General Questions and Information Thread

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Andlabs, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I think it was a bit different for Dreamcast Magazine - there genuinely wasn't a magazine's-worth of new Dreamcast content by the end. Everyone else had jumped ship long ago.
     
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    There are a small handful of annoying magazines which didn't stick with their review numbers. Sega Pro is one - they kept re-reviewing games and sometimes came back with completely different results. Twin Cobra seems to be difficult for many magazines of the era:

    Twin Cobra/Magazine articles

    In Japan the game is called "Kyuukyoku Tiger" but someone in the 90s decided it would be better to call it either "Tiger-Heli" or "Ultimate Tiger" (or both). Sega Pro didn't bother to look at the games they were reviewing and so managed to review the same game three times in one issue. I've got the wiki averaging out the Japanese scores, but the US score has to be treated differently because... "future plans".


    MegaTech meanwhile managed to review the PAL version of Castle of Illusion three times in its first issue, awarding 94, 90 and 93, respectively:

    Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Mega Drive)/Magazine articles

    These cases are extremely rare and because I'm not always in the right mindset to fight wikicode, we're currently not supporting them very intelligently. But it does play well into the narrative - even MegaTech, which was being fronted by industry veterans Julian Rignall and Richard Leadbetter couldn't work out what the individual percentage points meant. And some magazines apparently used a random number generator.


    Today this might mean the life or death of a game studio, because Metacritic ratings are more important than readily available oxygen for many publishers.
     
  3. Xilla

    Xilla

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    I remember one magazine giving Mean Bean Machine a ridiculously high score.....like 130% or something.
     
  4. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    They basically copied Sega Power, who were the first to "mini-review every game ever". Sega Power was closely connected to Virgin Mastertronic/Sega Europe, which is why they probably had access to unreleased SMS games which were included in the first copy of issue 23. My personal opinion on this has always been that Sega Power genuinely reviewed every game that Virgin Mastertronic had in their archive, regardless of whether it actually got released or not. Then other magazines such as Sega Pro tried to copy it, but couldn't be bothered to actually review each game, so probably slightly changed the Sega Power reviews, and then just completely made up most of the import reviews. That's why we get the same Japanese import game reviewed three times under three different names. No-one could read Japanese, so different importers would call the same game different names. Magazines relied on importers, so didn't actually realise that lists of differently named games were really the same game.
     
  5. Pirate Dragon

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    It just looks like an obvious joke (if you're referring to the screenshot caption), but if you're referring to the main article, then I'm not sure what they're making up (the final game was 24Mb)
     
  6. Xilla

    Xilla

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    I figured that out in 1993.

    Just found it amusing to see again, it had gotten to the point I thought I'd imagined it.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    A few months ago I was rounding up press asset discs, including art for the not-so-great Johnny Bazookatone.

    I think it's fair to say they hadn't mastered 3D modelling yet:
    https://segaretro.org/File:GameProPressDisc19_JohnnyBazookatone_JB_RUN.png

    But that's alright - there's no way that a professional publisher like US Gold would ever allow such obvious rendering errors to be printed, and magazines would spot it too, surely

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:SSM_UK_04.pdf&page=74

    oh.


    It's amazing what we put up with back in the day, like this 4 minute long introduction sequence which is little more than a glorified animation test reel. That theme song has been stuck in my head for nearly 25 years.
     
  8. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    These aren't really Wiki quality pics, but as Sonic once said "it's better than nothing"
    106030129_1274346456243354_8793650620740411833_n.jpg 106248119_276477846898338_1071121740229073653_n.jpg 106222680_298620791275524_5139812539485904018_n.jpg 106119566_214496069621594_6253668910328101697_n.jpg 106092465_3212338898873636_6142765540372323288_n.jpg 106296988_302935274185767_3245886985843343946_n.jpg

    If anyone might be interested to pitch in to send some money over to get this shipped to someone who could properly scan it, I might be able to arrange that if there's enough interest.
     
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    This was requested - you can now add review scores for Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide. It's a hacky solution - most of my solutions are.

    I've been through the early Mega Drive library 6 or 7 times now (re-)adding reviews so I'm in no rush to go through this one. No "1943", "Phantasy Soldier 3" or "Tora! Tora! Tora!" in this one - real games only. Mostly.
     
  11. Pirate Dragon

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    Not obscure enough ... Canadian model MK-4121-22

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This has been sat on my HDD for 3 years, amongst literally hundreds of thousands of messily saved unorganised pictures. I'm surprised that I remembered it, and then found it so quickly.

    Something else for me to edit and add over the weekend.

    One day (or year) I'll get the motivation to actually organise and rediscover 10+ years of obscure Sega pics.

    Edit: As I save serial numbers, an estimate to production numbers:

    HLP-0001 (Japanese Linguaphone) ~200
    MK-4121-07 (PAL Asian) ~5,000
    MK-4121-22 (Canada) ~15,000
    MK-4121-50 (PAL) ~20,000
    MK-4121 (US) ~90,000

    Total: ~130,000

    Edit 2:

    Even more obscure Canadian X-Eye, same model number, but different sticker and serial numbers, only ~1,500 of these manufactured;

    [​IMG]

    Note the French Electric shock warning ... only later serial numbers have that.

    And Canadian Sega CD 2, but they are just mixed in with the US serial numbers, so difficult to know exactly how many were produced;

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Metacritic has a middling "mixed or average reviews" region when it comes to applying numbers to things. I don't much care for this - if a game is getting really mixed opinions, it's probably doing something strange that makes it difficult to review, or there's an interesting story going on there.

    For example, Art Alive! will score poorly as a "game" but relatively fine as a piece of "software". Review scores are interesting guide for determining how games were received and by extension, determining trends or working out rough sales figures, but a mixed score is a lot less useful. I plan to do something about this some day.


