PAPRIUM: A New Brawler On The Sega Mega Drive

Strike Harder, Beat Stronger!

Do you yearn for a Streets Of Rage-like game for your old trusty Mega Drive (Sega Genesis to our American friends)?

Well yearn no more! WaterMelon Games, the development crew that makes cool retro games like Pier Solar, are back with their latest (and possibly greatest) 16-bit killer game, PAPRIUM (aka: ProjectY)!

PAPRIUM is a post-apocalyptic, outrageous head-kicking brawler made in the spirit of classic beat’em ups like Double Dragon, Final Fight and Streets of Rage. This brand new Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) game is being built from the ground up and is expected to smash on your 16-bit Sega console in 2017!

PAPRIUM has been lovingly crafted at WaterMelon’s Magical Game Factory using Investor’s votes and suggestions, which have helped shape the game! Make no bones about it, this game has been developed by a team driven by true passion and 16-bit excellence.

PAPRIUM is the biggest Sega Mega Drive game ever made (over 80-MEG!), featuring multiple game modes, speed (uncompromised 60fps!), 24 levels and up to 5 selectable characters! Come at us PAPRIUM, we are waiting!

We have pre-ordered ours, so if you want to do the same, go here.


source: WaterMelon Games

PS: Thank you to Anthony Durso for bringing PAPRIUM to our attention!

Celebrating the Sega Mega Drive

MegaDrive_TITLESega’s 16-bit beast may have arrived on our shores late in 1990, but on this day (October 29) in 1988, Japan got a taste of the future with the release of the Mega Drive. A leap from the Master System, the Mega Drive brought home (almost perfect) arcade conversions, especially those from Sega’s own arcade stable.

While most of the western world was still in the micro computing craze with their C64s, Amigas and Atari STs, Sega stamped their authority with their latest, and as history would record it, their most successful console ever. The Mega Drive was the catalyst for converting a generation of micro computing enthusiasts into console gamers, I should know, I was one of them. My transition from 8-bit (C64) and 16-bit (Atari ST) computing was quite stark – as soon as I got my Mega Drive and whacked in the pack-in Altered Beast game, I honestly thought I had an arcade in my bedroom. Once I played Golden Axe, I was smitten with the machine. Alas, from that day forward (well, for the duration of the 90s) my micro computers were relegated to the back of the wardrobe because there was a new gaming system in town, and its name was Mega Drive!

What were your earliest memories of Sega’s 16-bit beauty? Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and join in the conversation.

 

The Sega Genesis 32X Wasn’t Just a Gimmick

SegaGenesis_32X_HdrMany gamers, me included, have fond memories of Sega at its prime – they were ready to knock Nintendo off of its pedestal. The Sega Genesis, in all of its 16-bit glory, took home gaming to an entirely new level. The colors were more varied and vivid, the music was better, and the worlds that we visited were more realistic. That’s not to say that I didn’t love my NES, but my Sega held a special place in my heart.

Nintendo didn’t just sit around and let Sega have all of the 16-bit fun, and soon, the Super Nintendo was looking to dominate the home video game market. Maybe this was the reason why Sega felt like they needed to improve upon the Genesis, by adding peripherals and add-ons like the Sega CD and 32X.

While I never was a big fan of the CD add-on, I did enjoy the 32X addition to my Genesis. It basically plugged into the cartridge slot, and into the back of the system, essentially doubling the output of the unit. The 32X promised better sound, especially through a premium Selby home theater surround sound system, brighter colors and ushered in true three-dimensional gaming to the masses.

I wasn’t sure about the add-on at first until I happened to see a demo at my local mall for the fighting game Virtua Fighter. It was a 3D fighter with fully articulated fighters on a 3D field. The camera rotated around the fighters and the polygonal figures on the screen moved so realistically. I was so gobsmacked, I knew I had to buy the system immediately.

32x_VFsource: Wikipedia

Now, the ultimate promise that Virtua Fighter made on the fledgling system never really materialized. It was probably the best game on the system and although there were other good games such as Mortal Kombat 2, Star Wars Arcade, and the Sonic and Knuckles games, there were many other games that weren’t much more than pretty ports of the original game, but ultimately the best version of the game.

