Sega: A New Golden Age?

Whenever I hear the name Sega, memories of Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Streets of Rage, Virtua Fighter, Panzer Dragoon, NiGHTS, and Shenmue flood into my head. Ever since the decline of the Dreamcast, the once-exalted company suffered many lackluster years with disappointing Sonic spin-offs and a few mediocre titles. However, a wave of recent and upcoming fresh quality games from worthy developers may bring the fallen giant back on its feet.

Recent titles like Valkyria Chronicles and MadWorld have stood out from most of current-gen gaming and impacted their respective consoles.

Creators of Skies of Arcadia, Overworks, managed to find a perfect harmony between turn-based and real-time action with Valkyria Chronicles on the Playstation 3. The roleplaying game takes a different graphical approach with a blend of watercolor and anime-like art direction which truly brings a feast for the eyes. Final Fantasy Tactics composer, Hitoshi Sakimoto, crafted yet another epic soundtrack. The most impressive aspect of the game has to be the combat gameplay. Players assess the situation with a map which displays their friendly and hostile units. Once they make their move, players can feel the tension of the battlefield while their controlled unit charges into explosives and bullets as they attempt to advance towards their objective. What also makes the game memorable is the lovable cast of characters who all bring their own personalities to add to the atmosphere. This classic title has spawned a sequel to a PSP which was recently announced.

Remnants of Clover Studios, PlatinumGames, sparked up a mature concoction for the Wii known as MadWorld. A representative from this year’s New York Comic Con gave a perfect description of the game, "It’s like Wii Sports… with bodies." The Sin City-esque aesthetics sets the tone for players to flail their Wii remotes around as they have a bloody ball dismembering enemies in multiple flashy ways. How will one not have a jolly massacre when the protagonist has a chainsaw arm and every level seems to be a spiked playground created for you to tear people apart… I mean play Wii Sports? This ridiculous game is a return to fun and pleases the unattended mature crowds for the most popular console of the generation.

But wait, there’s more. PlatinumGames will pump out two more games that will be published by Sega.

One was an E3 favorite, Bayonetta, which will be available for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The new action game will feature Devil May Cry-like gameplay with extremely over-the-top visuals such as random butterfly wings upon double jump, rosed-shape forming blood as the titular character takes damage, and twirling on a halberd as our lovely lights up nearby enemies with a barrage of bullets coming from hand and footheld guns. If its first trailer didn’t imprint awesomeness with its limitless crotch shots, who knows how else the game will take everything over top?

The other game is known as Infinite Space for the Nintendo DS, which dethroned Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days from the #1 spot in Japan during its debut week. The sci-fi RPG allows the players control their own spaceship and begin their own star trek. Fun fact: erotic games have influenced the creation of the game. It features lots of dialogue and anime cutscenes… without the erotic content of course. But still, the customization of the spacecraft seems to make it an addictive substance.

Sega will publish another juicy RPG for you traditional junkies out there. The masterminds of Xenogears give a hand in the creation of Sands of Destruction, also known as World Destruction in Japan, for the Nintendo DS. Instead of following the general archetype of saving the world, players will destroy it for the greater good in this handheld adventure.

Instead of waiting for Sonic and reminiscing about the good old days, it’s time to open up your eyes to the new Sega age of future classics.

Sega, berieve.

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