New Sakura Wars will be shown soon, in “surprisingly good quality” according to Toshihiro Nagoshi

For a while, New Sakura Wars (aka Shin Sakura Taisen) has been in limbo since it’s initial April announcement back at SEGA Fes 2018. Since then, there’s been nothing concrete over what the game is about, with only rumors such as a planned Q1 2019 release date and possibly appearing on Playstation 4 and Xbox One being the closest things to concrete information. But it seems like a proper reveal will happen soon. According to SEGA’s Toshihiro Nagoshi, development on New Sakura Wars has been positive so far, specifically noting how the staff have been “fired up” over the project and how the game is in “surprisingly good quality”. Because of this, it won’t be long until something is announced in the future.

While the reassurance is always welcome, nothing specific has been dropped at this time. So we’ll still need to wait just a tad longer for what New Sakura Wars will be about.

[Source: SEGA Nama, Gamestalk]

Rumor: SEGA trademarks “Puyo Puyo Champions”, possibly hinting at Puyo Puyo eSports localization


Puyo Puyo eSports has been available for awhile now for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese markets for both the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. The game has garnered quite a lot of success, notably being a top charting title on the Japanese eShop. However, it seems like SEGA is not yet finished with the game, as they have recently filed a new trademark possibly hinting at a renaming and global release. The new trademark is simply called “Puyo Puyo Champions”, not to be confused with SEGA’s periodic official tournaments of the same name.

The trademark in question was originally registered on October 24th 2018 and made public on November 6th 2018, with the trademark covering multiple aspects related to a video game, including formatting, hardware, music, and recording. While the trademark may be for SEGA’s Puyo Puyo Champion tournaments, what hints at a possible localization for Puyo Puyo eSports is the name being entirely written out in English, an oddity as the series traditionally uses hiragana and/or katakana for registering trademarks and titles. Whether or not this will be the case, or even if it will be used, remains to be seen. Though reminder SEGA was “seriously considering” a localization according to professional Puyo Puyo player Tom Nadja, so it’s a possibility the trademarks are just a first step.

[Source: J-Plat Pat]

SEGA AGES Phantasy Star gets new release date for October 31st


Previously, SEGA AGES Phantasy Star was planned for a tentative September release date, but was quietly delayed as the SEGA AGES versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Force IV filled in that month instead. However, now we have official confirmation as to when SEGA AGES Phantasy Star will be released, and it’s much more sooner than expected. The game is currently planned for this Halloween, October 31th 2018. An odd and sudden choice, but this is likely a side effect of these SEGA AGES delays causing the original scheduling to be messed up.

The game is slated for a ¥925 (roughly $8.50) pricing, and like the other SEGA AGES titles will come with an assortment of bonus features. In addition to the original game, players will have access to other features such as the ability to listen to both the PSG and FM sounds, an optional mapping system for dungeons, an “easy” mode for novices, and a special encyclopedia called the “Monster-Codex” that allows you to view the sprites, stats, and descriptions of different enemies.

[Source: Game Watch]

Puyo Puyo eSports now available for Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, discounted till late November

Puyo Puyo eSports has finally dropped for the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4, available as a download title on the Nintendo eShop and Playstation Network respectively. This bite sized version of Puyo Puyo contain the bare essentials, 24 playable characters, two main modes with the traditional Tsu and Fever rules, and a streamlined presentation so it’s easier for both spectators and players to follow matches. Overall the goal of the game is to be a straightforward Puyo Puyo experience that anyone can easily obtain on modern systems.

Puyo Puyo eSports is currently available for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese markets. For those that want to download the game outside of these three regions, the game is readily available for anyone on both the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, due to a lack of region locking. All that’s needed is to create an appropriate account for one of the three respective regions. However to sweeten the deal, SEGA has also discounted the game from it’s initial ¥1999 pricing to a mere ¥500, effectively only asking for 1/4 of the original price. This heavy discount will be active from today to November 30th, so it’s recommended to buy it as soon as possible.

No word if Puyo Puyo eSports will get a localization outside of these three regions, but we will keep up on any future developments. Until then, the game is still easily obtainable for anyone curious enough to try it out, especially with the discount making it quite a bargain.

First three Virtual-On games coming to PS4 in Japan, “Twin-Stick Project Z” by TANITA also announced

After receiving the strange crossover A Certain Magical Virtual-On, SEGA is going back to the basics for their Virtual-On series. Recently announced is that the first three games in the series, respectively Cyper Troopers Virtual-On, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram, and Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force, will all be coming to the Playstation 4 in the future. These games will be based on their respective arcade versions, along with the most recent version “Ver. 5.66” in the case of Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram. It’s currently unknown if there will be any additional features available, along with other details such as a pricing or release date. Also the omission of Virtual-On MARZ is strange, but they likely wanted to stick with the games that were made for the arcades.

