SEGA FES 2019: Six new titles announced for the SEGA AGES series

More news has dropped regarding to the SEGA AGES series, this time a lot of announced titles coming to the series sometime in the future. These titles are Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R, Shinobi, G-loc Air Battle, Fantasy Zone, Herzog Zwei, and Wonder Boy in Monster Land. Each title will be based on their original arcade version, with the exception being Herzog Zwei instead being based on the Mega Drive version. No other information such as pricing, release date, or any other additional features have been revealed.

This announcement notably means that G-loc Air Battle will have the original arcade version ported to a home console for the first time, while this will be the first time SEGA used the Herzog IP after the acquirement of Technosoft’s library. What is your thoughts on these titles coming to the SEGA AGES series?

[Source: Twitter]

SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo releasing on March 28th in Japan


A lot going on with SEGA’s SEGA AGES series. While people in western territories will be enjoying Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Gain Ground on March 28th, fans in Japan will be instead be enjoying SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo on the same day.

SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo is based on the arcade version, with several enhancements available. In addition to the familiar blob popping puzzle fun from the original, players also have the addition of an optional double rotation feature that was absent from the original arcade version, online multiplayer, and most interestingly the inclusion of the extremely rare English arcade version that changes most of the names and the voice clips. SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo is slated for a price of ¥925 (roughly $8.50), so if you have spare yen, maybe pick this up along with the aforementioned SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Gain Ground titles.

[Source: Official Website]

Persona 5 The Royal officially revealed, teases new female character and more information in April

Atlus of Japan has officially revealed the long rumored Persona 5-related game, a seemingly new game titled Persona 5 The Royal likely planned for the Playstation 4. Not much new information about the game itself has been revealed, but the trailer puts heavy emphasis on a new female character. Based on the very few pieces of information, said character is a first year student who apparently resents the Phantom Thieves, feeling that they don’t actually solve the problems they claim to being fixing. What her exact role in the game is currently unknown.

However, this ties into another rumor that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will introduce a female counterpart to Joker, based on data mining finding code talking about “Jane” as an alternative costume and having a ponytail, the latter notably matching with the design of the new female character teased. Atlus is also promising more information about Persona 5 The Royal on April 24th, which is also coincidentally the same month when Joker is planned to be available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. A possible simultaneous reveal? Well whatever your stance is, Persona 5 The Royal is already shaping up to be an interesting direction in the Persona series.

[Source: Official Website]

A Certain Magical Virtual-On digital and physical sales temporarily halted in Japan

For Japanese players out there, you might of remembered a video game called A Certain Magical Virtual-On, an unusual crossover between SEGA’s Virtual-On IP and Dengeki Bunko’s A Certain Magical Index IP released in 2018 last year for the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita. Well for those that still want to try it, you might be much more hard pressed to obtain a copy, as SEGA of Japan has temporarily halted production of physical copies and pulled the game from digital stores for “various reasons”. Though they never specified what these reasons are, the most likely explanation is that contracts with using the A Certain Magical Index IP might be expiring, meaning that SEGA legally cannot distribute A Certain Magical Virtual-On until the situation is fixed.

Though A Certain Magical Virtual-On is being pulled from the market, SEGA of Japan has noted that this will have no impact on the production of both the three Virtual-On ports and the twin stick controller by TANITA. This further adds evidence that the reason for the sudden pull might be copyright related.

[Source: SEGA of Japan / Gematsu]

SEGA AGES Virtua Racing slated for Spring 2019 release, multiplayer information revealed


After several months of silence, SEGA has dropped new information regarding to SEGA AGES Virtua Racing in the latest issue of Famitsu. The main bulk of the new information is regarding to the game’s multiplayer. SEGA AGES Virtua Racing will support both local and online multiplayer, the latter notable due to it being the first online-supported multiplayer title in the SEGA AGES line-up that isn’t related to a puzzle game. For online multiplayer, players will be restricted to one vs. one matches, while for local multiplayer people will have the option to play up to 8 players and the option to change the amount of laps between 5 and 20. Local multiplayer will use the “old-school” style of displaying all the racers, using a classic split-screen approach.

In addition, it’s revealed that SEGA AGES Virtua Racing will be slated for a Spring 2019 release date in Japan. However, due to SEGA’s track record of these SEGA AGES titles being delayed, expect a summer release date instead. No other information regarding to a pricing or release dates outside of Japan have been revealed.

