An interesting article on Sega's downward trend

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NEG
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Post by NEG »

A truely heartbreaking article to read.

My chest still hurts.

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Esrever
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Post by Esrever »

The thing that really turns me off of Vectorman is that @$#)%(* time limit. What's the point of making a level full of hidden secrets and alternate routes when you're barely given enough time to blast straight through it?

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Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Frieza2000 wrote:
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?
When someone buys 20% of your company, they earn a bit of control. Technically that's how Microsoft bought off Rare from Nintendo, by buying a certain percent. But companies don't go buying large parts of companies without knowing what they're getting into and I would think there would be the ability to resist somewhat on the company selling the stocks. I know Nintendo and Microsoft had talks with one another along with Rare before anything was finalized. I would think Sega would had been able to do something to resist completely altering the company structure, but it hasn't been doing to well financially.

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Vector
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Post by Vector »

I wonder where SEGA would be right now if they hadn't tried to turn Yuji Naka into some star like Miyamoto (I think a lot of people would give more credit to Oshima or Yasuhara.). They gave Yuji Naka enough clout that he was able to basically kill the Sonic X-Treme project. On the other hand, it was called Sonic X-Treme and had a character named Tiara Boobowski. We don't know how good the game might have been with more development and the ability to use SEGA's existing code, but yikes. But Saturn was rather successful in Japan, and a Sonic game, at a time when even a mediocre 3D game could sell just on technology, would have made it more popular outside of Japan.

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Post by Opa-Opa »

@ Ecco the Dolphin. It fucking rules. Last year I got to play the Genesis games from start to finish on Sega Genesis Collection (no savestates, though, only passwords, except for the last level, that alien labirynth sucks) and it is amazing. As a kid, I thought it was just about a dolphin doing its dolphin things, I would've NEVER imagined it would feature time travel and H.R.Giger-like aliens. Currently I'm playing the DC version and it's nice and faithful. Not that glad that it isn't a straight sequel, but the elements are all there.

@ Vectorman. I remember having a lot of fun with it when I rented for the Mega Drive, and I remember beating it with no cheats! But I don't remember the ending :(. I had some way of getting 10+ lives in the first level. I also remember the music, and specially the sound effects, were really nice. The graphics amazed me but my little 13 year old mind was amazed by anything slightly 3D. But when I grew up I tried playing it on some emulator but it just wasn't the same. That's why I never played Vetorman 2, never rented it, and looked kinda boring in the emulator. I guess Vectorman is good, but maybe it doesn't survive the test of time.

I never realized the impact that Sammy had on Sega. I never liked the merging, but I thought most of the problems they had were due to their own incompetence.

I still think it is though.

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Post by BlazeHedgehog »

Vector wrote:I wonder where SEGA would be right now if they hadn't tried to turn Yuji Naka into some star like Miyamoto (I think a lot of people would give more credit to Oshima or Yasuhara.). They gave Yuji Naka enough clout that he was able to basically kill the Sonic X-Treme project. On the other hand, it was called Sonic X-Treme and had a character named Tiara Boobowski. We don't know how good the game might have been with more development and the ability to use SEGA's existing code, but yikes. But Saturn was rather successful in Japan, and a Sonic game, at a time when even a mediocre 3D game could sell just on technology, would have made it more popular outside of Japan.
Cheesy characters and dumb name aside, Sonic X-treme seemed to understand fundemental parts of Sonic game mechanics that Sonicteam themselves still don't seem to fully grasp - namely twisting gravity, allowing Sonic to run across ceilings and walls (I'm not talking death egg style, either).

Videos Chris Senn showed of the alleged PC version of X-treme - the one that was much closer to completion than the failed Saturn version - actually looked kind fun, and couldn't have been any worse than what we're having to deal with now.

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Post by Locit »

I'm not sure how much fun playing an entire game in fish-eye lens would be, and it still looks like Sonic is navigating narrow pathways over what is ostensibly a giant bottomless pit. Maybe the control scheme/perspective made doing so a breeze, but I have my doubts.

Honestly it looks too much like Bug! with a weird camera, and Bug! was, well, not all that fun.

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Post by Radrappy »

I don't quite see the fun in these videos. It looks more confusing and disorienting. I doubt players would have any idea where to go in this kind of level design. Also the player is just constantly breaking and hitting walls. It rarely looks smooth at all.

Besides, had Sonic X-treme been released, would Sonic Adventure ever seen the light of day?

