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?

SEGA Forever loses its head and adds Decap Attack to the mobile lineup

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The latest SEGA Forever title has been revealed, releasing later today, and it is none other than the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive classic Decap Attack. A westernized version of the Japanese Mega Drive game Magical Hat no Buttobi Tabo! Daibōken, Decap Attack is arguably the better game if only because it stars a decapitated mummy named Chuck D. Head. As with previous SAEGA Forever titles, they are available on smart devices and are free-to-play. Expect Decap Attack to roll out later today!

Japanese Sonic Forces “Introduction” trailer gives us our most comprehensive look yet at the upcoming game!

If you follow our SEGA News Bits videos, George and I have been quite critical of how little SEGA has been showing of Sonic Forces. The latest trailer to release from SEGA of Japan, however, abates this feeling some as in over three minutes we get a good look at the game. From the three playable characters to the Sonic and avatar combo mode to switching avatar characters on the fly to peeks at new stages and cutscenes, there is a lot to take in! Most notably, we get a good look at Modern Sonic’s Green Hill stage, with open spaces (exploration?) as well as an outer space stage.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Sound off in the comments below!

Knuckles and Silver team up in second Sonic Forces prequel comic, titled “Stress Test” – Read it now!

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The Sonic Forces free digital prequel comics from Ian Flynn and Adam Bryce Thomas continue with the surprisingly enjoyable “Stress Test”. It seems our guesses were wrong, as each prequel comic is not focusing on a different custom hero. Instead we see Knuckles and Silver battling Chaos. What is so exciting about this one is all the Sonic Adventure plot elements, including a jump back in time to the echidna village and the appearance of Eggman and The Phantom Ruby, last seen in Sonic Mania. It’s exciting to see the various Sonic games tying together and hopefully some of these plot elements are referenced in Sonic Forces.

After the break, read the full issue!

SEGA Shop is open for business!

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The SEGA Shop is open for business at shop.sega.com! As we reported last week, the SEGA Shop is a new online retail destination for the Americas (and in the future additional territories) serving the various SEGA brands. At launch, the shop features Sonic, Shinobi, Golden Axe and SEGA Genesis brands with plans to expand. Currently, the shop primarily has wearables like shirts and hoodies, but there are plans to add exclusive items like pins and other items.

Currently, the store has a cool exclusive Sonic Forces shirt, SEGA Genesis blankets, and an Eggman and Metal Sonic mug.

Check the SEGA Shop out for yourself, and in the comments below tell us what you think of their selection!

Sonic Forces “Rental Avatar” hero mode, boss battle and Space Port gameplay footage released

New Sonic Forces details have been released today by way of gameplay footage, screens and a press release detailing the “Rental Avatar” Hero Swapping feature. The new mode – which may be a sly nod to the classic SEGA Mega Drive game Rent-A-Hero – allows players to swap out their hero avatar character with a hero avatar character created by another player, seemingly pulled at random from players worldwide. This allows you to see their unique designs and utilize their wispon weapon. This allows you to use your own selected wispon weapon and the one set by another player. You can see the “Rental Avatar” mode in the Infinite boss battle footage above.

Also released is B-roll gameplay footage of the hero avatar in the Space Port stage which takes place in the frigid north of Sonic’s world where a chemical plant is supplying a space port. You can see the footage, as well as Infinite boss battle screens, after the break.

ATLUS online store launches with Persona 5 merchandise available for pre-order

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While the SEGA Shop opens tomorrow, today the ATLUS Online Store launched with merchandise from Persona 5. The store is being dubbed a work in progress and will initially serve North America with plans to expand globally. Currently available are dozens of items including Morgana and Jack Frost plushies, hoodies, “The Phantom Thieves” t-shirts, pins, phone cases and more. Several items are imports, being made available for the first time outside of Anime Expo. Pre-orders are expected to ship late November to early December and are available while supplies last.

Visit the store for yourself, and happy shopping!

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle behind the scenes video showcases game’s development

SEGA Europe has released a development video showing a behind the scenes look at the upcoming mobile tie-in to Sonic Forces, titled Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. Developed by Hardlight Studios, creators of the Sonic Dash games, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is an online multiplayer version of their endless runner and takes place in Sonic Forces settings. Interestingly, the game was initially tested using a multiplayer version of Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom. The game is currently soft launched in select territories, but a wide release should be happening soon.

Sonic Forces prequel comic PDF contains hidden art – Infinite unmasked!

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Opening the Sonic Forces: Moment of Truth digital comic PDF files in Photoshop reveals an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the production process, and reveals some hidden art – including a peek at Infinite without his mask! It seems when saving the files out, the layers weren’t flattened and hidden layers weren’t removed. As such, it is possible to remove word balloons, line art, colors and characters.

Also, the cover art contains what appear to be alternate cover art sketches featuring Eggman, The Phantom Ruby (as seen in Sonic Mania) and an unmasked Infinite with a dagger. Other art includes an alternate cover sketch of the Custom Hero and Chaotix, art of Knuckles and Silver looking surprised and art of Shadow, Omega (confirming his inclusion in the game?) and Infinite.

Check out the hidden art after the break!