Archive for March, 2007

Now introducing - the ‘Sega Catalyst’ ….videogame system!

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

SegaCatalyst 

Well now this certainly has been a rollercoaster the last few weeks!  We have had rumours abound of new games, a crazy hostage video, rumours of a Nights sequel, then a confirmation of NiGHTS 2.  Plenty of brand new releases on all platforms. Sonic and Mario finally joining forces. Sega hitting the top spot with 4 of their 5 PS3 launch titles in Europe and much more to come.  Now this! 

Could this be true?  Could Sega be having another stab at the hardware side of gaming?

According to mygen.com, Sega have announced that theirs plans of re-entering the hardware business with a brand new home console dubbed ‘Catalyst’.

Details are sketchy so far, but apparently the Catalyst will feature an HD-DVD drive and a confirmed NVidia graphics processing unit, as well as Sega showing off the (current) system logo {see image above}.

So far I am taking this with a pinch of salt, but the article by Mygen does seem quite legit- and they reveal some interesting quotes from both Sega and NVidia;

“I’m very pleased to be working with Sega on their new Catalyst video game system” explains Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and president of NVIDIA Corp. “We’ve worked well with them in the past on their arcade hardware, and this will only aid in further strengthening our relationship. We’re very happy Sega decided to reenter the hardware business and bring us along in what we know will be a great success.”

“We’re extremely excited to be reentering the hardware business”, (more…)

The final breath for the Dreamcast?

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

ReaperDCSince Sega stopped production of the Dreamcast consoles back in 2001, the argument over whether the Dreamcast was dead has been raging in forums and message boards across the gaming community.

Some say that because Sega stopped officially supporting the console and that the system was no longer being manufactured, that it was dead.

But all those stubborn Dreamcast nuts out there, (me included), argued the point that titles were still being made (even though small, Japan-only titles), the homebrew scene was thriving, seeing many new games and ported PC titles emerging from the underground gaming scene. And some of the online games were still able to be played online. Also Sega was still repairing the systems, that they had not stopped supporting the system entirely, and all this meant that it was not dead.

Could the end to that argument be at hand?

Earlier this year we heard that Sega had stopped the production of the official format for the Dreamcast- the GD-ROM. a special disc, only used by the Dreamcast, which was essentially a high quality CD-ROM that could hold 1 Gig of data. This meant that no games (by any company) could be officially released for the system. The only way to get new games would be through the homebrew/ underground scene, where users will need to burn games onto a normal CD-ROM. However many will not like to do this, as playing CD-ROMs on the Dreamcast has been known to wear down the laser.

Even then that was not such a big problem, anyone who could afford to, could get their Dreamcast sent of for repairs….

Now I’m afraid it seems that Sega have announced that as of September 28th 2007, according to German website Gamefront, they will no longer accept Dreamcast, Saturn consoles or their accessories for repairs. This could be the final blow for Dreamcast (and Saturn) lovers everywhere.

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Medieval 2 Total War Expands

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

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The brilliant Total War series is something no one should miss, It is the cream of the RTS crop and the latest in the series is expanding Medieval 2 Total War is getting a huge expansion pack titled Medieval 2 Total War: Kingdoms. Here’s what Sega have to say.

NEW ARMIES WILL RISE AND NEW FACTIONS WILL FALL IN THE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED
MEDIEVAL II: TOTAL WAR KINGDOMS EXPANSION!

We are pleased to announce, after much speculation and guess work on the part of the community, the arrival of the new expansion pack for Medieval II: Total War. Kingdoms will feature four new campaigns of the epic proportions fans have come to expect in Total War games. Britannia, The Crusades, The Teutonic Wars and The Americas complete a thrilling line-up of scenarios to delight even the most discerning of Total War players.
A host of new features accompanies the expansion. Some 23 playable factions join the melee, providing the opportunity to play as Aztec and Native American factions, as well as new European factions such as the Teutonic Order,the Crusader states, the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Principality of the Antioch. In total, more than 150 new units grace the battlefield, including the deadly Greek Flamethrower.

