Review: 3D Thunder Blade (Nintendo 3DS)

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The final arcade title in wave two of SEGA’s 3D Classics line of games releases this Thursday, and boy is it a special one! While Thunder Blade is not SEGA’s most famous 80s arcade title, eclipsed by greats like OutRun, Space Harrier, and Hang-On, it certainly deserves a spot with the big boys. Perhaps the general public’s neglect of Thunder Blade stems from the game’s home console releases. While other SEGA arcade classics have seen near perfect home ports, Thunder Blade never truly saw a worthy release that stacked up with the arcade original. But now, nearly 30 years later, SEGA and M2 just may have done the original justice with their latest SEGA 3D Classic release. How did they do in porting this 1987 classic? Read on!

Axel Stone from Streets of Rage, Sakura Shinguji of Sakura Wars and more confirmed for Project X Zone 2

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Courtesy of the new issue of Famitsu (and the scans above, provided by @TACK0520 on Twitter), we now know three more characters showing up on the SEGA side of things in the upcoming Project X Zone 2: Brave New World.

Axel Stone of Streets of Rage fame has been confirmed to show up in the game, as have Sakura Shinguji and Gemini Sunrise from the Sakura Taisen series. Whilst both Sakura Taisen characters return from the first game, this is Axel’s first appearance in a seriously long time, and it’s great to see him added to the roster. In addition to these SEGA additions, Capcom’s Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey of their Ace Attorney series are also confirmed to be appearing, as well as characters from God Eater 2 and Summon Night 3. From the looks of things, Axel will be an assist unit, whereas the Taisen characters return in their role from Project X Zone. 

Overall, it’s awesome to see more SEGA love from this game; Axel was definitely near the top of my wanted list, and I’m ecstatic to see him return.

Mobile games that no longer meet SEGA’s standards to be removed from app stores in the coming weeks

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Via the SEGA Blog comes news that a number of games from their back catalog will be removed from the App Store, the Google Play Store, the Samsung App Store and the Amazon App Store in the coming weeks. The reasoning for this is to remove titles that no longer meet their revised standards. While games you have already purchased will be available to download and play again, these select titles will soon no longer be for sale. What are these titles that SEGA plans to purge? We don’t know at this point, but I’d wager a guess that many of the older titles including those that have had issues on the newest devices are on the chopping block. SEGA did state, however, that some titles may return in an updated form.

While it is always a shame to see older titles removed, one of the major downsides to digital titles, it is nice of SEGA to give advanced warning. Also, this could be a sign of SEGA of America stepping things up in the quality department. I’d guess that the axed titles will likely be the old badly emulated Genesis/Mega Drive games and SEGA Columns Deluxe.

Check out SEGA’s full statement after the break and stay tuned to SEGAbits for what these soon to be removed titles are.

SEGA confirms they won’t have a booth at E3 this year

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So you guys already know the speculation, SEGA hasn’t signed up for a exhibition booth for this year’s E3. Of course, we thought that it would have meant that they were just going to sign up late, sadly that is not the case as SEGA has now confirmed to Game Informer via email:

“Over the next months, SEGA of America will be focusing on the restructure and relocation to Southern California, and we have decided to not attend E3 with our own booth this year. With the majority of our bigger titles launching later in 2015/2016, particularly those from our AAA studios Relic Entertainment, Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly, we are concentrating our efforts for some of these major announcements after our relocation. Instead, we will be collaborating with our various business partners for this year’s E3 show.”

It seems that them restructuring and moving to Southern California is to blame for their lack of E3 showing this year. Not only that, they will also be showing titles at other ‘business partner’ booths. I assume you can find stuff like Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax and Yakuza 5 at Sony’s booth for example. What are your thoughts on SEGA skipping E3 for this year?

SEGA’s Okunari says they are open to do more 3D Classics

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SEGA has just announced they added additional titles to their ‘Wave 2′ of 3D Classics headed to the 3DS. Those titles where 3D Streets of Rage 2, 3D Gunstar Heroes and of course 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2. So is SEGA planning a ‘Third Wave’ of 3D Classics after these release?

SEGA’s Yosuke Okunari spoke to Famitsu about that and here is his response:

These three titles were put out for download overseas simply as an extension [to the existing series]. This really is the end for the second wave [of Sega 3D Classics]. Of course we want to consider the development of a third wave based on the response to this second wave, but we have no plans at this point in time. We’ll look at the big picture, that is, we’ll look at the sales trends of the physical release of the Sega 3D Classics line that went on sale last year [in Japan] as well as how the upcoming three titles perform in the global market. We’re happy to do this indefinitely if sales are good.