I personally think this game would have been worse than anything we have to put up with today based on these videos. I don't understand why it's heralded as such an unreleased gem.

Also, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 allowed players to run on walls if they built up enough speed. I'm not sure I agree that the fundamentals of Sonic include manipulating gravity on a level as confusing as this.

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Post by Opa-Opa »

As much as I would love playing through Sonic X-Treme for curiosity purposes, really I don't see myself enjoying this game nowadays.

Maybe during the 90s, when 3D games were so hyped.

But if they would have made a real Sonic game in that time, it should've been like this Sonic Jam here, graphically speaking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGeRilJpgbU&NR=1

I think I like this model more than any other. Sonic should really have his legs shortened again.

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Post by Radrappy »

the 3d world sonic jam sequence was gorgeous. I've always wondered why they never tried to make a full game of this nature. I mean I know why now but I can't help but wonder how things would've progressed had they tried.

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Post by Omni Hunter »

Sega haven't really stuck to any good ideas recently.

I don't mind Vectorman, on that front, but it's been one of those games that I have to play in bursts rather than continually play it.

Oh, and PS2 may have had a steady stream of games, but let's not forget that most of those games were crap, for every Shadow of the Colossus there are at least 10 forgettable titles. The amount of times I've walked into game stores and I look at the size of the PS2 section and see nothing worth buying has settled that for me.

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Post by Heroic One »

They should just take a long break. Two or so years before even working on or considering a project, just a nice vacation. [Or work on other projects]

Maybe then they'll be rejuvinated and do some neat things.

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Post by Frieza2000 »

It's time in the cycle for them to release another compilation. Like Smile once said, they release a major title one year and spinoffs and collections the next year to recover. After last year's major title failed so colossally I'm expecting us to see all of the mega collection games start appearing on the virtual console. I'd hope for a real collection with Chaotix, maybe Sonic Shuffle and some of the others, but we're getting to the bottom-of-the-barrel titles on obscure systems that might not be equitable to emulate, both because of the cost of porting or emulating and because nobody cares about these titles.

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Post by Locit »

Sonic Shuffle was awful. It has already received enough ports as it is.

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Post by Arcade »

I think the real problem was that Sega decided to drop the Saturn too early. If had keep the console for two years more, at least for Japan only, game publishes like EA wont have been mad at Sega, and the Dreamcast would have got a lot more games, at the cost of being released one or two years later, and with better hardware.

Sonic Adventure was the best selling game for the Dreamcast, and for a game made in 1998, it rocks. The game has some bugs, but is playable, fun and has replay value. Stop blaming it for Sega downfall, it was the reason many got a Dreamcast, it even got fixed a bit for the America release “Sonic Adventure internationalâ€￾ anyone?. 3D is hard, and Sega always rushes his programmers, taking that in account Sonic Adventure is one of the best games for the Dreamcast. Don’t like the fishing? Blame the Japanese, who like weird stuff, fishing was a big fashion in Japan back then, other games that where produced in 1998 in Japan also had fishing, like Digimon world.

Vectorman 1 was ok but looked lame(For me anyway), Vectorman 2 was just like any other game of his kind, is not Vectorman fault Earth Worm Jim 1&2 was just a lot better.

Piratery can’t be blamed for the Dreamcast death, the most popular game consoles tend to be the most pirates one, The Nes, The Sega Genesis, the Playstacion and the Playstacion 2 for example. Cds only could have a maximum of 900 megabites with overburning, the GDs had 1,2 GB, game publishers should have used more the extra space, so people really would fell the need to buy the real games.

Besides the Dreamcast only had 298 games, as I said before, drooping the Saturn too early was really what caused Sega and Dreamcast death.

Now Sega, stop making Sonic games and just license him to other company for five years, you will get money, and there is no way they will make worse games than you do. Good deal don’t you think?. You can even give different licenses, one for a company in Japan, other for a French company in Europe, and other to a company in the US. So every part of the world will get Sonic as they want it to be, you get money and everyone is happy.
Last edited by Arcade on Thu May 10, 2007 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by FlashTHD »

We're not blaming SA1 for anything. That's mostly the media's job :|

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Post by Arcade »

FlashTHD wrote:We're not blaming SA1 for anything. That's mostly the media's job :|
But I have been around here a lot and I’m tired of some jerks, who call themselves Sonic fans, complaining about Sonic Adventure, it was 1998, damn it!.

