SEGA Nerds’ 2013 game round-up

Holy cow, has SEGA released a lot of games this year! There were 44 games to be exact, released across nearly every viable platform imaginable. Hey, even the OUYA got three Sonic titles!

It’s easy to lose sight of the high number of titles SEGA released, especially when some games were released at the beginning of the year. That’s why we decided to begin a new tradition at SEGA Nerds where we rank every game SEGA released for the year that we played and got some good time in.

Unfortunately, while we would love to have played and reviewed every SEGA title launched this year, we are just mere mortals and have been unable to get our hands on all the titles. So we’ll begin the rankings with an unranked section of the 2013 line-up; we have a brief overview of how well these games have been received by other critics, so hopefully you will be able to get an idea of whether the game is suitable for you or not.


Company of Heroes 2

Developer: Relic Entertainment | Platform: PC | Release date: June 25
This is one game I’m sorry we didn’t get to review at the time. In fact we nearly did. Unfortunately, (fans of the Nerdcast should know) G’s gaming laptop at the time was suffering some graphics card issues and was unable to play the game properly. However, the game received generally high scores all round and is said to be a solid addition to the franchise, with a strong emphasis on use of tactics on different maps. Though some reviewers were disappointed with the game’s overall story and balance issues.

Defenders of Oasis

Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: June 20
Originally released on the Game Gear, Defenders of Oasis was a breath of fresh air – giving the JRPG genre a lovely Arabian twist. Reviewer today have still given Defenders of Oasis generally decent scores. It seems elements have dated, with turn-based battles said to be frustrating and only fans of the genre will really get their teeth into it.

Demon Tribe

Developer: SEGA | Platform: iOS | Release date: Nov. 21
Described by some reviewers as an ambitious card collecting title. Reviewers generally praised the game for being enjoyable and for it’s real-time multiplayer. However it was criticised for it’s difficult learning curve, with the game said to be confusing at times.

Football Manager Handheld 2014

Developer: Sports Interactive | Platform: iOS, Android | Release date: Nov. 14

Similar to the PC version, where the franchise has continued to dominate, Football Manager Handheld 2014 is said to be equally enjoyable on iOS devices. While many of its PC features have been stripped back, the game is said to retain the essence that makes it so enjoyable. However, just like the PC version, it really is a game for fans of football (that’s soccer to the U.S. peoples).

Kingdom Conquest

Developer: SEGA | Platform: iOS, Android | Release date: Jan. 17
Kingdom Conquest is Sega’s take on the ‘freemium’ and farming sim genre,  bringing land conquering elements as well as a real-time multiplayer dungeon crawling mode. Reviewers have praised the game for bringing far more depth than similar games in this genre.

Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya

Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Jun. 13
The second of three Shining Force Game Gear titles, Sword of Hajya is often considered to be one of the worst in the franchise. However, that is partly due to it being a continuation of Shining Force Gaiden (the first Game Gear title) and using lots of Gaiden references. The stupid thing is that Sword of Hajya was the only Game Gear title to be released in the West. Anyway, reviewers have generally found the 3DS re-release to be an enjoyable title and despite the obvious visual impairments from such an old title, the gameplay has held up over the years. And, as some have pointed out, the original Game Gear title is so expensive to buy now that the 3DS download is practically a steal!

Puzzle Pirates

Developer: Three Rings | Platform: iOS | Release date: June 20
What is essentially a port of the 2003 PC, Puzzle Pirates is probably one of the more unique games you are likely to play. More family oriented, the game mixes various classic-style puzzle games with MMO gameplay. While the PC original reviewed quite favourably (even winning some awards) the iOS version didn’t quite achieve the same accolades – receiving a more mixed score results, with some reviewers criticising its lack of depth and many uninspiring elements.

Total War: Rome II (PC) – Release date: Sept. 2

Developer: The Creative Assembly | Platform: PC | Release date: Sept. 2
Another game we wish we had reviewed at the time. But critics everywhere have been raving about the game since its launch. It did suffer from some bugs and gameplay issues on its release, however that didn’t stop it receiving rave reviews. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should no doubt enjoy Total War: Rome II.

