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Thread: How much was Sega CD's success limited by the fact that it was a $300 add on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Mode 7 wasn’t pushed down our throats and the sampled sound of the SNES was what all consoles used, going forward, including the PlayStation. You certainly don’t have a problem showing off that Batman game, with its Mode 7 like driving levels.
    Mode 7 was pushed loads in Mags like Mean Machines especially with import reviews of Pilotwings, Contra 3, Super Castlevania IV, Super Ghost N Ghouls. I agree with samples sadly SEGA looked to go the FM route with the MD and had a limited of one sample channel.
    If more Mega-CD games had used the ASIC chip I think it would have been view in a more favourable manner. If in 1992 AfterBuner 3 had been showing off amazing rotation and scaling, it could have been very different along with ports of Outrun, Space Harrier and AB II all showing off what wasn't possible on Mode 7.

    The thing about FMV was the Mega CD wasn't really geared up for it and any CD system could more or less handle FMV games.
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    Mags are certainly talk about Mode 7 features in launch games for the SNES, just like they talked about FMV and cut scenes for CD games. That wasn’t a constant for either system though as developers focused mostly on core game play later on.

    I remember seeing the Turbo-Duo being launched over here with Lords of Thunder. My 1st thought was “Who’s going to pay $300 for a system to play a game that can be achieved with a cartridge?”
    Last edited by gamevet; 06-29-2021 at 01:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Mags are certainly talk about Mode 7 features in launch games for the SNES, just like they talked about FMV and cut scenes for CD games.
    If you were a Mega Drive owner and SEGA fan you had Mode 7, 32,000 colours rammed down your throat in the British schoolyard. To be honest, FMV was never really a system seller in the UK, it wasn't what one used to counter a SNES fan (of which amusingly I was one also) and it wasn't like the Mega CD was the only system that could do FMV or had any special hardware to handle it better than CD add-ons or CD systems

    For me, the Mega CD was very much like the CD32 far too many Mega-CD games were just MD ports with a better CD soundtrack and the same when for the CD32, too many Amiga 500 ports with a CD soundtrack.
    Such a waste because when the Mega CD was used it was capable of wonderful graphics, amazing music/sound effects and stunning games. The Lunars alone was an incredible experience and still, the best RPG's around
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    I wouldn’t know. I was 21 years old when the Genesis launched here. I pretty sure the conversation against the SNES here was “no blood in Mortal Kombat!”, “SNES has a slower processor”, “Genesis doesn’t have enough colors.” “SNES doesn’t have a CD.”

    When I was still going to school it was Apple computer owners looking down on us poor C64 owners. It’s funny, because when I attended a tech school in Phoenix, my room mate kept telling me that his Atari 800 was better than my C64. He brought it to Phoenix, after he visited his home in Washington state. The colors were a little different, as well as the sound, but there was nothing that made me believe I had an inferior computer.

    Outside of games like Snatcher, most of the RPGs and shooters like Silpeed, most of the non-FMV games were ports of games I’d already played on the Amiga. The cut scenes were nothing new for Amiga owners.
    Last edited by gamevet; 06-29-2021 at 04:29 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Back in the early 90s Sega had a familiar plan for developing new hardware: start with a simple design that seems totally reasonable, panic over a competitor's product, add in a bunch of extra CPUs and end up with an overengineered, bottlenecked design that costs too much and doesn't deliver on performance.

    For the Sega CD to be an add-on it should have been a basic CD drive plus RAM, maximum $150. For a product that costs $300 they should have just made a new console. Then it wouldn't be stuck with the limitations of the MD hardware (lack of palettes, no transparency, limited bandwidth etc). If you're going to have FMV at least make it 256 colors. A dual 68k + ASIC setup without bottlenecks could have been very impressive for the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I wouldn’t know. I was 21 years old when the Genesis launched here. I pretty sure the conversation against the SNES here was “no blood in Mortal Kombat!”, “SNES has a slower processor”, “Genesis doesn’t have enough colors.” “SNES doesn’t have a CD.”

    When I was still going to school it was Apple computer owners looking down on us poor C64 owners. It’s funny, because when I attended a tech school in Phoenix, my room mate kept telling me that his Atari 800 was better than my C64. He brought it to Phoenix, after he visited his home in Washington state. The colors were a little different, as well as the sound, but there was nothing that made me believe I had an inferior computer.

