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Today brings some bad news for fans of Obsidian’s espionage-based RPG Alpha Protocol. Publisher Sega West has confirmed that, due to poor critical reception, any plans for a sequel have gone out the window.

Sega West president Mike Hayes explained, “Let’s speak very commercially; the game hasn’t sold what we’ve expected, therefore we won’t be doing a sequel.” Read more… »

In an attempt to avoid doing what would be expected from a retrospective Sonic review, I thought I would start things off by actually praising Sega’s beleaguered mascot rather than cynically pulverising the poor thing into a bloody pulp. Indeed, while it is difficult to ignore the copious amounts of tripe Sonic Team have developed over the recent years, there was once a time when the spiky blue hedgehog reigned supreme by offering a speedy alternative to those who were bored of Mario’s arguably pedestrian gameplay.

What really wowed the public was the game’s sense of speed – there were death defying loops, springs, speed ramps, corkscrews and special stages galore all of which made up for an electrifying experience. It was the character’s unprecedented sense of speed which really appealed to the more mature gamer, effectively making Sega a significant contender by the time Sonic 2 was released.

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Wow, I amaze myself sometimes. I really didn’t know I attained the ability to predict the future – as you may recall in my last post regarding the recently announced Sonic Adventure title for XBLA and PSN, I stated that this could indeed be the beginning of a new trend where we will see re-releases of classic Dreamcast games available for download.

Well, according to SEGA, it has just been announced that Crazy Taxi will be joining the roster, featuring HD quality visuals, online leaderboards, achievements and trophies. The very thought of it brings a tear to my eye.

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Ah, the original Sonic Adventure. While an incredibly flawed gaming experience, it is still considered a fan favorite thanks to its inventive level design, catchy soundtrack and surprisingly involving storyline – aspects that are somewhat devoid in the blue mascot’s latest outings. In fact, it could be said that Sonic has become a laughing stock in today’s generation of gaming, lacking all the polish and finesse one would find in a Mario game.

But I digress. It has just been confirmed by ESRB that Sonic’s first 3D adventure is set to be released on both XBLA and PSN – an exciting prospect for those who missed it when it was first released 12 years ago. Time flies, huh?

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Ten years after the Total War series launched with Shogun: Total War, Creative Assembly has come full circle.  After bringing the series’ trademark to medieval Europe, ancient Rome, colonial Europe, and Napoleonic Europe, Creative Assembly today announced the development of Shogun 2: Total War to be released in February of 2011.

Shogun 2 will return players to the Sengoku period during 16th century Japan, the same chronological setting as the first Shogun.  As a Daimyo, players will be tasked with handling all diplomatic and military matters to unite Japan under their reign.

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Do I really need to say more than that? Not only does it look like it breaks up the entire pacing of the game, but I cringe every time the player attempts to jump with his minecart, and falls short due to some invisible wall.

Why SEGA felt the need to lift Loco Rocco, and put Sonic into yet another zany overly complicated contraption, I have no idea. Are you still going to pick this one up despite the above video? Read more… »

After playing one of 2010′s more solid titles, Bayonetta, from SEGA earlier this year, I was extremely impressed (as were a lot of people) with the slick presentation and incredibly fluid and fun combat system.  As we reported last month,  gamers in Japan agreed, with the game selling 1.1 million copies within a very small exclusive window in the Land of the Rising Sun.  This was followed by surprising critical and commercial success in the States.

Well, it appears that SEGA took notice.  In a recent interview with CVG, SEGA’s Mike Hayes, after speaking about things like Sony’s ‘Move’ and Microsofts ‘Natal’ motion technologies and the markets SEGA has never conquered (in the MMO department), spoke on the possible franchising of their recent exciting IP’s and successes. Read more… »

Over at 1UP, someone with access to an alpha build of the upcoming XBLA and PSN game Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 leaked a smattering of images (of which the header image is one) of the game in motion, along with a video.  While the video was clearly taken with a home video camera, it still gives us a (somewhat) clear look at what we can expect from the game.

Check out this nostalgic footage after the jump, along with some of the leaked images that accompanied the video.  Then, feel free to share your thoughts on what you’ve seen in the comments, or head over the official Sonic the Hedgehog forum thread for more in depth discussion! Read more… »

It’s been a fun couple of days for Sega.  In their most recent financial report, the company indicates a slight uptick in their fiscal year net income.  Spanning the months of April-December of 2009, Sega had some impressive sales, for multiple games.  The most successful of these was Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games, which over that span moved 5.6 million units.

Perhaps even more surprising than that, however, are the sales numbers put up by sexy action newcomer Bayonetta.  The action/adventure title from Hideki Kamiya, the same creator as Devil May Cry, moved 1.1 million units from October 29th until the end of December. Read more… »

With all the latest hype surrounding Project Needlemouse, it’s only fitting that we add a little retro flavor to the mix. Video game ads just aren’t what they used to be; back in the day, it was perfectly logical (and hilarious) to blend one of the biggest sequels with an infomercial.

The end result is a great marketing piece that doesn’t take itself seriously. Not that Sega really needed to make a big push for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 thanks to the success of its predecessor.

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I loved the heady, Shenmue-enriched days of the Dreamcast. So much so that if Sega were to announce a successor to its outcast little console, I’d hardly be able to contain my excitement – I’d probably have to go outside and kick a pigeon or something just to calm myself down.

So, you can understand my initial glee when I stumbled across some info outlining a motion-controlled, Sega-branded console: the “Zone Sega”, slated for release this summer! In 2001, Sega announced that it would be discontinuing support for the Dreamcast, and the hostile world of hardware altogether, focusing its vastly experienced hands on software alone. Has there been a change of heart?
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Last week, we divulged the news that SEGA was running a contest among its community members. This contest, which tasked members with drawing and submitting 100 pieces of concept art featuring Badniks (the baddies from the Sonic franchise) was backed up with a promise for more information on Project Needlemouse, the next adventure in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.

Today, SEGA fulfilled that promise.  16 years ago today, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was released.  It also marked the beginning of the end for Sonic, as many fans and critics alike have decried most entries in the series since.  However, Project Needlemouse promises to take Sonic back to his 2-D roots, and with today’s revelation in the form of two very familiar sights to fans, it looks poised to deliver. Read more… »