Ranked titles:


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: July 4
I used to love this title back on the Game Gear, but I confess, it isn’t very good. The music is good, but everything else is lacklustre and it really does not feel like a Sonic title. Not a patch on Racing Transformed. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: June 27
Oh no … This is another game I liked back in the day. What was I thinking?! It’s slow, clunky and it’s missing the most important part of any video game- FUN. It’s not worth checking this out, even if you’re the most hardcore Sonic fan. Steer well clear. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: PC, Mobile | Release date: Feb. 22
Servers closed down in August. While this game had moments of fun, it was almost too little, too late for SEGA to release it. Much like several Facebook and even iOS titles before it, Godsrule had you building a small civilization maintaining it and defending from attacking enemies. The fun side was being able to do small side missions to gather resources, but the fun was short-lived, combat felt sterile quite quickly, you were stuck in almost and it was just a bit boring. (~G~)


Developer: Owlchemy Labs | Platform: Android | Release date: July 19
This one wasn’t that much of an original game in terms of gameplay, had not much to do against games like Fruit Ninja. (Kopke)


Developer: Sonic Team | Platform: OUYA | Release date: July 9
Another failed attempt at trying to appeal to old-school Sonic fans. The wonky physics and uninspiring level designs leave this title as nothing but a disappointment. It’s nice to see SEGA supporting the Ouya, but this just isn’t one I can recommend. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: Sonic Team | Platform: OUYA | Release date: July 9

Just as bad as the first episode. The addition of Metal Sonic is a nice throwback to Sonic CD, but it has all the same problems as the first episode. The first stage is perhaps one of the most frustrating, badly designed opening stages to a Sonic game yet. Do yourself a favour and stick to the original 16-bit Sonic games. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: Gearbox | Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC | Release date: Feb. 12
I didn’t hate this game as much as everyone else seemed to. A ridiculous story sits on top of a serviceable single player FPS in familiar surrounds. The game abounds in atmosphere, and with solid multiplayer, it is worth a look for Alien fans. (Andrew Pine)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: iOS, Android | Release date: April 24
The Lost Reels isn’t a bad game, but it’s just not that very good either. It’s a shame too because the potential is there – the controls are solid, the shooting works well and I had some fun with it. But had Magic Pockets taken the time to address the poor soundtrack, and overly repetitive level design and enemy models, the game could have been worthy to sit next to HOTD: Overkill. (Chris)


Developer: Jay Geertsen, SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: June 13
It’s Columns! On 3DS! While I haven’t played this version, I can imagine it would be similar to the originals. It’s like Tetris, but not quite as compelling. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: June 20
Tails Adventure isn’t your typical Sonic game. It’s much slower paced and requires a bit of thinking to progress through each stage. Like Crystal Warriors it hasn’t aged too well, but it’s still playable and is definitely a title worth playing if you’re a fan of our two tailed hero. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: iOS | Release date: Feb. 21
While Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno received pretty average-to-low review scores, I thought the game wasn’t as bad as a lot of sites made it out to be. Rather than the console versions’ 2D platforming action, Pocket Inferno has changed to a side-scrolling shooter. You control Ash as he rides on a constantly moving, badass, flying motorbike through colourful levels, shooting your way through baddies and destructible walls. Each level has different objectives, which earn you stars, which help to unlock upgrades. The problem is that the levels can become rather mundane, the objectives start to repeat, the humour grows tiresome and there just isn’t much to it. (~G~)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: iOS | Release date: Sept.12
A nice rhythm and dance game that depends more on your reflexes, so you don’t get the kind of frustration when you fail like in Space Channel 5. I liked that they added the camera tablet and mobile functions, feels like using kinect. The catalogue music is mostly pop songs, not my kind of game nor the music also but it has nice gameplay. (Kopke)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Dec. 5
Another cracking port of a Mega Drive classic, Altered Beast 3D offers the same beat ’em up fun as the original, but with some nice additions. Local play is also on offer, to bring a two-player mode to the handheld version (something I was afraid would have been missed out). The down side is that Altered Beast’s gameplay and level design is starting to feel really dated. Unlike games like Sonic, which have multiple routes and interesting elements to each level, Altered Beast’s now feel mundane and a tad dull. Also, while the 3D is solid, it doesn’t really enhance the game that much, but it is a solid port of the original game nevertheless. (~G~)


