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Archive for May, 2012

Review #468

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The Revenge of Shinobi
Developer: Overworks
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Side Scrolling Platformer
Release Date: 05/22/2012

I’m a big fan of all Overworks’ games especially the Sakura Wars and Phantasy Star games. Before those titles, they were known at Team Shinobi and as you might have guessed, gave use the original Shinobi games for the Sega Master system and Sega Genesis. I owned the original version of The Revenge of Shinobi for my Sega Genesis and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, when the game was re-released as part of the Sega Smash Pack for the Sega Dreamcast, it was a buggy, near unplayable mess. Rumours began that the original code for the game was lost and so Sega accidentally used a beta version of the game in Smash Pack. The rumours appeared to be true when The Revenge of Shinobi was left out of both the Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2 and the current Ultimate Genesis Collection that is available for the PS3 and Xbox360. We got Shinobi III in both, Shadow Dancer in the PS2 collection and the original arcade game in Ultimate Genesis, but still no The Revenge of Shinobi. Was this game permanently lost like Panzer Dragoon for the Sega Saturn (Sega uses a port of the PC version when needed like the unlockable in Panzer Dragoon Orta)? Well it appears that the rumours were just rumors after all as in 2009 Sega released The Revenge of Shinobi in all its 16-bit glory for the Nintendo Wii and then, earlier this month, for the PS3 and 360. After all this time, does the game still hold up as one of the best Sega titles ever or did it turn out that this release shares many of the same problems as the Smash Pack version?
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Review #467

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Super Hang-On
Developer: Sega AM-2
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Racing
Release Date: 05/22/2012

I’m not really a fan of racing games as they never actually feel like I’m driving a vehicle. Perhaps I was spoiled by the arcades of my youth where racing games often involved vehicle shaped controllers. Games like Pole Position and OutRun were a blast and even as an adult, the only racing games I enjoyed were in arcade cabinet form like Lucky & Wild. Like many gamers who had their formative years in the 80s, it’s probably no surprise to hear that my favorite arcade racer was Super Hang-On. The controller was a motorcycle that you rode while playing the game and it was awesome. Super Hang-On was an impossible experience to duplicate for home consoles but god knows Sega has tried. Super Hang-On has been released for twelve different systems. Considering all the different Sega Genesis compilations out there I was shocked to see this WASN’T on my Dreamcast, PS2 ,or PS3 one. Heck, it hadn’t been remade or re-released since the 16-bit era and Super Hang-On has just now made it to all three current-gen consoles. So after all this time how does this retouched and enhanced version of the ARCADE VERSION(!) ofSuper Hang-On fare? Has it’s long dormancy kept feeling fresh or is there a reason Sega hasn’t squeezed all the blood from this stone like so many other of their older games?
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Review #466

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Game of Thrones
Developer: Cyanide Studios
Publisher: Atlus USA
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: 05/15/2012

I’ll be honest; I’m not a huge fan of the Game of Thrones books and show. I enjoy them for what they are, but I’m not “OMG! BEST THING EVER!” like a lot of people I see. For me it’s a very interesting universe but I find most of the characters to be complete douchebags. I need someone to root for, you know? That’s what had me so interested in the Game of Thrones video game. It had the same universe and setting, but with new and hopefully likeable characters. The only thing that made me pause was that it was developed by Cyanide. Cyanide is best known for doing cycling games and bad games based off of the Blood Bowl license. As well, their first Game of Thones title, an RTS, was panned by critics and regular joes alike. Still, with a different development team and Atlus handling the publishing I went into this game pretty optimistic. After all, I imported the Hong Kong version of Demon’s Souls and Atlus made From Software redo the game before it came stateside, getting rid of over 100 bugs (many of which I encountered and was annoyed by in my import copy), so I knew they were serious about quality control.

After spending a week with the game and exploring every nook and cranny I could find, the only question is whether or not this was yet another Cyanide misstep or if their allying with Atlus brought made them bring their game up to the next level. Let’s take a look.
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