Twenty years ago today, Sonic the Hedgehog first graced the Sega Genesis. I used to love Sonic, I remember having a frosted Sonic on my fifth birthday cake. The last ten years haven't been too kind to him, but Sonic's Genesis outings more than make up for his later missteps, much like Thriller cancels out much of Michael Jackson's mistakes. Sonic has made a bit of a return to form lately, with the passable Sonic 4: Episode 1 and the surprisingly good Sonic Colors that hit Wii last fall. That momentum looks to continue with Sonic Generations, hitting Xbox 360, PS3 and 3DS this fall. Check out the following youtube video for one of my most memorable Sonic experiences of the past 20 years. Memorable as in so frustrating it stopped me from playing Sonic 3 until I was able to look up the solution on the internet a decade later.
Chrono Trigger, widely regarded as one of the best RPGs of all time, will be hitting the Wii's virtual console service for the small price of 800 points. That's a measly $8 for one of the greatest games ever made- and you are getting a deal! In Japan the game cost an extra dollar for some unknown reason. Square-Enix decided to have mercy on us U.S. gamers...this time.
Treasure's rare Sega Saturn beat-'em-up, Guardian Heroes, is coming to XBLA this Fall. It will feature HD 2D visuals, online co-op and battle modes, and best of all not cost you an arm and a leg. Treasure has been confirmed as the developer of this port, and it will feature the original Sega Saturn graphics in high resolution.
Chrono Trigger, originally released on the SNES, is still one of the best RPGs of all time. When Japan received the game on the Wii's virtual console recently, I had high hopes that it would also see release in the U.S. It looks like that is about to happen, seeing as how the ESRB has now given the game a rating. The game sold for $9 in Japan, an extra dollar more than most other SNES games available on the service, but that is still much better than the $30 price tag on the DS port. There is no word on whether that price will carry over here, but I would say it is fairly likely. The game is also rumored to be launching on PSN soon. Keep your fingers crossed for next Monday!
In order to entice gamers into using the 3DS' downloadable game service, eShop, Nintendo will be giving away free copies of ExciteBike that utilize the system's 3D capabilities. It sounds like Nintendo is serious about promoting their service this time around, something that is reassuring after the lackluster performance of DSiWare. The eShop will launch with a firmware update coming sometime in May so be sure to get on there and get your free copy of this NES classic.
You might have heard that BomberGames finally released their labor of love remake of the Streets of Rage trilogy that first appeared on the Sega Genesis recently, only to quickly receive a cease and desist from Sega. Well Sega has now provided a statement as to why they made that decision:
"SEGA is committed to supporting any fans that take an interest in our games, and where possible we do so by involving them in Beta tests and other development, marketing or research opportunities. However we need to protect our intellectual property rights and this may result in us requesting that our fans remove online imagery, videos or games in some instances."
I wonder why they let these guys toil away on this game for years without saying something about it, it's not like the fact that this game was in development was a secret. They even went to Sega last year in attempt to find a way to legally release the game. I am still holding out hope that they are able to work out a Steam release or maybe even port it to iOS, that is too much good work to let go to waste.
Jerry Lawson, inventor of the Channel F game system, passed away on Saturday. The Channel F, released in 1976, was the first console with programmable game cartridges. Before that point video game systems only played the games that were built into them, much like the plug and play t.v. games you find in the toy sections of stores today.
Last month Lawson was honored by the International Game Developers Association's Minority Special Interest Group at the Game Developers Conference. He will also be fondly remembered for creating one of the first games to hit arcades after Pong, Demolition Derby, which he had made in his garage in the early 70's.
Check out Jerry Lawson's wikipedia entry for more information on this gaming great
Dead Space 2 has an advertising campaign built around being a game your mom would hate. It's true, most traditional mothers probably would hate that game because they don't have the same tastes that young men do. What about games your mother would love though?
Click here to read my picks and find out why these games are so accessible
There are a lot of great games that appeared on Nintendo's first handheld system the Game Boy. Nintendo recently announced that the 3DS would have a virtual console service where gamers could download Game Boy and Game Boy Color classics. Here are the games I would like to see show up on the 3DS' virtual console first.
Click here to read my top five picks
Doing only a top ten list is almost an injustice to all of the excellent games made available during the last decade, but I have done it anyway. This may truly have been the start of a golden age in gaming- there is literally something out there for everyone. There were great first person shooters, fighting games, racers, strategy titles and even the revival of 2D platformers. Picking the top ten games of the last decade was no easy task. There have been great sequels to some of the games chosen and I spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of each game before ultimately putting them on the list. I didn't include multiple games from the same series because I didn't want to list to become dominated by any one developer. These are my choices for top ten games that made the last decade a great time to be a gamer.
Click here to read my choices