Developer: SIMS | Platform: 3DS | Release date: July 4
Master of Darkness is a supremely playable, Castlevania-style platformer. The eerie soundtrack, gorgeous Victorian-era graphics and great level design make this an under, under-appreciated gem hiding away on the eShop that I implore you to play. (Andrew)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: June 27
This is a game I absolutely LOVED back in the day. Crystal Warriors on the Game Gear is similar to popular Nintendo franchises Fire Emblem and Famicom Wars. While it hasn’t aged brilliantly, it’s a fun little title that fits perfectly on the 3DS virtual console. The music, while repetitive, it catchy as all hell too. A very nostalgic little game. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA Sports Japan | Platform: Wii U, 3DS | Release date: Nov. 15
A better executed excuse for Mario and Sonic to co-op, having elements from both worlds feels balanced. Also SEGA produced an amazing OST remixing Nintendo and SEGA tunes for the game. Not my kind of game, but well done for a party game. (Kopke)


Developer: Sonic Team | Platforms: Wii U, 3DS | Release date: Oct. 22
It’s clear SEGA took a long, hard look at the opposition when developing this title. It feels more like a romp through the Mushroom Kingdom than it does Mobius. Still, that’s not to say it isn’t fun. While light on content, the Wii U version is interesting and while not quite on the same level of quality as Mario Galaxy, it’s still worth a buy. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: Fishing Cactus, SEGA AM2 | Platform: iOS, Android | Release date: Feb. 7
The mobile version of After Burner Climax is a pretty enjoyable and frantic romp, much like the console digital versions of the game. Even on the mobile platforms, the game looks pretty damn gorgeous, with great skyscapes to fly through and tons of enemies and projectiles flying at you. The downsides are that the controls on mobile versions feels a tad too twitchy at times, leading to annoying deaths when trying to negotiate some of the tighter terrains. Also the gameplay does become repetitive, so it’s fun for a while, but I don’t you can keep playing it for long sessions. (~G~)


Developer: Platinum Games | Platform: PS3, Xbox 360 | Release date: Jan. 8
Platinum Games always make nice beat em’ ups, so it feels really natural when you play this game with a brawl type system with missions. The soundtrack is really nice because it has really catchy songs, and while listening to the lyrics you can notice a lot of references to some SEGA and Nintendo games. Add Bayonetta to the mix, and you have a fun game to play! Really enjoyed this one, but a had some trouble to solve some missions that were not that clear for me. (Kopke)


Developer: Double Fine Productions | Platform: Multiplatform | Release date: Jan. 22
Man! I loved this game!!! It has the entire Ron Gilbert seal. I was a fan of Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango back in the day, so I got really excited when it came out. I had a great time solving the puzzles, loved the humor, and the dark twists of each character. I think the controls weren’t that nice in terms of jump response, however each character having its own abilities and stories gave this one great replay value. (Kopke)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Nov. 28
Though I still completely suck at Super Hang-On, this re-release is a lot of fun and it’s good that you can alter the difficulty for rubbish players, like me. There is a downside though, the 3D visuals are actually more of a hindrance than a cool feature. Elements do look quite good in 3D, like the other racers – but most of the time the other bikes look like they are floating off the track and some of the road-side signs seem to shift their visual positions and caused me to have numerous collisions – even though I didn’t appear to hit them. (~G~)


Developer: Crypton Future Media | Platform: PlayStation 3 | Release date: June 11
The Hatsune Miku games are hyper cute, rhythm game madness starring that eponymous, green-haired vocaloid, Hatsune Miku. Project Diva f is actually a lot of fun and if you enjoy rhythm games there is a lot to like here. (Andrew Pine)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Dec. 12
A fantastic port of the original by M2 here. Much like 3D Sonic, 3D Ecco the Dolphin features some new options and changeable settings to alter the gameplay a bit. I think for those who found the original quite taxing,  will love the addition of Super Dolphin Mode – where Ecco is essentially invincible, doesn’t need to breathe air and his sonar can do damage. This feature takes most of the challenge away from the game, but you do still need to solve the various puzzles and negotiate the maze-like levels. Also the 3D visuals look pretty awesome – especially when you are on the water’s surface, as it almost looks 2.5D. (~G~)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Dec. 19
M2 has done it again, bringing another solid port of a 16-bit favourite. I was never a big fan of the Shinobi franchise, but for some reason this re-release had me hooked. It could have been the additional 3D visuals, which occasionally gave the illusion of playing a 2.5D title – but whatever it is, I had a lot of fun. The down side is that the 3DS’ analogue pad isn’t always the best for the frantic ninja combat – especially when you get to some of the trickier jumping sections. (~G~)


