Saturday, 29 September 2007

SegaWorld Part 4.5

Okay, well, I haven't actually got any new information for you readers regarding the wondrous SegaWorld unfortunately. However, I did dig these up;
First, the weird SegaWorld Sonic pom /banner thing. Apparently there were several different designs, but I only have this one myself. It proudly rests, stuck to my CD rack.
This is the glorious badge I was trying to get from the broken badge machine dispensing thing. Well, I got given it by staff along with the pom above as a friendly bonus.
And this is a pin I didn't know I had. I don't actually remember getting it, but I will make sure not to lose it now. Something about it's nice and stylish, even though it's just a little SegaWorld logo. I couldn't find the SegaWorld pen I used to have, but it wasn't all that fantastic. It was just a clicky white pen with the above Sonic / SegaWorld logo. So there you go, those a few of the pointless items I've acquired in my Sega fandom.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Sega Fanart showcase: Puyo Puyo

Searching throughout deviantArt for great fan art of Sega games, here are some particularly nice one I found. I'm gonna make this a weekly thing, starting this week with the theme being...Puyo Puyo, that long running puzzle blob series I love so much (and have just brought a Gashapon figure of it's lead character Arle just this morning). I'm mainly counting the classic series, because as much as I enjoyed Puyo Puyo Fever I preferred the old cast of characters =)

Puyo Puyo SUN by ~pu

More after the jump..

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Decap Attack

(two heads aren't always better than one - drawing courtesy of me)

In the interest of variation, I’m going to not focus this entry on Sonic stuff. Wild, I know. SEGA had many other glorious moments, some of which are often overlooked. One of my personal favourites would have to be Decap Attack, originally an annoyingly tricky Mega Drive platformer. Apparently an “update” of a Master System game called Psycho Fox, Decap Attack involved you running around as a zombie / mummy hybrid thing by the name of Chuck D. Head, in an attempt to stop Max D. Cap from doing evil things. Or something, I didn’t really pay all that much attention to the plot.

(I never understood the presence of the monkey on this cover)

More after the jump..

Sunday, 23 September 2007

SegaWorld Part 4

Clearly SegaWorld was something extremely important to Sega fans. And by Sega fans, I mean Sonic freaks like Gagaman and myself. As such, I feel it’s only appropriate for me to write about this glorious place in my first entry for this blog.

(This is from my second visit, complete with my brother and his friend. I'm the hilarious one in yellow)
I actually lived in London whilst SegaWorld was up and running, which meant I got to visit it a good handful of times, which was great for me. However, I’m pretty sure these trips were about 7-9 years ago, so a lot of the details are hazy, but whatever – I can remember a few things.

Pirate TV: Best Sega Europe Ad-campaign ever.

A La Kat Food? Ecco Washing Powder? The Cyber Razor Cut? What the bloody hell am I talking about?

(Click for a news snippet out of...where else? Sonic the Comic. Issue 2, to be precise.)

More after the jump..

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The British Sonic Single that couldn't.

I remember there being, back about 1992, two Nintendo related singles that were somehow doing pretty well in the charts (they were in the top 10 for a week or two), one was some odd Tetris remix, and the other was a tune from Super Mario Land on the Game Boy with rapping all over it (ugh). I presume someone at Sega demanded that they jumped onto the band wagon, and not long later a Sonic single popped up out of no where.

The track uses music and samples from the first Mega Drive game, which is nice, but is ruined by some shite lyrical work and naff 90's beats. Unlike the Nintendo tracks this single didn't fare too well, only reaching the No.33 spot. When you hear it you'll pretty much see why. It did somehow manage to stay in the top 40 for six weeks, though. I only know this because when I came across the single at a car boot sale some years after it's release (I didn't even know of it when it came out in 1992) I looked it up in a Record Guide book my dad had. Somehow I managed to find both the CD and Record versions of it, which are still sitting in the loft amongst all the Sonic the Comics and other Sonic junk. Here's a close up of the back, for those who may want to know who made it (yes, both of you). The writer is unknown, apparently. Probably a sign that the guy who did write it isn't too proud of the fact.
Now I know you all really want to hear this, so here's a download of it! I did warn you though!

