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The UK seems to love a bit of Sega gaming

Source: seganerds.com

It seems that Sega has had quite a successful week in the UK All Formats Charts with not one, not four, but three games in the top 10.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is still doing incredibly well, staying up at number 2 – beaten out by Gran Turismo 5: Prologue (much to my personal disgust – I hate the GT games).

Also despite some mixed reviews and opinions among fans/reviewers, Viking: Battle for Asgard is sitting a very respectable 7.

And just released, in Europe, is Condemned 2 – which jumps into the charts at a very cool fifth place.

But it doesn’t all end there Sega Nerds. While making the top 10 is the accolade companies like to aspire to, Sega has another 4 titles making it into the top 40.

Just outside the top 10 is Sega Superstars Tennis, hitting no. 12. Then creeping (slowly) up the charts is House of the Dead 2&3: Return at no. 17 – which was at 21 last week. At 21 we have Football Manager 2008 (Still hanging in there), then last and sort of least (in this case) we have the surprising, for me at least, appearance of Sonic and the Secret Rings!

Top 10 List:

(1) – 1 – Gran Turismo 5: Prologue SCE
(3) – 2 – Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games SEGA
(2) – 3 – Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Ubisoft
(4) – 4 – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 Konami
(-) – 5 – Condemned 2 SEGA
(5) – 6 – Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock Activision
(8) – 7 – Viking: Battle For Asgard SEGA
(11) – 8 – Wii Play Nintendo
(10) – 9 – Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training Nintendo
(7) – 10 – Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Activision SCE

Let’s hope Sega can keep this trend of having several titles in the top 40 (preferably most in the top 10 though) and confirm themselves as being one of the great gaming companies once again.

(Damn, that last paragraph was almost bordering on fanboyism – Apologies)

[Source: Spong and Chart Track]

Sega Nerdcast 16: We Are Not Alone

Source: seganerds.com

I’m baaaaaaaack! After having to ride the bench last week due to my bratty newborns (just kidding, I love the kiddos), I’m back in action.

This week’s Nerdcast covers all the exciting Sega news that took place throughout the week, including Sega’s official announcement for Sonic Unleashed. We also talk about what we’ve been playing this week and even touch on a rather disturbing topic during the “It Came From the Forums” segment. Oh yeah, we also reveal who won the super grand prize of Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer. But you’ll have to listen to find out who the winner is!


Direct download – 1 hour & 31 minutes @ 41MB
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Published on April 5th, 2008 under , , ,

Sega Australia offset the evil with a new Condemned 2 website

Source: seganerds.com

Sega Australia has created possibly one of the most disturbing websites ever.

The website has been made to help promote Condemned 2: Bloodshot. However unlike other Condemned sites, which contain dark settings, with scary monsters and brutal scenes of violence, Sega Australia has decided to go the other way and make a site using bright flowery meadows and pretty little pony’s all the colours of the rainbow. AHHH!

But seriously, this is all quite freaky really. You are treated to a pretty field with butterflies and lollipops, and “Percy the Pretty Pony.”

However the site has a darker, underlying purpose…

If you click on Percy, you are then treated to a wonderfully disturbing video (shown above), and then you play a game, whereby players need to move a large heart under the path of the ponies, as they try to jump across “the stream of smiles”, to get to a field of “heart flowers”. As you rescue the ponies they cry out “I love you!” and if you let them fall into the river, they shout out “It’s ok, I still love you!”

The game is basic, but there is a reason to the cute madness. As players help more and more ponies, and get higher scores, they unlock new items on the main page – like exclusive footage of Condemned 2 or a survey, asking how many hobos you have killed and whether you like to laugh at the finishing moves within the game.

Just by exploring the site you can find all sorts of random things, like a news article on some new Polar Bear Cubs or tickets to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert…

Check out the insanely brilliant website here.

[Source: Sega Blogs]

[Special Thanks: ShadiWulf]

Review: Sega Bass Fishing

Source: seganerds.com

It has been nearly 10 years since the original Sega Bass Fishing made a big splash (see what I did there, eh?) in the arcades and on the Dreamcast. Back then, while the concept wasn’t totally unique (Sega had released fishing games before), the delivery of the game using a special fishing rod controller, helped the game make an impact in the gaming world.

Now Sega has re-released the game, with some new features, most importantly the use of the Wiimote in place of the special fishing rod. But does the new control system work? Has the addictive gameplay kept its pace after all these years? Read on to find out.

Firstly gamers should know that Sega Bass Fishing Wii is not a sequel, it is a remake really. I’m telling you this so that fans of the original won’t go out expecting to buy a brand new title in the series. The game brings back the same gameplay ideas of the arcade/Dreamcast original, but with a couple of new modes and new fishing spots to choose from.

New to the game?