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Post by Hybrid »

Arcade wrote:But I have been around here a lot and I’m tired of some jerks, who call themselves Sonic fans, complaining about Sonic Adventure, it was 1998, damn it!.
Heaven forbid that some people have a different opinion to you. Jerks, all of them!

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Post by BlazeHedgehog »

Locit wrote:I'm not sure how much fun playing an entire game in fish-eye lens would be, and it still looks like Sonic is navigating narrow pathways over what is ostensibly a giant bottomless pit. Maybe the control scheme/perspective made doing so a breeze, but I have my doubts.

Honestly it looks too much like Bug! with a weird camera, and Bug! was, well, not all that fun.
As somebody who unfortunately owns Bug Too! and has played Bug! on the PC, I can say you're kind of wrong. Bug! was about big empty levels, those ones are much more full... there's a lot more in them.

So, essentially, a Sonic-styled Bug! with better level design. That at least makes it better than Bug!, and could've been pretty fun, fish-eye lens and all.

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Post by Radrappy »

You know, It's a popular thing today to claim that Sonic Adventure was over rated. However I don't even remember it getting stellar reviews when it came out. I believe it rarely received higher than a 9 from most critics. The game was really fun, flaws and all and in the day was considered a successful transition to 3d. Sure, the next few games were of lesser quality but I still think Sonic has made a pretty smooth transition into the third dimension despite what every fucking media outlet will claim.

One game still counts.

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Post by Shadow Hog »

<i>BUG!</i> was fun in small doses. The problem was, it was designed under the assumption that people wanted LARGE doses, and the whole thing suffered because of it. Seriously, some of those levels were far too big for their own good, and the checkpoints were too few and far between.

Also the annoying commentary, but that you could at least turn off.

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Post by Locit »

At the very least I enjoyed the concept of Daddy-O-Longlegs, hipster spider.

My main complaint stems from the fact that even if Bug! wasn't spread out too far it still didn't really bring anything new to the table. It was still essentially a 2D sidescroller masquerading as a 3D platformer, and to a great degree that's what I see in the trailers for X-treme. The levels look like they were designed with a traditional sidescroller in mind, then sort of stretched into a 3D layout, making for stilted gameplay. The fish-eye lens seems more like a gimmick to distract from the fact that Sonic isn't actually rendered in 3D than anything else.

That's not to say there aren't a few points here and there with good design. Looking at the "Crystal Frost" level in particular seems like it would be kind of neat along with the more open areas in others. Overall, though, it seems like levels were nondescript environments with a right angle toward or away from the screen here or there and a metric ton of pop-up.

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Post by BlazeHedgehog »

Locit wrote:At the very least I enjoyed the concept of Daddy-O-Longlegs, hipster spider.

My main complaint stems from the fact that even if Bug! wasn't spread out too far it still didn't really bring anything new to the table. It was still essentially a 2D sidescroller masquerading as a 3D platformer, and to a great degree that's what I see in the trailers for X-treme. The levels look like they were designed with a traditional sidescroller in mind, then sort of stretched into a 3D layout, making for stilted gameplay. The fish-eye lens seems more like a gimmick to distract from the fact that Sonic isn't actually rendered in 3D than anything else.

That's not to say there aren't a few points here and there with good design. Looking at the "Crystal Frost" level in particular seems like it would be kind of neat along with the more open areas in others. Overall, though, it seems like levels were nondescript environments with a right angle toward or away from the screen here or there and a metric ton of pop-up.
But "designed as 2D, stretched out in to 3D" isn't bad. The original Crash Bandicoot on the PS1 was built on that very concept and it was wildly successful - and the level design in those Sonic X-treme videos is actually even more open then most Crash Bandicoot levels (at the sacrifice of a lot of detail). And I maintain that the original Crash still holds up today.

I'm telling you, X-treme could've worked; I won't admit those videos are perfect, but with some elbow grease to try and bring in a few more elements of the Genesis games (better enemy design, for starters) it could've been really good.

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Post by G.Silver »

The fish-eye lens seems more like a gimmick to distract from the fact that Sonic isn't actually rendered in 3D than anything else.
The fish-eye effect was in place to make it so when you were in a side-scrolling environment you could actually see what was to the right and left of you. The tile Sonic stands on is enormous on the screen, and they could probably only fit three or four of them on at once if it were viewed without the effect. Without it, it would be like playing Sonic Advance on a screen half as wide.

If they really wanted Sonic to look more 3D they should have given him animations for running in more than four directions.

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