SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World to release on February 21st in Japan

SEGA AGES branding is steadily continuing it’s releases, and this month it’s the Master System/SEGA Mark III classic title Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Titled SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World, players take control of the titular Alex Kidd as they travel through 12 levels punching through blocks using his “Shellcore” martial arts and riding weird contraptions such as the Peticopter. What sets Alex Kidd apart from similar games like the Super Mario Bros. titles is the inclusion of item management, where you can find money hidden in blocks and buy items from shops to help Alex on his adventure.

The SEGA AGES version however adds new features into the mix, such as FM sound compatibility, the usage of a previously unused song, and new cutscenes. This version will also include new features for beginners, such as the ability to rewind time by 5 seconds and the option to continue after losing all your lives. It’s officially slated for a February 21st release date in Japan, or next Thursday as of this writing, with the price of ¥925 (roughly $8.50). It’s unknown when SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World will receive a release outside of Japan, but the Nintendo Switch is region-free for those that lack patience, so give this Master System classic a try this Thursday if you have the spare yen.

[Source: SEGA AGES Website]

Dutch composer Junkie XL to score Sonic the Hedgehog movie

It looks like the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie by Paramount Pictures has landed a pretty big composer, introducing Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL who has composed music on films such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Batman v. Superman, Deadpool, Alita: Battle Angel, and a ton more. He confirmed that he was composing on the Sonic the Hedgehog movie in a recent interview with Film Music Magazine. Pretty funny because Junkie XL actually turned down composing Deadpool 2 because director Tim Miller left, if you ddidn’t know Tim Miller is a producer for the Sonic the Hedgehog film and one of the main people behind the project.

I think its crazy that the film is less than a year away and they barely revealed who is working on the soundtrack. We still haven’t seen what the new Sonic the Hedgehog design is going to look like! Its going to be very interesting few months as they continue to promote this movie. So far its not looking great but who knows, in a few months we might be super excited to see the film. Maybe. What are your thoughts on Junkie XL composing the soundtrack for Sonic the Hedgehog (the movie)?

[Source: Film Music Magazine]

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Mania Developers Open New Game Studio Evening Star

It was recently announced that much of the team behind Sonic Mania have formed their own studio! On this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry run through the staff, talk about what this could mean for the future of the 2D Sonic brand, and what original games we’d like to see.

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ToeJam and Earl Collector’s Edition Goes Live on Friday

Don’t adjust your dial-up modem! ToeJam and Earl are “Back in the Groove” in their newest title in almost 17 years. With plenty of funky music and smooth gameplay, the duo also comes with a limited Collector’s Edition thanks to the folks of Limited Run. Along with a physical copy of the game (PS4 or Switch) you also get:

– Themed packaging based on the game’s aesthetics
– Map puzzle board (with 25 possible maps)
– 6 enamel pins (ToeJam, Earl, Latisha, Lewanda, 2 mystery bond box earthlings)
– 10 pin stands for setting up your own level
– Environment cutout standees
– Cassette soundtrack + download code of the game
– A cool and funky 18×24 poster

There are up to 6 possible earthling pins with additional blind boxes sold separately.

And for $69.99 that is not a bad deal, considering the game will probably be $30 upon release. The pre-order goes live on Friday February 15, 2019, with Batch 1 @10am and Batch 2 @ 6pm EST. Considering the love and hype around the series, I have no doubt that this game will be a smash hit. But the orders will go quick, so be ready to boogie on over to the website when they go live! For more updates and info, check the Limited Run twitter and website. And congratulations Greg; here’s to you!!!

