That Day at Sega World, Sydney

My Mum and Dad recently digitised all our old family photo and among them was this pearler from our first visit to Sega World, Sydney. Not sure exactly how old I am here, probably somewhere between 10 and 13. I remember the trip though it was fantastic, though! 

A few years ago I wrote an article for RetoCollect.com entitled Remembering Sega World, Sydney which recounted the various rides and attractions at the park as well as the story surrounding it’s sad closure. If you’d like to know more about the park, please give it a read. 😀

The Beautiful Horror of Dante’s Inferno

Thanks to the brilliance of the X-Box One’s Backwards Compatibility initiative I’ve been able to experience some wonderful games that I missed on original release due to bowing out of the console gaming arena for a few years.

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Lemmings Is Finally on Smartphones

Lemmings is one of the greatest puzzle games ever made. It’s easy to learn but hard to master, yet if you weren’t a gamer in the 80s or 90s there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Lemmings, much less played it.

Thankfully that can now change thanks to developers Sad Puppy who have released a reboot of the classic series to smart-devices.

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I Bought Myself an 8Bitdo Mini Controller

As you may have gathered if you’ve looked through the blog at all, I’m something of a retro game fan. I grew up playing the Sega Master System and Mega Drive and had a Dreamcast before Sega moved to being a third party developer. I even owned a Saturn and Game Gear in there somewhere.

Still being a big Sega fan I love being able to replay these games, but it can be a little hard or inconvenient to do so. The original hardware is tricky to get to work perfectly on modern TVs (remember, this tech is 30 odd years old) and original games can go for insane prices. While it can be easy enough to set up an emulator on a PC, a PC isn’t really something you can just whip out for a quick game of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.

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Finally, After 20 Odd Years, I’ve Completed Shenmue!

For those who may not be aware, Shenmue is a game originally released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999. An early example of an open world game, it was incredibly innovative for its time. Recently, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki announced that the long awaited Shenmue III was finally being developed. To celebrate, the original two games have been re-released on modern consoles and PC.

I played Shenmue for the first time when it originally came out on the Dreamcast, but 14-year old me was never able to get past the early parts of the game’s closing act. Hopefully, with age and wisdom, the re-release would afford me the chance to finally see the game’s end.

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What Could Sonic Mania’s Success Mean For Modern Sonic?

Sonic Mania was a huge success when it came out, and the recent release of Sonic Mania Plus has been just as successful. Indeed, the “main” Sonic game to have been released just after Mania, Sonic Forces, has been all but completely overshadowed by the reaction to Sonic Mania.

If you’re reading this you probably have a bit of an idea of the story behind Sonic Mania and its Plus expansion, but if you don’t check out the below video from DidYouKnowGaming.

So, Sonic Mania was made by fans. Hugely talented fans who had years of experience developing 2D Sonic games and were hired by SEGA, sure, but fans nonetheless. The irony that the “highest rated Sonic game in 25 years” – a line SEGA itself has been using in its promotion of the game – was made by fans has not been lost on the wider Sonic community.

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Six Epic Video Game Music Tracks

Far from their humble beginnings in the 70’s, video games are now a huge, gigantic, megalithic industry. However, while everyone seems obsessed with frame rates and graphical power and mega-huge open worlds to explore, something I feel has been criminally ignored is video game music.

While it’s widely accepted how important music is to film, there doesn’t seem to be the same appreciation for music in video games. Despite this, developers spend a great deal of time, effort and money to ensure the music for their games is top notch. Music really helps built atmosphere in a game, just as it does in film and TV. Be it a horror, action, puzzle or platformer game, music is often the unsung hero.

Thus, I thought that for this entry of Collectorized I’d share a few of my favourite pieces of video game music (in alphabetical order). I hope you enjoy.

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Does Sonic Need A Reboot?

While I said in my previous post that I didn’t actually mind Sonic Forces, there is no avoiding the fact that it just has not been a hit with the vast majority of Sonic The Hedgehog fans or gaming fans/ professionals in general. This has resulted in a lot of people asking “what’s next” for the Sonic franchise, myself included.

In my reading of various fans opinions of what the next move for Sonic could be I came across several incredibly interesting videos by fans Billiam and TheKazeblade on YouTube. While all of their videos are well worth a watch, they made two points that really struck out at me;

  1. Sonic is – and has always been – reactionary. (Billiam)
  2. The Sonic franchise is now so fractured that the brand identity is at risk of becoming completely obscured. (TheKazeblade)

Billiam and TheKazeblade were making their points in regards to gameplay decisions and designs throughout the Sonic franchise since (roughly) Sonic Adventure. Let’s take a look at those points a little more deeply.

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A Fanboy’s Thoughts on Sonic Forces

Last night I finished the main story portion of Sonic Forces, and you know what? I rather enjoyed it!

Given the amount of negativity surrounding the game within the Sonic fan community I expected Forces to be at best another Lost World, at worst another Sonic ‘06 (not that I’ve actually played that one). Instead, I found it to be somewhere between “above average” and “pretty good.” A solid 7 out of 10 I’d say.

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Why I Stopped Collecting Retro Games

Something I used to collect pretty passionately was retro video games.

My focus was on Sega, particularly the Mega Drive (or “Genesis” to any Americans) and their last console, the Dreamcast. I also had a few Master System games that I could play via the Master Converter and tried the Saturn out for a little while but never really go on with it.

Anyway, at the height of my retro collecting I had six consoles (multiples of some) and around 150 games. It was a lot of fun playing the older games and the magazine Retro Gamer fulled my desire to get more.

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