An interesting article on Sega's downward trend

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Majestic Joey
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Post by Majestic Joey »

I think the problem is that creative games are really hard to sell. Jet set radio, shemmue, space channel 5, rez and crazy taxi (actually I don't know how well crazy taxi sold) did not sell well because the average consumer is retarded. People these days only want madden, fps, party games and mmorpg. They don't want innovation they just want the same old crap (ex. tony hawk, mario party X)

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cjmcray
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Post by cjmcray »

Crazy Taxi (For the Dreamcast, anyway) sold pretty well. It was put onto the Dreamcast's "All-Star" series (The DC equivilent of Greatest Hits.) So that must mean it sold somewhat well.

About Vectorman, I rented Vectorman once, and never quite got into it. I liked Vectorman's design, though.

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Post by Ngangbius »

Majestic Joey wrote:I think the problem is that creative games are really hard to sell. Jet set radio, shemmue, space channel 5, rez and crazy taxi (actually I don't know how well crazy taxi sold) did not sell well because the average consumer is retarded. People these days only want madden, fps, party games and mmorpg. They don't want innovation they just want the same old crap (ex. tony hawk, mario party X)
I would also like to attribute this to companies failure to properly advertise said creative games--especially when it came to Sega. For example, I don't remember seeing a commercial in the U.S. for Space Channel 5 or Rez. When you usually stick to ads in video games magazine with hardly any attempt of advertising on television, you are already limiting your potential audience.

I mean millions of people are willing to spend $70+ for Guitar Hero, and I see it advertised everywhere.

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Segaholic2
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Post by Segaholic2 »

I really don't think Guitar Hero falls into the same classification as Space Channel 5 or Rez, despite whatever superficial comparisons you want to make, and even the price difference for what amounts to a plastic toy guitar. There's just a wider appeal for stuff like that, obviously, considering how well the Guitar Hero franchise is doing and how it's already some sort of media darling. You can't even call Guitar Hero "niche" anymore; that shit's already as mainstream as it can get.
Last edited by Segaholic2 on Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cjmcray
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Post by cjmcray »

There was a commercial in the US for Space Channel 5, plus Ulala was a spokewoman of sorts for MTV. She appeared in commercials for the VMAs, talking about the nominees.

There was even going to be an MTV series about her, called Ulala's Groove-somethingsomething.. but it never worked out.

(Which reminds me, there was an ad in Japan for tampons parodying SPC5. complete with Ulala knockoff. lol.)

You're right about Rez, it didn't really get any promotion here in the US, and was not released on the Dreamcast in the US, either. and went straight to Ps2. In all of my trips to Gamestop, EB Games, Target, Wal*Mart, etc. I never once saw a copy of Rez.

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Post by Zeta »

You can't even call Guitar Hero "niche" anymore; that shit's already as mainstream as it can get.
Measure of how mainstream a game is: Stoned, drunk fratboys request people to "break that shit out!"

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Post by Senbei »

Make that: frat boys, annoying male adolescents destined to become frat boys, and middle-aged women. And anyone else who has ever played air guitar.

I don't know how you could find Jet Set Radio uninteresting, Tsuyoshi-kun, or any of the other Dreamcast games listed. I'm equally puzzled by FlashTHD's dislike of Vectorman. Sure, the games are hard (I've yet to make it past level 1 on either, although I haven't been playing them frequently), but from what I've played, the level design is fun, the games are nice to look at, and Vectorman's design is cool, as are his abilities. Maybe if I made it further into the games I'd appreciate the frustration that you seem to manifest.

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Zeta
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Post by Zeta »

I can't even remember Vectorman's abilities, but he did have a cool design. Sort of Terminator meets Rayman

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Senbei
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Post by Senbei »

He can transform into various useful shapes and shoot different types of energy blasts from his arm depending on the power-up you've got. His backstory is awesome too, if I recall correctly, as he's basically a futuristic garbage man fighting a villian who's literally a warhead. Like a nuclear bomb for a head. How cool is that?

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Post by Double-S- »

I have yet to see a title lineup as ridiculous and mind blowingly awesome as the Dreamcast's Fall/Winter 2000 catalog. Ecco, Power Stone 2, and Seaman in August. Jet Grind Radio, Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia, and PSO four consecutive weeks in November. Grandia II right after. The 2k1 sports lineup and other titles like Test Drive Le Mans. Ports of Quake III Arena, Tony Hawk 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Rush 2049, Starlancer, etc filled the rest of any empty space.

