Celebrating 30 Years of Phantasy Star by Playing it for the First Time!

When December 20th rolled around, Sega didn’t seem too concerned with their RPG’s 30th anniversary. At least someone was, though.

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Join Me in Celebrating the Sega Dreamcast’s 17th Anniversary!

On September 9th, 1999, I found myself gathering up handfuls of old PlayStation games and accessories to barter with the local GameStop in order to afford the Sega Dreamcast on launch day. I must have underestimated the value of my collection, as I managed to walk out with the console, a VMU, a 2nd controller, and a handful of games, with no regrets.

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One of the Best Dreamcast Games is Now Playable on Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility

Along with MX vs. ATV Reflex and Texas Hold ‘Em, the Sega Dreamcast’s Jet Set Radio joins the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility list today.

Sega’s cel-shaded classic featured an incredible soundtrack, a vibrant world, and a rad cast of characters. As an inline skating vandal, you team up with the GGs and tag up walls to reclaim turf from rival gangs. Oh, and there’s a vinyl record that has the power to summon demons, so shit gets pretty crazy.

If you haven’t experienced Jet Set Radio before, I highly recommend giving it a shot. I’m not sure how well the game’s held up over the years, but at the time it was unlike anything I had ever played before and to this day it still remains my favorite Dreamcast game of all time.

Now if they’d just do an HD remaster of Jet Set Radio Future from the original Xbox…

PlayStation Weekly Deals for 4/19-4/25

Much like Xbox, PlayStation owners are treated to a new batch of sales every Tuesday. This week’s deals focus on the Grand Theft Auto series, but there’s a bit more to bite on to if you’re in to platformers and Persona’s fighting game spin-offs.

For the full three-page spread of discounts, check out the official list at the PlayStation store.

Notable deals include:

  • Grand Theft Auto V & Megalodon Shark Cash Card bundle (PS4) – $67.99 (from $135.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto V & Megalodon Shark Cash Card bundle (PS3) – $48.95 (from $135.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (PS4) – $38.88 (from $59.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) – $25.79 (from $59.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto: PS Vita Collection – $17.49 (from $34.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy (GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas – PS4) – $17.49 (from $34.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition (PS3) – $14.99 (from $29.99)
  • Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax ULTIMATE Edition (PS3) – $49.99 (from $99.99)
  • Persona 4 Arena (PS3) – $9.99 (from $29.99)
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (PS3) – $14.79 (from $39.99)
  • Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita) – $9.89 (from $29.99)
  • Shovel Knight (cross-buy w/ PS3, PS4, Vita) – $10.04 (from $14.99) *discount expires 4/21
  • The Deadly Tower of Monsters (PS4) – $10.49 (from $14.99) *discount expires 5/3
  • KOI: Game and Theme bundle (PS4) – $5.99 (from $9.99)
  • Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut (PS4) – $4.99 (from $9.99)
  • Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (PS4) – $14.99 (from $19.99) *discount expires 5/3
  • Sonic Adventure (PS3) – $2.99 (from $4.99)
  • Sonic Adventure 2 (PS3) – $4.99 (from $9.99)

Along with the list above, there’s a handful of Sega classics on sale for PS3, including Toe-Jam & Earl, Crazy Taxi, Daytona USA, and a pair of House of the Dead games. There’s also a few different variations of the Grand Theft Auto sale, just in case you’re interested in buying the games separately.

If you own a Vita and don’t have Persona 4 Golden, you’re missing out on one of the best games available for it. Shovel Knight isn’t on much of a discount (since it’s already worth its full price), but it’s easily one of the finest 2D platformers of all time. The fact that it’s cross-buy is also a huge selling point, especially if you’re like me and prefer your platformers on the go with the Vita. I hear great things about the Shantae games, but I’ve never gotten around to them. Might be a good time to fix that, with Pirate’s Curse releasing on PS4 today with a 25% launch discount.

See anything interesting?

REVIEW – SONIC & ALL-STARS RACING: TRANSFORMED (Bonus Edition, Wii U)

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Played on: Wii U
Genre: Arcade-style kart racing
For fans of: Other kart racing series, multiplayer party games or Sega in general.
Average price: $29 on Amazon

Over the years, kart racing has become a predictable genre. With every new Nintendo console comes a new iteration of Mario Kart, and this is something we’ve all just gotten used to. Not to discredit the Big N–as I love me some Mario Kart–but I haven’t really been sucked in since the N64 or Double Dash for the Gamecube.

I’m a big Sega fan, so in 2010 it was a no brainer that I’d pick up Sonic & All-Stars Racing for the Xbox 360, but that entry felt uninspired and lacked the overall polish of the Mario Kart series. Toward the end of 2012, Sega released the newest entry in the Sonic & All-Stars Racing series, Transformed, for the Wii U, Playstation 3 & Xbox 360.

