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Thread: Arcus 1-2-3

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Megadrive Arcus 1-2-3

    While American Sega CD owners were forced-fed FMV titles of all kinds Japanese gamers basked in great titles like Arcus 1-2-3. Telenet served up what was perhaps one of the best RPG sets of the era, a collection of three dungeon crawlers of impressive size and scope. Read our full review and get ready to spend some cash.

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    Can you post some video of Arcus 1-2-3 in action? The only footage I saw on You Tube was for the intro.
    Review in Progress -

    Next on the Review List -

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    The only issue I have with complaining so much about the regional disparity in Sega CD games is that we did get most of Sega's first-party output; most of the games we didn't get were third party. The real problem with the Sega CD library isn't that Japan got a lot of great games we didn't, it's that Sega of Japan set a pretty bad standard for the system with their mediocre, thin release list for the thing.

    Also, a lot of the RPGs we didn't get were ports of computer games. I know computers were more popular then in Japan than they became shortly afterwards, but still, consoles were clearly primary there by the Sega CD's time...

    I'm not saying we didn't miss some good games. We certainly did. But I think this review overstates the degree of the disparity.


    As for the game itself, I remember trying to play it once. It was alright, but first-person dungeon crawlers were not a genre I'd gotten too much into... and when I do play them, having a good map is essential. Wandering around lost in identical looking hallways is not fun. I guess Arcus 1-2-3 is fun enough for its genre though, sure.

    How would you say it compares to the two Western dungeon-crawler RPGs on the Sega CD, Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master II?

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Arcus on the Mega CD blows the computer versions away. The gameplay and presentation have been completely overhauled. It also has a great auto map that reveals all doors, stairs, statues, etc. It makes dungeon crawling so much easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    The only issue I have with complaining so much about the regional disparity in Sega CD games is that we did get most of Sega's first-party output; most of the games we didn't get were third party.
    Sol Feace was a third party game and so was Road Avenger, yet both games were pack-ins in the US and EU resp.
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    The only issue I have with complaining so much about the regional disparity in Sega CD games is that we did get most of Sega's first-party output; most of the games we didn't get were third party.
    What? Lots of US/EUR only releases for the Sega CD from 3rd party.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I'm not saying we didn't miss some good games. We certainly did. But I think this review overstates the degree of the disparity.
    No, Ken is right.
    -3x3 Eyes: Seima Densetsu is good JRPG, very faithful to the manga and full of great cutscenes. Link to a review.
    -Aisle Lord... IDK too much about this game by Wolfteam but it really looks interesting. Gameplay video.
    -Alshark... Link to a review. Gameplay video. Looks cool and the music kicks ass.
    -Arcus on the Mega CD is far superior to the other versions.
    -Cosmic Fantasy Stories contains the first two games released for the PCE CD. The first game was vastly improved compared to the PC CD version. Link to a review.
    -Illusion City is the definitive version of the MSX classic by Micro Cabin (the creators of Xak series) with more cutscenes, superb soundtrack and exclusive voice acting. Link to a review.
    -Might And Magic III is better than SNES and PCE CD versions. And far superior to the unreleased crappy Genesis version.
    -Shin Megami Tensei is a vaaaaaastly improved version compared to the SNES game.
    -The Heroic Legend Of Arslan: review link.
    Several other titles...
    An overview: http://www.racketboy.com/retro/sega/...cd-rpg-library

    I think we missed A LOT.
    Last edited by Barone; 03-06-2012 at 12:02 AM.

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    The Event Death Adder's minion Zigfried's Avatar
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    Nicely written! I'm really, really glad that you enjoyed this awesome game (and glad that my guides helped).

    Couple notes:
    1) Arcus Odyssey is an alternate reality game. It doesn't fit into the "real" Arcus continuity, although if it did, it would definitely occur between parts 1 and 2.
    2) Bead and Vied are indeed the same person.
    3) I agree that the Mega CD version blow the PC versions away -- although the third one on PC is cool enough in its own right. The only parts I really miss from the PC versions are the awesome introduction sequences. One of the really cool things about this disc -- aside from making the games overall better, inserting cinemas, etc -- is how Wolf Team actually ret-conned the third game's big villain into episodes 1 and 2 (the way they injected him into episode 2 was especially brilliant) to give the entire trilogy a cohesive link.
    4) If you dig OST's, the Arcus II: Silent Symphony CD is also the soundtrack to this game. It's pure Motoi Sakuraba oldschool excellence.