Even though the system was not very successful and ultimately only 30 or so games were released, it had a lot going for it and was a stepping stone towards the games we enjoy today. You have to hand it to Sega for having the guts to give this thing the green light in the first place. It offered near perfect arcade ports of games that were unbelievable at the time and affordable to most people as well.

Nowadays the system is mostly for collectors, but some of these games are still pretty fun to play, even 20 years after their release, such as Virtua Racing, NBA Jam and Space Harrier. With more third party support, the 32X might have been considered a classic today with a huge library of games…unfortunately, it has become just a footnote in the history of gaming, much like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy…my eyes and head hurt just thinking about that thing.

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Selby_logoMatt Thames
Blogger and Brand Manager at Selby Acoustics.

 

 

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Remembering the Sega Genesis Nomad

Nomad_1Handheld gaming is still popular as it’s ever been. The ability to play console quality games, especially retro games, on the mini-computer in my pocket, is totally insane. I can grind through dungeons in Final Fantasy; or zoom across Sonic’s digital landscape collecting enough rings for a chance at the bonus stage in order to get those elusive chaos emeralds in the Hedgehog’s Mega Drive/Genesis classic.

Playing these games on my smartphone got me thinking about portable gaming. When I was younger, I used to spend countless hours on my Nintendo Game Boy and later, my Sega handhelds. Nowadays, I love my Nintendo 3DS, PSP and the PS Vita, but I look back to my favourite handhelds of the past, and the one that sticks out most in my mind, is the Sega Genesis Nomad.

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This thing was a portable Sega Genesis system that nearly played every game cartridge that I had. There were only a couple that wouldn’t work, but this was long before you could download a software patch to fix such a problem. For those unfamiliar with the Nomad, this thing was a pocket sized Sega Genesis – as long as you had large pockets, it could go with you anywhere! Oh yeah, and as long as you had a handy supply of AA batteries (the unit was powered by six AA batteries). The battery pack that attached to the back of the machine was quite bulky. The batteries drained rather quickly, so, unless you had a part-time job to keep buying them, they were quite difficult to obtain. This wasn’t much of a deterrent, as you could play Sonic and Mortal Kombat on the go!

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Luckily, there was an adapter that made it possible to plug directly into mains power and even the cigarette lighter in your parents car – and with the headphone jack, you could be gaming without bothering the passengers. You could literally take it anywhere with the vast library of Genesis games – you were never short on playing awesome titles. The Nomad even had interfaces to connect to a regular TV, just like a home console, and also a second player controller connection for some 2P action!

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There were some attempts at bringing home console games to the portable realm, with NEC having a similar unit (Ed: the TurboExpress), but with Sega, you had their extensive library of games to draw from which the others could never compete with (Ed: except for NEC’s PC Engine GT). Sega had a massive hardware push through the 90’s, which ultimately didn’t work out for that side of their business. But it sure was a lot of fun while it lasted, and their Nomad was truly a remarkable device.

It pains me to this day to think that I traded it when the Playstation 2 hit the shelves and I just had to have one. I learned my lesson at that point and I have never traded away any of my old consoles since; portable or otherwise.

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Selby_logoMatt Thames
Blogger and Brand Manager at Selby Acoustics.

 

 

 

Made In Australia: Mega Drive Games

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Following on from our look at Aussie made NES games, the Made In Australia series dives straight into the 16-bit era this time around, starting with Sega’s Mega Drive. The Mega Drive was an instant hit for Sega – it had a headstart on Nintendo’s 16-bit offering and it never looked back.

With a pedigree in arcade gaming, Sega’s 16-bit machine wasn’t short on awesome arcade conversions. Who could forget their first play on Golden Axe? It was like (Ed: almost) having the arcade machine in your bedroom! With sleek looks and a plethora of crtically acclaimed games, the Mega Drive went from strength to strength and smashed all kinds of sales records across the globe. Australian coders also jumped on the 16-bit development bandwagon (Ed: especially Beam Software!) and created a handful of Mega Drive games – some more well known than others. Do you remember playing any of these?

