The Weekly Five: Favorite Moments in Skies of Arcadia

Hey everyone welcome to another episode of The Weekly Five, I’m your host George and today we will be talking about my favorite moment of Skies of Arcadia. The game originally came out in 2000 on the SEGA Dreamcast.

The game later got 2002 re-release in Japan and 2003 in the West on the Gamecube, which included better graphics, less random battles, extra content, and more. Regardless of what version of the game play, both are fantastic experiences. Some disliked the game due to its constant random battles but I think it more than makes it up with its charming characters, light hearted humor and sense of exploration.

Great games have great moments and Skies of Arcadia is full of them, so if I don’t mention a moment you loved, share it with us in the comment section. Let’s get this list started.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

NYGX hosting Virtua Fighter tournaments this upcoming August

Even though Virtua Fighter franchise has lost its popularity in the West through recent years, doesn’t mean places like New York Cities’ NextLevel will allow it to go unnoticed. From August 14th through the 16th NYGX will be hosting a array of Virtua Fighter tournaments.

What games are on the bill? So far:

  • Virtua Fighter 3
  • Virtua Fighter 4: Final Tune
  • Virtua Fighter 5R
  • Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

How many of you guys play Virtua Fighter competitively and want to go to this? Should be a interesting event, definitely excited to see some new Virtua Fighter 4 matches.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s new puzzle game revealed

Tetsuya Mizuguchi has a long history of making games at SEGA, he was one of the people behind hits like SEGA Rally, Space Channel 5 and Rez. He would leave SEGA to pave his own path with hot IPs like Lumines, Meteos and Child of Eden. After Child of Eden, Mizuguchi took a break from the video game industry. Now he is back with his new mysterious puzzle game called 18.

The game is suppose to blend a mixture of puzzle mechanics and battle RPG elements. The title will be coming exclusively to mobiles (as of right now). The game will be released worldwide by Mobcast.

Above is the trailer and below are the screenshots. If this game is giving you a Catherine vibe, your not the only one. It definitely looks artistically inspired by Atlus’ hit game.

Rodea: The Sky Soldier coming to America and Europe this fall

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NIS America have just announced that they are publishing Prope’s long lost title, Rodea: The Sky Soldier in North America and Europe. The developer didn’t give a specific date of release other than this upcoming fall. The game is set to be released on both the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS.

NIS America hyped up their press event that was held earlier today, stating that they where planning some of their “biggest announcements yet.” One of those games being Rodea: The Sky Soldier, which was originally planned for the Wii, but later moved over to 3DS/Wii U.

The game is being directed by ex-Sonic Team and famed Sonic the Hedgehog developer Yuji Naka, who is directing this title. Here is NIS America’s product page.

Demiurge Studios officially announces its part of the SEGA Network family

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Demiurge Studios is a small scale studio that has worked with a multitude of publishers on not only mobile games, but ports of their existing IPs. If you go to their listed games page, you will see how many franchises the studio has worked on, including ports for Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands and Mass Effect.

Even though we posted it yesterday, the team has officially announced on their blog that they will join the SEGA Network family.

This opportunity to partner with SEGA Networks has come about in no small part from the success of Marvel Puzzle Quest.

According to them, the main reason for SEGA Networks interest in buying the team was the success they had with Marvel Puzzle Quest, which is a mobile game. This doesn’t mean that the studio won’t do ports or other console based work; but like we suspected, SEGA is interested in them for their mobile talent.

Sooner or later, we wanted to build a publishing organization. When we looked at the talent amassed and success accumulated within SEGA Networks, we couldn’t fathom doing it as well as SEGA had already done. Our new teammates are wildly successful in Japan not just financially but also creatively. Games like Chain Chronicles and Puyo Puyo Quest are a master-class in how to build great mobile, free-to-play experiences. The team we’re working with in San Francisco is an insane mix of talent: Part veteran game-makers from SEGA, part free-to-play pioneers from Three Rings and part entrepreneurial mobile start-up – all backed by this huge incredible team at SEGA Networks in Japan. It almost feels unfair to get to have this group working alongside us!

They sound like a great team and I think SEGA made a great decision adding them to their American branch of mobile studios. Did you see? They mentioned Puyo Puyo Quest, can’t wait to see what games they have in the works.

