Michael Jackson's been gone for a year. Most of us have fond memories of his music, and he's probably selling more music now than he has in a long time. Being that this is a video game blog, I'll focus on the ties MJ had to the gamer community. He had a long relationship with Sega, who produced an Arcade game based on the Moonwalker movie. The game was a Beat Em Up that featured a 3/4 perspective and was full of MJ's music and mannerisms. Unfortunately, Arcade Moonwalker cabinets suffered from Sega's Suicide Battery which would render the game unplayed at a certain point.
Sega also made home versions of Moonwalker for the Sega Genesis, Master System, and Game Gear that played a lot like their classic ninja game Shinobi. Another variation of game based on the Moonwalker film was released on several different home computer platforms. The computer versions of the game are also distinct in that they reference the early portions of the film as well as the final segment.
In addition to a starring role in the Moonwalker games, Jackson also had guest cameo appearances in Sega's Space Channel 5 games as well as a role in Midway's Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2. After MJ's death, the internet buzzards came out of the woodwork trying to cash in. Copies of the various versions of Moonwalker, which were relatively cheap at one point, began to go through the roof price wise all over the internet. In particular, an unopened copy of the Genesis version of Moonwalker sold on Ebay for over $13,000. I understand missing Michael Jackson, but I wouldn't swap a Chevy Cobalt for a video game, and that's what some sucker did when they paid that much for a Genesis game.
Everyone who ever visited Neverland Ranch will tell you one of the most amazing things in the house was his home arcade. The guy had so many vintage games, he could have opened that room up as a Twin Galaxies recognized arcade. So, it comes as no surprise that Michael Jackson would have a love of video games. I'll end this post with a little good news with regards to Michael Jackson's gamer legacy. Ubisoft has announced that they will be releasing a rhythm game based on the music and choreography of Michael Jackson. very little is actually known about the game, but after the success of games like Just Dance, it may end up being a winner. A gaming website recently voted Moonwalker on the worst licensed video games ever, but you can't deny the games charms. Here's to hoping the next game featuring The King of Pop has that charm, but better mechanics.
I Almost Forgot: Remember earlier when I mentioned MJ working with Sega? Well there has been a long running rumor that Michael Jackson's music provided the groundwork for the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog 3. If you're curious, check the last video out.
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