Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Preview – Comfortable Iteration

As I write this, I’m not actually sure what’s running on my Switch; Puyo Puyo Tetris, or Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. There’s almost a comfort to that, knowing that no matter what, a solid puzzle game is, waiting for me when I go get it off my nightstand. That comfort was even felt when I first booted the game, where I immediately launched into a standard 150 line Tetris challenge from the main menu and lost at line 140 due to being tired. There’s a comfort to the game being similar to my experiences to the first game, a comfort to the idea that I know what I’m getting into with a sequel, on some level.

I am not really an expert on Puyo Puyo. I’m not even really a Puyo Puyo player. My first experience with the series was the small Puyo minigame in Project Mirai DX back on the 3DS. But I am at least a big Tetris fan, I could eat Tetris for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No library of mine is complete without a Tetris game somewhere in it. I find this puts me in an interesting position in comparison to the site’s resident Puyo fanatic, FlareHabanero, to preview, and then eventually review this crossover sequel. I have to save much of my thoughts on PPT2 for the review, but I can at least tell you from playing this game over the past few days that PPT2 is an excellent, polished, and feature-rich package I want to sink more hours into.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix Review – Rock It On (Nintendo Switch)

Review code provided by SEGA.

Rhythm games are cool. Anime is cool. Anime rhythm games are pretty cool. Sure, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is not an anime game, but its energy, style, and content are sure to catch the attention of anyone who has even a passing interest in Japanese pop culture. At the very least, it might catch the attention of people who recognize the name attached: Hatsune Miku. I assume our readers have at least some grasp on who and what Hatsune Miku is, but I’ll give the skinny anyway.

Hatsune Miku is/was (the name situation is currently up in the air if I remember) a Vocaloid, a Japanese voice synthesizer program from the late 2000’s that became hugely popular, influential, and got massive worldwide attention. While most musicians and Japanese idols (whom Miku is meant to evoke) have a stable cast of producers, writers, and other musicians, Vocaloid is for anyone to use, and so, a rhythm game showcasing the best of what her users create was a no-brainer. This game is a tenth anniversary celebration of that game, and is chock-full of fantastic and funky beats and tracks.

However, to find out if it’s a game worth your passing attention or a deeper dive, you should read below to see if this is a ‘cool’ you want to get down with.

Panzer Dragoon: Remake update v.1.3 released

Since the game’s surprise launch, Panzer Dragoon: Remake has been keeping aloft with various update to add new content and fix standing issues. The Saori Kobayashi soundtrack was even a post-launch addition! MegaPixel and Forever Entertainment have been proactive about addressing player feedback, culminating in today’s 1.3 update. This update has been teased for a while now, and surprise dropped for Nintendo Switch this morning. The update features several improvements to controls, as well as to the Shadow Menu (now Pandora’s Box), sound design, and adds a few new control features and a sixty frames per second mode.

I tested the update a bit, and it’s far more hit than miss than prior updates or the game’s release. The 60FPS mode runs and feels fantastic without sacrificing everything that made the game look so good in the first place. I did notice a rendering error at one point, but that was the only issue. The sound design is also MUCH improved over either previous iteration. The game now has what I would classify as just good sound design and mixing! Pandora’s Box is mostly unchanged, but there are a couple new welcome options. As well, the controls feel much tighter, though they do still keep it faithfully stiff in areas. The motion controls are a letdown, too stiff to do anything with, but the HD Rumble is pretty nice. It’s nice to see points from my original review addressed, and I have hope that if more updates come, they’ll only make the game better.

For full patch notes from the update, read below.

Panzer Dragoon: Remake Review – A Wing in the Right Direction (Nintendo Switch)

Review code provided by Forever Entertainment.

Remakes are a common sight in the modern age. I won’t spiel too long about their worth, or their reason for being, but I will put a fine point on one aspect of their existence: what they bring to the original game. A remake can do a lot of things, both good and bad, and the discussion for how faithful a remake should be is a relevant one in the face of games that barely do more than make new art and graphical assets being the most successful remakes on the market. A good remake, in my opinion, is one that injects life into an old idea while keeping sight of what made the idea special in the first place. Or, at the very least, doing something so radically different with the original idea it becomes special in its own right.

Enter Panzer Dragoon: Remake. The original was a seminal 1995 release that ushered the SEGA Saturn into American and European homes with aplomb, and delighted Japanese Saturn owners a year into its life. It was a simple game of arcade sensibility with RPG detail. It was a 3D tour-de-force when polygons were a rarity at home. An on-rails action shooter with a three hundred and sixty degree innovation and a world like nothing else at the time. It’s a prime candidate for a remake, old and unique enough that it could stand improvements without becoming part of the crowd. Does the remake we have now succeed, though? Well…

Exclusive: Panzer Dragoon Remake interview with Producer Benjamin Anseaume

For over a year, we’ve been anticipating each bit of word, footage, and image of MegaPixel, Forever Entertainment, TA Publishing, and SEGA’s from the ground up remake of Panzer Dragoon. For those unfamiliar, Panzer Dragoon was an early SEGA Saturn title that gained acclaim for its unique setting, shake-ups in the rail shooter genre, and challenging gameplay. It spawned two more rail shooter sequels and a full role-playing game before being put to rest with the series finale, Panzer Dragoon Orta for the Xbox. For the nearly two decades since, fans have wanted to return to that science fiction fantasy world and see the series brought back with as much aplomb as possible.