Developer: Sports Interactive | Platform: PC | Release date: Oct. 31
Definitely this game series has the edge in its genre, EA dropped off from competing, and we can see why.  This one has a way better interface from its predecessors, while it doesn’t have much changes in terms of system gameplay. I can see why this game became successful because it’s like “fantasy football” gone way better, so it’s really a nice game to procrastinate while working instead of using Facebook. (Kopke)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Dec. 5
M2 does the original Sonic title justice on the 3DS. While it may not have widescreen support and extra playable characters like on Android and iOS, the 3D works well and it’s a near perfect port of the original game. The extensive options allow for different types of 3D, screen effects and even a level select mode. Well worth playing. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Nov. 28
I just can’t get enough of Space Harrier. This is a fantastic port of the arcade version and the 3D effect feels like Space Harrier was made with it in mind. Great fun and definitely one for the old school SEGA enthusiast. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Dec. 19
One of the very reasons I even bought a Mega Drive in the first place was for Streets of Rage, and I’m so happy that the 3D port plays so well. The 3D visuals look great with Streets of Rage’s quasi-isometric style, and I’m happy to report that the game features local multiplayer, so you don’t have to take to the raging streets alone. Again there are also new features to make gameplay easier, especially for new-comers, such as ‘Fists of Death Mode’ where you have one-hit kills on all enemies; it makes the game super easy, but it’s fun if you just want a quick play through. (~G~)


Developer: SEGA | Platform: 3DS | Release date: Dec. 12
I am ashamed to say I never played this game on the original Mega Drive and didn’t really know what type of game it was. 3D Galaxy Force II is possibly one of the best games I have played all year. Similar to games like Star Wing (SNES) or Star Fox 64 (N64/3DS) but without using fancy 3D polygons, Galaxy Force II uses basic sprites to give the illusion of flying through some intense space/planet based missions – and does it brilliantly. The 3D visuals also add some real depth to the game. If you have a 3DS, stop reading this and go buy Galaxy Force II, it’s freaking awesome. (~G~)


Developer: Hardlight Studio | Platform: iOS, Android | Release date: March 7
Incredibly addictive! Hardlight Studios further prove that they know what works for mobile titles and that they can handle SEGA IP’s with great care. Sonic Dash is well supported with frequent updates and it’s free! What more could you ask for? I can’t wait to see more from Hardlight in 2014! (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: Christian Whitehead, SEGA | Platform: OUYA | Release date: Aug. 1
Now this is much better than the abysmal Sonic 4. Whitehead’s port of Sonic CD is a big improvement on the original. New options such as a soundtrack select help make this the definitive version of Sonic CD. We can’t wait to see more of the Reto Engine in the future. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: Christian Whitehead, Sonic Team | Platform: Android | Release date: May 16

Christian Whitehead always does a fantastic job. This excellent remake of the original 1991 Sonic is well worth the tiny asking price. Widescreen support and playable Tails are the icing on cake for sure! (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: Modern Dream | Platform: PC | Release date: Oct. 29
I am thankful to Modern Dream for being able to finish this one. A nice and refreshing continue of the Typing of the Dead series, it found an excellent home on Steam PC. It lacks of Local Multiplayer for the TOTD: Overkill section but online multiplayer plays nicely. This game is fun and a must! Loved it. (Kopke)


Developer: Christian Whitehead, Sonic Team | Platform: iOS, Android | Release date: Dec.12
Whitehead outdoes the rest once again. The addition of a completed Hidden Palace Zone is incredibly cool and it makes my favourite game of all time that little bit better. (Lee Sparkes)


Developer: SEGA Australia | Platform: PS3, 360, PC, iOS | Release date: Sept. 4
An awesome tribute to the original one, SEGA Australia did the right choice on making a re-take on the original, felt controls were a little bit tricky but once I got used to them, I was OK.  Loved the art and the remixed music. Graphics look gourgeous. Get the consoles version, not the PC one, I had a bad time with the PC framerate and scale bug which makes that version hard to play. (Kopke)


Developer: Sumo Digital | Platforms: Multi | Release date: Feb. 12
And here we are at the end! Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is the best SEGA game of 2013, and we applaud Sumo Digital for the amazing work they put into it and still do with continued downloadable content. The game is a definite improvement on the first and chock full of SEGA goodies. Great for fans of classic SEGA titles, too! We’re still waiting for that Segata Sanshiro DLC! (Lee Sparkes)

Chris Powell

Chris is the editor-in-chief at SEGA Nerds and Mega Visions Magazine. Over the years, he's written for publications like Joystiq, PSP Fanboy, RETRO magazine, among others. Oh yeah, he's also been a diehard SEGA Nerd his entire life.

Related Articles

Back to top button