Posts Tagged ‘Sega’

2Q2011 now online!

Gaming InsurrectionGaming Insurrection is proud to present the 2nd quarter 2011 issue!

In this issue:

1. Dreamcast fighting games – Gaming Insurrection examines the art of fighting games on Sega’s last scion, the Dreamcast. We discuss our favorite games and the peripherals we suggest to play them with in our quarterly features podcast.

2. Mortal Kombat II tournament – Our throwdown in the Midway fighting game classic continues with the second round of the winner’s bracket. Watch our tournament videos on YouTube and listen to our companion podcast!

3. Retrograde – We cover the following games: Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers (NES), Gauntlet II (NES), Bases Loaded (NES) and Donkey Kong (NES)

4. Ready, set, begin! – We review the following games: Crazy Taxi 2 (Dreamcast), Captain Commando (SNES), Mega Man IV (NES) and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES)

5. The Strip – The Spirit is discussed in the comic property review and Lyndsey Mosley gives a rundown of what she needs for her comic book movies to succeed. The Top 5 list focuses on useless heroes and Brandon Beatty continues his look at Death Note with a review of Vol. 3 of the manga. Rogue is our Marvel character highlight for the quarter.

6. Retrogamecorner – Rumored Mortal Kombat HD remakes make the rounds, and we detail the moves of Charmander, Charmeleon and Charizard in the Pokemon Red and Blue Knowledge Center. Also, Jamie Mosley introduces a new column, Torture of the Quarter, with Silver Surfer for the NES as the first victim.

This quarter is also the first of our online redesign. We hope that a sprucing up of the site’s overall design will improve readability and usability. Let us know what you think! Register to leave a comment, drop us an e-mail or find us on Twitter and YouTube.

Play

02

04 2011

First impressions #01: Yakuza

Lyndsey Mosley

Lyndsey Mosley, editor

Welcome to the first batch of an expected new feature: First impressions. This is a feature focusing on games that we’re trying for the first time and our immediate knee-jerk reaction. Be prepared for some interesting feedback on old and not-so-old games.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 

Game: Yakuza (2006)

Developer/Publisher: Sega

System: PlayStation 2

Played by: Lyndsey

I’d heard nothing but good things about the Yakuza series. Countless gaming publication have lauded the series as a good adventure if you want to get into that side of the criminal life, a lot like Grand Theft Auto. With the fourth game approaching release in America, I decided to give it a shot and hunt it down. As I was preparing a drawn hunt for the game, I lucked upon it in a GameStop not far from my apartment for about $10. It’s slightly rare so I bought it when I could and let it marinate on “The Shelf” for a few weeks until I could get some time to devote my full attention to it.

Booting up my ancient PlayStation 2, one of the first things I noticed was the long Sega introduction. It is quite possibly the longest game developer/publisher introduction I have ever seen in a game. It’s probably bad of me to say but I thought to myself, “Sega if you spent as much time on your games as you did this intro, Sonic might not be dying the slow painful death he is right now.” Just a thought. Moving on, I let the game boot up and scrounged around for my 8MB memory card, something I haven’t had to use in a long time with the newfangled systems out such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Once I got the game rolling, I immediately went into the options screen. A rule of thumb for me is to check out the options first thing just in case there’s a difficulty setting. I can’t stand trying a game for the first time and dying a million times because I forgot to set the difficulty. After searching around for a bit, I found no difficulty option and created a new game.

Yakuza is easily a cut-scene heavy adventure. And this is something that annoyed me immediately. The game starts off with a flashback, then jumps to 1995 to show how you got to the point of the flashback. OK, fine, but can I actually play some of the story? It moves toward that with the tutorial fight against mobsters but then it’s back to more cutscene. So the basic structure is lots of story exposition, brief fight, a lot more story exposition, brief fight, story exposition ad nausea. I don’t mind a little bit of cutscenes to move the story along but I want to do more fighting, less watching. Pull me into the game with fantabulous game mechanics; don’t drown me in story.

The story that you do watch unfold is actually pretty good. It’s written well and while the voice acting could use some work, it’s not so bad that you can’t get wrapped up in the saga of Kazuma Kiryu. The fact that most of the soundtrack is in English with obvious syncing issues is interesting. If you care about that kind of thing in games, it will irk you. If you don’t, you won’t even notice it. I’m on the side of not caring. What I did notice was usage of the words f—, f—–, motherf—– and every variation in between. Not that I have a problem with profanity in games. I curse like a drunken sailor on leave so the usage is not an issue, but in a game that supposed to be about Japanese gangsters, it’s in every sentence just about. Or so it seems. The audio loop is crazy in the game, so much so that you’ll hear the same noises repeatedly in the brief time you’re allowed to run about in the district. So I literally was called a f—— 20 times in the tutorial fight. Hilarious.

Kazuma Kiryu's fight mechanics are awkward in Yakuza. Photo courtesy of Gamefaqs.com

The game isn’t exactly pretty either. I had to remind myself that this was a hot property in 2006. It wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that I’ve seen better from about the same year. I mean, you’ve got Tekken 5, which was released the year before and then you have Yakuza’s visuals. Two different genres, I know, but on the same system. It also handles awkwardly and the repetition of the fight mechanics are disappointing, but it’s not really that bad of a game.

Really, the game seems very Crazy Taxi-like in its handling and feel but with more profanity. And so far, I’m enjoying it albeit in a different mindset than something that would be released today. If they’ve fixed this stuff in the sequels, I’m more than open to trying them. I’m a huge fan of Japanese culture and it’s trying to capture that aspect of the seedy underbelly … in a game. I can’t knock Sega for trying.

Verdict: Playable and worth looking for.

05

12 2010

An interesting question …

I received an interesting query on our video for Crazy Taxi the other day.

A video commenter asked if another Crazy Taxi title would be released. I replied that I didn’t believe that there would be another game, but I expressed my hope that there would be something for the Wii. I want to expound on that theory because I think it can be accomplished with the right developers and tools.

If you think about Crazy Taxi in a critical sense, the first two games were OK. The first was the best and the sequel was alright but not the greatest. I think given the platform setup for the Wii, Sega could have another hit on their hands if they revisit the well that made the first game great.

I feel that if they combined three main titles that they made (Crazy Taxi, Crazy Taxi 2 and Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller) they could make the ultimate compilation pack for the Wii and utilize the Wii wheel with it. Using the wheel would be great for the control scheme because it would hearken back to the days of the original game in the arcade. Adding in all of the cities from the games and giving the gamer the choice of which city to drive in and all of the Crazy Box/Pyramid courses would be great.

However, there are some problems with this proposal that I came up with:

1. The team that originally designed the game is no longer the same at Sega. As a matter of fact, the team is split up and no longer is called WOW;

2. The licenses for the three games would have to be renewed. Some of the original licensees include KFC, Pizza Hut, Tower Records (which no longer exists) and the Original Levis Store (all from the original game) and at the very least FAO Schwartz from the second game. Also, the music would have to be changed because they would have to engineer deals with the Offspring and Bad Religion again; and

3. The original voice actors for Axel, B.D. Joe, Gena and Gus would need to be the same. They were changed after the first game when you could unlock them in the second game.

If they could fix those potential problems and reintroduce the addictive and fun qualities of the first game, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

13

03 2009