Retrospective: Virtua Tennis 3

Virtua Tennis 3art

The last few years have seen developers of sports games become increasingly obsessed with the notion of realism. Despite the annual FIFA game outselling nearest rival Pro Evolution Soccer every year, licence-guzzling giant EA talks openly about trying to emulate the realism that its closest rival offers. So it’s ironic that Virtua Tennis 3 –… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Sega Dreamcast

Dreamcast

On the 21 May 1998, Japanese salarymen opened their newspapers to find a full-page advertisement showing a picture of a battlefield littered with the bodies of samurai. Overlaid on to the gruesome scene was the text: “Has Sega been defeated for good?” To most onlookers, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes’. Following a triplet of… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Sega Mega Drive

Mega Drive

Sega is nothing. Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi would regret those words – an off-hand remark given to a Japanese journalist – when, four years after its debut, the Sega Mega Drive recorded sales of 7.5 million systems in the US, outselling Nintendo’s Super Nintendo by a factor of 2:1. For Sega’s staff, Yamauchi’s pronouncement acted… Continue reading

A history of videogame hardware: Sega Master System

master system

With the Famicom achieving huge profits in the home video game market, Sega was just one of a number of companies eager to try its hand at launching an alternative, and wrestling some of Nintendo’s 90 per cent market share back. The company established an internal division, which was known as Sega Away Team, headed… Continue reading

Retrospective: Virtua Fighter 5

VF5

This is what people mean when they talk about balance. The hero and saviour of the Japanese arcade scene, Virtua Fighter 5 is the latest in a long line of thoughtful, measured and complex fighting games from Sega’s AM2 division. Long considered the thinking man’s scrapper, idle comparisons to high-speed chess are nonetheless remarkably accurate…. Continue reading

20 years after launch, what can Sega’s 32X teach today’s console giants?

mega drive mega cd 32x

Edge 218’s Kinect cover asked of the device: “The catalyst for a new era in gaming, or a 32X for 2010?” The parallels between the Kinect and Sega’s 32X might not seem immediately obvious, but as the Xbox One slowly recovers from its difficult launch they keep presenting themselves. In 1994, Sega was a runaway… Continue reading

How Creative Assembly has survived 14 years on the industry battlefield – and is still thriving

Creative Assembly

There’s a rule in warfare, one so obvious that Sun Tzu didn’t even bother jotting it down, that having a really big cannon earns you a certain degree of respect. Governments may rise and fall, monarchs will be born, wave at people for a bit and then lose their heads, but an army with massive… Continue reading

Yakuza: Ishin on PS4 is historical in both content and execution

Yakuza- Ishin

Yakuza Studio head Toshihiro Nagoshi warned us at last year’s Tokyo Game Show that Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin, the latest period drama spinoff from what western players know as the Yakuza series, would take little advantage of Sony’s new console because it was being made for PS3 as well. “PS4 is cheaper than hardware used… Continue reading

Rhythm action: meet the Japanese developers who make music when they’re not making games

The Electric Bends

Dylan Cuthbert remembers his first visit to Sony, where an engineer told him she was practising tuba for a company brass band event. “I recall Shigeru Miyamoto has a yearly event with his cohorts at Nintendo, too,” says the Q-Games founder. “They all have to play a live piece of music; Miyamoto plays guitar and… Continue reading

The making of Shenmue: Yu Suzuki on the cult classic’s genesis, development – and its future

Shenmue

Surprising precisely no-one, the first audience question asked at Yu Suzuki’s captivating and revealing Shenmue postmortem was about Shenmue III. Suzuki held the same line he’s held since the request was first made: “I sure want to make it. Of course I want to make it. If I get the right opportunity…” Suzuki isn’t working… Continue reading