Check out the opening animation for A Certain Magical Virtual-On

On February 15, 2018 SEGA’s Virtual-On series makes its return with A Certain Magical Virtual-On, a crossover between the giant robot fighting series from SEGA and the A Certain Magical Index light novel from Dengeki Bunko. The collaboration began when the two crossed over for a light novel back in 2016 to celebrate Virtual-On’s 20th anniversary. The game is said to be an adaptation of the light novel, and the core gameplay is 100% what Virtual-On fans have come to expect from the series, so don’t worry about this not playing like a Virtual-On game despite the crossover.

Via SEGA of Japan’s YouTube channel comes the game’s full animated intro, seen above, produced by the Japanese animation studio J.C.STAFF. The intro looks great, and reminds me of the days when SEGA Saturn games would launch with their own animated intros. No word yet on a western release, but given how import friendly SEGA of America has been thanks to the Atlus staff I would not rule it out. Still, if you just want to import the game it will be available 2/15 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in special edition releases. You can pre-order both titles now from Play-Asia:

CYBER TROOPERS: VIRTUAL ON X TOARU MAJUTSU NO INDEX: TOARU MAJUTSU NO DENNOU SENKI

PlayStation 4 | PlayStation Vita

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life western cover art revealed

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Via the PlayStation Blog comes our first look at the cover art for the upcoming Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. The blog entry covers the localization process, and is well worth reading. Topics covered include a bar conversation mini-game, balancing comedy and drama, and comforting a baby.

The blog entry concludes with a look at the “Essence of Art Edition”, the new name for the launch edition, which features cover art that calls back to the original PS2 game. You can pre-order the “Essence of Art Edition” here.

SEGA Forever adds ESWAT: City Under Siege to the lineup

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Another SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive classic has been added to the SEGA Forever free-to-play smart device gaming lineup. Based on the System 16 arcade game Cyber Police ESWAT, ESWAT: City Under Siege is a rather faithful arcade port. A run n’ gun, ESWAT stars a police officer (given the name Duke Oda in Japanese versions) who makes his way through the crime-ridden Liberty City, taking down lawbreakers. Promoted to the police department’s top unit, the ESWAT (Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics), Oda is given a powerful exoskeleton and is tasked with taking down the super computer E.Y.E.

A little SEGA trivia: Streets of Rage/Bare Knuckle started development under the working title of D-SWAT were the D stood for Dragon, making it sort of a sequel/spin-off to the ESWAT series. It later became its own thing, but an interesting factoid.

Sonic Forces digital comic showcases the “Rise of Infinite”

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Sonic Forces releases today, and with it we have the fourth Sonic Forces web comic with art by Adam Bryce Thomas and writing by Ian Flynn. This issue focuses on Eggman and how he met Infinite. While I would usually classify this as a spoiler, from what I’ve heard of the Episode Shadow DLC and from reading this, you are likely better off consuming this and the DLC before playing the game, as this is where Infinite’s back story is covered. After the break, read the full digital comic!

SEGA releases new concept art on Sonic Forces release day

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Sonic Forces releases today and following yesterday’s early launch trailer we have some new concept art direct from SEGA. The art shows off Sonic and friends battling Eggman’s squad of villains, Sonic in prison, the avatar character on a mission, Eggman’s lab, and more! Check out the additional concept art after the break.

Remember you can still order the Sonic Forces Bonus Edition to receive SEGA and Atlus avatar costumes, controller skins and Episode Shadow: PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | Switch | PC

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2 Vinyl Announced

On this short but sweet SEGA News Bits, Barry takes a look at the newly announced Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 vinyl from Brave Wave, which are due out this winter. Released separately and each containing two LPs, fans can expect a hand picked selection of the best tunes from each game. What tracks made the cut? What bonuses can we expect? Click play and find out!

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SEGA debuts Sonic Forces launch trailer in anticipation of tomorrow’s release

Sonic Forces releases tomorrow to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC and via SEGA we have a launch trailer for the game. Narrated by Knuckles, the trailer lays out the storyline and introduces the heroes and villains. Also detailed is Episode Shadow, a side-story featuring our favorite edgy black hedgehog featuring new stages and the ability to play as Shadow in over 10 modern Sonic stages.

