In case you missed it: remixes of Yuzo Koshiro’s Go Straight from Sega’s classic Streets of Rage 2 are everywhere, and we collected several of the best renditions in The Best of VGM earlier this year. But this mashup with Michael Jackson’s Bad is on a whole other level.
Maybe you already knew this, but Michael Jackson was a huge Sega aficionado back in the day. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker was a Sega Genesis exclusive, designed at least partially with the King of Pop’s input, and legend has it that a few of his uncredited compositions found their way into various Sonic games (Ice Cap Zone, perhaps?) He also made a cameo in Space Channel 5 on the Dreamcast, which was already completely insane without “Space Michael”.
If chiptune had been a thing back in the 80s, perhaps this mashup could’ve been the true version of Bad, knowing Jackson’s affection for video games. That would be an interesting alternate universe to live in.
If you missed WaterMelon’s Pier Solar the first time, you may be surprised to hear that it was a massive homebrew RPG project released in 2010 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. It even involved increasing Sega’s old cartridge memory to 64MB, the only 16-bit release to accomplish that feat in any era.
I wasn’t even aware that 16-bit homebrew was still alive on any of those old platforms. A fresh Genesis release combined with the folks still putting games out on the Commodore 64 means that’s two big tentpoles from my childhood still alive today in some form, which is pretty awesome.
So you can imagine my delight to see a Kickstarter surface to get Pier Solar remade in HD for the Xbox 360, Mac, PC, Linux, and even the Sega Dreamcast of all things. With custom machines and arcade sticks, no less. Oh my. Someone’s been tapping directly into my brain, I think.
If the thought of an original 16-bit RPG uplifted to HD tickles you like it tickles me, hit the link and toss a few coins at the project. WaterMelon needs $139,000 to get this off the ground and there’s even another print run of the Genesis version on the table if you’re feeling generous.
Sure, it’s not the HD remake of Phantasy Star IV or Chrono Trigger that everyone’s always wanted, but it could be the closest we’ll ever get. Get a taste of the original release in the video below.
Vlambeer’s Super Crate Box for the PC and iOS devices is one of those crazy melds of shooting and platforming that never, ever seems to get old. Games like it have been around forever, or at least since… oh, the early 80s or so.
Segway! There’s now a Commodore 64 port of Super Crate Box on the way, dubbed Super Bread Box and developed by Paul Koller of C64anabalt fame. As someone who cut his gamer’s teeth on the C64, it warms my heart to see folks out there are still putting games out for the thing. Take that, Dreamcast homebrewers!
Super Bread Box will be out on a real, bonafide Commodore 64 cartridge sometime in early 2013, so you have just enough time to hit up your local pawn shops and flea markets looking for an old C64 unit that still works. Or, more likely, several broken units which you’ll then need to cannibalize for parts. Hope you know how to solder.
This September, Sega finally released their HD remaster of the Dreamcast classic Jet Set Radio on Xbox Live, Playstation Network, and Steam, under the slightly pretentious “Sega Heritage” label. Most reviewers – even those with the same nostalgia-tinted glasses that I have – were less than enthusiastic about it, citing issues of age and the evolution of mechanics far beyond what JSR was flirting with in 1999.
Regardless of how you feel about how well Jet Set Radio has held up over the years, very few people would dream of disputing the timeless quality of its soundtrack, which is our focus here today.
The following three DJ sets, or “medleys” I suppose, were taken straight from the original Dreamcast disc. Unfortunately, the new HD remaster doesn’t appear to mix tracks together in the same way, or at all, which I consider to be the biggest strike against it.
This first collection begins with Deavid Soul’s “Up-Set Attack”, segues into Hideki Naganuma’s “That’s Enough”, and finishes with “Everybody Jump Around” by Richard Jacques.
Our next tracklist features Deavid Soul’s “Miller Ball Breakers”, “Funky Radio” by B.B. Rights, and Toronto’s “Electric Tooth Brush”.
Finally, here’s a big compilation of five real oddballs: Hideki Naganuma’s epic “Sweet Soul Brother” and “Rock It On”, Guitar Vader’s hilarious “Super Brothers”, a quick break with Castle Logical and “Mischievous Boy”, and then one more descent into Guitar Vader’s madness with “Magical Girl”.
Not enough for you? Check out BearGamesTV’s YouTube channel for the rest. Huge props to him for compiling all these; short of securing a Dreamcast copy and ripping these mixes yourself, this is probably the only means available to hear these songs as they were originally intended to be heard.
Fans of Konami’s long-neglected RPG epic Genso Suikoden have been starving for fresh non-portable, non-Kickstarter content these last several years, and while I’m sure this isn’t the first online petition to surface in that time, the Suikoden Revival Movement on Facebook does at least appear to be surprisingly well put together. But will it help?
Forgive me for being all bitter and pessimistic and “damn kids get off my lawn”, but the only time I’ve ever seen a fan movement on the internet accomplish anything was the “peanuts” campaign for Jericho, wherein fans of the cancelled post-apocalyptic drama secured a short second season by flooding the CBS mail room with packages of peanuts.
Well, that, plus the Browncoats buying DVD set after DVD set of Firefly out of their own pockets until Universal caved and greenlit Serenity. In both cases, the results could only be considered partially successful as they provided closure rather than continuation, or an easy-out for the studios to finally get all those pesky fans off their backs.
This isn’t an indictment on the Suikoden fans out there; I am one myself, after all. Hell, if it weren’t for my dabbling in the various Suikoden fan communities (Dukedom of Gaien represent!) I might not even be doing this right now, and my long-time posse of John Layfield and Thor McOdin and most of the forum folks wouldn’t be here either. All I’m saying is that Konami could be well beyond hope at this point. Quoth Jim Sterling:
…the fans are dealing with Konami, a publisher that might not even know it’s a videogame publisher these days, so I can only wish them luck on what is sure to be a frustrating journey.
That said, it’s important to note that the Suikoden Revival Movement’s campaign is very pro-active, rather than simply collecting social media props, and they aren’t shooting for the stars here either: their first goal, to get both Suikoden and Suikoden 2 on the Playstation Network worldwide, is probably quite attainable, or at least mostly attainable as regional versions of those two games currently exist without any major restoration or localization being necessary. The more development effort required on Konami’s part, the less likely this is to happen.
Personally, that might actually be enough for me. The ultimate goal – a proper continuation of the main series continuity a la Suikoden VI – has felt like a total impossibility for years and I think most of us are resigned to that fact by now. Suikoden VI happening seems about as likely as Sega dusting off the original pre-online Phantasy Star franchise for a refresh, or Square Enix finally doing something new with Chrono Trigger.
Still, Konami stands to lose very little by getting Suikoden 2 up on the Playstation Network alongside the original, already available in most territories. HD remasters of the PS2 games, or even just straight-up ports for PSN, are total longshots yet still fall squarely into the “would-be-nice” category in my mind. Hoping for anything else feels like a setup for heartbreak.
If you’re interested in adding your voice to the chorus, hop on over to their Facebook page and click the Like button. It’s not phone calls and emails or tiny packages of peanuts, but it’ll take maybe three seconds out of your day and sometimes a little moral support can be really nice to have. If you do happen to have more time to spend on this cause, check out their activity calendar: it’s quite forward-thinking, meaning that unlike 99.9% of petition movements out there, these guys might actually stand a pretty good chance of accomplishing something.