SEGA MegaZone Preservation Archive NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Hi guys,

I need your help with something…

Video Version Of This:
(Note: First 10mins covers everything, the remaining 20mins is a bonus ‘just for fun’ tour of my physical MegaZone collection)

Background:
MegaZone started out in the late 1980s as an Australian general gaming and electronics magazine called MegaComp (interestingly NLA claims issue 1 was MegaCom with no P? While this Amiga mag claims the opposite switch happened) and from issue 5 onwards became known as MegaZone magazine covering PC & Amiga (with a particular focus on point & click adventures), Atari, Nintendo and a lots of SEGA stuff. In these arguably best years of the magazine it was run by SEGA Ozisoft as they were the primary distributor of a lot of non-SEGA software as well. In late 1993 SEGA sold the magazine to Mason Stewart Publishing who changed the magazine to SEGA MegaZone and had continued success despite only covering SEGA related content. Sadly in the summer of 1995/1996 MegaZone came to a final end likely due to the declining popularity of SEGA (low sales of the 32X and Saturn) against Nintendo & Sony and the increasing backlash over the magazines rather controversial and excessive uses of violence and sexual content (in the Mason era). Presumably things did not end amicably as the final magazine was filled with raunchy content and even famously said “we’re off to buy a Playstation” haha!

The Problem:
Being an Australian magazine (presumably with no international distribution) this great old magazine and piece of video game history from the early to mid 90s, arguably the greatest era in retro gaming due to the 16bit console wars and the rise of mainstream PC gaming (Point & click adventures, 1st person shooters, and RTS+TBS strategy games) has sadly disappeared into near obscurity with only a small internet presence and a few mangy old mags occasionally appearing on ebay. There is currently NO COMPLETE DIGITAL RECORD OF THIS MAGAZINE IN EXISTENCE. I want to try and change that…

Over the last few years I’ve been collecting physical copies of old MegaZones. Because of this I have become very interested in preserving scanned digital copies of the magazines online so I’ve also been trying to help out some of the wiki websites working to do the same and have recently started a new backup collection for all to enjoy at archive.org . Internet Archive have become the ultimate preservation website for internet sites, books, magazines, videos and many other things, even video games! They have a really good online magazine reader built in as well so they make preserving this content so easy and almost fun!

MegaZone Archive Sites:
https://archive.org/search.php?…MegaZone… (The new archive I’ve setup)
https://segaretro.org/Megazone
https://retrocdn.net/Category:Megazone_scans
http://www.retrogamingaus.com/wiki/index.php?title=Megazone (Covers only)
http://www.oldgamemags.com/index.php/downloads/category/306-megazone (Members only)
http://amr.abime.net/issues_44 (Amiga related content only)

At this stage 42 of the 56 issues have been found and scanned by various collectors and myself leaving 14 issues still missing, all from the magazines earliest years. Many of the magazines found are missing their posters and some occasionally had supplement mini books that may be missing too. We’re also trying to digitize any MegaZone TV commercials out there on old VHS video cassettes as we have rescued 2 but know there are more (I remember seeing more as a kid).

How YOU Can Help: Continue reading

New Bubsy games in 2018!

There are a lot of Bubsy haters out there but there are a lot of Bubsy lovers out there too. Personally I loved Busby on my SEGA Mega Drive although I never was able to finish it as it was much harder than the Sonic games lol! I still remember its gorgeous colourful vibrant graphics even today (especially those train and river levels). Darn it I’ll finish it one day (probably through an emulator where I can cheat my ass off lmao)!

I never did get to buy the sequel Busby 2 and apparently I was not missing anything when I didn’t play Bubsy 3D on Playstation as it was labelled one of the worst games on the console which considering how large the PSX library is that is saying something. In fact it was so bad it killed the Busby franchise for nearly 2 decades!

Until recently that is! At the end of 2017 Acclaim released a brand new Bubsy game for PS4 and PC called Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back! It wasn’t a huge hit with reviewers however it must have sold well as now they’ve announced another busy game for 2019 called Bubsy: Paws on Fire which looks like it has some pretty cool alternative game modes such as piloting a Woolies spaceship and first person roller coaster like special levels. Check out the trailers below!

