Sega promised a new era at The Game Awards, and it gave us five games to look forward to. Well, "new" is doing a lot of heavy lifting: The storied developer announced that fresh titles are coming based on Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage.
Depending on your age, those titles may mean various things to you. Golden Axe and Shinobi have their roots in the arcades of the '80s, while Streets of Rage is a Genesis classic. Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio were both released in the Dreamcast era (with Crazy Taxi making its debut in arcades first).
Several prominent fighting game creators received physical invites from Sega to tune into The Game Awards, fueling speculation that a Virtua Fighter revival was part of the company's plans for the event. Unless Sega is holding another trailer back, it looks like those folks will be leaving a little disappointed.
Sega’s parent company SegaSammy has been awkwardly talking about a "Super Game" project since 2021. The term was only really defined as a game capable of making hundreds of millions of dollars for Sega. Super! In the same investor presentation, the company openly contemplated reviving “dormant” properties like Virtua Fighter, Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi by way of remasters, remakes and reboots.
Other game series listed for revival, such as Space Channel 5, Panzer Dragoon and Streets of Rage, have seen some action. Space Channel 5 got a remastered VR port, Panzer Dragoon got a remake and Streets of Rage got an excellent new numbered release, Streets of Rage 4, developed and published by third parties under license from Sega.
Four of the new titles appear from the tiny glimpses in Sega's trailer to be high-budget 3D affairs. The Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio revivals seem to be glossy HD takes on the games they're based on, while the Golden Axe reboot in particular is unrecognizable from the 2D scroller it's based on. Streets of Rage also appears to be going all-3D. Only Shinobi looks somewhat familiar, using a 2D style close to Dotemu's Windjammers 2 and Streets of Rage 4.
The Sega of today is very different to the one that made the originals. The turn of the century saw Sega battle through a multi-stage midlife crisis in search of a new identity; The Dreamcast was in the process of being thoroughly outsold by Sony’s PlayStation 2, leading Sega to exit the console business in 2001. At the same time, the ‘90s arcade revival that saw Sega become a technology leader was fading fast.
After some missteps in the early days of third-party publishing, and an acquisition by pachinko manufacturer Sammy, Sega began to find its feet. The mid ‘00s saw the debut of the Yakuza series, and the company has made several key acquisitions since, such as Sports Interactive (Football Manager), Creative Assembly (Total War), Relic Entertainment (Warhammer), Atlus, (Megami Tensei/Persona) and, most recently, Angry Birds maker Rovio. It’s also seen success in cinemas with its Sonic the Hedgehog movies.
And here I am just waiting on a new Seaman game.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sega-is-resurrecting-its-classics-including-jet-set-radio-crazy-taxi-and-golden-axe-022041470.html?src=rss