[Source: GematsuRyokutya2089]

SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World to release on February 21st in Japan

SEGA AGES branding is steadily continuing it’s releases, and this month it’s the Master System/SEGA Mark III classic title Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Titled SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World, players take control of the titular Alex Kidd as they travel through 12 levels punching through blocks using his “Shellcore” martial arts and riding weird contraptions such as the Peticopter. What sets Alex Kidd apart from similar games like the Super Mario Bros. titles is the inclusion of item management, where you can find money hidden in blocks and buy items from shops to help Alex on his adventure.

The SEGA AGES version however adds new features into the mix, such as FM sound compatibility, the usage of a previously unused song, and new cutscenes. This version will also include new features for beginners, such as the ability to rewind time by 5 seconds and the option to continue after losing all your lives. It’s officially slated for a February 21st release date in Japan, or next Thursday as of this writing, with the price of ¥925 (roughly $8.50). It’s unknown when SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World will receive a release outside of Japan, but the Nintendo Switch is region-free for those that lack patience, so give this Master System classic a try this Thursday if you have the spare yen.

[Source: SEGA AGES Website]

SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo to feature obscure English version of the arcade game

SEGA’s official Puyo Puyo Twitter account has drop some new information regarding to SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo, with the most significant news being that they are officially releasing the obscure English version of Puyo Puyo. This version of Puyo Puyo predates the more familiar localization attempts such as Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and Kirby’s Avalanche, with the key difference is that it tries to retain the original graphics, with only some minor adjustments to the voice clips and most of the character names and dialogue. It’s been long rumored to have been soft-released somewhere in Europe, based on interviews in the book All About Puyo Puyo Tsu, but until now it’s existence by SEGA wasn’t acknowledged. This created speculation that the English version of Puyo Puyo was a bootleg, further fueled by it being originally found on a bootleg board.

A more minor reveal is a new border being confirmed, a collection of artwork from the Puyo Puyo manuals for consoles, showing off the different characters you face against during the single player mode. But the English version is obviously the more fascinating news, since it once and for all puts down the theory that the English Puyo Puyo arcade game was an unofficial modification. SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo is due out sometime in February in Japan, with a release internationally currently unknown.

SEGA AGES OutRun releasing January 10th in western territories

Back in November in Japan, people got the experience the thrill of the drive on their Nintendo Switch with SEGA AGES OutRun. Now people outside of Japan are going to get their chance to experience OutRun once again, as confirmed by SEGA of America. The game will be available on the Switch’s eShop on January 10th, effectively next week as of this writing. This version of OutRun will contain features from the 3DS iteration, such as a 16:9 aspect ratio, the added songs “Camino a Mi Amor” and “Cruising Line”, and the ability to customize your car to handle differently, along with several new features like two new songs “STEP ON BEAT” and “RADIATION”, a ranking system, and optional gyro controls.

So maybe next week take a break from the winter weather for a nice summer drive with SEGA AGES OutRun, whether at home or on the go.

[Source: SEGA Twitter, Nintendo Website]

Puyo Puyo and Puyo Puyo Tsu coming to the SEGA AGES lineup


It’s been recently announced in SEGA’s latest Puyo Puyo Championship stream that the first two Puyo Puyo arcade games, Puyo Puyo and Puyo Puyo Tsu respectively, are coming to the SEGA AGES lineup on the Nintendo Switch! No specific details have been dropped regarding what is new to these specific ports or when they’ll releases, though based on screenshots both games will be based on their arcade versions, and will sport borders like the other SEGA AGES titles. The borders themselves are based on the instruction flyers found on their respective arcade machines.

It’s unknown at this time if these two installments will receive a release outside of Japan. However, in the scenario that they do, Puyo Puyo would notably be the first time it got a western release untouched, unlike what happened with Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and Kirby’s Avalanche in the past. It’s also worth noting that the Puyo Puyo series was a top 10 wanted choice in SEGA’s official SEGA AGES survey from nearly 3 months ago. It’s not clear if the poll had any influence with pushing out these Puyo Puyo releases, but we might expect similar results like Virtua Fighter titles appearing if they are genuinely taking the poll seriously.

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?