Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sonic 4 Episode 1 HD Arrives on the iPad

SEGA has given iPad owners an early Christmas present this year, Sonic 4 Episode 1 is now in HD on the iPad! For only $1.99, iPad owners can play the game in HD, no longer having to upscale the original iOS release. It'll be like holding an HD tv really close to your face. I can only imagine players getting dizzy when the screen rotates with Sonic as he goes through loops. Based on the screens, this is an HD version of the iOS release, meaning no new act 2's for Casino Street and Lost Labyrinth. Still, at $1.99 it's a good price. Check it out on the app store!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sonic CD Hits the iOS and Android TODAY!

Waaaaaay way back in 2009 I talked about Christian Whitehead's fan made port of Sonic CD. Two and a half years ago I said, "Hopes are high for SEGA to move ahead with this advanced port, and if the final release is anything like what Whitehead has now, it would make for an awesome port". Here we are now years later, and we finally are getting what we wished for... and then some! The iOS release of Sonic CD, out today for $1.99, is beyond perfect. It implements Sonic 2-like physics, including the spin dash, it features BOTH soundtracks AND as an added bonus gives players the option to play as Tails. A hint at what to expect from Sonic 4 Episode 2?

Best of all, the app is universal and can be played on even the oldest of hardware. Any reader of this blog should know that I have a first gen iPod Touch. Why haven't I upgraded? Because aside from a handful of games that don't support my device, I can still listen to music, watch movies, surf the web and play a number of great games like Whitehead's Sonic CD. Why discard a device when you can do all that? Also, Gamestop won't buy it back because I engraved "Don't Panic" on the back of the thing. Screw them.

So if you have an iOS device, or own an Android device, a 360 or a PS3, download this game now!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing appears in latest iPod Touch commercial

While most people find the Apple iPod ads to be pretty annoying (I liked the old silhouette ads), SEGA fans should crack a smile at the iOS version of Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing getting a nod in the latest iPod Touch ad. At the ten second mark the game makes an appearance. This is a pretty awesome bit of show for the game, considering it makes it look like Apple believes it is the best kart racer on the platform. Which it actually is. The game is a lot of fun, and is only $1.99. So if you have an iOS device, download the game asap.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Nomad Junkyard is finally on Twitter!

After years of begrudgingly avoiding Twitter, I've finally joined. Want to follow my "tweets"? Follow me here:!/SEGANomad

I think my hesitance towards Twitter was in part because I friggin' hate when people post about nothing, like for example: "just ate a grape"and "saw a red car". Hopefully I won't succumb to this level of idiocy, and won't post something every five minutes. Mainly, I intend to use Twitter to highlight the various posts I make around the web or to make comments on current happenings in the SEGA world.

So, without further ado, let the great experiment begin!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Classic Game Room HD: PAC-ATTACK

CGR strikes again, with a review of the underrated and highly complicated puzzle game PAC-ATTACK for the Game Gear. I discovered this game a few months back in a collection of Genesis roms. I was expecting a Pac-Man platformer, and it turned out to be something completely different! Instead, the game plays like a cross between Pac-Man and Tetris. It sounds odd, and it is, but it works! As Mark mentions, you feel like you're doing multiple things at once, and you are. Its a very tricky, but unique puzzle game.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Arts & Crafts: Make your own Sonic Generations Genesis box!

Back in late 2010 I put together a nifty Sonic the Hedgehog 4 mock Genesis box complete with cover art, a cartridge sticker and a fake instruction manual. The project was a mini labor of love for both retro Genesis box designs and my favorite SEGA franchise. Today, as Sonic Generations releases, I'm happy to present another Genesis box design, this time for Sonic Generations. I figured, as the series focuses on both modern and classic, it would be fitting to provide a classic version of the game case. As the actual Generations cases for 360 and PS3 tout 3D support, I thought I'd throw Master System fans a bone and added the "SegaScope 3-D" logo to the case. Let's get started!

