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Influencial games on Sega hardware?

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Deathscythe, Feb 19, 2022.

  1. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    So I've been trying to compose a list of games that debuted on Sega hardware that helped make an impact on the industry. I've made a list of what I can think of so far, and I'd love to hear feedback from the rest of you. Let me know what you know should be added, or even taken off:

    Arcade:
    - The Fonz (early behind the car game)
    - Hang-On (Sega's first Taiken game)
    - House of the Dead (helped revive Zombie media)
    - Outrun (multiple paths and let you choose your own soundtrack)
    - Sega Rally Championship (among the first rally racers)
    - Turbo (Early 3rd person behind the car prespective racer)
    - Virtua Cop (first major 3D light gun game)
    - Virtua Fighter (first major 3D fighting game)
    - Virtua Racing (first major 3D racing game)
    - Virtua Striker (first major 3D football game)
    - Virtual-On (helped jump start the arena fighter)
    - Zaxxon (first isometric game)

    Master System:
    - Phantasy Star (Established RPGs where are given names, personalities, and stories)

    Mega Drive:
    - EA Sports (pretty much started this brand)
    - Mortal Kombat (Mega Drive port was responsible for ESRB)
    - Sonic the Hedgehog (first major attitude mascot)
    - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (first game to launch the same day worldwide)

    Mega CD:
    - Night Trap (also helped start ESRB)

    Sega Saturn:
    - Clockwork Knight (early 2.5D platformer)
    - Die Hard Arcade (early 3D beat em up, introduced quick time events)
    - Sakura Taisen (influenced the Visual Novel genre with its LIPS system)
    - Tomb Raider (among one of the first 3rd person action games)

    Sega Dreamcast:
    - Jet Set Radio (early use of cel-shading graphics)
    - Phantasy Star Online (first online console RPG)
    - Sonic Adventure 2 (helped bring on foot rail grinding to platformers)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
  2. Blue Spikeball

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    Although it was certainly a pioneer, Phantasy Star was far from the second RPG. You could call it one of the earliest Japanese RPGs at most. G̶r̶a̶n̶d̶i̶a̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶R̶P̶G̶s̶ ̶e̶i̶t̶h̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶w̶e̶'̶v̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶s̶i̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶8̶0̶s̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶s̶t̶.̶ Ditto for open world games.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  3. kitsunebi

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    I don't think it was suggested that Grandia was an action RPG. It's still turn-based, but there aren't separate rounds of combat - every character and enemy has a timer constantly running (faster or slower based on their stats) to allow them to act. Faster characters may get two turns per a slower character's one turn.
    I agree that Phantasy Star's historical importance is mostly only significant if you're strictly looking at Japanese console RPGs (which owe almost all of their early mechanics to previous computer RPGs.)
     
  4. Blue Spikeball

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    Derp, had a brain fart. I misread "one of first RPGs not to use turn-based combat" as referring to action combat and replied without even looking at the title of the game mentioned, which was indeed turn-based. My bad. Thanks for the correction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  5. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    Okay I'll take out Phantasy Star.

    I'll hav to make an arcade list when I've got the time. Some games I've considered are Outrun, Sega Rally, Virtua Cop, Virtua Striker, Virtua Fighter and Virtual-On.

    As far as Crazy Taxi goes. There were quite a few CT clones at the time, but I may take it out depending on the feedback.
     
  6. kitsunebi

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    To be fair to Phantasy Star, it WAS fairly pioneering as a console RPG. Its mechanics were nothing new if computer RPGs are taken into account, but it did a lot of things which were new for console RPGs. The scrolling 3D dungeons, sci-fi elements, and female protagonist were firsts for console RPGs (granted, there weren't too many others at the time.)

