The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 2: The 90s Golden Age


The Model series of arcade hardware by Yu Suzuki in co-operation with Lockhead Martin, where the next step in the Sega arcade world. Virtua Fighter sold Sega Saturns in Japan.

The Model series of arcade hardware by Yu Suzuki in co-operation with Lockhead Martin, where the next step in the Sega arcade world. Virtua Fighter sold Sega Saturns in Japan.

In Part 1, we looked at Sega’s origins and their Japanese game development during the 80s. In Part 2 we turn our attention to the golden age, when Sega was fought in the console wars and arcades were in full-force globally. Throughout the 90s, Sega would really grow up and mature and have individual divisions, splitting into arcade and consumer software and product development. Many of the programmers, designers and planners of the 80s and earlier would become managers and producers of their own divisions.
Let’s start Part 2 off with the growth of their AM studios, which is short for Amusement Machine Research and Development.

Fruit’Y is a new indie Dreamcast puzzle game, and it’s available now!

In the midst of Ghost Blade, the impending release of Pier Solar and the release of Volgaar the Viking comes yet another indie Dreamcast game – Fruit’Y! Developed by retroguru, Fruit’Y is a fruit matching puzzle game featuring 120 levels, pixel graphics and a killer soundtrack. What surprised me the most is that the game is out now to purchase – no pre-orders here folks – and is incredibly affordable. A pressed disc with full color art in a DVD case will only set you back 2.50 Euros or around $2.81. Shipping isn’t too bad, as it only cost around $10.41 total for the game to ship from Germany to SEGAbits Midwest HQ in the United States.

The game is limited to 500 copies, so pick one up soon from Dragon Box Shop! I’ve already seen people receiving theirs in the mail, and hope to get my hands on my copy within the next few days.

Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom available to download now for iOS and soon to Android

The sequel to SEGA’s mobile hit Sonic Dash is here – Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom! That’s right, a sequel set in an entirely different branch of the franchise. I honestly cannot recall another video game that has done this, but hey, SEGA is known for being innovative. The game is available now on iOS and will hit the Google Play store soon for Android, and according to the official Sonic twitter account can even be played on Apple Watch via a companion app.

After the break, check out the full list of features and try the game for yourself. Like it? Hate it? Sound off in the comments below!

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice delay doesn’t stop Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. from releasing a kid’s meal

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Despite being delayed to 2016, SEGA had Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice promotions in place for the game’s initial release window of Fall 2015 and it looks like they couldn’t get out of one of these promotions. United States fast food restaurants Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. (the restaurant name depends on your region) just began a Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice kid’s meal promotion featuring four toys. The toys include: Splat BallSonic the Hedgehog Figure, Board Game (possibly the most unexciting name for a board game ever), and Communicator with Secret Compartment (how is the compartment a secret if they advertised it?).

In addition to the toys, the restaurant’s website offers digital wallpapers, coloring pages, a Sonic Boom character poll, and a place to enter a secret code found on the meal bags – meaning there will be branded bags to go along with the promotion. While it sounds like I’m ragging on SEGA for promoting a game that has since been delayed, I’m actually very excited for the promotion. Being a child of the early 90s, I have fond memories of the McDonald’s Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Happy Meal. I even own a store display and collection of bags! So it is very cool to see Sonic back in the world of fast food toys. I just wish the promotion fell closer to the game’s release.

SEGA Hardware Nintendo 3DS themes officially announced for US and EU


SEGA has officially announced the SEGA Hardware Nintendo 3DS themes that they’ve been hinting at for the past few weeks. Releasing today to the US will be Sega Genesis and Sega Game Gear themes, featuring imagery and sounds from the respective hardware. In addition to the Genesis and Game Gear, 3DS owners can also expect the Sega Master System, Sega Mark III, Sega Saturn, Hi-Tech Sega (80s style Japanese arcade machine), Sega SG-1000, and the Sega Dreamcast. The themes will be rolled out over the coming months, and are priced at $1.99 each.

It has also been announced that the themes will be hitting Europe, but on a different schedule. No word on if the themes will be altered to suit the EU versions of consoles.

