Our Mickey is in Another Castle
By now everyone’s aware that one of the best (read: THE best) Genesis game of all time, Castle of Illusion, is getting a remake. Sega had been pretty tight-lipped about the project until now, and worrisome fans should be feeling a bit better at what has been served up this week. The first part of a behind-the-scenes documentary was uploaded to YouTube and includes interviews with the remake’s developer, Sega Studios Australia, as well as the director (Emiko Yamamoto) and art director (Takashi Yuda) of the original game! Yamamoto is also serving as advisor to SSA, and the team talks about how nervous they were showing their work to her. It’s an excellent look into what’s shaping up to be a highly anticipated title for this summer. We’ll be posting all new info as it’s made available, and we will be all over this title upon release. Hopefully, this will be the Mickey Mouse game we’ve been waiting for this generation.
Old School Sega Goes 3D(S)
Joystiq is reporting that Sega is gearing up to release 3D versions of some classics for the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Australia. Space Harrier has already been announced and a playable version was shown at the MCM Expo in London in May. Reportedly, Sonic The Hedgehog and Altered Beast are next up and have been listed on the Australian Classification Board’s website. These appear to be ports with an added 3D capability, like the 3D Classic series Nintendo sells, but the Space Harrier footage shows some interesting additions like touch screen controls and a stage select option. Altered Beast allows players to use the “whimsical transformation” feature, which lets them choose whichever transformation they want on any stage.
Most readers are probably – and understandably – ambivalent at the news of yet another release of Altered Beast, but this one might actually work well on a portable system, given that the new features and local play make it ideal for playing in short bursts. Producer Yosuke Okunari told Siliconera that each port takes about a year or so to do, and adding a seemingly obvious feature like local play was not easy on the 3DS. To speed things up, developer M2 is using the Genesis version of the game. “In order to supply a degree of stability for the project,” he explained during their interview, “it was necessary to have it be a Genesis title. Considering it’s from the same hardware system, it requires less time spent on analysis while working on something that is originally from older hardware, which allows up to plan things out more efficiently.”
Price and a western release date have yet to be determined (the games run 600 Yen, about $4.56), but we’ll be sure to check them out when they arrive. Until then, check out the video preview below and hope we get OutRun soon.
Still Reaching for the Golden Ring
Sonic is back with another new title, and while it’s not the first time the Blue Blur will appear exclusively on Nintendo hardware, it might be his most important appearance there yet. It sounds almost surreal, but Sonic Lost World will be a WiiU and 3DS exclusive. This newest adventure comes as the second title in a three-game exclusive deal between Nintendo and Sega, and there’s already been considerable buzz generated by this news. The new gameplay dynamics (Sonic has parkour moves!) sound intriguing, and the level design has given many fans a Super Mario Galaxy vibe. According to the press release:
Dr. Eggman has harnessed the power of six menacing creatures known as the Deadly Six, but when the Deadly Six rise up against their master, Sonic has to unite with his arch nemesis in order to take on the new enemies head-to-head. Using his dynamic new parkour moves and improved Colour Powers, Sonic must run, jump and race through a variety of ever changing terrains in order to defeat the Deadly Six.
Both versions will have competitive multi-player modes, as well as features exclusive to each platform. E3 should provide ample coverage of this new title, and hopefully it will continue the string of good Sonic games we’ve been seeing for the past couple of years. Until more information is available, enjoy some screenshots and box art below.
Could’a, Would’a, Should’a Been Released
Quite a few attempts at revitalizing classic franchises have been shot down over the years, but that doesn’t stop people from continuing to try (just ask Ed Annunziata about his tireless campaign to bring back Ecco the Dolphin in some form). One of the most beloved series in Sega’s history, Streets of Rage has been pitched at least three times, the latest version being done by Crackdown developer Ruffian games and canceled by Sega last year. Video and art of various versions have surfaced, along with concept art for an ESWAT remake. Former Backbone Entertainment artist Arvin Bautista, who many will recognize as the lead artist on Commando 3: Wolf of the Battlefield has recently posted some of his concept art on his personal blog.
It’s a shame to think that such great franchises have never been officially brought back and that so many attempts have failed. The jury is still out about how a game like Streets of Rage would fare in 3D, and given the success and quality of 2D installments of Double Dragon on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, it might actually be better not to tinker with a winning formula. But hey, why not let the readers decide? Check out the video of what could have been a downloadable Streets of Rage for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In our opinion, blowing up an arcade of classic Sega games is not a good way to kick things off…