The Sega Addicts Speak!: Besides Sonic, what is your favorite Sega license?

It’s time for the first official non-Sonic related Sega Addicts Speak! Talking about Sonic is great and all but did you know that Sega has other great licenses and franchises as well? It’s true! I swear!

So, this week’s questions asks: “Besides Sonic, what is your favorite Sega license/franchise?”

Hit the jump to read our answers and become humbled.

Pat Reddick: The difficulty here is choosing between a Sega game that was awesome and has so much potential (that will probably never be realized) and a series that, like any series, has it’s ups and downs. For instance, I would love to say Kid Chameleon or Bayonetta, because I love both of those games, but at only one game a piece it’s hard to compare them to something like NiGHTS or Shinobi which have several games, some great, some not-so-great.

I think I’ll have to go with Kid Chameleon. It’s such a deep and challenging game; I go back to it all the time. I’ve already talked about it in our new forums actually. I love the multiple masks you can use and how each mask changes how you play the game slightly. If there was anything I could do to make Sega revisit this franchise I would probably do it in a heart beat.

Sven Wohl: For me, the answer is quite simple: Yakuza! I love that franchise, even though I have only played the swecond and third yet. So far I’ve really enjoyed it and I love the mixture of all the elements that exist in the game. Also, the whole Japanese feel in it is absolutely great. Since I try to get into Phantasy Star and Valkyria Chronicles, this could change quickly, though.

Mike Kyzivat: That’s an easy one, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love for it on the show before, No it’s not Eternal Champions (though it would be a very close second) it’s actually Altered Beast. I am picking this game because it was the first game I went ape shit for. I loved that game to death when I was a kid. Going so far as to design and draw toys for the game and send them to SEGA. And coming up with a parody called Altered Feet with my brother Tom. The reason I loved it so much was being able to change into cool badass were animals. I mean who wouldn’t want to be a Were Dragon? Don’t answer “not me” because not only would it be a bold faced lie, but this was a rhetorical question, the answer is always: “oh, oh, me, me!! I wanna be a Were Dragon!!” And the enemies were really cool too, remember the first boss that is made of rotting flesh and continually rips off and throws his head at you? You don’t see that everyday, well at least you didn’t see that everyday when I was a kid. It’s really too bad that there hasn’t been a remake (well a good remake). But SEGA has been bringing back their old games of yesteryear’s, it’s my hope that they will eventually make a sequel to this game, and that they will do it justice.

Brett Hatfield: I don’t think I can pick just one, honestly. I’ve certainly got a soft spot for Daytona USA, obviously, and would love to see Sega Racing Classic come to PSN at some point. Jet Set Radio is definitely up there, even though I’ve never played Future. Bayonetta is something I adore, and really need to play again. After doing the Yakuza 4 review, I’ve fallen in love with that series so hard, and cannot freaking wait for Of The End. Resonance of Fate, certainly… I would kill for another Resonance of Fate game! I honestly could give you any one of those as an answer depending on how I feel.

Alexander Sargeant: Crap! Yakuza is an outstanding choice. I guess for me it has to be Yakuza, seeing as it’s the only title I’ve ever gone as far to have played an import of with GameFAQS translation guide open in seven different tabs for each section. In a time where the gaming public at large are unsatisfied with the direction RPGs are headed in, I think Sega were well ahead of the curve with this series. The combat is fun and grows in complexity as you level up, but there are enough assists like health items and weaponry to bring along to stop it from ever becoming too difficult. There’s never a level grind, and yet you still feel compelled to seek out as much experience as possible which is often linked to the more interesting diversions in the game. It has great mini-games, fighting, wonderful man-drama and so many great characters that I just love returning to the world as often as I can.

Tom Kyzivat: Hmm… as tempted as I am to say Eternal Champions, it might actually be Shinobi. I’ve been playing those since I was a li’l baby Sega Addict, and of course ninjas are about the coolest thing ever. Revenge of Shinobi WAS my childhood, and every Shinobi game since has been a total class-act that I’ve spent hours playing: Shadow Dancer, Shinobi III, Game Gear Shinobi… and then of course there’s Shinobi X, the one F on an otherwise perfect report card, but I’ve successfully blotted that game out of my memory. I had to dig up that memory to write this, so now I’ll have to go back to therapy. If that doens’t show my dedication to Sega Addicts, I don’t know what does. Anyhoo, I’m actually basing my answer on classic Shinobi games, because I’ve never played the Playstation ones. I’ve always seen Shinobi as 2D territory, but I should check those out–I hear they’re pretty good.

