Giveaway: Sonic Mania Introduction Manual

Sonic Mania Website

We’re giving away twenty Sonic Mania Introduction Manuals, courtesy of SEGA. One of the ways to win a Sonic the Hedgehog manual is to comment on this post letting us know your favorite piece of fan service added to Sonic Mania. Five comments will be chosen as winners, make sure your comment has a valid email address (the email field is private). The contest starts from the day this post is live and ends on August 18, 2017 at 6:00PM PST.

To increase your chances of winning we will also be giving away five Sonic Mania Introduction Manuals on the following social media sites:

Due to the high amount of manuals that I will have to ship out, this contest is only open to people in the United States.

Review: Rez Infinite — Techno Enlightenment (PC)

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Rez is a one in a million game. A vision so confident, so bold, and so focused only comes around every decade or so. Released on the Dreamcast in late 2001 in Japan, ported for all regions on the PlayStation 2 in 2002, rereleased in HD for the Xbox 360 in 2008, remastered for VR on the PlayStation 4 in 2016, it’s now fully featured, fully formed on Steam and Windows in 2017. Rez Infinite may not technically be in the SEGA family on account of series rights apparently now owned by Enhance Games, but the legacy started with Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s concepts makes it only fitting to honor it here.

It’s a modern marvel, at once distinct, yet familiar; unique, yet clear in its inspirations; as awe-inspiring as it is clearly dated. Standing head and shoulders above its contemporaries in concept, presentation, and vision, no game comes close to it; before or since.

For the record before you hit the jump, there are certain features of Rez Infinite for the PC that I will not, and cannot review. Trance vibration is functional but I do not have the controllers for it, nor will I talk about the VR features of the game. The screenshots are also a lower res 720p than 1080p, apologies. Now, let us dive into synesthesia, and experience Mizuguchi’s masterpiece.

Shenmue III to be published by Deep Silver

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It’s a bit late here on the east coast at time of writing, but it’s never too late to report on new goings-on with Shenmue III. The latest development is that publisher Deep Silver has partnered with the YS NET team to publish the game worldwide. Deep Silver has published several renowned titles, including Saints Row, Metro, as well as assisting with SEGA-related titles like Persona 5 in Europe, and Yakuza Kiwami later this year in the same region. At time of writing, a press release regarding this development has not been released, but once it has, we’ll work to update this article with updated information.

Other news includes definitive schedules for Gamescom-related events. If you’re heading there this year, then August 23rd and 24th will be the dates to mark for a Yu Suzuki meet & greet.

Japan Racing Association x Puyo Puyo collaboration “UmaPuyo” announced

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SEGA and Japan Racing Association have teamed up for a new collaboration called UmaPuyo (literally “Horse Puyo”). The Japan Racing Association being Japan’s horse racing division since 1954, hence the association with horses. While the collaboration may seem random, SEGA has had a history with horse racing games, notably the Starhorse series of arcade game, so there’s some logic to something like UmaPuyo.

There are two minigames for UmaPuyo. First is a racing game called UmaPuyo Race where you can select your character and horse and race off. The objective is to get first place by clearing out Puyo consecutively, the more Puyo cleared the faster your horse will run.  UmaPuyo Jump is a jump platforming game where you guide a Puyo using your mouse cursor and collect horses. There are a total of 20 horses, each one based on a real-world horse that appears in the Japan Racing Association horse races. You can play both on the official Umabi website.

While on the surface there’s nothing special about this collaboration, the former game UmaPuyo Race has a contest associated with it. Every time the player wins a race, the player will get a raffle. To enter, the player needs to follow @Umabi_Official and share their victory on Twitter. Once entered, they will have an opportunity to win a cash prize of  ¥50,000 ($455.00). 5 winners will be chosen at an unspecified later date.

Special thanks for @AFKei with help translating this information.

[Source: 4gamer and Umabi.jp]

AtGames SEGA Genesis Sound Issues Fixed via Fan Hack

If you guys have heard us discuss the AtGames SEGA Genesis plug-in-play boxes that they reship to stores every year, you probably noticed that we are harsh on them for having bad emulation. One of the worse offenders from the company is the in-game sound from their unit. You can even check out a full review from My Life With SEGA where he demonstrates how bad the sound really is.

It seems that this fix will work with both AtGames Genesis machines with a SD slot and the newly released Brazilian TecToy Mega Drive since both of these machines share the same processor. It seems TecToy will apply this as an update on their devices while AtGames hasn’t said anything. Maybe they don’t care?

How to:

  • Download latest version of MDI Hack
  • Put both files from the rar inside the games folder
  • Go to main menu and choose Neto_Boot_Loader.BIN, play it as you would any game.
  • Done: No more bad sound

You can check out the differences in sound from the video above. Thanks for Usagijojo on our Discord for bringing this up. Give it a try, its not perfect but its a lot better than what you had.