Then, at the end of 2018, it was revealed that a little-known French-based publishing company and development house MegaPixel Studio were set to release remakes of Panzer Dragoon, and its sequel, Panzer Dragoon Zwei. Since then, we’ve seen art, we’ve seen gameplay, we’ve seen its due arrival on Switch and Steam, but we still had burning questions. To sate our (and especially my) own curiosity, I reached out to Benjamin Anseaume, producer on the remake project, to ask him several things. Learn about extra game content, the process of getting the game into the developer’s hands, and even get a glimpse at what the original creator of Panzer Dragoon, Yukio Futatsugi, thinks of the new project!

All this and more, after the jump!

Editorial: Why you should buy Panzer Dragoon Orta for your Xbox One

The Xbox One is in an interesting place in the current games generation. Lacking the exceptional first party support and third party exclusives of the PlayStation 4, the Nintendo Switch, or even the long-passed Wii U, the Xbox One carves its niche out as a competent home media center and place to play your workhorse multi-platform games. Many players have noted however, that this is not a niche that needs filling. The PlayStation 4 provides your home media wants as strongly as the One, with attractive exclusive features and games besides, as well as a generous “get free games when you subscribe to our online multiplayer” scheme, something the One mirrors with its Games with Gold feature. But there is a niche the One fills that its contemporaries skip out entirely on: backwards compatibility. Today we talk about that, an amazing hidden gem from the original Xbox, and how awesome that game is.

Bayonetta 1+2 Coming to Switch, Bayonetta 3 Announced

The very last thing I expected from the Game Awards was Bayonetta. Just a few moments ago, during the 2017 Game Awards, Reggie Fils-Aime from Nintendo came on to reveal that the Wii U double pack of Bayonetta 1 and Bayonetta 2 would be coming directly to the Nintendo Switch. Not only that, but Bayonetta 3 was also given a world premiere reveal, also exclusive to the Switch. Nothing is known at this time about the new Bayonetta 1+2 release, whether pricing will be identical to the Wii U versions (both games for $60 or $30 seperately), amiibo support, etc. Likewise, the only thing about Bayonetta 3 is that it is coming to the Switch.

Bayonetta 2 (with Bayonetta 1 free download) will release on the switch on February 18, 2018. You can view the rerelease trailer after the break.

Rumor: Alza leaks console ports of Bayonetta & Vanquish PC remasters

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Seems SEGA and Platinum aren’t quite done putting these games out. According to an incidental result on Alza, a UK-based online electronics store, both Vanquish and Bayonetta are set to launch on PS4 and Xbox One later this year. Not only are they getting a second re-release, but they’ll be stuffed into one very jam-packed double feature. The current “expected” release sits at November this year for Europe, with no further details on North American or Asian territory releases, or a release date. Assuming this is a genuine mistake on Alza’s part and these are real, it’s safe to say SEGA will be having some very good stocking stuffers this year.

Rez Infinite Review – Techno Enlightenment (PC)

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Rez is a one in a million game. A vision so confident, so bold, and so focused only comes around every decade or so. Released on the Dreamcast in late 2001 in Japan, ported for all regions on the PlayStation 2 in 2002, rereleased in HD for the Xbox 360 in 2008, remastered for VR on the PlayStation 4 in 2016, it’s now fully featured, fully formed on Steam and Windows in 2017. Rez Infinite may not technically be in the SEGA family on account of series rights apparently now owned by Enhance Games, but the legacy started with Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s concepts makes it only fitting to honor it here.

It’s a modern marvel, at once distinct, yet familiar; unique, yet clear in its inspirations; as awe-inspiring as it is clearly dated. Standing head and shoulders above its contemporaries in concept, presentation, and vision, no game comes close to it; before or since.

For the record before you hit the jump, there are certain features of Rez Infinite for the PC that I will not, and cannot review. Trance vibration is functional but I do not have the controllers for it, nor will I talk about the VR features of the game. The screenshots are also a lower res 720p than 1080p, apologies. Now, let us dive into synesthesia, and experience Mizuguchi’s masterpiece.

Shenmue III to be published by Deep Silver

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It’s a bit late here on the east coast at time of writing, but it’s never too late to report on new goings-on with Shenmue III. The latest development is that publisher Deep Silver has partnered with the YS NET team to publish the game worldwide. Deep Silver has published several renowned titles, including Saints Row, Metro, as well as assisting with SEGA-related titles like Persona 5 in Europe, and Yakuza Kiwami later this year in the same region. At time of writing, a press release regarding this development has not been released, but once it has, we’ll work to update this article with updated information.

