First three Virtual-On games coming to PS4 in Japan, “Twin-Stick Project Z” by TANITA also announced

After receiving the strange crossover A Certain Magical Virtual-On, SEGA is going back to the basics for their Virtual-On series. Recently announced is that the first three games in the series, respectively Cyper Troopers Virtual-On, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram, and Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force, will all be coming to the Playstation 4 in the future. These games will be based on their respective arcade versions, along with the most recent version “Ver. 5.66” in the case of Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram. It’s currently unknown if there will be any additional features available, along with other details such as a pricing or release date. Also the omission of Virtual-On MARZ is strange, but they likely wanted to stick with the games that were made for the arcades.

Virtual-On is an arena robot fighting game that originally used twin sticks to jump, dash, and shoot. Naturally for those that want an authentic experience, this may cause some concern. Luckily, a third party manufacturer under the name TANITA is going to produce a brand new twin stick controller that was originally planned for A Certain Magical Virtual-On. It was originally funded using a Campfire campaign under the name “Twin Stick Project Z”, which as of this writing has surpassed it’s intended goal of 44,600,000円. Currently there’s no word on when this controller will enter full production.

It’s not known if any of these games or the controller will receive a release outside of Japan as of this writing, but keep in touch for any future updates.

[Source: SEGA Japan Twitter / Tanita]

SEGA AGES Thunder Force IV (Lightening Force) Review – Lightning Strikes Again (Nintendo Switch)

After a long hiatus, partially due to the downfall of the company Technosoft, the Thunder Force series is steadily regaining it’s spark. SEGA has been courteous enough to give fans of the series some much needed love, first with M2’s version of Thunder Force III as apart of the SEGA 3D line of titles for the 3DS, then later it’s follow up Thunder Force IV (aka Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar) and the arcade game Thunder Force AC as apart of the SEGA AGES line of titles on the Nintendo Switch.

Today we’re going to be looking at SEGA AGES Thunder Force IV in particular. This is arguably the best game in the series, and commonly praised as an example of one of the SEGA Genesis’ best shmups available on the system. But does this SEGA AGES version live up to this praise, or is it more like flying into a stray bullet and dying multiple times?

SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog Review – Old Hog, New Tricks (Nintendo Switch)

The original Sonic the Hedgehog has a very long history with re-releases on many systems. Starting with Sonic Jam on the SEGA Saturn, the blue insectivore’s first outing has appeared on many systems from the likes of SEGA, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. These ranged from the fantastic like Taxman’s efforts on mobile devices, to the absolute atrocious like the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis on GBA. Either way, Sonic the Hedgehog is once again on a new platform, this time Nintendo’s latest console the Nintendo Switch.

Though on the surface it seems like a straight forward port, the developers at M2 decided to add new features to spice up the experience a bit, giving the player new options to toy with while retaining the original feel of the original release. Does SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog give the game a much needed breath of life, or is it just another cheap cash grab?

Virtua Racing coming to the SEGA Ages lineup, Twitter survey results revealed


Yet another title is coming to the Nintendo Switch’s lineup of SEGA Ages titles. This time it’s the AM2 developed racing game Virtua Racing, a formula one racing game notably being the first title in SEGA’s series of “Model” arcade boards that would later power games such as Virtua Fighter. At Tokyo Game Show 2018 SEGA has formally revealed the game will be coming to the lineup in the future, though has not specified any details such as a release date, pricing, or any bonus content like the other SEGA Ages titles.

In addition, SEGA has revealed the results of their official SEGA Ages poll on Twitter, asking what games people want to see in the collection in the future. These results are based on general franchises instead of specific games unless stated otherwise. Click below to see the results.

Puyo Puyo E Sports Officially Announced – Coming to PS4 and Switch on October 25th

Puyo Puyo E Sports has been previously been rumored multiple times, both by Puyo Puyo producer Mizuki Hosoyamada on social media and a Korean ratings board. Now however we have official confirmation from SEGA themselves.

Puyo Puyo E Sports is effectively a simplified version of Puyo Puyo that heavily focuses on a competitive scene. This includes a new tournament mode where players pit against each other in a classic bracket 1 vs. 1 fashion, up to 8 players being able to participate. Unlike past games where there’s a focus on multiple different modes, Puyo Puyo E Sports simplifies it to the recurring Tsu Rules and Fever Rules only.

