I had been meaning to come up with a commentary of sorts. It’s not necessarily an opinion blog, but I do share some of my opinions on some things in this blog. Anyway, I had a thought that ran across my mind, and it was that I should seriously be the president of the Sega Corporation. I don’t know how or why it came to be, but it did. I went to my Twitter feed and made posts about it. And then a couple of my friends joined in on what their roles would be alongside me. Only recently did it happen again, and this time I thought I would elaborate on why I would want to be the president of the company and what I would do.
First thing’s first: give Sonic the Hedgehog a break. As much as I like the blue dude with the ‘tude, Sega should seriously cut back on the amount of games they’ve released year after year. Sonic Generations was good and all, but there seriously has been a steady decline on the reception his games have been getting. Not to say that Sonic and the All-Stars Racing: Transformed is bad (curious to play it), but it seems that Sega has been relying on Sonic way too much.
And Sonic really isn’t the one to be pointing fingers at! Notice how much Sega has put some emphasis on their classics? I’m mostly referring to their constant re-releasing of their Sega Genesis classics, and that should be put on the back burner as well. Granted, I loved the Sega Genesis as a kid and still play and collect games for it to this day. However, I think it’s a bit unnecessary that this time they’re re-releasing them in stereoscopic 3-D on the 3DS. Shoot, I’m guilty of owning some of the Sonic collections that have been released on the PC, Gamecube, and PS3. I even have a few digital downloads like Streets of Rage 2 and Gunstar Heroes via PSN. Even still, I have enjoyed playing these games all over again on different platforms. And yet, I still wish that they would focus on other games that have yet to be given another chance to more audiences.
Before I get on into any of that, I want to fill in a bit of history of my love for Sega. You guys know how much I have admired Sega since the 16-bit days. I started off with the Sega Genesis, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The only games I played at the time were mostly those that Electronic Arts published at the time. Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego, John Madden Football ’92, Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs, and Desert Strike were the games I started off playing as a kid. It wasn’t until Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that I discovered my love for video games, and the rest is history as they say.
Thinking back now, Sega had a brand going for them when it came to the Sega Genesis. Yes, the Super Nintendo was far superior in many ways, but there was something about the Sega Genesis that made me want to come back for more. It wasn’t so much the advertising that backed the console up even though their commercials were pretty bizarre. I will give props for Nintendo with how focused they were with their IPs along with many great RPGs that spawned on that system. However, I found that the Sega Genesis had a bit of everything for a variety of gamers. Platformers, sports, action, puzzle, fighting, RPG, racing. You name it! Even some of the developers for the system like Treasure and TechnoSoft knew how to program around the system’s capabilities to pull off some pretty stellar games like Gunstar Heroes and Thunder Force IV respectively. Sure, it may have been overshadowed by many sports games that came out year after year from Electronic Arts, but it showed how big of a role they played as becoming one of the Genesis’s big third party supporters.
I didn’t even get a new console until the Sega Dreamcast came out! And it showed then how much of a fan I was for anything Sega even though I completely skipped out on the Sega CD, 32X, and the Saturn. When our Dreamcast’s first player port stopped working, I switched to the Gamecube since I was slowly getting into Nintendo more at the time. Plus, it seemed that Nintendo came to Sega with open arms to publish games on its system, and it was a big deal when Sonic Adventure 2 was ported. It was even nice to see some of the Dreamcast games that I missed out on or had played being ported onto the system like Skies of Arcadia and Phantasy Star Online. Of course, it was also nice to see Sega branching out onto other systems to create some pretty awesome games while re-introducing older games to newer generations.
Today it seems that Sega has just lost its spark in taking risks and not wanting to focus their resources on other existing IPs. That is why I feel that they have relied way too heavily on Sonic and some of the well-known Genesis classics. What that is good and all, I strongly feel that Sega can do better and get back into taking risks as they try to focus on the following.
