SEGA's NYC Demo Day

SEGA was in town the other day and I checked out a bunch of their games. Almost everything they showed ships on March 20, 2007. I'm not sure why March 20 is such a significant date for them that they have to deliver every game on that same day. But whatever, I'll take them. A bunch of these were really fun. Virtua Tennis is always fun and Armored Core played pretty well, that is if you like blowing things to pieces.

Virtua Tennis 3 for psp, xbox 360, ps3. This game flat out looks great on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The attention to detail is superb: little puffs of dust come up from your footsteps when you run on the clay court, the linesmen move out of the way when the ball is hit at them. You can create your own player, customize him or her as far as appearance, cloths and equipment. Then you practice and play on the world tour, slowly advancing and improving your skills. On Xbox 360 there's a whole online leaderboard system. Four people can play together online from four different consoles. You can watch other people's online matches and develop your strategy against them.

Armored Core 4
This is a mech game, but unlike other mech games you can actually move quickly in this game. Most mechs feel like you're piloting them through molasses, but in Armored Core 4 you can jump and strafe and all those good things. Multiplayer online is new. There are 6 different factions. They wanted to make it appeal to new players and veterans as well. You start in the Independent City and it's sort of like a training mission. There are over 35 different missions. You have primary and secondary fire weapons. Your mech is highly mobile and you can strafe; there's regular boost and quick boost for dodging during combat. In general, mechs are more agile than before, and I can say that it seemed so when I played. I could jump over stuff and quickly cut to the side to avoid enemy fire. It's for ps3 and 360 and ships on mar 20. You can customize appearance with paint and emblems and can use the colors to camoflage yourself. This is pretty cool because you could do something like put on desert camo to fight in the desert and have an advantage. You can trade weapons and parts with other players online; some missions are search and rescue, most take 20 minutes or more, mechs have primal armor which is like a force field.


Sonic and the Secret Rings
, just released on Tuesday. This game was designed specifically for the Wii and has more of a 2d feel to it. You tilt the controller left and right to steer while Sonic naturally accelerates. Press 2 to jump, snap the controller forward to catch some more air and do your homing attack. It's an arabian nights story where Sonic needs to find 7 rings before the evil genie does. There are 8 different game worlds each with a few tracks. As far as multiplayer, there are 40 party games for up to 4 players. They all have different movements of the controller depending on the games. It's an E rated title targeted at family fun. This is a solid Sonic game and I hold Sonic games in high regard. There was a time when I sunk at least 80 hours into Sonic on my Game Gear. Man, that was a long time ago.

They had 6 PSP titles. Now that I think of it I didn't see Virtua Tennis 3 for PSP which is pretty weird because Virtua Tennis 2 occupied my while on the road for weeks last year. A big theme for them is that the classic arcade game is coming back and being modernized.


Alien Syndrome
, scifi action RPG shooter, Wii and PSP, 100 different enemies and 80 different weapons, Scarab is a droid that follow you around and carries your stuff and he´ĺl earn resource points so you can build better weapons, over 35 levels for approximately 30-40 hours of gameplay, laser targeting guide, Eileen the earth commander is working to save the planet from invading aliens, earn proficiency points and use them to upgrade your character.4 player coop mode

Full Auto 2 Battlelines - not a port of the ps3 version, built from the ground up by Deep Fried, campaigns, single events, multiplayer, race all over the world, can multiplayer race or deathmatch in an arena, select your car and customize it with paint job, graphics and weapons, unwreck feature where you can reverse time. There are destruction matters moments where you can use the environment to crush or block opponents, fast paced fun comes out in the end of March, can beam a demo level over to a friend's PSP. This looked great. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Afterburner Black Falcon- Planet Moon dev, 15 officially licensed planes, lots of customization like skins and wepon upgrades, wry sense of humor, multiplayer competitive mode, 3 player characters with different skills on different planes, arcade style flight combat, can earn collectibles by destroying enemies, not very complicated more action oriented, ships March 20, coop mode. Flight sims aren't my bag, baby. Still, this looked pretty cool because it's more arcade than sim.

Crazy Taxi Fare Wars - very early build, same characters, first multiplayer for CT that is coop and competitive. In competitive crash into opponents taxi to steal their fare, usues maps from earlier CT, can play mp3 off the memory stick while driving, video replay lets you record and then play it later on, mini-games 20 plus, ships summer 2007. Oh yeah! Bring it on! I loved Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast and this game looks sweet for the PSP.

Crush - puzzle game, Dan the insomniac can't sleep and goes to the doctor, gets attached to a device that lets him move between 2d and 3d environment. You use the crush mechanic to move between 2 and 3d. It's difficult to explain, but once you see it you'll understand it immediately. You sort of take the 3d world and collapse it into 2d. You can pick which 2d axis best benefits your mission, then collapse the board on that axis, move, then uncollapse the world, move, etc. There are 50 diff missions, if a jump is too far in 3d you can crush the environment down so you can reach it, it's sort of a combo platformer/puzzle game, summer 07, moving from one dimension to the other makes you envision your path in a novel way.

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