    Considering how badly Annet Again turned out (and I love that game anyway), I was shocked -- in a good way -- that Arcus 1-2-3 was so stellar.

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Oh, and another issue I have is with the title on the main page. I mean, saying that while we got lots of FMV games they got stuff like this? That's just not true, there were lots of FMV games in Japan as well. In fact, it was one of the major genres there. The only difference is that the Japanese ones generally have anime art instead of the live-action video of the American games. Some of these FMV/anime-heavy games, like Time Gal, Revenge of the Ninja, Road Avenger, Mansion of Hidden Souls, and several more, did get US releases, while others, like Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, Yumimi Mix, etc, didn't, but games with lots of cutscenes were a major focus in both regions.

    And yes, there were Western-developed Sega CD games that weren't FMV, just like there were Japanese ones. I'd have to do more counting to see which region had more overall titles that were FMV/anime cutscene-heavy, but I highly doubt that the disparity is as bad as that title, or review, suggests. (Oh, and if you want terrible games, Ranma is an awful, AWFUL game. Rock/paper/scissors with anime cutscenes in between? No thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by agostinhobaroners View Post
    What? Lots of US/EUR only releases for the Sega CD from 3rd party.
    Yes, but as if Sega's first-party releases don't set the standard that third parties follow? Hah!

    No, Ken is right.
    That's a list most people would struggle to recognize anything on at all... and as I said, so many computer ports? It's clear which platforms were getting the bigger-budget RPGs, and it wasn't the Sega CD for sure.

    -3x3 Eyes: Seima Densetsu is good JRPG, very faithful to the manga and full of great cutscenes. Link to a review.
    -Aisle Lord... IDK too much about this game by Wolfteam but it really looks interesting. Gameplay video.
    -Alshark... Link to a review. Gameplay video. Looks cool and the music kicks ass.
    -Arcus on the Mega CD is far superior to the other versions.
    -Cosmic Fantasy Stories contains the first two games released for the PCE CD. The first game was vastly improved compared to the PC CD version. Link to a review.
    -Illusion City is the definitive version of the MSX classic by Micro Cabin (the creators of Xak series) with more cutscenes, superb soundtrack and exclusive voice acting. Link to a review.
    -Might And Magic III is better than SNES and PCE CD versions. And far superior to the unreleased crappy Genesis version.
    -Shin Megami Tensei is a vaaaaaastly improved version compared to the SNES game.
    -The Heroic Legend Of Arslan: review link.
    Several other titles...
    An overview: http://www.racketboy.com/retro/sega/...cd-rpg-library

    I think we missed A LOT.
    You forgot to mention Shadowrun, but I think we only missed that one because of how late it came out (early '96 in Japan), I think Sega was originally planning to bring it over.

    But as for the rest, that's exactly what I was talking about -- those games, and the other Japanese Sega CD RPGs, are a collection of ports of second-tier games. Remember that the 16-bit era was one where we struggled to even get the major RPGs, and lower-level stuff like that would not have come out here on any platform that generation, for the most part. I mean, that complaint you have there is FAR more true about the SNES or Turbo CD than it is for the Sega CD, for sure, with the Genesis close to the Sega CD too, though both would be quite well behind those other two platforms. Japanese RPGs and adventure games just weren't popular enough then for us to get many of them. I actually find it interesting that we got as many of their games as we did... I mean, Sega was obviously desperate for live-action video FMV games -- we even got Kamen Rider, even though it was based on a franchise never before released in the US!

    -Given that Working Designs brought over Cosmic Fantasy 2 for Turbo CD, it is maybe unfortunate that they didn't release the Sega CD collection too. Oh well. I guess they liked Vay more. Looks like a quite generic game though.
    -Arcus 1-2-3 may be good, and probably should have come here, but I don't know how popular first-person RPGs were that generation... I think they were probably losing popularity in the West, first on consoles and then some years later on the PC too. But more importantly of course, as the review says the company was falling apart and barely got it released in Japan, much less elsewhere. I'd have loved to see a US release of Annet Again and this, but sadly it wasna't to be...
    -Might and Magic III is a Western PC game. The best version is surely to be the PC original. Also a CD console version was released here, just on the Turbo CD only.

