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.