    Outside of games like Snatcher, most of the RPGs and shooters like Silpeed, most of the non-FMV games were ports of games I’d already played on the Amiga. The cut scenes were nothing new for Amiga owners.
    Most Mega Drive fans would use the slow processor stuff the trouble was it didn't seem to hold any mustard when you were seeing Pilotwings F-Zero and all the fancy effects in Contra III, Axelay and Super Castlevania IV. I was glad to see that SEGA was going to counter that with a chip that allowed multiple sprite scaling and rotation effects instead of just a single background and so started to dream of better Arcade ports of OutRun, Super Hang-On AB II, GF II to the Mega CD over the Mega Drive. I was also hoping for Moonwalker with better samples and real CD music, Strider with all the speech Marvel Land with all the rotation effects Ect

    It's a shame that never came to past.

    My 1st 16-Bit system was an Atari ST a later got an Amiga and yes I even remember playing Space Ace on the Amiga too no need for a CD drive LOL . But there was a world of difference from playing Rise of the Dragon on the Mega CD to the Atari, thanks to better sound effects and full speech which really added to the experience and helped drew you in more, much the same was true for Wing Commander and Jaguar XJ 220 and Thunderhawk are just so much better on the Mega CD compared to their Amiga counterparts .

    I loved back in those days how you get a payoff in a Mega CD or even a PC ENG CD game with an animated or voiced section to the game (in say a RPG) It really made me look forward to the next cut scene in Lunar for example











    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Back in the early 90s Sega had a familiar plan for developing new hardware: start with a simple design that seems totally reasonable, panic over a competitor's product, add in a bunch of extra CPUs and end up with an overengineered, bottlenecked design that costs too much and doesn't deliver on performance.
    I don't know why SEGA gets singled out for that when NEC after worrying over the Mega Drive and made the Super Grafx a system that really made no sense.
    The Mega-CD came out in 1991 you were never going to get a sub $150 add on. CD drives and memory were incredibly expensive in the early '90s be that for game systems or Hi-Fi systems. The Mega-CD was a super impressive piece of kit, it was just not used by SEGA that's the biggest shame and what really let down the Mega CD, very much like say SONY never really used the PS Vita or to a point PS VR (3rd parties did more)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post

    My 1st 16-Bit system was an Atari ST a later got an Amiga and yes I even remember playing Space Ace on the Amiga too no need for a CD drive LOL . But there was a world of difference from playing Rise of the Dragon on the Mega CD to the Atari, thanks to better sound effects and full speech which really added to the experience and helped drew you in more, much the same was true for Wing Commander and Jaguar XJ 220 and Thunderhawk are just so much better on the Mega CD compared to their Amiga counterparts.
    Thunderhawk on the Sega CD is a totally different game. The campaigns aren't even the same. The Amiga version is called Thunderhawk AH-73M, afterall. Rise of the Dragon is nice on the Sega CD, but the acting is fairly forgettable, the music wasn't really improved and they never added anything new to the game, other than the CD voice clips. It has improved color over the Amiga game, and looks very much like the 256 color IBM VGA version. Nothing to make people run out and buy a Sega CD for though. Thunderstrike was definitely a good looking game for the Sega CD, and it was one of my favorites for the add-on.

    I loved back in those days how you get a payoff in a Mega CD or even a PC ENG CD game with an animated or voiced section to the game (in say a RPG) It really made me look forward to the next cut scene in Lunar for example.
    I would have really liked to have seen a few FMV cut scenes thrown in. It's not like animated graphics were that hard to do in that format.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker Blake00's Avatar
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    In my high school yard all the Sega kids talked about Mario Kart and those amazing Starfox tv commercials and how we wished we could get them for our Mega Drives. If Sega had put out tv adds and magazine articles showing the Mega CD doing similar (but better) mode 7 like 3D effects in similar games.. oh man.. we would have been screaming at our parents for a Mega CD.

