Tag: sega

Soundtrack Included: 12 of the Best CD Console Games with Playable Audio Tracks

After a trial launch in Japan in October of 1982, the compact disc was first released in the West in March, the following year. It was a digital stranger in an analog world. Yet it was able to completely revolutionize the record industry in less than a decade. The compact disc would subsequently go on to do the same for computer software, and shortly thereafter, video game consoles.

The first company to utilize this technology for a game console would be NEC, with their 1989 CD-ROM add-on to the TurboGrafx-16, the TurboGrafx-CD/PC Engine CD-ROM2 (and later Super CD/TurboDuo). They would soon be followed by Sega, who would release a CD add-on for their own Genesis (Mega Drive) console in 1992, known as the Sega (Mega) CD. Several others would also appear in the years that followed, including Sega's Genesis/Sega CD follow-up, the Saturn, as well as Sony's incredibly successful PlayStation console. Eventually, the industry would begin to experiment with other, similar formats, starting in 1999 with what would sadly be Sega's final home console, the GD-ROM equipped Dreamcast.

While the formats would continue to evolve over the years, first to DVD, then Blu-ray, and finally Ultra HD Blu-ray, digital disc media use in the video game industry has continued on, right up to the present day. Yet, despite having inferior storage capacity and being more prone to piracy, CDs were always able to offer one thing that none of the disc formats that have followed since could, the ability to double as an audio disc. That being said, not every CD game released came with audio tracks on the disc, and the number of TurboGrafx-CD and PlayStation releases that boasted them was somewhat limited. A pretty significant number of Sega CD and Saturn games all did, however.

That specific feature makes all of those consoles a particular boon to both those nostalgic for that era of gaming, and general audiophiles alike. As one who considers himself to be in both of those camps, and as a service to like-minded individuals, I thought I might take it upon myself to compile a list of some of the best CD games to include playable audio tracks on the disc. Continue on after the break to see 12 of the best of these games to appear on these consoles. I'm also including the composer, year of release, and number of audio tracks (not counting blank and/or unplayable data tracks).

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Batsugun, Tekken 8, and More…

Welcome to the first notable new releases post of 2024. Since the last post wasn't since late October, I've made sure to round up some of the more prominent releases from the end of 2023, as well as the beginning of this year. This last week saw a very notable release with a GOG version of Toaplan's final shmup, the legendary arcade classic, Batsugun. Aside from arguably being their all-time best shooter, Batsugun is also famous for being the very first manic (aka bullet hell) shoot 'em up game. It may be great, but it's definitely not easy!

Also out in the last 16 weeks, the 8th installment to the long-running and incredibly popular Tekken series; the next entry in the also long-running and popular Yakuza/Like a Dragon series; and the first official sequel to the excellent 2012 Arcade fighter (and it's multiple updated ports), Under Night In-Birth. Take on the final chapter in Toaplan's Shmup saga, then jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 112 days.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2010 – A Twinstiq Retrospective

Well, it's another new year and time, once again, for another retrospective. This time around, we'll be taking a look back at the best games of 2010. As the start of a new decade, it was certainly an important year; and it also happened to be a pretty exceptional year for gaming as well, with some of the biggest releases, well ever. Please read on for a selection of the 12 most notable titles that 2010 had to offer.

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros Wonder, and More…

Well, the holidays are drawing near and that means it's about time for the final (and oftentimes, biggest) titles of the year to arrive. Case in point, this week saw the release of two, (Marvel) Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros Wonder. The follow-up to 2018's amazing Spider-Man and 2020's spectacular Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Spider-Man 2 represents the next logical step in the franchise by allowing you to swap back and forth between the two main characters from both of those previous entries. It also appears to have upped the ante by bringing in popular comics villains Kraven the Hunter and Venom (undoubtedly among others).

Meanwhile, Super Mario Bros Wonder appears to be bringing the same style of charming family-friendly 4-person multiplayer fun that 2013's outstanding Super Mario 3D World offered, but in a uniquely new, yet tried and true 2D setting. No matter which console you own, a Switch or a PS5 (or both), it seems like you've got something new you're going to want to try out. And for those without either, read on for a list of new hotness for you to play too.

‚ÄčAlso out in the last 12 weeks, a new Sonic the Hedgehog title that seems to be not entirely unlike the new Super Mario Bros game; the first new Forza Motorsport title in 6 years, and a follow-up to the pretty groovy 2019 strategy title, Wargroove. Be greater. Together. Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 84 days.

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The Sega Dreamcast: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

Due to the abysmal performance of Sega's disastrous Saturn console, and not long before its premature cancellation, Sega set about development of their next generation of video game hardware. In an effort to cut costs, and to make sure that the Saturn's successor would be easy to create games for, Sega opted to use preexisting, off-the-shelf PC components and a custom Windows operating system, in favor of more complicated proprietary options. The new console would also share architecture with Sega's own NAOMI arcade hardware, which was developed around the same time, thus all but ensuring it would be the recipient of a steady stream of home-playable arcade hits, pretty much from day one. Finally, Sega decided to give the system a built-in modem for online play and internet access, the first console to include such a feature.

