Phantasy Star Online 2 coming to Japanese PlayStation 4 owners on April 20

PhantasyStarOnline2Playsation4SEGA Japan have finally given a specific date as to when their free-to-play online game, Phantasy Star Online 2 will hit the Playstation 4. That date is April 20. Right now SEGA will accept 50,000 beta testers between January 25 and February 15.

SEGA will also repackage the game with the upcoming ‘Reborn: Episode 4‘ content update and release it in retail for the PS4, PS Vita and PC. Those that pay ¥4,990 ($43) will get a variety of in-game items.

As for a Western release, SEGA has already said they have no plans on bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 outside of Japan. Which led us to write a decent rebuttal here. So tell us if any of you are planning on importing the game or give us your two cents on the whole ‘no Phantasy Star Online 2 outside of Japan’ issue in the comments below!

[Via: Gematsu]

Valkyria Chronicles Remaster Story Introduction Trailer Released

SEGA is inching closer to releasing Valkyria Chronicles Remaster in Japan, which means we will be seeing more trailers for the game. In this trailer SEGA tries to recap the basic plot points of Valkyria Chronicles which includes our heroes being spurred into war, first encountering the war witch Selvaria Bles and the relationship between Alicia and Welkin.

Valkyria Chronicles Remaster hits Japanese retail shelves on February 10th only on PlayStation 4. All first print copies will include a demo for Valkyria: Azure Revolution. No Western announcements have been made for Valkyria Chronicles Remaster or Valkyria: Azure Revolution. If anything changes, you bet we will keep you posted

Bayonetta 2 standalone re-release hits retail February 19

bayonetta-2.jpgSeems that Bayonetta 2 became a highly wanted game after they announced that she will be coming to Super Smash Bros later this year.

Nintendo will re-release Bayonetta 2 as a stand alone version, which means it won’t come with the first Bayonetta (which is available as a stand alone as well, just digitally). But it will cost half the price, at $29.99. If you can find a copy used at your local GameStop, it will run you around $30 dollars as well but come with both games. Good luck with that one.

[Source: Nintendo]

Yakuza Kiwami first print copies to come with Yakuza 6 demo

Yakuza6demoFor those that are importing Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of Yakuza 1, the game will come with a product code to download a trail demo of Yakuza 6 on January 28th. The demo will allow you to play as protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and explore Kamurocho on the new gameplay engine that was teased back in December of last year.

The thing is Yakuza Kiwami is coming out on both Playstation 3 and Playstation 4, so I’m unsure if both versions come with the code for the demo, seeing as Yakuza 6 is Playstation 4 exclusive. Yakuza Kiwami is set to release on January 21st while Yakuza 6 is slated for later this fall.

[Via: SEGA]

Yakuza Kiwami Limited Edition Japanese PlayStation 4 model revealed

YakuzaKiwamiPS4The Yakuza series isn’t particularly new to getting limited edition models of PlayStation consoles, so its no surprise that Sony has announced the Limited Edition Yakuza Kiwami model for Japan. I’m not a big fan of the Playstation 4 limited edition consoles because it just seems like they put a decal on the HDD bay cover and call it a day. But if you gotta have it, it will run you 36,980 yen (about $314) plus tax. What does the package include?

  • 500GB PlayStation 4 model (Jet Black/Glacier White) x1
  • Wireless Controller (DualShock 4) x1
  • Yakuza Kiwami PS4 HDD Bay Cover x1
  • Monoaural Headset x1
  • Power Cord x1
  • HDMI Cable x1
  • USB Cable x1

What about the game? Sorry, the bundle does not include the game and you will have to purchase that separate. This is basically a Playstation 4 with a Yakuza Kiwami themed decal. Worth the price? That’s up to you.

[Via: Siliconera]

SEGA partners with ‘goGame’ to publish Japanese mobile games globally

SEGA has now moved forward in their next step for mobile publishing by partnering up with goGame, which is a company SEGA Networks has a large stake in. They will be launching ‘goPlay’ a publishing platform for mobile developers (mostly being aimed in Japan). The idea is that there will be tiers of services the developers can purchase to fit their needs.

