During the holiday season of 1991, the Sega Genesis was already two years old. Jumpstarting the 16-bit era, its sales still paled in comparison to the Nintendo Entertainment System, and with the Super Nintendo finally coming out in the United States, it might have been a safe bet to think Nintendo would continue its dominance in the market. But SEGA had an ace up their sleeve, something that could directly compete with Super Mario World – Sonic the Hedgehog. Suddenly, that safe bet was called into question. Come January ‘92, SEGA had done the impossible – market share in the U.S. for the home console market was split down the middle, with SEGA just ever so slightly having the edge.
Aggressive marketing, mall tours, a character design that instantly encapsulated everything that was hip and cool in the new decade. There was no doubt “Sonic Mania” was just beginning. It’s easy to look back and go “of course Sonic would succeed.” But what was it like to have lived in that moment? Not even as a kid who got a Genesis for Christmas, but as someone who picked up Sonic the moment it came out? Imagine being one of the SEGA faithful, having already bought a Sega Genesis, playing Thunder Force II and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker late into the night. Waiting impatiently for that one game that would prove without a doubt the system was here to stay.
Imagine being one of the first to experience Sonic the Hedgehog. Walking into an Electronics Boutique, and seeing Sonic’s self-assured smirk on the shelves. Finger pointed, a rendition of the Green Hill Zone teasing the obstacles that would block their way to saving South Island. Did they know they were buying a piece of history as the clerk rung them up? Or was it not until they went home, sliding that cart into their Genesis, flipping the switch, and running through that first checkered loop? So filled with excitement, they just needed to tell someone about how great this new game was. Rushing to their computer, firing up that blistering 14.4 kbps modem, sharing with the world what they had experienced. No doubt, June 11th, 1991 became a date they would not soon forget.
It turns out this student’s professor is David Javelosa who, if you aren’t familiar with him, is a freelance composer who used to be an Audio Director at SEGA of America. These days you’ll find him as a professor at Santa Monica College. You will typically find his name on western productions of SEGA titles including Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco – The Tides of Time,Spider-Man VS. The Kingpin and even was part of the SEGA Multimedia Studio to help with SEGA CD development.
After the tweet gained massive popularity the poster agreed to try to convince David to put his works online somewhere. Luckily he agreed to it and now you can find this online. A SEGA Genesis GEMS Test Module. GEMS of course was the sound driver used in many western Genesis games including Sonic Spinball. But in the video below it seems to center around Sonic 2. You can find more demo reels and music tracks from this channel after the jump.
Is your Sonic library on Steam lacking a few titles? Why wait for a Steam sale when you can set your own price and meet payment tiers in the latest Humble Bundle featuring a trove of Sonic games that can be redeemed on Steam which includes Sonic Lost World and an exclusive T-shirt for $35. Games such as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations all feature their DLC included as well, except for our good buddy Simon from Yogscast in Transformed. The SEGA Genesis and Mega Drive games also take advantage of the updated emulator that supports ROM hacks as well.
If you’re not familiar with how the Humble Bundle works, you can set the price on what you would pay for the games and receive a Steam validation code for each game covered by your payment. You can also pay above two different tiers with one being the average paid amongst different users on the Humble Bundle. Previous Humble Bundles included mobile Sonic titles and the Archie Sonic comic series. This marks the first time Sonic games on Steam appeared in a Humble Bundle set.
Be sure to check out the Humble Bundle page on more information. More games will be added to the bundle in the near future which do not require additional payment. Hit the jump to see what games are available in the bundle. Continue Reading
Throughout the summer, YouTube channel The Geek Critique has been covering the classic Sonic games in a six part Classic Sonic Retrospective which is, as described by the video’s creator, as being “essentially a feature-length documentary covering every single game in the classic series”. The retrospective covers why Sonic was such an influential series personally, and to the industry as a whole. It also does a good job in tackling the recent notion circulating the internet that Sonic was never good to begin with. Give the series a watch and stay tuned to The Geek Critique’s channel as he plans to cover the Sonic Adventure series next summer!
This past weekend, SEGAbits writers Ben, Shigs, and Nuckles hit San Diego Comic Con and SEGA’s game preview event located at the nearby Nerd HQ. While Comic Con isn’t as game centric as E3, there was quite a bit of SEGA goodness to be found. We were able to check out the latest preview builds of Alien: Isolation and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, as well as interview Archie Comics on the upcoming Sonic Boom comic book series. But the main event had to have been Sunday’s Console Wars panel. The panel, which centered around the SEGA and Nintendo rivalry of the 90′s, featured special guests Tom Kalinske (Sega of America), Al Nilsen (Sega of America), Bill White (Nintendo of America), and Perrin Kaplan (Nintendo of America), as well as Console Wars author Blake J. Harris and Julian Rosenberg, producer of the upcoming Console Wars documentary.
Thanks to Blake, our guys were given the VIP treatment and secured some awesome seats – allowing us to film the panel and Q&A session and meet the SEGA and Nintendo legends! Check out the full panel above, and make sure to pick up your copy of Console Wars if you haven’t already! Want more Console Wars discussion? Check out our three part interview series with Tom Kalinske, Al Nilsen, and Blake J. Harris.
Yesterday evening we learned, via the forums, that the Sonic the Hedgehog American and European box art illustrator Greg Martin had passed away in May of last year. While the news is delayed, the sadness many SEGA fans are surely feeling has not diminished. Greg Martin may not be a name fans recognize, but as soon as you see his work you’d instantly know his style. His SEGA career spanned the 90’s, with his art appearing on the covers of the SEGA Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog titles, Shining in the Darkness, Landstalker, Pac-Attack, and many more. Outside of SEGA, Greg did work for franchises including The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Batman, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Winnie the Pooh, The Jetsons, and Looney Tunes. You can see more of his work at his official website. Our thoughts are with Greg Martin’s family, he truly was a legend.
Most people are at least vaguely aware that Sonic Retro also runs a companion website, Sega Retro, to document all Sega-related history that isn’t explicitly Sonic-y in nature. As part of that documentation, there’s a lot of very basic tasks that haven’t been done that we’re trying to accomplish for the basic good of video game research.
One of those is to get pictures of every single video game made for a Sega system. This seems like it should be an easy task–after all,somebody must have done this before–but it turns out that it takes a lot more time and effort than anyone would have realized. And no, no one else has bothered to try to get good photos of everything.
This is where you come in, dear reader! Each week, we’re going to highlight various items we need scans donated for in hopes that we can build the world’s biggest database of Sega knowledge together. One region, one system, one thing, and a list of what we need. 😉
How can I help?
We ask that volunteers go through their collections of Sega games and see if they have what we are looking for. This week, we’re focusing on Sega Genesis cartridges from the US or Canada. If you live in Europe or Brazil or South Korea or Japan, don’t worry! We’ll be highlighting things we need from those regions, too–we just don’t want to overwhelm people. A cartridge that is a good candidate to scan will be free of any stickers (such as from a rental place or a price tag) with a clear label that has no scratches or tears on it. This picture of Asterix and the Great Rescue is a great example of a cart scan. If you’re new to scanning, check out our guides on Sega Retro, but if you’re used to scanning, know we prefer 600DPI images digitally downsampled to 300DPI using Photoshop or another high-quality image editor. You can upload the image yourself on Sega Retro if you’re comfortable, or else post in the Sega Retro forum or leave a comment wherever you read this story (front page, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest.) You may also e-mail us scans at [email protected].
So, without further ado, the list of Sega Genesis cartridges we currently need scans of!