Other news includes definitive schedules for Gamescom-related events. If you’re heading there this year, then August 23rd and 24th will be the dates to mark for a Yu Suzuki meet & greet.

Rez finally on PC; Rez Infinite hits Steam for $24.99

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Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s rhythm shooter Rez originally hit Japanese Dreamcasts in December of 2001. Since then, it’s gone through a PlayStation 2 update, an Xbox 360 re-release, a VR-focused remaster on PlayStation 4, and now finally, the SEGA classic has hit PC. Teased yesterday by Enhance Games, Rez Infinite has finally hit Steam, currently only available on Windows.

The release comes feature complete; the full PS4 remaster, free deluxe DLC, enhancements for 4K resolution and increased texture quality from previous versions, as well as full compatibility with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The VR support even goes so far as to include most common control inputs for the platform. At time of this writing, the game’s launch is accompanied by a 20% discount, hitting $19.99 USD and £15.99 BP.

We’ll have our own review and write-up for Rez Infinite soon(this writer particularly intended to review the PS4 version which never panned out), but for now, why not take a look at the launch trailer and Digital Foundry’s breakdown of performance under the jump?

Interview: Gistix, team lead on fan made Sonic ’06 Unity

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What do you say when the words “fan-made Sonic 2006 PC port” jump at you? What sort of images, reactions, and most importantly, questions, pop into your head when this prospect meets your mind? Is it perplexing? Audacious? Blasphemous? These were of course all reactions I saw when news broke of a demo for a full fan-made recreation of the ill-fated and infamous Sonic 06 in Unity. However, much against others’ reactions, mine was of…curiosity.

Rather than stick with a few fleeting moments of “hey that’s a thing”, the very idea stuck to me so hard that it gave me a jolt of energy. Not because I like Sonic 06, god no, but because I am a huge lover of weird games and weird ports. And to me, a Unity port of this maligned title was far too weird to pass up. So, faced with a lack of information, and a thirst to spread the good will of odd, ambitious projects, I went straight to the source. Ladies and gentlemen and others, I present to you, hopefully everything you’d want to know about the ins and outs of the Sonic 2006 PC port, from the mouth of its current leader, Gistix!

Steam Sale: Dreamcast Collection Titles $1.99 Each

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Do you need a handy, cheap Black Friday game gift, or perhaps want to finally jump into some classics for a paltry amount? Then SEGA has the deal for you. Until November 28th, every title under the “Dreamcast Collection” bundle, which includes Crazy Taxi, NiGHTS Into Dreams…, Jet Set Radio, SEGA Bass Fishing, Space Channel 5: Part 2, and Sonic Adventure DX are all available for a staggering $1.99 USD each. All of these games are priced at $7.99 normally, and normally buying them all together would be at least thirty dollars. That’s about an eighteen dollar difference for all of them.

Please note that the bundle itself is not discounted, and that Sonic Adventure 2, another Dreamcast classic released alongside NiGHTS and JSR, is not included in this sale. You will have to buy each game individually to make use of the discounts. So get on it, already!

Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove gets new trailer, publisher, and screenshots.

It’s been pretty smooth sailing for classic pseudo-SEGA game revival Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove, since its Kickstarter announcement all the way up to its “soon” release. And for those excited for the game, the good news keeps piling up! Just today, a new trailer was revealed by Adult Swim, announcing the game’s release window and its publisher, Adult Swim Games, known for quirky titles like Jazzpunk and Robot Unicorn Attack. While Adult Swim doesn’t exactly come to mind when I think of TJ and E, the match-up does at least make some sense if you think about it.

In addition, the crew have released several batches of screenshots on their Facebook, and a Steam page has gone up with even more shots. Unfortunately, those looking to get in on the funky rogue-like action will have to wait until 2017 to get their hands on the game for both PC and consoles. Hopefully the wait won’t be too long, and you can at least keep yourself busy with the screenshots below the jump.

SEGA asking for Easter Eggs in “new mobile game”

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In one of the oddest requests for fan input in a while, the SEGA Facebook page is asking for fans to submit ideas for Easter Eggs for a “new mobile game that will include many of your favorite SEGA characters.” Responses seem to vary from character cameos to sly references, but at the least everyone has done one thing; share some love for their favorite franchises.

The “new mobile game” referred to here is possibly SEGA Blast Heroes, the recently leaked SRPG crossover game dug up by Segalization. The fact that they’re asking for franchises in general and the header image above features Sonic alongside Streets of Rage, Shinobi, and Crazy Taxi not only points to the game being a crossover, but also likely teases their inclusion in whatever game SEGA has planned. It is possible SEGA Blast Heroes was nothing more than a testing the waters from SEGA Networks, with only mock-up screens created, and other concepts are also being developed internally. It is also possible that SEGA Blast Heroes was not even created by SEGA Networks. If any more direct or indirect info on SEGA Blast Heroes – or whatever the mobile game is – should surface, we’ll let you know.