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Beauty and the Altered Beast

becoming known in game magazines more by its weaknesses than its strengths in relation to the SNES. The NEO GEO was primarily an Arcade system, though, that offered a consolized version to high end consumers. . Robo Aleste. Also known as Dennin Aleste in Japan, this game was made by Compile and when I do, I'll update with some impressions about the song in relation to the stage. Add &fmt=18 at the end of the video's URL for high quality. Robo Aleste, released in Japan as Dennin Aleste (電忍アレスタ), is a At the end of each level is a boss, which the player must defeat in order to move on. . a measure of foreshadowing in the strongly antithetical relationship between.

Furthermore, both processors were not employed in processing the same programming code simultaneously. This meant that most games used the Sega CD's central processor for game code which would then be streamed in smaller chunks to the Genesis for display.

As a result, the Sega CD can not be considered a dual processor system. Because such a claim implies that both processors effectively double the system's overall processing power, this terminology is inaccurate to the Sega CD. Even without the distinction of having double the processing capabilities of the Genesis, the Sega CD added significant capabilities that were not possible on any of the bit systems of its day. Superior CD audio, scaling and rotation capabilities, more complex level designs and cinematic sequences were possible on the Sega CD.

This complex but relatively inexpensive approach to game architecture stemed from Sega's own arcade business, which was well known for its dual MC boards. Internal limitations caused developers to be limited to KB 2 Megabits per level. In comparison, a standard Genesis cartridge of the time could hold KB 8 Megabits for the entire game, and would be forced to efficiently use much of the same data to create a wide variety of level designs. The result was that third party developers, and sometimes Sega themselves, only prepared standard 8 Megabit Genesis games with the addition of CD quality music and updated cutscenes.

Third party developers were therefore primarily at fault for the lack of impressiveness in early Sega CD software. The scaling and rotation effects chips eventually produced far more technically impressive effects than anything on the Super Nintendo.

Developers hardly used the system's advanced capabilities in its first sixth months of game software. Early buyers were nonetheless won by games that contained Full Motion Video of live actors, or cartoon cinematics, live voice acting in cut scenes, and CD quality music and sound. Game magazines such as EGM and Gamepro conglomerated from on to give the Sega CD a perception of mediocrity despite the add-on's later technical achievements.

Included in the criticisms was one that was common to the Genesis itself, a limitation to only 64 colors on screen out of a palette of colors. Inthe Genesis was already becoming known in game magazines more by its weaknesses than its strengths in relation to the SNES.

So, Sega's "failure" to increase the on screen colors and color palette of the Genesis with its CD-ROM add-on became the media's favorite whipping post. Following that was the fact that the industry expected add-on upgrades in general. As a result, Sega simply designed and released the Sega CD with the Genesis in mind as its complement, not its predecessor. Evidence of this is in every press release by Sega at the time, as well as the hardware itself. If anything was a motivating factor in creating the Sega CD, it was Sega's desire to maintain its cutting edge image.

Blazoned on the top of every Model 1 Genesis were the words "High Definition Graphics" and a chromed logo stating "bit. Secondarily to this motivator, Sega had to keep the system's costs and the installation process as user friendly as possible.

In so doing, leaving the Genesis video chip as the primary display output became a forgone conclusion. Bringing the Experience Home: But At What Cost? Context proves to be the best example. Their mutual inclusion of the most cutting edge hardware available at the time is the only reason for their record setting price points. In order to be appealing to multiple manufacturers, the 3DO had to have enough hardware prowess to impress developers and manufacturers alike. The 3DO's ARM60 processor has been compared to a "fast x" or Motorola which puts it at the top of the line for PC hardware, and slightly below the top of the line computers of Since the 3DO was only capable of playing games and other forms of multimedia CD-ROMs, the price difference may not have been viewed as acceptable by consumers in general.

A consumer who wanted a computer for work related tasks would not have chosen a 3DO instead. Someone who wanted a computer primarily to play games may have seen the 3DO's exclusion of non-gaming functions as a deficiency. The price contrast of these systems can be over simplified as well. It should be noted that the largest group of consumers who bought the Sega CD had already owned a Sega Genesis.

Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor. One awesome moment of MUSHA showed a gigantic, evil battleship that spans an entire level popping up briefly in the background of the level that precedes it End of an Era However, the game was never popular, nor was the shooter genre in general.

Despite the fact that the Genesis had loads of games in the shooter category, none were really considered stand outs whenever there was talk about the best games out there. Beat em ups like Streets of Rage were extremely popular. Fighting games became the dominant force in the early 90s with the likes of Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Primal Rage. And of course, the force of nature that was Sonic the Hedgehog, which became the standard for which all Sega Genesis games were judged.

My friends and I really did stay up all night playing this game The side scrolling platformer was definitely king. Meanwhile, across the way, the Super Nintendo was slowly catching up. It would eventually surpass the Genesis in overall sales and popularity. Despite the countless shooters that were released at the time, the genre eventually faded into obscurity, becoming a niche oddity that only appealed to the hardest of the hardcore gamer.

All of my friends were into video games, but none of them cared about shooters. We could play fighting games all night long and did every once and a while. Beat em ups were fun for short bursts, but I was never really into them. RPGs never had any interest for me, so to hear my Nintendo friends gush over them was like hearing people talk in a different language.

Welcome to the Next Level Eventually, the bit era gave way to the world of polygons and 3-D gaming. As a Sega kid, I embraced the absurdity that was the 32X, but no one else followed. Soon, the Playstation would arrive and change the course of gaming history. I, however, hitched my wagon to the Sega Saturn.

And, well, we all know how that story played out. Despite the evidence of Sega's crushing defeat at the hands of Sony's Playstation, I refused to wave the white flag. I embraced the Saturn, even though it was clearly on it's way out before it could barely get its foot in the door. While 3-D games became all the rage, Sega was still cranking out 2-D powerhouses for the Saturn, including a handful of stunning shooters, like Galactic attack, and the game that would become legend, Radiant Silvergun.

Radiant Silvergun - this was a near instant classic for the Saturn But no one cared anymore.

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Tomb Raider had arrived, as well as a host of games that were unlike anything we had ever seen: Not to be outdone, Nintendo showed up to the 3-D party with the N64 and brought revolutionary changes with the likes of Mario 64, Wave Race, Mario Cart 64, and Goldeneye.

Sega was nearly vanquished. I wasn't so much devastated by this fact, because it has clearly been a long time coming, but I did feel defeated. I could do nothing as I watched Sega's once great empire slowly crumble brick by brick.

And I know what you're going to say: Yes, Sega's final console. But let's be honest. It was crushed just as well. Sure, it may have had its day in the sun, but it's demise was imminent once the technical aspects of the Playstation 2 were revealed. Of course, I was there on day one to buy the system — the one and only time I ever did such a thing. I was also the only one there. There were no long lines.

No throngs of fans clamoring for a console. No news stories of scalpers. I simply walked in to the KB Toy store that I had reserved my system, and walked out without spotting another buyer of the console. I knew what hype was, and I knew the Dreamcast didn't have it.

When it was all said and done, the Dreamcast, a system beloved by many, sold less units than the Wii-U. They were my enemy. The murderer of my childhood love. I couldn't go back to Nintendo either. If Sony was Sega's killer, Nintendo was surly just as responsible for crippling them with the Super Nintendo. Plus, I could never embrace their family friendly ethos. Their candy colored, kid friendly universe simply had no appeal to me. Instead, I saw another home on the horizon in the form of a new, upstart video game console: As it turns out, many former Sega people ended up on Team Xbox.

Sega themselves, having gone software only, strongly supported the new system right out of the gate.

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Xbox even had some of that old-school Sega attitude. It only made sense for me to hop on board. When I finished college in May ofmy graduation gift was an Xbox, a copy of Halo, and I never looked back. As loyal as I was to Sega, I was now firmly swearing my allegiance to Xbox, and still remain so to this day. Well, let me circle back to that. During all my years of gaming, I was a bit different from most of my friends.