Here's what you'll need:

  • The files, available here 
  • A plastic Genesis or Mega Drive case and game cartridge
  • Two 8.5"x11" sheets of printer paper 
  • One 8.5"x14" sheet of printer paper, or whatever can fit a 7"x11" image 
  • Tape, plain or double sided 

Print the cartridge sticker and instruction manual on the 8.5"x11" pieces of paper, cut on the edge. Fold the manual in half and place a piece of tape inside to keep it shut. Use double sided tape or loops of regular tape to stick the sticker to the cartridge. Print the cover on the larger piece of paper, trim and place in the Genesis box, place the cartridge and manual inside the box. And presto: a retro Sonic Generations Genesis box that doesn't require a time hole to produce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SEGA Celebrates Halloween via an App Store Sale!

SEGA's getting into the Halloween sprit by way of an app store sale! Okay, so it really isn't Halloween related, though the port of Virtua FIghter 2 is pretty scary. The prices are great, with Brick People and ChuChu Rocket! being the standout titles. Check out the list below:
In other handheld news, Sonic Generations for the 3DS has been given a date: November 22nd! You'll note I don't mention the 3DS too often on this blog, as I don't own one. However, with the releases of Shinobi and Sonic Generations, I may just take the plunge and get my hands on a 3DS. I have yet to play any DS titles, and really would like to try the Rush titles and Colors DS. I've also developed a Phoenix Wright obsession thanks to the iPod Touch port of the first game. Since Capcom have yet to confirm more Wright titles for the iOS, I might as well get a 3DS so I can enjoy all the titles as well as new releases.

[Source: Touch Arcade]

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brick People Out Now for iOS!

If only it supported iOS 3.0...

SEGA Blog has announced the release of Brick People, an iOS version of the Japanese arcade title which used real blocks and a large video screen to create the illusion of tiny people climbing on the real blocks. SEGA Blog describes the game:
Build brick steps and structures to help the hungry Brick People reach a collection of delicious snacks. The fun-loving Brick People have varied abilities that can help you complete missions, but be careful as the Brick Monster will create obstacles and throw them in the path of these tasty treats! Aside from utilising the iOS’s multi-touch interface to enable quick brick stacking, BrickPeople will allow players to race against each other to become the best bricklayer. Use Bluetooth to compete against friends in multiplayer matchups, or use an iPad to compete head-to-head on a single device. Players can also compete with others around the world when posting high scores on the Game Center leaderboards.
I would love to try the game out! Unfortunately, it does not support older devices. Only iOS 4.0 and above, which is pretty lame. I can play Sonic 4, Chu Chu Rocket and All-Star Racing on my first gen iPod Touch, and yet a simple game featuring little people climbing on bricks is too much for my device to handle. However, if you have a current gen iOS device, check the title out! It's at the low price of 99 cents!

[Source: SEGA Blog]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sonic CD heading to mobile devices!

While a Sonic CD rerelease was leaked by Microsoft's Major Nelson earlier this week, the game has just been revealed to be releasing on iOS, Android and Windows Phone mobile devices! What more, the game is said to have iOS exclusive features (Game Center achievements?) and sounds like it will feature the original soundtrack.

The trailer itself is quite interesting, as it directly ties Sonic 4 into Sonic CD by peppering in images of Metal Sonic (who appeared post-credits in Sonic 4) and stating "THIS HOLIDAY SEE HOW IT ALL STARTED". I'd assume they mean, play Sonic CD to see how the Metal Sonic rivalry began. Personally, I think SEGA realized that Sonic 4 Episode 2 was not going to be released in 2011, and to keep the idea alive they rereleased Sonic CD as a stand-in, making the 2012 Episode 2 wait less of an annoyance. Hey! If SEGA wants to delay Episode 3, and give us Chaotix, I'll be more than happy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Best VMU Games

Happy summer, all! Boy has it been a hot one. Thankfully, a majority of the places I spend my time are well air conditioned. I can't think of a proper segue from talking about the weather to Dreamcast VMUs, so I'll just start talking about the VMU. Check out my latest entry to my weekly series over at SEGAbits: The Weekly Five: The Best VMU Games. Where I list off my five favorite VMU games.

