Swingin’ Report Show #76: Interview with Stealth, co-developer of Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Remastered

On this week’s SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show podcast, we’re joined by Stealth, who worked on the official recent remasterings of Sonic The Hedgehog CD, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 alongside fellow developer The Taxman.

Stealth talks to us about how the remasters began development, the process of remaking classic Sonic titles, the much talked about the remastered Sonic The Hedgehog 3 proof of concept, and what fans can do to try and make Sonic 3 remastered a reality. Also featured is discussion of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 and the recent decisions SEGA has made with the franchise. If you love classic Sonic games and behind-the-scenes stories of game development, this is the show for you!

Also, Barry and George discuss the recently revealed ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter by Greg Johnson (who will be joining us next week) and Sonic Team’s mobile release Sonic Runners, which soft launched yesterday.

Support the Sonic 3 Remastered campaign: http://sonic3remastered.com/


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Sonic Runners assets uncovered, reveals new characters and upcoming events

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Sonic Retro forum member woun has been uncovering a plethora of data contained in the recently soft launched Sonic Runners. The new assets reveal upcoming characters and events that will take place in future episodes of the game. While several characters were shown off in the game’s latest trailer, new surprises include Metal Sonic and Big the Cat! Sorry, had to include an exclamation point, because c’mon… it’s Big the Cat!

Also revealed are upcoming events featuring characters and locations from Sonic and the Secret Rings, Shadow and Omega with creepy glowing purple eyes, and what appears to be Metal Espio and Metal Eggman. You can see woun’s findings as they come over at the Sonic Retro forums, and we have select images after the break.

Yu Narukami shows that he’s got style in this new Persona 4: Dancing All Night trailer

Turns out that the Persona 4: Dancing All Night character trailers aren’t being released weekly after all, with this new trailer popping up online only four days after a trailer that focused on Rise Kujikawa went up. This trailer focuses on the protagonist of the original Persona 4, Yu Narukami, as he seemingly really wants to show that he can be as stylish as the Persona 5 protagonist. Again, Youtube user bobrossfreak translated the trailer.

The trailer follows a similar format to the previous trailer, with parts of the story being shown, and Yu dancing in various outfits (including the outfit Dojima usually wears) to Maze of Life from Persona Q while seemingly being unaware of the huge headless body with big bouncing breasts that is standing behind him. Aside from the new trailer, Atlus also released a slew of new screenshots to Famitsu, which can be seen below.

Year of the Developers: A look back at the games of SEGA’s WOW Entertainment

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When SEGA WOW Month began, we took a look back at the games of SEGA’s Overworks. While Overworks existed for only a short span of time before merging with WOW Entertainment, this month has made it very clear that Skies of Arcadia made a major impact on SEGA fans. But what of WOW Entertainment? Unlike Overworks, WOW managed to release a large number of games spanning different genres on different pieces of hardware. From sequels to classic franchises like The House of the Dead and Columns, to new franchises like SEGA GT and arcade oddities like The Typing of the Dead, a collaboration with Namco, and a dog walking simulator. While WOW Entertainment can’t be pinned down to one iconic title, they more than made up for this with an amazing library of games!

Join us now for part two of our SEGA WOW retrospective, in which we take a look at the many games of WOW Entertainment.

Final Worlds Unite teaser adds Skies of Arcadia, Panzer Dragoon, Monster Hunter, and Street Fighter

Worlds UnitedWhat a great way to end the Worlds Unite teasers from Archie by announcing both Skies of Arcadia and Panzer Dragoon. As you know we have been celebrating games from Overworks, the developers of Skies of Arcadia. It’s good to see that the blue rogues never die. Its even more surprising that the comic crossover announced Panzer Dragoon as another SEGA IP it will be using for their mega crossover event. But I guess if you think about it, Monster Hunter and Panzer Dragoon ‘monsters’ battling it out would be rather interesting and appealing.

Here is a handy list of all the SEGA franchises this game will be using:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic Boom
  • Alex Kidd
  • Billy Hatcher
  • Golden Axe
  • NiGHTS into Dreams… 
  • Skies of Arcadia 
  • Panzer Dragoon

Worlds Unite crossover is begins on May 2015. If you guys want to pick up the issues head over to your local comicbook retailer and add it to your pull list. Who is excited about this?