Even games that had no real right to be good, like Looney Toons Space Race, somehow turned out highly enjoyable.

Hell, it more than likely ended up hurting the sales by because of all the gold in a single time frame.


I still remember the two issues of the Official Dreamcast Magazine covering that season. They were giving out 8s, 9s, and 10s like they were candy, and every one of them was well deserved.

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Post by Oompa Star »

What pissed off about the first Vectorman was if you used any cheat, you were denied the good ending. I finally saw it after abusing the quick save option in Gems Collection.

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Majestic Joey
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Post by Majestic Joey »

The article said that sega has been making shitty collections which i think is bull. Sonic mega collection, gems collection and the genesis collection were all pretty good. I only noticed in genesis collection that the sound was off in some games.

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Post by Parn »

cjmcray wrote:There was even going to be an MTV series about her, called Ulala's Groove-somethingsomething.. but it never worked out.
For those that haven't seen it, watch the Ulala MTV News Now Pilot.

Sega honestly tried with Dreamcast, but piracy had a huge hand in the console's demise. I've discussed videogames with numerous people and the grand majority of them had positive things to say about Dreamcast, but 9 times out of 10, they downloaded the games and burned them.

The enormous costs of Shenmue and SegaNet and their inability to produce any revenue to even remotely offset said costs probably didn't help things either.

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Post by G.Silver »

I wanted to like Vectorman badly when it came out, but it just felt so average when I did play it, I was really disappointed. The game played extremely well (the feel of moving Vectorman around remains a lot of fun) and there were a few cool levels, but it just didn't feel right. The soundtrack was also incredibly boring.

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Post by gr4yJ4Y »

I've always had a soft spot for Vectorman and I thought the two games were overal fun (with the first one being slightly better).

As for the Dreamcast, I'd like someone to try to point out any other system that had that many great games in such a short time span. The Dreamcast inovated in ways no one else before did. Do you think the PS2 would have had such good graphics if DC didn't come out (and Xbox and GC thereafter)? Do you think Xbox and PS2 would've gone online?

It's really too bad that Sega didn't reap the benefits of such genius and that the public wasn't capable of understanding such awesomeness at the time. But so goes the way of any groundbreaking artist - they aren't well appriciated until they die.

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Post by DackAttac »

If the Dreamcast had gotten the shelf life of a truly mainstream console, then it wouldn't seem like the collection of games it had was so shallow. The PS2 came out in, what, 2000? And it had a steady flow of games right up until, really, the end of last year.

Really, the more of these publications and terrible reviews, the better I feel that eventually, one of the higher up's will get the drift of how much of a laughing stock their company has become, before sales nosedive to the point where they realize it by closing shop.

And that article has made me hopeful for that Olympic game, but for a different reason. It could very well be the most effort that has gone into a Sonic game in a long time because of the expectations Mario brings to the table. And if everyone sees Sonic with effort behind him again—full-fledged effort—then maybe Sonic's expectations will go up, too.

And then when the next sucky Sonic game comes out, then maybe something just might get done when everyone's really truly disappointed again. Right now, watching these titles suffer in the critic and quality departments is like watching Kenny die—who doesn't see it coming?

(You know. Back before they stopped killing Kenny.)

And when I say "might get done", I'm not referring to them rolling up their sleeves and attempting another S360. I mean hiring a more prolific staff or outsourcing those titles to a more competent company altogether. I'd no longer be disappointed by that. I'd be thrilled.

The article brings up an interesting point. Yeah, I've been missing good Sonic games, duh, but Sega in general used to be right up my alley. Now I just don't give a shit about what their name's on anymore.

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Post by BlazeHedgehog »

On the subject of Streets of Rage 4: I don't remember where I heard it now, exactly, some website from days long ago. But the Streets of Rage 4 beta videos floating around the internet came from this article specifically, so I'm pretty sure it's legit.

Anyway, the story goes that Yuzo Koshiro approached Sega with those videos to do a 3D Streets of Rage 4, and, at least the first time - he was shut down. Why? The board he submitted his idea to didn't know what Streets of Rage was. So, they rejected him. This apparently made him very angry and bitter about the subject because a bunch of - as he described them - "younger" people in positions higher than he was didn't understand the Streets of Rage legacy, because they hadn't played the games as kids like everybody else had.