Virtual-On is an arena robot fighting game that originally used twin sticks to jump, dash, and shoot. Naturally for those that want an authentic experience, this may cause some concern. Luckily, a third party manufacturer under the name TANITA is going to produce a brand new twin stick controller that was originally planned for A Certain Magical Virtual-On. It was originally funded using a Campfire campaign under the name “Twin Stick Project Z”, which as of this writing has surpassed it’s intended goal of 44,600,000円. Currently there’s no word on when this controller will enter full production.

It’s not known if any of these games or the controller will receive a release outside of Japan as of this writing, but keep in touch for any future updates.

[Source: SEGA Japan Twitter / Tanita]

SEGA AGES Thunder Force IV (Lightening Force) Review – Lightning Strikes Again (Nintendo Switch)

After a long hiatus, partially due to the downfall of the company Technosoft, the Thunder Force series is steadily regaining it’s spark. SEGA has been courteous enough to give fans of the series some much needed love, first with M2’s version of Thunder Force III as apart of the SEGA 3D line of titles for the 3DS, then later it’s follow up Thunder Force IV (aka Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar) and the arcade game Thunder Force AC as apart of the SEGA AGES line of titles on the Nintendo Switch.

Today we’re going to be looking at SEGA AGES Thunder Force IV in particular. This is arguably the best game in the series, and commonly praised as an example of one of the SEGA Genesis’ best shmups available on the system. But does this SEGA AGES version live up to this praise, or is it more like flying into a stray bullet and dying multiple times?

SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog Review – Old Hog, New Tricks (Nintendo Switch)

The original Sonic the Hedgehog has a very long history with re-releases on many systems. Starting with Sonic Jam on the SEGA Saturn, the blue insectivore’s first outing has appeared on many systems from the likes of SEGA, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. These ranged from the fantastic like Taxman’s efforts on mobile devices, to the absolute atrocious like the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis on GBA. Either way, Sonic the Hedgehog is once again on a new platform, this time Nintendo’s latest console the Nintendo Switch.

Though on the surface it seems like a straight forward port, the developers at M2 decided to add new features to spice up the experience a bit, giving the player new options to toy with while retaining the original feel of the original release. Does SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog give the game a much needed breath of life, or is it just another cheap cash grab?

Virtua Racing coming to the SEGA Ages lineup, Twitter survey results revealed


Yet another title is coming to the Nintendo Switch’s lineup of SEGA Ages titles. This time it’s the AM2 developed racing game Virtua Racing, a formula one racing game notably being the first title in SEGA’s series of “Model” arcade boards that would later power games such as Virtua Fighter. At Tokyo Game Show 2018 SEGA has formally revealed the game will be coming to the lineup in the future, though has not specified any details such as a release date, pricing, or any bonus content like the other SEGA Ages titles.

In addition, SEGA has revealed the results of their official SEGA Ages poll on Twitter, asking what games people want to see in the collection in the future. These results are based on general franchises instead of specific games unless stated otherwise. Click below to see the results.

Puyo Puyo E Sports Officially Announced – Coming to PS4 and Switch on October 25th

Puyo Puyo E Sports has been previously been rumored multiple times, both by Puyo Puyo producer Mizuki Hosoyamada on social media and a Korean ratings board. Now however we have official confirmation from SEGA themselves.

Puyo Puyo E Sports is effectively a simplified version of Puyo Puyo that heavily focuses on a competitive scene. This includes a new tournament mode where players pit against each other in a classic bracket 1 vs. 1 fashion, up to 8 players being able to participate. Unlike past games where there’s a focus on multiple different modes, Puyo Puyo E Sports simplifies it to the recurring Tsu Rules and Fever Rules only.

Puyo Puyo E Sports is slated for both the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, with a planned Japan release on October 25th, notably being the the franchise’s 27th anniversary. It’s unknown at the time of this writing if it will be available outside of Japan. Due to the minimal content and recycled assets, the pricing is slated to be only ¥1999 (roughly $18), a lot lower than a typical game.

[Source: Official Website]

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to be removed from Japanese 3DS/Wii U eShop

MarioSonic2016Japan

Bad news for the few people out there that are fans of the Mario & Sonic Olympic Games crossovers. It’s been announced that the most recent game in the series, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, will be pulled from the Japanese 3DS/Wii U eShop on 27 December 2017 at 10:00 JST. This will also include the demo version of the game. It’s unknown if other regions will also pull the game from the respective 3DS/Wii U eShops.

No reason has been specified as to why the game is being pulled. The most likely theory is that the license to use the Mario or Olympic branding has been expired, and as a result the game will be pulled to not violate laws. This may also foreshadow the series being quietly cancelled, if the license to use the Mario or Olympics is not being renewed. Considering that the next Winter Olympics is coming in 2018 with no Mario & Sonic title announced yet, it’s a real possibility.

