If you’re a Steam user, I’m sure it will have been difficult to ignore Valkyria Chronicles – what with it perched firmly at the top of the charts. Sega have even come out and stated that it’s blown all their expectations out of the water in a recent statement posted by UK trade mag and website, MCV. This makes me both happy and hopeful.
Happy that Sega have noticed that their Japanese games are capable of performing. Hopeful that they might stop dicking around with Alien Isolation and terrible Sonic games – and pay attention to the wealth of quality Japanese Sega Games that Western branches seem to have completely forgotten about.
So here we go, seven Japanese Sega games that they might want to consider giving some love to.
This would be at the forefront of many Sega fans’ minds for its great cast of characters, brilliant story and hugely satisfying combat. It’s always a talking point for the continued absence of Yakuza 5, too. This one is particularly ripe for a Steam release as the HD remake of the first two installments already exists – albeit in in Japanese for PS3 and WiiU. If you can make this for WiiU surely you can make it for Steam, right sega? The localisation already exists for these games too – having previously been released on PS2.
Bringing Steam users the first two chapters – and letting them get a taste for viciously smashing a man’s face into the corner of a desk – would surely pave the way for the rest of this fantastic series to make the transition to PC.
Once spotted on Microsoft’s Parnernet back in 2010 and labelled ‘Project Berkley II’ (Shenmue’s original codename) it’s a safe bet that Shenmue, or certainly Shenmue II was prepped and ready for an HD release. Why it never happened we’ll never know – but given the fact that it exists, perhaps a Steam release might be a good way to gauge interest for either a re-release, a remake or *holds breath* pave the way for the series to be finished.
I’ve mentioned before that perhaps Shenmue 3 should never be finished – that completing the series would somehow tarnish the game’s magic. Do I REALLY believe that? Yes. But that’s not to say I don’t want to see the game get the widespread recognition and the final chapter it so richly deserves.
PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2
Sega tweeted me a little while back – in their best PR Automaton robot voice – saying that it was still on for release. What amazes me about this game’s delay is that the English language version exists, it’s complete – and currently being enjoyed by thousands of games in… er… South East Asia. Behind a lovely IP-blocking firewall I might add, so Western gamers can’t get so much as a sniff of it. Yes, you can play the Japanese version with a translation patch, but seriously Sega – for the LOVE OF GOD, COME ON! At this rate, I’d even be happy if they gave it to Gameforge to publish – and believe me, it took some courage to say that.
SKIES OF ARCADIA
I’m putting this on here because I’m hot for anything that Rieko Kodama made.
I’m also putting it on here because it’s one of my favourite JRPGs of all time.
I’m also putting it on here because, somehow – Dreamcast games look absolutely gorgeous on PC emulators. As though their simple chunky geometry and bright, vibrant colours laugh in the face of space and time, remaining somehow ageless and beautiful.
I’m also putting this on here so that more and more gamers can experience the true horror of a ludicrous and strangely disorientating encounter rate that will gnaw at the very fabric of your humanity.
2015 is certainly going to be PS3’s final year, and given that no announcement has been made for this for Western audiences, it’s a safe bet that it will be destined never to be seen by anyone other than the most dedicated of Western Sega fans. It would also be, you know, a nice thing to do seeing as Shining fans have been shafted longer and harder than even Phantasy Star fans.
I’ve long had my eye on this for a couple of reasons.When it was originally announce I thought it was going to be like a fantasy Valkyria Chronicles – although that’s not the case. It has a real-time battle system using one character, while your teammates manipulate the tide of battle with the power of song. Seriously. The main reason I’m drawn to it though, is because it’s one of the few Sega games that understands there are colours available other than black, gray and brown.
RESONANCE OF FATE
You wait ages for an article with the word Resonance in it, and then all of a sudden two come along at once! I will admit that I never managed to finish this one. That’s not an indication of quality incidentally – more an indication of a lack of time to spend with it properly, as I recall it had some pretty mean difficulty spikes.
It’s also one of the many JRPG’s from the last generation that had some smart ideas and boasted a great deal of quality – namely a satisfying and dynamic battle system, a story that was unusually light on exposition and a system that allowed for some heavy weapon customisation. Steam remains a platform that’s not exactly blessed with JRPGs – and this is one example of the genre that doesn’t neatly sit into most gamer’s expectations of what the genre can offer.
Platinum Games took the third-person shooter template so beloved by western devs and games gave everyone a lesson on how it should be done.
When Vanquish is really rockin’, Platinum Games manage more excitement and energy in five minutes than Cliff Bleszinski managed to milk out of the whole of the Gears of War trilogy. It takes cover elements, bullet time, environment traversal and physics to a whole new level – polishing them to a shine and injecting them with both grace and imagination. It’s short, yes. A four or five hour lifespan in one play – but my goodness, does it burn so very brightly. Seeing Vanquish in a higher resolution and running in 60fps would make Steam’s current collection of shooters look very plain indeed.
Any other Sega games you’d like to see released on Steam? Let us know in the comments section below!
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