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February 3, 2001

e-mail to: Evan Morris

Bend Over for Sega
Five years, huh? I suppose quite a bit has transpired in the video game industry during said time. Maybe it has... Why, then, does it feel like great games are fewer and further in between? Why does Sega always screw its fanbase? Questions...many questions.
Now, what I really don't understand about this Sega dropping the Dreamcast, to go on to just publishing for other systems, is this: why did they even release the Dreamcast in the first place? Or, for that matter, why did they ever release the [Saturn, 32X, SegaCD, etc.]? Sega didn't have a fanbase with their Sega Master System 'cause nearly everyone who didn't give into brand loyalty (read: loyalty to the underdog system) knew that literally 90% of the games for that system blew dog. Everyone at Game Zero knew that Sega would bail on the hardware market and move to the exclusive realm of publishing. We knew this in 1996 just after what happened? What crackpot psychic did Sega hire to tell them that they should move on with hardware development when everyone in their right mind knew that Sega hadn't designed an interesting piece of hardware since...well...the eighties, and that's debatable.
I picked up Chrono Trigger over the summer...what a great RPG! So, I figured that I should break down and go buy the three Phantasy Stars to prepare myself for the release of Phantasy Star Online, and also for the nastolgic factor. I loved Phantasy Star on the SMS--read my review if you like. I ran out and bought Phantasy Star II when it was released in 1990...apparently I had forgotten that Zillion 2 sucked ass compared to the fantastic Zillion. Phantasy Star II wasn't that great. In point of fact, it just barely missed being branded as "totally sucking." I was 15 at the time. Fast-forward and rewind a touch to the summer of 2000. "Maybe you just didn't appretiate PS2 'cause you were too young," I told myself, contradicting the memory. So, I went out and bought Phantasy Star II, III, and IV. And, you know what? I was right the first time: PS2 does mostly suck, except that now, after Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, and Final Fantasy II, PS2 has graduated to the infamous "totally sucks" category.
Why is it that, at present time, magazines are nearly getting themselves all sticky with the proposition that PS2 will be released in a compilation for the Dreamcast? This release, I'm sure, has been put in jeopardy considering that the Dreamcast has been canned and the hardcore gamer, again, has been screwed over by Sega. Didn't we see this coming? Isn't it funny how the facts (Sega sucks) can be overshadowed by loyalty ("I grew up with Sega, it's nice to see that they're mounting a comeback against Sony...I may just have to go buy a Dreamcast!") and emotion? I propose a theory: the staff of these mags never played PS2, but want to appear as though they're legitimate harcore gamers by throwing around comments about a "classic" (quotes are mine 'cause it sucks) game from 1990 to suggest that you should respect their opinions. It makes me really does.
It seems as though most game mag writers (critcs, reviewers, editors, etc.) sell out. Whether they sell out for respect (seems contradictory, no?), free games, or gifts from the publishing corporation makes no difference to me...everyone who does this is a whore.
So, do you care? As one of the 15 people who will actually read this commentary, maybe you don't. I don't ever want it on my conscience that some kid got burned for $40 (it used to be $60 in the TurboGrafx days) on a game because I wasn't honest about my opinion.
--Evan Morris

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