    But if I had to pick the one element I think was the most influential, I'd say it was the fact that your party of characters was given distinct names, personalities, and stories (very limited, but still...) This is a big change from the generic hero of Dragon Quest or the more customizable user-created characters of computer RPGs. Branching away from actual free-form role-playing in favor of "railroaded" scripted stories is one of the things that truly sets the console RPG apart from its computer game forebears, and Phantasy Star was the first to do that (that I'm aware of).
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  7. Vanishing Vision

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    I want to mention one for the arcade game list that I think isn't talked about very much. Turbo (1981) is possibly the earliest* example of a third-person "behind the car" perspective in a driving game, predating Pole Position by a year. Also likely the first driving game to feature changing roadside scenery, time of day, and weather conditions.


    *1976's The Fonz (Ayyyy), also by Sega, may be considered an earlier attempt at a "behind the car" (er, bike) driving game, as well as an early attempt at the kind of scaling that would be used in games like the aforementioned Turbo, Hang-On, and Out Run.
     
  8. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    Open-world games had been around for about 15 years at this point. Elite, Jet Set Willy, Knight Lore, Spindizzy, Turbo Esprit, Mizzurna Falls, Driver, and the original GTA had all done their rounds.

    It's also predated by Shenmue which is not only a better example of an open world game, but is notable for having full voices for every NPC in the game where each has their own daily schedule, day/night cycle, weather effects, minigames and so on. It also popularised, and named, QTEs.

    OutRun definitely deserves some attention too, I don't know of many earlier games that let you choose the soundtrack and the route you took. The sit-down cabinet was also fully hydraulic which was unique at the time.

    Zaxxon was the first isometric game afaik, and it fully utilises all three dimensions; it was also the first game to be advertised on TV.
     
  9. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    So I took off Crazy Taxi and added your suggestions. Just one caveat:

    Hmm but Pokemon Gold had their own daily schedule, day/night cycle, weather effects, minigames and so on. QTE is a good point but Die Hard Arcade had them?
     
  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    But was it "influential"? Because I can't think of any isometric shooters that aren't Zaxxon or clones of Zaxxon (or Future Spy... also by Sega) ;)


    I think the influential games have already been mentioned - OutRun, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter (and maybe 2 and 3), Sonic 1. I'm not super convinced that the original Phantasy Star changed much, but Phantasy Star Online could have - Japanese MMORPGs isn't really something I know much about, but PSO2 is still going, and I can't think of any significant ones before PSO1.

    Mortal Kombat is a thing, but I'd argue the arcade version was more important than the home consoles. Madden NFL would have been much less of a thing were it not for Sega, though I'm not totally sure I could say the same about FIFA - it had its big start on the Mega Drive for sure, but when it launched for Christmas 1993, it was directly competing with Sensible Soccer, i.e. the market already wanted football games. The concept of yearly updates is something EA popularised on Sega systems.

    Print Club was probably a big deal if you want to learn about that.


    But as far as RPGs go... I mean, there are tons. Your traditional turn-based RPG was in place by the early 1980s, while the "action RPG" made its name in the mid-1980s. Zelda is the most famous action RPG, which I believe owes its heritage to Dragon Slayer and Hydlide. Sega weren't in that space at all.
     
  11. Overlord

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    As a big fan of Pokemon Gold: the NPCs in Gold do not even begin to compare to the ones in Shenmue. Gold's NPCs had maybe two things they did, with the vast majority having one. Shenmue's have far more than that.
     
  12. Blue Spikeball

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    Doesn't matter, NPC schedules have been a thing since at least 1988 with Ultima V.
     
  13. Zephyr

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    It seems to have been an influence on Monster Hunter, which is a pretty big IP now:
     
  14. Black Squirrel

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    I think the issue with Shenmue is that yes, if you take the individual bits out and compare them to games which came before, then you will find it does nothing new. Except maybe forklift truck racing.

    But it's the sticking it together to create a fully cohesive world that made it special. There was nothing on the market at the time that had this much "production" put into one disc four discs. Even Sega's own Yakuza series doesn't voice all the NPCs*, and we're more than 20 years down the line, and while it's very much in the same "you had to be there to understand" camp as Sonic Adventure, it's still quite the big thing.

    But influential it is not. It should have been, and lord knows it would have been throughout Sega (see again: Yakuza), but I don't see any non-Sega games following in its footsteps. GTA III, which would have been developed entirely separately, got the whole "let's build a 3D open world" thing into the public consciousness. If it had been influential, the US would have seen the second game on Dreamcast, and you wouldn't have to wait decades for the third.