    A reason why this might matter - Ultimate Soccer for the Master System. Decently reviewed football game... by everyone except the EMAP publications.

    EMAP hated this game. 12% said CVG, 18% said Sega Magazine. Mean Machines Sega were more generous with 44%, but when everyone else was scoring 70-90%, it feels like there was a falling out with Sega and/or Rage Software. Unless the game is garbage (although it doesn't look terrible?).


    This sort of thing did happen. Team 17 tried to sue Amiga Power once over bad review scores.
     
  13. Pirate Dragon

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    To play devil's advocate ... it could also be the other way. UK devs seem to get overly-generous scores from UK magazines. Maybe EMAP refused to play ball? If we want to look deeper into that then maybe we could look at French developed games and French review scores, do they out-perform the average? An unhealthy relationship between review scores and game access seems to have existed since time immemorial, so it might be interesting to see if a game was universally considered average, or genuinely had "mixed" reviews.

    Still, I'm not sure that it would be easy to give a fair assessment to a 1993 8-bit sports game in this day and age .... they really don't age well, and soccer games seem to age especially poorly.

    As for the infamous Team 17 incident ... the more things change, the more they stay the same ...

    After the almost universally acclaimed reviews of The Last of Us 2, Sony weren't happy that a couple of reviewers dared to minorly critisize their game;

    So yeah, reviews based off of "review copies" are pretty dodgy, will they get access to the next game if they critisise it too much? And if they lose access to the next game, will they overly critisise that game in retaliation, as in the Team 17 situation?

    To be honest, the only genuine reviews we ever got were import reviews where no publishers could ever complain. That would be another intersting metric to compare.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Very early days and not very reliable given the lack of data but

    Template:Test3

    We can break down the ratings of individual games. It doesn't suggest the French give their own publishers higher marks yet but... it could do... one day.
     
  15. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Hey guys, so there indeed was a Genesis/Mega Drive version of Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse in the works:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Turns out the SEGA Channel wasn't lying. :V

    Source: Mega Force (France) #25 and Mega Force (Spain) #23 (same thing, different language)
    They mention it was difficult for them to get the screenshots and, indeed, other magazines seem to either just mention it or include an SNES screen.

    Supposedly, it was announced/shown at Winter CES 1994... which means that, sadly, it's not likely that any magazines ever had such a prototype in their possession. :(
     
  16. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    So I've been working on depopulating this Sega Versus Billboard unit for weeks now and I'm finally done. I plan on adding these to a Sega Retro wiki page, along with all the parts used so maybe someone out there can use that info to repair these things in the wild. Not like Japanese arcade operators care tho.

    VS-BILLBOARD-FONT.jpg VS-BILLBOARD-BACK.jpg
     
  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Xbox Retro

    [​IMG]

    So Microsoft used to host annual "X0" events. I fear it might be the sort of thing you'd only know about if you were a die-hard Xbox fan - there's been seven of these all over the world, and while it's mainly been used to announce Microsoft's plans, third-parties (such as Sega) turned up with announcements too.

    Adding the Sega related things from X03, but if you ever wanted official, high resolution images of Xbox-related things, here's a source.

    Sega GT Online was announced at that event, though the disc has multi-platform things too.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    You weren't kidding about Maverick Magazines running publications into the ground.


    Case 1: Mega
    https://archive.org/details/mega-37/mode/2up
    Mega was reduced to printing about 4-5 game reviews a month. This last issue had more, but the games weren't new.

    32 pages. £2.50 pls.

    Case 2: MegaTech
    https://archive.org/details/megatech-43/mode/2up
    MegaTech, the original Mega Drive-only magazine, resorted to printing "specials" every month, flip-flopping between old game reviews and strategy guides. Strategy guides for old games. In fact a big chunk of this one covers The Secret of Monkey Island, a nearly three-year-old Mega-CD game that wasn't even sold in the UK.

    32 pages. £2.50 pls.


    Mean Machines Sega, meanwhile, were fully stocked with new games, were at least 100 pages long, and only cost £2.25 during this period. Or you could spend a whole 20p more for the Official Sega Magazine, also 100 pages (and that one had Richard Leadbetter in it).

    What a choice.
     
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Case 3: Sega Zone (UK)
    https://archive.org/details/sega-zone-23/mode/2up
    Sega Zone was bought and killed off pretty quickly by Maverick and didn't quite sink to the same lows as the above... except for this last issue. 8 pages, only half of which had content... and the content was old. £2.50 pls.

    I'm doubting this was ever sold at retail - it would have been to satisfy the subscription model. "We promised you x issues, we didn't promise they'd be big issues".


    It's 25 years too late and the company was dead within a couple of years, but thanks to the internet, we will never forget.
     
  20. Pirate Dragon

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    Yeah, I don't think that would have gone down well with retailers, just a way to restrict subscription refunds. Those later Saturn+ issues seem ludicrously priced at £3.95 for 32 pages, although at least they have new content. That would also suggest these were just intended for subscribers who subscribed when the magazine was £3.95 for 116 pages.

    For fun try reading the letters pages in Mega Power after they reduced the page count to 32. To the editor's credit he continued to publish ranting letters each month, apologizes a lot, and says he doesn't make those decisions and just does what he's told. Clearly he wasn't very happy with the situation either. Someone also complained about the same reviewer scoring Keio Flying Squadron differently in Sega Pro and Mega Power, the editor responded that at least it proves that the reviews were different. Mega Power subscribers were at least offered to have their subscription changed to Sega Pro CD, and subscribers of both got extra issues when the demo discs were the same, so Paragon were nowhere near the level of Maverick.