NBA All Star Challenge (1991) – Beam Software
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George Foreman’s K.O. Boxing (1992) – Beam Software
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Blades of Vengeance (1993) – Beam Software
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Tom & Jerry: Frantic Antics (1993) – Beam Software
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Radical Rex (1994) – Beam Software
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True Lies (1994) – Beam Software
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Australian Rugby League (1995) – Dreamtime Interactive (in conjunction with I-Space Interactive)
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image source: Moby Games, Games Databaseretro gaming australia

In the next Made In Australia feature, we will look at Super Nintendo games that were made down under. Till then, play hard and have fun!

 

The Definitive Sega Mega Drive Book

Sega_TitleThere have been a swag of quality books published recently based on our rich history of video gaming. This illustrates the importance of the impact and value that video gaming has played in our recent past. The cultural importance of video games has gained enough momentum that it has become our favourite form of entertainment. What these publications do for the history of video gaming is to document eras, games, systems of our wonderful industry for us to indulge in the nostalgic memories and  also act as a reference for future generations.

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Sega_8One book that caught our attention was Read-Only Memory’sSega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works‘. The book aimed to become the definitive retrospective of Sega’s 16 -bit beast, featuring development and concept illustrations of Sega’s best-loved game franchises, original developer interviews and previously unseen hardware production plans.The crowd-funding campaign of a year ago was so successful that Read-Only Memory added additional content to sweeten the already quite tasty book. The finished product not only surpassed what it promised to deliver, but it provides loads more – from exclusive interviews with legendary US developers, Greg Johnson and Mark Voorsanger (ToeJam & Earl), Naoto Ohshima (Sonic The Hedgehog) and Yu Suzuki (Space Harrier et al), to concept art and level visualisations for Vectorman 2 and detailed pencil-drawn level maps for Comix Zone.

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Sega_9For those that only know Sega as a software publisher, this book is a reminder of its former glory – making awesome gaming hardware. The Sega pedigree carried from its arcade systems to its home systems reached a pinnacle with its 16-bit world beater, the Mega Drive (Genesis for our North American gaming friends). With an estimated 40 millions consoles sold world-wide, the 16-bit beauty assured itself a place in the pantheon of great systems. This ‘Collected Works‘ book not only celebrates the Mega Drive hardware, but it also showcases the wealth of Sega’s 16-bit software titles; from blockbuster games such as Bare Knuckle/Streets of Rage, Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Gunstar Heroes, Super Shinobi/Revenge of Shinobi and Golden Axe, through to cult gems such as Rent-a-Hero, Vectorman and DecapAttack. This book has it all!

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Sega_15If you are after the definitive book on all things Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, then look no further – this book oozes quality and makes you want to come back to it again and again to feast your eyes on each page – from it’s well written foreword, to the never before seen Sega production blueprints, and to the great collective artwork. Even if you are not a Sega fan, this book’s historical value and page-turning ability is simply irresistible. For those not into gaming at all, we guarantee this book will get lots of attention if placed on your coffee table. This is the only Sega Mega Drive / Genesis book you will ever need. Highly recommended.

Vital Stats:
Title: Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works
Price: £35.00 (plus shipping)
Size: 216mm x 267mm
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 352pp
Specials: 8 x Gatefold Pages

Sega_12image source: Read-Only Memory 

Retro Gaming Calendars for 2015

RetroCalendars_TitleHave you got a calendar for next year? Even if you do, I guarantee you will like these retro gaming inspired calendars even better!

The Sunteam (the team behind the PC Engine Software Bible) have put together seven classic gaming calendars to cater for all retro gamers – from the Spectrum and PC-Engine lovers, to the Sega and Commodore fans, no one will feel left out (Ed: unless you are a one-eyed Nintendo fan!). You can finally put your old CD cases to good use!

Get on over to the Sunteam site to download your favourite retro gaming calendar!