Games Inbox: What is the best Sega video game?

OutRun - its creator is thinking about a comeback

OutRun – blue sky perfection (pic: Sega)

The Tuesday letters page has a theory for why extraction mode games aren’t taking off, as one reader wonders if Fortnite is on the decline.

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Comeback trail
I can understand the frustration of the Reader’s Feature, when you look at where Sega could be and where they actually are, but I think it’s just all a question of money. Sega messed up decades ago and there’s no way to recover from that without massive injections of cash. That’s hopefully where this Microsoft deal for the ‘super games’ comes in, because otherwise the Sonic and PC games are just what’s keeping the lights on, and they haven’t got the scope for anything more. It’s not them being ‘stupid’ or lazy, they just don’t have the capacity.

That doesn’t mean they haven’t made some questionable decisions over the years, of course, but I try to look on the positive side and imagine that things are on the up at the moment. And if they are then that means that everyone’s dreams about a reboot of their favorite franchise could actually happen.

Maybe this should be a Hot Topic, but I just wonder what readers think is Sega’s best franchise and which one is most deserving of a comeback. That might not be exactly the same thing for some people, as for me my favorite is OutRun but I actually thing old school, single-player Phantasy Star would be the best game to bring back. I would happily settle for Skies Of Arcadia, Panzer Dragoon, and Shinobi as well.

Heck, I could probably list another dozen and still not start scraping the bottom of the barrel! Sega were great and I believe they could be again!

Stray votes
I know it’s literally a popularity contest, but I really don’t know how The Game Awards arrived at that list of nominees for game of the year. The only two contenders, as far as I’m concerned, are Elden Ring and God Of War Ragnarök and the others aren’t anywhere near their league. I mean, Stray and Horizon Forbidden West? They were okay but there’s no way they were the best of the year.

I don’t know anything about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 but A Plague Tale: Requiem was a pretty bad sequel, I thought. Not nearly as good as the first one and it seems to have reviewed that way too. I haven’t played Bayonetta 3 but I’d trust GC’s review of that over a bunch of games I know to be unremarkable. I mean, Stray was free, so almost everyone must have played it at least a bit. Does anyone reading this genuinely think it was the best game of the year so far?

I suppose we’ll have a good indication when you publish your Top 20 of the year, but can you say, GC, what your nominees were for the awards?
Dell Boy

GC: We’re not allowed to say.

Jumping in
Replying to Carnie in ‘Final lesson’ on Monday. I absolutely love Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and I’m not alone. I wouldn’t call myself a Call Of Duty diehard because I stopped playing from Black Ops 1 and only played Cold War because it was given as a free gift. I think the one thing you don’t realize is how many Battlefield and Rainbow Six players have jumped ship to Modern Warfare 2.

I personally know at least seven or eight and they bring their friends, etc. I was being torn apart online because I was playing the game like Cold War, but this is a different animal. Yes, the interface and user experience is awful, but this is just cosmetic and changeable.

Adapt your play style to this game and it’s actually very rich and rewarding. Sprinting everywhere and jumping around corners will get you annihilated, whereas working with your team slowing the pace right down and playing tactically will get you to the top of the leaderboard. Obviously not everyone will appreciate these changes, and it is quite a big departure for the series, but I think it’s nice to have something different rather than the same old.

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Tarkov extract
Pretending DMZ is only a beta is so audacious I’ve got to actually hand it to Activision, that’s a great flex on finding out that nobody liked it in Warzone 2.0. Unlike the rush to make new battle royales, these attempts to make extraction modes based on Escape From Tarkov just don’t seem to be taking off.

I think the problem is that Escape From Tarkov is a fundamentally hardcore game, that’s not going to appeal to everyone, and yet all these big name games ripping it off are trying to sand off the edges and make it approachable for everyone, but that’s missing the point.

It’s still going to be complicated and difficult for casual players and yet with no bite for more skilled ones. Not everything is meant for everyone and I think extraction mode is one of them.