Ok so if you have never played Sega Bass Fishing the concept is very simple (catch fish!) and the gameplay is just as easy. You cast your line in the water, and wait for a fish to bite and then reel them in. But unlike real fishing, Sega Bass makes it so that the gameplay comes thick and fast – you don’t end up waiting for hours for a fish to bite, quite often a fish will come within a few seconds.

Getting your tackle out

As I mentioned before, the original version of the game was made fun (and quite unique) with use of a special fishing rod controller. The controller had some basic motion sensor in it, so moving it around would directly relate to your rods position in the game, and the greatest part was the winder – which you had to spin/wind with speed to reel your line in (also made Crazy Taxi more ‘crazy’).

Now the Wiimote is being used, but has Sega done their job in translating the joy of the fishing rod to the console’s main controller? Well the answer is both yes and no.

Players hold the Wiimote and cast a line by flicking their wrists, almost like simulating the action in real life. To reel the line in players can then hold the nunchuck and rotate/wind (in mid air), again simulating the actions of real life.

These two basic hand gestures make the game feel pretty special and kind of bring back the joy that I felt when I first played my Dreamcast version. However while the controller has the more advanced motion sensor technology, it is clearly no match for the physical controls the Dreamcast rod gave players.

You see players can hold the nunchuck in mid-air and wind like a fool (which is good fun), but players can also just shake the nunchuck completely randomly, and will bring pretty much the same effect. Even more strange (I think) is that players don’t need to move the nunchuck at all, instead you can hold down either A or B and the line will come back to you smoother and more effectively than using the nunchuck controls.

One thing that makes it seem even stranger is that players are told when they are doing well when winding in the line. Messages will pop up on screen, like “Great Reeling,” this would be fine if it was just for when using the nunchuck to wind, but the messages also appear when you hold down the buttons, and it feels like a bit of a cop-out when you get told you are doing well, just because you can hold down B for a few seconds.

So essentially players can just hold the Wiimote and detach the nunchuck completely, and play much better. The only real reason I can see players using the nunchuck is because it is just that little bit more fun, as it gives the sensation of using a real fishing rod… well more like a real rod than just holding down a button, at least.

One thing the game does to help players is give hints on how they are doing. I don’t remember this with the original game much, but players are told when the are reeling the line well (as mentioned before), also ‘knocking’ their lures (to help attract fish) and once a fish is in the line, you are told which way to move the rod – so that the line doesn’t break so easily.

The hints are very helpful really, but I’m sure some gamers will think that it makes it all too easy.

Becoming a fishing master

Making a return to the game is the fun Arcade Mode, where players are given a set time to catch fish. Catching and hooking fish will increase the time they have left. They need to catch enough fish to match (or go over) a set weight limit. Once players hit the target, then they move onto the next course. Players need to play through each course in order, to unlock the next. It’s fast, it’s simple, it’s fun.

Also making a return is the Tournament Mode, where players play through the different courses in order, there is no weight limit, but there is a time limit. The idea is to earn top place by the end of the tournament. Plus we have the good old Practice Mode, where players essentially just test out their different lures on any level, any season and any time of day they want – there is still a time limit, but it is much more relaxed than Arcade Mode.

However, making a first appearance is the Nature Trip Mode. Nature Trip is almost exactly the same as Practice Mode, where you choose your course, time of day, season and then just head out and fish. But the difference is that there is no time limit – at least there doesn’t appear to be – and players can just chill out, with some mates and beers and enjoy fishing whenever they want.

Nature Trip really is quite a nice idea, and it does give the players plenty of time to get used to different lures. But I think perhaps they should have done away with Practice Mode instead – they are so similar it’s almost pointless having the two modes together. (Unless I have missed something).

Hey fish-face!

Fans of the Dreamcast game will be taking a trip down memory lane here, not just with gameplay, but visually. The game looks just like the Dreamcast game to me, which isn’t that bad (back then Bass Fishing looked great), but I think some gamers will want more.

Graphically Bass Fishing is fine. To be honest for a Wii game I doubt anyone will be complaining, but there are better looking games around for the system (I seem to say that a lot of late with current Wii games).

The one thing that I think does look better are the fish though, they look far smoother and more realistic than I remember.

Sounds of nature

The sound and music in the game, also, does not appear to have changed much. When casting your line and waiting for the fish to bite, you are treated to a relaxing tune, then once the fish bite the music ramps up and your ears are given a good blast of fast rock music.

I like the music and I like the way it is used. It helps to match the pace of the gameplay (slow to fast) and the faster music does bring some much need excitement to the gameplay.

One lovely feature is the use of the Wiimote’s speaker. All the sounds the rod makes can be heard directly from the Wiimote. It’s not just for a nice effect either, as players can hear the line’s tension and reeling speed through the speaker, and can adjust their movements accordingly.

