Indie games coming to classic SEGA consoles in 2017

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Happy 2017 from SEGAbits! As everybody is coming back from the holiday season, we are beginning to look ahead to what we have in store for 2017. Our latest SEGA News Bits video ran through the official SEGA games releasing this year, and now we thought it would be helpful to share what games we can expect to see hitting classic SEGA consoles in 2017 from the indie game community. Thanks to SEGAbits Forums member Berto, we have a helpful topic which compiles all the upcoming SEGA indie games for 2017.

In addition to this list, Berto has also compiled a handy list which links to the respective crowdfunding campaigns, pre-orders and ROM/ISO download links. So what indie SEGA games are coming in 2017?

Shenmue III music developer diary

A new video developer diary has been posted to the Shenmue III Kickstarter page. This one focuses on Shenmue III music and features a subtitled chat with Yu Suzuki on the subject.

The discussion ranges from Yu Suzuki’s taste in music, his history playing in rock bands that performed Deep Purple and Van Halen style music and covers, setting the tone with music in a video game, and how he directs his audio teams on a project. The video comes off like a nice, natural and unscripted chat with the legendary Sega developer.

Towards the end of the short video, Suzuki previews some of the new songs from the upcoming game.

Shenmue III is still targeted for a December 2017 release for PS4 and PC. Imagine that guys, we’re now just a year away from that target date! Are you excited? Do you think Suzuki and the boys will deliver on time?

Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena demo now on Steam

Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena demo header

A Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena demo has been released on Steam, allowing users to sample the game’s online multiplayer mode with 3 of the 16 characters.

Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena was released to Steam on July 28th, 2016 and is based on Blade Arcus from Shining 2.1 EX, the most recent arcade version. It’s a 2D fighting game featuring characters from the Sega-published Shining Blade and Shining Hearts games.

Unfortunately, the game has potentially only sold a little over 2,000 copies if you go by the numbers SteamSpy suggests for it. Hopefully those excited to try it before buying will be able to find some online opponents this week thanks to the demo’s release.

The full game features a Story Mode, Training Mode, and local Versus Mode in addition to the Online Mode the demo restricts you to. If you fall in love with it, thankfully you’ll always have those and the new weekly tournament event to fall back on.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi talks Rez and Rez: Infinite in new video

A new video posted to Enhance Games’ YouTube channel features Tetsuya Mizuguchi talking about the creation of the original Rez and Rez Infinite. He discusses how he and his team wanted to make an environment where the player could have the ability to move freely and take advantage of stronger hardware to create a much more vivid experience.

Rez Infinite releases for the PlayStation 4 digitally in just under 2 weeks on October 13th, 2016. Gamers interested in specialty merchandise or a physical copy will have to order those through iam8bit. Be sure to read our recent hands-on preview of the game over here

Henshin Engine passes Dreamcast release stretch goal on Kickstarter

Henshin Engine is a game based on a web comic that is set to release in early 2017 to PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 and PC CD-Rom/Steam. The game features 2D action platforming and was programmed from the ground up for classic systems. With 6 days remaining in their Kickstarter campaign, Henshin Engine is $8,000 past their $16,400 goal, meaning they’ve started to chip away at their stretch goals. Of interest to SEGA fans is the promise of a Dreamcast post, set to release in late 2017, should the campaign pass $22,400. Given they are $2,000 past this goal, a Dreamcast version seems assured, though the developer has yet to release an update sharing this news.

When we have more details, we’ll be sure to share it! In the meantime, if you missed the news, last week the Henshin Engine team announced a character crossover collaboration with the Strike Harbinger team. Meaning Strike Harbinger, a game inspired by classic SEGA franchises, will see an appearance on the SEGA Dreamcast by way of this crossover collaboration.

First Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap developer diary released

DotEmu has released the Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap developer diary video. This one features Development Lead Omar Cornut and Art Director Ben Fiquet meeting with Ryuichi Nishizawa, creator of the Wonder Boy series. This video was shot around the BitSummit 4th convention in Kyoto, Japan in early July 2016.