Puyo Puyo E Sports is slated for both the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, with a planned Japan release on October 25th, notably being the the franchise’s 27th anniversary. It’s unknown at the time of this writing if it will be available outside of Japan. Due to the minimal content and recycled assets, the pricing is slated to be only ¥1999 (roughly $18), a lot lower than a typical game.

[Source: Official Website]

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to be removed from Japanese 3DS/Wii U eShop

MarioSonic2016Japan

Bad news for the few people out there that are fans of the Mario & Sonic Olympic Games crossovers. It’s been announced that the most recent game in the series, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, will be pulled from the Japanese 3DS/Wii U eShop on 27 December 2017 at 10:00 JST. This will also include the demo version of the game. It’s unknown if other regions will also pull the game from the respective 3DS/Wii U eShops.

No reason has been specified as to why the game is being pulled. The most likely theory is that the license to use the Mario or Olympic branding has been expired, and as a result the game will be pulled to not violate laws. This may also foreshadow the series being quietly cancelled, if the license to use the Mario or Olympics is not being renewed. Considering that the next Winter Olympics is coming in 2018 with no Mario & Sonic title announced yet, it’s a real possibility.

[Source: Japanese Nintendo]

New Madou Monogatari Game Gear collection announced

Madou GG

A new collection for the Madou Monogatari by D4 Enterprises and Project EGG has been announced. A follow up from past collections, such as the Mega Drive version of Madou Monogatari I and Madou Monogatari: Hanamaru Dai Youchienji ones previously reported, collection focuses on the Game Gear versions of Madou Monogatari I, II, III, and A. In addition to these game, the collection will also come with reprints of the manuals and a soundtrack, similar to the other Madou Monogatari collections.

Unlike the original Madou Monogatari I-II-III, the Game Gear versions were originally separate releases. These versions of the original trilogy contain elements of both the MSX and PC98 versions, still retaining the first person dungeon exploring and turn based battles. However they also introduce some changed elements, for example the Game Gear version of Madou Monogatari III has Rulue as the final boss instead of Minotaur like the other versions. Meanwhile Madou Monogatari A (technically called Madou Monogatari A: Doki Doki Vacation) is a remake of the “A” scenario from Madou Monogatari A-R-S, focusing on a 4 year old Arle obtaining her powers for the first time. Only the “A” scenario got a Game Gear remake, possibly due to it being a late 1995 Game Gear release.

The collection is slated for a 2018 release for 8,000円 (roughly $72)

[Source: Compile Station]

Nintendo Switch Shin Megami Tensei game revealed to be Shin Megami Tensei V

Back in January, we were teased that a new game in the Shin Megami Tensei series for Nintendo’s new system the Nintendo Switch. What it was wasn’t specified at the time, but commonly speculated to be a new “main” title. Now we have official confirmation that indeed it is a new installment in the main series, officially called Shin Megami Tensei V.

No specifications have been dropped, including a release date or gameplay, however similar to past installments it will take place in modern day Tokyo, along with having the franchise’s signature focus on demons and dark themes. The trailer shows two high school students walking in a hallway presumably from an airport, and then transitions into a tunnel with countless dead demons, set in what appears to be an apocalyptic Tokyo ravaged by monstrous winged demons.

While information is scare on Shin Megami Tensei V, more information might be dropped by next year. So stay tuned for more.

 

New Sonic Xtreme prototype concepts surface

Sonic 32X

Ah, Sonic Xtreme, arguably one of the most infamous games that never came to be. Despite this, both fans and even the original staff that worked on the game have for years been documenting it’s development history from it’s gameplay concepts to it’s plot, and everything in between.

Today, new Sonic Xtreme concept material has surfaced via a YouTube channel called RDPH Games, with several videos showing never before seen prototype material. Notably this highlights some aspects of Sonic Xtreme before it was a SEGA Saturn title, back when it was still being conceptualized as a game for the failed 32X add-on. These videos include a running animation clip that according to the description was made hours before a meeting with SEGA of Japan, an animation test with a possible title screen for “Sonic 32X”, and a mock up of a hypothetical bonus stage.

While at first glance these clips may not seem significant, every bit of information helps shed some more light of what happened behind the scenes when it came to Sonic Xtreme. In this case, seeing more of Sonic Xtreme before it’s jump on the SEGA Saturn, along with general never-before-seen clips.

