Neo Hazard and I are kicking off the new year with the Astro City Mini. Neo got his in and will be going through SEGA arcade classics. The stream starts Sunday night at 8PM Central, 2AM GMT. The stream will be embedded to this post once it goes live.
The last time we had SegaSonic Bros. on the front page, our old pal Skyler actually rose from the depths of California to post in the first time in forever. Now we’ve got some clean footage captured right off of a modified version of MAME. For a more in-depth view for how it plays, check out Skyler’s article linked above.
Couple quick notes: I actually like this game quite a bit! But that’s probably due more to my affinity for puzzle games rather than this being truly good. It’s a rather confusing title and it’s pretty easy to tell why it failed the location test. Also, not 100% sure if this was known yet or not, but from level 30 onward, another Sonic bro is added, this one being white! You can see his appearance at roughly 9:52 in the video.
Big shout out to GerbilSoft, who compiled this particular version of MAME!
Recently, Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car finally made its way onto MAME thanks to the work and funds of some pretty cool individuals. I ended the article with a little bit of a rib saying that SegaSonic Popcorn Shop should be the next game dumped.
Now that one can be marked off the list because it too has now been dumped and should be hitting MAME. The main notable note is that this game also operates on MegaDrive-type hardware named the SEGA C2. It also curiously comes with an English switch, meaning there is a possibility the game came to the West in limited numbers, or at least was planned to.
You won’t find much of a game here since this was more a little video demo that played as the “player” waited for the selected popcorn to be finished. The cabinet did have button and a crank to distract the player, but it didn’t particularly matter if you played or not. Naturally, emulating it won’t yield much unless you have a microwave near your general vicinity and some flavoring agents (salt, butter or curry, if you want to keep the authenticity of the machine.)
But this could make for a neat arcade board to setup at home for the more dedicated.
The story is pretty simple: Sonic and Tails want popcorn, Eggman wants to bludgeon Sonic with a hammer (because that’s his way of saying he wants some too or something), Eggman steals popcorn as it pops, Sonic blows up the machine and roasts Eggman, because he’s a jerk and doesn’t share. Enjoy those calories.
So that now makes two of the rare three obscure arcade Sonic titles dumped and preserved on the Internet. That basically leaves the most obscure of them left: SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol.
Much like with Waku Sonic, I encourage those that want to or are interested in arcade game preservation to look into sending in donations to the dumpers (as it’s usually not cheap to do this) or join up communities that specialize in preservation.
Full disclosure: I’m not taking any credit for this happening, but it does amuse me.
One of the few remaining Coelacanths in the Sonic series is coming to a PC near you soon. Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car is a relatively obscure arcade title where the player drives in a car booth and assists a police clad Sonic. It’s also one of the earlier instances of a fully voiced Sonic early in the brand’s life, albeit in Japanese.
Sadly, it has been increasingly difficult to find a working machine in public, with one of the most recent reports being that some friends over at Sonic Paradise found the machine in a Spanish mall, albeit with a broken steering wheel.
Starting with the next release of MAME, you can enjoy this odd bit of Sonic history too, thanks to an effort to secure the board and the generous donations of many people. Further documentation about the game can be found here.
The video below, recorded by Gavin Hugh, shows one such working booth in Japan in 2012 and features game play. Using the steering wheel, the player drives through the busy city streets and avoids traffic until an encounter with Dr. Eggman happens. Regardless if you do well or nothing at all, you’ll reach the Eggman encounter and even if you beat him or not, the game is soon over.
No tickets are dispensed and the player is only awarded a score and a star ranking. It’s pretty basic as far as arcade games go, but that isn’t a big shock. It’s an attraction ride game for kids after all.
It’s not a unique game as there are many others with similar gameplay that remain undumped, but it is another obscure bit of Sonic history down. That doesn’t leave much left to dump, short of someone going crazy and finding/repairing a SegaSonic Popcorn Shop machine.
That said, if trying to preserve and dump old arcade boards interests you, definitely explore MAMEWorld and other preservation and documentation groups.
Do you live in Tokyo and want to see Sonic’s ass in front of you while you run on a treadmill? Well soon you can in a new arcade game called Sonic Athletics. In this game you will need to run as fast as possible on a treadmill to get the highest score. While you do this you will also see a Sonic character run on a screen in front of you. The faster you run, the faster Sonic or a different character runs as well. This game can be played with up to eight players, each as a different character. The playable characters are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Metal Sonic, Silver and Blaze.
This glorified treadmill will be open for all starting from April 25th at SEGA’s Joypolis in Tokyo and will cost 500 yen per game. It also seems like this will be the only place where it can be played, everywhere else people will probably have to stick to boring ordinary treadmills.
[Source: The Sonic Stadium]
F-Zero GX for the Nintendo Gamecube had an interesting feature that worked with it’s Triforce brother. By bringing your memory card to an F-Zero AX arcade machine, it allowed you to unlock additional content for use in the home version and bring your custom vehicle with you on the arcade version. However due to an extremely limited release of the arcade unit, most of the AX content was basically untouchable for many. Turns out after all these years, F-Zero AX was much closer than one thought. Coming from The Cutting Room Floor, and later reported by Retro Collect, they have turned up the entirety of the arcade game is already embedded with each home copy of F-Zero GX. More or less that is. For more information on how to play through AX on your copy of F-Zero GX, be sure to check out the Action Replay codes on either site, or watch the embedded video to see AX mode in action.
Because the games work so close together and both games were in development at the same time, this should come as to no surprise. Still a very interesting insight of the game, and sure to interest those who have never experienced the F-Zero AX arcade machine first hand.