Edit: Found a youtube video of it.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Sonic the Comic Online!

If you're British and grew up on Sonic, there's a good chance you remember Sonic the Comic. Published by Fleetway, the comic was running for 224 issues between 1993 and 2002 every fortnight. It eventually died out when the company publishing the comic decided to reprint old stories, believing that the audience it once had grew up and left. The comic had a big part in Sonic's popularity in the UK in the early 90's and featured many great stories based on the games, as well as stories based on other Sega games like Streets of rage, Decap Attack, Golden Axe, Wonder Boy, Ecco and more. The comic also doubled as a sort of Sega mini-magazine for kids, with news, reviews, cheats and the weekly sales charts for Sega's many consoles.

More after the jump..

Why Sega and Nintendo should collaborate more.

Wow, if there is one thing Sega knows how to do well still, it's making exciting trailers that really pump you up for their upcoming games. Just recently we had a new trailer for NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams and just yesterday the second trailer for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, which can be seen above.

If you've found this blog you were probably around for the "16-Bit War" between Sega's Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo, and knowing what the relationship between two companies at the time was, finds this new Wii and DS title to be the most unexpected team up in video game history. Back in the early 90's Nintendo and Sega were seen as bitter rivals, who would constantly slag each other off in their respective commercials, "Sega does what Nintendon't" being the most familiar of these.

As a kid I was on the Sega side and my best mate was on the Nintendo side, but we didn't fight over who was best, we used it as an opportunity to play both systems without having to own them both. I would pop over to his house to play Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island and Donkey Kong Country, and he would visit mine to play Sonic 3, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. This way we got to see the best of both.

I still remember reading magazines like Sega Power and Mean Machines Sega and getting to the fan art section in which you would be greeted to artwork of Sonic brutally killing Mario in sometimes rather inventive fashion, and this wasn't just going on amongst the "violent loving" Sega fans, as flicking through a Nintendo magazine would bring up the complete reverse. I don't have any of these magazines anymore, but you can probably use your imagination.

Once Sega were out of the console business, they started to insert their fingers into all sorts of pies in an aim to become the world's number one video game publisher. For a short while, Sonic was to be exclusive to Nintendo systems, starting with Sonic Advance on the Game Boy Advance and ports of the Dreamcast Adventure titles on the Gamecube. This soon ended when Sega saw that it would make more sense to sell Sonic on everything, but just seeing Sonic on a Nintendo console was something we could have never guessed would happen back in the 16-bit days, let alone Sonic and Mario starring in a game together like we have now.

Sega's first collaboration with Nintendo was the Gamecube and Arcade title F-Zero AX/GX. This was a match made in heaven: Nintendo passed on their long running F-Zero racing series, which debuted as a launch title for the SNES,
to Sega's Amusement Vision, who were known for Daytona USA of all things. Sega are known by many as the kings of arcade style racing games, and here they were working on a classic Nintendo franchise. Developed with the same engine as Super Monkey Ball (a stroke of genius if ever there was one), the game turned out be like a futuristic Daytona, with instantly additive gameplay and a sprinkle of Sega arcade magic. Simply put, the results were wonderful.

This is why I believe Sega and Nintendo need to collaborate with each other more. The two studios have their own ways of running things and their own disciplines, and I think when they work together something magic happens. It's just like when Warner Brothers and Disney decided to team up on the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and got Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse on the screen at the same time. It just worked so well, and I think the two could learn a lot from each other.

For example: It's no secret that Sega has been struggling to find the right direction to take the Sonic series in recent years. Mario & Sonic is being developed by Sega, but supervised by Shigeru Miyamoto, who you should all know is the creative mind behind Mario, amongst many other Nintendo characters. Even Nintendo's own Mario sports series doesn't normally get Miyamoto's attention (they are mostly developed by outside developers), which means he clearly wants this game to as good as it deserves to be. Miyamoto is known to only let games he works on out of the door once they are as good as they can possibly be, as seen with all the delays that went into Zelda: Twilight Princess. Where I think Sega has been going wrong is by sticking so closey to their originally planned release dates. With another year of development, Sonic the Hedgehog on the 360 and Playstation 3 could of been much, much better game, but what we go was rushed mess full of half baked ideas and sloppy programming.

