Tag Archives: sonic the hedgehog

Noising Machine Christmas Compendium

As a public service this holiday season, I’ve dug through the archives of Sound of the Noising Machine to bring you some Christmas-centric highlights from the last several years. Use this as a one-stop shop for all your Yuletide needs and whatnot. The list:

Golden Veins Christmas Single – FREE DOWNLOAD!!!

Seasons Greetings!

A Very California Raisins Christmas

Folgers Christmas 2009

Stocking Stuffers! #1

Stocking Stuffers! #2

Des Moines Register’s X-Mas Feature

Christmas Commercials

Christmas Carolz

Christmas Carolz II

Christmas Carolz III

Thank you. Take care of yourselves…and each other.

– Greg

Best selling SEGA Genesis & Super Nintendo games

These numbers are courtesy of vgchartz.com

GENESIS (in millions)
sega genesis guitar
10. Sonic CD (1.5 – for the SEGA CD add-on)
9. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition (1.7)
8. Sonic 3 (1.8)
7. Sonic & Knuckles (1.8)
6. NBA Jam (2.1)
5. Mortal Kombat II (2.4)
4. Streets of Rage (2.6)
3. Mortal Kombat (2.7)
2. Sonic the Hedgehog (4.3)*
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (6.0)*

Super NES
super nintendo babe
10. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble (3.5)
9. Street Fighter II Turbo (4.1)
8. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (4.1)
7. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (4.6)
6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (5.1)
5. Street Fighter II (6.3)
4. Super Mario Kart (8.8)
3. Donkey Kong Country (9.3)
2. Super Mario All-Stars (10.6)
1. Super Mario World (20.6)*

* = included as pack-in with some or all units of console

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SEGA’s strange habit of building up a franchise, forgetting about it, and then revisiting it when it’s too late

SEGA has done many, many things that have baffled the gaming world over the years. For example, most of the company’s systems (SG-1000, SEGA CD, 32X, Saturn) were only on the market for a few years and were poorly supported with software. In recent years the company has developed a penchant for rushing unfinished games out the door, placing the emphasis on cash flow and not quality or long-term customer satisfaction.

However, the strange SEGA behavior that baffles me most is their strange habit of establishing a franchise, forgetting about it, and then revisiting it when it’s too late. The examples are ABUNDANT.

ALEX KIDD
alex kidd art
– this guy was once SEGA’s mascot, starring in several games on Master System and one on Genesis. Then Sonic emerged and SEGA forgot all about Mr. Kidd, even though he was SEGA’s highest seller in the Master System days. To date, Alex Kidd has actually not been resurrected.

WONDER BOY/MONSTER WORLD
wonder boy art
– another name brand series from the olden days. Wonder Boy/Monster World was never megapopular but it was a consistent seller with 6 total games available between SG-1000, Master System, Genesis and the arcade. The series died in 1994, never to return.

TOE JAM & EARL
toe jam and earl art
– a very popular and beloved series with 2 installments on the Genesis and then nothing until the Xbox. I don’t get it – didn’t they think Saturn or Deamcast sales would have benefited from an installment?

STREETS OF RAGE
streets of rage art
– I really don’t understand this one. If vgchartz.com is to be believed, there were only about a dozen million-sellers on the Genesis. Of those, only six were published by SEGA and only one of those wasn’t a Sonic game. That game was the original ‘Streets of Rage’. It was followed by a couple of sequels and ports to the other SEGA systems and then the series was allowed to die.

GOLDEN AXE
golden axe art
– The original was a really big arcade hit and also popular on the Genesis. There was an arcade-specific sequel and 2 Genesis-exclusive sequels, plus Zelda-ish spin-offs on Master System and Game Gear plus a Street Fighter-like spin-off on Saturn. And then one of SEGA’s most recognizable franchises was allowed to die, only to be brought back in an extremely subdued manner several years later with a completely ignored Game Boy Advance game. This year, finally SEGA tried to bring the series back in style with a new next gen installment, but everyone hated it.

ECCO
ecco the dolphin art
– Ecco was one of the most famous Genesis series but old SEGA seemed to have forgotten about it during the Saturn years. Seriously, did they just forget about everything in the Saturn years? A new installment was released for Dreamcast, which was actually semi-well received. Then SEGA put the series to rest and Ecco developer Appaloosa went on to make a Jaws game!

SONIC
sonic the hedgehog art
– Yes! I said Sonic! Once again, because of the Saturn era. SEGA REALLY decided to limit the Saturn’s chances by failing to provide an original game in the main Sonic series. Instead, Saturn received an upgrade of the Genesis title ‘Sonic 3D Blast’, a racing game called ‘Sonic R’ (which I must confess to liking), and a collection of the old Genesis titles which featured a hubworld that featured a fully 3D Sonic and environment that felt like a miniature, Sonic themed, version of ‘Super Mario 64’. In other words SEGA said, “Well, we basically started a new Sonic game but we quit. Here’s a compilation of old games.”

