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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    Turns out the footage I posted was from Yokohama Hakurankai (or YES '89 as I'm going to call it from now on), so that was a bit anti-climactic.

    This particular event was widely covered by the Japanese press so I can point out vaguely where it was in aerial photos:
    [​IMG]
    This unassuming building behind the... giant ice cream cone.

    The whole area has since been redeveloped - here's vaguely where the spot was but honestly it's hard to tell. There's still a ferris wheel though... on a different bit of reclaimed land.


    After that, Sega Super Circuit moved(?) to Sega World Tokyo Roof which I've posted before. Same layout, but six cars instead of five. This may have introduced the electronic scoreboard, but there aren't super clear photos of anything (Sega Retro were pioneers at pointing out this event even existed, so I'm not expecting details any time soon).

    There's also talk of a version seen in a shopping centre - not sure what the story is there.


    I was going to point out how flimsy the video signal was, given that it seemed to break up almost constantly, but then I remembered, this was the late 1980s.

    This is Ayrton Senna's onboard camera while driving around Monaco in 1990. It's probably the same technology, and compared to any modern standards, it's atrocious, breaking up whenever there's a bump in the road. When drivers entered the tunnel, the system didn't work at all!

    So this is Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsports, with cutting-edge technology and tons of money (in Monaco no less), and even it couldn't solve the problem. In fact from the looks of things, they didn't solve the tunnel issue until a decade later.
     
  2. Xilla

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    IIRC in Formula 1 the on-board camera feed required a constant signal to the TV helicopter flying over the track, hence the difficulties you'd often see at Monaco. The bandwidth was also restricted so only 3 or 4 cameras could be "switched on" at any time (something that infamously came up in the aftermath of Senna's fatal accident).
     
  3. Black Squirrel

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    Questionable projects #423843290:

    Template:StupidGraphRatings

    Sega Retro doesn't have any nice extensions for drawing graphs. I thought I might be able to build some with a bunch of HTML div tags... and I can! But it looks terrible!

    By default that page is showing a graph of review scores against dates (we can actually use) for Disney's Aladdin, just without any annotations. Edit the page and you can play with some of the values to get different results.

    This isn't new data (see: Disney's Aladdin/Reception) but by presenting it as a scatter graph, it's easier to spot outliers. Aladdin has the most stored review scores which is why I chose it, but it was mainly to confirm a theory I had about games like Pit-Fighter - that games loved in 1991 could be hated in 2021. Have opinions really changed so radically?


    And the answer is... probably not. In Pit-Fighter's case, the initial reception was mixed and as most games are reviewed close to release, there's not a long enough spread of data to see trends. For the most part, all this exercise is proving is that the gaming press were fans of random number generators - genuinely good games get decent marks, but everything else is all over the place. Important to note, but not really all that interesting.

    Still would like real graphs though. This implementation is really stupid.
     
  4. Black Squirrel

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    Sega Retro's "On This Day" tells me things.

    Orbi, that nature-themed joint venture between Sega and the BBC. Turns out they opened more venues and the Japanese ones have since closed.

    [​IMG]
    Also they started selling frog burgers.
     
  5. Black Squirrel

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    Things that exist(ed) - Reactive:


    Barely documented UK TV show that aired during the CBBC programming block for a few weeks in 1995. Phone in, play a video game with the numbers on the handset.

    Like Clockwork Knight and Daytona USA.


    I don't remember this at all, and amusingly I'm not sure it would work today. There's too much delay with digital signals and flat panels - when it was all analogue... there was probably still too much delay, but some people managed!

    This may count as one of the very first phone-based driving games where you steer with 4 and 6. I'm not sure how far you can go back before contemporary landline phones won't work on the network, but theoretically you could have played Daytona on a phone from the 1890s.

    Although you'd need a television from at least 1936 (Marconi type-702 was the first commercial TV to go on sale in the UK) to actually see it.
     
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  6. Black Squirrel

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    COVID-19 has taken the unofficial face of The Revenge of Shinobi, Sonny Chiba:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-58279397

    [​IMG]#

    One of the many... "inspirations" for the game was 1981 Japanese television series, Kage no Gundan. Later releases of the game have changed the face, but it took them 20 years. He was later the swordsmith in Kill Bill.

    Nevermind the fact Joe Musashi dresses in white and looks nothing like this.
     
  7. Pirate Dragon

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    Soldier of Fortune for Dreamcast was supposed to have released 01.08.17 in the UK, but got recalled due to not having the BBFC 18 certificate printed on it. Still, enough slipped through for it to make #2 in that week's ELSPA charts, before disappearing the following week and not returning until it re-entered at #1 following it's revised release date of 01.09.14. Looking on Ebay UK ~1/7 copies don't have the BBFC certificate on the front cover or disc. None of them show the spine, so unclear whether or not the certificate was originally printed there.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  9. Pirate Dragon

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    I don't know whether to consider the BBFC version the UK version, and non-BBFC version the EU version. If they reprinted it they may well have sold the BBFC version in Europe too.

    Here's another one ... 4 Wheel Thunder was due out in the UK on 00.06.09, but got recalled due to having the wrong barcode. They only seem to have slapped a sticker over it (which we have on the wiki), and it did release the next week 00.06.16. The initial release didn't make the ELSPA Dreamcast top 20, but that's possibly due to it not getting recorded correctly in Chart-Track's system due to the wrong barcode. It made #7 the following week.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Black Squirrel

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    I'd be tempted to class them both as EU - this auction was in France and they both have multiple languages and rating systems.

    There's not enough copies on ebay to confirm it either way, but I think it's a fair bet that it wasn't intended to get a UK-only box.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

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  12. Pirate Dragon

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    Interesting. NRJ is a French radio station. They seem to have released quite a few "Hits" compilation CDs like "Now" in the UK. Also some VHS. Seems they tried to expand into video games like Telstar in the UK. I can't immediately find any others for any platform though.
     