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]

Factor 5 almost ported/created three games for the SEGA Genesis

factor5

Factor 5 is a rather interesting company. With the many project that came and went, notably the Turrican and Star Wars Rogue Squadron series, along with a rollercoaster of failed projects and bad business mistakes that eventually shut down the studio, until a recent surprise revival in 2015. But regardless, it was an ambitious studio, to the point that staff would even create their own devkits to gain an edge over the competition.

Recently, Nintendo Life has interviewed Factor 5 co-founder Julian Eggebrecht, dropping information about two ports and an original game that were intended for the SEGA Genesis.

SEGA World Drivers Championship playtest announced in Japan

A new SEGA racing game in Japan is currently being playtested in Japan. Based on the Super GT sports racing series, SEGA World Drivers Championship continues SEGA’s track record of producing sports racing games. Notably this is the first time SEGA of Japan has made a racing game for arcades since 2008/2009 (Not counting Initial D.), such as SEGA Race TV. Similar to past SEGA arcade racers of the past, most notably Daytona USA, players can race through three different courses and multiple players can play using separate cabinets. A notable difference however is the usage of cards with different cars, which can be used in the arcade game to use different cars sponsored by companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Honda.

However, a really notable technical aspect about this game is the engine. It is the first title by SEGA that utilizes the Unreal 4 engine used in recent console, arcade, and PC games to provide both great effects and ease of development for working with multiple pieces of hardware. With SEGA being on board with working on a well respected engine, it’s possible more games using the engine will follow.

The playtest is scheduled in SEGA’s entertainment buildings in Akihabara and Ikebukuro in Tokyo and Toshima respectively, on July 28th, 29th, and 30th.

[Source: SEGA of Japan and 4gamer]

 

 

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap gets unofficial Turma da Monica mod

For those that have lived in Brazil or are familiar with the infamous Wonder Boy reskin woes, Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap was changed in Brazil to reference the cartoon/comic franchise Turma da Mônica, replacing all of the different animal forms with different characters from the series. This conversion was called Turma da Mônica em o Resgate, exclusive for Brazil, and an example of a Master System game being changed for the market.

With the recent remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap on modern systems, dedicate fans decided to change the game to again reference Turma da Mônica. This includes replacing the artwork with new high quality artwork, and faithfully recreating the animations from scratch. Together, this creates a surprisingly high quality mod that is readily available for the PC version for you to play. The video description not only containing the mod, but also a presskit that contains screenshots and artwork for the mod.

In fact this mod is so good, even the official Lizardcube Twitter account threw their praise at the mod, describing it as incredible. So if you have the PC version available, maybe try it out for yourselves.

Valkyria Revolution Review – A Losing Battle (PS4)

ValkyriaRevolutionReview
The Valkyria series has had a rather shaky history. The original game in the series, Valkyria Chronicles, was released in 2008 on the PS3. The initial release on the PS3 was met with generally positive reviews, but it was lacking in terms of sales. The game was notably praised for it’s more free movement via the BLiTZ (Battle of Live Tactical Zones) system, being somewhat of a successor to the battle system in Sakura Taisen 3 and future titles. Later Valkyria Chronicles would receive better success with the later PC port in 2014, along with being successful enough to spawn two sequels on the PSP simply called Valkyria Chronicles II and Valkyria Chronicles III respectively.

But after a bit of a hiatus, the Valkyria series is back with a new installment on the Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and Xbox One (Western exclusive), more specifically a spin-off game that shifts genres from a strategy RPG to a more traditional action RPG, while retaining some familiar Valkyria elements. Is this game a revolution like implied, or should it stay oppressed?

New Sonic Runners Adventure footage and screenshots leaks

Sonic Runners Adventure

As previously reported, a new Sonic mobile game called Sonic Runners Adventure was accidentally leaked on Gameloft’s Customer Support page, revealing a lot of information about how the game played including the different styles to play the game and how characters worked. Though with only descriptions to go by, we haven’t seen what the game looks or plays like.

But now thanks to more leaks, we finally know what Sonic Runners Adventure looks like in action. This includes a video showcasing the story mode of the game, showing off the first few stages reminiscent of Green Hill Zone including both the Finite and new Looped styles, along with glimpses of the menus where you can customize yourself with items, buddies, and playable characters. There is also a small selection of screenshots that originally came from a Russian website, based on the below video. But more strangely, there appears to be a Java version of Sonic Runners Adventure that was also leaked. Weird to see a Java game in this day and age, but it might benefit someone out there.

To see Sonic Runners Adventure gameplay in action, click the link below.