SEGA Confirms No DLC Planned for Sonic Mania

SonicManiaDLCNoThe Sonic Mania fever is spreading online and now that fans have finished the game they want more. I would assume that this is a good sign, you always want gamers that complete your game to want more. Its the sign of a fun, well put together package. While some Sonic Mania fans have been asking for DLC, Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka finally came out and confirmed that there isn’t any plans for it. That’s right, Sonic Mania is leaving the potential of DLC cash on the table to deliver a complete package for only $19.99. While some might say, if they really want to be like the olden days, why not a physical release? I’m there with you. I hope Sonic Mania is successful enough digitally (which it looks like it might be) to get a physical release. I mean if Shovel Knight, Rocket League and other smaller published games can do it, so can SEGA.

As for as Sonic Mania DLC, if it where to happen, what would you want the developers to add? Personally sold on the idea of having a playable Metal Sonic, what about you guys? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via: GoNintendo]

Review: Night Trap 25th Anniversary Edition – The Definitive Package (PS4)

Night Trap is an odd little gem that has a cemented history in gaming. While the game has garnered mix reactions over the years, those that have played it will all tell you that its the leader of FMV games from the 90s, being one of the most popular games in the genre. 25 years after the initial release, Night Trap is finally getting a remastered port for modern platforms including PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One. Today we give you our review of Digital Picture’s Night Trap, brought back to life 25 years later.

Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special gets English fan translation and in-game improvements

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Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special is a strange little title, since the game was actually developed by SEGA for the SEGA Game Gear. That’s right, this was a joint effort by Atlus and SEGA, way back in 1994! 

Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special story according to this Hardcore Gaming 101 article:

“… Last Bible Special was only released for the Game Gear, and is much closer to the Megami Tensei series in terms of gameplay. The dungeons are now first person again, removing it heavily from the other Last Bible games. Instead of the usual historical theme, the setting seems to be in biblical times, with a heavy Christian slant – you’re given orders by someone who looks much like a Catholic bishop, and the backgrounds are adorned with ornate stained glass windows. And good lord, do they look good. While the static screenshots may look boring, the scrolling is much smoother than even the Super Famicom games…” 

The team not only translated the game, it also added in-game improvements:

“Here is the complete English translation patch for the Game Gear title, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special. Not only has everything been translated, but some improvements to the game have been made as well, such as making the enemy encounter rates more reasonable and incorporating faster turning in the dungeons (as it was very slow by default). We hope you enjoy this release! Consult the read-me included with the patch for more information about this project.”

You can download Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special over at romhacking.net, if you enjoy it make sure you share the release with other SEGA Game Gear fans. I mean, the fans behind the project did put a lot of effort and its nice to see them getting attention they deserve.

Review: Sonic Mania – Classic Sonic Returns! (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

I have no doubt that many reviews released today for Sonic Mania, releasing August 15 to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch and releasing August 29 to PC, will chart the ups and downs of the Sonic franchise, make mention of the recent Sonic Boom games, and make the assertion that Sonic has not been good for a long time. I also have no doubt that reviews like my own will smugly mention such reviews in an attempt to show how I’m coming at Sonic Mania from a more educated and informed place. Really, I just wanted an intro paragraph and now that that’s done we can get to what we’re all here for: my review of Sonic Mania!

SEGA Japan trademarks “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute”

PopoloSoS_Cutscene01.0SEGA Japan has recently filed a trademark for “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute” (Narushia no Namida to Yousei no Fue). The trademark was filed on July 24th. According to Gematsu, Narcia is the name of a character from the PopoloCrois series, which has faeries as a prominent role. Not only that, the series’ main developer Epics has been on a hiring spree recently for a new PopoloCrois Monogatari game, looking for a “UI design intended for smartphone and consumer game screens.” Could this mean that the next PopoloCrois game will be published by SEGA?

It seems that the PopoloCrois IP is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Even though they own the IP, 2015’s Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale was the first game to be on a non-Sony platform as the IP was licensed out to Marvelous and the game released on the Nintendo 3DS. Its possible that SEGA could be licensing the IP and planning a new entry along with developer Epics, much how they have found success with Hatsune Miku titles. What are your thoughts on SEGA trademarking “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute” ? Do you think PopoloCoris franchise should be adding to SEGA’s publishing arm?

Shining Series artist releases his art book ‘Tony’s Artworks From Origin’ tomorrow

TonysArtOriginRegardless of what you think of Tony Takas art since taking over the Shining franchise’s art duties all the way back in 2004, he seems to have acquired a massive following in Japan. While the Shining series has had trouble selling copies of their games, it seems that Japan responded positively to Tony Taka’s character designs. So much so that there is a ton of Shining series merch being sold, more so than the actual games. Tony Taka has even released a couple of Shining related art books as well, this will be more broad artwork he has done in the past.