    ... I still want to know what Annet Again's plot was. I mean, I played and finished it, but I don't know Japanese...

    But seriously, look at the massive lists of SNES and Turbo CD RPGS only released in Japan, and that Sega CD list is both short and clearly not of the same quality. Not that some of those games don't look good; some do. Others look average, it's a mix. The point is more that aiming this criticism at the Sega CD in particular is misplaced.

    For instance, the Sega CD (and 32X) are the only platforms that generation where all of the shmups released for those systems got US releases... we even got the anime-heavy Keio Flying Squadron! Sure, there were some notable misses like Annet Again, Night Striker (I like the game quite a bit, at least, even if the review here was not kind), The Ninja Warriors, maybe Illusion City, After Armageddon Gaiden, and Arcus, Lodoss Jima Senki (though we did get Dark Wizard and Shining Force CD, so at least we got two of the system's major first party strategy games! And is this Lodoss game a collection of some externally developed MSX games? Looks like it might be.), etc, but overall we got a pretty good number of Japanese Sega CD games.

    No, the problem isn't the proportion of Japanese RPGs and adventure games released in the West; I think the Sega CD has a higher proportion than the SNES or Turbo CD for sure. The problem is that so many of the games were FMV games, and a lot of people don't like those, and that Sega of America's development particularly was, apart for the Jurassic Park/Wild Woody team, almost exclusively FMV games. And yes, that's a problem... but that's a problem of market demand (For bad FMV games). Looking at how Snatcher did, it's pretty clear that more Sega CD ports of old Japanese computer games would not exactly have sold here.

    On another related note, I see very few complaints about how we got almost none of the Game Gear's JRPGs and strategy games, even though there the West got only one of the four or five first-party JRPGs released on the platform, none of the third party ones, and only two of the five or six Japanese strategy games... but complaints about the GG library are more about missing stuff like the (certainly exceptional and I badly wish they had been released here so they were cheaper and more common) GG Aleste games. Ie, the issue isn't the RPGs, really, it's about the other genres popular on the system. And the Japanese Sega CD library was, overall, not better than the American one. And as I said in my last post, Sega helped set the bad standard for that one by releasing a very FMV/cutscene-heavy library in both regions, with only a bare handful of games in the genres that had made Sega popular in the US, such as action, ploatformers, etc. I just don't think that making some special deal about all the Sega CD games we missed, when we missed far more games on the other systems that gen, makes too much sense. Back then lots of games stayed in Japan, sadly. And yeah, it is and was annoying.
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 03-07-2012 at 02:55 AM.

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    Wildside Expert youloute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    -Given that Working Designs brought over Cosmic Fantasy 2 for Turbo CD, it is maybe unfortunate that they didn't release the Sega CD collection too. Oh well. I guess they liked Vay more. Looks like a quite generic game though.
    WD tried to release Cosmic Fantasy 3 and 4 but failed. IIRC, Victor Ireland didn't want to release Cosmic Fantasy 1 and 2 on Sega CD since he already did it for the PCE.
    He also tried to release Keio and Urusei Yatsura, but didnt' obtain the rights for the first one and it's often said Rumiko Takahashi didn't want to see Urusei Yatsura being released in NA since she thought NA public couldn't understand this kind of humor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigfried View Post
    Nicely written! I'm really, really glad that you enjoyed this awesome game (and glad that my guides helped).
    They're excellent! They really made the game not only playable but enjoyable, thanks to the bits about the story and characters.