Kingdoms will provide even bigger Medieval II battles, thanks to the ability to control multiple armies. Now players will be able to take command of reinforcement armies on the battlefield. The four new campaigns are packed with new historical events and titanic figures like Richard The Lionheart and Saladin, who come complete with new special abilities to help turn the tide of battle. With many new mission types, six new multiplayer scenarios and 20 new custom battle maps, Kingdoms is a fantastic addition to Medieval II that will satisfy any fan of the game.

NiGHTS 2 scans revealed … for real

Friday, March 30th, 2007

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This is the day we’ve all been waiting for - the day when real NiGHTS 2 images are revealed. Well, today is that day, but unfortunately, the magazine that has first unveiled NiGHTS is entirely in Spanish Portugese (same thing, right?), and I barely passed my college Spanish class. So I won’t be of much help in translating.

Fortunately, someone at NeoGAF has already done so.

The other big news is that Takeshi Iizuka and Sega Studio USA are developing the new title. We’ve already found out it wouldn’t be Yuji Naka or Sonic Team, but it kinda surprised me that Sega is entrusting a new NiGHTS to an American studio.

These are the same guys who brought us Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Heroes.

Here are some of the other important tidbits that were revealed:

  • It will be a full sequel;
  • NiGHTS will be the main character;
  • He will have new abilities and maneuvars;
  • In addition to the single-player mode, there will be a two-player and “certain special online functions;” and
  • As of now, NiGHTS 2 is a Wii exclusive.

This is certainly awesome news, my friends. And I’m especially happy for the fine folks at NiGHTSintoDreams.com, who have been waiting 11 long years for a new entry into the series. Damn, that’s a long wait.

Click on the below thumbnails to view them all full-sized.

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Sega cream of PS3 crop? Seems that way!

Friday, March 30th, 2007

SuccessLaunchJust over a week ago I told you my personal thoughts on what I thought of Segas line up for the Playstation 3 launch here in Europe.  In case you haven’t (or can’t be bothered to) read it, I spoke highly of the 5 games Sega had on offer for the launch.

In case you were not aware, the ‘Sega five’ were;

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog
  2. Full Auto 2
  3. World Snooker Championship 2007
  4. Virtua Tennis 3
  5. Virtua Fighter 5

While a couple of games had received some mixed reviews, namely Sonic the Hedgehog and Full Auto, the other games seemed a little more promising.  And I was out spoken saying that if I were to buy a PS3 at launch (unfortunately the asking price is a tad too rich for my liking) -and if I had the choice of any 5 games to go with my PS3, the bulk of them would be from Sega.

-My choice would most likely be- Full Auto 2 (I am a big fan of the series), Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Tennis 3, Sonic and then Resistance: Fall of Man.  Well hey- I did say the bulk would be my choice, not all of them.  I like my Snooker and Pool, but I like playing in real life and the only system I feel should be getting these types of games should be the Wii.

But it seems that I am not the only one who thought that Segas line up was better than that of other third party giants, such as EA (who kindly released another batch of PS2 titles onto yet another next gen console- well done, you idiots).

According to MCV, Sega managed to claim a very respectable 13% share of the sotware sales during the PS3’s launch week.  While 13% may not sound too impressive to some, it makes Sega the biggest selling third party publisher for the Playstation 3.  As 3 of it’s 5 games broke into the top 10 ‘All Formats’ sales chart. 

Sega had this to say on the matter;

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Sega brings arcades to cruiseliners

Friday, March 30th, 2007

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It seems like Sega is all about making the deals this week. First it was with long-time rival Nintendo, and now it’s with Ocean Village, a popular European cruise company. This time, though, Sega won’t be sharing the spotlight.

Sega Amusements Europe is launching Sega Village, a Sega-only arcade area onboard the Ocean Village Two cruiseliner. There will be 19 different arcade games on the main floor, with an additional six games in a teen area in “The Attic.”

