Thursday, July 18, 2013

I visit SEGA of America & After Burner Climax receives an update - stories are unrelated to each other

The SEGA Blog has announced that After Burner Climax for iOS and Google Play will be receiving a free update which will add a new playable plane as well as in-game cinematics. The plane, dubbed the X-47B, is desribed as being "the latest in stealth technology from Northrup Grumman". The in-game cinematics come from the arcade and console versions, which until now were lacking from the mobile versions. All-in-all a great update, which gives app owners a reason to replay the game again. And again.
In non-mobile related news, I FREAKIN' VISITED SEGA! I posted part 1 of a write up of my visit over at SEGAbits. Please check it out, part 2 is due early next week. I was able to check out the super cool lobby, which was packed with SEGA stuff, as well as meet the community managers and dig through a pile of SEGA rarities from their archives. Oh yeah... I also grabbed one of these.
I had to commemorate the trip somehow, didn't I?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sonic Lost World 3DS trailer arrives!

Since the release of Sonic the Hedgehog remastered, the mobile SEGA gaming front has been quiet. no new releases, very few reveals. Oh, aside from Sonic Lost World for the Wii U and 3DS. While much of the focus has been put on the Wii U, the 3DS version has been shown off a bit and SEGA has finally debuted a trailer. Overall, it looks fun. However, after seeing the Wii U version, the 3DS version seems far smeller in terms of exploration.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sonic the Hedgehog remastered - now on iOS, Android releasing soon

Like many iOS SEGA games, Sonic the Hedgehog remastered has suddenly appeared, to little fanfare, on the App Store. What's so great is that this isn't a new app, but rather the game is an update to the existing Sonic the Hedgehog app which sells for $2.99. So those who spent their money on the old version get this one for free. Given I downloaded the original for 99 cents back in December, getting this new version for free is a real treat! Remastered by Sonic CD's Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and Stealth, Sonic the Hedgehog features Time Attack modes, remastered music, spin dash feature, slightly updated boss patterns, smoother motion in the Special Stages, and playable Tails and Knuckles! The menus are also amazing. Stay tuned to SEGAbits for a full review next week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels sneaks onto the App Store

As with most SEGA iOS releases, The House of the Dead Overkill: The Lost Reels has stealthily arrived to little fanfare. Thankfully, SEGA was kind enough to reach out to me to offer up a review code, so I was able to download it last night for a bit of pre-release gameplay. While the game does utilize a virtual pad (or tilt controls, depending on your preference), the controls are surprisingly tight! At $4.99, the game offers up two worlds, with a third available via a $1.99 in app purchase. Expect a full review early next week over at SEGAbits. In the meantime, I have zombies- er, I mean mutants to kill.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Presenting the latest SEGA Nomad mod: The SEGA Nomad X

Game console and handheld modding genius Wiggy, at the Rose Colored Gaming blog, lives by the motto "new ideas for old games". As such, he has made some pretty nifty upgrades to classic consoles and handhelds. Most notably, to handheld fans, Wiggy has added improved LCD screens and front and back lit screen mods to systems including the Wonderswan, various Game Boy devices, Neo Geo Pocket, and SEGA's Nomad. Earlier this week, Wiggy revealed his latest project: Nomad X. Nomad X is a souped up, modified, SEGA Nomad with a modern LED illuminated LCD screen, an internal battery, and an upgraded speaker. Really, the only thing he couldn't modify was the Nomad's size, though I have always been a fan of the Nomad's "big and beautiful" shape.

Also changed (at least for the R&D stage) is the Nomad's color, which has changed from black to white (Michael Jackson?). The Cartridge door is now grey and the logo itself features a red X. Wiggy notes in the comments that "This one is my R&D unit. I have R&D units for all the systems that I mod, and honestly they aren’t the ones you want LOL! Lot’s of unnecessary cuts, a bit rough around the edges, etc. I’ll gladly make more though, and in any color you like. Plus they units I produce from now on have all the issues resolved and the installs are as clean as can be". No release date or price has been announced, but Wiggy promises a price as soon as R&D has completed.