    Couple notes:
    1) Arcus Odyssey is an alternate reality game. It doesn't fit into the "real" Arcus continuity, although if it did, it would definitely occur between parts 1 and 2.
    2) Bead and Vied are indeed the same person.
    I've updated the review to reflect this information. Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    Oh, and another issue I have is with the title on the main page. I mean, saying that while we got lots of FMV games they got stuff like this? That's just not true, there were lots of FMV games in Japan as well. In fact, it was one of the major genres there. The only difference is that the Japanese ones generally have anime art instead of the live-action video of the American games. Some of these FMV/anime-heavy games, like Time Gal, Revenge of the Ninja, Road Avenger, Mansion of Hidden Souls, and several more, did get US releases, while others, like Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, Yumimi Mix, etc, didn't, but games with lots of cutscenes were a major focus in both regions.
    True, Japan didn't get games like the Make My Video series, Corpse Killer, Power Factory, Slam City, or Wirehead. it did get a few, such as Double Switch and Tomcat Alley, but as you said, the majority of the FMV games were animated. I think a lot of people would say that the anime games are preferable to the live-action ones (I'd trade ALL the LA FMV games for another one like Road Avenger). However, it also got a heck of a lot more RPGs than we did. My point is that instead of pushing games like Arcus, which had a decent case made for it on the Sega CD by the stellar sales of Lunar: Silver Star and only required localization, Sega instead invested millions of dollars in developing FMV games from the ground up. Surely Arcus would have at least made a decent profit, at least as good as a few of the FMV games released here, and considering that it would have required much less work, it sucks to think that no one gave it a chance.

    And yes, there were Western-developed Sega CD games that weren't FMV, just like there were Japanese ones. I'd have to do more counting to see which region had more overall titles that were FMV/anime cutscene-heavy, but I highly doubt that the disparity is as bad as that title, or review, suggests. (Oh, and if you want terrible games, Ranma is an awful, AWFUL game. Rock/paper/scissors with anime cutscenes in between? No thanks!
    I have no problem with anime FMV games like Time Gal and Road Avenger. If all the FMV games on the Sega CD were like those, I'd be happy. It's crap like Marky Mark and Ground Zero Texas that I feel overshadowed better games like Arcus.

    Quote Originally Posted by agostinhobaroners View Post

    That's a list most people would struggle to recognize anything on at all... and as I said, so many computer ports? It's clear which platforms were getting the bigger-budget RPGs, and it wasn't the Sega CD for sure.
    How many 3rd party computer RPGs are there on the Sega CD though? I can think of Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master II: Skullkeep, and the Japanese Might & Magic III (not released here despite being western game MADE in English? WTF). The West got few computer CD RPGs. I remember going to Electronics Boutique and looking at all those awesome D&D computer RPGs and thinking "why the hell don't they release these on Sega CD?"

    But as for the rest, that's exactly what I was talking about -- those games, and the other Japanese Sega CD RPGs, are a collection of ports of second-tier games. Remember that the 16-bit era was one where we struggled to even get the major RPGs, and lower-level stuff like that would not have come out here on any platform that generation, for the most part. I mean, that complaint you have there is FAR more true about the SNES or Turbo CD than it is for the Sega CD, for sure, with the Genesis close to the Sega CD too, though both would be quite well behind those other two platforms. Japanese RPGs and adventure games just weren't popular enough then for us to get many of them. I actually find it interesting that we got as many of their games as we did... I mean, Sega was obviously desperate for live-action video FMV games -- we even got Kamen Rider, even though it was based on a franchise never before released in the US!
    Well, RPGs sold enough for Working Designs to center its business around that one genre, and Lunar was a huge seller. That alone should have at least warranted consideration for an Arcus release, especially when all the game required was localization. Instead, Sega spent a ton of cash developing FMV games. I would think that with all the RPGs released on the SNES in the west by Square alone, someone would have seen that the genre was at least profitable.

    -Arcus 1-2-3 may be good, and probably should have come here, but I don't know how popular first-person RPGs were that generation... I think they were probably losing popularity in the West, first on consoles and then some years later on the PC too. But more importantly of course, as the review says the company was falling apart and barely got it released in Japan, much less elsewhere. I'd have loved to see a US release of Annet Again and this, but sadly it wasn't to be...
    Eye the Beholder rocks, and Dungeon Master II is highly playable if you have the Mega Mouse. I'd have loved more FPS RPGs. And despite all its flaws, I'd have bought Annet Again had it been released here. Hell, it's a ton better than Earnest Evans, and that got TWO releases!

    -Might and Magic III is a Western PC game. The best version is surely to be the PC original. Also a CD console version was released here, just on the Turbo CD only.
    This so desperately frustrates me. How could they not have released this game in the U.S.? PC, TG-16 CD, and SNES got it but Sega CD didn't? But Japan did? Someone needs to fan translate this. The text is already done!

