Metacritic ranks SEGA as their #1 publisher of 2015

SEGAMetacriticPublisher2015While SEGA didn’t release a lot of games during their 2015 year, the critics seemed to like the games they did release. From their SEGA 3D Classics to niche Japanese titles like Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX. SEGA was the only publisher (ranked by Metacritic) to get over 75% average for all their games.

Here are the list of publishers and how they ranked:

  1. SEGA – 77.1%
  2. Telltale Games – 74.6%
  3. Sony – 74.4%
  4. Activision Blizzard – 72%
  5. Devolver Digital – 73.5%
  6. Nintendo – 71.7%
  7. EA – 71.9%
  8. Bandai Namco – 69.5%
  9. Ubisoft – 69.9%

Seems that SEGA’s new stradegy of releasing fewer titles but making sure the titles that are released are of ‘good to great’ quality might be the solution to rebuilding their brand. This year we have (in the west) games like Valkyria Chronicles Remastered, Yakuza 0 (maybe), 7th Dragon III: Code VFC, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, Total War: Warhammer, SEGA 3D Classics Collection, and even that rumored Sonic 25th Anniversary game. If all goes as planned, SEGA might top this chart again in 2016, what do you think?

Cancelled SegaSonic Bros. arcade game designed by Bubble Bobble creator – check out the new screen

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Yesterday we posted a presumed prototype of 1993’s SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade entitled SegaSonic Bros.. Today, the Tumblr user It’s ShouTime, who came across the game, has shared a new screen and new details. The screen, seen above, was accompanied by the caption “Play with yourself or against your bro. Designed by the creator of Bubble Bobble, Fukio Mitsuji, this went to location test and failed.”

What is interesting about this latest development is that is moves SegaSonic Bros. away from being a prototype to SegaSonic the Hedgehog and makes it appear to be its own unique title that went as far as location tests and failed. Perhaps this is what EGM’s 1992 magazine rumor writer saw or heard about? Also interesting is that despite apparently being a separate game, there are still similarities between this and SegaSonic the Hedgehog, namely the title and the colors of the additional red and yellow characters. Could this title have at least influenced SegaSonic the Hedgehog?

We’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it progresses, obviously.

SEGA News Bits: 7th Dragon III: Code VFD is coming to America

Another SEGA of Japan game is making its way to the Americas, and this time its 7th Dragon III: Code VFD for the Nintendo 3DS. In this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry share their thoughts on this happy development and discuss both the upcoming game and the franchise. While the first 7th Dragon released back in 2009 to the Nintendo DS to Japan, 7th Dragon III: Code VFD is the franchise’s debut in the west. Is SEGA taking a gamble with the game, or is this a brave new world of SEGA of America releasing niche titles with little expectation of games attaining “pillar franchise” status? All this and more is discussed in the video above. Click play and check it out!

If you enjoyed the video make sure to like, share and subscribe to us on YouTube if you haven’t already. Thanks for the support!

Play Fatal Smarties, a new scrolling shooter for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive

At this year’s Global Game Jam a group of indie developers had a special treat for SEGA retro fans, a new scrolling shooter called ‘Fatal Smarties‘ made its debut for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive.

The game was developed by four students that represent the University of Southampton. The students tried to think out of the box for this co-op game, having an interesting mechanic where one player shoots and the other navigates the on screen characters.

The game was developed on a deadline during the Global Game Jam and seems very promising. Want to try it out on an emulator or flash cart? Get the rom here.

[Via: RetroCollect]

UPDATED: SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade prototype supposedly uncovered – presenting SegaSonic Bros.

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Remember when the SegaSonic Popcorn Shop ROM was dumped and playable on MAME? Well that same person who did that is now teasing something else Sonic arcade related! Originally shared on Tumblr is what appears to be a working prototype of SegaSonic The Hedgehog the arcade game. The user tagged the Tumblr post with “#unreleased” and added the caption “…it’s the megaton…”. The megaton indeed. For those not in the know, SegaSonic the Hedgehog was a trackball controlled arcade game released exclusively to Japan and North America in 1993. Given the control scheme, the game has not released outside of arcades as Sonic Team has claimed it is too tricky to make the game playable with standard control pads. The game featured the debut of Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel, but as this supposed prototype dated 1992 reveals the game was initially known as SegaSonic Bros. and featured blue hedgehog Sonic and a yellow and orange version of our hero (or perhaps two new hedgehogs?). Let’s just hope this hedgehog trio don’t form a band and look for their long lost mother.