Catching an extra boot

Just like the Dreamcast version, the Wii game has plenty of unlockable lures – like the Sonic the Hedgehog lure.

The game also offers the hardcore players the chance to expand on the basic arcade experience. The fish will react differently to different lures, depending on the time of day, season and water temperature. There is also a few different types of fish, some are very active and swim a lot, while others float around being lazy – the different fish types will react to different lures. Players will need learn the game to become true masters.

Summary:

Sega Bass Fishing Wii is not a bad game at all. However it is so similar to the Dreamcast game, that I don’t think anyone who still owns the original will really need to bother with it. That coupled with the Wiimote not being as fun to use as the Rod Controller, makes it harder to suggest buying.

Nevertheless, gamers who have never played the original will most likely find the game very enjoyable still. But I have to admit, that I would often find myself saying “Just one more game” and finishing about 10 games later – it is still pretty addictive.

However, just like back in 1998/99, the game is an acquired taste and not for everyone.

Final Thought:

Sega Bass Fishing is still quite easily the best fishing game around, bringing one of the world’s most popular sports to the living room, and giving it a bit of added ‘jazz’ for the gaming community. But I think gamers will have preferred to see a new fishing game and not an updated version of a 10 year old game.

Get it if you haven’t played the original, or sold/lost your copy. But it’s really not an essential purchase.

6/10 – GOOD

~G~

Published on April 5th, 2008 under , , , , ,

Sega makes work hours more bearable with 2D NiGHTS

Source: seganerds.com

 

So you find work a little tedious do you?  Like to spend most of your time on those Flash-based game sites?  Well Sega could help make your days a little more interesting.

Sega of America has recently released a 2D mini game version of NiGHTS Journey of Dreams.  The game a is very basic 2D affair, where players need to get the highest link score possible, by collecting blue orbs and flying through hoops, without breaking the link chain…. hey just like the real NiGHTS games!

The game is actually pretty good to look at, for a Flash game, and controls easy enough (using the mouse to direct NiGHTS).  There only seems to be one stage though and there is something wrong with the scoring system – all the top scores are set at ‘0′ still, even when you achieve a high score it remains zero on the points boards…

So Sega if you are reading this, probably best to fix that now, otherwise the game is pretty pointless, as one of the main addictions to online mini games, is that people are always trying to better their scores.  Not so hard to do when they are still at zero!

[Special Thanks: ShadiWulf Via The Forums]

Published on April 2nd, 2008 under , , ,

Rumour: New NiGHTS and Skies of Arcadia to be shown at Sega Gamer’s Day?

Source: seganerds.com

SoA2 and NiGHTS 3 rumour

A recent article on German Sega fansite, SEGA On, has a lineup of games that are said to be shown at this years Sega Gamer’s Day in May.

The list contains many games already announced, but also contains a few surprises:

SEGA GAMER’S DAY 2008

  • ALPHA PROTOCOL
  • BEIJING 2008
  • EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
  • GOLDEN AXE BEAST RIDER
  • NEW ETERNAL ARCADIA (TENTATIVE)
  • NEW NiGHTS (TENTATIVE)
  • SAMBA DE AMIGO 2008 (TENTATIVE)
  • SONIC CHRONICLES: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD
  • SONIC UNLEASHED PREVIEW
  • SPACE SIEGE
  • STORM CHASER
  • SUPER MONKEY BALL FOR iPhone (TENTATIVE)
  • THE CRUCIBLE: EVIL WITHIN
  • THE INCREDIBLE HULK — THE VIDEOGAME

The two most noteable titles on the list have to be “New NiGHTS” and “New Eternal Arcadia” (better known as Skies of Arcadia in the west).

Rumours for a Skies of Arcadia 2 game have been circling the Internet for a good few years now, could this year be the first time that some light is shed upon the sequel?

As for a new NiGHTS… well it is quite a surprise, to say the least.  It took Sonic Team a good 10 years to finally make a sequel to the Saturn classic, so it would be quite a shock to see a new game so soon after Journey of Dreams.  Though many are speculating that this could be the fabled Xbox 360/PS3 game, that was rumoured when JoD was first announced last year.

Even though the source Sega On has used tends to be accurate, we are still treating this a rumour – better safe than sorry, eh?

Well hopefully we shall find out more within the next month or so.  For more information here is a translated (using Google) version of Sega On.

[Special Thanks: Aki-At via The Forums]

Published on March 29th, 2008 under , , , , , , , ,

Sega Superstars Tennis unreleased track now… released

Source: seganerds.com

SST music

{Note: MegaDriver – above – has nothing to do with the music or game… I just like their guitars}

It seems that, now the game has been released, a lot of the hype and farore surrounding Sega Superstars Tennis has somewhat died down.  However it seems that, out of the eerily quiet mist, some new media has emerged.  One lucky independent journalist, James Woodcock, seems have some good links over at Sumo Digital.