Inside the video, we see the developers from Lizardcube showing Nishizawa the then-current build of the remake of his game for the first time. The trio discuss how the project began, the allure of secret doors, the appeal of the smoking pig, and more. Nishizawa does touch on some history from designing the original game as well.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a remake of the Sega Master System classic Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, my favorite game on the platform. It is in development for consoles and PC with no specific target release date announced yet.

Strike Harbinger and Henshin Engine teams announce character crossover collaboration

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HitSparks Games, the team behind Strike Harbinger, a Space Harrier and Phantasy Star inspired game heading to PC, consoles and arcades in 2017, have just announced a character collaboration with the Henshin Engine team. Henshin Engine is a new 2D action platformer developed for PC Engine/TG-16 and PC/Steam which is nearing its Kickstarter goal. Of note to SEGA fans, Henshin Engine has a Dreamcast stretch goal as well as the possibility of appearing on SEGA CD and/or SEGA Genesis.

The collaboration promises to make Strike Harbinger‘s Valiya Iriss playable in Henshin Engine via a cute pixelated version of the character, and the star of Henshin Engine Yuki Shirokawa will appear in the Strike Harbinger universe. It’s always cool to see teams collaborating and crossing over their characters, so it will be really exciting to see the result of this.

You can check out Henshin Engine on Kickstarter and learn more about Strike Harbinger on their official site. Strike Harbinger made its debut at the Galloping Ghost Arcade during SEGA Week, and yours truly had the honor of being the first member of the general public to play it. For my first impressions, check out our SEGA News Bits video and give a listen to our developer interview.

Henshin Engine Kickstarter moves Dreamcast port to first stretch goal

henshin engine kickstarter dreamcast stretch goal

Henshin Engine is an independent game that currently has an active Kickstarter campaign for a PC Engine and Steam release. Henshin is a 2D action platformer with a few horizontal shooting stages in the mix. It follows the adventures of a young gaming fanatic named Yuki who is transformed by her beloved console, the FX-Engine. Her opponents include Ultra Drive Unit: Genji, an obvious take on the Sega Mega Drive.

Today the team behind the project announced that they have adjusted their stretch goals for the Kickstarter campaign to make a Dreamcast port a higher priority.

The people have spoken! So we’ve gotten TONS of emails asking us to specifically port Henshin Engine to the Dreamcast and that it should be a reward that’s realistic to achieve. Although I would like to think that ALL the stretch goals are realistic to achieve *wink*, we did ultimately decide to make it the very first stretch goal we hit. I would be more than thankful to just hit our funding goal so that the game gets made, but if we hit that first stretch goal, that would be extra awesome! So remember you DC fans, thank your friends for the countless emails about Henshin on DC, but more importantly, SHARE with all your DC friends so that we can bring Henshin Engine to the DC! I wouldn’t mind seeing an animated cutscene for Yukis transformation

The campaign currently sits at $10,502 out of their $16,400 funding goal, with 23 days left to go for the campaign. The Dreamcast stretch goal is $22,400.

The team project has a target release date of March 28th, 2017.

New Xenocider demo out, pre-order now available

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Developer Retro Sumus has dropped a nice surprised today in the form of a new Xenocider demo, a public declaration of their goals, and the ability to pre-order the Dreamcast game.

The developer discussed how conflicted they were in accepting money for the game before the work being finished. However, they decided to commit to the project and to exclusively develop it for the Dreamcast. They have set a tentative goal of finishing the game in less than a year.

The demo contains three stages that the team describes as “virtually finished.” The areas available are Fantasy Land, Planet Krok and Planet ORL. You can download the demo right here.

If you’re sold on Xenocider already, you can now pre-order a copy on Retro Sumus’ new shop. You’ll find all of the Kickstarter’s editions available, which is rather nice. You can also throw down some money on a Retro Sumus shirt featuring the team’s logo.