Stevie Grant: Ristar. Ristar is one of the best Sega games ever made. Although I doubt that really counts as an answer since it isn’t really a franchise (even though it so deserved to be). I’m tempted to say Bayonetta but then again, that’s only one game.

Actually I’ll tell you what, House of the Dead. Yeah I know, it’s simple stuff but it really is an enjoyable series. Especially given the grindhouse direction they’ve taken as of late. So maybe I would say House of the Dead is my favourite Sega franchise. The rest are just one off games that haven’t really got sequels yet. Which I kind of like. Say what you want about the company, but they like to spice things up and try new things, even back then.

Alex Riggen: Shenmue. I really like that game. I don’t think we’ll ever see a sequel unfortunately but I’m fine with that as we got two huge games that were a huge risk in the first place and they’re still fun to play. Sometimes I just play Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing as Ryo and pretend its Shenmue 3.

Josh Newey: I’m going to have to go with Jet Set Radio. Sure, there are only two games in the series, but no other franchise in Sega’s canon has ever approached JSR’s level of style and personality – a personality that is already essential to Sega’s distinct identity. The competition wishes they had an ace in the hole with as much energy and flavor as this one. With a sense of speed and fun that will make even the most jaded of gamers grin uncontrollably, Jet Set Radio is one of the last moments in modern gaming where whimsy effortlessly snags the center stage. That pick-up-and-play whimsy has come to represent the very core of what the Dreamcast is to me – a system focused purely on quick, arcadey fun. The satisfying tagging, the unparalleled soundtrack, and the visuals that will never ever look dated make this game one of the greatest creations Sega has ever managed conjure up.

  • grolt

    Love the article, guys! I was honestly starting to tune out when every one was about Sonic, but it’s great to see something fresh and something that briefly touches on SEGA’s great history. A couple observations:

    Re: Kid Chameleon. SEGA discovered a pretty winning formula in making platformers that require body shifting to access different aspects of the same old levels. Chameleon is a great game, but it’s preceded by the great Master System games Wonder Boy III and Psycho Fox (whose team would go on to make Chameleon), both which had the player becoming different animals in order to reach levels and paths in the game unexplored before. It would be interesting to explore how Super Mario Bros. 3 impacted these games, since technically it was released a year prior in Japan. Still, I think Mario uses the shape shifting as more of a cosmetic quirk, whereas Chameleon, Fox and Wonder Boy all functionally alter the gameplay with their new forms. All great games, regardless, and something I wish we’d see more of going forward from SEGA.

    Re: Altered Beast. It’s kind of amazing, really, that SEGA has neglected this property completely. It was SEGA’s premiere arcade game in the late eighties, and other than Sonic probably the most iconic franchise on the Genesis (along with Uchida’s Golden Axe). It had such a simple, kickass formula – who doesn’t love just punching the shit out of objects. I actually really like, maybe even prefer, the Master System version, because when you hit a dude it just shatters into a million blocks. That’s power! Honestly, though, I really want to see a sequel to this game. It would be the perfect XBLA kind of title, like After Burner Climax was. Come on SEGA, make this franchise RISE FROM ITS GRAVE!

    Good picks all around, though. I can’t really argue with any of them, I love each one mentioned. Shenmue kind of evolved into Yakuza, so at least we still have that game in spirit. I was going to say a new Daytona is a must, but really, SEGA could do just fine in actually bringing over Daytona 2 to a console. It still baffles me how that, Virtua Cop 3 and House of the Dead 4 all have languished in the dwindling arcade market.

    As for my pick, it would probably be Alex Kidd. I always loved how the Master System games were all so different from each other – the first a deep, inventory platformer, the second a Wonder Boy-esque arcade game, the third a really quirky (read: Japanese) RPG-platformer hybrid, and the last one a Shinobi game with more polish. There’s also the BMX game which is kind of fun with the paddle controller, although it really doesn’t explore much of the Kidd universe.

    It’s a shame the series went to pasture on the Genesis (as Wonder Boy did) once SEGA found a niche as the cool console with attitude. I still retain hope they’ll revive the franchise with the Kidd’s appearances in Superstar Tennis and All-Star Racing.

  • grolt

    Other notable games I’d really like to see more of:

    NiGHTS, Panzer Dragoon, Astal, Landstalker/Dark Savior, Shining Force, Phantasy Star (proper, not the online stuff) and Bug!