After all that typing about the VMU, I'm starting to get the itch for some Dreamcast gaming! With 9/9 coming up, I really should get into some more obscure titles that take advantage of the VMU. Perhaps I'll start playing a bit of Zombie Revenge to raise my own little zombie, or start fresh with a chao? Well, once I make my decision, I'll be sure to share my experiences here at the Nomad Junkyard. I think it's about time the VMU got a little love.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SEGA Says "Happy 20th Sonic" with All-Stars Racing iOS!

 First off: Happy 20th Birthday Sonic! I had to say it.

Secondly, SEGA said "happy birthday" in their own way by offering up a new iOS Sonic game. Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing has released for all iOS devices and is at a reduced birthday price of $1.99! After the festivities die down, the app will be $4.99. I downloaded the game this morning, and to my delight it plays on the first generation iPod Touch, meaning every iOS device will be able to play the game!

The game kicks off with the full CG intro as seen in the console version of the game. From there, you're presented with a slick menu featuring high quality menu music as heard in the console versions. So no downgraded Nintendo DS music to be found. Very nice. Menu options include: single player, multiplayer, shopping, achievements, leaderboards, OpenFeint (a mobile social gaming network that tracks scores, achievements and saves ones game to "the cloud"), licence and options. Single player features grand prix, single race, time trial and missions. So expect to see every single player mode from the console versions in this mobile version.
That isn't to say that the game is 1:1 with the console versions. Tracks and characters are derived from the Nintendo DS version of the game, however graphics have been improved and sounds match those from the home console versions. The character roster has been cut down to ten: Sonic, Tails, Eggman, Aiai, Billy, Amigo, Beat, the Chu Chus, B.D. Joe and Ryo. While I was sad to see certain characters not appearing in the game, it's still a rather solid cast and great for a $2 game. At least Ryo is still there!
 Tracks have also been trimmed, with only twelve appearing. Sonic's casino tracks are absent, as are a number of other tracks. However, considering many tracks in SASASR are in similar environments, there isn't much lost in that regard. You sill see the curian mansion, Amigo's crazy world, Billy's hot and cold environments, the GG's turf and Eggman's fleet. You just won't see any casino track.
 The game controls well for an iOS title. Players are given the choice of tilting the device like a wheel or controlling the left and right steering with a slider. I've yet to master the controls, but I have gone from placing last to placing third within 15 minutes so there is hope for me yet.
I'll hold off on saying more, as I'd like to officially review the title next week, but suffice to say things are looking very very good for the title and it is a must download for Sonic fans, racing fans and plain ol' SEGA fans. I mean, it's only $2!

Again, Happy Birthday Sonic!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Post-E3: SEGA's Handheld Releases

Another E3, another great assortment of portable SEGA games! On display, but not the most talked about game at SEGA's booth, was Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing for iOS devices. From live coverage, I gathered that the game will be available for all iOS devices (here's hoping it even plays on the first gen iPod Touch), it will release sometime in the summer and it will be a cool $4.99. The game looks to be an enhanced port of the Nintendo DS release, however the game will only contain 10 of the 20 racers found in the original release of the game. Still, for the price I can live with having only half the roster. At least Ryo made the cut

While I don't typically cover DS or 3DS games, I should mention Sonic Generations and Shinobi. Both games were available to demo at E3, and in my opinion both are looking great! Sonic Generations is getting some slack for not being as graphically amazing as it could be, however the game is still a ways off so things could improve. Also, one has to wonder if development shifted from the DS to the 3DS as the HD versions of Generations started development in 2008. Well before the 3DS existed. As long as the game is fun, I look forward to giving it a spin.