    I just don't think that making some special deal about all the Sega CD games we missed, when we missed far more games on the other systems that gen, makes too much sense. Back then lots of games stayed in Japan, sadly. And yeah, it is and was annoying.
    It makes sense when you're mentioning it in a Sega CD game review.

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    Bite my shiny, metal ***! Hero of Algol retrospiel's Avatar
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    Might and Magic III is one of my favorite games of all time. The PC version that is. I never knew that MD and SCD ports existed!
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

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    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigfried View Post
    Considering how badly Annet Again turned out (and I love that game anyway)
    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I'd have loved to see a US release of Annet Again and this, but sadly it wasna't to be...
    Quote Originally Posted by Melf View Post
    And despite all its flaws, I'd have bought Annet Again had it been released here. Hell, it's a ton better than Earnest Evans, and that got TWO releases!


    I'm mystified by the praise/fondness for Annet Again in this thread. I thought it was one of the worst beat-'em-ups I've ever played!

    I guess if you like cutscenes, there's that, but at least Earnest Evans has a kind of goofy charm -- I actually liked that game quite a bit, at least when I wasn't swearing at it. Annet Again seemed like little more than an exercise in standing around, waiting for your special power to charge up, unleashing it, and repeating the process. 95% of the time, the enemies don't even harass you while you're charging; they just stand around obligingly, like the Goofy Gophers or something. "You first, my dear."

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    The Event Death Adder's minion Zigfried's Avatar
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    I like Annet Again for the cutscenes. As for Earnest Evans, that game rules. It feels like a bunch of creative geniuses just did whatever the hell they wanted without anyone editing their work, which is a bad bad bad idea (even for creative geniuses). Still, I can't help but admire the insane passion they put into that disc.

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    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youloute View Post
    WD tried to release Cosmic Fantasy 3 and 4 but failed. IIRC, Victor Ireland didn't want to release Cosmic Fantasy 1 and 2 on Sega CD since he already did it for the PCE.
    He also tried to release Keio and Urusei Yatsura, but didnt' obtain the rights for the first one and it's often said Rumiko Takahashi didn't want to see Urusei Yatsura being released in NA since she thought NA public couldn't understand this kind of humor.
    Interesting, so he did go for a few more. Too bad about Urusei Yatsura. And wasn't there also a rumor, or known effort, of his to bring over After Armageddon Gaiden, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melf View Post
    True, Japan didn't get games like the Make My Video series, Corpse Killer, Power Factory, Slam City, or Wirehead. it did get a few, such as Double Switch and Tomcat Alley, but as you said, the majority of the FMV games were animated. I think a lot of people would say that the anime games are preferable to the live-action ones (I'd trade ALL the LA FMV games for another one like Road Avenger). However, it also got a heck of a lot more RPGs than we did. My point is that instead of pushing games like Arcus, which had a decent case made for it on the Sega CD by the stellar sales of Lunar: Silver Star and only required localization, Sega instead invested millions of dollars in developing FMV games from the ground up. Surely Arcus would have at least made a decent profit, at least as good as a few of the FMV games released here, and considering that it would have required much less work, it sucks to think that no one gave it a chance.
    I just don't think there's THAT much of a difference in quality between the Western live-action FMV games on Sega CD and the Japanese animated ones. Both have a mixture of better and worse titles. Maybe the Western ones are worse overall, I would agree that many (but not all) of them are pretty bad, but it's certainly not like the Japanese ones are all great, far from it! Have you played that awful Ranma game?

    If you mean graphics instead of gameplay as the thing that animation does better, though, that's more true; it is true that animation holds up better than 10-color video, for sure. But people wanted FMV games, so of course they were going to be made. Why should Sega have been pushing games that wouldn't sell well like Arcus over stuff that had a much better chance of selling like Prize Fighter or Fahrenheit?

    As for "trading ALL of the live action video FMV games for one more Road Avenger"... no way, that would be a pretty bad trade. I mean, Road Avenger is alright, but either because they're so bad they're amusing, or because they're actually kind of good, I do like a few of the live-action video FMV games, such as Loadstar and Ground Zero Texas. Just because others are among the worst games I've ever played (Tomcat Alley, Supreme Warrior...) doesn't mean they're all equally abysmal. And then there are a few I have but haven't quite played enough to really judge, like Surgical Strike.