In addition to the Xenocider news, the team also teased an upcoming announcement concerning their other Dreamcast game, Ameba.

Dreamcast indie devs show off new Xenocider swamp stage prototype

The Xenocider Kickstarter campaign may have been cancelled after it they failed to raise the entire $92,000 goal, but developer Retro Sumus‘ soul still burns! They have been keeping true to their promise to continue working on the game and bringing their vision to fruition.

This week the team posted this short demo of the latest stage they are working on, Planet ORL. This new area has a swamp theme and features hostile plants and animals.

Sumus notes it is still a prototype of the intended final product.

As we reported on previously, Xenocider is a new original game for the Dreamcast heavily inspired by the Space Harrier and Sin & Punishment. The game was set to be one of the more ambitious independent posthumous Dreamcast releases, with loads of features.

What do you think of the Xenocider swamp stage? What sorts of objects and obstacles would you like to see the team add to the final version?

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.

Cave Story being ported to SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive

If you haven’t played the 2004 indie game ‘Cave Story‘ then you are really missing out on a classic PC game. But don’t worry a retro developer is ‘demaking’ the classic for release on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive. The game will scale down the graphics to run on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive 16-bit hardware (I think it still looks pretty damn close though) and will have the full soundtrack (remade for Yamaha YM262 sound).

Not only that, the developer has already released a playable demo of his Cave Story demake. You can download it here. The Cave Story demo is limited to the first few areas of the game. You can also see gameplay of Cave Story running on SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive hardware above.

Download Demo Here

[Source: Retro Collect]

Dreamcast homebrew game Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles getting reprinted

The 2007 indie Dreamcast game Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles will be receiving a re-release this year, it has been confirmed.  Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles had been sold out for years and now developer Yuan Works Co., Ltd has teamed up with DragonBox Shop to re-release their famed puzzle game.

The studio announced that it was working on a new title called ‘Little Ninja‘, after Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles but it seems they are gauging interest for homebrew games, since Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles came out almost a decade ago. Yuan Works Co., Ltd also set up a Patreon to get development for Little Ninja off the ground.

If you haven’t played it Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles it mixes Bejeweled type puzzle gameplay with a over world map and old school JRPG like story elements. The re-release will have bug fixes and is up for pre-order for only $9.36 (plus shipping). Not a bad price at all.

Retro Sumus cancels Kickstarter campaign for indie Dreamcast game Xenocider

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As great as it is to see so many SEGA-related Kickstarter campaigns, inevitably some will not reach their goals. In the past we saw Mega-Bit figures and Night Trap Revamped fail to make their money, and today we are sad to report that Xenocider has thrown in the Kickstarter towel. Xenocider is a 3D shooter inspired by the SEGA classic Space Harrier, and was planned to be released to Dreamcast, PC, Mac, Linux and 3DS. At the time of cancelling the campaign, the game had 342 backers and raised $24,061 of the $92,000 goal with 6 days remaining.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap remake revealed

2016 continues to be the year of retro revivals, as a remake of the SEGA Master System classic Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap has just been announced. Published by DotEmu and developed by Lizardcube and based on Westone Bit Entertainment’s original game, the Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap remake is said to be made with the blessing of LAT and the cooperation of series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa. The game seemingly has no connecting with Wonder Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, despite also being made in cooperation with Ryuichi Nishizawa.

Interestingly, no mention of SEGA is made anywhere on the remake’s site, despite SEGA seemingly owning Wonder Boy. However, it is noted on the game’s website that “with the help of Ryuichi Nishizawa (Westone), Shinji Fujiwara (LAT), and a relentless commitment of DotEmu to untangle a bunch of documents covered in pixellated dustwebs, we have licensed the IP to create this new version (a first since 1994).”

The game has an unknown release date, and platforms are listed as consoles and PC. Check out the trailer above, and after the break read the full press release and check out some screenshots and artwork. More news on the remake as we hear it!