I never got rid of my old games. In fact, I kept all of my system hooked up to my TV so that I could always play them. I slowly accumulated a large library of games for all the systems I owned: I even became an owner of a Playstation 1 and 2 — but only after they were dead and games were cheap.

While everyone I knew dumped all there games to move on to the next thing, I kept mine. Part of it was nostalgia. Part of it was pride. And part of it was that I still loved playing those games even if they were obsolete. I was officially a collector. I had never planned on going that route; it just happened. I also began to notice a pattern: Then, a few years later, nostalgia for those old games would kick in, and people would go back looking for those old NES systems and games they had gotten rid of.

Suddenly the valueless became the valuable. I saw this trend happen over and over, with virtually every console released. I noticed it was getting harder and harder to find boxed Genesis games. That was when I realized that my favorite system of all time was making a comeback, but I had no idea how big it would get. For the Love of In the fall ofI found myself in the same predicament as millions of other Americans: I spent nearly two years looking for work. It took me eighteen months to get my first job interview.

All in all, over that entire two year period, I literally only had three job interviews, and luckily landed a job right as my final extension of unemployment benefits expired. Let me tell you, those two years sucked. I applied to so many jobs. Jobs I was perfectly qualified for. Jobs that were exactly like my previous jobs. Jobs I was over qualified for. Over and over again, I applied myself and got nothing in return.

And why would they? In the worst days of the recession, for every one job opening, there were ten applicants. I often heard the same criticisms from those who were lucky enough to remain employed: You have to be realistic.

You have to get a job that might be 'beneath you. That's what I did. That's what many of us did. Most of the jobs I applied to were lessor jobs that what I had been doing, and certainly for less pay. But like I said, the demand vastly outweighed the supply. So no matter what job I applied to, even if it was a job that was a step down in pay and skill, there would be plenty of people applying for that job that did have experience in that field, so a prospective employer would obviously go with someone who knew the job verses someone who would have to learn the job not to mention jump ship the moment something better came along.

I ended up with a lot of free time, and spent it mostly at home. I felt alone and sad and defeated. I was an educated college graduate with years of management experience and other desirable work skills, and I couldn't get squat. It was like standing on a beach, throwing pebbles in the water and trying to get the ocean to come to me. I was stress eating and put on about fifteen pounds. I felt the life and energy just getting sucked out of me.

So I passed the time by watching videos on YouTube. I started getting into various retro gaming videos and came across Classic Game Room. For whatever reason, that one resonated with me more than most, but part of the appeal was that the host, Mark, was clearly a Sega fan through and through.

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I started diving through the backlog of videos on the channel there were a lot! I was taken aback. Why, there was my favorite Genesis game prominently featured in the opening segment of this popular YouTube show. Digging farther down, I found the show's multi-part review of the game — a video dedicated to every single level of the game. Watching these videos and hearing someone else gush over loving the game just as much as I did was something of a revelation. A weird little spot of happiness in my unemployment grind.

It was then that I discovered that not only was MUSHA well regarded by other hardcore Sega fans, but that it was one of the most sought after games for the system and would command extremely high prices on eBay. I mean, really high prices. I was absolutely stunned. I simply had not known that Genesis games were bring in those kinds of numbers. Sure, I knew a hand full of games were rare, including my most infamous gaming regret: There were other gamers on YouTube I found also expressing their love of MUSHA, and they all were saying the things that had always praised the game for: There I was, thinking for more than half my life that no one knew or cared about this game that I loved, and then all of the sudden, there were fans everywhere, and they loved it too.

And the word was spreading. Sales of copies on eBay continued to demand high prices — and the prices were going up. And it wasn't just MUSHA — shooters across the board were skyrocketing in popularity, on all consoles: The shooter had finally found its day.

The genre, for whatever reason, had become the most sought after and coveted genre for retro game collectors. The retro enthusiasm was largely driven by collectors of my generation — people my age. Meaning, we all grew up with these games.

We all played these systems. But everyone passed on the shooter.