06 September 2008

8 Sega Sequels I Wanna See.

It's tough being a Sega fan. We're a lot like Star Wars fans. It's like we're in an abusive relationship and they tell us that they love us and to come home it'll all be better just like the way it used to be, but then they beat us and beat us and beat us, and all we can say is we fell down the stairs they only do it 'cause they love us. It sucks to be me particularly, because I'm both a Sega and a Star Wars fan. For some reason I still hold out hope that Sega could make that magic game, just as we all held out for a good prequel. It is in this spirit - with my black eyes open and fingers crossed - that I present to you this list of Sega sequels that I would like to see:

Daytona USA 3
I can't remember the last racer I enjoyed playing. Actually, I can - it was Daytona USA on my Sega Saturn. The only thing lacking in that game was the track selection.

Racing perfection has a name: DAYYYTONAAAAAAAA!!!

NiGHTS 2: This Time With Feeling!
I'd like to see Journey Into Dreams retconned somehow, and delivered back into the capable hands of Sonic Team. You know, the real Sonic Team based in Japan, headed by Yuji Naka. What made the original NiGHTS Into Dreams so great was the purity of the gameplay. NiGHTS 2 diluted it with unnecessary cutscenes, voicework, and 3D platforming. It's all about smooth, slick control, running the courses and chaining link combos. It's an arcade racer in fantasy land. Keep it real.

In the NiGHTS, dream delight...

Jet Set/Grind Radio 2
Style, cel-shading, graffiti art, and funky music again, please. The original suffered from wander-around-aimlessly-until-you-find-powerup/tag syndrome, though, so it'd be nice to have an integrated map system or at least a Metroid-style hint system.

Jet-Set, Jet-Set, Jet Set Radiooo!!!

Panzer Dragoon IV vs. Panzer Dragoon Saga II
I'm torn as to what I'd like to see more, Panzer Dragoon IV or Panzer Dragoon Saga II? One thing's for sure, it's Smilebit (formerly Team Andromeda) or bust. After Panzer Dragoon Orta, though, I'm not sure they understand the purity of Panzer Dragoon Zwei. Beautiful, though it was, and a good Xbox game nonetheless, it introduced a scissors-paper-rock mechanic whereby your dragon needed to change forms to destroy certain enemies. And in a game as beautiful as Orta, who wants to think about stuff like that? I just want to fly, shoot, and have my breath taken away every now and then. If my dragon's going to be changing forms, then it better be just as good as another form, and it better be for the whole level. The problem of Panzer Saga II is another thing entirely: what more is there to tell in this story?

Resonance to resonance, purity to purity, gaming of the spheres.

Shenmue 3
If there's a case against planned trilogies, it's Shenmue. If there's a case against unplanned trilogies, it's Pirates of the Caribbean and The Matrix. And if you have a case against Quick Time Events, then you may as well level it against AM2 legend Yu Suzuki. But by far his biggest crime was bankrupting Sega to leave tens of thousands [let's be realistic here] of fans hanging on the edge of the cliff that is Shenmue 2. Did it really bankrupt Sega? Well, I don't know, but the first game cost $500,000 to make and unfortunately wasn't $500,000 worth of awesome, let alone $500,000 worth of software sales. That $500,000 would probably have been better spent on an advertising campaign for the Dreamcast - you know, so that real [now] Wii-owning people actually knew it existed while it graced this Earth. Then, and maybe then, we may have been able to say that we have felt closure, and its name was Shenmue 3.

"Yes, Suzuki-san, you must do what is right. You must complete Shenmue 3!"

Space Channel 5 (II? 6?)
In this rhythm-based-music-game-crazy world we live in today, it's high time that the Mother-of-all rhythm-based music-games returned. It's hard to imagine the Seamless Narrative in a world ruled by Hideo Kojimas with blank checkbooks and cutscenes with soda-drinking monkeys, but Space Channel 5 had one, and it had it in style.

Dancing with aliens never made so much sense.

Toejam & Earl 3: Keepin' it Real, Dawg!
Again, it would be nice to have another game retconned, this time the Dishonourable Toejam & Earl 3. I remember being promised a 'return to form' in TJ&E3 on their website waaay back in the Saturn days. Well, TJ&E Productions, where is it? Where's the Greatest Videogame Music of All Time? Where's the Celebration of the Random? Where's the endless replayability? All I see is funk ditched for hip-hop, a flat 3D platformer [using that term very loosely, but if Mario 64 gets to be a platformer, then so does this] with terrible art design, and a third-wheel character thrown in for the hell of it. What's the point of a third character in a two-player game, anyway? I can't think of any franchise, videogame or otherwise, that has stood to benefit from the addition of a new character. Scrappy-Doo, anyone? And then there's the classic case of the Rat in the Hat's complete ruination of Bananas in Pyjamas. Lesson learnt? I hope so.

Bonnie & Clyde. Sonnie & Cher. Simon & Garfunkel. Toejam & Earl.

Virtua Cop 4
During my university years, my friends and I used to drive 15 minutes to Westfield Shoppingtown just to play Virtua Cop 3. After collectively sinking what must have been enough tokens to pay for someone's tertiary education, the arcade owners inexplicably and unceremoniously removed the machine from the arcade, never to be seen again. This pissed me off more than just a little bit, not necessarily the action itself, but rather the feeling of utter helplessness, that unlike Virtua Cop 1 & 2, I can't play this game at home. Hell Sega, just port VC3 if you like and give us a decent light-gun to go with it and I'll be happy.

Do it. Do it. DO IT!

Which Sega sequels do you wanna see?

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