For whatever reason, when I hear the name "Nomad X", I think of Speed Racer's brother Racer X. Could it be? Nomad X is the Nomad's long lost brother?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SEGA announces a slew of mobile titles at GDC 2013

As seen in part 1 and part 2 of my GDC 2013 report over at SEGAbits, SEGA has showcased a number of new titles. Well, not exactly new, as all the titles are pre-existing games. However, each game has been built especially for iOS and Android devices. Could the days of crappy packaged ROMs be over? First up are two SEGA Genesis classics: Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for iOS and Android devices.  Now before you get all bent out of shape over another release of these games, be aware that Christian "Taxman" Whitehead is behind the port, and as such we can expect the same sort of goodness that we got with Sonic CD's rerelease: 60fps, widescreen support, bonuses like time attack mode, and more goodies. SEGA has yet to reveal anything pertaining to Sonic 2, but we'll likely see something soon.

Also on show was a mobile port of The House of the Dead Overkill, dubbed "The Lost Reels". The game is said to be a retooling of the original game for mobile devices, so stages and characters may differ from the console versions. Also, I very much doubt all the F-bombs will remain intact. Oddly enough, tap to shoot will not be a control scheme until you complete the game, so players have to be ready to use either a virtual joystick or the accelerometer for their first playthrough.

Finally, SEGA has also announced that two free-to-play titles, Puzzle Pirates from developer Three Rings and Godsrule: War of Mortals from developer Gogogic, are heading to mobile devices soon. Both games have built up a sizable community on the browser versions of the games, and eventually players will be able to continue their gameplay on-the-go via touch enabled versions of the games.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The handheld SEGA games of February

February is turning out to be a pretty good month for SEGA handheld gaming fans! After a rather dull last few months, the 3DS and iOS have both received SEGA games. On iOS is the surprise release of After Burner Climax. Announced just last Monday and released three days later, After Burner Climax is a faithful port of the XBLA and PSN title that in turn is a modern day arcade classic. Gameplay is just as speedy and intense as the home version, and the price is excellent at a cool $2.99. One thing SEGA hasn't shared on their blog is the developer behind the port, Fishing Cactus. Fishing Cactus had this to say on their blog:
The “secret project”, which our Laurent Grumiaux recently referred to in his tweet laments about crunch time, is now officially revealed. Traveling at mach speed from the danger zone to your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch — After Burner Climax! The elite aerial dogfight game originally developed by Sega AM2 has barrel-rolled its way from the arcades to the AppStore.
We’re very grateful to SEGA for giving us the opportunity to port this frenetic Arcade classic to mobile, and to be completely honest, we’re very proud of what we’ve done with it! After Burner Climax bursts great 3D textures while delivering smooth high-speed animations despite the technical limitations of the platform. The game is playable using either touch or tilt.
Of note to Android owners, a version of the game is coming, though SEGA has yet to give a firm release date.


Next up is Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for the Nintendo 3DS. Releasing three months after the HD versions, and two months after the Vita version, the 3DS version of the game may be late to the party but it is the version of the game that I am most interested to play outside the console versions. Early reviews are mixed, with an inconsistant framerate being the biggest negative. Despite this, the game amazingly retains all the racers and tracks. So unlike the DS version, which greatly scaled back in many areas, those who pick up the 3DS version should experience a game that plays very close to the console versions in terms of content.

Features include the obvious implementation of 3D, as well as Street Pass modes and a overhead map on the second screen that is only found on the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Oddly, the character I am most excited to race as is the Mii, which drives a car inspired by the car seen on the OutRun logo. Which in turn is a cutesified super deformed version of the OutRun Ferrari. Just make sure your Mii shirt is red for the full effect.

Stay tuned to the Nomad Junkyard for monthly rundowns of SEGA's portable offerings, as well as the occasional article! It's my resolution for the new year.