Influencial games on Sega hardware?

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

  1. Overlord

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    Might be less the whole "censored" aspect as "the NES sold fuck-all here", if we're honest. Yes, Contra was on other things but NES is easily its biggest platform.
     
  2. Pirate Dragon

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    NES actually sold OK in the UK, 1m+, not that much less than SMS in the end. The big difference was mainly pre-Mega Drive, 210k SMS through 1989 vs a few tens of thousands for NES. NES really took off holidays 1990 with the Turtles pack, but UK mags had largely moved on to Mega Drive by then, so the 8-bit console market didn't get reported on too much post Mega Drive. 8-bit consoles actually sold the vast majority of their numbers in the 90s, so the 1980s market shares are a bit misleading of overall sales.

    Edit: UK Virgin Mastertronic advert from 1990 ... unlike the US it was quite unusual to directly attack the opposition like this in the UK;

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
  3. kitsunebi

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    Definitely not in 2K or 2K1 (the only ones I owned.)
    Not gonna claim to be the authority on what game had it first, as I've never played a Madden title in my life, but it seems that 2K5 was the first of Visual Concept's series to feature it (before Madden got exclusive NFL rights the year after and began their long-standing monopoly of the sport.)


    Yeah, I saw a quote from the UK's Ace Magazine about Gryzor (the name of the arcade game in the UK) which said "In the United Kingdom, Gryzor was a blockbuster hit in the arcades and the home computer versions topped the Gallup charts." But I sort of assumed that Probtector (the UK's NES version) wouldn't have been a hot for the reason you state.

    Still, unless this list is supposed to be "games influential in the UK," I think is Contra still easily the most important of the early run-and-guns.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
  4. Deathscythe

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    Feels like Sonic 1 was what put console gaming on the map in the UK. I remember Master System living most of its life as as budget Mega Drive.

    Yeah it is 2k5 that had it. Which is a Sega game with staying power, but not one that debuted on Sega hardware.
     
  5. kitsunebi

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    I've heard that Ninja Turtles/Hero Turtles are what finally put the NES on the map in the UK in late 1990. I've got to assume this ad with the picture of a turtle and the line "After all, a turtle is just for Christmas but a Sega Master System Plus is for life" is in direct response to the TMNT NES game released in the UK in August that year.

    This is a quote from Nintendo's distributor in the UK at the time:
    "Against Nintendo of America’s wishes we bundled the Nintendo Entertainment System with Konami’s TNHT and created the Mutant Machine. Sales soared 2,000 per cent in the Christmas of 1990 and Nintendo was established successfully in the UK market."

    EDIT: Oh wait, you already said all this. How did I miss that? LOL
     
  6. Deathscythe

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    I guess we could add Sonic 1 helping put Mega Drive (and consoles in general) on the map in the UK as part of its influence?
     
  7. Black Squirrel

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    There's a big regional divide with the Mega Drive - Contra Hard Corps might have sold really well in the US, but it wasn't talked about much here (even as Probotector). Same with Castlevania and Mega Man - that whole NES culture which these games were capitalising on... didn't exist. I didn't even know these franchises existed until becoming a full time internet user back in 2003/2004.

    Contra was "Gryzor" on the home micros and from what I've read... it probably did okay? It's always hard to work out which games mattered at the time - if it's a literal interpretation of someone running and gunning, I'd be inclined to say the ports of Commando were more important. But maybe that's just because the music of the C64 version became a big deal in later years.

    Speaking of Commando, I read recently that its sequel, Mercs, was one of the best selling games of 1991, and nobody ever talks about Mercs these days. I think we need some solid numbers and graphs.
     
  8. doc eggfan

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    This could be entirely subjective, but my experience in Australia was that both the NES and Master System did pretty good over here. I don't think we had as big a home micro scene as in the UK, so the NES and SMS filled the gap after the Atari VCS. I remember retail store shelves and video rental stores had equally large sections for NES and SMS games, Even a few years into the 16-bit era, the Master System II and the NES top loader still sold fairly well to the budget conscious. So I was well versed in the franchises across both platforms.
     