It pretty much seems that these latest three Genesis/Mega Drive added to Wave 2 is to test, see how they do globally and if they do well they could continue the series. I’m personally loving these re-releases, what about you guys?

[Via: NintendoEverything]

Support for HTC’s Virtual Reality kit could be coming to Alien: Isolation & Company of Heroes 2

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If you didn’t already need new pants after playing Alien Isolation, you might want to order a new pair in advance.

Reddit user “linknewtab” has discovered various titlecards for games coming to Valve and HTC’s collaborative virtual reality project within the Steam installation directory. There’s a pretty vast array of titles there, none more relevant to this article than the SEGA published Alien Isolation and Company of Heroes 2. This is pretty exciting stuff; it’ll be especially entertaining to see more of the reactions to Isolation in VR. The game was demoed with Oculus Rift back at E3 last year, but as of now it has no official VR support. Considering how long the Oculus Rift’s consumer release is taking, it’s likely it’ll be on the Vive before the Rift.

What do you think of CoH2 and Alien Isolation being realised in virtual reality? Let us know in the comments!

SEGA announce donation drives for Nepal earthquake victims

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In wake of the devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal last Saturday, SEGA has announced several of its games will begin donating money earned from in-app purchases to the Japanese Red Cross.

In Phantasy Star Online 2 all profits made from the Cosmo Atomizer item will be donated until May 30th. Profits from Chain Chronicle’s Spirit Stone item will be donated, as will all profits from the Saintly King Stone item in Hortensia Saga. Finally, all profits of the Magic Guiding Stone item from Puyo Puyo Quest will also be donated. The donation drives in these latter three games will only run until May 3rd, however.

In addition to any funds raised by these games, SEGA will be donating an additional 2 million yen (about $17,000) to the Red Cross. Overall, it’s great to see SEGA engaging with the relief effort, as the world comes together to support Nepal through such a tragic event that has claimed thousands of innocent lives.

You can donate to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal here.

Leaked Sony Pictures e-mails show excitement for SEGA’s “SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG”

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You probably remember when Sony Pictures had thousands of emails leaked last year following controversy over their movie The Interview. Despite Sony’s best efforts to pull the emails from the internet, once they were out there the damage was done. The emails revealed a ton of strange and fascinating behind-the-scenes information, from a Men In Black crossover with 21 Jump Street to silly salary disputes. Given Sony’s dealings with SEGA in regards to an upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it was only a matter of time before some emails related to the upcoming movie leaked out. One such email from Senior Vice President of Sony Pictures Releasing International, Noriaki “Dick” Sano, features a funny typo and some details about the upcoming film. Dick writes:

SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG
Dear All,

Hannah Minghella just called to give me an early heads up that a very popular video game for years from Sega game maker
named SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG will be made into a Live Action film.

Script is not yet completed but it would be financed 50-50 by SPE and Sega. Ms. Mie Ohnishi from Sega ( actually now called Sega/Sammy)
would be stationed to Burbank until the completion of the film. She will be coming to my office for a courtesy visit this afternoon,
so Hannah’s phone call was very timely and appreciated.

According to Hannah, the release date in the US would hopefully be in 2016.

I hope this would be another franchise like RESIDENT EVIL for our Japanese market.

Sincerely,
Dick

Aside from the funny typo of “SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG”, we now know the film will be financed 50/50 by Sony Pictures Entertainment and SEGA. Also, SEGA’s Mie Ohnishi who serves as a Producer/Development Executive at Marza Animation Planet Inc. will be stationed in Burbank, CA working on the film with Sony. It is also noted that as of June 2014 a script was not written and the goal is to release the movie in 2016. Dick ends his email with hope that a Sonic movie would be a good fit for the Japanese market like Sony’s Resident Evil movies. Nobody show him Sonic‘s Japanese sales numbers!

After the break check out a few more SEGA related details from Sony that have surfaced.

Check out SEGA’s new Chain Chronicles English ad

We know that mobile gaming apps have been getting an increase in ads on television and other medias. I mean, I can’t turn on a TV without them cramming those ‘Game of War‘ ads down my throat. SEGA Networks has recently posted the above ad that just happens to be in English for Chain Chronicles, but seems to be aimed for Japanese audiences since SEGA isn’t publishing the game in the west (sadly).

The advertisement was filmed in Chateau de Beloeil castle which is in Belgium. The actual pop-up book used in the ad wasn’t computer generated as you can see in their making of video, which is posted after the break.