    Ironically I actually have that Australian Starfox commercial that we all got excited about still on VHS.. I transferred it and put it on youtube a while back with some other Nintendo commercials (I also did a Sega commercials video too). Did you guys over in Europe and US get the same Starfox commercial we did? (at 1:58 in the video)

    Last edited by Blake00; 07-01-2021 at 12:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Thunderhawk on the Sega CD is a totally different game. The campaigns aren't even the same. The Amiga version is called Thunderhawk AH-73M, afterall. Rise of the Dragon is nice on the Sega CD, but the acting is fairly forgettable, the music wasn't really improved and they never added anything new to the game, other than the CD voice clips. It has improved color over the Amiga game, and looks very much like the 256 color IBM VGA version. Nothing to make people run out and buy a Sega CD for though. Thunderstrike was definitely a good looking game for the Sega CD, and it was one of my favorites for the add-on.
    It's a far better game and one that really shows off the Hardware and how much more capable the Mega CD was; Full sprite scaling and rotation, voiced mission briefings, far better music and sounds effects and a better framerate, Jaguar XJ220 was far better too, so was the likes of Dune.

    Rise of the Dragon was so much better on the Mega-CD. The music was better, you had a full speech and full spoken intro. It's silly to say there was nothing added, I don't remember PC CD-ROM owners saying that when in the early day's speech was added and that was a huge deal to games like Indy and the Fate of Atlantis & Wing Commander (I knew some who bought a new soundcard just so they could play the speech for WC). Adding in full spoken dialogue to games in the very early 90's was a big deal and really added to a game experience IMO

    I would have really liked to have seen a few FMV cut scenes thrown in. It's not like animated graphics were that hard to do in that format
    To be fair to Gamearts they did just that with the sequel. My only disappointment with Lunar was it didn't use the ASIC more I loved how it zoomed in right at the start of the game and was hoping for more or how all the sound effects came from the MD soundchip
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    Yes, but there were plenty of Amiga games that had full spoken speech in intros and cut scenes. Sure, Rise of the Dragon was improved with the added speech, but most of the music was just simple tunes, just like the computer versions. The only reason the Amiga didn’t have it, was because the game was ported from PC. I’d already played the game on the Amiga, so there was no incentive to replay it on the SEGA CD. It needed to have new things like the video recorder having FMV, instead of the 3 frames repeating an image over and over again. It needed to show more than just sound improvements. Which was my point about Amiga games being ported over and just having a CD soundtrack tacked on. Thunder hawk was certainly not one of them, so why even bring it up?
    Last edited by gamevet; 07-01-2021 at 12:45 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Yes, but there were plenty of Amiga games that had full spoken speech in intros and cut scenes. Sure, Rise of the Dragon was improved with the added speech, but most of the music was just simple tunes, just like the computer versions. The only reason the Amiga didn’t have it, was because the game was ported from PC. I’d already played the game on the Amiga, so there was no incentive to replay it on the SEGA CD. It needed to have new things like the video recorder having FMV, instead of the 3 frames repeating an image over and over again. It needed to show more than just sound improvements. Which was my point about Amiga games being ported over and just having a CD soundtrack tacked on. Thunder hawk was certainly not one of them, so why even bring it up?
    On the Amiga, SNES or MD you have games with limited speech samples and nothing to what a CD could offer and in the early 90's, it really added to a game. The reason the Amiga didn't have it speech was because the developer didn't want to release a game that needed over 100 floppy discs to handle the data needed for speech That was the huge advance of CD-Rom back them, tons of space for presentation, better music and far more speech in games. The Mega-CD version of Rise of Dragon was also based on the PC Version too, just like Wing Commander

    Dune is much better on the Mega CD than the Amiga, mainly thanks to the excellent speech a standard Amiga game could never handle the 2 and half hours of speech in Popfulmail. It wasn't the greatest Mega-CD game, but Eye of the Beholder is so much better on the Mega CD to the Amiga version... A fully-voiced intro, better sound effects, no need to swap 4 discs (or whatever the actual number of floppy discs were) and of course an amazing pumping CD-DA soundtrack from Yuzo Koshiro


    CD-Rom allowed just much more and I felt it added so much to games even on the PC. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max on CD Rom are just so much better thanks to the speech over the standard floppy versions, never mind the lack of need to change floppy discs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    On the Amiga, SNES or MD you have games with limited speech samples and nothing to what a CD could offer and in the early 90's, it really added to a game. The reason the Amiga didn't have it speech was because the developer didn't want to release a game that needed over 100 floppy discs to handle the data needed for speech That was the huge advance of CD-Rom back them, tons of space for presentation, better music and far more speech in games. The Mega-CD version of Rise of Dragon was also based on the PC Version too, just like Wing Commander