    *although it absolutely should and the excuses stop working when there's an English voice track in newer games too (which tbh is wasted space as far as I'm concerned).
     
  15. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    Regarding Mortal Kombat, it is true that the game made its impact in the arcade. However, the Mega Drive port was one of the reason why ESRB rating was made in the US, so I included it. I may take it off, but Night Trap is definitly staying.

    As for EA Sports, I included it because of this quote from Trip Hawkins:

    But the Genesis did come along, and because the risky reverse-engineering strategy paid off, it did catapult EA forward, especially for EA Sports.

    I guess we could change it to just Madden instead of EA Sports. Though I hear it was actually Joe Montana Football that set the path for that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  16. ashthedragon

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    Grandia was not the first RPG with a timer bar to turn attack, Chrono Trigger was.

    Maybe it is not as influential, but Holosseum and Time Traveller were the first holographic arcade games. The technology has not been stablished, but it is very similar to Holograms used in concerts like Vocaloid and such today.

    Sonic 2 was also the first game to launch worldwide, at the same day. That is a commmon practice today.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  17. Pirate Dragon

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    I'll just say that FIFA completely destroyed Sensible when it released on Mega Drive in the UK in 1993, the only saviour for Sensible was that FIFA completely sold out in the pre-Christmas week and didn't get restocked until February, which meant that anyone wanting to buy FIFA for their kids had to settle for Sensible. After it restocked it continued to dominate the charts right through until FIFA '95 released. FIFA MD was massive. It had a more realistic isometric view, compared to Sensible's overhead vertical view, which was a pretty old UK/EU interpretation of sports games. I actually wonder why they went with vertical, TV screen dimensions were more suited to a horizontal game. But yeah, soccer games were super old, they can be dated back to pong machines, but FIFA took it to another level, I'd say that FIFA was massively influential in sports games.
     
  18. Deathscythe

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    Okay Grandia removed and Sonic 2 added.

    How about Sakura Wars? I see it listed as influencial but I'm not a Visual Novel expert so I have no idea what games were influenced by it. I've heard Persona was, which is ironic since that is now a Sega game.
     
  19. Pirate Dragon

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    Yeah, I remember when Holosseum came out, it was an expensive novelty (you did get crowds of people trying to watch you play, can't remember if that actually worked or not from their point of view), those machines disappeared nearly as soon as they arrived. They were clearly not profitable as Sega abandoned it not long after, and AFAIK no other arcade manufacturers took it up. About the same time VR machines started to show up in the big arcades, they were about the same price as Holosseum (~£2 if my memory is right, which was quite a lot for a kid at the time, but it was a long time ago, so my memory could be wrong). I remember playing one of those VR games, which was a mecha or tank game, it was pretty cool for the short amount of time that I played it, the technology was ahead of it's time, but yeah, comparing Holosseum to the VR games at the time is like comparing an FMV Mega CD game to a Core Design Mega CD game.

    Holoseum and Time Traveller are basically no different than early 80s laserdisc games.

    Edit: I just remembered that those were actually laserdisc games (some of the last), so maybe they were influential as the death knell to laserdisc games in the arcade. Just a shame that the western home console market thought that there was still an interest in FMV games.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2022
  20. BlueSkiesAM2

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    I’m very skeptical in Sega’s decision to devote so many resources to English VOs in Yakuza/Judgement, but hopefully they have some strong data supporting its inclusion. I think a strong draw of the series for non-Japanese was its exotic nature, and I don’t know if the gameplay has a wide enough appeal to attract those who would otherwise be turned off by the JP VO. I do notice many people recommending 7 on Reddit’s JRPG sub so maybe it really did make a difference, but I really think the money could probably be spent better elsewhere.

    Back to influential Sega titles… I think Hang On deserves a mention for arcade games. It was the first “Taikan” game (where the interface is a physical representation of the gameplay) and that is definitely something other companies tried to replicate down the line.