative Assembly’s latest title, Total War: Attila received positive reviews from critics and has been generally received with open arms by fans. Do you think that Warhammer will enjoy the same popularity?

Thank you Dsogaming for providing us with this information.

Cancelled Sonic 3D Game Made Playable

The 1990s was an incredible period of transition in the video game world. For the early part of the decade, Nintendo had been working on its ‘Project Reality’ with SGI, in its attempt to bring “photorealistic” 3D graphics to consoles. Sony became a newcomer to the console market, with similar ambitions. Nintendo’s efforts later became the legendary and history-making Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 and Sony’s the cult-classic Crash Bandicoot on the original PlayStation.

Meanwhile, struggling Sega was wondering how to fight back. The company was developing a game called Sonic X-treme that was to be Sega’s first fully 3D Sonic game. However, it was not to be. It’s development was not at all free from trouble, with the title eventually being cancelled.

Fortunately, a copy of the unfinished game was discovered in 2006, and now, fans have joined together to release a version that can run on Windows. Be warned though, it really is nowhere near finished. The ‘game’ is essentially a playable demo, one not free from bugs. The video below however, helps us to get an idea of what Sonic-equivalant of Super Mario 64 may have looked like.

Source: The Verge

Alien Isolation Nominated for 6 BAFTAS; Gets New DLC

Creative Assembly’s 2014 triumph Alien Isolation, a video game sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien, has dominated the BATFA video game nominations, being recognised in the Audio Achievement, Best Game, British Game, Game Design, Game Innovation, and Music categories. The nominations list was released by BAFTA today.

The very same day, publisher SEGA launched a new DLC for the game, its fourth so far. The add-on, called Lost Contact, gives Survivor Mode a new Salvage Challenge, forcing the player to survive against the 10 of hardest enemies in the game, and only one life with which to do it with.

Source: The Guardian, Polygon

Yakuza 5 is Coming to the PS3 in Europe and the US in 2015

Sega has announced that Yakuza 5 will launch on the PlayStation Network for the PS3 (not the PS4, boo) in Europe and the United States sometime in 2015. Considering the game came out in Japan in… 2012… you’d think Sega would’ve released it elsewhere in the world sooner.

At the strike of midnight on Sunday, Sega will launch Yakuza 4 and Yakuza: Dead Souls on the PS3 through PSN in Europe. Yakuza 5 on the other hand, continues the story of “Kazuma Kiryu, alongside four other protagonists. It’s set in five Japanese cities, includes a raft of mini-games and a modified battle system. Also included is Another Drama, a series of side stories that focus on each protagonist in-depth” reports Eurogamer.

Sega of America’s boss, John Cheng said “The world of the Yakuza series has fascinated gamers in Japan and the West for many years. We know fans have been eagerly awaiting a release of Yakuza 5 here and we are thrilled to finally launch this spectacular entry in the series in North America and Europe.”

For those waiting on news about Yakuza 0, you’ll have to wait, but it is still due out next year for both the PS4 and PS3… in Japan at least.

Source: Eurogamer.

Shenmue Fan Attempts To Make Shenmue HD

One talented Shenmue fan is clearly tired of waiting for Sega to make Shenmue III, in fact, I think it is now pretty safe to say that Shenmue III simple isn’t going to happen, it has been too long and less than favorable software sale of the first two aren’t exactly good motivation to complete the trilogy.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/g7cjDaOQpB0[/youtube]

Shenmue was an awesome game, but you’ve already started reading this article, so you likely already know this fact. Koreanfan NaconKid has recreated a couple of scenes from the game in HD, keeping with the original art style, but buffing textures and resolutions to look better than ever before. Everything from the leather jackets to the arcade machines have been tweaked to perfection and best of all the arcade machines have had new games added to them.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/y1UrqRoTAbk[/youtube]

This project is a long way from playable and Nacon admits that completing the rest would take a long time. However, as far a fan project goes I’m thoroughly impressed and this could be the spark some developers at Sega need to show them there is potential and interest in a HD re-release of the first two games, something that could pave the way for a third entry in the series.