AmiAmi will be selling the “Tony’s ART works from Origin” book which is set to feature various character designs from his career including magazine covers and vocaloids he has designed, including a long form interview looking at his history these past 20 years. The book will come in A4 page format, will have a hardcover backing and clear slip on box. The book will set you back 5,000 yen ($46), will have 100 pages and feature 80 illustrations. The details of the book also brag that about 30 of the character designs in the book got made into figurines. Good for you Tony Taka, I guess.

Hit the jump to check out preview pages of some of the artwork that will be in the book:

[Via AmiAmi]

Sonic Mania delayed on PC until August 29th

If you are unlucky person, such as yours truly, then you will probably have to wait until August 29th to play Sonic Mania. That’s right, Sonic Mania on PC has been delayed until August 29th, all other console versions will launch on August 15th as normal. I guess I will have to purchase the game on consoles, digitally, to play it without it getting spoiled. I’m pretty sure SEGA and the people working on Sonic Mania didn’t want to delay it, its just how game development go.

The news was given out during the Sonic the Hedgehog live stream over at Twitch. Another bit of news was that 26 copies of the Sonic Mania Collectors Edition will be signed by Takashi Iizuka and Kazuyuki Hoshino of Sonic Team. Good luck with that one. Aaron Webber did say that all Sonic Mania PC pre-orders will get Sonic the Hedgehog on steam for free, which happens to be the non-Chrisitan Whitehead remake. It sucks, its nice that they are trying to give out a free game but is it enough? Sound off in the comments, what is your thoughts on Sonic Mania being delayed only on PC?

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth releases October 17, check out the new Fencer trailer

Atlus has announced that Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth releases October 17 in the Americas, and as previously revealed Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth will have a launch day edition which will include extras like a physical 24-page art book, six-track CD and a outer box to hold all your goodies including the game. Amazon has the game for pre-order, if you have Amazon Prime the game will cost you $31.99.

In addition to the release date, Atlus has released a new trailer showcasing the Fencer and included the following description:

It just wouldn’t be smart to traverse the Yggdrasil tree without someone who is pretty handy with a blade, so why not have an Earthlain Fencer watch your back when exploring? The Fencer is master of both rapier and shield, and let’s just say that during fights they really like to get straight to the point. Quick on their feet, Fencers excel at evasion, stabbing, initiating defensive buffs, stabbing, chaining together attacks with other party members, and stabbing. They can further specialize in their agility by sacrificing unnecessary equipment for speed or go all in with their swordsmanship to become a whirlwind of pain.

Ristar joins SEGA Forever line-up

Ristar3Sonic Team’s Ristar might have only had one game, but it was a pretty damn good one. The stretchy armed platformer featured fantastic music, vibrant and colorful world. The game was also more of a slower platformer, having Sonic Team take a break from Sonic the Hedgehog games was a nice change of pace. If you never played the game, I feel like you should try it on a better emulator than what is being offered right now on SEGA Forever, but if a mobile phone is all you have then you can give the game a try for free, with ads. If you like what you played, you can always keep it ad-free for only $1.99. I have downloaded and played it a bit, the emulation on this title is a bit better, but still having issues with sound (on my Android device).

Download:
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It seems that Ristar had a sneak launch, while SEGA Forever teased the game, they haven’t officially announced it coming out. No trailer like they did for The Revenge of Shinobi last week and no tweet (as of writing this). If you want to learn more about the future of the SEGA Forever line of games, check out our interview with Danny Russell (Mobile Games Community Manager at SEGA).

Rez finally on PC; Rez Infinite hits Steam for $24.99

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Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s rhythm shooter Rez originally hit Japanese Dreamcasts in December of 2001. Since then, it’s gone through a PlayStation 2 update, an Xbox 360 re-release, a VR-focused remaster on PlayStation 4, and now finally, the SEGA classic has hit PC. Teased yesterday by Enhance Games, Rez Infinite has finally hit Steam, currently only available on Windows.

The release comes feature complete; the full PS4 remaster, free deluxe DLC, enhancements for 4K resolution and increased texture quality from previous versions, as well as full compatibility with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The VR support even goes so far as to include most common control inputs for the platform. At time of this writing, the game’s launch is accompanied by a 20% discount, hitting $19.99 USD and £15.99 BP.

We’ll have our own review and write-up for Rez Infinite soon(this writer particularly intended to review the PS4 version which never panned out), but for now, why not take a look at the launch trailer and Digital Foundry’s breakdown of performance under the jump?