While stuff like localization, customer support and other features offered with this service cost money, there is a free option that includes access to SEGA’s Noah Pass ad network of over 100 million users in Japan. This will allow mobile developers to get ad revenue for their creations while SEGA gets a bit off the top. Another ‘free’ service is ‘goPay’ which allows developers to easily receive payments globally, goGame only starts to take 3% from transactions after the game generates over $100,000 dollars in revenue.

Its pretty ironic that SEGA is investing in these sort of companies focused on global publishing when they have one of the worse track records of localizing their own products.

PlayStation Essentials Sale slashes prices on Persona games

Persona_4_investigation_team_2Are you a SEGA fan that still hasn’t tried any of the popular Persona series video games? I think now is the time for you to jump on board since Sony has put three entries on sale! All prices are USD. Persona is like Final Fantasy as you don’t need to play the prior ones to enjoy a new entry. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a fighting game that continues the plot after the RPG games, FYI:

If the prices aren’t low enough, Playstation Plus members get an extra savings (ranging from 10%-20%). If you have a Playstation Vita I would suggest picking up Persona 4 Golden instead of the PS2 classic version, since it has more content. You can read about that here. The sale ends on January 19th.

If you have an extra $4.00 dollars I suggest you also pick up one of my favorite Playstation One games, none other than Tomba!  a game created by Capcom legend Tokuro Fujiwara.

Review: Yakuza 5 (PS3)

Yakuza5ReviewIf you have been on this blog and read my writing over the years you would know that I’m a huge fan of SEGA’s Yakuza franchise and was really pleased to hear that they decided to bring over Yakuza 5 even though it’s been out since 2012 in Japan. After years of contemplating whether or not to just import the game and play with an online guide, I decided it was best to wait. Now that Yakuza 5 has an official English release, was the wait worth it?

Yakuza: Kiwami gets high marks from Famitsu

YakuzaKiwamiThe latest issue of Famitsu is out in Japan that means we get to see the latest review scores from Japanese games we won’t see in the West for quite awhile. This week’s big releases include SEGA’s remake of Yakuza 1, being titled Yakuza: Kiwami in Japan.

Here are all the scores in the recent issue of Famitsu:

  • Dasshu Adventure: Kami Kudashi no Uranai Sara (3DS) – 7/7/8/8 [30/40]
  • Drop Zone Under Fire (3DS) – 6/7/6/5 [24/40]
  • Fast Racing Neo (Wii U) – 7/7/7/9 [30/40]
  • Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS) – 9/9/8/10 – [36/40]
  • Just Cause 3 (PS4) – 8/8/9/8 [33/40]
  • Just Cause 3 (XBO) – 8/8/9/8 [33/40]
  • Seisen Chronicle (3DS) – 7/7/8/7 [29/40]
  • Yakuza: Kiwami (PS4) – 8/9/9/8 [34/40]
  • Yakuza: Kiwami (PS3) – 8/9/9/8 [34/40]

The way that Famitsu reviews work is that four people write a short review and give it a score in the end, those scores are added up in the end. Yakuza: Kiwami was the second highest rated game, losing by two points to Hyrule Warriors Legends on Nintendo 3DS.

[Via: Gematsu]

Infamous SEGA CD game ‘Desert Bus’ getting a sequel with VR support

DesertBusSEGACDDesert Bus has become a infamous game not only due to never having a official release, but universally being known as the ‘most boring game ever’ by many online publications. Is this an insult to the game? Nah. The game was a mini-game that was set to release in a compilation called Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors back in 1995 and was purposely mean’t to recreate a endless feeling  when driving through the Nevada desert.

Jillette announced the game via this weeks episode of Penn’s Sunday School:

“I’m working with Randy Pitchford. This is not announced publicly. We are going to do a€ —” this is a big, big deal —€” a new Desert Bus. And it’s just going to be for charities, so charities can use it to raise money.”