A new chapter
Weird that Fortnite is flipping to Chapter 4 so quickly. I happily admit I still play the game now and again and I thought it was doing as well as ever. You certainly don’t have to wait long for a game. The only thing I can think of is that they want to switch things over so that it’s one chapter per year, but I don’t really see the benefit in that. In a few years they’ll be on Fortnite Chapter 7 or whatever, and at that point it just starts to hammer home how old the game is.

It has been interesting to watch how the battle royale fad has petered out over the last few years, to the point where there are only two big ones left. It’s so like the MMO fad of the 2000s and I’m sure it’ll be exactly like whatever’s next. As soon as something’s a hit everyone tries to copy it, thinking it’s easy money, and then a year or so later there’s only a couple of serious contenders left.

Kudos to Fortnite for being one of them. I know it has its faults but I’ve always thought it stays pretty fair, with tons of free stuff and plenty of imagination in each chapter. I hope nothing’s wrong. It doesn’t feel like it’s on the decline, but I’m not sure how you’d actually know.

Add it to the list
The one game I played a lot on the Mega Drive, that was arguably one of the best side-scrolling beat ’em-ups for that console is Alien Storm. This game was once the most successful tabletop game that offered great gameplay. There have been a few Sega game reboots and what I’d love to see is an Alien Storm reboot. This would have updated graphics and multiplayer online co-op with aliens vs. humans team battle modes where players can play as any of the aliens as well as choose what stage they can compete on.

Another great feature I’d like to see in a reboot would be the ability to play from the alien’s perspective in story mode and take over various places while taking on the humans, to create an additional storyline not available in the original. The introduction of new human characters to add to the gameplay online or in single-player mode would also be a great feature to have.
gas be rotten (gamertag)

Wipe out
Now that I have an Xbox Series X (I bought in March 2022) I was going to sell my Xbox One X Scorpio Edition on eBay. What do I need to do before I sell it to get rid of my login details/account/information, etc.? I was wondering if a GameCentral reader can advise?
Andrew J.
PS: I have been selected to pre-order a PlayStation VR 2 from Sony but I don’t think I will be able to pre-order it now as I have had a lot of bills just recently and, like everyone, my energy bills are expensive; I still
intend to get one at some point.

GC: This page should explain everything.

Fine wine
Wave Race 64 has aged fantastically, I love how tactile and dynamic the water physics still feel after all these years.

The watercraft racing is still precise and fluid, with a nice sense of weight, and it’s just really darn fun negotiating the hairpin bends and treacherously placed buoys and maintaining your momentum while vying for pole position.

And that soundtrack is sublime. Lake Drake gives me some serious Zelda: Ocarina Of Time vibes! I wonder, however, was the trick system always this Delphic! The lack of transparency is a bit uncharacteristic of Nintendo.

It behoves Nintendo to restore this series to its former glory, damn it, this feels so refreshing to play in a post jet ski/water-based racers gaming landscape.

I’m a glass half full kind of guy, so I’m still hopeful one day Nintendo will be awash with formal requests from investors to make a new Wave Race and things will go swimmingly for the franchise from that point on.
Galvanized Gamer

Inbox also-rans
First letter in ages, as I lost my gaming mojo. But getting it back slowly. Anyway, do you know if Panzer Dragoon Zwei Remake is still going ahead? Or has it been canned?
Dark Anima

GC: It’s still listed on the developer’s website but there doesn’t seem to have been any news on it since it was announced.

Ex-Bungie dudes working on a AAA Transformers game? Did GC make a wish on Inbox magic and not tell anyone?

GC: Not that we’re aware of, but we’ll take it!

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Neil Down, who asks what you think of review scores and the current state of video game criticism.

Do you want reviews to be accompanied by a score and if so what’s your preferred scale in terms of how many it’s out of? Are there any particular sites, including this one, that you think could do things differently and what do you think of those that don’t have a score at all?

Is there anything you’d change about how we or others go about reviews (other than the timing, there’s nothing anyone can do about that) and do you think the overall standard of reviews today is better or worse than it used to be? What do you think of aggregate sites like Metacritic and do you use them?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter.

MORE : Games Inbox: Modern Warfare 2 failure, Dino Crisis on Netflix, and Andor: The Video Game

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: The best video game platformers

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: The best video game platformers

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