Still feeling a bit disappointed in the previous release, I lost interest in Transformed until I had the opportunity to check out the demo at my local Target. This experience was enough to make it one of my first purchases alongside my Wii U this year in 2013.

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This Week in Gaming – EA crosses a line, tons of Nintendo news and the Ouya displayed at E3.. via the parking lot?

This Week in Gaming is a weekly column every Sunday attempting to re-cap some of the biggest news in the gaming industry, or poking fun at a few things no one really cares about. Let’s cut the bullshit and get started!

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First thing first, EA can suck a dick. Not just any dick, but a huge, meaty dick. After being voted the worst company in America for two years in a row and then conducting the butt-hurt train after Nintendo refused to use their online service Origin on the Wii U, they further proved the fact that they are, indeed, a collective group of assholes. What started as a normal “we have no games in development for the Wii U” statement eventually turned in to Bob Summerwill, Senior Software Engineer and Architect calling the Wii U “crap” and that it’s “less powerful than an XBOX360“, has a “poor online store“, a “weird tablet” and that it’s “dead in the water“. He eventually went on to delete some of those comments via Twitter but there were plenty of screenshots to go around. How EA were so shocked they were voted the Worst Company in America twice is beyond me, but at least they’ve just confirmed to be doing away with the Online Pass system, so that’s a start.

In a better turn of events for Nintendo fans, Ubisoft seems confident that Nintendo will “take steps to ensure the Wii U is successful” and will continue to stand at their side by cross-platforming Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Watch_Dogs & Rayman Legends. It’s not as if they’re totally innocent after delaying Rayman Legends, which was already finished as a Wii U exclusive, and porting it to the competitor consoles. Either way, shit happens and it’s always good to see a company that understands the business end of things. An Ubisoft spokesperson was quoted as saying “As with any new console, it takes some time to form an established base“, which is exactly what happened to the 3DS and now look at their sales. They’re flying off the shelves! Ubisoft has also been rumored to be in development for a ZombiU sequel.

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This week was actually chock full of Nintendo news, with New Super Luigi U being announced as both a download and receiving a physical release. The Wonderful 101 has also received an official release date of September 15, 2013 and you can check out the box art here, courtesy of My Nintendo News. Deadpool, once thought to be skipping Nintendo’s next-gen console, has been listed on Amazon Canada for pre-order sales. I know I’m linking a lot from My Nintendo News today, but they’ve really been pumping out some huge announcements from the big N this week. Nintendo has confirmed that more information will be released “before E3” concerning the Wii U entries for the next Mario, Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. I won’t even get in to the swarm of Pokemon X & Y news or Nintendo Direct as it’s been covered in ridiculous quantities.

Kind of off-topic here, but Nintendo has also confirmed this week that they will be cracking down on YouTubers using their games in their Let’s Play videos who receive any sort of monetary gain. Their method to cracking down appears to be placing ads before or after the videos to prevent any sort of ad revenue for the YouTuber. Fans seem to be on the fence here, but in my opinion this is a YouTube policy that YouTube has failed to enforce and Nintendo shouldn’t even have to do something like this. Most fans against this idea cry out “free advertisement“, but let’s face it.. if any company doesn’t need a YouTuber to advertise their games to increase sales, it’s the one company who has been able to thrive on their own releases year in and year out – Nintendo. If making Let’s Play videos is a source of your income, just like any job, you have to follow the rules.

MACH 4 STYLE, MUTHAS!
MACH 4 STYLE, MUTHAS!

In what I feel is the biggest news this week, Sega has confirmed that they have signed an exclusive deal with Nintendo for 3 Sonic the Hedgehog releases. Sonic Lost World has been confirmed for the Wii U and the 3DS, while the other two seem to be an addition to the Mario & Sonic Olympics series and some form of Sonic & All-Star Racing X Mario Kart. I couldn’t really care less for another Olypmic entry, but Sonic Lost World will be a huge selling point for the Wii U and a Sonic X Mario Kart game would be quite delicious! Thinking back to the Nintendo and Sega console war of the 90’s, it’s odd to see them pair up in 2013, but it’s definitely a dream team of sorts that could create the 3D Sonic experience we’ve all wanted since the original Sonic Adventure back on the Dreamcast in 1999. Sega has already confirmed that Sonic Lost World will offer new gameplay and enemies never before seen in the Sonic series. This is the kind of news that makes me want a Wii U. Thank you, Sega!

Microsoft recently announced that May 21st will be the reveal for the newest Xbox, dubbed “Infinite”.

The Kickstarter-funded Ouya will be represented at E3, but not exactly the way you might be thinking. The Ouya will be on display via the parking lot, but hey, we’ve all gotta start somewhere, right?

This week was full of news, but personally I think Nintendo stole the show. What do you guys think? Is the Wii U becoming more enticing?