This is Saturn celebrates one year of SEGA Saturn reviews with SEGA Touring Car Championship

It’s been one whole year of This is Saturn! To celebrate, Liam takes a look at SEGA Touring Car Championship, in the newest episode of This is Saturn; the Season One finale! 

AM Annex’s very own arcade racer for the Model 2 board and Saturn has been very much maligned throughout it’s stay in SEGA’s history, often criticised for supposedly lacking playability. But this is Liam’s show; and considering his love of the similarly maligned Gale Racer, is there something in Touring Car that can shine through likewise? Or is this one better left in the scrapheap?
Find out, in this episode of This is Saturn!

This is Saturn is a video series created by British teenager Liam ‘TrackerTD’ Ashcroft, aiming to give an alternative and in-depth look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of SEGA Saturn gaming, all whilst maintaining a somewhat strong accent.

Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel.

Sonic Runners is out now on Google Play and iTunes

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If you are excited about the new Sonic Team developed Sonic game, Sonic Runners then the wait is over (maybe). The game is officially out on the Google Play for Android, but sadly many people (myself included) have been plagued with the ‘This app is incompatible with all of your devices.‘ message. Meaning you can’t download it at this exact moment. Many people have been saying the app won’t be officially up until February 26th (time zone differences from Japan). As for the Apple version, that has only appeared in the Japanese iTunes, which you can see below.

Android | iTunes

Android APK

If I get my hands on the APK file, then I will post it here later. If you get the game downloaded, tell us what you think in the comment section. Will keep you updated when its officially up to download in the US.

[Update] The game as of right now is out in the Canadian iTunes and in Japanese online stores. SEGA America and Europe have issued the following statement:

Sonic Runners is a new mobile game developed by the Sonic Team in Japan. We are soft-launching it in select countries to see how the game does and to work out any bugs.  No decision has been made yet whether it will be released in the US or Europe. It will depend on our observations during the soft-launch phase which could take several months.  

To learn how to download and install a APK on Android, please read this. Here is a work around for non-Canadian iPhone/iPad users to get Sonic Runners.

SEGA announcing a new game and anime series at AnimeJapan 2015

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SEGA has been saying they are looking into crossing over into more multimedia projects. SEGA Japan has experimented with having animes based around their games for awhile now including the Shining series of anime, Valkyria Chronicles anime and even Hero Bank got one. Now SEGA is set to announce a new game along with its anime series day one at this year’s AnimeJapan event, according to Famitsu.

Since the popular (in Japan) Nanamori-chu Goraku-bu girl band will be there for the event, I would assume it will be a franchise similar to Yuri Yuri; which they voice.

The announcement will be made on March 21st, so mark your calendars and come back; we will definitely be posting it up.

Former SEGA of America CEO Tom Kalinske has harsh words for the company

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Tom Kalinske oversaw SEGA of America in the early 90s during the Genesis era, arguably the company’s most successful time in the console space. Despite their incredible Western success under his leadership, his relations with SEGA of Japan were sometimes strained, most notably with regard to the launch of the Saturn. He departed the company in 1996.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz at the DICE Summit, shortly after the recently-announced downsizing and relocating of SEGA’s American headquarters, he does not mince words when discussing his former company.

“[Their departure from hardware] was not inevitable,” Kalinske said. “It could have been avoided if they had made the right decisions going back literally 20 years ago. But they seem to have made the wrong decisions for 20 years.”

Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter looks to bring the funky aliens back to Earth

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While the official Toejam & Earl Facebook page has been teasing it for a good month, the official unveiling is finally here! Toejam and Earl are set for a return to video games with the announcement of a Kickstarter set to fund the fourth game in the series Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove. This game has no connection to SEGA, as noted in the Kickstarter description, and will be developed by a small team headed by Greg Johnson, one of the two original creators and owner of the Toejam and Earl games. The game is set to be much like the original, with a fixed isometric camera, 2D sprites, simple controls, and an emphasis on co-op play. Despite resembling the first game, there are plans to bring in elements of the sequel, though no mention is being made of the third game.

head on over to the official Kickstarter page for a pitch video, several pieces of concept art, and a long list of various reward tiers including some really nice looking vinyl toys. With 29 days to go, the game has already hit $5,818 of their $400,000 goal. Stay tuned to SEGAbits for updates on the campaign and additional Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove news!