New Project X Zone 2: Brave New World screens and art show off Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki


Famitsu has dropped another batch of Project X Zone 2: Brave New World character reveals for the upcoming Bandai Namco Entertainment published SRPG crossover featuring SEGA, Capcom, and Bandai Namco characters. In this latest batch SEGA representation is light, but the inclusion of Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki is huge. Of course, we knew of Ryo’s inclusion for a few weeks. But in this reveal it is confirmed that Ryo will be a Solo Unit character, meaning he won’t be teamed with another Shenmue character (I was really hoping we’d get Wuying Ren). It has also been confirmed that Ryo’s Japanese voice actor Matsukaze Masaya will be returning to the role. Masaya will also be voicing Ryo in Shenmue 3, which means we’ll get our first listen of Masaya’s return to the role in Project X Zone 2!

Other SEGA characters revealed include two NPCs: The evil rabbit eared Ranmaru from Sakuza Wars: So Long My Love voiced by Asai Kiyomi and Garijanon, voiced by Norio Wakamoto, of Resonance of Fate who will be sharing a cutscene with Segata Sanshiro.

After the break, check out the SEGA character screens and art, and check out all the new images over at Famitsu!

Sonic Lost World releasing to PC on November 2nd, NiGHTS stage included


A Nintendo exclusive no more! Via the Steam store comes news that 2013’s Nintendo Wii U game Sonic Lost World will be releasing to PC on November 2nd. The game is available for a $29.99 pre-purchase and as an added incentive SEGA is throwing in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for free to those who buy before release. It is assumed that the Nintendo add-on levels will not be included. The NiGHTS into Dreams stage will, however, be included as it appears on the stage map in the Steam screenshots.

After the break, check out the system requirements to make sure your PC can run the game!

Atlus announces Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final for 3DS


While at Tokyo Game Show this year, Atlus teased that they had a brand new title to announce. It seems that title could be the newly announced Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final for the Nintendo 3DS, which is due to release in Japan on February 10th, 2016.

Staff working on this game: 

  • Producer: Kazuyuki Yamai
  • Director: Satoshi Ohyama
  • Character Designer: Masashi Doi
  • Sound Composer: Ryota Kozuka
  • Setting Plan and Series Demon Designer – Kazuma Kaneko

Details on what the difference between this version and 2013’s Shin Megami Tensei IV are unknown as of right now, but Famitsu has confirmed its a brand new title (not a re-release like Atlus has been known to do). For now you can check out the game’s teaser page here.

[Source: Gematsu]

SEGA Twitter account teases “Still Thinking” – Could more Nintendo 3DS themes be on the way?

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During and since the transition to Southern California (to possibly the Atlus USA offices), SEGA of America has played it pretty safe on social media. Typically we’d only see press releases and links to trailers and announcements, but today the SEGA Twitter account shared a 14 second video of the SEGA Genesis “Welcome To The Next Level” logo accompanied by the Dreamcast hardware startup sounds and the Western Saturn startup jingle and the text “Still Thinking”. Would could SEGA be teasing?

While we’re merely speculating, it’s possible that new Nintendo 3DS themes are on the way featuring Western SEGA Dreamcast, Saturn, and Genesis/Mega Drive sounds and images. We know that SEGA of Japan released their own collection of console inspired 3DS themes, and later the US got Fantasy Zone and Space Harrier themes. We also know that SEGA of America staff expressed interest in bringing more themes – like the hardware ones – to the West, but noted that they would have to be localized as they were region specific in design.

Of course it is also possible it is a tease of something bigger, but let’s keep expectations in check.

Update: The letters in the video light up to spell “THEME”. I think it is safe to say that Dreamcast, Saturn, and Genesis themes are on the way to the Nintendo 3DS!

SEGA Europe President to explore ‘brilliant portfolio’ of games before doing Alien: Isolation 2 had a interview with Jurgen Post, COO of SEGA Europe. In the interview Jurgen explained to the site how SEGA now operated, how financial reports worked and basically how gaming press write negative (and false) articles about SEGA for clickbait (remember when they left the console market?). They also talked about how Creative Assembly now has over 400 employees working on upcoming titles including the newly announced Halo Wars 2. But what about a sequel to last year’s Alien: Isolation?

“Alien: Isolation 2 is not out of the question, because we’re so proud of it and there’s possibly more to be said. But do we really want to be spending very significant amounts of money, and getting close to break-even or just about in the black? That’s not where Sega wants to be, when we have a brilliant portfolio of other games that do great business.” – Jurgen Post, COO of SEGA Europe.