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back

Bubsy: Paws on Fire

SEGA Master System Visual Compendium Book

I recently posted about the awesome guys at Bitmap books making a hard copy book of the awesome History of Computer RPGs pdf. Well I’ve got to post about this too even if I am rather late on it!

After Bitmap books successful C64, Amiga, NES, SNES, Art of Point & Click Adventure and other releases they’ve thankfully and naturally now turned their attention to SEGA. Being a SEGA kid this was the moment I’d been waiting for! This year they did a kickstarter for a SEGA Master System Visual Compendium book and it was quite successful! I managed to back it just in time but if you missed out then don’t worry they’ll put more up on the bitmap books website in 2019. I missed all the Nintendo kickstarters yet I was able to get the books from their website. Whatโ€™s arrived so far has blown me away. I love the 3D lenticular slipcase covers! (eg turn the book and Mario will jump & coins will spin). Fingers crossed they do a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) book soon too as that’s my real retro console love!

Original SMS Kickstarter:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2146199819/sega-master-system-a-visual-compendium

Bitmap Books Website:
https://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk/

New Wonder Boy games after all these years!

I should have posted this a while back however Monsterboy has just come out so I guess now is a great time too! Wonderboy 2 in Monsterland for the Sega Master System was the first RPG I ever owned and played. I loved that game so much and loved it’s 3(ish) sequels too, however sadly the series never made it out of the 90s and up until a few years ago seemed forgotten and lost in legal limbo (due to multiple rights holders disagreeing).

But a few years ago it all took off again when a small studio named Lizardcube managed to successfully work out a deal with all licence holders to create a full blown modern remake of Wonder Boy 3 Dragon’s Trap on PC and modern consoles including the ever popular Nintendo Switch! They did an amazing job and best of all you can effortlessly switch between modern and classic mode playing the game with the original Sega Master System graphics and sounds if you wish! Check out the trailer here:

But if that’s not enough another small studio named FDG Entertainment came along and got the lience to create a full blown new Wonder Boy game titled Monster Bot and the Cursed Kingdom with amazing graphics and animation along with gameplay styled similarly to Wonder Boy 3 again with multiple animal transformation characters to play as. They have also released on PC and consoles too! You can see it’s trailer here:

There’s also some great fan games and remakes from the last 20 years based on Wonder boy so I’ll probably do more blog posts and a big website tribute section down the track! ๐Ÿ™‚
Continue reading

Remember the Amstrad Mega PC?

Wow talk about a blast from the past! Check out this old advert I found for the Amstrad Mega PC! A hybrid Windows PC with a Sega Megadrive (Genesis) built in too! I remember begging my mum for one as a kid but they were so expensive so there was no chance of that haha! A lot of nostalgic goodness in this pic.

DL4ML4_W4AAWErW

Bitmap Books To Print C-RPG Book

This is great news! Bitmap Books those awesome guys behind the amazing video game art books for Nintendo, SEGA, C64 & Amiga etc have teamed up with the guys behind the excellent CRPG Book – A Guide to Computer Role Playing Games that I posted about earlier this year.

I’ve actually already printed out my own copy and have been slowly reading it over the last month (it’s huge!) and it has introduced me to so many great classic RPGs I didn’t know about. You’ll find all the favourites in there such as Elder Scrolls, Might & Magic, Final Fantasy, Quest for Glory and Starflight just to name a mere few. I absolutely love how it covers what the best version is to get (eg between PC, C64, Amiga, Sega & Nintendo etc) and what the best fan mods are for many of the games.

I also recently ordered Bitmap’s other products such as the NES, SNES, Master System and Art of Point & Click Adventure books. What’s arrived so far has blown me away. I love the 3D lenticular slipcase covers! (eg turn the book and Mario will jump & coins will spin). So I think I’m going to have to get this new book too haha. Fingers crossed they do a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) book soon too as thats my real retro console love!

https://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk/blogs/news/the-crpg-book-a-guide-to-computer-role-playing-games

How to play SEGA, Nintendo & Playstation Light Gun Shooting Games on modern LCD TVs

Wow! This is an amazing project I recently discovered thanks to Retro Gamer magazine. This clever fellow has created a way to play good old Light Gun games like Duck Hunt, Virtua Cop, Terminator 2 and House of the Dead just to name a few!