    I have no problem with anime FMV games like Time Gal and Road Avenger. If all the FMV games on the Sega CD were like those, I'd be happy. It's crap like Marky Mark and Ground Zero Texas that I feel overshadowed better games like Arcus.
    Time Gal does have nice visuals too, and the game's not quite as unforgiving as Western Sega CD titles like that Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, or the similar live-action title Wirehead (one of the only live-action Sega CD games with straight Dragon's Lair gameplay, not sure if I can think of any others offhand, but Wirehead is so cheesy it's fun stuff), but there are a few other games like that in Japan, also animated -- Revenge of the Ninja and Cobra Command are two more, both also released in the US.

    How many 3rd party computer RPGs are there on the Sega CD though? I can think of Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master II: Skullkeep, and the Japanese Might & Magic III (not released here despite being western game MADE in English? WTF). The West got few computer CD RPGs. I remember going to Electronics Boutique and looking at all those awesome D&D computer RPGs and thinking "why the hell don't they release these on Sega CD?"
    In addition to those, there's also Heimdall.

    As for why those other D&D RPGs weren't on Sega CD... they weren't on any other consoles either, for the most part, apart for Eye of the Beholder (which was also on SNES), and the few that had had NES ports... those were mostly PC-only titles, only on the PC because of the assumption that PC gamers wanted the more complex experiences. This assumption, of course, is still around, and I do think it has some truth to it.

    Most of the computer RPGs on the Sega CD were Japanese games, ports of Japanese computer titles. But of course, a lot of the Japanese RPG library on the system were ports... I'll talk about that at the end though.

    Well, RPGs sold enough for Working Designs to center its business around that one genre, and Lunar was a huge seller. That alone should have at least warranted consideration for an Arcus release, especially when all the game required was localization. Instead, Sega spent a ton of cash developing FMV games. I would think that with all the RPGs released on the SNES in the west by Square alone, someone would have seen that the genre was at least profitable.
    Japanese RPGs sold well enough for one tiny developer to survive based on mostly small-number sales, but before FF7, Japanese RPGs just weren't popular enough in the US to get publishers to think that any more than a tiny fraction of the number of them released in Japan would sell here. And looking at the sales figures for the few we got, I think that is reasonable... the genre got FAR more popular after FF7, there's no comparison to before that. And Square is a good example of that, in fact -- while on the PSX and PS2 they released all of their major JRPGs in the West, on the SNES they released only a couple, leaving the vast majority of their JRPGs Japan-only releases. The West got FF2 (4), FF3 (6), Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, the US-focused FF:MQ, and the US-developed Secret of Evermore, but the rest of Square's SNES RPGs and strategy-RPGs, from Live a Live to all three Romancing SaGa games to Treasure Hunter G to FF5, stayed in Japan. And Square released more of their RPGs here that generation than many other Japanese developers did outside of Japan. A large majority of 16-bit RPGs were only released in Japan.

    Of course looking back it's very frustrating, and of course I wish we'd gotten more of them, but I do understand why we didn't. As for why they spent on FMV games instead, I covered that above, and I'm sure you know it -- from 1992-1994 at least, some of them sold well! Why in the world would they leave all that money on the table by NOT making them, particularly when they were clearly popular? By 1995 the genre was fading, and with that went the system, but that focus made sense at the time.

    As I've said before, really, what I most wish the Sega CD had had was better first party Japanese support. Their Japanese-developed first-party library is, as I've said before, shockingly weak. Sega of Japan clearly did not care about the platform apart from ports, conversions, animated FMV-heavy stuff, and a bare handful of original titles like Sonic CD. Sega of America's first-party-published game support, even as live action video heavy as it is, is better overall, particularly later on; Sega published a grand total of ZERO non-Western titles in Japan for the Sega CD in 1995, for instance. Not one. Sure, they had Shadowrun in early 1996, but the last Japanese-developed title published in Japan by Sega before that had been in 1994.

    Eye the Beholder rocks, and Dungeon Master II is highly playable if you have the Mega Mouse. I'd have loved more FPS RPGs. And despite all its flaws, I'd have bought Annet Again had it been released here. Hell, it's a ton better than Earnest Evans, and that got TWO releases!
    I haven't played Dungeon Master II, but I've rarely found those old first-person dungeon crawlers that fun for long, myself... I've liked a few of them, but it's rare. I did play some of Eye of the Beholder and like it though.

