Sonic Generations continues to pique my interest

I continue to be impressed by the refreshing direction Sega are taking with Sonic Generations – I’ve talked before about my initial excitement, but the latest E3 trailer seems to be marrying the concept of “old and new” with some success, at least as far as demo footage is concerned:

I’m worried about getting excited about a new Sonic game – Sonic Unleashed was an awful concept and Sonic 4 was flawed, but watching the 2D portion of that video just looked so good! Then Kris over at Silicon Era gave a great write-up of some hands-on with the game, and this continues to feed my proverbial fires of excitement about this game.

But I continue to be tentative. Old fart gamers like myself have a troubled history in trying to adapt to Sonic in 3D (despite genuinely liking the Dreamcast games back when they first came out), so you’ll have to excuse my skepticism. Skepticism that’s tempered by enthusiasm, but a skeptic I remain nonetheless.

The trailer above assures me we’ll see the game later on this year. Let’s see what the next few months bring, then.

Props to Silicon Era for linking the E3 trailer in with their recent piece on the game, as I’d missed it in my previous trawling.

Fan translations for Phantasy Star: Generation 1?

As part of my preliminary hacking of Phantasy Star: Generation 1, I ended up doing some searching for basic info like… how to save the game ๐Ÿ˜› (top tip – talk to the terminals in the towns using O to save your game)

Anywho, part of this saw a couple of interesting bits on possible fan translations for the game, including this one from jessethehedgehog on YouTube:

In addition, there’s also a thread on Fringes of Algo where someone as recent as April 2011 is talking about translating the game.

Not sure if either project will get anywhere, but it’s still pretty cool. Shame I don’t have the language skills or the programming ability to help out, as it would be great if G1 and G2 of the Sega Ages Phantasy Star releases received an English translation.

Mind, if Sega of America actually translated them and released them when the PS2 was a reasonably viable machine, or even in the aftermath alongside the likes of Sakura Taisen, a lot of rabid fans would have been extremely happy. If value was a problem, jam them on a disc with all the contents from the Phantasy Star Collection disc. Simple.

Well, it probably isn’t, but the internet is a choice platform for people to voice their opinions with realisation of the amount of work required to achieve such an ask ๐Ÿ™‚

Experimenting with hacking Phantasy Star: Generation 1

A few years back I wrote a guide up on GameFAQs about hacking save games for Phantasy Star: Generation 2 on the Playstation 2. I decided I wanted to give Phantasy Star: Generation 1 a whirl since I finally got around to finishing it on the Master System a few years back (via the Phantasy Star Collection Sega Ages release – never finished on the SMS back in the day, it was too hard ๐Ÿ˜› Sheer tenacity and the hint book meant I could finish Phantasy Star 2 back in the day though!), but since I’m time-poor I thought I’d kick-start the grind with Alisa/Alis (choose your favourite translation :P). So, I used the experience with the previous save game hacking and applied it to PS:G1 and have had some success.

I’ll actually post up updated tutorials at a later stage for hacking PS:G2 and PS:G1 later on, but if you’re industrious you can apply the theory from my previous FAQ yourself. The only issue I’ve found is that PCSX2 0.9.7 won’t load games, but my old PCSX 0.9.4 works fine; might just be a Windows 7 x64 thing though. Had to add some C libraries to my OS as well (specifically, msvcr71.dll), as MyMC wasn’t working either. I’m using Cheat Engine v6, and it seems to be fine as well.

Just to prove I’m not barking, here’s my game 6 minutes or so in – note the meseta:

And finally, check the Experience and the Level – it’ll take me up to about level 61 after completing my first fight of the game, as that’s how the hacking works:

Anywho, just wanted to share – I’m off to play through the game properly now, not sure if I’ll hack the other characters since Alisa is such a tank now, but probably will down the road ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, I probably should since I’ll need the hex values to write up a full guide, like my previous one.

Sega announces Monster World IV is getting an English release!

monster-world-title

Read this over at Silicon Era – Sega have announced they’re going back and translating Monster World IV, previously only available in Japanese (though a fan translation exists that can be patched to the Japanese version), and are releasing it on Wii, PSN and possibly XBLA.

This is phenomenal news given the age of the game and the perceived lack of mainstream interest. This is is the stuff of fanboy dreams and legends, and it is amazing to see Sega leading the way.

From here, my only hope is that they get M2 to develop the emulator for the PS3/XB360, as previous emulators have been absolutely terrible on the machine in comparison to M2’s work on Nintendo’s Virtual Console and the Sega Ages collections on the PS2.

You can check out the full release over at the Sega Europe blog.

Minitroid looks amazing

The Minitroid tech demo was only recently brought to my attention – it’s a miniaturised take on Metroid (I’m seeing more Super Metroid in there, but it’s probably taking general inspiration from the series) running in a tiny pixel resolution. The thing’s an amazing piece of homebrew talent, retaining gameplay elements, charm and detail despite the limited window and sprites. There are a few enhancements compared to hardware generally associated with such low resolutions, including alpha blending and some great camera movement to emphasise the missiles, and the animation is top-notch.

You wouldn’t think you’d be able to achieve so much with such limitations. Necessity is the mother of invention though – see it for yourself:

It’s designed to run on Windows, and you can grab the tech demo from Metroid Database. Props to elvis at Aussie Arcade for the tip, and to the original source, Tiny Cartridge.