We hope to hear more details on this soon, so in the meantime consider this a rumor. Fingers crossed this game gets dumped as well.

Discuss multi-colored Sonics and more in the SEGAbits forums, and after the break check out a small update on this story!

Sonic the Hedgehog amiibo outsold Pikachu and Mario in North America

amiibo-store-shelf.jpgSEGA’s blue blur is very popular not only in North America but also with Nintendo gamers, so much so that he ranked in number five on their amiibo sales chart in North America. Sonic beat the likes of Mario, Pikachu Pac-Man, and Mega Man. The most popular Amiibo in North America? Link. Surprised?

Here is the North American sales of amiibos:

1. Link
2. Bowser
3. Toon Link
4. Mewtwo
5. Sonic
6. Pikachu
7. Classic Mario
8. Pac-Man
9. Mega Man
10. Ganondorf

These charts come from Nintendo themselves . They have announced that they have shipped over 31 million amiibos, including 9.9 million in the third quarter alone. Check the best selling amiibos from Japan Europe after the break.

[Source: NeoGAF]

Nintendo 3DS RPG 7th Dragon III Code: VFD announced for summer 2016 Americas release

The localizations keep on coming! SEGA has just announced that the Nintendo 3DS dungeon crawling RPG 7th Dragon III Code: VFD will be receiving a physical release in the Americas. The original game released in Japan on October 15, 2015, while the localized release is set for a summer 2016 release. Not too bad a gap!

The 7th Dragon franchise has been a Japan-exclusive series, releasing to handhelds like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD is the franchise’s third main series title and the franchise’s first appearance on the 3DS as well as the first title to receive a western release. If you’re afraid jumping into the third game in the series will leave you lost, don’t worry. SEGA knows that too, as their press release specifically mentions that the game is a “self-contained episode”. The game will retail for $39.99/CA$54.99 and, as mentioned, will be a physical release (feels so good to type that). No word on Europe yet.

Check out the trailer above, and more information about the game and screenshots after the break!

Swingin’ Report Show #84: Interview with SEGA-16.com founder Ken Horowitz

On this episode of the SEGAbits podcast, Barry and George are joined by Ken Horowitz, founder of SEGA-16.com and writer of the upcoming book Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games. Even if you don’t know his name, any SEGA fan with internet access has stumbled upon SEGA-16 to find a helpful review, interview or retrospective. Now, Ken is using his knowledge of SEGA as well as close to one hundred newly conducted interviews to create a book which looks back on the games developed by SEGA of America during the 80s and 90s.

[Download] [RSS] [iTunes] [Archive]

Club Sega Shibuya location has closed

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Some sad news for SEGA fans at the start of the week. We learned that Club Sega Shibuya has closed its doors as of yesterday. News of the arcade’s closing became known with the posting of signs outside the arcade, politely advising customers of the impending closure. The location’s website also has a message, which also gives the January 31, 2016 closing date as well as a thank you to customers for their patronage. No word on why the arcade had closed, though it may simply have to do with the fact that it is a dwindling business in the country. There has also been speculation that the closure could have to do with the renovation of Shibuya Station, which Club Sega sits just outside of.

Club Sega can still be found in Akihaba, Nagoya-Fushimi and Nishiguchi. For a full list of operating SEGA amusement centers, check out this link.

Yakuza 6 full demo playthrough now available for your viewing pleasure

People who bought Yakuza: Kiwami were given demo codes for Yakuza 6 and sure enough one of those lucky fans have uploaded a playthrough for the up and coming Kazuma Kiryu simulator. In it we can see a whole host of new features added to the series and it seems that loading of any kind has been done away with. Yakuza 6 is stated for a Fall 2016 release exclusive on Playstation 4 in Japan.

