Almost 20 years, the console wars only had two warriors involved. You either were Team Nintendo and were championed by the great plumber in all of history. Or, you were Team Sega and were led by a blue blur with a ring obsession. There was a time when Sega could be considered a contender for the throne and had as much a claim as Nintendo. Sadly, while Nintendo carried on and to this day is still a major player in the console wars; Sega is not even playing the same sport. There’s currently no Sega console, there are no new major IP’s to gain momentum and their once great mascot, is now greeted with an almost universal groan whenever a new game comes out.
Recently, many companies have solidified that nostalgia may be a strong venue in which to relive one’s glory days. Between Nintendo’s NES Classic (R.I.P.) and the remakes being pushed out left and right; Sega has also joined this fold with a great vigor. Sega has already ported their past games on consoles in the form of digital downloads. As mobile gaming grows in popularity thanks to major titles like Super Mario Run, Pokemon Go!, and ports of Injustice, Sega has embraced this trend in hopes of once again getting a view of the mountaintop it once knew so well with the launch of the Sega Forever Collection.
The Sega Forever Collection is a campaign meant to give players their nostalgia hit that’s been aching in their veins while bringing other “retro” games that were previously never released on mobile or consoles. The starting lineup includes Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast (RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!), Phantasy Star II, Kid Chameleon, and Comix Zone. While not part of the official lineup, Crazy Taxi was also released. The games were released on Google Play and iTunes simultaneously and offer both a free version with ads and a paid version ($1.99 each) with no ads. New games are scheduled to be released every month and the games will also incorporate save points, leaderboards, offline play and will support bluetooth controllers.
This may be a great direction for Sega. Many of their current titles have either not reached expectations or very tragically failed. In the ashes of mediocre games, Sega has looked to their past and is doing a great service to fans who would much rather pay money for an exact port of one of their favorite games, rather than taking a handheld or figuring out another emulator with bugs. I downloaded Sonic, Altered Beat, Comix Zone, Crazy Taxi and Kid Chameleon. The initial rush of excitement did come down a bit when you start to realize that some games simply do not hold up over time or that playing without a bluetooth controller is extremely difficult and not as responsive. But those difficulties aside, it’s equally as amazing how many memories come flooding back. The classic music, sounds, and graphics are all there and are an exact replica of what was previously available via their respective systems. Crazy Taxi did have a few hiccups in terms of graphics but overall, it wasn’t too bad. I hope they continue with this campaign and bring back many more games. I would love to see Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Aladdin, Lion King, Vectorman, Shenmue, and if there’s a god, Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Ultimately, sales will determine the future of Sega mobile gaming, but if continue to give fans classics that have been missing from our lives, then they’ve got my support. So until next time, and there will be a next time, dominate those leaderboards!