Top 5 Sega Games that Need to Be Re-Released,
With Sega re-releasing many of its classic titles, like Jet Set Radio, Sonic Adventure 2, and NiGHTS, it makes you think about which titles haven’t been re-released in the last few years. Sure, I can play Sonic CD, but what if I want to play Kolibri without hunting down a Genesis, a 32x, and a working cartridge? (What? Sometimes I get the urge to play a game that has me play as a hummingbird powered by a space crystal.)
Today, let’s take a look at the games we’d like to see re-released. The rules for this list are simple: the game had to have been published by Sega in the past and no ports of the game could have been released this console cycle, unless the port is no longer available. Please enjoy this list and feel free to share your own picks in the comments section.
5. The House of the Dead
I’ve never made it a secret that I love the House of the Dead franchise. The quick light gun action, coupled with some great bosses and cheesy dialogue has always made the series a delight to play, whether it’s in the arcade or on your home console. This console generation saw the return of all the arcade games on either the Nintendo Wii or the PlayStation 3… with the exception of the first House of the Dead. That’s right, if you have both of these systems, you can enjoy The House of the Dead 2, 3, 4, and the console exclusive, House of the Dead: Overkill, but not the game that started the entire franchise. To make matters worse, if you want to play The House of the Dead without hunting down an arcade that has a cabinet, your only choices are the PC version (and who wants to play a light gun game with a mouse?) and the rather poor Saturn port. This is a real shame since, while The House of the Dead isn’t quite as memorable as The House of the Dead 2 or 4, it had great levels, it introduced a lot of the series’ staples and enemies, and it also had some fun bosses, including Magician type 0.
Now, unlike some of the other games on the list, there is a reason for this game not being re-released, which is why the game is far higher on the list than the others. Rumor has it that Sega actually lost the source code for the game, making any more ports impossible, or at least very difficult. On the other hand, it’s been so long since HOTD came out that a complete remake would probably be necessary in any case. Of course, considering that the Wii U is coming out and will have debatable light gun potential, the only system to release it on would be the PlayStation 3 and would probably have to be bundled with all the other games to sell. So unfortunately, if you want to get the joy of blasting away at the Hanged Man or seeing Magician Type 0 rise for the first time again, you’ll have to track down a cabinet or play either the PC or Saturn port. Still, maybe we’ll get lucky.
4. Jet Set Radio Future
Alright, so Jet Set Radio was a pretty damn good game when it was released on the Dreamcast. It did have some issues though, such as its controls and camera. Sega took this to heart when they made the prequel/sequel/remake, Jet Set Radio Future. In addition to some improved cel-shading and granting the ability to fight off cops by using a dash attack, the controls were tightened and grinding was completely redone so you could grind forever as long as you rhythmically pressed the trick button and landed your jumps on grind-able objects. However, fans of the original game accused Future of being too easy, since it got rid of the time limits and manual tags. Still, in the end, Jet Set Radio Future did just as well as its predecessor, i.e. the critics loved it but it didn’t sell that well, even when it was packaged with Sega GT 2002.
Still, with Jet Set Radio getting released recently, why not re-release its sequel? Not only would PlayStation 3 players get a chance to play this game, but it would handle the HD conversion far better. Additionally, players would get to experience the amazing soundtrack, which was even better than its predecessor and was so good that Sega even made tracks from Future available as unlockables in Jet Set Radio HD. So come on Sega, be our “Funky Dealer” and help a whole new group of gamers understand “The Concept of Love.”
3. Skies of Arcadia
While there were other RPGs on the Dreamcast, there was only one that really caught the attention of gamers: Skies of Arcadia. With a solid combat system and the unique-as-hell premise of being a sky pirate and putting together your own crew and ship, the game was destined to be one of the best games the Dreamcast offered. The game also made use of the Dreamcast’s online functionality to allow players to download new content, making it ahead of its time. The game later was ported to the Gamecube with all of the downloadable content, as well as new locations to discover, moonfish to be found, a new subplot about a pirate hunter named Piastol, a wanted list that let you hunt down other pirates, and a few secrets if you worked towards “Vyse the Legend.” The game had an amazing amount of content and the only other thing I can say is that more people need to experience this game.
2. Shenmue 1 + 2
Hey, you know what’s become really popular lately? Open World games. You know what game mechanic has been showing up a lot? Quick Time Events. Why not release the first game that had both of these factors and created a unique playing experience and epic story? Yes, Shenmue 1 + 2, which have both made their fair share of appearances on best games ever created lists, would make great re-releases. Not only would it allow players to experience two classics but it would fit in with modern sensibilities. Yeah, you can go look for some sailors but how about a game of Lucky Hit? Hey, why not get a job so you can feed your capsule prize addiction? The game, in addition to having an awesome random weather system (something which you’d think more games would make use of), had all the little time wasters that make completionists smile and side quests for people who want to take their time with a game. The Shenmue series would still fit right in today.
Not to mention, releasing these two games might increase interest in a third installment that finally wraps up the plot. It’s been almost ten years since the release of Shenmue 2 and we still have had no continuation of the cliffhanger ending. Part of the reason was due to poor sales outside of Japan (Microsoft signing an exclusivity deal in America that prevented Dreamcast players from getting the game certainly didn’t help sales) so Sega, if you’re willing to re-release Jet Set Radio, why not try to pitch the series again as two downloadable releases on all home consoles and see the fan reaction? As an added bonus, you can reinsert the ability to transfer items from the first game to the second (a feature that was removed in the Xbox version). These games are considered masterpieces, and should be made available to a whole new generation of gamers.