The newly formed Nintendo Tokyo EAD development studio started their production line with the Gamecube bongo based game Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Maybe it's just me, but this game really felt like a Sega game.maybe it was the simple yet deep control and combo set up, and arcade style game play. Currently this team is working on Super Mario Galaxy, and personally, I think these guys would do a mighty fine job developing a Sonic game. Just imagine the kind of imaginative gameplay these guys could bring to the Sonic series, while also going back to the series' roots which, to be honest, seem to have been forgotten in some of the recent Sonic games. The Nintendo mentality of not putting a game out until it's really ready could really benefit Sega's projects.

At the same time, Nintendo have been struggling to get the Starfox franchise back into gear. Starfox Adventures ended up as a bad move, and the Namco developed Starfox games of recent did nothing to bring the series back to the glory days of the SNES and N64 titles. This is where I think Sega could help. They could get the guys that developed After Burner Climax on this and give us a engaging, exciting Starfox game that we haven't had in a long time, with that Sega arcade magic sprinkled on.

So come on Sega and Nintendo. You've shown you can work together well...let's see more of it!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Educational Outrun and False Advertising

That's right, not only is OutRun one of the best racing games ever created, but it can teach kids not to drink and drive, as this brilliant 80's educational short illustrates, posted at Youtube by Strange Findings, an account set up as part of I recall seeing this on TV of all places when I as a kid, and it urged me to hunt down a Outrun cabinet down the seafront. The best I could find was Outrunners, but thanks to the Saturn with the Sega Ages disc, I got to play it arcade perfect at home. Fantastic.

In other news, check out this Portuguese Game Gear commercial, submitted at Youtube by SMSpower, that falsely shows off Mega Drive games being run on it. Tut tut tut, Sega.

Memorable Moments in Sega Gaming 1

Now while I said this blog would mainly be about the non-gaming side of Sega, I think I can make some exceptions. Mainly, the kind of memorable moments in Sega games that are the reason I love Sega games in the first place. here's the first of many of these I plan to write up.

#1 Saturn Bomberman - Footie Level

Fact: Saturn Bomberman is THE multi-player game of all time, and the best of the franchise to date. Not only do you get countless different characters to pick, all sorts of options and full stats at the end of each match telling you who blew up who, you also get some totally unique stages to fight on. One of these is of a Football theme, with a goals on either side. Once most of the blocks have been cleared and everyone is running around like Looney’s kicking bombs at each other, there’s a clever trick I discovered. You can actually kick the bombs into the goal’s, and when you do, a high-pitched voice shouts “GOOOOAL!” as fire engulfs two lines of the whole stage, the one’s net to the very middle line. Anything that walks through these lines as the flames fly across the screen are doomed, and of course, if you don’t move out of those lines when you kick the bomb, you’ll be doomed too. Still, this proves to be a very useful tool in taking out other players when there’s no where for them to get trapped. Lure them to the center, kick a bomb into a goal, and leg it. This game is still a multi-player favorite in my house, and whenever I start up a Series of matches on it, most of them are on this level. Fun~

More after the jump.

Sega Super Play Trading Cards

I totally forgot I had these, and just found them in the loft yesterday. Released in 1992, this is a series of trading cards based around Mega Drive games, with 120 in the total set. I remember these being packed in little silver foil packets with a huge Sega logo and a little Sonic on, and managing after countless amount of packets to complete the whole lot. The cards are a little worse for wear with dented corners, but otherwise they see to be fine. More after the jump..

Those Sega Tour Buses

Now this is one of those 'When-Sega-were-big' things I never really got to experience, mainly due to the fact that the ruddy things never came down to Essex, but here's a little look at the rather funky tour buses that drove about the UK throughout 1994 and 1995. All these scans came from issues of S.T.C. Click to enlarge them.

