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Your Top 5 Sega Games


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For the last episode of Gamestyle Live, Steve, Brad and I decided we'd celebrate the bad news of Sega layoffs by deciding our top Sega games ever. For time limit reasons, we decided it had to be top five (and still ended up talking about 40 minutes too long). It's bloody difficult (we each ended up with an honourable mentions list as long as our arms, basically) and since we've put ourselves through it, you all should too. We actually ended up not really crossing over at all, which is incredibly impressive. So, what are yours?

Our choices:

Bradigor (Brad):

5. Phantasy Star Online

4. NiGHTs

3. Daytona

2. Shenmue

1. Streets of Rage

Steve:

5. Streets Of Rage 2

4. Sonic 2

3. Outrun 2

2. Wonderboy 3 The Dragons Trap

1. Crazy Taxi.

Rev (Andrew):

5. F-Zero AX

4. Super Monkey Ball

3. Virtua Cop

2. Sega Rally

1. Virtual On

And the podcast is here if you want to watch/listen to the justifications. 20 minutes about the current situation, than pure unadulterated love for well over an hour:

Youtube:




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Well, this was astonishingly difficult to decide on. Currently something like this:

1. Shenmue II

2. Rez

3. Burning Rangers

4. Sonic the Hedgehog (Master System/Game Gear version)

5. Shining Force II

And followed closely by this lovely lot:

6. Phantasy Star Online

7. F-Zero GX

8. Panzer Dragoon Orta

9. Skies of Arcadia
10. Phantasy Star II

11. Nights

12. Crazy Taxi

13. Jet Set Radio

14. Valkyria Chronicles

15. Streets of Rage 2

16. Super Monkey Ball

17. Golden Axe

18. The House of the Dead II

19. Outrun

20. Shinobi

21. Ecco the Dolphin

22. Fighters Megamix

23. Dragonforce

24. The Typing of the Dead
25. Virtua Tennis

(which could have been far longer a list, particularly had I not intentionally avoided listing more than one game per core series, nor Sega's second-party output...)

Panzer Dragoon Sega

The Banner Sega

Candy Crush Sega

Sega Frontier

Romancing Sega 3

I see what you did there.

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As someone who grew up almost exclusively with Sega games, this is almost impossible to narrow down to five. The ones that immediately jump out at me are:

- NiGHTS into Dreams

- Sega Rally Championship

- Streets of Rage 2

- Rez

Then, after that, any of about twenty other stone-cold classics.

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I'd feel odd putting Rez in my list, I know UGA made it who were more or less part of Sega but then I never think about Rez as being a Sega game as such.

UGA were basically a chunk of AM3. Rez is as Sega as Sega Rally is.

I feel massively guilty that it wasn't in my top 5, but as people are finding out it's the most difficult thing ever. Somehow it feels even harder than making an All-time list as you always deep down know what is on that list. This requires thinking.

We also didn't mention Panzer Dragoon Orta, or Saga really. They're both amazing. I think I'd still pick Zwei, but Orta is gorgeous and the (hmmmph) first disc of Saga was great.

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Subtly different from my list in the Retro Gamer all-time voting thread... :P

1. Sonic 2 (MD)

2. Sonic 3 & Knuckles

3. Sega Rally

4. NiGHTS Into Dreams

5. Rez

And the rest...

6. Burning Rangers

7. Sonic the Hedgehog (MD)

8. Phantasy Star Online ver 2

9. Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (or plain old Outrun 2SP if Sumo's disqualified!)

10. Virtua Tennis 2

11. Jet Set Radio

12. Skies of Arcadia

13. Streets of Rage 2

14. Sonic CD

15. Shenmue

16. Virtua Tennis

17. Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS)

18. Crazy Taxi

19. Crazy Taxi 2

20. Eternal Champions

21. F355 Challenge

22. Sonic Adventure 2

23. Streets of Rage

24. Ecco 2: The Tides of Time

25. Virtua Fighter 2

If we can count exclusives on Sega consoles, but not developed by Sega, then Soul Calibur (arcade releases don't invalidate console exclusivity! :P), Aladdin and Psycho Fox would be in there quite prominently.

