While we are still counting down the days for us to play Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the seventh main title in the Yakuza franchise, the studio is already set to announce yet another Yakuza title this weekend. Will this new title feature more traditional combat? Will Ichiban come back? Could this be the long rumored sequel to Yakuza 0?
We will find out soon since they are set to announce it via the Sega Atlus Tokyo Game Show stream this September 27th at 8pm JST (4am PT) on YouTube.
If you guys always wanted a almost full size arcade of SEGA games including some never released in home classics like Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder, you can now get it via Arcade1up’s Golden Axe themed arcade which will set you back a cool $399.99 (who needs a next gen console, when you can play Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder at home?).
This arcade will feature the following titles:
Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder™
You can order via 1up Arcade’s website which also contains more pictures of the cabinet that are using Golden Axe 1 cabinet style.
This project is being produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, which was gonna debut via the Southwest Film Festival but considering whats happening in the world, its going to debut on CBS All Access instead.
Check out the trailer above and watch it on September 23rd, I think having these retro gaming documentary is great for the industry.
Are you a little disappointed that SEGA America is only doing a steel book version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon? are you looking for a bigger package with more extras? Well, French publisher Pix’n Love has you covered with they’re newely announced “Yakuza: Like a Dragon Limited Edition” that comes not only with the steel book we are getting in America, but also a 80 page art book, 4 lithographs and a certification slip.
It looks like the Shenmue: The Animation is a real thing thanks to Crunchyroll and Adult Swim, as they have announced that they are teaming up to distribute the production outside of Japan and mainland China on the Crunchyroll and Adult Swim platforms.
The series is set to have 13 episodes and chronicles the adventures of Ryo Hazuki as he finds his father’s murderer. According to the press release you will visit Yokosuka and Hong Kong metropolis. So it looks like the first season is going to cover all of the first game and probably some of the sequel.
The fan translation team known as Meduza Team (recently they translated Linkle Liver Story and provided widescreen hacks for Shining Force III, Powerslave and Dead or Alive) have announced they are working on a English translation for Valhollian or better known as “Zanma Chouougi Valhollian” . This Sega Saturn exclusive SRPG came out in 1998 and was developed by Datt Japan which only worked on two previous Sega Saturn games, Virtual Casino (1996) and Monster Slider (1997).
Quite frankly surprised this title never got a proper translation and release in the West since the game did sport some really cool looking polygon graphics and seems to have a pretty interesting cast of characters. Check out the video above on the work they’ve done on the game so far. Pretty interesting project and worth keeping an eye on if you are looking for more Sega Saturn goodness.
The last few years have been a great time to be a Yakuza fan with the series’ rise to success over here in the west. It seems SEGA America is taking the series more seriously by investing in these titles, for example Yakuza Like a Dragon will feature a full English dub. In a recent interview with ‘Rocket Beans Gaming’, SEGA’s Senior Localization Producer Scott Strichart explained that SEGA America and Japan want to bring Yakuza spin-offs to the West but needs to find the right time:
“We’re interested in doing what Japan’s gonna do at this point. We absolutely recognize there are some holes in the backlog that we want to do and Japan wants us to do. It’s literally just a matter of finding space for them on the slate. Like you said there’s over saturation issues, do we stop doing new things to put out old things? Do we put out the old thing in the middle of working on the new thing? Then say please buy both? There’s definitely an issue there with over saturating the market. That’s where we’ve kinda landed on that unfortunately. As much as we all wanna do it we need to find the time and space.”
So this doesn’t confirm that its happening, but it at least confirms that SEGA Japan and America are interested but don’t want to over saturate the market. It makes sense, there has been quite a bit of Yakuza releases these last few years with them even releasing all the once exclusive PlayStation 3 games on PlayStation 4.
[If you want to see more content like this, I’d appreciate if you guys subscribe to my YouTube channel. Have a few interesting videos in the works!]
SEGA Ages has been the longest running retro line in SEGA’s history starting up all the way back on the Sega Saturn in 1996, the series would evolve itself into the Sega Ages 2500 series on PlayStation 2, then become Sega Ages Online in early 2012 on PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. SEGA would later rebrand the series as ‘SEGA 3D Classics’ for the Nintendo 3DS but switched it back to SEGA Ages when they launched the series on Nintendo Switch back in 2018. Since then SEGA has announced and released 19 retro titles on exclusively to Switch with its latest one being Herzog Zwei, a real-time strategy game for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive.
During the announcement of Herzog Zwei the team mentioned that this could be the last release for SEGA AGES as they don’t have any plans for future releases. So I went ahead and asked you guys on the SEGAbits Twitter what SEGA Ages could change to make the titles more appealing and I feel like we are on the same track on changes we would love to see if SEGA continues moving forward with even more releases into 2021 and some issues with the brand that they could fix.
