Okay, so this is bad. What is with Sega? My shining light in the dark world of video games has started to distinctly fade. Having known about most of the Sonic games, and the troubles housed therein amongst others, I was hoping that after a little bit of high-powered inertia which seemed to be dragging down their efforts to create good games into the trough between peaks may have been coming to an end with Golden Axe Beast Rider. Alas not, it seems.
Now, everybody knows that Sega’s Arcade games are nearly always top-notch, instantly playable, usually with a good learning curve for those who really get hooked and very graphic-tastic. But why, then do Sega always seem to stumble when it comes to making games that last longer than a pound or a dollar will allow?
There is a glaring contrast between the 16 bit era and today. In most cases, in the days of the NES and the Mastersystem, even later on during the domination of the Megadrive and the SNES, we always thought that games programmers were doing the best with what they had to work with. The potential that games could reach always felt hampered by the feeling that the hardware was underpowered. I personally think that was because arcade games were always vastly superior to their home counterparts. These days, there is virtually no difference between the technology in the gaming machines we have at home and the games in the arcade. The main difference lies in the games available. This, I feel is where Sega are letting themselves down. Because people have more time to sit in their living/bedrooms, the games we can play can be much more drawn out and in-depth. I don’t think anyone would want to stand on their feet in a seedy arcade to play World of Warcraft for a 12 hour stretch. That’s like being in the army. If the army played games as part of their training. Which, if they did, I would be toting an M-60 around and desperately trying to get out of going to Afghanistan…
Are Sega following the same path as Atari? Will their finest hour come after the darkest? If they insist on continuing to abuse their flagship licenses in this way, they will lose everything. Will there even be another finest hour? Come on guys, step up to the mark, and start thinking outside of the 15 minute arcade mentality. I know you can do it! Just… leave Streets of Rage alone until you have started to gain a little divine inspiration.