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  9. kitsunebi

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    Commando is definitely important, but "run-and-gun" is a broad category. There's a big difference between vertically-scrolling run-and-guns like Commando and Ikkari and side-scrolling platformer run-and-guns like Contra. Since the original question posed was whether Gunstar Heroes originated run-and-gun platforming (no), we're looking at the influence of Contra, not Commando. And since in this case this is 8-bit era console gaming we're talking about, it's mostly Japanese games influencing Japanese games, so their relative success in other countries isn't really the point.
     
  10. Deathscythe

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    Oh I missed this! This is an interest concept I never thought about. Can't really think of vocal songs in mainstream games pre Daytona.
     
  11. Pirate Dragon

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    For Mercs, the home computer versions published by US Gold were due out in Europe in June 1991. It never charted in the ELSPA Full Price All Formats Top 20 chart compiled by Gallup for the whole of 1991. Maybe the C64 version released in the US too (at least according to Gamefaqs), but C64 isn't selling much software in US in 1991. I only have patchy ELSPA console charts from late 1991 - early 1992, but no Mercs in the ones I have. It doesn't seem to have been a big hit in the UK at least. Looking at Softbank's charts in Beep! MegaDrive, it charted at #5 in the October 1991 MD chart, and #6 in the November 1991 MD chart, so it seems to have done OK in Japan. Maybe the Genesis version did better in the US, but I don't have charts that far back.
     
  12. nineko

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    I actually have to disagree, Psycho Soldier did vocals in an arcade game in 1987.

    Yes, that's where Athena Asamiya's theme song came from, you all thought it was from KoF, didn't you?
     
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  13. Black Squirrel

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    We also had it in pinball - Black Knight 2000, from 1989.

    There might be older examples but this song is better.
     
  14. Overlord

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    I have Mercs on Mega Drive that I picked up at a boot sale circa 2010 but I certainly hadn't heard of it before then, I can't imagine it was that huge.
     
  15. kitsunebi

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    I've never even heard of Mercs, but it seems it was mostly successful in arcades, and I was never an arcade goer.

    Psycho Soldier is definitely the first game with vocals in the soundtrack, if the advertisement is to be believed.

    "First time in video game. Athena sings lively!"

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Azookara

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    I have to emphasize this is why I said "one of the earliest adopters" and not the first, lol. It's definitely the first major ones for most of the world, since I don't imagine Psycho Soldier spread far outside of Japan, and pinball just barely crosses over the same ground, if not at all.

    It may have not been the absolute first, but the whole world knows DAY-TOOOO-NAAAAAAAAAAA!!! And with that and Sonic CD (both versions!) dropping the same year, I think that's notable enough.
     
  17. kitsunebi

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    You may be right, I haven't done the research. But The PC Engine CD-ROM² came out in late 1988. Sonic CD/Daytona USA came out in 1993/1994. It seems almost unthinkable that the PC Engine CD-ROM² could have been on the market for over 4 1/2 years prior without ever having games with some Jpop song thrown onto the CD soundtrack. Again, I haven't researched it, but it seems like it would have been a not completely unheard of occurrence by the time Sonic CD came out. The fact that most of those games would have been Japanese-exclusive releases would not preclude them from being influential, particularly as the console market was primarily driven by Japanese games at the time. Anybody out there know?

    Hmm, doubt any of these qualify as influential by themselves. But I think it would be worth crediting the PC Engine CD-ROM in general for being influential in bringing vocal tracks to video games (though to be fair, it's sort of inevitable that CD systems will be responsible for such things.)

    From my exhaustive 15 minute search LOL:

    The earliest English song I found was the USA release of Final Zone II on the Turbografx CD in 1990.


    EDIT:Actually, that might be from the arcade release. Here's the TGCD version.