We have been covering all the SEGA Technical Institute pitches that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 artist Craig Stitt has been posting over at the SEGA Retro Gaming group on Facebook. First he showed off his pitch for Sonic’s partner called Boomer, then he showed off Astropede and now he is showing off a pitch Craig Stitt did with programmer Dave Sanner back in SEGA’s 16-bit days. The game was set to be called ‘Spellcaster’ and was meant to be a two player combat game based around the use of magic. The gimmick would be that the game would have a musical component in that players had to press button combinations to cast a spell but each button would play a musical note.
The idea would be that players would have a easier time doing complicated button combinations if they were based around sound. According to Craig Stitt, the pitch was put together after Sonic Spinball was completed and was rejected, this is when Craig Stitt began working on his Astropede pitch. Check out some of the artwork Craig Stitt did for Spellcaster below:
We have been posting a lot about Sega Technical Insitute’s canceled projects including Boomer an unused Sonic 2 side kick, Astropede a canceled pitch 16-bit game and now we have Treasure Tails which was a cancelled pitch by Sega Technical Institute. While these screens is all we have, at first, it was said to be pitched by Bill Dunn but Craig Stitt has come out and said its not true.
It looks like Zbigniew Dębicki, CEO of Forever Entertainment, the company that has created the Panzer Dragoon: Remake and will be doing The House of the Dead remakes sooner than later, has spoken about the game coming not only to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; but also next generation consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. In a newly translated chat with the CEO by Panzer Dragoon World, the plan is to release the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One by the end of the year:
According to the CEO, Panzer Dragoon: Remake is set to be released on other platforms like PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (non-Stadia version) by the end of the year, but we will also be getting a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions later down the line. I can already hear Limited Run Games salivating at all the different releases (oh, hi Josh). We shall see, Panzer Dragoon: Remake launched on March 10, 2020 on Nintendo Switch.
SEGA Technical Institute had a short life at SEGA with the team being responsible for games like Kid Chameleon, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Spinball, and a lot of canceled project. Some of these we know about, one that we didn’t know about has made it online for the first time ever. This canceled game was called “Astropede’ and was shared by artist Craig Stitt on the Facebook group ‘SEGA Retro Gamers’
“The only surviving video of ‘Astropede’, a game I pitched and went into production at SEGA (STI) circa 1994. Unfortunately after 14 months it was shelved after being starved to death by a lack of resources. The character had a train of pods with various power ups that would be pulled behind him. If hit, the pods would fly apart similar to Sonic and his rings. (my original intent was to have it be part of the Sonic universe) Somewhere I have a playable prototype… I just have to find it and hope it can be made to work!“
We have some assets that Craig has shared, including this concept art that really makes it seem like a ‘Sonic type’ game (hit the break to see that!), the animation loop on top of the page and he even found a protoype of the game… will he share it online tho?
Craig Stitt has been posting a lot of old video game content on the SEGA Retro Gamers Facebook group, if you don’t know Craig Stitt worked at SEGA Technical Insitute on Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Kid Chameleon, Sonic Spinball, Spyro the Dragon and many more games. He was also one of the artist at SEGA Technical Institute that was part of the competition to create Sonic’s buddy, for the sequel, which we all know was won by a Fox we all know as Tails. But did you know that Craig Stitt designed “Boomer” or as the document called him “Boomy” as competition for the orange fox?
“For Sonic 2 we needed a buddy / player two for Sonic. This little guy was my submission. He would have been tough with the shell, but vunerable, needing Sonic’s help, if he got flipped on his back. He would have helped out Sonic by being able to ‘fly’ if Sonic pushed him up to speed. Then Sonic would jump up and ride on his back over lava, spikes etc etc.” – Craig Stitt
When we did notes for the SEGA Talk Sonic the Hedgehog 2 podcast, we talked about “I wonder what Boomer would have looked like” and I love that Craig Stitt posted these documents so I can rest easy. So what you think of Boomer the Turtle?
It seems that SEGA’s President and Chief Publishing Officer from SEGA has resigned this week as it was revealed via a short press release from SEGA-Sammy. The reason for his departure was listed as “personal reasons”, whatever that means. Matsubara held a few roles at SEGA like initially working as CTO for SEGA Network division before he was appointed COO of SEGA Games in 2017. He was named President and Chief Publishing Officer only four months ago, on April 2020 and has already resigned. Not a great look.
Before this Kenji Matsubara worked as CEO for Tecmo Koei and Zynga Japan, so he will most likely find work easy enough after leaving SEGA. What is your thoughts on the sudden departure of Kenji Matsubara?