[Source: Japanese Nintendo]

New Madou Monogatari Game Gear collection announced

Madou GG

A new collection for the Madou Monogatari by D4 Enterprises and Project EGG has been announced. A follow up from past collections, such as the Mega Drive version of Madou Monogatari I and Madou Monogatari: Hanamaru Dai Youchienji ones previously reported, collection focuses on the Game Gear versions of Madou Monogatari I, II, III, and A. In addition to these game, the collection will also come with reprints of the manuals and a soundtrack, similar to the other Madou Monogatari collections.

Unlike the original Madou Monogatari I-II-III, the Game Gear versions were originally separate releases. These versions of the original trilogy contain elements of both the MSX and PC98 versions, still retaining the first person dungeon exploring and turn based battles. However they also introduce some changed elements, for example the Game Gear version of Madou Monogatari III has Rulue as the final boss instead of Minotaur like the other versions. Meanwhile Madou Monogatari A (technically called Madou Monogatari A: Doki Doki Vacation) is a remake of the “A” scenario from Madou Monogatari A-R-S, focusing on a 4 year old Arle obtaining her powers for the first time. Only the “A” scenario got a Game Gear remake, possibly due to it being a late 1995 Game Gear release.

The collection is slated for a 2018 release for 8,000円 (roughly $72)

[Source: Compile Station]

Nintendo Switch Shin Megami Tensei game revealed to be Shin Megami Tensei V

Back in January, we were teased that a new game in the Shin Megami Tensei series for Nintendo’s new system the Nintendo Switch. What it was wasn’t specified at the time, but commonly speculated to be a new “main” title. Now we have official confirmation that indeed it is a new installment in the main series, officially called Shin Megami Tensei V.

No specifications have been dropped, including a release date or gameplay, however similar to past installments it will take place in modern day Tokyo, along with having the franchise’s signature focus on demons and dark themes. The trailer shows two high school students walking in a hallway presumably from an airport, and then transitions into a tunnel with countless dead demons, set in what appears to be an apocalyptic Tokyo ravaged by monstrous winged demons.

While information is scare on Shin Megami Tensei V, more information might be dropped by next year. So stay tuned for more.

 

New Sonic Xtreme prototype concepts surface

Sonic 32X

Ah, Sonic Xtreme, arguably one of the most infamous games that never came to be. Despite this, both fans and even the original staff that worked on the game have for years been documenting it’s development history from it’s gameplay concepts to it’s plot, and everything in between.

Today, new Sonic Xtreme concept material has surfaced via a YouTube channel called RDPH Games, with several videos showing never before seen prototype material. Notably this highlights some aspects of Sonic Xtreme before it was a SEGA Saturn title, back when it was still being conceptualized as a game for the failed 32X add-on. These videos include a running animation clip that according to the description was made hours before a meeting with SEGA of Japan, an animation test with a possible title screen for “Sonic 32X”, and a mock up of a hypothetical bonus stage.

While at first glance these clips may not seem significant, every bit of information helps shed some more light of what happened behind the scenes when it came to Sonic Xtreme. In this case, seeing more of Sonic Xtreme before it’s jump on the SEGA Saturn, along with general never-before-seen clips.

Japan Racing Association x Puyo Puyo collaboration “UmaPuyo” announced

001

SEGA and Japan Racing Association have teamed up for a new collaboration called UmaPuyo (literally “Horse Puyo”). The Japan Racing Association being Japan’s horse racing division since 1954, hence the association with horses. While the collaboration may seem random, SEGA has had a history with horse racing games, notably the Starhorse series of arcade game, so there’s some logic to something like UmaPuyo.

There are two minigames for UmaPuyo. First is a racing game called UmaPuyo Race where you can select your character and horse and race off. The objective is to get first place by clearing out Puyo consecutively, the more Puyo cleared the faster your horse will run.  UmaPuyo Jump is a jump platforming game where you guide a Puyo using your mouse cursor and collect horses. There are a total of 20 horses, each one based on a real-world horse that appears in the Japan Racing Association horse races. You can play both on the official Umabi website.

While on the surface there’s nothing special about this collaboration, the former game UmaPuyo Race has a contest associated with it. Every time the player wins a race, the player will get a raffle. To enter, the player needs to follow @Umabi_Official and share their victory on Twitter. Once entered, they will have an opportunity to win a cash prize of  ¥50,000 ($455.00). 5 winners will be chosen at an unspecified later date.

Special thanks for @AFKei with help translating this information.

[Source: 4gamer and Umabi.jp]

Factor 5 almost ported/created three games for the SEGA Genesis

factor5

Factor 5 is a rather interesting company. With the many project that came and went, notably the Turrican and Star Wars Rogue Squadron series, along with a rollercoaster of failed projects and bad business mistakes that eventually shut down the studio, until a recent surprise revival in 2015. But regardless, it was an ambitious studio, to the point that staff would even create their own devkits to gain an edge over the competition.

Recently, Nintendo Life has interviewed Factor 5 co-founder Julian Eggebrecht, dropping information about two ports and an original game that were intended for the SEGA Genesis.