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I did almost mention that at one point, then got sidetracked. It was...Well, it wouldn't get on many top lists apart from "futuristic squash" but it did look great. Outrigger didn't get mentioned either, though The Club did. Bit harsh on Outrigger that.

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Yeah, I'm just being facetious. Largely because I'm bitter that they sit on a whole bunch of great IPs and do bugger all with them.

Better that than taking the approach they've used for Sonic of destroying an IP through consistently inferior follow-ups, or taking the Nintendo approach of rehashing the same set of games ad nauseum and putting out one new IP every generation or so! Or at least, it was while they were still making good games :(

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What a horrible task to set, Rev. Ah well:

1. Super Monkey Ball

2. Rez

3. Sega Rally Championship

4. NiGHTS Into Dreams

5. Shenmue

I'm not going to dwell on the leftovers, it's too frustrating. These are all games I've played extensively and enjoyed immensely, and I think they all either do something unique or do something the best. It'll have to do...

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Reading this thread makes me want to pick up a Mega Drive, Saturn and Dreamcast. I love and miss the Sega of old. :)

Although thinking about this list, I realise where my love of racing and motorsport came from.

1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

2. Crazy Taxi

3. Shenmue

4. Streets of Rage 2

5. Outrun 2: Special Tours

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THIS IS WORSE THAN SOPHIE’S CHOICE

NiGHTS: Into Dreams

How is this still the evolution of the platform game, after nearly 20 years? It is, though

Shinobi

There are better scrolling action games, but not many, and none with the clarity and variety of colourful design this has.

Golden Axe

Again, there are better examples of the genre but for pure atmosphere (those charcoal sketches in the intro? Genius. Music is flawless) and evocation of a fantasy world, it's tough to beat

Sega Rally Championship

This is Sega snuggling-up to a sim, but not making it pregnant. Has the best characteristics of Sega racers (tight, memorable tracks, blue skies) with a thin skim of sim (variable terrain, force feedback) and is the best hybrid of its kind.

Phantasy Star Online

Ruined me for online experiences as its purity was a product of a country nearing the apogee of its game design arc: perfect bursts of pleasure repeated almost constantly, with a non-intrusive communication system that made it hard work to be a twat to others (hooray!) An online RPG that was actually, y'know, fun.

--------

I hate you for making me choose. Melodrama aside, I can’t leave the thread without calling-out the other works of genius that genuinely improved my life. Like the wonderful Space Harrier, which was the first game I ever completed, aged 9 or 10, and cost me £8 to do so (at 10p a play) so about £20 in today’s money. But worth every penny.

Or Burning Rangers – a game that far exceeds the capability of its host platform, but is so stuffed with concepts that (criminally) haven’t been iterated on. And no conversion or sequel, for SHAME Sega. Once the inevitable Sega collapse / IP asset strip happens, I’m hoping the new parents immediately re-invigorate this potential franchise.

Outrun 2 and Afterburner Climax were a glimpse at what Sega should have been capitalising on; the blue skies revisited, the controls perfect and the arcade fun hitting you right in the face.

It also feels wrong to not mention The House of the Dead series, which are by far my favourite light gun games, in spite of Konami and Namco often being the pioneers. I’d take the daft fun of HotD or Virtua Cop over the more technically proficient and sombre Silent Scope/Time Crisis any day though.

I personally felt Sonic was left in the dust (ironically) after 2 & 3, with NiGHTS taking ‘platforming’ in the exciting direction Yuji wanted it to go. The sequels - and Nintendo pulling away into the distance with Mario - confirm this, but props to Sonic 2 for being (arguably) the best in show for that series and forcing others to innovate.

So much excitement in these games; such an example to anyone doing an indie or Kickstarter. I really hope the faux front calling itself SEGA gets pulled down soon and their wonderful back catalogue purchased by someone who actually gives a crap. Knowing our luck though, it’ll probably be EA or Activision.

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