Shinobi 3DS is definitly a game to watch. Being the first new title in the series since 2002, Shinobi (the fourth game to share this title) brings back the 2D gameplay of the original Genesis games, infuses a bit of the PS2 visual style and has a look of its own. The game is a prequel to the first Shinobi, starring Joe's father Jiro Musashi. I'm loving this bit, as Jiro is both a new character but also has a firm connection to Joe himself. We've already played as Joe's son Hayate, so why not play as his dad? Early impressions have been positive, and the game is said to have a load of bonus content. Expect Shinobi to release Sepetember, 2011.

Finally we've got the big new handheld from Sony, and I have to admit, as much as I am not a fan of the PSP, I really do like the look of the Vita. Good control layout, cool functions, backwards compatibility and great price. I probably won't be getting one this year, but between this and the 3DS, I'm leaning towards the Vita. If only it had a better name...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Too Many Games Convention 2011


Over the weekend I had a chance to attend the Too Many Games convention in Oaks, PA. The convention touted guests including the ScrewAttack guys, the Angry Video Game Nerd and even that woman who played Rom's wife Leeta on Star Trek DS9. The convention was also said to be filled with vendor tables, selling more used games and hardware than one would usually see in one place. So, having been to the convention, how did it go? Read on to find out!

Hey look! ScrewAttack guys in the upper right.
I reached the convention at 3pm on Saturday, having brought along two friends of mine. We all had our missions for the day. My one friend was dead set of finding The Misadventures of Tron Bonne for the Playstation. His girlfriend was intent on finding a used Dreamcast and a few games (good for her!). I, meanwhile, had a laundry list of SEGA games to find.

I swear I saw this same cabinet two years ago.
James Rolfe (aka the Angry Video Game Nerd) had just started his AVGN episode screening as we arrived. While there were seats, it was a choice between sitting for the next 2 hours or shopping. I had the itch to buy games, so I went with shopping. Thankfully, with the AVGN screening going on, the vendor area was quite empty. About half the room was made up of used game tables, and half of those were quite impressive. One vendor offered up only sealed games, and he had a large amount of Dreamcast titles. However, a good portion of the games were quite common and there were multiple copies of each. So, want Phantasy Star Online? He has twenty of them!

The tables I spent most of my time at were the ones with piles of Saturn, SEGA CD and Dreamcast games. I've nearly given up on buying Genesis, Game Gear and Master System games, due to the fact that the cases take up so much space (with the exception of Game Gear games) and that I can emulate any title perfectly on my GP2X Caanoo handheld. Currently, the Saturn and SEGA CD are my focus as there are a number of great and bizzare games that I've yet to own for those systems. I still am on the hunt for Dreamcast games, however there are only around thirty that I really want and out of those, most are rare and expensive. So the chances of finding them in a bargain bin are next to none.

Having just bought a Wii, I was excited to find both House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return and Ghost Squad for $10 each. Funny, I feel no need to buy Super Mario Galaxy and yet a SEGA lightgun game will get my heart racing. I also found a SEGA CD 32X game titled Corpse Killer. Corpse Killer was one of those awful fmv games that had an enhanced release for those who had both the SEGA CD and the 32X. As I have both successfully hooked up, I figured "what the hell" and bought a near mint copy of the game for $4. The way I see it, if you have a working SEGA CD and 32X and were able to hook the thing up, Corpse Killer is your reward. Now I just need to get my hands on Night Trap.

Oh yeah, I bought a VMU too. Can never have enough of those!
At the same vendor table, I found Virtual On for the Saturn and picked that up for $8. Finally, I hit the ScrewAttack table and picked up all four volumes of AVGN for $50, a great deal! Usually these go for $20 each online. Whatever the price, I'm happy to support James and his work. I'm really looking forward to his AVGN movie.

James assisting a cameraman
Before leaving to get some dinner, we walked past the massive autograph line for James. Since the line was way too long, we decided to walk ahead and catch a glimpse of James. It looked like he was about to be filmed for something, and had to use his camera skills to assist the cameraman. Cool to see him in person and pick up his DVDs, maybe I'll get an autograph at some point in the future.