I didn't know he tried to get SoR4 off the ground a second time, though, as a Downloadable Game.

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Post by Shadow Hog »

Mmm, that makes me wonder... how effective would the voice of stockholders be?

Obviously, just one stockholder isn't going to make a difference. But if many, MANY people that had stock in Sega stressed a lack of confidence in Sega's current strategies, maybe that'd wake them up more than on-going fan-whining.

Of course, I'm sure stockholders couldn't care less unless their stock value goes down the drain - and if the games sell, lousy or not, nothing's going to happen.

Yes, this was partially inspired by the Take-Two thing earlier this month. Of course, that largely had to do with technical stock market stuff that I don't know much about (only that whatever it was, it really made Take-Two look bad, hence the ousting of those responsible) and very little to do with game quality (which, last I checked, was actually very good)... but still!

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Post by FlashTHD »

BlazeHedgehog wrote:I didn't know he tried to get SoR4 off the ground a second time, though, as a Downloadable Game.
Neither did I, but he did try to get an Xbox version off the ground. His sister even designed a bunch of characters for a fourth game around that time. Alas, that project kind of hit vapor lock and vanished before it got anywhere substantial.

@ everybody defending Vectorman: you're all mad. Every single concieveable aspect of that game is utter vomit and I can't understand for the life of me how anyone can enjoy it. Level design, controls, graphics (they're overrated, and the game was so obviously created to be a shiny display piece for a dying console and nothing more - why the hell else would they name the character "Vectorman"), physics, the entire gameplay in general - you name it, I despise it. I'm trying to be succint here because, right at this moment i'm a bit pooped, and if you truly get me started about everything that's so bullshit about it, you're in for some whopping walls of text.

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Parn
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Post by Parn »

But it had lens flares!

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FlashTHD
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Post by FlashTHD »

Ah, well no wonder it sucked, the guys who made the game part prolly stared at those too long!

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Post by G.Silver »

I really liked what they did with the Lens Flares in Vectorman, I dunno how many games were doing them at that time, I just remembered that they looked really shitty on the Genesis compared to how the one looked in EWJ on the SNES. But in that stage with all the spotlights, sometimes the lens flares would move across the screen in unexpected ways, with two (or more?) moving in different directions at a time. It was less a lens flare and more a "hey, there's more STUFF moving on the screen" kind of effect, really.

I don't think anyone's gonna argue on the graphics thing, Vectorman's main bit was the fluid animation, the visuals for both games were pretty flat and dull otherwise.

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Shadow Hog
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Post by Shadow Hog »

I never really paid the graphics much notice. It's the Genesis. The Genesis can't do pre-rendered CG graphics very well. This isn't an astounding revelation. (It was damn fluid, though.) The music was decent enough - not something I get stuck in my head, but decent enough.

The thing that I seriously don't understand your hate for is the gameplay. Seriously, the game isn't horribly broken in that aspect. At all. It's not the pinnacle of gaming history, certainly, but I cannot think of anything particularly wrong. It honestly astounds me that that's how you see it. o.o

However, I made this topic to discuss the plausibility of several theories as to why Sega went under, not whether <i>Vectorman</i> was a shitty game or not. I don't particularly care to read your wall of text any more than I'm sure you care to write it, so if we can agree to completely and utterly disagree, then, as I was saying... stockholders. Impact, or no?

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FlashTHD
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Post by FlashTHD »

Whatever. But if there's one mystery of life I care to solve eventually, it's Vectorman.

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Post by Frieza2000 »

Shadow Hog wrote:stockholders. Impact, or no?
Well apparently it worked for Sammy, though I don't fully understand how. I'm no economist, but I was under the impression that the only power stockholders have is to threaten to sell all their stock. So if Sammy's plan was to buy all of Sega's stock to gain control of them, and if Sega didn't want to do what they said, why didn't they just ignore Sammy and LET them sell the stock? I understand that it prevents other investors from buying stock, which puts those finances into a freeze because they can't use the money Sammy gave them because they'd pull the rug out from under them at the worst moment, but couldn't they just...make more shares or something? More than Sammy would be able to afford so that real investors could get back in?

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