Review: 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros (Nintendo 3DS)

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I’m going to be honest, when SEGA and M2 announced that 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros was going to join wave 2 of their 3D Classics, I was sold. Fantasy Zone is just one of those games that doesn’t get enough appreciation in the West and having it release digitally will mean that more people get to enjoy this underrated classic. But how is the port? Well, let’s jump right into the review…

SEGA Japan releases Saturn and Master System themes for 3DS

While in the USA we only have a free Sonic Boom theme from SEGA to apply to our handhelds, SEGA of Japan is really using the theme service and giving older SEGA console gamers the goods. Above is the video of the SEGA Saturn theme that was recently revealed. The song playing the in back is from Sonic R.

Below is the video of the SEGA Mark III (aka Master System in the West) which features the always delightful Alex Kidd (including its music). Will these themes hit the American or European eShop? I really do hope so, with these and the awesome SEGA 3D Classics; the Nintendo 3DS is becoming a nice nostalgic gaming machine.

The themes are now out in the Japanese eShop and retail for 200 yen each (a little over $1.50).

SEGA Networks is investing in Western mobile developers

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This was actually posted over at Gamasutra an hour ago and seems the article was taking down. The article was about how SEGA Networks has been investing money in Western mobile developers this month, some of the studios being ‘up and coming’. As you know, SEGA has been trying to focus on the ‘free-to-play’ market, even recently made a deal with Gumi so that they could bring their Japanese mobile games to America. They are the ones that have published the popular Chain Chronicles.

So what studios has SEGA Networks invested money in?

  • Demiurge Studios: A Boston based studio that made Marvel Puzzle Quest (and a ton of other games) is now owned by SEGA. Studio founder Albert Reed will take a executive role at SEGA and work on running the studio.
  • Space Ape Games: SEGA has a majority stake in a UK-based developer that created the F2P title Samurai Siege. The developer recently announced that it raised $7 million dollars in funding, is preparing for its second F2P title that SEGA Networks will release in Japan.
  • Ignited Artists: Is a new developers studio based in San Francisco. As of now they haven’t released a game.

Since SEGA Networks released Super Monkey Ball on the Apple app store in 2008, they have put out over 85 mobile games and if the way things are going forward mean anything, is that they will continue to grow the business. Their last mobile studio they purchased was Hardlight Studios that have delivered the massively successful Sonic Dash and Crazy Taxi: City Rush games. If anything in the story changes, we will keep you updated.

SEGA-AM2 is developing a arcade game based on Kantai Collection

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If you never heard of Kantai Collection (or KanColle as the fans say), its a free-to-play browser game created by Kadokawa Games and is actually a card collecting game. The browser game has over 2.5 million regisitered users and the franchise has been spreading to other media like manga (more than one series), anime series and even a licensed tabletop role-playing game.

The franchise is rising to popularity fast, with the browser game only launching in 2013. SEGA of course wants in on the action, seeing how highly successful other ventures like Hatsune Miku (Which AM2 developed the arcade version of this game) have been for the company.

Personally would rather have SEGA-AM2 announce a new internal IP, instead of doing a license game (especially a card game). But you never know what the future has in store…

Resident Evil Code: Veronica never before seen concept art hits the internet

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[Wasn’t this design later used in South Park?]

Resident Evil Code: Veronica was my favorite entries into Capcom’s long running survival horror franchise. Maybe its because I’m biased due to it being originally a Dreamcast exclusive title (which later got a Playstation 2 port). I’m also the type of person that likes to see unreleased artwork for games, especially concept art. It seems the guys over at Project Umbrella (a Resident Evil fansite) have been sitting on hundreds of pieces of unreleased concept artwork for Resident Evil Code: Veronica and Resident Evil Zero.

From the owner of Project Umbrella via NeoGAF:

We came into contact with freelance concept artist Satoshi Nakai, who was hired by CAPCOM in 1997 at the recommendation of Nextech Co., Ltd to provide concept art for the games under the directions of scenario company FLAGSHIP’s lead writers Noboru Sugimura and Hiroshi Soda.

Only a very small fraction of this artwork has been released by CAPCOM over the years. They are direct scans of the original pages. Also included is a single artwork for a scrapped game originally directed by Masaaki Yamada, featuring HUNK on a cruise ship facing against new plant/human Zombie enemies.

Hit the jump to see over  100 pieces of never before released concept art.