Phantasy Star Nova short cutscenes show off the main characters

Gematsu recently reported that Sega broadcasted a set of three cutscenes through Nico Nico this past weekend. They are each not much longer than a minute, and all are voiced. It’s another opportunity for a glimpse at what the game is set to look like, but also to get a grasp on the characters’ personalities. Of the main three characters, Lutia and Phildia, both of the female charcters, have pretty distinct characterizations in the trailers. When you see someone like Lutia pose and sound her barbaric yawp before charging in on a (rather freaky and cool-looking) Gigantes, you know you’re in for a party. Given tri-Ace’s reputation for dynamic and unique gameplay systems, it will be interesting to see what surprises tri-Ace will reveal in the future for this game.

Hit the break for two other videos!

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- coming to North America this Fall, courtesy of Aksys Games


On May 29th IGN reported that Aksys Games will be bringing Guilty Gear Xrd to North America on Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 sometime this fall. Aksys Games is a Western localization company and has been the company localizing Arc System Works’ Blazblue and Guilty Gear titles for North America, but they have brought a variety of games outside of Japan. It’s worth noting that the confirmation promises 15 playable characters, while the current updated arcade version only accounts for 14. The release window being presented is far sooner than most fans anticipated

Curiously, there is neither word on console versions of the game for both Europe and Japan as of now! It’s likely that the announcement confirming a release window just hasn’t made its way out yet as far as Japan is concerned, but hopefully Europe’s release will keep pace with other regions.

The latest activity in Japan regarding Guilty Gear was a SEGA-sponsored tournament on May 25th, this past Sunday. It took place at Game Corner Eastern, which was also host to a separate tournament for Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax on the same day.

Simon Jeffery, former SEGA of America CEO (2004-2009), moves to Myo Armband creator Thalmic Labs

Many of you may be familiar with Simon Jeffery. For those unaware, Simon Jeffery was the CEO of SEGA of America from 2004 to 2009, who would be followed by Mike Hayes. Jeffery also worked at LucasArts prior to his arrival at SEGA and and more recently he worked at mobile game publisher ngmoco within the past couple of years. As far as SEGA is concerned, he is perhaps well-known for his public statement confirming SEGA not moving forward with a re-entry to the console market at E3 2008, alongside his philosophy on SEGA of America as an autonomous arm and with regards to the company’s direction during his tenure (which can be seen at this Gamasutra interview.)

MarketWatch is reporting that Canadian company Thalmic Labs has hired Simon Jeffery as its chief “gaming evangelist,” where his primary responsibilities will be to forge relationships with game developers, a sort of outreach work that should be familiar to him considering his career. Thalmic Labs is the producer of the Myo armband, a piece of hardware that allows for digital interaction through motion-sensing technology. It can be used for video games, computers, entertainment devices and probably as a means of interaction with smart home systems. Wearable tech is a market that consumers and tech companies alike will be watching closely, from smartwatches and Google Glass to the buzzed-about Oculus Rift. It will be interesting to see what sort of work Simon Jeffery does for Thalmic Labs

Insert Coin’s SEGA catalog to be updated with new items


Insert Coin is a United Kingdom-based clothing company with apparel and accessories featuring various video game franchises. As it is, their catalog of Sega items is fairly expansive and covers a few SEGA franchises including Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Space Channel 5, and of course Sonic the Hedgehog. SEGAbits has covered some of their offerings previously, including one news post that features a Beat-inspired shirt and a Knuckles-inspired hoodie, and another news post that shows off Dreamcast and Mega Drive-inspired bags.

The company recently updated their blog to show off a new line of SEGA-themed items for this year. These include the above-pictured “Running Club” T-shirt which pays homage to the central title screen icon and release year of the first game. There’s also a “Science Club” T-shirt for future evil geniuses creative and inventive thinkers, and a dress with Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Casino Night itself as the dress. Rounding out the collection is a Shenmue-inspired Hazuki jacket.

The company hopes to release these new products in Q3 of this year, and plans to release more details and images of the products in the near future.

What sort of SEGA-themed clothing or accessories would you be interested in?

Segalization’s Q&A with UDON Entertainment Available for Viewing!


It’s finally here! Our Q&A with UDON’s Matt Moylan is available for viewing at Segalization. Click here to check out the informative Q&A session on UDON’s work with a variety of SEGA properties.

I’d like to thank Segalization contributor SuperSonicEX for reaching out to UDON, Matt Moylan, Stacy King and the rest of UDON for being willing to participate, SEGAbits and its readers for their participation in this effort by submitting their own questions, and my fellow Segalization colleagues for their help in making the final article possible.

We hope you enjoy reading the Q&A!

SEGA’s Console-tan’s starring in a new anime project


Anime News Network reports SEGA’s greenlighting of an anime series for the SEGA Hard Girls project. The posting includes the voice actresses for all of the characters, which piece of hardware they represent, a catchphrase and a small paragraph that briefly describes the hardware.

Many of you may already be familiar with SEGA’s console-tan’s or the SEGA Hard Girls project. For those unaware, it features anthropomorphized female depictions of various SEGA hardware. The featured hardware ranges consoles and memory devices but also includes lesser-known devices like the Tera Drive. The glossy art style may seem familiar – that’s because Vocaloid artist KEI worked on these characters. They’ve been in all sorts of media – from Samurai and Dragons as cards to a novel series in Dengeki Bunko Magazine.