The developers along with the game’s track composer, Richard Jaques (who we all know an love) have given him permission to release a previously unused, (in the full game), track to the world.

The tune, “Mode Menu” had previously only featured in a trailer for the game, and did not make it into the full version has been put up, for download, on Mr. Woodcocks blog site.

The tune is pretty good I guess.  But I doubt anyone will be downloading it in their droves, possibly just Sega/Sonic/SST fans really.

Exciting stuff eh?

Published on March 28th, 2008 under , , , , , ,

Sega Nerdcast 15: Great success!

Source: seganerds.com

Nerdcast 15 - Great Success!

It’s that time of the month/year/well whenever we can be bothered really, again. It’s the Sega Nerdcast number 15.

We have something a little different for you this week, a change of hosts. After an intense weekend of Viking: Battle for Asgard psyching me up, I decided to overthrow the evil Chris and lock him in a cupboard, with only a slither of cheddar to nibble upon, and take the reigns of the show myself.

Joining me in the uprising is the super sexy Ryan and the possibly Canadian James.

Direct download – 1 hour 6 minutes @ 30Mb
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Show notes after the jump.

On this weeks show:

Hopefully next week Chris will challenge me to an arm wrestle and then smash a bottle on my head, so that he can take over the show again. Until then, enjoy the show!

Condemned 2 players suffering on both platforms

Source: seganerds.com

Condemned 2 sound issues

Unfortunately I am not talking about “suffering” the frightening gameplay here.  It seems that Sega’s highly anticipated horror title, Condemned 2 has been experiencing a few technical issues, for both the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Firstly reports had been coming in, from various forums and gaming sites, that the Xbox 360 version was erasing save files for the game randomly.  (Though Chris who reviewed the 360 version, has not experienced this).   But now it seems the PlayStation 3 version has its own problems.

Reports coming from the Sega of America boards, speak of some sound issues, for the PS3 game.  It seems that sound is cutting out or “snapping” – predominantly on the first few levels.

This would be annoying for any game, but it is especially annoying for a game like Condemned, which uses the ambient sounds to help convey the suspense needed to make it a truly frightening experience.

A few months back, I previewed a late build (but not final version) of the PS3 version, and the sound seemed perfectly fine to me.  So I’m not sure what has gone wrong between then and the final code being released.

Sega is currently investigating the cause of the problem, but suggests that using a standard AV cable, instead of HDMI, should help for the time being.  Let’s hope that it is just a few dodgy copies that have slipped out of the factories and not thousands.

I also hope they can resolve it, and release a patch (or something), in time for the European release next month!

[Source: SoA Via Game|Life]

Published on March 28th, 2008 under , , , , , ,

CVG previews Samba De Amigo (Wii)

Source: seganerds.com

Samba De Amigo - Dreamcast

CVG has posted up a preview, from NGamer, for the upcoming Wii version of Samba De Amigo.  The preview conveys some mixed emotions.

On the one hand the Wiimote and Nunchuck controls are (apparently) perfectly fine, and the controls are tight enough for players to make some funky beats.

“Mechanically, Gearbox have done a sound job. The concept is as simple as it ever was: a right maraca and a left maraca, you just have to shake each one at the height the game tells you.”

However it seems that, even with good reactions, the Wii’s controller is still no match for holding the Dreamcast original’s big, plastic maracas in hand.

“This is where the importance of the original maracas reveals itself – with the lightweight remote and nunchuk in your mitts, there’s little in the way of physical connection with the mad game world.

It looks, sounds and plays right; it simply doesn’t feel right. Here’s hoping Sega can tighten things up in time for release.”

I’m not sure exactly what they expect Sega to do about this though, other than release a new set of Wii-compatible maracas.  The idea of releasing these Wii-versions of older games (such as Ghost Squad, Sega Bass Fishing, House of the Dead etc…) is so that fans can once again feel the joy, but for a low price.  If Sega were to release the maraca set again, then the price of the game would certainly go up, especially if they were wireless.

Sure it would make the experience better, but back in the Dreamcast days one of things that people (gamers and reviewers) moaned about was how expensive the game was to buy.  I could imagine the same thing happening again here, with some reviewers saying something like; “Why should we spend £60 on a game that’s 7 years old?”

Perhaps if reviewers pushed for people to actually buy the games when they were originally out, rather than putting down the Dreamcast system, then maybe it would be a whole different story today.   {By that I, of course, mean that we would be playing on our Dreamcast 2’s, swimming in endless (but fantastic) sequels to Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia and Jet Set Radio… ah if only…}

Moral of the story? Buy good games when they are released!

Well fingers crossed that the experience (magically) betters itself in time for release.  For the full preview check CVG, here.

[Special Thanks: RoJM Via The Forums]

Published on March 28th, 2008 under , , , , , , ,

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