It seems that Alien: Isolation 2 isn’t out of the question, but they just want to explore other games that they think would do better in sales. Jurgen talked about how he wasn’t happy with how Alien: Isolation sold, stating that it did well in Europe but didn’t do so hot in America. Being from America, I can tell you that SEGA of America can’t market a game to save their own jobs. Check out the full interview for more insight into SEGA of Europe.

7th Dragon III Code: VFD demo hits Japanese e-shop

SEGA’s 7th Dragon III Code: VFD demo has hit the Japanese e-shop, letting players play the prologue of the game and even giving them special bonus items for the full retail version (when it hits Japan October 15th). The demo will allow users to play Chapter 0 and Chapter 1, sadly in the demo you are given a pre-created character and capped at level 10.

If you transfer the demo save to the full retail version, you get:

  • EX Upper: an accessory that increases experience points gain by x1.2
  • Skill Upper: an accessory that increases skill point gain by x1.2
  • Nagamimi’s Charm: an accessory that increases attack, speed, and evasion of the user.
  • 10,000Az: in-game currency that can be used to make purchases.

If you wanted to just go to the Japanese e-shop on your non-Japanese 3DS, you will have to modify it due to Nintendo’s amazing region locking. There hasn’t been a western released teased and seeing as how we missed the last three entries in the series, its safe to say this won’t come here either. But you can always gawk at YouTube footage of someone playing the demo and envy them.

[Source: Siliconera]

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 releasing October 8th to the Nintendo eShop

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3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was supposed to release at the end of September for the Nintendo 3DS, but when last week came and went we here at SEGAbits grew curious as to what happened to the game’s expected release date.

An hour after we tweeted the question of when the game will be releasing out to the official Sonic the Hedgehog account, SEGA made a tweet announcing that the game would release on October 8th. Coincidence? Probably, but we’d like to think we lit a fire under SEGA for the answer. So expect the last of SEGA 3D Classics wave 2 to release in just 10 days, and in the meantime why not grab the first Sonic game from wave 1 to brush up on your classic Sonic skills?

Yakuza 6 shows why its PS4 exclusive in first in-game teaser

Yakuza 6 was the big game announced by SEGA at this year’s Tokyo Game Show 2015, two big related announcements was that it will be Playstation 4 only and that famous Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano (aka Beat Takeshi) would have a character in this game. Sadly no in-game graphics where shown at the Japanese expo, but now that its over we finally get to see what Takeshi Kitano and Yakuza 6 will look like.

This looks like a big step for the franchise, but its hard to tell if it will be a huge leap like Yakuza 2 to Yakuza 3 due to how little they show in this video (and how well past Yakuza titles captured in-game faces).  What are your thoughts on the teaser above? Want to hear us ramble about Yakuza 6? Check out our YouTube episode of SEGA News Bits where we talk all about this game!

[Via Gematsu]

Volgarr the Viking gets a Dreamcast port

Volgarr the Viking
is a 16-bit style, tough-as-nails, retro-styled action game published by the crazy people at Adult Swim. The game has made it across multiple platforms including PC, Xbox One, 3DS, Wii U, PS4, and Vita. But what if you wanted to play this game on your Dreamcast?

Now you can, thanks to one of the developers of the orginal game, who did a side project to port the game on SEGA’s white dream machine. Since its Marc Hall’s personal port, this project is ‘unofficial’ and labeled as freeware, but works as you’d expect. The game even supports VGA, if you want a crisper picture.

Click here to download the ISO and start stabbing!

Shinobi III and Super Hang-On’s soundtracks coming to vinyl thanks to Data Discs

If you haven’t heard of the London based video game record label Data Discs, they have released both the Streets of Rage and Shenmue vinyls last month. Now they have announced their next SEGA related records, they will do a pressing of the Shinobi III: The Return of the Ninja Master and Super Hang-On soundtracks. Big props for not using the Western cover art, which is inferior to its Japanese counterpart. Also cut out design for the Super Hang-On record is very cool.

The record will cost £19.99 (About $30.45 USD) and come in three flavors (click read more to see those).

Since I have picked up their last two SEGA records, I will obviously be pre-ordering these as well. I’m just a little disappointed that they didn’t do one for The Revenge of Shinobi, which had an amazing soundtrack. Some might even say a better soundtrack than Shinobi III. But what are your thoughts? Excited? Press release after the break.