[Via Giant Bomb on Youtube]
Veering off the road to the Final Showdown, Sega and Tecmo-Koei are bringing Akira Yuki from the Virtua Fighter series to Dead or Alive 5. It probably makes more sense than space bounty hunters or hadoukens when it comes to both fighting games, as they are both more technical and forego hyper realism. (To a point)
There’s a joke here about floaty physics that both franchises suffer from if you want to go that far. But, come on, show some class.
Daytona USA is making it’s first lap on Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade this week. If you’re a bad enough mother of a driver, chances are you’ve already snagged yourself a copy of the game. If you’re just plain bad at Daytona, then do yourself a favor by checking out these videos of You Tube user Trojan X who was able to beat the AI on the highest difficulty in all three tracks using manual transmission while keeping up top speed. Be sure to watch all three videos to get an idea on how to tackle the three courses.
The technique that’s prominent in these videos is the Gear Drift. When tacking the tightest corners, turn early, shift into second, while turning along the curve, shift into third then gradually correct your steering as you approach the straight, and resume gaining speed. Don’t hit the brakes, otherwise you’ll find yourself sliding all over the place! Lastly, be sure to memorize each track. Play offline for some practice sessions before taking on other opponents.
Amongst the trove of Sega Genesis ROMs that come out almost like clockwork every year, Sega, AM2 and Treasure have been throwing out a number of surprises lately. That bunny sure had it in for us.
Consider this as your friendly reminder. Just announced by SEGA is the re-release of Daytona USA for both Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. The Sega Saturn (and arcade!) Now featuring a widescreen presentation, online multiplayer, leaderboards, native steering wheel support, and possibly the biggest feature: Karaoke Mode so you can put on your best Takenobu Mitsuyoshi. Both versions are slated for release in the US on October 25th (PSN) and 26th (XBLA) for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Space Bucks. Be sure to check out the trailer in this post for footage of the game in action.
Sega’s latest classic title up for download services proves to be an important stepping stone for the company. Not only is it a port of a rare Mega/Sega CD title, the collaboration behind the project showcases the 10+ year old game running with optimizations and slight changes that help solidify Sonic CD’s place among the previous games. Not since Street Fighter has a game seen this level of work, both for those who prefer games to stay as true to the original as possible as well as please those who are looking for optimizations to solidify the functionality between the Sonic games. What was shown off in the PAX demo was the entirety of Palmtree Panic, with two special stages that would be randomly chosen for each playthrough for the sake of the demonstration. Honorable mention goes to our good buddy Ken Balough who was also there at the Xbox Live Arcade booth to help fill in the gaps of what to expect.
No doubt the most promising feature is the ability to change between two different spindash types for the game. However, the demo available only allowed for players to utilize the Sonic 2 & 3 Spindash feature. While the sound effects were still similar to the original version of the game, the spindash execution itself was much more streamlined compared to the original Sonic CD. You still have to charge up Sonic before he goes blasting off, but it is much easier to access places that would normally be more difficult to reach because of this optimization. Because of the new spindash feature, the screen does not pan in front of the player as it did in the original. In the final game, the screen will pan if the legacy spindash feature is turned on.
The gameplay otherwise feels exactly as it did in the original game. Load times are quicker for sure, enemies move as you expect, the stage gimmicks, such as Sonic going through the giant 360 degree loop, are also in place. Some additions including the 16:9 widescreen presentation that properly fills the screen in both regular and special stages help with the viewing area even without the camera panning in front of Sonic. The only real oddity I came across was the stage boss in Act 3; during the part where Eggman falls from the sky, the player can still damage the boss before he begins his attack movement.
The special stages in this version take advantage of the modern hardware, well, as modern as a flat “Mode 7-like” plane with UFOs flying around can get. The 3D plane turns much more smoothly as the UFOs scale properly in the 3D space. Item UFOs are much easier to identify; Light blue represents ones with shoes, and the darker bluer ones represent rings. Of course, the time bonus UFOs are still the same light blue with red bars and will appear when 20 seconds are left on the clock. The smoothness of which Sonic runs around, (or if he gets bounced around,) makes it easier to tell Sonic’s trajectory as he travels. Despite the upgrade in presentation, control is still fully digital, (i.e. no analog,) when turning Sonic left and right.
Another feature unique to this version is a filter effect for the graphics that blur the pixels for a more smoothed, anti-aliased look. Similar to Super 2xSai or Super Eagle filters that work on all the objects on screen. The filter works by applying them per object, however the effect seemed a bit blurry, and the smaller details of some sprites became a bit tough to make out. Ken did state that the feature was still being worked out as it was thrown in shortly before the PAX showing. For purists, players can easily turn the filter off and enjoy the original look of the game. In the demo the filter feature’s switch was mapped to the Left and Right Bumper buttons of the Xbox controller, which are likely to change into a menu function in the final build.
Despite the low volume of the TV, one could determine that the music was without a doubt the Japanese soundtrack. Unfortunately, Ken confirmed that the US soundtrack would sadly not be available in the final version. (Sidebar from me: You can use the Xbox 360’s built in music player to blare your rare Sonic Boom! Music CDs.) What Ken stated on the matter is that they are still working to see what would need to happen on the legal side of things to get the US soundtrack in the final game. While DLC is a possibility, he’d much rather try to include the music for free, whether they can get it in the final or added in through a patch.
While the game was being shown on the 360, Ken did state that the game is coming out on a host of platforms including PS3, Android, iOS devices and on the PC through Steam. A WiiWare version is currently not planned. The game is on track for a release later this year, and already looks very promising. Alas, no disc based version of the game will go on sale.
Finally, on a side note. Those of you who are at PAX make sure to go check out the booth. Last few times I checked over at Microsofts booth, Sonic CD was literally untouched. Go be a bro, check it out and say ‘hi’ to Ken. I bet he’s quite lonely!