Also, if you’re interested in keeping informed with gaming news, demo info, charities and great posts from fellow bloggers, check out the Cheap Boss Attack Facebook page and toss me a like!

Building my most perfect game – A pinch of this, a dash of that and a little old fashioned video game necromancy!

Let’s face it. As gamers, we all want different things out of our games and sometimes we suffer through things like inverted control settings, drawn out cutscenes and lack of plot to make it through a game that we are completely convinced we could do better on – which we all know is complete bullshit, by the way. But for the sake of conversation, let’s roll up our magical wizard sleeves and work a little bit of video game brujeria (just google the term already) to make what I feel would be the most perfect video game in the world.

First off, there has to be some sort of crisis that puts the fate of the world at stake.
In a world that will be shrouded in ice and snow, gigantic robo-penguins will rule the world with an iron fi.. er.. iron wing, I guess. Why are they here? Because Gwar warned us 15 years ago with their song “Penguin Attack” and we should have listened.

But who is the hero that will step up to save humanity?
The only man loud and angry enough to stop the robo-penguin uprising is, without question, Henry Rollins. He’s buff, has a lot of hatred running through his veins and was the singer to Black Flag for craps sake. For that alone I owe him the honor of smashing penguins with his bare hands. Think Splatterhouse starring Henry Rollins and instead of demons there are giant robot penguins that do everything they can to anger humanity – slavery, vote republican, play Call of Duty, listen to dubstep and hate hobbits. Aren’t you ready to fuck up some penguins with Henry!? Exactly.

A penguin can try, but he’s still going to eat it.

Now who can really bring this vision to life?
None other than my personal favorite gaming person ever, SUDA 51. No one in the world can bring such an iconic, insane, ridiculous scenario like Hank Rollins wrecking robot penguins in bulk to the home console like SUDA 51 could. He is single handedly bringing the Sega approach to gaming this generation with off-the-wall games like Killer 7, No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw just like Sega did with Space Channel 5, Samba de Amigo, Crazy Taxi and Jet Grind Radio for the Dreamcast. I wouldn’t even consider playing this game unless SUDA was at the helm, maybe with a little help from Adam Green (of Hatchet, Frozen and Holliston fame) for localization purposes, but this day and age, if you want to get me excited about a game all you have to tell me is that SUDA 51 and Grasshopper are heading the project.

Who is a winner? SUDA 51.

Okay, so what is the game actually like?
First off, the soundtrack consists completely of Black Flag songs. Why? Because fuck everything else. Black Flag is awesome and you need to be as angry as Henry when you’re plucking mechanical wings off our non-flying life-enders. Every boss fight will be greeted by Black Flag’s “My War” and if you don’t finish the fight before the song ends, Henry gets so pissed that you’ll hear a knock at your door, open it and he will personally be standing there with his arms folded, muscles bulging and you’ll die instantly in a puddle of your own urine. It’s going to control like an arcade beat-em-up with boss fights like Shadow of the Colossus and shouts like Skyrim. But instead of yelling FUS ROH DAH, Henry will yell shit like “SPRAY PAINT THE WALLS!” or “TV PARTY TONIGHT!” before exploding things with his magical voice.

The last thing robo-penguin scum sees before it explodes.

There will also be choice with consequence like Mass Effect or Witcher 2, but instead of being given a passive or aggressive option, all options will lead to violence in one way or another.

Henry, how are you going to deal with the constant onslaught of robo-penguins?!” could be answered with “*stare in anger with arms folded until his head explodes*” or “As long as I don’t have to stand around in an airport surrounded by dumb-dumbs, I don’t give a shit.” and at that point Henry leaves, slams the door and the guys head explodes anyway.

Penguins? Fuck em.

Oh, and you can play 2-player co-op with the 2nd player being Henry’s friend William Shatner, thus changing all boss music to their duet “I Can’t Get Behind That!”. Who isn’t excited about this yet?

Rollins and Shatner fighting for the fate of humanity together? Who CAN’T get behind that?!

 

Anything else?
YES! Smashing penguins fills up Henry’s “Search and Destroy” meter that, when filled, lets Henry morph it to super-buff surf shorts Henry and kill everything on the screen instantly with the help of United States Military air support from his USO spoken word tours. The downfall? This might be too much awesome and may come through your television screen to kill you as well. Your only protection from this is to wear a snuggy at all times. I also want him to jump super high like James Heller from Prototype 2, have Metal Gear Solid-ish phone chats with Glen Danzig to give him mission advice and I want the last boss to be against a gigantic robo-penguin Hitler where Henry fights in the mech from the end of Aliens.

So there you have it. That’s my perfect game. No extended cutscenes like Star Ocean. No convoluted plot like the latest Final Fantasy efforts. No first person shooting or extreme sports. Just Henry, Black Flag music, William Shatner and lots of dead robotic penguins. Who is ready to pre-order?