Overall it was a brief, but fun afternoon! Picked up a bunch of great games (all SEGA, I'm such a fanboy) and saw some internet celebs. My friend found Tron Bonne, but it was going for $80 (ouch!), so he passed on it. His girlfriend fared much better. She found a used Dreamcast, controller and memory card for $20 plus picked up Jet Grind Radio (after I begged her to pick it up) and Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2. I told her that it would be quite boring offline, but she seemed to not care. Oh well, as long as she had fun.

Oh yeah, and we met a demon:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SEGA App News Roundup!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Boy what a crazy week it has been. Royal wedding and bin Laden's death! But that's not the focus of this blog. No, dear readers, today I'm here to round up some SEGA App Store news! Let's begin.

Streets of Rage 3 Kicks the Crap Out of iOS

SEGA completes the Streets of Rage trilogy on the iOS platform with the release of Streets of Rage 3, now available at the iTunes Store for $2.99. As stated many times before on this blog, the SEGA Genesis emulator isn't the best, however the slower moving the game, the better the results. So RPGs like Shining Force are great, while fast paced games like Sonic 2 are not too good. The Streets of Rage games fall inbetween these, and thus is a good but not amazing port of the game. Still, reviews are reasonable and it sounds as though the game is fully playable and fun. What more, there is bluetooth peer-to-peer multiplayer support. So you can kick ass wirelessly with a friend.

Sonic Marches to the Beat of a Different Drummer

SEGA has teamed up with Namco to release a Sonic download pack for the tapping drum game Taiko no Tatsujin Plus. The app and the pack is Japan only, and features Sonic characters from Sonic 4 Episode 1 marching across the screen as players tap along with tunes from Sonic 4. Sounds very... odd. Which is just what I'd expect from a Japanese game.


Fast Striker Strikes the iOS

Indie Dreamcast shmup Fast Striker, released late 2010, has arrived on iOS devices thanks to NG:DEV.TEAM. The port looks to contain everything found in the Dreamcast version, along with updates including a portrait screen mode, online rankings, direct controls (I assume moving your finger about the screen to guide the ship, a very effective control method in my opinion) and a visable player hitzone. Check out the trailer below:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Take to the streets with Streets of Rage II for the iPhone

Hey kids, I'm back! After a busy few weeks I have returned to the Nomad Junkyard to report on iPhone ports and post the occastional SEGA Nomad related post. In iPhone news, Streets of Rage II has arrived on the iPhone for $2.99. I've yet to buy it myself, and probably won't unless a 99 cent sale rolls around. Gaming news website GamesRadar makes mention of audio problems, specifically distortion. Hopefully SEGA patches this ASAP.

In other news, there is a strong chance that I will film part 2 of my Pier Solar video tomorrow. Part 1 can be seen in the post below, and if you watch until the end, part 2 is said to feature the game being played on the SEGA Nomad. Ooooh!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pier Solar Reprint Edition for the SEGA Genesis Unboxing

The Nomad Junkyard Youtube channel rises from the dead with an unboxing of the brand new indie release for the Genesis (and Nomad), Pier Solar!

Friday, March 4, 2011

SEGA Handheld Happenings - Racing and Game Gear go mobile!

Quite a lot has happened in the past week when it comes to SEGA handheld games. Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing has been announced for iOS devices. Here's hoping my old first gen iPod Touch can play it. Also, is has been announced that the 3DS will have Game Gear titles available to purchase over the Virtual Console service. Pretty cool, though I'd prefer a Sonic Game Gear compilation. The titles available will be: Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Drift 2, Shinobi, Dragon Castle and Columns. Here's hoping for a solid framerate and while they're at it, why not a little 3D effect? It is a 3D device, after all.

Rumblings have started about a Sonic Anniversary title coming to the 3DS. So far, rumors have proven to be false, but one never knows what SEGA has up their sleeves...