After finalizing the hardware specifications, a public contest was held by Sega to name their new system and "Dreamcast" was selected out of more than 5,000 entries. In order to avoid the same anemic launch that the Saturn had suffered, Sega took steps to have plenty of Dreamcast games available to choose from when the console made its North American debut on 09/09/1999. Sega also acquired American sports game developer Visual Concepts to ensure that the system's library would be adequately stocked with a variety of great sports titles, both at launch, and over the months and potentially years to follow. In addition (and as they did for all of the company's previous consoles), Sega's other internal studios all worked diligently to provide the Dreamcast with a multitude of high-quality first-party fare over the console's life.

Despite making a number of savvy decisions with the design and launch of the Dreamcast, Sega was ultimately unable to sell enough systems to cover their past losses on the Saturn. Nor were they able to gain enough market share to turn the tables on Sony and Nintendo. Eventually, the Dreamcast also began to burden Sega with losses and so, just over a year and a half into its life, they reluctantly exited the console industry altogether. It is said that the candle that burns half as long burns twice as bright. That may have been true in the Dreamcast's case. It's difficult to name another console that was able to amass such an amazingly diverse library of incredible titles over such a short run. Please read on for a list of the very best of these games to ever have graced Sega's final console.

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons, Pikmin 4, and More…

Well, the year is more than halfway over and we're beginning to witness the release of some pretty interesting titles. This past week saw the return of the Lee brothers in a brand new entry in the legendary Double Dragon series. Double Dragon Gaiden looks to be largely inspired by last year's outstanding arcade-esque TMNT beat 'em up, Shredder's Revenge. Assuming the developer nailed more than just the art style, this too may be one that's well worth checking out.

Also out in the last 5 weeks, the 4th numeric installment to Nintendo's charming Pikmin series; a pretty fun-looking family-friendly 4-player platformer starring Mickey Mouse & friends; and GOG ports of Sega's Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Double Fine's The Cave. Double Dragon Returns with tag team action. Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 35 days.

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The SEGA Master System: A 3×12-Year Retrospective

Right around the same time that Nintendo released their 8-bit Famicom game console in Japan, the original version of what would eventually be released in the rest of the world as the Nintendo Entertainment System, arcade developer Sega released a competing console that they called the "SG-1000". Then, a year later, they released a redesigned version called the "SG-1000 II". Neither system was particularly successful. So after another year, Sega decided to make a few upgrades, most notably to the graphics chip, which would be based off of their System 2 arcade board. They then released this newly overhauled version which they dubbed, the "Mark III".

Unfortunately for Sega, they still couldn't stand toe to toe with Nintendo, even after multiple hardware revisions. At least, not in Japan. So Sega then decided to try their luck in the Western markets. The Mark III was rebranded as the "Sega Master System" and given futuristic-looking facelift. Once again, Sega managed to sync their release to Nintendo's, launching the Master System right around the same time that the Nintendo Entertainment System came out. Never let it be said that Sega was one to shy away from a fight.

Although the Master System was technically more powerful than Nintendo's console, with the exception of Brazil and a few European markets, it never really managed to come close to the impressive sales numbers of the NES. One major reason for this was a lack of software, primarily thanks to Nintendo's shrewd licensing requirements, that forbade third-party developers from releasing their NES titles on competing platforms. To Sega's credit, they did still manage to snag a few high-profile third-party titles, here and there, even despite this rather gargantuan obstacle. Additionally, being a (then) up-and-coming development house themselves meant that their console would at least have a stellar selection of first-party titles to choose from. So, even though Sega's hardware couldn't compete on quantity, that doesn't mean it didn't still have plenty of quality. Read on for a list of 12 of the best games that the Sega Master System had to offer.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2008 – A 12(+)Year Retrospective

As you might have noticed by now, I have kind of a thing for gaming retrospectives. I also love anything having to do with the number 12. For those reasons, I've decided to debut a new retrospective series where I take a look back at the best games from 12 years ago. In the case of this particular article, the year 2008. Now you may be thinking, "it's 2022, shouldn't this article be about 2009 or even 2010?" And the answer is, you got me. I meant to post this nearly a year ago. My bad. Maybe I'll do one for 2009 next month. Just go with it. 2008 was a special year for gaming that saw a number of truly exceptional titles grace the various consoles of the day. Please join me as I look back at what I feel pretty good about saying were 12 of the absolute best.

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Knocking It Out Of the Park: 6 Of My Favorite Baseball Games

It's that time of year again! No, I'm not talking about Halloween (this time). I'm talking about the World Series! After some particularly fiercely fought and exciting playoff battles, we've finally come to the main event. The AL vs NL matchup that will determine who is the best team in all of baseball. This year, I am particularly excited to watch because my Atlanta Braves have made it for the first time in 22 years! Here's hoping they show Houston what's up.

I will say that I'm a little sad my other team, the San Francisco Giants got knocked out early. I would have loved seeing how they stacked up against the Braves in the postseason. That's right, I have two baseball teams too. I didn't always live in Atlanta, you know. At any rate, I've been a fan of both baseball organizations for years and I've loved playing the sport probably longer than that, even digitally. There have been a great number of baseball video games over the years and in honor of (one of) my team(s) making it to the final round this year, I thought I would share 6 of my favorites.
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AJ’s Upcoming Gaming Releases Roundup – 2021 Edition

Well, my Best Games of 2020 list is done now, so it's time to move ahead to 2021. There's a lot to look forward to over the next 11 months. Assuming the release dates all hold, that is. At any rate, it's looking like it should be another solid year for gaming, all in all. Go ahead and read on for a list of 12 particular highlights that you should be able to play all of before the year's end.

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