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.

  • boydstr

    Are there 3th party Sega games that could be released on the iPhone or only games developed by Sega themselves?

    • Wizard of Odyssey

      Depends on the deals Sega cuts with the rights holders. There's plenty of Sega-made stuff to keep us happy, though.

      • boydstr

        I really like to see Shenmue,such a great game anyway thanks for your answer.

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Part of me says, "is it? Is it really?" but different strokes for different folks. I guess some people never stopped looking for sailors.

        I want Virtua Fighter (and Fighters Megamix) Daytona USA (and SEGA Rally) and Star Wars Arcade (the 1990s one from SEGA).

      • jabbasoft


  • Wizard of Odyssey

    Sweet! By the way, the Touch Arcade app still delivers notifications under iOS11, even though I can't launch it!

    • rhinofinger

      Good to know!

      So iOS11 doesn't automatically delete 32-bit apps - just doesn't let you launch them?

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Right. I had space harrier II installed from before (golden axe also, and others)

        If when we get new phones, the old apps won’t come down from the store, though. And we can’t use iTunes to move stuff around anymore if you update.

        It’s all okay with me, I have made my peace with it. If your app isn’t updated, it dies!

  • Milotorou

    Omg, Space Harrier hits me right in the childhood !

  • Lodmot

    You're the first person that I've seen that sees the situation the same way as me. I never experienced lagging issues either; I always felt people blew that out of proportion. One thing that *hasn't* been blown out of proportion though, is the gamepad support. That to me is a more glaring issue, and I haven't had any of my game controllers work with the Genesis Sega Forever games. I've been politely bugging the support team about it too. XD So hopefully they're listening and will fix that before it causes more of an outcry from customers. I want to see Sega Forever succeed.

    • Cameron Mulder

      What game pads are you using. Worked fine with my nimbus.

      • Lodmot

        I tried a number of different gamepads, some pretty common ones and others that weren't too common but are still HID devices:

        - PS4 controller via Bluetooth
        - Nintendo Switch Pro Controller via Bluetooth
        - Moto Z Gamepad Mod
        - Controller that came with my RetroEngine Sigma (basically a generic USB controller with two analog sticks, etc.)
        - An old Logitech USB controller
        - Hyperkin Sega Genesis replica USB controller
        - Xbox One wired controller
        - Another Xbox One wired controller (Rock Candy brand)

        None of them worked properly. o 3 o;

      • Cameron Mulder

        That is because none of those are Mfi compatible game pads.

      • Lodmot

        Yeah, but the game details in the store say HID game controller suppport (For Android anyway). When it says "HID controller support" I assume that means any HID-compatible controller works