I'm calling it now: Sonic Anniversary announced next week for the SEGA Nomad.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SEGA in the Media: Game Gear in the Bronx

While most SEGA fans don’t have to go far for a glimpse of something SEGA (just look over at your game shelf or under your tv), spotting something SEGA on television or in a movie is far more difficult. In the past we’ve spotted Virtua Tennis 2009 on the Inbetweeners and a MadWorld poster on Weeds. Today we’re heading to the Bronx, where a certain Jackie Chan had quite the rumble. I think the movie was called The Spy Next Door. No wait, it was Rumble in the Bronx.

Click here to read more!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Check It Out! SEGASHIRO PODCAST - 3DS and NGP Round Table Edition!

Fellow SEGA Network website SEGASHIRO recently released a great podcast focusing on modern SEGA handheld gaming. The SEGASHIRO writers talk about everything from SEGA's upcoming handheld titles for the PSP2 and 3DS to their SEGA handheld game dream releases. it's a great listen, so CHECK IT OUT here.

Until the next gen handhelds release, I'll be playing Snatcher on my Caanoo. Heck, I'll even be playing it after they release.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shinobi III and Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis release on iOS

I think it should be assumed by now that SEGA will be continually releasing Genesis games to iOS devices from here on out, It seems we're getting one or two a month. Think of it as the "Genesis Game of the Month Club". The latest two games to hit the device are Shinobi III and Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis, priced at $2.99 and $1.99 respectively. Early reviews cite spotty controls, TouchArcade goes into detail as to why the controls for Shinobi III are so difficult:

Like other Sega iOS releases running in their emulator, there is both a full screen and a windowed view. The fullscreen mode, with its larger image, is the most desirable play mode, I would say, but it suffers from the fixed arrangement of the onscreen D-pad and three action buttons; very often a thumb on either completely obscures your character, making gameplay highly awkward. This can be avoided by using the windowed view which renders the game at it's native resolution (fullscreen is a scale-up, not the other way around) with D-pad and buttons below, but on a screen with a pixel density as high as any iPhone or iPod touch device, it's a strain to behold. It's possible that an option to reposition the touch points would help matters but, frankly, I can't imagine an arrangement that would be truly acceptable. As is, the gameplay will leave you longing for your old Genesis.
At this point, I think SEGA should stick to releasing RPGs and slower paced games to the Genesis emulator. Shining Force was extremely fun on my iPod Touch, running smoothly and retaining the graphics and sounds of the console versions. Meanwhile, faster games like Sonic 2 have trouble on the emulator and suffer from imprecise touch controls. Here's hoping the complete Phantasy Star and Shining Force series make it to iOS before faster paced action games hurt SEGA's App Store cred.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Aaron Webber: Say My Name, Say My Name

To thank those who bought multiple versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1, Ken Balough (Digital Brand Manager, Sonic 4) and Aaron Webber (Community Manager, Sonic 4) issued a little thank you video. As a nice surprise, they revealed that the public thanking would not be limited to those who bought three or more versions of the game. Instead, they would thank every single person who put their name into True Blue initiative. At 1:35 you’ll see and hear Aaron Webber saying my name as he looks deeply into the camera. No doubt hoping that I heard his thanks. Well Aaron, your thanks has been heard. And in return I say: thank you too!

I know Aaron and Ken got some (okay, a LOT) of flack from the community for asking fans to buy more than one copy, but c’mon guys, do you really blame them for telling people to buy a product produced by a company that they work for? How dare they! On top of that, the whole thing was optional and was effortless to get in on. It only took a forum post. Considering I had already planned to get the iPhone and 360 versions, putting my name in was no trouble at all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Indie game Pier Solar offers up a white SEGA Nomad

Pier Solar, and indie RPG developed for the Genesis and Mega Drive, is offering up a unique prize in their photo contest: a custom white SEGA Nomad! Owners of the game are encouraged to photograph their copy of the game, as well as any of the included goodies (stickers, poster, etc) in the craziest situation and location that they can think of. My ideal crazy location: Miyamoto playing the game (while crying) sitting atop the Great Pyramid of Giza.
You can order the game, necessary to enter the contest, as well as view the contest details at the official Pier Solar website.