Yesterday Sega Europe announced the SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub for Steam. Basically it’s a fancy emulator shell that lets you play Mega Drive games in a virtual room. It has the standard features you might expect officially released emulated games to have like save states and visual filters. But outside of that, it’ll have one very interesting sounding feature: Steam Workshop support.
According to Sega’s blog post, the Steam Workshop support is for “modified versions” of the Mega Drive games. You might think that this sounds a lot like they are letting people share ROM hacks, which would be huge news. And it turns out: they are! It was later confirmed on Twitter that you’ll be able to share “custom ROMs” of the games with other Steam users. So yeah, ROM hacks.
It’s no news that Sega is okay with people making and sharing ROM hacks. After all, they haven’t tried to stop us from letting people host them on this site. But to let people share them through an official channel like this has never been done before. More details on how Steam Workshop support will exactly work will be shared next week, but so far this all sounds very promising.
The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub will launch on April 28th, and will be released as a free update to the current Mega Drive emulator on Steam. It’ll be compatible with all of the Mega Drive games Sega are selling on Steam, and you’ll be able to make use of the hub if you already own any of them. This of course includes all of the Mega Drive Sonic games that are being sold on Steam.
It’s always great to see people on our forums get so far as to work on commercial games. One example of this is Poncho by Delve Entertainment, which was released today on PC and PlayStation 4. Matthew Weekes, a member of our forums who worked on Freedom Planet, was the lead pixel artist for this game. Aside from him, it was designed by Danny Hayes and Jack Odell, who also did the programming and music respectively.
The game’s main twist is it’s an open world where you can choose your own path, and switch between multiple layers like in Mutant Mudds. Originally the game was going to be funded through Kickstarter, but after the crowdfunding campaign failed they still managed get funding from publisher Rising Star Games.
You can buy it now on Steam for PC, or on PlayStation Network for PS4 for $14.99/€14.99/£10.99. The game will also be released on Wii U and PlayStation Vita sometime in the future.
So while Sonic Lost World coming to PC next month is neat, the news did not stop there. SEGA announced what could be considered bigger news in a single paragraph hidden within the press release: that it’s not the only game they’re porting to PC.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring Sonic Lost World to PC.” Said John Clark, VP of Commercial Publishing for SEGA Europe; “This is the latest in a string of high quality PC ports of past SEGA titles that we will be building on in the coming months and years.”
The once Wii U exclusive Sonic Lost World is coming to PC through Steam. It’ll be released on November 2nd and you’ll get the excellent Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed if you pre-purchase it. The NiGHTS themed DLC will be included, though it seems doubtful that we’ll be getting the Nintendo-themed DLC as well. Not until it’s inevitably modded in anyway.
Really the most exciting potential feature is the one that isn’t listed: mods. Like with Sonic Generations, there’s the potential for various mods like character model swaps or improved graphics. So hopefully people will be making a decent amount of those.
Update: The price that was mentioned in the article used to be incorrect, and Sonic community manager RubyEclipse has since clarified what the actual pricing is supposed to be on our forums. This article has been changed to reflect that.
While it’s been possible for a while to get Sonic Adventure DX on Steam, it’s not necessarily the best versions of the game to get. To be more specific, it has problems like there being borders around the game and it having a low screen resolution. Which might have something to do with it being a port of the XBLA version, which was a port of the previous PC version, which was a port of the Gamecube version, which was a port of the Dreamcast version. So yeah, it could do with some improvements.
And it might finally get them, as SEGA announced today in a Steam forum post that they’re working on improving these Dreamcast Collection games over the next few months three years after they’ve been released. Among these improvements are added achievements, which can already be seen on the store pages of the games. Hopes up that this also means that they’ll finally add the Bad Religion back into Crazy Taxi.
SEGA and Sumo Digital have answered the demand for an official release of the soundtrack for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. While it has featured a physical release in Japan on two CDs, you can buy each CD digitally through your choice of Apple’s iTunes store or on AmazonMP3. Each CD is available for $9.99 USD, (Or $9.49 on Amazon at the time of this writing,) and£7.99 GBP, or you can purchase tracks individually.
For someone like me that’s been listening to this soundtrack in the most cumbersome way possible, (Try hooking up your phone to your car stereo and hoping all four G’s of your data connection can play songs off of YouTube and not stop to buffer every so often,) this could not have come at a better time for me.
Thanks to Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett and Retro Staff Member GerbilSoft for providing links to the soundtrack. If you’d like a complete listing of the songs, head over to VGMDB.
Let’s say you’ve had the unfortunate streak of bad luck and have missed every Steam sale in the last three years. The folks of Greenman Gaming have you covered with several PC SEGA titles on sale, including Sonic Generations and Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformedon deep discount. 2011’s tale of two hedgehogs will set you back $7.49, while Transformed (which you should totally have for our next community day… stay tuned!) is simply $4.99, or fast food value meal without the guilt and shame.
But for those a little tired of the blue blur, a few more SEGA titles are included in the week-long deal, such as the eccentric zombie slaying/typing combo The Typing of the Dead: Overkill ($6.79) or The Typing of the Dead: Overkill – Thou Filthy Love Collection ($8.49), which comes with three DLC released for the game, including The Filth of the Dead, which replaces the words and phrases in-game with terrible innuendos and outrageous insults. Those looking for something else can pick up the supposedly defunct SEGA Studios Australia’s 2013 remake of the Mega Drive classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse ($7.49).
As a side note, PS+ users with PS3s can nab Castle of Illusion free of charge and if done before April 28, comes with the Mega Drive original free of charge.
Ever wondered what its like to play Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II online with a friend? Me and Guess_Who, (With GeneHF and Retro user AndrewRoks1998 also providing commentary!) play through the game despite the struggles, frustration, and desyncs that got in our way in this Vidya Retro highlight. You can watch the misadventures segmented on YouTube or on Twitch in 60 frames per second.