- Bring classic games outside of the Sega Genesis’s library! There are many games that Sega has created that aren’t from the Sega Genesis. I think it’s time that Sega has brought over their Sega Saturn library to digital format. If you’ve looked up Saturn games on eBay, you’ll see that the North American releases are very high, and that is due to how poorly the system sold during its timeframe. However, the Japanese imports are surprisingly cheap, but that was because it was more successful overseas than here. The Saturn had some really great games with NiGHTS Into Dreams to be one of the better known games for the system. It even had some really great RPGs that I look forward to get for the system! And that leads me into the subject of a forgotten IP of theirs…
- More Shining games! I think it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a proper Shining game. The last one I can recall was Shining Tears on the PS2, and that was a poorly received game (I remember the 1 out of 5 review X-Play did for it). I feel that the Shining series is a strong IP in Sega’s history outside of Phantasy Star, and it would be a shame to see it go on the wayside. I understand that there have been some Shining games released in Japan, but it doesn’t feel right of Sega to deny us of this series. Another RPG series to mention as I did just now…
- Give us Phantasy Star Online 2! As of now it’s been about two years since the game was released in Japan. I understand that there has yet to be an announcement on a release date, but it’s still worth a mention here. If anything, I think PSO 2 would be a system seller for the PS Vita outside of Tearaway. Honestly, PSO 2 would be the main reason for me to even pick up a PS Vita. If not for that, then I would be all for a straight up traditional Phantasy Star game. I loved Phantasy Star 0 on the Nintendo DS and made me reflect on how much I enjoyed Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast and Gamecube. So yes, bring on a Phantasy Star V if anything! I would put money down in a heartbeat! Yet another game that should be brought to North America…
- Localize Yakuza 5! Thanks to a couple of friends I have found a liking to the series, and I would like to see it continue. The latest entry in the series has been released in Japan around November of 2012. You would have thought that it would have been released in the US, but it hasn’t! Now that Sega has acquired publisher Atlus, well known for the Shin Megami Tensei series, I think the guys at Atlus can properly localize the game. Plus, they would be capable of marketing the game to both the core Yakuza audience and newcomers, and that is something that Sega really needs as far as marketing goes. And now to a series that is similar to Yakuza…
- Develop Shenmue III! Yes, I did go there. Yes, I understand that it’s a pipe dream for many. And yes, I’m crazy in saying this. If Square Enix has shown its fans with Kingdom Hearts III coming out later this year, why not have Sega do the same thing? Just give fans a proper conclusion to the Shenmue saga and be done with it. Plus, it would give Yu Suzuki and his Sega AM2 team an excuse to develop more games, and that is another Sega in-house developer that has gone on the wayside for some time now despite that they have release a game here and a game there. Even though I thought Shenmue was decent, I did appreciate for what their aim was for the game. It wasn’t so much for the story to me, but it was showcasing the transition of traditional Japan into a more modern society in the late 1980s. And this leads me to my final thought in regards to Sega AM2…
- Release more classic arcade games! I mean, yes, Sega has released a few arcade games recently, but it would be great if they released others that haven’t gotten much attention. Games like After Burner, Out Run, Sega Rally, and Daytona USA could use some more iterations. Shoot, it would thrill me to see other not-so-known games like Power Drift to be given a chance. If you think about it that is how Sega got their start was by releasing some really awesome arcade titles, and I have come across some more recent Sega arcade releases wherever I’m able to find an existing arcade place.
Anyway, I believe this is all I can really think about at this time. I know I could go on and on with what I could see the company do if I were in charge, but my mind would probably explode as I try to think more on the matter. For now, this is a good stopping point, and these were all the main points that I wanted to address.
If there was a “too long; didn’t read” section, I just wish that Sega would focus more of their resources on other IPs whether they are existing or new. It was great to see them take risks back in the 16-bit days, and it seems that they’re too scared to do anything besides constantly reminding us how great they were during the Genesis days. I love the Sega Genesis and all, but it’s time that they try to move on from that and start creating new things. That is why I loved Sega to begin with because of how different they were from the rest, and they had a brand going for them. They have been the injured party for way too long after the death of the Dreamcast. It’s okay for them to move on and start becoming a very strong publisher/developer.
Thanks for reading! I know it’s long, but it was something I wanted to do. I actually had some fun with this. Any thoughts and opinions you have on this, feel free to share. I know some things in this weren’t fleshed out as I would like for them to be, but I feel that I did my best.
Just please no nasty remarks. I encourage any and all constructive criticism!
Eddie the Wolf signing off!