Yakuza 6 demo playthrough now available in HD

SEGA have added Monday’s presentation for Yakuza 6 on their official Ryu Ga Gotoku Channel which just shows how much better the graphics are looking for the latest entry. If this you’re first time viewing the video then you’re in luck, the actual segment for Yakuza 6 starts on the 11:15 mark, prior to that Nagoshi and his co-hostess are discussing and playing Yakuza Kiwami.

Tell us what you think of this PlayStation 4 exclusive, does it make use of the new hardware’s power?

Accessorize yourself with new classic SEGA console products from Numskull, and save 10% with our promo

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There has been a serious uptick in quality of SEGA products over the past year, and UK company Numskull is one of the offical SEGA licensees to thank for this. In the past month they have released a variety of cool everyday and formal accessories that pay tribute to classic SEGA hardware. Products include keychains, wallets, and cufflinks that feature SEGA Mega Drive, Genesis and Master System designs. They also have notebooks that are in the shape of the Mega Drive, Game Gear, Saturn and Dreamcast. Numskull were nice enough to send us some samples, which we will detail in a soon to come video.

The quality is top notch, and I especially love how the products are both true to the original hardware and stylish enough not to make you look like a little kid. I mean, only a real sophisticated man wears Mega Drive/Genesis controller cufflinks. I took some time actually using these to see how durable they are day to day, and am happy to report that they stand up well to everyday use.

If you live in the UK, you can check out their line of products at the Numskull online shop. As an added bonus, using the promo code SEGABITS10 at checkout will knock 10% off all non-sale items.

If you live in the US, you can find the Genesis controller cufflinks on Amazon.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Reborn: Episode 4 Update Goes Live

Reborn-Episode-4-LogoSEGA hasn’t given up on Phantasy Star Online 2, at least in Japan. The game’s newest update, Reborn: Episode 4, is a big deal for the franchise. The game will launch with the new update on a new platform, the PlayStation 4 and the older versions will also get a reprint on store shelves. Not only that, SEGA also recently launched its anime series based on the franchise.

File Size on the patch:

  • Launcher: Version 04.00.00
  • Client: ver. 4.0001.0
  • Patch Size: 3.7 GB (PC) / 1943 MB (Vita)
  • If Pre-patched: 575 MB

Reborn: Episode 4 will include a new story chapter in the Phantasy Star Online 2 storyline. This time you get to explore earth, Tokyo in the year 2028. Phantasy Star Online 2 hits PlayStation 4 in Japan on April 20th, SEGA still has no plans on releasing this outside of Japan.

[Source: Bumped]

Classic Virtua Fighter figures now available for pre-order

FIGURE-016527_08Are you a big fan of the low polygon models used in the original Virtua Fighter? Today is your lucky day because Figma’s classic Akira and Sarah figures are now available to pre-order at AmiAmi. Each figure will cost you 3,560 yen (about $30 usd).

Each figure comes with:

  • Main figure
  • Base
  • Standard expression part
  • Shouting expression part
  • Hand parts

The figures will have a ‘variety of hand parts’ so you can pose them to fit your needs. Not to mention the screaming face. Look at the gallery after the break. According to Figma, they will be making Player 2 variants soon, you can see those figures in the image above. The figures are set to ship this upcoming September, so this is a long pre-order.

Yakuza Kiwami has shipped over 200,000 copies in Asia

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The remake for Yakuza 1 is already off to a great start with SEGA confirming that Yakuza Kiwami has received orders of 200,000 copies in “Asia” (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) and in the same report they also confirmed Yakuza 0 has sold through over 100,000 units. It’s an impressive result for the game and shows why SEGA were so convinced to try and grow the series in mainland Asia. This is also the first time the series has received a simultaneous Japanese and Asian release which should help offset declining Japanese software sales with increasing Asian sales.

Come back tomorrow to find out how Yakuza Kiwami will be doing in it’s home territory of Japan when the latest Media Create charts are released.

[Source: GNN.Gamer]