- TGA 2023 was filled with exciting reveals, but the revival of Sega’s classics was the most shocking.
- The games to return include Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Golden Axe, Shinobi, and Streets of Rage.
- There’s nothing more joyous than these legendary gems returning, and I hope others follow suit, too.
If I raise the question “Would you like to see the games you enjoyed as a kid make a return?” I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot of positive responses. Nostalgia is a powerful factor in influencing our decisions, whether games or any other entertainment media. In fact, it doesn’t have to be merely entertainment either. But, when it comes to games, nostalgia has become a deciding factor when green-lighting a project, for better or worse.
No matter how the end product turns out to be, you have to admit the prospect of getting to see your favorite games making a return after years is an exciting feeling nonetheless. At least, I can say it is for me. And I’m overjoyed that TGA 2023 gave me one such thing I was dying to see once again. What’s that one thing you ask? Why, it’s the long-awaited revival of some of Sega’s finest classics, including Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio.
New Era, New Energy! New games from Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, and Crazy Taxi – now in development!
— SEGA (@SEGA) December 8, 2023
I Knew TGA Had Some Exciting Reveals, But Crazy Taxi Was Mind-Blowing
Okay, believe me, I was not ready for this. I had some speculations, but boy was this one a surprise. And this came in an event that was already filled with exciting reveals. The Game Awards 2023 is probably one of the best gaming events I’ve seen, not only because of the announcements but also the competitive awards. You can gauge the severity of the competition by how Spider-Man 2 won nothing despite multiple nominations; the contest was pretty tough.
Yet, the surprising reveals stole the show for me. Dragon Ball Z BT continuation, which had a lot riding on it, displayed a shockingly beautiful trailer, God of War Ragnarok and Final Fantasy 16 got DLCs, Capcom swooped in with a new Monster Hunter, and big names of the next year displayed their brilliance one after the other. And despite all these towering titles, the thing that astonished me the most was Sega’s Crazy Taxi and other classics.
If you were watching the event, I’m sure you can agree that this particular segment started pretty obscure. Even midway through when they started showing the games themselves, I thought this was some new game paying homage to classic games. However, it wasn’t until the names appeared on the screen that I realized what it actually was, and I screamed out in excitement. I was heartbroken at the absence of Silksong and Elden Ring’s DLC trailer, but this was a ray of light that rejuvenated me.
Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi — Sega’s Creative Ventures
If you’re a rather recent gamer, you might be wondering “What are these games he holds in such a high regard,” so let me tell you a thing or two about some of Sega’s most creative works. First up is Jet Set Radio. To understand this, let me give an example. You know Hi-Fi Rush, right? Bethesda’s exceptional rhythm action game with splendid music is the closest thing we’ve got to a modern Jet Set Radio.
Taking inspiration from rhythm games, Sega experimenting with an adventure title full of mischief and original soundtracks to carry the gameplay. With cel-shaded visuals, Jet Set Radio has you showcasing your graffiti and skating skills in various game modes, as you vibe with the music and ride the beats. Next up is Crazy Taxi, and this a complete embodiment of the name: It’s a game about a Crazy Taxi! Make every passenger regret ever choosing your Taxi.
The game has you deliver people to their destination in a taxi, but you have to pull it off as quickly and insanely as possible. Drive like a lunatic if you wish to beat the clock. The concept was pretty unique and exciting, as it had you both deliver passengers safely, as well as do as many ‘crazy stunts’ as you could to get the best score and the fastest time. To think I got not one but both of these on a single day is still pretty hard to believe, but the best thing is that there’s more.
That’s Not All, Golden Axe And Shinobi Are Back, Too
If these two were all there were, it would still be quite impressive, but I guess Sega said “Since we’re going to the TGA, why not do it with a bang?” Alongside Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio, We’re also getting three more titles: Golden Axe, Shinobi, and another Streets for Rage. While Streets for Rage has made an appearance earlier too, it’ll be more than a decade since the rest of the two will be seen once again.
Both Golden Axe and Shinobi were some of my favorite arcade games growing up. Side-scrolling Beat ’em ups like Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, D&D Shadow over Mystara, and Golden Axe were my salvation back then. Golden Axe was the perfect fantasy setting for such a game, and I had a blast trying all the different characters and their unique moves. Even now, I eagerly go back to these games regardless of their graphics or dated gameplay.
Golden Axe – Revisited – I think this game holds up very well. Looks great, tight controls, and fun to play…still hate those damn skeletons though. What are your memories of Golden Axe?
And when I sought a brutal challenge, Shinobi and Shadow Dancer were the titles I booted. The younger, less-experienced me thought these were among the toughest games there were, but I’ll be honest with you I still find these titles hard, gaming back then was pretty brutal. However, they also had a highly creative difficulty-lowering mechanic upon death; a little respite for those struggling. I can’t express my happiness over how all of these things are finally returning.
Did you know that the first Shinobi utilized dynamic difficulty? Maybe not the oldest one, but one of the oldest! Here is the method: Whenever I died with each boss battle, I made the boss’ lifebar shorter and shorter, but the lifebar couldn’t be shortened than a specific length.
Hopefully, Sega’s Attempt Paves The Way For More Classics Returning
Even though before 7th December I had nothing but now I have five classics, let me be a little more selfish and say this: I hope this project helps everyone realize the worth of retro games like Crazy Taxi, and it leads to more such gems making a return. There’s ample demand for them, too, and I’m sure they’ll be successful if given the chance. If it helps Naughty Dog realize the need to revive Jak and Daxter, I couldn’t be happier.
There are a lot more Arcade classics I still wish to see from Sega, and this first step has revived the hope I once held. Since Shinobi is making a return, the next choice has become pretty clear: Shadow Dancer. As I discussed earlier, it holds equal potential as its predecessor. Similarly, another Sega game I wholeheartedly enjoyed is Altered Beast, some of those animal abilities were pretty intriguing, and it had a pretty impactful enemy design I wish to see again.
I’ll even go a step further and say why limit this to only Sega either? The classics people wish to see once again are not limited to the Sonic company only. It’s time we get another Legacy of Kain, and when will Capcom answer our calls for a Dino Crisis Remake? Moreover, Banjo-Kazooie was an awesome idea and I hope this duo gets its own game rather than just an appearance in another Super Smash Bros. All in all, Sega’s step is a massive one I can’t help but relentlessly praise.
Other than the names of the games returning, there’s nothing else yet known, including release dates and platforms, so they’ll most likely appear in 2024 and beyond.
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