Catherine Full Body coming to Nintendo Switch on July 7th

Catherine, the cult puzzle game by Atlus, is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch in July 7th. Notably this is the “Full Body” re-release that includes extra content, such as a third love interest in Rin and 5 more endings possible.

Like before, you take on the role of Vincent Brooks, as he gets involved in an affair with Catherine, with the encounter causing Vincent to experience warped nightmares every night. These nightmares play out like a sliding box puzzle, where the objective is to climb to the top of a tower and escape, and doing it fast enough to avoid getting swallowed by the nightmare below.

 

Panzer Dragoon Remake now available on the Nintendo Switch

A bit of an unexpected drop! As revealed in Nintendo’s latest Nintendo Direct Mini, Panzer Dragoon Remake is now available for the Nintendo Switch. The game is available in all regions for $24.99 and equivalent, so far only digitally on the Nintendo Switch eShop. A Steam release is also planned, but it’s still unknown when Panzer Dragoon Remake will release on Steam and possibly other system.

The game itself is a recreation of the original 1995 SEGA Saturn cult classic, as you take on the role of a rider flying an armored dragon through flooded temples and barren deserts. Your objective is to survive and defeat the evil Prototype Dragon and other monsters by using a combination of the rider’s gun and the dragon’s homing laser breath, similar to SEGA’s past arcade games like After Burner.

SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle releasing on March 26th in Japan


Take to skies with the newest release in the SEGA AGES series, G-LOC Air Battle, which is confirmed to be released on March 26th in Japan for ¥999. Commonly cited as a spin-off to SEGA’s After Burner, you once again take on the role of a fighter jet soaring through the skies blasting anything in your way with either a standard shot or homing missiles. The main difference is the emphasis on switching between third-person and first-person, as each perspective allows for better mobility or better precision respectively.

SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle will have a special border designed to emulate the R360 arcade cabinet’s dynamic movements, with the screen shifting based on your actions within the game. In addition, a new SEGA AGES mode will be included, with new missions, a larger search range, and faster lock-on cursor, making it ideal for novice players. Like past SEGA AGES releases, there will also be online rankings.

[Source: Official Website]

Tamaki Nakanishi, Carbuncle’s Japanese voice actress, has passed away


Puyo Puyo producer Mizuki Hosoyamada has revealed on social media that the voice actress for Carbuncle, Tamaki Nakanishi, has passed away. For context, Tamaki Nakanishi has been the voice actress for Carbuncle since Puyo Puyo Fever, making her have the honor of having the longest lasting role for voicing the character, for almost 17 years. She also provides the voices for the recurring minor characters Yu and Rei.

Appropriately, several people who have worked with the production of Puyo Puyo games have expressed condolences for this sudden death, such as the voice actress for Arle Nadja Mie Sonozaki and the voice actor for Satan (aka Dark Prince) Chikara Ousaka.

It’s currently unknown what will happen to these roles in the future, whether it will be a new voice actress handling the role, the characters get quietly retired, or voice clips of past performances getting recycled.

SEGA announces Panzer Dragoon Voyage Record for VR technology


While we’re waiting for the remakes of Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei, SEGA themselves has also announced another Panzer Dragoon game in the works. This one though is more of a tech demo for VR technology, called Panzer Dragoon Voyage Record (get it?). Developed by Wildman and published by SEGA, you will revisit the events of past Panzer Dragoon games, with the events of Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon Zwei, and Panzer Dragoon Saga being currently available. The VR elements will allow players to take on the role of the rider for the dragon, with a first person perspective and the VR controller to emulate the handgun.

No other information such as pricing, platforms, or release date have been announced at this time.

Source: [Cision / SEGA tweet]

Rumor: New Monster World IV remake in the works, will be announced at GDC 2020


While the build up to GDC 2020 has been steady up to it’s March 16th opening, the official website has been updated with a list of exhibits detailing the latest games from different developers. However when browsing the list of developers and games, one currently unannounced title is listed as “Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World“. No specifics have been detailed on this title, but the name implies that it will be related to the Mega Drive game Monster World IV and is confirmed to be developed by Studio Artdink. Artdink for reference is a development studio best known for the A-Train series of train simulator titles, along with experimental games such as No One Can Stop Mr. Domino and Aquanaut’s Holiday.

We likely won’t get any official word until GDC 2020 officially opens, but in the meanwhile you can play the original Monster World IV on the SEGA Genesis Mini to pass the time.