Thank you Pushsquare for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Pushsquare.

Is Emulation the Best Feature of the Nvidia Shield?

Introduction


Emulation is a popular pass time for many PC gamers, and in recent year there has been a big increase in GPU horsepower in the mobile market, allowing us to enjoy many classic games on the go, not just  on our desktops. The Nvidia Shield is one of the most powerful mobile gaming devices on the market, and this is especially thanks to its Nvidia Tegra 4 GPU/CPU, which is not only capable of running many older games such as those from the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive, but also a lot more advanced 3D titles from consoles such as the Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast and more. What I hope to find out today is whether or not these games work well enough to justify using the Nvidia Shield as a dedicated emulation device.

Obviously there are some grey area legal issues when it comes to emulation, most of which focus around the piracy of compatible roms, so I feel obligated to mention that I do not condone anyone downloading games, but that there are also many other ways to obtain these games. There are tools and apps out there which let you rip games you own, and this applies to both cartridge based games as well as disc based games. Fortunately I’ve been collecting games for many years now and can use games I already own and have at my disposal, but keep in mind that you’re responsible for sourcing your own titles how you see fit, as we here at eTeknix take no responsibility for this, nor will be providing sources to where or how you can obtain the games. Boring stuff out of the way, let us get back to the action!

Getting roms configured on your Nvidia Shield, or to be honest any powerful mobile device can be a little tricky. Generally the more powerful your device, the better chances you’ll have of getting your games to run, as the task of emulating hardware can be quite demanding, especially when it comes to more modern titles such as those from the Sega Dreamcast. So while I am focusing this article on the Nvidia Shield, there is no reason why you can’t try this out on your mobile phone or tablet, so long as you think it’s powerful enough to do so.

The Nvidia Shield has a few extra tricks that make it a great choice for emulation, firstly because it has a controller built directly into it, as well as a high quality touch-screen display. You can use USB OTG to connect wired controllers such as the Xbox 360 controller, a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable to put the device into console mode and play on your big screen and more, so you’re not going to be limited to only playing this as a handheld, but virtually anywhere you want, on whichever screen you want (so long as it has Miracast or HDMI).

Today I’ll be taking a look at the Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive, PlayStation 1, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Dreamcast and Nintendo 64. There are plenty more emulators and formats out there, but I feel the ones I have chosen cast a wide net over what is possible on mobile device emulation. Even older or less powerful systems such as Gameboy, MAME, NES and Master System generally all work from the same emulators I’ll be testing and already have widespread, proven compatibility with most mobile devices, so feel free to experiment with them at your own leisure.

New Game Coming To Sega Dreamcast Next Week

NG:DEV.TEAM, a German based games developer, have announced today that their latest title, NEO XYX, will be heading to the much loved and certainly not forgotten Sega Dreamcast. That’s right, despite the many years of service the Dreamcast has seen, and not forgetting the few extra generations of console gaming we’ve had since it was released, the Dreamcast still has a loyal fan base and an active community of development. Games may not be flying off the production line, but for owners of the console we think one or two games a year is a lot better than no games!

The latest entry to the console is NEO XYX, a Toaplan style 2D arcade shooter, something that the Dreamcast has long proven to be ideal for. The game was originally developed for the NEO·GEO but it will officially re-release in its new format next week on February 17th. for Sega Dreamcast will be released on 17th February.

NEO XYX features six stages of excellent 2D arcade game play with over 40 unique enemy types and huge fully animated pixel art bosses. If you want to know more you can check out the official release trailer below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4OGpcCsOD0[/youtube]

Key Features

  • 6 arcade style designed stages
  • Beautiful Toaplan style / Japanese 90tis arcade styled pixel art
  • 40+ fully animated pixel art enemies
  • 11+ huge fully animated pixel art boss enemies
  • 60 fps
  • Medal collecting score system
  • Dynamic difficulty rank system which kicks in for experienced players

Accessories (Dreamcast)

  • VMU
  • VGA
  • Original pad
  • Arcade stick

The game will also be available in three editions, all of which are available at the developers online store.

