Tag: sega

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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AJ’s (Non-)E3 2020 Roundup

The Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but typical. With nearly every major public event cancelled, it's no surprise that E3 would be among the casualties. Yet, despite there not being an actual Electronic Entertainment Expo this year, that didn't stop the big players from still making their obligatory mid-year gaming announcements. So, E3 or no, I've still got plenty of great information to round up for you.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of the 2010s

With the end of 2019, the 2010s also finally came to a close. And now that I've looked back on all the great games of 2019, it's time to take a look back at the decade as a whole and talk about the titles that really stood out as the very best of the best. It may have been a long 10 years, with lots of changes in the gaming world, but it was chock full of gaming experiences that were absolutely second to none. While it may have pained me to narrow so many fantastic games down to only a dozen, I have done exactly that, just for you. Here are my picks for the 12 best games of the 2010s:

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2019

Happy 2020! It's a new year once again (and a new decade as well), and that means it's time for another round-up of the best games from the previous 12 months. 2019 was another amazing 365 days of great games to play. So many great games, in fact, that narrowing down my choices to merely a select 12 proved particularly difficult this time around. In the end though, I was able to get it done, and now feel sufficiently confident in my selections. I hope you will too. So without further ado, I humbly present, my picks for the 12 best games of 2019.

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Using the Force: 6 Of My Favorite Star Wars Games

Well, it may have started a long time ago, in this very same galaxy that we are in, but the final episode of the epic, 42-years-in-the-making, Star Wars nonology finally releases today. To celebrate this historic occasion in popular culture, I've decided to take a look back at a handful of games that have made the jump from that universe since then. While there are dozens of releases I could consider from the past four decades, I've decided to narrow it down to just a few that I have particularly enjoyed and/or played the most over that time frame. So, without further ado, I humbly present to you, 6 of my very favorite Star Wars games.

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Space Marine is Still Awesome – Replay Review From Scroo

Eight years ago in ages long past, the year of the Emperor 2011, came a grim dark shooter from Relic, THQ and Games Workshop about an event that takes place 38,000 years into the future. A third person action shooter where the greenskin Ork xenos have overrun the Forge World of Graia and threaten the existence of one of the great manufactorums of the empire. Untold millions of the Emperor's children are already dead. The Imperial Guard are outnumbered and outgunned. They have themselves suffered great losses including their senior commanding officer and are lead now only by a second lieutenant named, Mira Nero. If it wasn't for the great War Titan, Invictus, the empire of man may just cut their losses and abandon Graia. But the honored war machine's value is deemed absolute and it is decided that a small team of Astartes will be deployed to recover and secure the Titan at all costs. Captain Titus, of the Ultramarines, along with two of his trusted battle brothers are set upon the task and dropped into the middle of the fray. What comes is a battle of epic size, betrayal and bureaucracy along side more of a threat than even they imagined.

Gather round children and I shall tell you of my most recent play through of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Read more

Review: Team Sonic Racing

There's something you should probably know about me before we dive into this review. I grew up a Sega kid. While my friends were all playing their Nintendos and Super Nintendos, I was cutting my proverbial gaming teeth with the Master System and Genesis. As you might expect, this led to me quickly becoming a pretty avid Sega enthusiast, as I still am today. Granted, as time went on, I came to eventually love Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft as well, but deep down, my heart still beats for Sega.

It should come as no surprise, then, that when Sumo Digital's 2010 masterpiece, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, came out, I consumed it with a ravenous hunger; and it was good. So good, in fact, that I actually consider it to be one of my favorite games of all time. For my money, it beats all others - I'm not just talking about copycat cart racers, the Mario Kart games as well. Some may disagree with that statement, but I will happily and convincingly tell them why they are wrong.

Sumo Digital's 2012 follow-up, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, was also a thoroughly enjoyable affair, but it came nowhere close to reaching the lofty heights of greatness as the criminally-underrated original. It had exciting things to offer, sure (new fan favorite all-stars, amazing new stages, a cool transformation mechanic), but the graphics were lacking a bit by comparison and the gameplay was plagued by some pretty awful rubber-banding that unfortunately couldn't be turned off (unlike in the first game). It just seemed to lack the same level of care and attention to detail as the original. ​Which brings us, now, to the third entry in the series...

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