Madou Monogatari I for Mega Drive gets an English fan translation


A new English translation for the Madou Monogatari series has been released, this time for the Mega Drive version of Madou Monogatari I. Like the other versions of Madou Monogatari I, you play as 6 year old Arle Nadja, who was chosen to climb up a monster infested tower to pass her exam at Magic Kindergarten. This version also adds extra plot elements, such as the inclusion of the two characters Camus and Lulu who occasionally appear throughout the tower, along with a secret boss fight against a mysterious foe implied to be Satan, who can only be fought once certain criteria is met. Another major change is the battle system, which has been overhauled to now play in real-time, using button combinations in order to execute spells or to dodge attacks.

This fan translation as expected translates the entire game into English, complete with a title renaming to “Sorcery Saga I”. For extra authenticity, you can mod your SEGA Genesis Mini to play this game, doubly so if you have a Japanese Mega Drive Mini on hand and want to properly play Madou Monogatari I in English.

[Source: ROMhacking.net]

Sakura Wars (aka Shin Sakura Wars) releasing in western territories on April 28th

SEGA’s latest entry in the Sakura Wars series, Shin Sakura Wars (aka Project Sakura Wars), has finally gotten a release date for those in western territories. Simply titled Sakura Wars, the game will be available on April 28th for the PlayStation 4. In addition, initial copies of Sakura Wars will be the “Launch Edition”, which includes a reversible cover and stickers. It’s also confirmed that there will be no dub; only Japanese voice acting and subtitles in languages such as English, German, French, and Spanish.

This game focuses on a new Flower Division, a theater troupe that doubles as a protective service in case of emergancy, as you take on the role of Seijuro Kamiyama to prevent the Flower Division from being shut down and to stop a demonic invasion from destroying Tokyo. Like predecessors, the game focuses on interactions between the cast of characters using the iconic LIPS dialogue system, which is encouraged to improve the combat capabilities of each pilot and also learn more about each member of the Flower Division. Unlike past installments which used strategy elements for the combat, Sakura Wars is more action packed where you have to destroy enemies using your arsenal of attacks by piloting special steam-powered mechs called Spiricle Armor, with each pilot having their own characteristics.

 

SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Puyo Puyo 2 coming to western territories on February 20th

The month of February seems to be sequel month, as two hit SEGA follow ups are coming soon to the SEGA AGES series, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Puyo Puyo 2! Both releases are planned for a February 20th release date on the Nintendo Switch eShop for a price of $7.99 (and equivalent), in both North American and European territories.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the sequel to the original Sonic the Hedgehog released a year later. Like its predecessor, you take on the role of the titular Sonic as you run through different zones avoiding hazards and beating Badniks. However this time Sonic is joined by his best friend Miles Tails Prower, and has a new move called the Spin Dash that allows him to rev up and dash forward in a ball. This SEGA AGES version comes with the original game, but it also includes new features like the optional Drop Dash, ring counter like SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog, and most notably Knuckles the Echidna being playable like he was when you connected a copy of Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles.

Puyo Puyo 2 (aka Puyo Puyo Tsu) you once again take on the role of young mage Arle Nadja, as you are tasked with climbing up Satan’s tower by beating opponents and earning enough points to move up to the next floor. Like it’s predecessor, the main objective is to beat the opponent by dumping garbage called Nuisance Puyos onto their field, but Puyo Puyo 2 also polishes up the gameplay with new features such as offsetting, double rotation, and All Clear. With this SEGA AGES release, you also get a new mode called Endurance Mode where you must fight against every opponent in the tower, along with quality of life modifications such as the option to change the appearance of the Puyos and the ability to read up the descriptions of every character. Like its predecessor SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo, you also have the option to set up matches with people around the globe via internet.

[Source: SEGA AGES website]

Madou Monogatari A for Game Gear gets an English fan translation

Another Madou Monogatari game has received a fan translation, this time being the game Madou Monogatari A: Doki Doki Vacation. In a slight departure from the previous Madou Monogatari titles on Game Gear, this game is based on Madou Monogatari ARS originally released on the PC-98, specifically the “A” scenario. In Madou Monogatari A, you take on the role of 4 year old Arle Nadja from Magic Kindergarten who wants to visit her grandmother on the other side of a forest. While the original PC-98 version involves Arle getting lost in the forest and get harassed by an angry Owlbear, the Game Gear version instead has a story involving Satan cutting down the Fairy Forest to build an amusement park, with Arle going into the forest to find the fairies and stop Satan’s plans. Aside from the story changes, Madou Monogatari A: Doki Doki Vacation also changes a lot of the level design, overall making the game barely like its original incarnation on the PC-98.

This patch translates the whole game into English, including the title being renamed to Sorcery Saga A: Vivacious Vacation. This means that all Madou Monogatari games on the Game Gear can now be played in English, along with Madou Monogatari I, Madou Monogatari II, and Madou Monogatari III.