  • Collector Edition [CE] (limited to 300 units worldwide) – Beautiful DVD slipcase with LE and RE. A T-shirt, two postcards and 4 stickers
  • Limited Edition [LE] (limited to 1000 units worldwide) – Game + Soundtrack OST CD
  • Regular Edition [RE]

Thank you NEO XYX for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NEO XYX.

Sonic Boom Announced, New Game, TV Show & Toys For The Speedy Hedgehog

Great news for Sonic fans as SEGA have announced Sonic Boom, a fresh take on the Sonic universe that will include a new game, toys and CG animated television series. Personally I washed my hands with Sonic a while back, the games got worse and worse over the years, with the exception of the HD one they did. My son on the other hand will be happy to hear there is a new game and cartoon on the way!

Sonic and his pals have been tweaked and redesigned for the new series, and the game will be heading exclusively to Wii U and 3DS, which will hopefully give Nintendo the little boost they need right now. The game will serves as a prequel to the accompanying TV series and will features all the usual stars; Sony, Tails, Knuckles and Amy Rose.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/U0a7-1wdDuw[/youtube]

The Cartoon will be heading to Cartoon Network for the 2014/15 season, run for 52 episodes or around 11 minutes each. Expect the toys and merchandise to be your usual wide range of semi-collectables.

Hiroyuki Miyazaki, SEGA chief content officer for Sonic, said “SEGA is constantly looking to feed the appetite of Sonic fans, new and existing alike. The various pieces of the Sonic Boom project, such as its unique look, mix of comedy, and action and its focus on the whole ensemble with Sonic as the star, offer another exciting part of that universe for people to explore and enjoy.  It will be at once familiar but also new.”

With rumours floating around about a new Sonic game for PS4 / Xbox one for 2015, we can only assume that may also have something to do with this series, however SEGA have been quick to deny such things.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IGN.

London Based Sega Dreamcast 15th Anniversary Party On November 27th

REZtron Ltd have announced that they will be hosting yet another console Anniversary themed event. This time it will be filled with nothing but Dreamcast games! Having successfully hosted Mega Drive’s 25th Anniversary event last month REZtron’s fifth ‘retrotainment’ of the year will take place once again at the award winning The Hoxton Pony cocktail bar, from 5pm til 11pm on Wednesday 27th November. REZtron will give centre stage to yet another iconic and pioneering console of the yesteryears.The 15th Anniversary of the SEGA Dreamcast.

I’m a big fan of the Dreamcast and it is great to see it get even further recognition within the gaming community. Sega may not have had such a smooth time with actually selling and marketing the console, but anyone who actually owned one will tell you that it had some gorgeous graphics and some absolutely stunning games.

15 years later and poeple are still making games for the Dreamcast, having a handful of games released this year alone by indie devs such as RedSpotGames, Hucast Games and NG:DEV.TEAM to name a few it proves that there’s still a lot of love for the 128-BIT beauty years after the console’s official commercial life span.

The celebration of the world’s first internet-ready console that was released in Japan on November 27th 1998 will fittingly host 15 legendary games throughout the night on gorgeous CRT TVs and on a projector,including games such as House of the Dead 2,Virtua Tennis,Rez,Ikaruga,Soul Calibur,Crazy Taxi 2,Power Stones,Shenmue and maracas action with Samba De Amigo to name a few..

There will also be competition running on Shenmue’s mini game ‘QTE Title’ during the first half of the night,with prizes to give away. To keep things true to REZtron’s retrotainment spirit there will be some 80s/90s Karaoke kicking off on the MEGA-CD Karaoke system just after 9pm.

The ‘128-BIT retrotainment’ will take place on Wednesday 27th November, 5pm till 11pm. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite, Dreamcast15.eventbrite.co.uk and anyone who comes dressed in gaming or anime inspired Cosplay will get in FREE!

