Saturday 21 November 2009

Happy Birthday Saturn - 15th Anniversary DJ Mix

I've been wanting to do this for a while...and well, this is the perfect time. Behold...the Sega Saturn 15th Anniversary DJ Mix. I didn't have a whole lot of time to put into this, but I've taken some of my favorite tracks from Saturn exclusive games like Nights, Daytona, Sega Rally, Guardian Heroes, VF2 and put them together in a continuous DJ mix (about 40 min. long).

As a very involved hobby/side thing, I've been DJ'ing (techno, house etc., etc.) at clubs/parties for many years, so I've actually taken some of my skills from that area, and have been able to sit down with this mix and blend together and layer some tracks here and there for some interesting results. A lot of the tracks just aren't that DJ friendly, and in the spare time I've had to put this together, this is the best that I could come up with. The other limiting factor is actually getting the tracks off of the Saturn discs. Games like Daytona and Virtua fighter are great, because all of the music data is stored as normal compressed audio, which can just be copied directly from the disc. Other games like Nights, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Radiant Silvergun have their music stored elsewhere, so I was only able to pull out a few tracks here and there.

In any case, every one should download the mix, and give it a listen. If you are going to download it though, there is one have to listen to the entire thing in one continuous play through...i.e. no fast forwarding and jumping around here and there. It's a DJ mix, and thus is intended to listen from the start to end. After you've listened to the whole thing once, then feel free to jump around to all of your favorite parts.

One thing I've noticed while making this, is just how well produced all of this music is. You can tell that a lot of effort and time went into making these songs. I've never really listened to many of them in my good headphones, or on a good sound system. But they all sound great, and are mastered really, very nicely.

Hopefully there are a few "oh, that's cool" moments for every one in this mix. The Junkyard crew should recognize most, if not all of the tracks...but if there are any that youcan't figure out...feel free to ask. As I said before, I only had a limited amount of time to work on this mix, and as a result I've obviously left out many awesome songs that should rightfully be included. Well, there can always be a version 2.0!

Listen and enjoy.....and let me know what you think.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

The Sunshine Returns

C'mon, that's what it essentially is.

While we here at the SJY rarely cover them new-fangled "next gen" games that feature useless shadows and something called DLC (Devil Lay Cry?), this tidbit of next gen news is quite Saturn related. Unless you've been living under a rock, Sega has teamed with developer Digital Sumo to bring us Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. The game itself looks to include a few Saturn stars such as... okay I've got nothing. At the moment the character roster is mostly rooted in Master System, Genesis and Dreamcast games. The Saturn's poster child NiGHTS has yet to have a mention, but I'm 99% sure that he'll make a cameo (However, I'm 1% sure that Panzer Dragoon will make an appearance).

In any case, a glimmer of hope for some Saturn love has come through in a recent interview at Original Sound Version with Sumo Digital's Steve Lycett. Here are the meaty bits of the interview:

OSV: SEGA fans are extremely excited for this game, and one of the most exciting aspects is the audio approach in these crossover titles. Let’s start by talking about the music itself, what can we expect?

Steve: Why not, good place to start! For this game we’ve once again been given the keys to SEGA’s big audio closet. What we try and do with the All-Star games, is get a good mix of music both old and new. That way we can hopefully raise some fond memories of older games you’ve played if you’re a SEGA fan, surprise you with some new songs – and also – hopefully- introduce a whole new legion of players to the music we’ve all enjoyed.

To this end we’ve got classic tracks from many, many games. If we take just the Sonic courses, we’ve got music from Sonic Heroes, Sonic CD, Sonic R and many more. Outside of Sonic, we’ve raided official sound tracks to get new arranged versions of music. We’ve even managed to get a Crush40 track in there!
What we do is give you a track for each course, then by playing the game, you earn SEGA Miles, which you can spend on the in-game shop. As you buy new music, you can then select from the ones you’ve unlocked when you start a race.

OSV: Finally, what can we expect for the DS version? How are you cramming all that content into the handheld cart?

Steve: Want to play on the move, we’ve also crammed all these sounds and more into the DS version. As we’ve got to squash all this onto a cartridge, we’ve enlisted the services of Allister Brimble to compose us unique MIDI versions of all the games tunes . You won’t believe what he’s done with it. My personal favourite is “Can you Feel the Sunshine”, a track I didn’t think would ever work in MIDI format, but amazingly it does. Again – the byword for the game is “How much SEGA can we legally squeeze into one game” and I think Allister has done us proud.

So Sonic and friends racing about classic Sega settings to classic RJ tunes? Sega can have my $60 now, I'm sold.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Finally Doing It!

Maybe every one at the Junkyard has been wondering.....where has the plushiest been? Well, I've been a busy boy all summer and fall. I finally have some time to get back into gaming, and even do a few posts. I've been playing a few awesome games lately (Uncharted 2, Muramasa (the same devlopers as Princess Crown), and Bioshock), but I'm finally on to Panzer Dragoon Saga....yes, the real deal US copy that I picked up back in the spring time.

I didn't want to start on this game until I was good and ready, but I think I finally am. I've only spent a few hours with PDS, but so far I can say that it is great. I haven't every really played a whole lot of RPGs, and I think this is why PDS appeals to me so much....they game and battle mechanics are right up my alley. Everything is very straight forward, and I really like how there is are still real-time elements to the fight sequences. I will do a real review of the game once I'm finished, but here are some initial thoughts:

1. Game play: very original. Makes great use of the classic panzer dragoon game style, and blends some very interesting RPG elements. I love how you can freely fly around, and the dynamic battles are very cool.

2. Music: So far it's really good. Was there a separate original score album released for this game?

3. Graphics: Definitely some, if not the best on the Saturn. One of the few Saturn games that could easily compare to PS1 titles. Albeit a very small detail, there are sections in the game where you fly over water, and can actually see and interact with fish swimming around. Sounds pretty funny to say that something as simple as that appeals to me...but I can't think of any other 3D Saturn game (maybe Tomb Raider, Nights, or Resident Evil) with as much graphical detail. Obviously transparency effects are working on this game, how come people always say the Saturn couldn't do this?

On another note, does any one remember Radmobile? The game made famous by Brendan Fraser This was released under the title "Gale Racer" on the Japanese Saturn in '94. Saw it on Ebay for about $3.00, and thought about picking it up. It's like a slightly more updated version of the classic Outrun style game play!

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Segata on the Tonight Show?!

On Monday I made this comment in the "Twenty to Fifteen" post: "I think a rebirth of Segata would be a fitting tribute." Well guess the hell what, I was right!

Segata Sanshiro made an appearance on the October 28th episode of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Rather than tediously explain the segment, just watch the clip.

United States viewers:

International viewers click here

Thanks to a tip from a buddy of mine for cluing me in on it as well as to SegaNerds posting the video itself. Way cool.

Monday 2 November 2009

Twenty to Fifteen - Save the Date

Begin the party preparations, for in twenty days our beloved Sega Saturn will be turning fifteen years old! On November 22, 1994 the Saturn was released in Japan.

I've had a little banner up at the Nomad Junkyard in anticipation of the big day, but now that I write for the house that FK built I can celebrate in full force. So fellow Saturn Junkyard fans and writers, what are you doing to celebrate? The 22nd is a Sunday so there is no excuse NOT to do something.

I'll be at a pickle festival on the 22nd, but I promise I'll make time for the Saturn.