[Source: ROM Hacking.net]

SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo Tsu releasing on January 16th in Japan

SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo Tsu has finally got a definitive release date. This popular arcade game from Japan can be yours on January 16th, for a price of ¥999 on the Japanese Nintendo Switch eShop.

This SEGA AGES release of Puyo Puyo Tsu comes with the original arcade game, in addition to a new Kachinuki Mode, where players have to fight every opponent in the tower starting from the bottom and working your way up. Players will also be able to read up on the descriptions of every character, and have the option to change the colors of each individual Puyo color with six choices. Like with past SEGA AGES releases, there will also be online compatibility, with leaderboards and online match making.

[Source: Official SEGA AGES page]

SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone and Shinobi releasing in western territories on January 23rd

Two SEGA arcade classics are coming soon to the Nintendo Switch eShop in North American and European territories, Fantasy Zone and Shinobi! Both will be available on January 23rd simultaneously.

SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone is based on the 3DS iteration, Fantasy Zone Opa-Opa Bros. In this game, you take on the role of Opa-Opa, as you must blast down all of the the bases and the residential boss of each stage, with a large assortment of weapons and engines to help you on your mission, for a price of course. Like the 3DS version, you have the option of hoarding money and using it in repeated playthroughs, the return of the Upa-Upa Mode where you play as Upa-Upa with weapons readily being available at the cost of them consuming money like ammunition, and extras unlocked once you earn enough money in the bank.

SEGA AGES Shinobi puts you in the role of Joe Musashi, as you must rescue kids held hostage in each stage. Armed with throwing weapons, a melee weapon, and special attacks, you must fight your way through each stage. Occasionally there will also be a bonus stage, where you much kill every ninja trying to approach you in a gallery-shooter fashion. This version of Shinobi will also include a special “SEGA AGES” version, that mixes up the gameplay with Joe being powered up and wearing white suit similar to Revenge on Shinobi on the SEGA Genesis, along with the inclusion of a stage select allowing you to pick any stage you want.

[Source: Nintendo UK Website Fantasy Zone and Shinobi]

Madou Monogatari III for Game Gear gets an English fan translation

For those that want to dig into the past for the Puyo Puyo series, a new English translation patch has been released for the Game Gear version of Madou Monogatari III. This English patch, renamed Sorcery Saga III: The Ultimate Queen, is a complete translation that has everything in English, and is compatible with both revisions of the game.

Like it’s predecessors Madou Monogatari I and Madou Monogatari II, you take on the role of Arle Nadja and her companion Carbuncle in an old school dungeon crawling RPG. In this game, Arle encounters the self-proclaimed Fighting Queen Rulue and her bodyguard Minotauros, but this encounter is short lived, as Rulue commands Minotauros to drive Arle and Carbuncle deep into a forest in order to win over Satan’s love. Now lost in a strange labyrinth, Arle must find her way out and get revenge on Rulue. The Game Gear version specifically makes changes to the story and game design compared to the previously released MSX2 and PC-98 versions, like the inclusion of the Frog Empire that assists Arle during her quest.

[Source: Romhacking.net]

Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog Movie trailer reveals “Baby Sonic”

For a while it’s been rumored that the Sonic the Hedgehog movie would have a baby version of Sonic, but until now it was unofficially revealed from leaked merchandising. Now we have official confirmation that this younger version of Sonic is indeed real, including a new trailer and artwork briefly highlighting the tiny hedgehog. According to the official website page, it describes Baby Sonic as innocent and full of energy, and we will get to see Sonic’s unexplored past. Likely he will appear in the movie either from a flashback or as part of an overall origin story, maybe explaining how Sonic gained his sound breaking speed in the first place.

In addition, movie goers in Japan will receive a bonus Baby Sonic keychain for those that pre-order tickets early.

SEGA Sammy to merge SEGA Games and SEGA Interactive in April 2020


SEGA Sammy has announced that two of it’s subsidiaries, SEGA Games and SEGA Interactive, are going to be merged into a single entity called SEGA Corporation. While SEGA Holdings Ltd. will be renamed to SEGA Group Cooperation. For context, SEGA technically isn’t a single entity, but rather multiple divisions under the SEGA Sammy umbrella, in this case SEGA Games handling the video games and SEGA Interactive handling amusement machines like UFO catchers. According to the official PDF file describing the merger, the decision was due to wanting to strengthen their research and development on new products for a global market, while also citing their previously discussed “Road to 2020” plan as another influence. It’s also possibly related to their declining arcade division, though that was not officially cited.

This merger is being planned for a April 1st 2020 schedule, though meetings between shareholders are also planned during February and March 2020. It’s promised that these changes will not dramatically impact production on future products, again with the claim that having these divisions under a single union will improve productivity for a global market.

[Source: PDF, Stream]