Thank you Reztron for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Reztron.

Football Manager 2014 Is The First FM To Hit Linux Operating Systems

The video game industry’s movement towards supporting Linux gaming continues: Sports Interactive and SEGA have revealed Football Manager 2014 has full support for Linux-based operating systems. The Football Manager series of games is probably one of the most popular sports games on the PC platform and is by far the most popular football management simulator you can get, so when it gets released on Linux it is a big deal for Linux gaming.

“Play on Linux for the first time, plus the inclusion of ‘cloud-save’ technology which means that managers can now pursue a single career from any computer, anywhere in the world. FM14 also includes integration with Steam Workshop making it easy for managers to create and share customised FM content such as photo/logo packs, new and custom competitions and tailor-made challenges using the new Challenge Editor.

New features include the improved Match Engine, tactical overhaul, more realistic transfers and contracts, more sophisticated board interaction, improved interaction with players, staff and media, news system, enhanced user interface, and Football Manager Classic has evolved.” Reads the release statement on Steam.

As of writing Football Manager 2014 and 2013 sit 8th and 9th respectively in Steam’s top 10 games for current user activity. Combining data for Football Manager 2013 and 2014 shows that is more popular on Steam than Skyrim, Counter Strike 1.6 or Civilization V.

Will you be getting Football Manager 2014 for Linux? Have you considered making the move to Linux for gaming yet?

Image courtesy of PCGamer.com

8 3D Sega Classics Will Be Heading To The Nintendo 3DS This Year

Sega have just announced details for their highly anticipated 3D remake of some of their arcade classics, such as Ecco The Dolphin for the Nintendo 3DS. Each of these titles will be priced at a pretty reasonable $5.99/€4.99/£4.49 and they will all be available for download in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Release dates for the titles are as follows:

  • 3D Space Harrier – 11/28/2013
  • 3D Super Hang-On – 11/28/2013
  • 3D Sonic The Hedgehog – 12/5/2013
  • 3D Altered Beast – 12/5/2013
  • 3D Ecco the Dolphin – 12/12/2013
  • 3D Galaxy Force II – 12/12/2013
  • 3D Shinobi III – 12/19/2013
  • 3D Streets of Rage – 12/19/2013

“These games were completely re-built to offer a robust 3D experience that offers more modern gameplay while still keeping true to the original,” commented John Cheng, President and COO, SEGA of America. “We look forward to bringing these classic SEGA titles to Nintendo 3DS for fans – both old and new.”

Many of these games have been ported to new formats over the years but as far as I am concerned there is never need of an excuse to replay Sony, Ecco, Streets of Rage or in fact any of these titles! And if Sega do a good job on the graphics then these could very well be some nice bargains to enjoy of the holiday season.

Thank you Sega for providing us with this information.

3D Reimagining Of Mickey Mouse “Castle Of Illusion” Now Available For Digital Download

SEGA of America Inc. and Disney Interactive today announced Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, the 3D reimagining of the original 1991 SEGA Genesis classic is now available for download. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is available worldwide for digital download today for PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Windows PC for $14.99USD/£ 9.99/€14.99.

“We enjoyed working closely with Disney Interactive to update this classic title,” said John Cheng, President and COO, SEGA of America. Whether they played the original on the SEGA Genesis or just discovering it for the first time, we really hope the fans will find our re-imagining of Castle of Illusion a magical experience.”

Mickey Mouse returns to star in a magical Disney adventure with all-new HD graphics and gameplay. Experience a world of enchantment as Castle of Illusion brings Mickey and his world to life. When the evil witch Mizrabel kidnaps Minnie, it’s up to Mickey to brave the dangers of the Castle of Illusion and journey through five fantastical worlds to rescue Minnie. Gather your courage and take on hordes of rebellious toys, traverse enchanted forests and navigate mazes of living books to save Minnie from Mizrabel’s evil clutches.

This was easily the greatest Micky game ever made in my opinion and one of my all time favourite Mega Drive / Genesis games, will you be playing this latest release of the platforming classic?

