SegaDoes Episode 19: The Long Road

 

Strap on your seatbelts, Sega fans! This episode covers a wide range of classics, like Enduro Racer, OutRunZillion, and Kung Fu Kid. Plus, it wouldn’t be a proper episode without some lazy Sega shenanigans, like Alex Kidd: High Tech World and World Soccer. I guess when you were forced – as Sega was – to develop every game for your system cause third-party developers were being held captive by Nintendo, it’s understandable that not every title would result in a winner. Still, I think we can all agree that High-Tech World was an awful idea, an abomination unto gamers everywhere, and an excellent example of why quality control should exist in a company.

 

Listen/download the podcast here. And hey, if you have some extra time, leave us a user rating on iTunes or some comments below. We would oh so appreciate it!

 

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14 thoughts on “SegaDoes Episode 19: The Long Road

  1. Hey great podcast. On the one hand it is kind of disingenuous to compare SMS Outrun music not only to the arcade, but most of the tracks were rearranged versions using live bands or advanced hardware from the 32 bit generation. That’s not really fair. On the other hand, SMS was not know as the best sounding system. There are a few standout examples, and of course Japan got an FM synthesizer upgrade. But in general SMS did not have good music. I was impressed with what they did do with the limited SMS sound capabilities for Outrun. the NES for example had much better sound hardware. I guess we will agree to disagree on Outrun. I spent countless hours playing it and did not think that it did not drive well at all. I d recognize that it is hard because in Sega’s case, the gap between their arcade offerings and the SMS was very extreme. Most of Sega’s games from that era would not see arcade quality ports till 5-10 years later. (Even the Genesis couldn’t really do Super Scaler games justice. ) There a lot of ports that really suffered due to being a big departure from the arcade, Galaxy Force on Genesis being one of them. But I thought Outrun was very faithful to the arcade, just not graphically, but then nothing was in the home market, not for a LONG time.

    I’ll admit, I went back and watched some Rad Racer and it does look a lot better than I remember. I do remember playing it. To me Outrun just captures powersliding and negotiating turns better and is more precision based. It has the arcade racing control down. And is fun to play. I remember not liking the controls on Rad Racer as much. From my 30 year memory I remember it playing stiffer. But it could be down to a matter of personal preference on which you prefer or which style you are used to. I left a long play video here for both games for comparison, and I can say that watching Rad Racer it impresses more than my memory serves me.

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  2. You know. SMS art is bad. But I do know what they were going for. They were going for a minimalist look. Like condensing they game down into some kind of iconic pop art on their boxes. Kind of like those graphics that just had the Mario mushroom. I mean it’s definetly an artistic choice. Unfortunately it’s one that is just really bad for selling video games. I mean Outrun is condensed down into just a real cartoony looking car and a palm tree. It doesn’t try for realism at all. And part of me wants to say that it kind of works on a certain level. But not on a level that sells games or attracts attention to your games. It’s as if they are making art for display for a retrospective instead of to sell games. It is funny how the better games, well some of them have better box art. Like Phantasy Star has an amazing illustration on the cover. It’s like someone overrided whoever normally did the box art and said, no this game is too damn good for it to be ignored with your pop art sensibilities. I mean could you see a Phantasy Star cover that was 3 orb planets circling a solar system with a spaceship? I bet there is some box art like that that got rejected.

    I do respect the grid pattern that got carried over to the Genesis. It is kind of iconic for Sega games of that era and shows a uniformity in style that says this is a Sega game. At least by 89 they were putting full illustrations and exciting art on them. Of course there were missteps, Just look up Strider box art or Dynamite Duke. But nothing as bad as SMS box art. The other great thing about Sega games were the plastic hard cases. It’s like they had game preservation in mind. I just sold all my Genesis games. I made a mint off of them too. If it wasn’t for those great cases those games would look horrible for being 25 years old. Instead most of them still looked brand new and the instruction book and cartridges were pristine. I rued the day Sega went to Cardboard boxes on the Genesis. (EA had to be cheapskates and make all their early games in cardboard. That’s why it’s almost impossible to find good condition EA boxed Genesis games nowadays.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Sega was obviously going for minimalism, but minimalism must be done tastefully and not like, say, Zillion.

      I did always appreciate the plastic hard Sega cases. Sega may have done away with them in the later Genesis era, but Saturn games – in the US anyway – always had huge all-encompassing hard cases, which were great.

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    • Absolutely. Saturn cases are the worst oversized brittle cases prone to cracking hinges and cracking the case itself. Ok not the worst. Far better than a cardboard box. I much prefer Dreamcast games with their CD sized cases. Or for that matter modern DVD sized cases that are fairly durable yet not ungodly large like Saturn Cases. I much prefer the Japanese Saturn game cases. They were a lot more reasonable. Why did they need to make them huge for Americans?

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