  13. Black Squirrel

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    Night Striker is a 1989 Taito arcade game that nobody seems to care about. It's Space Harrier with branching paths, and looks like this:


    in 1993 it was brough to the Mega-CD in Japan. And they made a fascinating choice to get it there:


    half the size of all the graphics, then scale up, resulting in a blocky, incoherent mess.


    How do you judge a game like this? Visuals have taken a hit, but the port is surprisingly accurate and there's an arranged CD soundtrack. It is, for all intents and purposes, Night Striker in the home - you'd have to wait until 1995 until it was tried again on the PlayStation, and 1996 until it was done properly on the Saturn.

    Night Striker/Reception
    UK critics hated this game, and it currently stands as one of the system's worst. But the Japanese press was a lot more forgiving and US-based GameFan loved the thing - obviously there was some degree of tolerance over the graphics, as there curiously would have been back when arcade games were being actively ported to the ZX Spectrum just a few months earlier.

    We don't have a huge amount of reviews here, but it's the first case I've seen of a genuine regional divide... which could have stopped the game from seeing a wider release. In fact it's never been officially released outside of Japan for any platform. Nobody cares about Night Striker.
     
  14. Black Squirrel

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    I've been spending the last few weeks converting the "old" rating system to the "new" one (i.e. finding reviews in actual magazine scans and adding them to a game's "Magazine articles" sub-page).

    Sega Retro:Todo/Ratings

    ...and I've pretty much reached a dead end. These are all remaining "old" reviews - most are referencing magazines we don't have (GamesMaster, Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, a few Game Players, etc.) - these numbers aren't publicly viewable at the moment, but it would be handy if we had scans and/or someone to verify them, and move things to the new system accordingly.


    Now

    because server performance isn't great, and I haven't got a working NEC Retro to fall back on, I'm considering whoring out my sysop services (within reason) in the short term to the most attractive bidder. Yes there's a list of things that can be done, but a lot of it is tedious (hence why it's on a to-do list and not "done"), so Retro, what would you like me to do? Is there any specific Sonic or Sega-related question you want answering, or something you want covered in more detail? Something brand new and lovely that we're not doing right now? Something we're doing badly that desperately needs improving?

    Disclaimer: if something I consider more interesting turns up, that will get priority. I also won't do things if it's a massive faff and I hate it (e.g. classic Macintosh emulation... unless it's a really good idea).
     
  15. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    To be honest, the only thing we aren't doing right now that I think we should be is just simply having every known proto for our games be mirrored on our wikis.

    We have a bunch of pages of released/unreleased games with protos and no way of actually knowing were a dump is.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

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    That's more of an "archival" issue than a documentation" one, and probably needs to be more community driven since a lot of these dumps are confusing and mislabled.

    I mean just to take a few I have on this PC right now:

    Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Pico) (Prototype - Jul 19, 1996, 01.27) (hidden-palace.org).bin
    Sonic_2_Auto_Demo_Prototype_(1991-12-05)_Tmr_Sega_CB06_FFFF_v0.00_(JUE)_(!)_(Orengefox).gg
    Soulstar-X-32X-prototype-40megabytes.bin.bin
    Space Harrier (32X) (Prototype - Sep 20, 1994) (hidden-palace.org).bin
    StoneProtectors...733A.bin
    Swamp Thing Proto.gen
    Time Trax (prototype) [x!].bin
    Twisted Flipper (Beta).bin
    virtua_hamster-(32X)-(prototype)[!]-ss.bin

    Making unilateral decisions on this might not go down so well.
     
  17. Xilla

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  18. Pirate Dragon

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    That's probably from before May 1992 as it's missing Super Nintendo which released in April. Cut-off was 0.5%, which Super Nintendo should easily have made as it had 10 / 76 (one chart is incomplete) positions in the weekly Top 20 charts for weeks 18-21 1992, which was considered as the month of May according to the ISO retail calender used by ELSPA/Gallup. I'm guessing that came from a magazine with a May cover date which was published in April or late March, written earlier with data that already had a built in delay. So probably from February or March. They also published the weekly numbers in CTW, so unclear if these are weekly or monthly figures. Nintendo figures are probably a bit understated as Gallup's tracking was more weighted towards independent stores until July 1994 when they revamped their panel to include more national chains, increasing their coverage to 75%. Nintendo's distributor had a lot of restrictions on independent stores, such as only allowing one per area, making it difficult for independents to stock Nintendo games. Sega was a lot more open in that regard.

    Here's the numbers for week ending 93.01.30, and previous 3 weeks. Unfortunately it's out of focus, but you can roughly make it out;

    [​IMG]

    SEGA MEGADRIVE [~25%?]
    COMMODORE AMIGA [~17%?]
    SUPER NINTENDO [~8%?]
    NINTENDO GAMEBOY [~8%?]
    SEGA 8BIT (SMS) [~8%?]
    COMMODORE 64 [~7%?]
    SEGA GAMEGEAR [~6%?]
    PC COMPATIBLE [~5%?]
    NINTENDO CONSOLE (NES) [~4%?]
    ATARI ST [~3%?]
    SPECTRUM [~2%?]
    AMSTRAD (CPC) [~1%?]

    And here's the market shares for March and September 1994, note that they're not like for like as the panel changed from July;

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Black Squirrel

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    One day the wiki will have fancy tables and charts for this stuff.

    One day.
     
  20. Pirate Dragon

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    The article was from issue 1 of CPC Attack published May 7th, so probably written in April, which would most likely mean March figures if it was from the monthly report, but it doesn't specify if the figures were monthly or weekly.