Siliconera also composed a writeup that makes note of interesting pieces of trivia. The Mega Drive 2 is noted as being shorter than the Mega Drive, referring to the successor being less bulky than the original. Genesis, the name for the Mega Drive in America, is a separate character and is cowgirl-themed. Commentor s07195 notes that the catchphrases are also self-referential jokes: for example, the Dreamcast’s catchphrase is “We’re always connected!” which refers to the system’s online capabilities, and the Game Gear’s catchphrase is “I’m tired…” which refers to the Game Gear quickly eating up battery life.

Check out SEGA’s official website for the SEGA Hard Girls project here. The third clickable button on the index (with a darker blue star next to it) located on the left is the character section, which allows you to quickly browse through the different characters’ profiles.

Segalizaton taking questions for UDON Entertainment interview


Update: Interview has been completed. Thanks for your contributions!

SEGA fan and Segalization contributor SuperSonicEX captured an amazing opportunity for a Q&A with UDON Entertainment! UDON Entertainment is responsible for, among other things: translation and publishing of the three Valkyria Chronicles art books, the History of Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Eyes of Bayonetta, alongside various Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid media.

We currently plan to send in our questions sometime this Wednesday, March 26th, but Segalization would like to give SEGA fans a chance to send in questions of their own for UDON to answer! For anyone interested in submitting a question, hit the jump to see the currently planned questions (so as to avoid overlap) and additional notes on how Segalization will handle any submitted questions.

Reminder: Shenmue Postmortem Panel on 3/19 at 2014 GDC

The annual Game Developers Conference will be taking place in California throughout next week. There are various panels available on topics related to the gaming industry to listen in on for attendees. However, of particular note is the Shenmue Postmortem featuring then-series director Yu Suzuki and PS4 architect Mark Cerny as Suzuki’s translator. It will be taking place on March 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM US Pacific Time and will close at 3:00 PM.

Per the GDC website’s description of the panel, Yu Suzuki will be discussing the origins and development history of the first title starting as a Virtua Fighter RPG for the SEGA Saturn and its eventual release as the Dreamcast cult classic.

The GDC panels are not typically streamed or otherwise made available to non-attendees; however, Gamespot plans to stream this particular panel. With the panel fast approaching, you may want to make time to watch it if you will be available!

Humorous “Hero Bank” commercial airing and the anime cast announced

Adding to their humorously bizarre commercial pedigree, SEGA released this commercial for Hero Bank a couple of days ago. Hero Bank follows the immensely unfortunate but determined Kaito Gosho as he assumes a virtual avatar and competes in the online cyber-sport “Hero Battle” to pay off a one billion yen debt. Toshihiro Nagoshi of Yakuza and Super Monkey Ball fame is acting as producer for this title. The 3DS arena-fighting RPG releases in Japan on March 20th.

As part of the promotional blitz (which started last summer with items like branded toilet paper,) a TV anime series is in production and will begin airing on April 7th on Mondays at 6:30 PM. Anime News Network recently listed the voice cast and announced that TMS Animation is handling animation work for this adaptation. Yuuko Sanpei, known for work including Eureka Seven lead Renton Thurston, will be providing the voice of main character Kaito Gosho. His friend-turned-rival Nagare Amano is voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya, more recently identifiable as Attack on Titan‘s Levi. Incidentally, Kamiya also seems to be a recurring name in some of the newer-era Shining games.

Interestingly, while news thus far for the game describes Kaito as being saddled with a one billion yen debt, ANN lists the debt as ten billion instead. Isn’t elementary school hard enough?

Segalization and Sakura Taisen Week


Segalization heard that SEGAbits was running a Sakura Taisen-themed week, and we were happy to help commemorate the week by contributing something of our own. Sakura Taisen, or Sakura Wars as it’s known over here, is easily one of the most prominent SEGA franchises to never make it stateside. It is the poster child for what Segalization wants to correct. So please, read on as we go into Sakura Wars’ history, what it means to the Segalization mission and my own personal experience with the only game in the franchise that has been localized.

Guilty Gear Xrd Coming to Japanese Arcades February 20th

Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear Xrd website and a recent Dengeki Online posting confirm that Guilty Gear Xrd will be arriving on Japanese arcades on February 20. An earlier rumor suggested that wide arcade release in Japan would not arrive until March, but that can now be put to rest. Check out the above video to see the arcade opening featuring some gameplay in its cel-shaded, 2D-imitation glory.

Guilty Gear Xrd concluded its last round of location tests this past week. PS3 and PS4 releases are currently planned for the game, though there is not much word on a release schedule for the platforms beyond “2014.” Localization of some form for the games has also not been announced, but most every Guilty Gear release, namely the main entries and version updates, have not missed localization, and Arc System Works’ US Twitter account last year took note of a petition to develop a Wii U version, so the fan demand for some localization seems to be recognized.

Guilty Gear Xrd’s arcade version was developed using SEGA’s RingEdge2 arcade system board, and was regularly location tested at SEGA arcades. SEGA will also have a role in publishing the arcade version. SEGA owned the rights to Guilty Gear for a couple of years once SEGA and Sammy merged since Sammy owned the franchise, though now Arc System Works has claimed complete ownership of the IP.