“He’s calling it Desert Bus 2.0. I’m calling it Desert Bus 1.0003. It’ll be a period piece, it’ll be set in 1992, like the original Desert Bus, just high-fidelity. We’re doing a couple other games. It’ll be a bundle of things. We’re talking to a bunch of people. It’ll probably be agnostic in terms of platform. It’ll probably be for the [Oculus] Rift and for the PlayStation VR.””

Yes, he is working with infamous CEO of Gearbox Software Randy Pitchford who is responsible for great titles like Alien: Colonal Marines and Duke Nukem Forever. While we all know the game is mean’t to be boring, its nice he is doing it for charity.

What do you guys think?

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir hits North American shores on June 7th

osl-storybook-editionAtlus has just announced that Odin Sphere Leifthrasir will launch for Playstation 4, Playstation 3, and Playstation Vita in North America on June 7, 2015. This means it will come out a mere 5 months after it hits Japan.

The standard package will include a 64-page softcover art book, which will come with all regular first print copies of the game. A hardcover version will come exclusively to the Playstation 4 as the “Storybook Edition” which is a premium version that will include a Potion Recipe t-shirt, metal slipcase, art print, and premium outer packaging (see photo above).

The standard game will cost you $59.99 on consoles, $39.99 on Playstation Vita. The Storybook Edition on Playstation 4 will run you $79.99. If you haven’t played Odin Sphere before, I suggest giving it a try, especially when the Japanese demo hits North American PSN.

SEGA-16 founder working on a SEGA of America history book

sega16I have always been a huge fan of the SEGA fansite SEGA-16, the site really went beyond the call in their efforts to secure some of the best interviews I have ever read. Now website founder Ken Horowitz has announced via his SEGA-16 facebook page that he is working on a history book about SEGA of America:

“Last month, I submitted to my publisher the manuscript for a book chronicling the game development history of Sega of America. Tentatively titled: “Achieving the Next Level: The History of American Sega Games,” the book is an exhaustive retrospective of SOA as a game-maker, from its founding in 1986 and the first steps taken on the Master System to its final efforts on the Dreamcast. Nearly 100 former SOA alumni (including each of its presidents from 1986-2001) and independent game developers were interviewed, and the creation processes of almost 40 Sega-published titles are documented. Every one of SOA’s internal studios is included, many of which have never before been examined.”

The book will look at games created by SEGA of America’s development division and I hope gathers new information about games we loved as kids. He estimates that the book will be around 500 pages long and as of right now there isn’t a release date. Of course, we will keep you posted as more news hits.

SEGA posts ten hours of their APM D-1 FIGHTING FESTIVAL Competition

Before the year closed SEGA teamed up with Arc System Works and Koei Tecmo to host APM D-1 FIGHTING FESTIVAL over in Japan. It was a massive tournament mean’t to highlight their various properties and support the community of players.

You can see the full ten hour tournament video or you can see time stamps below:

SEGA’s Japanese tournament was rather more intense than traditional tournaments. Once you lost, you were eliminated, there was no loser brackets here. SEGA posted a results page for the tournament here. Jawa Curry Akira (who obviously played Akira) won the Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate can be seen crying after his victory here. Chin up man, we too are hoping for a Virtua Fighter 6!

[Via Shoryuken]

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir demo now out for Japanese PSN users

OdinSphereDemoVerDo you have a Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and/or Playstation Vita? Guess what? You can now download the demo for Atlus and Vinalliaware’s remake of Odin Sphere (if you live in Japan or have a Japanese account)! Yeah, that great Playstation 2 game is now coming to all your current Sony consoles.

Seems that each version of the demo has a different file size, for example the PS4 demo weighs in at 442 MB, PS3 at 423 MB, and the PS Vita one at 250 MB.

The demo will allow you to play as all five characters though an action stage that has been configured for the demo and even have a boss battle with “Belial“. Sadly there won’t be any story parts and you won’t be able to use the demo data in the full release.

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir comes out in Japan on January 14th and later this Spring in North America.

[Via: Gematsu]