I finished the kindle sample recently and have been debating on purchasing it. I like it so far as I’m not too knowledgeable on the behind the scenes stuff from that era. Any RGBers read it? Worth picking up? The reviews seem to be pretty good.
I read it, and thought it was awesome. Some of the made up dialogue is meh, but it was obvious that Blake got serious access, and did tons of research to make this book. A ton of good information in there. It’s more SEGA focused than Nintendo, if that matters.
I read it earlier this year and enjoyed it.I do wish they went a liittle more in depth on what Nintendo was doing during that time but its very biased towards SEGA.
I have it. I agree with complaints about the cheesy made up (and sometimes anachronistic) dialogue, and I feel they unfairly bashed Alex Kidd, but it’s a good book that was long overdue.
Yeah I felt that he was a little too gushing about the people and personalities behind the scenes during that era, and I would assume he wrote it like that so that he could have access to those people.
So if you have a high tolerance for corny dialogue and overly positive characters, there is a good amount of info. I’d recommend it if you’re interested.
Thanks for the replies! I’m pretty busy through the holidays but I plan on buying it after that.
Got this when it came out a few years back. I really enjoyed it. Tons of interesting stuff, and it’s a very pleasant read. Most people posting on a forum like this would like it.
Really enjoyed it! The author seems really cool and interested in interviews too. It does have a very in-house Sega versus outside view of Nintendo though, but as I gather former Nintendo employees seemed much more restrictive when interviewed prior to the book, while Tom Kalinske and Al Nilsen seemed really open and easy to get lots of knowledge from in that time period.
I thought it was super informative - worth it as a history lesson. A lot of the embellishments (mainly the dialog, like others have noted) are a bit lacking, but a fun read regardless.
I’m planning to read it.
Also I think there’s just not quite as much to say from Nintendo’s perspective. Their business strategy at the time just seemed very passive, and at most reactionary to what Sega was doing. Like it was barely even worth acknowledging that they had competitors (And from the perspective of the domestic Japanese market, that attitude kind of makes sense). That only started changing with the “Play It Loud” mid 90’s era, though by that time Sega’s market position had already begun collapsing from the dysfunctional internal politics.
I enjoyed it thoroughly. Hopefully the movie becomes a reality.
I thought it was great. Would recommend.
I think the main reason is nobody at Nintendo talked to the author. Not like SEGA did. Typical Nintendo.
It’s also a better story to follow SEGA, the underdog, trying to catch up to Nintendo.
i did the audiobook years back - as a sega/kalinske fan, i absolutely adored it. it’s an underdog tale, and ends just around the close of the 16-bit era, making you wish there was a sequel following nakyama or someone through the next 2 console cycles.
If anyone is interested in that part of history, the sega-16 webmaster recently publishd a book called “Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games”, which is good from what I’ve read. Plus you get all the deetz about the development of the immortal saturn classic, BUG!!!
I read it last year over Thanksgiving while in San Francisco. Great read. Sega of America was really on point back then. Shame that the Japanese branch was so jealous.
Yeah, this is a must for Sega history fans, too.
I took some of the dialogue with a grain of salt, but ultimately found it very interesting.
Not to hijack this thread, but for those looking for another hardware-development centric true story, check out The Race For A New Game Machine
It’s not as salaciously written, but it’s interesting. It tackles the lesser known story of how IBM double-dipped and created the 360’s processor based off of R&D subsidized by the research for Sony’s ‘Cell’ processor.
I’m halfway through the book at the moment. Precisely at the point where Sega are developing Sonic 2 and there’s a rift between the developers and SOA about the Miles “Tails” Prowers name. The dialogue/screenplay elements of the book are incredibly inflated fluff nonsense which can lean towards insulting at times but it does compliment the factual/info paragraphs of the book surprisingly well. I found it quite fascinating and enthralling reading about the history of Sega and their struggles between America and Japan with the dialogue bits between Tom Kalinske and the reps at SOJ added for good measure to drive the sentiment…Thing is, I only wished the dialogue was believable and good. Still, knowing that the dialogue was fabricated from the get-go makes the book tolerable. Had I been advised that the book was trying to be as close to reality as possible then I’d be quite pissed off with it. By being told that some of it was “reimagined” and therefore fictional you can excuse the dialogue bits and take it with a pinch of salt. The juicy parts of the book are the research/factual side of it and it reads like a gripping documentary. Those are the parts that make me keep reading. Overall, Its a fun book if you’re into retro video games and the cut-throat business at the time (its very nostalgic) but I wouldn’t exactly recommend it to my non-video game friends.
It’s a strong 2 stars/light 3 stars out of 5 for me unless the middle to end of the book blows me away.