I don't know of this link is new or not, but check out http://sega.jp/opinion, which is a general contact form where you can contact Sega of Japan about stuff. In a recent interview with Famitsu 360, one of the Sega producers urged gamers to request classic Sega game you'd like to see ported to modern platforms. The past couple years, Sega has been absolutely brilliant in bringing its back catalogue to various services - recent arcade games like After Burner Climax, The House of the Dead 4, and Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, revamped ports like Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Daytona USA and now NiGHTS into Dreams, and the awesome Sega Vintage Collection, with the likes of Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and Monster World.
Anyway, disregard whatever game you want to see on the service, because you should vote for Planet Harriers instead. Here is why.
Planet Harriers is the last in the line started by Space Harrier, which was originally released in arcades back in 1986. There were a few follow-ups like Space Harrier 3D for the Master System and Space Harrier II for the Genesis, but both were on weaker hardware and could not hold a candle to the original. Planet Harriers was something more of a true sequel - like the fantastic After Burner Climax and equally amazing OutRun 2, both of which it predated, it took the basic concepts of the original and molded it into a more modern game. The logical evolution of Space Harrier was to turn it into something like Panzer Dragoon, which is exactly what Planet Harriers is. You fly through canyons and caverns. There is are lock-on missiles. Opa-Opa from Fantasy Zone even runs a shop where you can buy stuff. The character designs are silly, yes, like the sexy nurse and the punk rock guy, but it really is classic Sega, blue skys and all.
There is a brief review in HG101's Space Harrier article, which is short because I'd written it all from memory, having played it only once several years before in a tiny "arcade" shoved in the corner of the food court in the Palisades Mall in Nyack, NY. I would like to be able to play it again. The best we can do in the meantime is watch this video:
Planet Harriers was released in 2000 only in the arcades for the Hikaru hardware, which was a stopgap between the Naomi (basically Dreamcast hardware) and Chihiro (basically Xbox hardware). Although the Xbox could've handled it from a technical standpoint (and perhaps even the Dreamcast could as well, if somewhat compromised), the game was never ported, for whatever tragic reasons. And since the only machines I've ever seen for it are in cabinet form, this makes it highly unlikely that you'll find it in an arcade nowadays. And the Hikaru is not emulated at the moment, nor is it emulatable in the near future. Unless a breakthrough happens, an official release from Sega will be the only way Planet Harriers ever gets exposed to the public, lest it become lost to the ravages of time.
So that's why you should vote for Planet Harriers. Sure, you might want to play Panzer Dragoon Saga. But you know what? Even if you don't feel like buying a Saturn and paying $150 for the discs, you can always just boot up SSF, torrent the ISOs, and have at it. I'd definitely love to play Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder, SegaSonic the Hedgehog or OutRunners on my Xbox, but I can already do that with MAME, if I wanted to. Any number of other random Genesis or Saturn or arcade games work the same way. It's not exactly the most legal way to do things, but it is possible. You can't do this with Planet Harriers, at all, and might not be able to, ever.
And if you don't care about Planet Harriers, keep in mind some of the other games that never got ports (or got crappy ports) and remain unemulated. Daytona USA 2, maybe? MAME claims Wing War doesn't work, but it kinda does, and would still be neat to see. Cool Riders, or Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders (minus the license perhaps) or Sega Super GT/SCUD Race would be fantastic too. Even the remaining Spikeout games would be neat, considering the only one available is an obscure Xbox release.
Anyway, the form is in Japanese, so here are the instructions:
In the first space just put your e-mail address. In the second space put the game you want (Planet Harriers XBLA/PSN, or プラネットハリアーズ XBLA/PSN). In the last one you can put in a comment, just something simple. I wrote mine in English but if you want to be classy you can put in Japanese too, with these simple translations:
I want Planet Harriers! -
Please port Planet Harriers to XBLA/PSN -
I want to have Planet Harriers' babies! -
(actually don't do that one, even if the idiom makes any sense when translated into Japanese it will probably be kinda creepy.)
So let's all pitch in and make this a thing that can happen, and keep a bit of arcade history alive!