More after the jump.

SegaWorld Part 3

While I have run out of photos I took myself of SegaWorld, I've stumbled across some more SegaWorld related stuff I had up in the loft with my countless other Sonic junk. Firstly, here's a three-page preview of the place featured in a 1996 Summer special Sonic comic, and contains many details (such as the names of the areas and rides) which I had forgotten. Just click to full view and try to ignore the awful 'radical' talk throughout it.

More after the jump.

SegaWorld Part 2

I promised I'd scan in some photos (what small amount I have, anyway) of the now closed down SegaWorld (see further down for the previous article about it) and here they are. Click to full view.

This is the photo you could pay to have done as you walked in from the two flights of escalators. We had two done on this first visit, and I've scanned the one with the least people, as it's the Sonic statue your all interested in. Seesh, I'm even doing a Sonic-ish pose, judging by the hands and feet. I'm surprised I wasn't wearing one of my jackets smothered in Sonic patches, actually.

More after the jump.

SegaWorld Part 1

One of the reasons I wanted to set up Sega Memories was to, quite simply, reminisce about some cool Sega related stuff from the past I remember, particularly the stuff you can't find anywhere on the Internet. One of these is the SegaWorld indoor theme park that was located in the Trocodero, Piccadilly Circus, London from 1996 to around sometime in 2000/2001, when the seven floors were blocked off and one floor has been made room for some of the arcade cabinets in an area they now call "Fun Land". I have some proper photos and other random stuff from the place to show, but for now here's some screen caps I took from an old home video of my first visit, back around the time it opened with a bunch of school mates. Take note these are grabbed from a DVD rip old video cam footage, so there not the best of shots.

More after the jump.

It starts here.

Hello, I'm the Gagaman and this is my new blog about my favorite video game company Sega.

Although Nintendo were the ones to introduce me to gaming (I still remember the first game I ever played: Excitebike on the NES), it was Sega that turned me into a gamer. Because I live close to the sea side, I used to love going down to the local arcades and it was here I discovered the likes of Outrun, After Burner and Hang-On. This was around the time the Mega Drive was released and the idea of playing these at home excited me. Also being one raised on Disney the games being released for it like Quackshot and Castle of Illusion also made it a must buy. While I still enjoyed Nintendo by playing the SNES at a mate's, I never turned back on Sega games from that point on.

Sonic was my childhood icon, who at the time was everywhere. If I wasn't playing Sonic 2 with my sister on my Mega Drive, I was reading Sonic the Comic or watching the Sonic cartoons on TV. Sega even arrived at my Scouts club once and gave us all Sonic bobbles. It was brilliant. I'm not one for loving brands (you wouldn't find me caring what brand my shoes are, for example) but Sega mean a lot to me.

Sega are not quite the industry giant they once were, but back when I was a kid they were a huge part of my life. I never really supported a football team or had a favorite singer, but Sega were a brand I clinged on to for as long as I can remember. This is why I want to write this new blog.

As if the blog name wasn't a dead giveaway, Sega Memories is all about anything Sega outside of the games. The culture, collectibles, magazines, music, toys...anything. There are so many blogs and websites out there about Sega's games and consoles (I should know, I write for one), but as far as I know there isn't many about the merchandise that I spent my childhood collecting. Most of what you see will probably be Sonic stuff, because to be honest most of Sega's merchandising comes down to their mascot much like how there is probably more Mario stuff from Nintendo then there is of their other series', but I'll try to keep things varied. I'll attempt to find things that you generally don't read about else where. Besides, there's only so many ways you can be told how great Rez and Shenmue were.

The first load of topics I'll be posting here are over a year old and from the now defunct Blog Sega Freaks, which I started back in 2006 but didn't go anywhere as it wasn't specific enough for me. These include some fond memories of Sega World, the Sega tour buses and some bits and bobs from the glory days of the early 90's I still have lying around the house. For those who didn't see these articles the first time around..enjoy!