Hopefully his system can be mass produced so I’ll can use one with my Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and Menacer Gun!

Here’s his Github page with all the details:
https://github.com/charcole/LCDZapper

Here’s a video of what is apparently an older version of his system:

Sonic The Hedgehog 1 & 2 HD Remastered Remake

Wow!! I can’t believe I only just found this! Some extremely talented guys have been remaking one of the best Sonic The Hedgehog games ever made, Sonic 2!

They released a playable alpha a few years ago that only contained Emerald Hill Zone, and recently they have released a brand new demo that contains an even better looking Emerald Hill Zone and yes you can continue on to a extremely impressive looking Chemical Plant Zone and Hill Top Zone!!!

I was surprised just how well it plays. The movements and controls are very smooth like the original and the demo ran fast on my computer despite me not having a proper graphics card (running off cr*ppy inbuilt Intel 4600). However the biggest shock for me was the AMAZING remastered soundtrack! Act 1 of each Zone contains an awesome remaster of the classic songs we loved that stays true to the original style, but then in each Act 2 they use a very Sonic 3 & Knuckles style where they’ve created a completely unique and different remaster of that zones song. Eg the new Act 2 Chemical Plant Zone track is friggin AWESOME! I was literally dancing at my desk while playing that level haha!!

Check out the video below, download their latest demo and give them some support and feedback!


Continue reading

Video Log 1 – Testing My SEGA Mega Drive After 20yrs

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of activity lately. Massively failed my ‘1 video every week’ promise a few months back as real life got very busy and I had to step away from ‘nerd life’ for a couple of months haha. As a result the video uploading stopped (those promised videos ARE filmed, they just need cuts & edits lol) and I missed some great milestones! Blake’s Sanctum passed 31,000 visitors (that’s 11,000 since this time last year!!!) and this blog passed the 5,000 visitor mark which is just incredible. When I think back to the early days in the 2000s when the site was lucky to get 1000 people a year it just shows how much the site has grown, the love people have for retro gaming and how my hard work has paid off. ๐Ÿ™‚

So.. I’ve decided to take my youtube channel to the next level and start doing occasional Video Logs (in between all my regular videos) talking about retro gaming and other fun stuff relating to Blake’s Sanctum. Putting myself in front of a camera is slightly nerve racking as the internet can be mean haha but hopefully some people will enjoy the more ‘personalised’ content as apposed to the usual gameplay with my droning voice in the background vids haha.

To kick this new video series off I thought it would be fun to get out my old SEGA Mega Drive (Genesis for US viewers) that I hadn’t touched in 20yrs due to a broken cable and test it along with all my old games. I also talk about my love for retro gaming and recommend some great twitter retro gaming personalities & news channels to follow if you want to get more into the current scene.

PART 1:
Introduction, Getting out the SEGA Mega Drive & Games, Setting up & talking about retro gaming scene. Testing Sonic the Hedgehog 1,2,3 and Sonic & Knuckles.

In the end I waffled on so much and was having so much fun the video got waaaay longer than planned lol so here’s part 2.

PART 2:
Testing Super Monaco GP, Bubsy, Menacer 6 Shooting Games, Lemmings 2 Tribes and Starflight.

Great Retro Gaming News Sources

Hi guys,

Found some great retro gaming, indie gaming, classic consoles & emulation news sources last night. I’m amazed to see just how alive the old Commodore 64 community is too. Check them all out!

https://twitter.com/Indie_RetroNEWS

(there are people friggin building new Commodore 64s & making new games lol)
https://twitter.com/CommodoreBlog

https://twitter.com/_RetroGaming_

(I used to visit Zophar’s Domain in the 90s lol)
https://twitter.com/ZopharsDomain

https://twitter.com/emuparadise

(These guys appear to be a magazine that’s been going for years.. how on earth did I not know about them!!!)
https://twitter.com/RetroGamer_Mag

Looks like you can subscibe to the magazine here:
https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Retro-Gamer-UK-Magazine-Subscription-Subscription.cfm

And these guys have past copies in digital format:
https://au.zinio.com/www/browse/back-issues.jsp?productId=500654829

These are Australian sites however it’s a UK magazine so no doubt you’ll be able to find similar online distributors for other international locations.