Sega is continuing on with their Sega Forever initiative, which they announced this past June and sees classic titles from their entire console history coming to mobile in free to play form. The initiative got off to a rocky start both due to underwhelming titles being released and the emulation performance of those titles being less than stellar. To their credit Sega has worked hard since to release new Sega Forever games with an improved emulator and they’ve promised to roll those improvements out to the existing line of games via updates. Today a bunch of Sega Forever titles received those promised improvements: Altered Beast (Free), Kid Chameleon (Free), Comix Zone (Free), and The Revenge of Shinobi (Free).
I’ve tested out these updated games and while it still sounds to my ear like the sound emulation isn’t quite perfect, the performance of the games is greatly improved, with all running at a much higher framerate now. These updates also add in the ability to customize the virtual buttons on the screen, and in the case of a game like Comix Zone which utilized the 6-button layout of later Genesis controllers, those extra 3 buttons are now available as virtual buttons on screen, with the option to switch back to 3-button if you prefer that for some reason. Also, all games now have the option of a Classic or Smooth graphics filter, with the Classic being my preferred choice as it makes the games appear much more crisp.
Alongside these updates, two new Sega Forever titles have been added to the lineup. Or, I guess I should say “new" titles as both of these have been on mobile previously. Space Harrier II (Free) originally launched on iPhone way back in 2010, and disappeared when Sega culled their App Store library back in mid-2015. Like other Sega Forever releases that previously existed on the App Store, if you owned it orginally way back when then you’ll be able to restore the ad-free IAP in this new version for free.
The same goes for Crazy Taxi Classic (Free), the original Dreamcast and arcade game that arrived on iPhone back in 2012. Unlike Space Harrier II, Crazy Taxi has remained on the App Store since then and has actually been pretty well-maintained ever since, getting the appropriate compatibility updates when needed. It’s even already 64-bit! This update basically just adds a new icon to the game and makes it officially part of the Sega Forever lineup. Ads for Sega games were implemented in a previous update so even that’s not really a unique feature of this new update. Either way though, Crazy Taxi is still fun as heck.
Finally, all these updates and new additions to Sega Forever also come alongside a big sale on all Sega Forever titles. The IAP to remove ads which is normally $1.99 is half off right now, meaning if you’ve enjoyed any of these titles for free and have been on the fence about spending some money to disable ads, now is a nice time to do so as it’s not like it can get any cheaper. The ad disabling IAP also allows you to save locally on your device as opposed to having to be online to save. I was pretty cold on the whole Sega Forever thing at first but in the months since its debut Sega has really done a lot to improve these games, and I’ll continue to look forward to whatever titles they continue to bring out going forward.