Friday, April 28, 2017

Night Trap, Another Sega CD Release

When the Sega CD released in October of 1992 to U.S. stores, it's launch lineup was not the most impressive. Quite a bit of the full motion video lineup was there on day 1. Night Trap was one of those games. Like the genre, it was not held to high regard but it had its following, especially when idiot Senators (who have never played video games) targeted it as being a game where you kill girls when it was the complete opposite. You were trying to save them. It would also be released on the 3DO and the Sega 32x, which required both the 32x and CD add-ons. Today, it is going to be re-released this year for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to honor it's 25th anniversary of coming out.

The history behind this game is intriguing. In 1987, Hasbro had plans to release a console of their own that ran on VHS tapes. Night Trap was filmed around that time. The system which was called Control-Vision never saw the light of day due to pricing at a time when the Nintendo Entertainment System was a lot cheaper and popular. At 300 dollars, Hasbro thought it wouldn't have sold well if it launched in 1989. Along with Sewer Shark, the game didn't catch interest until Sega looked to companies that could give them titles for the Sega CD. Looking at Night Trap, it is a cheesy 80s horror product, but with hordes upon hordes of vicious bad guys that are way stupider than the Wet Bandits, although this pre-dates Home Alone. There's nothing gruesome, especially compared to all the Friday the 13th, Elm Street, and Halloween films. If it were a movie, it would get maybe a PG-13 rating. Maybe PG since the standards weren't so strict back then.

Unfortunately, a sad reality is that Sega CD never gets games re-released. The only one that really has is Sonic CD, which has seen releases outside of it's 1993 release on Windows in 96, GameCube in 2005, and a re-done version in 2011 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Obvious games like Batman Returns and NHL 94 can't come out because of licensing. Arcade ports like Final Fight will never see the Sega CD version re-released because people want the actual arcade game. With all the compilations in the last 20 years, you would think a Sega CD game here and there would be nice. I don't know if emulation is a factor, but another big downside is that there isn't many games that can be picked that have a following. Some games are in limbo like Lunar. There's other factors but overall, it's kind of hard to figure what titles from this add-on could get a modern re-release.

Night Trap is one of the cult classics of the 90s and Sega CD. It doesn't have a putrid reception compared to later FMV games, but someone's mileage will vary on whether they think it is good or bad. It will be digital, but it will also get a physical release on PlayStation 4. There will be a low print run from publisher Limited Run Games. If stuff like this can come out, Sega and a few surviving third party companies that made games for the add-on can sure as hell do something like this for whatever original titles they might have. It's about time there is some love given to this add-on for at least one of its games.

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