    Dune is much better on the Mega CD than the Amiga, mainly thanks to the excellent speech a standard Amiga game could never handle the 2 and half hours of speech in Popfulmail. It wasn't the greatest Mega-CD game, but Eye of the Beholder is so much better on the Mega CD to the Amiga version... A fully-voiced intro, better sound effects, no need to swap 4 discs (or whatever the actual number of floppy discs were) and of course an amazing pumping CD-DA soundtrack from Yuzo Koshiro


    CD-Rom allowed just much more and I felt it added so much to games even on the PC. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max on CD Rom are just so much better thanks to the speech over the standard floppy versions, never mind the lack of need to change floppy discs.
    I'm not denying that, but just adding voices and red book audio music wasn't going to sway people to pay $300 for enhanced sounding versions of games that they'd already played elsewhere. Ecco CD, Robo Aleste, Mortal Kombat, Power Monger, Heimdal, Earthworm Jim CD and the like were often scoffed at by reviewers, for offering very little change over cartridge games, other than offering better sound.

    I brought up the Amiga, not because it offered better sound, but that its owners were already getting games with cut scenes with voice acting. That's why I was never impressed with the Turbo-CD, because games like It Came from the Desert were merely ported from the Amiga, with very little extras added to it. A game like Silpheed really showed what CD technology could achieve.

    And speaking of Eye of the Beholder, the narration in the Sega CD version isn't all that great, so that's a wash, unless you need someone to read what's on the screen to you in a poor manner. The music is debatable, because there was nothing wrong with the music in the game to begin with and it had better sound effects. EOTB is like Vay, though I'd say I much prefer the more professional narrated intro to that, over what was done on the prior. Vay is pretty much what you'd get with a cartridge game, without the narrated intro. It's not a big step ahead of what had been achieved before on existing hardware. So no, neither of those titles did anything to push someone into thinking that they needed CD technology to play them.
    Last edited by gamevet; 07-02-2021 at 08:53 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I'm not denying that, but just adding voices and red book audio music wasn't going to sway people to pay $300 for enhanced sounding versions of games that they'd already played elsewhere. Ecco CD, Robo Aleste, Mortal Kombat, Power Monger, Heimdal, Earthworm Jim CD and the like were often scoffed at by reviewers, for offering very little change over cartridge games, other than offering better sound.
    Plenty of PC owners did just that and also had to buy a new sound card too. Soundblaster said once that they owned their business to the success of Wing Commander speech add-on. I don't get why you're so harsh on the Mega CD, while overlooking the PC CD-ROM and PC ENG CD Rom did was just add a CD Drive with no hardware upgrade like the ASIC chip or extra processor's

    Indy and Sam and Max did little more on the PC CD Rom that add a bit more animation and tons of speech and better quality music, no different from most Mega-CD games over their MD counterparts. The speech alone to Indy made the PC CD Rom version. I so wished it had come to the Mega CD
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    8 & 16 bit guy Outrunner Bloodreign's Avatar
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    The one thing I could not stand about the Sega CD, the damned FMV games. The things I liked about the Sega, both Lunar games (beautiful games), Popful Mail (absolutely gorgeous game, Snatcher, and both Lethal Enforcer games. If only Sega had went less the FMV route, and more of the types of games I listed, I might've liked the damned thing better.

    I sure as hell didn't want to play Night Trap, Make My Video, Slam City, Sewer Shark, Corpse Killer, or any dreck like that. I've already mentioned before how my first time laying eyes on the first Lunar game, and how it captivated me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodreign View Post
    The one thing I could not stand about the Sega CD, the damned FMV games. The things I liked about the Sega, both Lunar games (beautiful games), Popful Mail (absolutely gorgeous game, Snatcher, and both Lethal Enforcer games. If only Sega had went less the FMV route, and more of the types of games I listed, I might've liked the damned thing better.

    I sure as hell didn't want to play Night Trap, Make My Video, Slam City, Sewer Shark, Corpse Killer, or any dreck like that. I've already mentioned before how my first time laying eyes on the first Lunar game, and how it captivated me.
    Off the top of my head only 18% of the Sega-CD library is "fmv" games.
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    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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