Saturday, November 8, 2014

15 Cool Things Sega Could Do Even On Hard Times

Right now we all know what is happening to Sega. They recently reported a loss in profits and for all of us long time fans, the phrase "lost profits" spells certain doom to our favorite Sega franchises. Surprisingly, even with the hardships they are going through they decided to make some good things like localizing the new Yakuza game to the west, and coming with remakes of some of their classic games for the Nintendo 3DS. This is all good, but there are some things that Sega could take advantage from especially now that they decided to focus on the digital market rather than the retail one.

Note: There are links in some of the items on this list so you can see what the mentioned games/concepts are about.

Phantasy Star IV: The End of The Millenium

1) Include Phantasy Star IV in the 3DS remakes: The 3DS is good with JRPGs and if Bravely Default is to be taken as definite proof of that, then it means that the classic JRPG style thrives on this handheld. This is the reason why releasing a completely remade version of Phantasy Star IV is a good choice for them since it is the most popular one of the whole classic rpg wing of the Phantasy Star series.

2) Remaster all 3 Shinning Force 3 Scenarios and release them as digital only: The original Shinning Force formula ended with the 3 scenarios that composed Shinning Force 3, so releasing a digital only remastered edition of all 3 in one would be a good seller not only for Sega fans, but tactic rpg fans everywhere in the world as 2 of those 3 scenarios never made it out of Japan.

3) The return of Shenmue: Be it on any of the 3 home consoles and with the current trend that favors open world games, Shenmue can make a good comeback if they spice up the formula a bit and give it a little more hand to hand combat action and more stuff to do in the cities Ryo visits.

Sega Saturn Astal

4) Astal 2 made by an indie studio: Astal was quite a good platformer in its day and seen how some indie developers have made beautiful games like Braid and Dust: An Elysian Tale, Astal can also shine again and become even better if one of these talented studios takes the project.

5) The release of good arcade game ports into this generation of home consoles: Catering once again to the digital only market, some arcade games like Border Break, Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity or Shinning Force Cross Raid can become addictive online experiences for any western player.

6) "Greatest hits" bundles of Sega Saturn/Dreamcast games: Storage media now permits it and because of this, some of the best games for both of these systems (Saturn and Dreamcast) can come back packaged in bundles sort of like they did with the Genesis games not long ago. Packages like these can find a home on any of this generation consoles or even on PC.

Skies of Arcadia

7) Skies of Arcadia 2: This one can be pretty much a long shot, but why not? Skies of Arcadia is one of the best JRPG games that Sega has ever made and it could be a hit, considering that the JRPG market has been starving for good epic titles for current-gen home consoles in the west.

8) Sonic Adventure 3: This is not a matter of nostalgia, but a matter of the Sonic Adventure series been the most acclaimed Sonic games since the franchise took a plunge into 3D. It doesn't have to be a AAA production, just make it as good as the previous too and it will be ready to go. I know that there is Sonic Boom to take account of, but this kind of endeavor would be something separate and quite capable of healing Sonic the Hedgehog's reputation as a franchise which would in fact help Sonic Boom.

9) Reboot of The Immortal: The Immortal was one of those hard and gruesome rpg games that captivated Sega Genesis owners in the early 90's and it could make a comeback as an alternative to Dark Souls. The game was dark, challenging and interesting and that is something many rpg gamers appreciate nowadays. Just turn it into an action rpg and it could be a hit. The only hard part here is convincing Electronic Arts to take that franchise out of its grave, but hey... It can happen!

Eternal Champions

10) Reboot of Eternal Champions: Gore has been in style again for a while now and Eternal Champions provided just that to fighting game fans in the past, even rivaling the all time favorite Mortal Kombat. A reboot of this once great fighting game could be released as a digital only game with an emphasis on competitive play. Give a short single player mode in order to show the character's storylines and let gamers destroy themselves online with all the gruesome moves and fatalities that this franchise can offer.

11) An Anime Series for any of their RPG game series: Going away from gaming a little and getting into anime, a good anime series can be possible with many of Sega's franchises and could even serve to promote a game. Phantasy Star is a very good candidate, but there could be others like Climax Landers, Legend of the Oasis, Skies of Arcadia and Panzer Dragoon Saga. Why a series from an RPG game? Because their stories are richer and would make for quite an interesting anime experience if done right. Sega worked as a publisher for Bleach so it is safe to say that they would know what to do.

12) Bring remastered versions of obscure titles of their popular franchises: When we think about obscure Sega games that most people haven't seen, it means games like Virtual-On Marz and Project Altered Beast which were PS2 games that were... You guessed it, only in Japan. Virtual-On Marz featured a deeper storyline which was a contrast when we compare it to its arcade style only predecessors and Project Altered Beast was a mix between adventure and survival horror that gave it a sci-fi twist to the franchise.

Sega Characters

13) Their own game portal: This is an alternative to #7 and can be even better in some ways. If there is one thing that we can't deny is that Sega as a company has a lot of first party games, even surpassing Nintendo in this endeavor. Because of this, a cool thing for them to do is to make a PC game portal, sort of like Steam and pour all of their forgotten games there while letting people play online multiplayer with them. A place where you could find and play all the first and second party Sega games from the Master System to the Dreamcast and even games that appeared on other consoles. They could sell them separately or make it a pay per month service, it doesn't matter as this could become a big hit for them anyways.

14) Get a spokesperson character again: This is something that they tried in the past and had success because of it, so they need to stop been so silent and go make some noise in the industry. A good personality that can move an effective passive-aggressive marketing campaign can make all the difference in the world. If you don't believe me ask Nintendo how well Reggie has worked for them. Just to give you a short trip to the past, back when the Saturn was going head to head against the PS One, Sega managed to keep their console alive and kicking in Japan mostly because of their spokesperson character, which was an exaggerated version of a karate master that was called Segata Sanshiro.

15) Give some love to the west: No matter which of the previous 14 things in this list Sega makes, if it is stuck in Japan it wont serve them. Their current "stay in Japan and sometimes Europe" strategy has proven to be a failure and their financial reports are proof of this. Whatever they do next, they must include the west in it because it is a market that is slowly going old school again, so after its long absence, Sega could return and once again earn the prestige that they used to have. They just need to try and for once hear the fans out, yes those fans that have been left in the dark since the Dreamcast went down.

Sega Logo

Wrapping it up:
The bottom line is that even though Sega is having a hard time right now, this doesn't mean that they can't make an effort to bounce from that. This list features some of the cool things they could do that could mend their torn reputation and even though some of them look difficult or even idealistic, they are possible and sometimes it just takes a fair amount of risk taking in order to make it big as real visionaries are a step ahead of everybody all the time. Most gamers have Sega strands on their gamer's DNA so they just have to look for a way to unleash all the hidden potential, especially from the fans.

What is your favorite item of the list? What other cool things you think that Sega could do? If you have any ideas share them with us in the comment section below.

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