New Game Releases 08/13/19 – 08/19/19

8-Bit’s almost gone…
8-Bit’s almost gone…
Almost gone..
Yeah, it’s almost gone…
Where will we be…
When 8-Bit games are gone?

16-Bit found us calmly unaware…
Sega pushed Lasorda into our hair…
At night, we played some Altered Beast…
When 8-bit’s gone…
Where will we be…
Where will we be…
Where will we be…

New Titles:

Friday the 13th: The Game (Switch) – Releases Aug. 13th

The Great Perhaps (PC) – Releases Aug. 14th

Darq (PC) – Releases Aug. 15th

Grandia HD Collection (Switch) – Releases Aug. 16th


One Year Ago:

Top Game – The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode 1 (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Released Aug. 14th, 2018

Interesting tidbits – Tanglewood, a brand new Sega Genesis game came out this week last year, 29 years after the console launched in North America.

What were we saying in the comments? There was a sick burn in the comments:

Zero – How many people are still playing WoW?

Beneven Stanciano – A question that Duncan Jones should have asked himself 3 years ago.


Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:

Quickly now…

Wolfenstein (PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Aug. 18th, 2009: Wiki Link

This game was not very good but has been de-listed from digital storefronts, so if you find a physical copy, pick it up.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (PlayStation) – Released Aug. 16th, 1999: Wiki Link

Singing Brakeman wrote a brilliant piece on this game and the rest of the Kain series; check it out here.

Sega Genesis – Released Aug. 14th, 1989: Wiki Link

Launch titles:

  • Altered Beast
  • Last Battle
  • Space Harrier II
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Thunder Force II
  • Tommy Lasorda Baseball

By August of 1989, North America had already seen one brand new console, and now it was poised to see its second (of four). The Sega Genesis, or as it was known in the rest of the world, The Mega Drive, was originally released in Japan in October of 1988 to moderate success, but was still overshadowed by both the NES and the PC-Engine (TurboGrafx-16). In fact, the Genesis/Mega Drive released in Japan just a week after the classic NES title Super Mario Bros. 3, so despite the power behind it, the system still had a ways to go before it would be able to fully challenge Mario & Co. This was a challenge, however, that Sega was ready to make, particularly in North America. For their previous console, The Sega Master System, they had gone to toy manufacturer Tonka (yeah, the toy truck company) to distribute the system. Unsatisfied with the amount of effort that Tonka put into marketing and distribution, Sega opted to go with someone else for distribution of the Mega Drive. Their first stop was at Atari, who passed on the console in favor of focusing on their line of PC’s, however, a former Atari employee saw the potential, so Sega hired Michael Katz to be CEO of Sega of America and decided to self launch the system through their subsidiary. Sega had a hard enough time in Japan trying to break into the home console market, a country where they were very well known for their arcade games, so it was an even tougher challenge to gain market share in the US where Nintendo had a 95% share of the home video game market. To help break through that seemingly impenetrable wall, Sega of America decided to go after a slightly older audience of teenagers and college-aged adults. They had a big focus on sports, and not with just the various sports themselves, but with the major names in each. For golf they signed Arnold Palmer, Pat Riley for basketball, Joe Montana for football, Buster Douglas for boxing, and for baseball, of course, they got Tommy Lasorda.

With a stable of celebrity sports stars under contract, Sega was feeling poised to bring an older demographic into the gaming market. Their now famous catchphrase “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” was a battle cry, a way for Sega to tell teenage boys that Nintendo was their childhood toy and that the Genesis was going to be the entertainment system of their young adulthood. With a stable library of arcade hits under their belt, Sega brought three of their biggest titles out for launch, Space Harrier, Thunder Blade and the pack-in title Altered Beast. These games were, from an audio/visual standpoint, head and shoulders above what Nintendo was doing on the NES at the time, with sprites that were bigger and more colorful, and even having pre-recorded voice-overs. Sports stars and arcade hits were going to be the draw, and Sega hoped that a stable of mature titles from Japan would help keep these players happy; a Fist of the North Star re-skin called Last Battle and a top down/horizontal shooter called Thunder Force II. It was finally time for release in North America, would audiences be into it?

On August 14th, 1989, The Sega Genesis launched in Los Angeles and New York for $189.99 (roughly $384.99 in 2019) with a mandate from Sega president Hayao Nakayama to sell 1 million units in 1 year. With a rolling release schedule, the system would eventually make its way across the country, but by August of 1990, Sega had only moved 500k systems, falling short of the 1 million mandate. CEO Michael Katz was out, and it was a new hire, former Mattel CEO Tom Kalinske, who would finally push the Genesis to success in North America in four major ways; creating a US based game development team, aggressively advertising to the teen demographic, lowering the price, and changing out the original pack-in title Altered Beast with a brand new franchise from Sega of Japan, 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog. It was this aggressive stance that would keep the Genesis at the top of the 16-bit sales charts for four years, completely wiping the floor with the TurboGrafx-16, and finally giving Nintendo a run for their money (it should be noted that the NES continued to destroy all three systems for a solid few years).

Over the years, Sega would continue to relish in their dominance, releasing two add-on peripheral systems (Sega CD and Sega 32X), and would still proclaim to be the system of choice for young adult males, who it found out through market research would gladly admit to owning a Genesis and not Super Nintendo (lest they be chastised by their “cool” friends). Sega’s console fortunes wouldn’t last, however, as their two follow-up systems, the Saturn and the Dreamcast, would be abysmal failures, causing the once powerful company to slink back into the world of game development. The legacy of the Genesis continues, however, with multiple game collections released over the years, and just in time to celebrate thirty years in North America, a Sega Genesis Mini will be released in September. Growing up, I only knew one kid who had a Sega Genesis, and I personally didn’t own one until 1992 or 1993, when it came bundled with Streets of Rage 2. It was always the “other” console for me, growing up, but one that I still have fond memories of to this day.

Check out this video for more details:

Wait a minute…who the fuck was on hand for the Manhattan launch of the Genesis?!!??