New Yakuza 0 PC patch removes Denuvo DRM and adds other fixes

SEGA has just released a new (beta) patch for Yakuza 0, this patch removes the controversial Denuvo DRM. The beta patch was posted by SEGA over on the Steam forums where he goes more into on what the patch fixes. Of course this is a beta patch, it might still have bugs, so if you are a regular user you might want to wait for SEGA and other users to test how it runs.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Fix shaders and shadows on skin tone
  • Improved Ultrawide display support
  • Target monitor output for multi monitor setups

It seems that the biggest update will be the removal of Denuvo, which wasn’t confirmed by SEGA’s developers but by a user. It is nice to see SEGA continue to support their PC games with consistent updates. I just wish SEGA would do this more for console games, especially the Sonic the Hedgehog titles which always seem to ship with a lot of issues.

ChuChu Rocket! might be making its return to mobile

ChuChu Rocket! is one of those little oddball titles from SEGA that I feel was a great game that just didn’t get the recognition it deserved. Originally released to the SEGA Dreamcast, the game was puzzle game that could be played in a variety of ways. One style was a Bomberman-style battle between multiple players where cats (KapuKapus) and mice (ChuChus) ran about the screen and the goal was to direct the most ChuChus into your rocket. The other style was a single player experience where KapuKapus and ChuChus released and you had to place arrows into the right places to satisfy the puzzle’s requirements. Players could also create their own puzzles.

The game saw release on the GameBoy Advance as well as a 2010 iOS and Android version. Call it blasphemy, but I always thought the handheld versions were the better way to play, especially on a tablet, as it made a lot more sense to tap the screen to place arrows rather than dragging a cursor with your thumbstick.

Team Sonic Racing mobile release revealed

When Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed released, it hit nearly every platform under the sun. The upcoming Team Sonic Racing, meanwhile, was seemingly holding back as the team at Sumo Digital focused on one version of the game. However a recent Facebook ad that several fans have encountered, including Twitter user Radiant Emerald who we’re citing, features screenshots of a mobile version of Team Sonic Racing. Little is revealed outside of three screens and an app icon.

It makes sense that SEGA would want a mobile version of the game, as it has been the norm with the previous All-Stars Racing games as well as Sonic Forces which saw a Sonic Dash style game. The question is, will this mobile version be a direct port of the game right down to all the tracks and racers? Or could we be seeing a stripped down version, potentially on rails like Sonic Dash? We should know more, potentially during the Sonic panel at SXSW which will be held on March 16, 2019.

Ecco the Dolphin creator wants to make new Ecco, Mr. Bones and Three Dirty Dwarves entries on Nintendo Switch

Ecco the Dolphin creator Ed Annuziata has a new game coming out called Space War Arena for the Nintendo Switch. If you kept up on Ed’s social media, he has had meetings at Nintendo these last few years and this has lead to people assuming (more like hoping) was working on a new Ecco related dolphin game for the Nintendo Switch, but its actually a new IP! In a interview with Nintendo Life, Ed Annuziata talks about returning to work on some of his past titles including Ecco the Dolphin, Mr. Bones and Tiny Tank:

“One of the OCD characteristics of my personality is I never give up! When I was trying to convince Sega about Ecco the Dolphin it took me years to get them to bite. There are some challenges I need to overcome but eventually, there will be a new Ecco!

Also, I am trying to find a way to port our Saturn game, Three Dirty Dwarves, to the Switch. I think that’s an excellent game for the platform. Also, if I have it my way, modern versions of Mr. Bones (Saturn) and Tiny Tank (PS1) are heading over to the Switch someday!”

Its a pretty interesting interview and its awesome to see a creator of some of my favorite video games still doing new work. I’d be totally excited to play a brand new entry into the Mr. Bones and Three Dirty Dwarves franchises. Who’d of thought that we would be saying that in 2019?

 

SEGA News Bits: SEGA and CAPCOM Beat EA in Publisher Rankings

Metacritic’s ninth annual game publisher rankings revealed some good news for SEGA fans! Our favorite publisher placed second, beating out heavy weights like EA. On this SEGA News Bits, we discuss the top three and what they did to deserve their spots.

