A majority of people seem to be a-okay with the Sega Forever initiative, a compilation of games that Sega has thrown out into the wild for iPhone and Android users consisting of five games: Altered Beast, Sonic The Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone and Kid Chameleon.
However, not everyone is pleased with the Sega Forever offerings, which allow gamers to play the hand-picked 16-bit classics for free. The ad-supported service (with the option to unlock the game and remove the ads for $1.99) has been sprinkled with criticisms from users who have experienced lag and poor performance running the emulated software. Scattered throughout the user reviews on the iTunes app store you’ll find people noting that occasionally the games become unplayable due to lag.
Sega is planning to continually update the Sega Forever classics, and roll out new games that will hopefully address these problems, but upon being peppered with uncompromising questions from Eurogamer about the shoddy display of emulated games being sold on mobile devices, chief marketing officer Mike Evans took to the defensive position, stating that it’s tough to foresee all outcomes due to the mobile fragmentation, but they’re working on updates…
“[…] if you look at all the different OSs, all the different devices – with mobile, as you go live, you get some feedback which you can’t get within a sandbox environment. What we’re doing is taking that and continue working on it, and try and get every instance of every OS in advance. Our soft launch wasn’t as strong as it could have been maybe for some of the other apps, but this is a different campaign in that sense. What you’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg, and now we’ve got some really good updates coming out soon which will address some of the challenges of the d-pad, some of the shading as well that we’re looking at how to improve. It’s just the start of things.”
It’s true that the more vocal complaints and one-star reviews are the “tip of the iceberg”, but they also represent enough of the community to drag down Altered Beast’s overall rating from five stars to three and a half stars.
Other games like Comix Zone have a much higher rating on the app store, but there are still the occasional one-star reviews pointing out the game’s performance issues when it comes to lag.
Eurogamer addressed Sega on how these kind of first-impressions with shoddy outings from beloved franchises is dwindling respect and the overall integrity of Sega’s reputation. Evans commented that regardless of the criticisms, there are still a larger majority of people out there satisfied with what Sega is doing, saying…
“I think that whilst we’re continually working to improve on quality – we have to understand the context of mobile in that sense – if you look at the vast majority there’s a lot of very delighted fans out there. We’re going to continue to improve, the core is very important to us as well, and make those changes so we’re happy and they’re happy.”
It’s funny because people keep saying Nintendo should go third-party and throw their brands on crappy mobile devices and piss-poor tablets, but the reality is that all it would do is diminish their properties just like Sega.
You could find a $12 whore on the corner of Athens Way and 132nd Street in downtown Los Angeles with more integrity than Sega.
The company has a rich portfolio of IP that they’ve let fall to the wayside with shoddy outing after shoddy outing. You could almost bet on David Hasselhoff producing more quality media outings than Sonic at this stage in the game, and Hasselhoff has a notorious drinking problem. The exact same low-quality effort that Sega has been outputting with some of their brands is the same sort of effort you would expect from a heroin addict.
Anyway, Evans states that Sega will rectify themselves and eventually start producing quality emulated offerings for mobile users through their Sega Forever initiative. While some people have enjoyed themselves thus far, others running games on the iPad Pro haven’t been entirely lucky.
Keep an eye on the Google Play and iTunes App Stores for further updates regarding the Sega Forever titles.