    This so desperately frustrates me. How could they not have released this game in the U.S.? PC, TG-16 CD, and SNES got it but Sega CD didn't? But Japan did? Someone needs to fan translate this. The text is already done!
    Heh... I don't know why that happened, but for people who didn't own a PC or something, I guess it might be annoying. Seriously though, SimEarth is something best played on the PC, with the game's huge 220 page manual closely at hand -- it's a very complex game!

    It makes sense when you're mentioning it in a Sega CD game review.
    Sort of, but the point that the situation was the exact same or worse on every other platform except for the 32X is an important point that that leaves out... yeah, I understand the point about game selection, but still.


    RPGs, strategy games and RPG-ish strategy games on the Sega CD (Japanese titles are unmarked, Western titles in brackets, Western-released games have asterisks.
    --
    Original titles
    --
    RPGs
    *Lunar: The Silver Star
    *Vay
    *Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
    After Armageddon Gaiden
    Seima Densetsu 3x3 Eyes
    Shadowrun
    *Dungeon Explorer (Japan-developed title distributed by Sega, but it's a Western-only release and the only Western-exclusive Japanese RPG for the Sega CD (too bad it's so flawed...); I'm pretty sure this was actually a 1995 release, not 1994 like Gamefaqs and Racketboy say.)
    Fhey Area/Faeria
    Aisle Lord
    Dai Fushinden/Daihoushinden
    Magical Girl Silky Lip
    Woodstock: Funky Horror Band

    Strategy games
    *Third World War
    *Dark Wizard
    Arslan Senki
    Tenka Fubu: Eiyuutachi no Houkou
    Ishii Hisaichi no Daisekai (some kind of strategy/sim I believe?)


    Ports (enhanced or otherwise)
    --
    RPGs
    Alshark (port of an X68000 game, later also released on Turbo CD)
    *Popful Mail (substantially enhanced port of a PC88/98 game, later also released on Turbo CD in graphically weaker form) (note: the Japan-only SNES game of the same name has entirely different level designs, so I would consider that a different game.)
    Arcus 1-2-3 (substantially enhanced port of three MSX/PC98/FM7 games)
    Cosmic Fantasy Stories (two Turbo CD games combined into one package)
    [Death Bringer: Himerareta Monshou/The Knight of Darkness] (European Amiga/Atari ST game released in Japan by Telenet and Riot on various Japanese platforms -- X68000, PC98, Turbo CD, Sega CD; all of these console ports were Japan-only releases)
    Genei Toshi: Illusion City (originally for MSX)
    Burai: Hachigyoku no Yuushi Densetsu (port of a Turbo CD remake of an MSX game)
    *[Eye of the Beholder] (Originally a PC game by Westwood, it was ported to the Sega CD by a Japanese studio, the same one behind Death Bringer I believe)
    *[Dungeon Master II: Skullkeep] (Amiga/PC port)
    *[Heimdall] (Amiga/PC port)
    [Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra] (another Japan-only port of a Western PC game, though this one did see a US release on Turbo CD and SNES, unlike either console port of Death Bringer)
    Shin Megami Tensei (SNES remake)

    Strategy games
    *Shining Force CD (remake of two Game Gear titles, with new exclusive content afterwards)
    Lodoss Jima Senki: Eiyuu Sensou (port/remake of a series of MSX strategy games)
    *[Theme Park] (sim, Europe-only release, PC port also on numerous other consoles)
    Tenbu: Mega CD Special (strategy game, PC98 port/remake)
    [SimEarth: The Living Planet] (another Japan-only port of a Western PC game; US did get it on Turbo CD)
    Romance of the Three Kingdoms III (multiplatform)
    *[Power Monger] (strategy/sim PC port also on SNES, US/EU exclusive on Sega CD)
    Nobunaga no Yabou: Haouden (multiplatform)
    *[Dune] (US/EU only FMV/strategy/etc. title)
    Genghis Khan II (multiplatform)
    Super Schwarzschild (port of a Turbo CD remake of a MSX game)

    I think that's all of them. Of the titles not released in the West, I wish we would have gotten Magical Girl Silky Lip, Shadowrun, After Armageddon Gaiden, Lodoss Jima Senki, Arslan Senki, Arcus 1-2-3, and Illusion City.

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