“Sega has been absent in the operations business and hasn’t put its name to any centres since its most recent franchise expired in 2005, so the launch of Ocean Village Two seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a unique venture,” said Sega Marketing and Promotions Manager, Justin Burke.

“Sega saw the appeal of Ocean Village Two and it’s family brand positioning as a good match for its games.”

Managing Director, Ocean Village, Peter Shanks, said, “The introduction of Sega Village onboard our second ship is really wicked news.

“Ocean Village, with its informality and sense of fun, is a perfect fit for Sega and by bringing Sega Village onboard Ocean Village Two, we’re breaking new ground for both the cruise industry and the world of amusements.”

[Via Utalk Marketing]

Crush, Crazy Taxi box art revealed

Friday, March 30th, 2007

ct_boxfront_psp.jpgSega has released the box art for Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars and Crush, both of which are shortly headed for the PSP.

As you know from our interview with Jeff Hasson from Sniper Studios, Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars will be a mixture of both the original Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2 with the inclusion of wireless multi-player.

And in Crush, you are set into a 3D perspective and must “crush” the levels into 2D to proceed through the game. In addition, you can also shift platforms and objects, activate machinery, cause immense chain reactions in the environment and overcome your enemies, according to Sega.

Click the images to see them full-sized.

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Sega Nerds, SegaPC contest - Results!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Winner!!Finally! After a couple of weeks of entries coming in, we can announce the winner of our SegaPC competition.

For anyone that listened to the Sega Nerdcast #4 -Return of the Fanboys, you will have already heard us announcing the winner of the contest. But it’s time to let everyone else, the ones that can’t be bothered to listen to the show (shame on you), to know the result.

And the winner is {insert drum roll here} Christian Hearne.

So congratulations to master Hearne! Not only did he win, but he was a clear winner, answering every question correctly!! So for all those that said the quiz was a bit too hard, there you go! And Christian wasn’t the only one to get a high score, the majority of entries we recieved did have scores in the high 40’s and low 50’s. But Christian clearly has better knowledge, or possibly ‘Google’ skills and was the clear winner.

I would like to thank everyone that did enter the contest, I really hope you enjoyed taking part. We would like to recieve any comments you had on the contest- good or bad- it’s the one way we can try and better ourselves, and make our next contests more fun for you guys/girls.

Also for anyone that entered the contest, or for anyone that is curious, here are the full answers to the quiz;

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Football’s coming home! The Sega way

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Well … sort of. For anyone who read my ATEI part 4 article, you should be aware that WorldCupFCSega have been holding tournaments for there highly successful (although, strangely, pretty much unheard of) Football (Soccer) arcade title - World Club: Champion Football.

So far the tournaments have been, pretty much, kept to the various clubs from around Europe. However now Sega are hotting things up and are holding their very own World Cup tournament! So rather than having the clubs playing, (i.e Manchester United, Liverpool, AC Milan etc…) you will be playing as your nations side! And the best news of all (for us Brits) is that the finals will be held in the home of football, England!

“The very best players from around the world will be competing for the ultimate title of WCCF World Champion. Representatives from Japan, Spain, England, Scotland, Italy and Dubai will travel to take part in the tournament.”

For anyone interested in representing their countries for this event, you should check out the official site, for information regarding dates and locations of the qualifying rounds.

And hopefully we shall have more details and coverage when the tournament finals begin on Saturday, May 9th at ‘The Big Apple’, Woking, Surrey, UK.

Until then, good luck to anyone that enters -from which ever country you originate. But on a more personal note- good luck to any Brits that enter, this could be the only way we can finally win a bloody World Cup!

New Sega Rally info

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

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Kikizo really are a lucky lot, Yet again they have a new interview with another member of Sega. This time it’s Guy Wilday the director of the UK based ‘Sega Racing Studio’ about there upcoming Sega Rally game for Xbox360, PS3 and PC.

At its heart, said Wilday, this new take on Sega Rally brings the best of the past into the present. It’s all part of Sega’s more progressive slant on games, most evident by its confidence in tapping a European studio to handle what has always been a Japanese product.

Read the hole interview HERE.