Virtua Fighter Retrospective: Spin-Offs and Crossovers

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When we kicked off Virtua Fighter week, we took a look back at the main titles from the series. Despite being only five games long, thanks to the many revisions, updates, and upgrades as well as arcade to home console ports, what was five games felt more like ten. While Virtua Fighter didn’t dip into bloody fatalities or energy blasts, there did exist the metallic cyborg final boss Dural. Despite this, Virtua Fighter could be described as a fighter that tends to keep things in the realm of the real world. So where did SEGA-AM2 unleash their pent-up wackiness? In the spin-offs of course!

From 1996 through to today, Virtua Fighter has done everything from turning their adult roster into children, to crossing over with other SEGA fighters and even sharing the ring with a rival franchise! Join us as we look back on the many spin-offs, cameos, and crossovers that the franchise has produced over the years.

SEGA Saturday Morning Ads: Tiger Electronics puts the “L” in Virtua Fighter

If you thought Virtua Fighter in arcades and on the SEGA Saturn was as real as it could get, Tiger Electronics asks you to think again! Released in 1995, Tiger’s R-Zone (not to be confused with Pizza Hut’s P’Zone) was a portable headset and attached controller that promised a virtual reality experience, but ended up just delivering a headache. Unlike other Tiger Electronic LCD games, R-Zone took cartridges.

Each cartridge contained a transparent LCD display, projecting the game onto a mirrored surface placed just inches from the players eye. As was the norm for VR at the time, red was the color of choice. Leeching off of popular franchises to survive, the R-Zone featured Men in Black, Jurassic Park, Batman, Star Wars, and SEGA’s own Virtua Fighter. Don’t let the ad above deceive you, despite being right in your face, R-Zone’s Virtua Fighter was as far from virtual Virtua Fighter as one could get. Wait… did that kid say “brain chop”?!?

New Wonder Boy/Monster World game: Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze announced

The original creator of the Wonder Boy/Monster World series, Ryuichi Nishizawa, is working together with Game Atelier and FDG Entertainment to make a new game in the series called Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze. Series composer Shinichi Sakamoto also returns for this new game. It doesn’t look like SEGA is involved, but it’s still very exciting news nonetheless.

This new sequel seems to have a lot in common with Game Atelier’s cancelled Kickstarter game Flying Hamster II, which was going to be a tribute to the Monster World series. It’s especially easy to compare the UI in the two games, and the silhouettes on the Monster Boy teaser site also look a lot like the transformations seen in Flying Hamster II. So it looks like that stuff from that game will be re-purposed for Monster Boy. You can expect the game later this year for PC, Playstation 4, and other unannounced platforms.

SEGA of America going through another huge restructure, main office is relocating

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Here we go again.

First it was Europe, now SEGA of America is getting hit with some major restructuring. In a statement released earlier today, SegaSammy Holdings announced an “Implementation of structure reform” for SEGA of America. Included in this are some potential layoffs in the forms of “voluntary Retirement” and the San Francisco office moving to a new location in Southern California. Also, there will be a more narrow focus on the “amusement business” division.

However, it’s not all bad news. There will be a reinforcement in the “Sonic and merchandising businesses” and the PC and Mobile divisions will be getting a stronger push possibly due to strong current sales in those markets. The full statement can be found here.

I hope that not too many people are affected by the downsizing and those that do find themselves out of a job, that they find a new one quickly. I guess we shall see how this goes for SEGA.

SEGABits At Magfest 13: The Write Up

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So, for my first article proper on the site, I figured why not talk about my favorite gaming event of the year, MAGFest, which just wrapped this past weekend at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. In its thirteenth year, this gaming festival was primarily started as a celebration of music in gaming and all the video-game inspired bands that have risen up in the past decade or so, but has grown to become an all-encompassing celebration of gaming culture at large. From gaming developers, artists, journalists, personalities, and even other aspects of geek culture, it truly has something for everyone.

Attention Westerners: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is coming to PS3 & Vita Summer 2015

Another localization from SEGA is hitting Western consoles this year! Announced on the official Playstation blog, the light novel 2D fighter Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is set for a Western release exclusively to PS3 and PS Vita in Summer 2015, both digitally and at retail for the US and digital only for Europe. If you want to know what the game is all about, we’d advise you check out Kori-Maru’s 2014 SEGA Game of the Year pick and read SEGA’s announcement at the Playstation blog.

Between this, the SEGA 3D Classics, and Yakuza 5 – it’s a great time for localizations from SEGA West!

Dj CUTMAN’s “Spindash” – a Sonic the Hedgehog fan-made remix album available now!

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is not new to fan-made remix albums, and given the quality of Sonic music, I can’t blame the many artists out there for being inspired to put their spin on classic tracks. But every once in a while a really special remix album hits, and Dj CUTMAN’s “Spindash” is one of those. The album, licensed by SEGA, is a fitting tribute to SEGA’s blue mascot featuring diverse styles of music and even ventures outside of the 16-bit era to remix tunes from Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Colors.

“Spindash” is available now on Loudr, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Dj CUTMAN performed at this past weekend’s MAGFest, and SEGAbits was there! We’ll have coverage from the event up on the site soon, in the meantime check out the album and after the break, read the press release.

Tuesday Tunes: Get moving with Virtua Fighter’s pumping soundtrack

Virtua Fighter was a ground breaking game for its time and was going up against some of the biggest fighting games made in that era. SEGA needed the whole game to be excellent and in my opinion they got a great complementary soundtrack to go with the revolutionary gameplay.

The first theme we are looking at is Akira’s Theme, this one is more up beat than they would later use. This one doesn’t seem like a theme for a character usually shown meditating and honing his martial arts skills. This is just a good action track, that gets the blood flowing. Its what I would love to hear when I’m in a middle of a fight and any move I make can win or lose the match. Great track, but as Akira’s theme, probably not. Seems the developers agreed as they would give him a more epic tune in Virtua Fighter 2.

First chapter of the Persona Q manga up on Crunchyroll

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So for those who don’t want to play an 80-hour RPG to see the story of Persona Q, or if you just like manga based on video games, there’s a pretty decent way to get through the story now. If you happen to have a Crunchyroll premium subscription, you can now read the first chapter of the official manga on there.

This manga follows the story from the perspective of the Persona 4 characters. There’s not much different from the game aside from the conversations obviously being a lot shorter and cut down. Following chapters will be released whenever they come out in Japan. Also, I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you haven’t played Persona 4 yet, as it takes place midway through that game’s events.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon first print editions to come with soundtrack and visual book

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Atlus really knows how to sell games to its fanbase. Not that much into Mystery Dungeon or Etrian Odyssey games? But wait, it comes with a badass visual book, soundtrack and exclusive slip cover. Not only that, they aren’t charging you a penny more than you would spend regularly due to this bundle being exclusive to first print copies.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon hits North American shores on April 7th exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. No release dates for Europe have been announced yet. Giving this game a chance? Check out the new ‘Protector Class’ trailer after the break.