Thank you SEGA for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of SEGA.

Company of Heroes 2 PC Review

This week I’ve been getting lost in a part of the gaming world I know little about, real-time strategy. I’ve tried and failed at this genre before and I’ve yet to find a game that really hooked me, even then I think the last one I moderately enjoyed was C&C Generals! But I have heard great things about Company of Heroes and when presented with a chance to test out this latest edition in the series I just couldn’t help myself. Of course this isn’t just me sharing my preferences for gaming but a warning that I am a complete n00b at CoH2 and may not fully grasp the source material, you have been warned.

The game takes place in the legendary setting of World War II, in which you will span several legendary encounters from the perspective of the games new faction the Soviet Red Army. This sees you crossing the Eastern Front and the campaign features 14 challenging missions for you to pick your way through. Personally I found the game to be quite challenging in more ways than one and for the purpose of my own enjoyment I had to bump it down to Conscript difficulty (easy) just to get anywhere, although this could be my lack of experience with this type of game.

There is a tutorial mission included also for newcomers to the series and while it is a nice addition, it leaves many questions lingering in my opinion. There are many minor systems and tweaks that can be made to characters, gameplay elements and tactics while you’re playing and these are mostly unexplained and I get the feeling that while they may not be completely necessary to win they would likely offer something extra to more experienced fans of the series.

There are some interesting stories and scenarios throughout the game and the feeling that your often fighting a losing battle is ever-present, in fact it is often the case that the mission is to just hold out before retreating instead of actually winning the battle. This is further brought to life in the cut scenes and while they’re far from winning an Oscar in terms of CGI or acting quality they work well to set the pace and highlight some of the aspects of how the Soviet Army treated their soldiers.

The settings of the missions allow for some other new experiences too and the weather can have a big impact on certain battles, most importantly because your soldiers can freeze to death and its important to move between shelter and heat sources on some missions and this was by far my favourite feature as it added urgency to the mission and you felt the need to keep groups moving tightly together to stay alive outside of gun fights.

The game features plenty of great little features that make it enjoyable to play, plenty of weapons and vehicles make for a dynamic battle field and the pace of gameplay can be pretty frantic at the best of times too. Soldiers will call out enemies and the whole experience feels very involving but it’s often let down by some poor AI. Squads will struggle to find a route, or they will try fire at enemies through a wall or worst of all you may see them spinning around on the spot, stuck and lost for the rest of the game or until someone kills them.

Graphics look really nice and there are some extensive graphics settings options to allow you to tweak snow, shadows, AA, lighting, textures, physics and more and this ensures that even low powered systems can get in on the action, but the game can also take advantage of a high-end system and some of the visual effects do look rather cool. The camera can be spun 360 degrees to give you the best view of the fight but while you can also tip the camera I found that doing so highlights some poor level models and buildings that look awful from any other Y-Axis angle than the default one.

Overall the campaign took me about 15 hours to pick my way through and while it was enjoyable it wasn’t as entertaining as the Theatre of War missions. Theatre of War offers solo, co-of and AI battles, it offers more missions than the main campaign and the objectives are often a little more fun and engrossing than the main missions. Multiplayer also offers you even extra gameplay for your money and it’s also a great way to avoid the iffy AI by adding that human element to the game, naturally I got my butt handed to me but it was nice to see a more dynamic and evolving style of gameplay take place.

Overall I really enjoyed this game, while I have no intention of playing the campaign again I can certainly see myself returning to the Theatre of War missions a few more times to fine tune my skills. I still suck pretty bad at the game but there is a certain joy to be found in commanding tanks, having mortars blast holes in frozen rivers to trap enemies and sending forward groups of engineers with flamethrowers that will keep me entertained for quite some time.

I may not know much about strategic war games, nor do I feel I know a huge amount on the specific battles portrayed in this title, but I do know this is still a great game and while it lacks a few refinements in the AI it’s still an enjoyable experience.