Order the Sonic Forces Bonus Edition and receive SEGA and Atlus avatar costumes, controller skins and Episode Shadow: PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | Switch | PC

Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards Guidebook made available for public download

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Via The Dreamcast Junkyard comes a cool bit of behind the scenes history on SEGA’s final home console. The Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards Guidebook was sent to the site by an anonymous former Dreamcast developer, and features 136 pages of standards set by SEGA for the development of software for the Dreamcast. While the document is a bit dry in how it presents information, there is some cool pieces of information contained within. For example, the document instructs developers how to hide the pause menu and which controller ports should allow the use of the keyboard. The rules contained within answer why so many different games from different teams have the same button combinations and features.

For more information, check out The Dreamcast Junkyard’s article here and download the full PDF here.

Brave Wave bringing Sonic Adventure & Sonic Adventure 2 to vinyl this winter

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2017 is fast becoming the year of Sonic vinyls, as it was announced today that the music label Brave Wave will be releasing Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack vinyls this winter. As revealed on their website, the first pressing will contain special colors that represent the respective game. Sonic Adventure will be pressed in blue and white 180-gram vinyl and Sonic Adventure 2 will be pressed in blue and red 180-gram vinyl. Following the first pressing, the soundtracks will be on standard black 180-gram vinyl. Both releases will include a booklet featuring interviews with Jun Senoue and Takashi Iizuka, liner notes by John Linneman of Digital Foundry, song lyrics and character art.

If you think each game has a soundtrack too big for a single record, don’t fret! Each release will come with two LP records featuring remastered tracks handpicked by series lead composer and sound director Jun Senoue and the team. After the break, check out the full tracklists, and keep your eyes on the Brave Wave site for pre-order information as it becomes available.

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Hands-On Impressions

The mobile tie-in game Sonic Forces: Speed Battle saw a wide release today, and after playing it for a few hours here are our hands-on impressions! How does it compare to games like Sonic Dash? Can fans expect any hints at what to expect in Sonic Forces? Give the latest SEGA News Bits video a watch and find out!

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Sonic Forces: Speed Battle now available to download and play for mobile

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Late last night, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle left the status of soft launch and saw wide release becoming available in the App Store and Google Play store. Unfortunately, SEGA has not sent us a press release yet, so we don’t have many more details – like which regions has not yet received the game, what launch day deals there are, etc. The game, however, is now up and running and fully playable.

If you have played the past two Sonic Dash games, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is essentially an online multiplayer version of Sonic Dash with characters and settings from Sonic Forces. Unlike Sonic Dash, hitting an obstacle does not end the stage, it just slows you down, and stages are not randomized endless courses, there are clear beginnings and ends making it more of a race.

Give the game a try and in the comments below, tell us what you think!

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap to receive retail release for PS4 and Nintendo Switch

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Nicalis, Inc. announced on Twitter today that they will be working with DotEmu and Lizardcube to publish Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap at retail for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. For those who have been following the game, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake of the classic SEGA Master System game and it released digitally in April, 2017. The game was then given a PlayStation 4 physical release by Limited Run Games in standard and special edition versions.

Now, fans will have another chance at a PS4 physical release and add a Nintendo Switch physical release to their collection. We’ll share more details as we hear them!

New Sonic the Hedgehog sticker activity book and short story collection releasing July, 2018 – available to pre-order

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Earlier this year we shared that three new Sonic the Hedgehog books from Penguin Random House – including a short story collection, a handbook and a Mad Libs book – were releasing in March, 2018. Now, two more books are due out July 10, 2018 including another short story collection and a sticker activity book! after the break, check out the descriptions of the upcoming books, as well as how to pre-order a copy.

Unboxing: Tokyo Game Show 2017 SEGA & Sonic Merchandise

Tokyo Game Show 2017 had a ton of awesome merchandise for sale and swag to give away, and in this SEGAbits Unboxing I dig through a package from SEGAbits writer Aki-At containing some TGS goodies! Items include exclusive Sonic Mania merchandise and swag advertising Yakuza Kiwami 2, Sonic Forces, Fist of the North Star and A Certain Magical Virtual-On.

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NiGHTS into Dreams free on Games With Gold November 1st – playable on Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Released October 2012 as part of the SEGA Heritage lineup, NiGHTS into Dreams was an excellent HD rerelease of the classic SEGA Saturn game. Initially released to PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, the game was added to Xbox One’s backwards compatibility lineup in November 2015. Now, as part of the Games With Gold service, NiGHTS into Dreams will be available from November 1 to 15 free to members of the service. As with past Games With Gold titles, once you download a Games With Gold title, you have access to it as long as you still have an active Xbox Live Gold membership.

Do you have the Games With Gold service, and if not would you join for a free download of NiGHTS into Dreams?