  • @grolt – Awesome suggestions! If I hadn’t picked Shenmue I would have probably picked Alex Kidd as my Sega license of choice. And it’s not just due to our similar first names. 🙂

    As for Shenmue evolving into Yakuza I agree to an extent but feel that the game experience is drastically different. The things I liked most about Shenmue (detailed environments, the majority of the gameplay being exploration and interacting with NPCs, the day/night cycle, etc) are missing from Yakuza. Plus, I love the small Japanese town setting of Shenmue over the modern metropolitan areas of Yakuza. I love both series but I do feel they are drastically different when you compare what the gameplay boils down to.

    I also agree with the more Panzer Dragoon suggestion. Why hasn’t there been anything since Orta?!

  • grolt

    Getting Orta was cool and a surprise, but considering the following for Saga, I’m surprised the most that SEGA has completely ignored the RPG-playing demographic. They used to own that genre between the Shining and Phantasy games and others like Landstalker, Skies of Arcadia, Sword of Vermillion, etc. You could lump Shenmue in there too. All those were considered successes, I just don’t understand why SEGA all but abandoned the role playing genre. They published Resonance of Fate, which was cool (but they seemed to dump it off releasing it against FFXIII), but come on! It’s not a crowded market these days, and the major RPGs that do come out – Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, Fable, have all found great success. Do it!

    Yeah Alex, I know Yakuza isn’t necessarily the same as Shenmue, but it has preserved a lot of its qualities, just in a more commercial fashion. I too prefer the true to life, quiet banality of the Shenmue games, but that definitely appeals to a more limited, cerebral kind of gamer, and when budgets for games are what they are today, you can’t really afford to make big games for a niche anymore. Sad.

    I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be named Alex as a kid when the Alex Kidd games were coming out. As someone with a less common name, Rhett, I deal with the reality that I’ll generally never hear my name in the public lexicon. But having your name be the same as SEGA’s mascot in the eighties. That would have been AWESOME.

  • Stooball

    The crew and Grolt said em’ all, so I’ll just add some in, like maybe…hmmm

    uh….ARGH well I would love to see a proper single player Phantasy Star V. Can you imagine a game like End of the Millennium, but with the capabilities of today? Holy cow it blows my mind. Also, like others, another Panzer Dragoon, preferably WITH Futatsugi, hmmm how about give Alex Kidd a full game for XBLA/PSN

  • ricerictwice

    Grolt, you list many good games, and I saw your collection in the forums, it looks amazing, but why the love for Bug! ? Have you gone back and played Bug! and Bug Too! they are rather awful in my personal opinion. Personally I find this question too hard, to many great choices at disposal. I’ve been playing Valkyria Chronicles II trying to get all the medals, and tried playing Valkyria Chronicles 3 but I can’t speak Japanese and definitely can’t read it so I will hold out hope for a western release because the gameplay is fun but I don’t want to miss out on the story, even though apparently Aaron Weber said Sega of America has stopped supporting the PSP. I just replayed Phantasy Star IV last week and damn that game is still so amazing. Currently about halfway through Phantasy Star II. However, I would have to say Shenmue, I just want to finish it already, also Peter Moore can go fuck himself.

  • Stooball

    Didn’t like Bug! ricerictwice? Just curious, what didn’t you like about them? I think they were a blast 😀

  • ricerictwice

    @Stooball, I wasn’t going to post a response because I don’t have many reasons, but I felt that it was rather generic. I didn’t play it when it was new so there was no nostalgia blinding me,and I found it to be a rather poorly made platformer that I quickly lost interest in and never completed, from what I played Bug Too!’s environments and overall game seemed more polished. Apparently, well according to wikipedia “Realtime Associates President David Warhol announced that the game ‘will return someday’. Sega & Realtime Associates will return to publish and develop the game, respectively. Unlike the original, the remake will be a open world third-person/first-person video game to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii & Microsoft Windows. The remake is soon to be released in late 2011/early 2012.” So maybe I will give it another chance if this proves to be true.

  • ricerictwice

    I e-mailed the creator of Bug! about the wikipedia page “Hello there Eric –

    Thanks for pointing that out. First I head of it, and I’m even quoted 🙂 . I was sorting through the revision history of the page, and that was added June 7th. I’m no Lulz member but it appears to me to have been added from an IP in Ireland.

    I sure wouldn’t rule out doing one though!

    Best regards –

    Dave W
    – Show quoted text –

    David Warhol
    President, Realtime Associates, Inc.
    2101 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 6250
    El Segundo, CA 90245
    310.414.8555 x103 (desk)
    310.819.5916 (cell)
    310.414.8544 (fax)
    http://www.rtassoc.com” so I guess I won’t give it another chance.

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