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SEGA places second in Metacritic’s game publisher rankings

2018 certainly felt like a great year for SEGA and ATLUS games, and the recently released list of game publisher rankings by Metacritic solidifies it. While SEGA placed 3rd in 2017’s list, 2018’s list sees SEGA moving up a spot to second!

Sega landed in our top 3 for the third time in four years (with the exception coming in a year when Sega failed to release enough games to qualify for our “major” publishers group). That’s especially impressive given that Sega released more distinct titles than all but one other publisher in 2018. Note that all of Sega’s averages and totals include games published by Atlus, a recently acquired Sega subsidiary that (as of 2018) now shares top-level management with the parent company.

IDW to give Sonic the Hedgehog comic characters Tangle and Whisper their own mini-series

We’re a dozen issues and one video game adaptation special into IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, and now we know what the first mini-series will entail! Via IDW’s April solicitations came the reveal of an issue #0 of “Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper”. The preview issue is said to give a sneak peek at their upcoming mini-series adventure and includes a recap of “season 1” of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic (since when are comic books seasons?).

This news is notable as it shows IDW is ready to branch out with the Sonic series with mini-series (something IDW is well known for) and that they are willing to give original characters the spotlight. By comparison, it took Archie two years into their Sonic run before they gave Princess Sally Acorn her own mini-series, and that was the first and last time Archie gave a character not derived from the games their own comic book.

After the break you can read the description of the mini-series preview comic. The mini-series is due out this summer.

SEGA FES 2019 announced for March 30th and 31st in Japan

SEGA FES returns this year with another fan centric event in Japan where there will surely be some big announcements. This year’s event takes place March 30th and the 31st in the BelleSalle Akihabara event hall in Tokyo, Japan. Last year we saw the reveal of the Mega Drive Mini, SEGA AGES, a new Sakura Taisen game and the Japanese release of Shenmue I & II.

This year? Who knows! My money is on a more concrete date and details of the Mega Drive Mini, a trailer for Sakura Taisen and more SEGA AGES announcements. I know it’s a stretch, but I’m hoping we see more titles from SEGA’s survey of fan favorite franchises. Remember, the only games in the top 5 not to see new titles are Jet Set Radio and Virtua Fighter. A new game for either franchise would be awesome for fans!

Until then, we can only speculate but once the event arrives we will be sure to share the news of what is revealed!

SEGA celebrates 30 years of Toshihiro Nagoshi with a look back at his career

SEGA has released a sit down interview video with Toshihiro Nagoshi, chief creative officer at SEGA. SEGA fans know Nagoshi best for Daytona USA, the Super Monkey Ball games and Yakuza. The interview contains some interesting information, including Nagoshi saying that the games where he listened to other people didn’t work too well (Binary Domain, perhaps?). In regards to the Yakuza franchise, Nagoshi notes that the original Yakuza did not sell enough to cover development costs which led to the team having to more effectively use their resources for the sequel. Only a year passed between the first two Yakuza games, and this was an effort to keep the series alive in people’s minds, which meant a very busy and short development cycle. This hard work paid off, however, as Yakuza 2 sold twice as many copies as the first game.

Check out the video for yourself above, and here’s hoping we see more content like this from SEGA’s YouTube channel!

Street Fighter II: Bloody Edition SEGA Genesis rom hack released

Remember back in the day when the whole Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter II school yard arguments? One big knock kids had against Street Fighter II back in the day was its lack of “extreme violence”.  Well, now you can get Street Fighter II: Bloody Edition modded rom created by NinjAkira based on Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition on SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive.

Street Fighter II: Bloody Edition just doesn’t add blood, it also changes the way the game plays:

Impact animations were replaced with blood sneezing and other improvements:

  • weak attacks have a very slow speed, normal attacks have not been altered and strong attacks have a very fast speed
  • Impact with strong attacks has been increased to give more brutality
  • Special attacks that need reload no longer need
  • The power bar is the same as Super Street Fighter to stay aesthetically better, but now with blood!

You can download it right here.