PANZER DRAGOON
panzer dragoon art
– A popular series on the Saturn (by Saturn standards), SEGA didn’t manage to bother releasing an installment for Dreamcast.

There are probably many more examples that I’m forgetting. The moral of the story is that SEGA just didn’t seem to get it. Strictly from a business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to establish a popular series and then forget about it when you release a new console. Really, any new console is vulnerable, which is why Nintendo attempts to stack so many of their big franchises in the first year and a half or so of a console’s release. Some of the series on this list probably couldn’t have helped the Saturn but imagine if SEGA had released a first-year lineup that included Sonic, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Toejam & Earl, and Ecco? It wouldn’t have guaranteed success but it sure would have helped.

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-AO- MAJOR EXPOSE! When Video Game Series Go Portable: Do They Count As Real Entries In Their Series?

The answer is: it depends.  Companies don’t exactly come out and say, “This here handheld game is a full-fledged entry in the series, Goddammit!” or “this is a half-assed sidegame that only the hardcore fans need bother with”.  However, there are clues.  Is the handheld game being developed by the same group of talented folks that design the main console games?  Is the game in question being treated like the next chapter in an epic saga or as a “side story”.  Also, is the publisher hyping it the way they would a console release or just kinda floating it out there?  Finally, does it feel like a cool new game or just a rehash?  The contestants:

SUPER MARIO!

Super Mario Land (Game Boy, 1989)

When Nintendo launched the Game Boy they knew they needed their most popular series to help make a splash.  Did they turn to Shigeru Miyamoto and his team at Nintendo EAD?  Nope.  Nintendo R&D1 took the reigns and made a mediocre game based somewhat on Super Mario Bros. with international themes and sloppy controls.  Verdict: Not a real Super Mario game

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy, 1992)

Nintendo R&D1 struck again with a much better effort.  It attempts to capture the look and feel of Super Mario World but comes across pretty differently.  A decent game in its own right but not up to the standards of a REAL Super Mario game.  Verdict: Not a real Super Mario game

New Super Mario Bros. (DS, 2006)

Developed by Miyamoto’s Nintendo EAD team, including several of the developers that worked on the Super Mario Advance ports.  It’s too easy, but it’s definitely a satisfying game and feels right.  Nintendo hyped the hell out of it.  Verdict: A real Super Mario game

LEGEND OF ZELDA!

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy, 1993)

This game picks up right after the SNES game released 2 years later.  It pushes the Game Boy to the limits and has practically the exact same team of developers as the previous game.  Verdict: A real Zelda game

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (ame Boy Color, 2001)

These games reuse the 8-year old Link’s Awakening engine and their development was farmed out to Capcom.  They’re very good games but not exciting or important enough.  Verdict: Not real Zelda games.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Game Boy Advance, 2005) 

Looks nice, is a lot of fun.  Farmed out to Capcom (again).  Doesn’t do too much that’s new.  A very good game but Not a real Zelda game.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS, 2007)

Attempts to continue the story from The Wind Waker but it’s the easiest Zelda game ever.  I never even had to use a guide and I’m pretty stupid.  Not really an epic adventure and not a real Zelda game.

METROID!

Metroid II: Return of Samus (Game Boy, 1991)

Nintendo gives away the answer in the title.  The II shows that they’re treating it as a for-real entry.  It had been 5 years since the first Metroid and this new game was treated like a big event.  Verdict: a real Metroid game.

Metroid Fusion (game Boy Advance, 2002)

Great game with a lot of new ideas, directed by Yoshio Sakamato, the director of Metroid and Super Metroid.  In other words: a real Metroid game.

Metroid: Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance, 2004)

A re-telling of the original Metroid game with a great new chapter added on and new gameplay elements, again directed by Yoshio Sakamoto.  Verdict: a real Metroid game.

Metroid Prime Hunters (DS, 2006)

The gameplay is mission-based instead of exploratory and it was developed by Nintendo STC and not Retro Studios, the developers of the main Metroid Prime games.  Not a real Metoid Prime game.

MARIO KART!

Mario Kart Super Circuit (Game Boy Advance, 2001)

It was developed by Intelligent Systems but overseen by Miyamoto.  It feels totally true to the series, has very high production values and has been referenced in the later Mario Kart games.  Verdict: a real Mario Kart game.

Mario Kart DS (DS, 2005)

This one just has to be real cuz it’s the BEST game in the series.  Developed by Miyamoto’s crew.  Some of its tracks are reused in the new Wii game.  Verdict: the real deal.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Chaos, Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Blast (Game Gear, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996)

These games try really hard to look and feel as good as the Genesis games.  The result is that they feel like replications rather than fresh new chapters.  Not developed by Sonic Team, either.  Verdict: Not real Sonic games.

Sonic Pocket Adventure, Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure (NeoGeo Pocket Color, 1999, Game Boy Advance, 2001, 2002, 2004, DS, 2005, 2007)

Sonic basically split into 2 separate series: the console series and the handheld series.  They share a continuity but have very different styles.  PS – the console Sonic games of the last few years are terrible while the handheld ones are great.  Real Sonic games.

More later?  I dunno.

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