    In Japan, there was in No・Ri・Ko 1988

    And here's a few from 1992.
    Top o Nerae! Gun Buster Vol.1
    Inoue Mami: Kono Hoshi ni Tatta Hitori no Kimi
    Jantei Monogatari 2
     
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  18. Azookara

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    Again yeah, it's not really in this case about who did it first, but rather that Sega's contributions that were the first that hit a mainstream audience on a global scale; the first major examples of this kind of thing. Most of the examples prior to them were Japan-exclusives, which are definitely notable in the history of the vocal theme, but not on the same scale of presence to the western audience like Daytona, Sonic CD, or even later entries like MGS, Parappa, NiGHTS etc. Things that also hit America and Europe with equal or greater weight.

    Granted this could all be seen as splitting hairs, and you'd be right! But that feels like the name of the game when we get down to "what did what".

    Maybe another thing worth bringing to the discussion is not just Sega software, but hardware's lasting effects. Sega are the ones that defined the six-button arcade layout on a controller (which became subject to MANY imitators that replicated the Genesis controller almost verbatim for their systems; the CDI for example), standardized the use of analog triggers, are responsible for the generic 'modern controller' layout where the left analog stick sits above the D-Pad, and consoles having a modem and internet capabilities built-in. There's probably a lot more, but my brain is farting and it's 2am.
     
  19. kitsunebi

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    I think this is becoming more about what was popular in the West than what was influential to game design. I feel that at that point in history, the global audience is sort of irrelevant in regards to game development. It's still the same today to a lesser degree, but especially back then, Japan made games for a Japanese audience, and if they were deemed marketable elsewhere, great, and if not, so be it. CD soundtracks were a thing in Japan before the Sega CD existed. Were they big in the West? No, of course not, since the West hadn't yet embraced any home consoles with CD technology (only around 100,000 Turbografx CD systems were ever sold in the USA.) But even when they did and games like Sonic CD came out, those games were a direct result of the trend that had been years in the making in Japan. And following Sonic CD, other games like Daytona USA were also Japanese games following that years-long trend, influenced by previous Japanese games and not by any global-scale reception.

    Certain games becoming popular in the West may have influenced Western developers years later (what's the first Western-developed console game with vocal songs?), but for years such games were developed in Japan and influenced by other games developed in Japan. Daytona, Sonic CD, MGS, Parappa, NiGHTS...all Japanese games that would have existed exactly as they are whether or not the West cared about vocal tracks or not. So you can point to Daytona as an early game with vocals that was a hit in the West, but I don't think it can be called groundbreaking or especially influential to the trend of using vocal tracks in games, as the trend was already in motion.

    At most I could see making the argument that Japanese-developed games like Daytona led to Western audiences hoping for more Japanese-developed games with vocal tracks. Though I'm not sure how many Japanese developers at the time would have been influenced by that.

    So far as hardware goes, the Dreamcast's analog triggers are definitely influential firsts. I'm not aware of all of the imitators of the Genesis 6-button gamepad you mention. I know the Saturn uses that design, and the Jaguar I guess, but where else has that been a standard controller design? And while the Dreamcast's built-in internet capabilities were groundbreaking, they were perhaps ahead of their time, as the following generation of Japanese consoles did not have built-in support and required a separate network adaptor (I'd personally credit the Xbox and Xbox Live with being the most influential in getting console gamers online, even if it wasn't first).
     
  20. Gryson

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    Y'all gotta study video games more :oldbie:

    Plenty of games released internationally had vocal music before Daytona USA (released 1994). Some that come to mind are Konami's TMNT arcade (1989), which featured the cartoon theme song, same for Konami's GI Joe (1992) - possibly some of the other Konami cartoon licensed titles, Lunar: The Silver Star (1992) on the Sega CD has a song (Working Designs included an English song when localizing), ClayFighter on the SNES (!) has a vocal track, King's Quest VI has a song, etc. etc. And if you expand this to include Japanese-exclusive titles, then yeah, the Mega CD and PCE CD have a bunch of others. I doubt anyone who played Daytona USA in the arcade in 1994 would have been amazed that it had a vocal theme.