Swingin’ Report Show #87: Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book – Cook & Becker CEO Maarten Brands

The SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show is back, bringing you an interview with Maarten Brands, CEO of Cook & Becker who is behind the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book! In this, his first public interview talking about the book, Maarten goes into the history of the international art dealership Cook & Becker, how the SEGA partnership began and what fans can expect from the Sonic art book.

The book releases soon and comes in two editions, which you can pre-order now:
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25TH ANNIVERSARY ART BOOK – COLLECTOR’S EDITION
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25TH ANNIVERSARY ART BOOK – STANDARD HARDCOVER

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A look at Virtua Fighter ‘No Matter the Cost’ fan tournament

Hi SEGAbits readers! Kori-Maru here! Giving you all another event report covering a a fan dedicated Virtua Fighter ‘No Matter the Cost’  tournament which is being hosted by NWO and VFDC. The event featured many Virtua Fighter iterations starting from Virtua Fighter 2 through Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown spanning over three days. While Virtua Fighter has a small tournament scene in the West, fans of the series continue to show strong support for SEGA’s elite fighting game franchise.

Prizes were given out for each tournament and raffle giveaways included rare items such as Japanese Virtua Fighter player BunBunMaru’s jacket, Virtua Fighter 10th Anniversary for PlayStation 2, a copy of Yakuza 6, and a flight ticket to EVO Japan 2018 as the grand prize. Pretty good haul for a fan ran tournament.

SEGAbits at New York Comic Con 2016: Interview with Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Comic Colorist Matt Herms

While covering New York Comic Con 2016, SEGAbits writer FlareHabanero had a chance to talk to Archie Comics freelance colorist Matt Herms. Matt has worked on a variety of Archie’s video game books, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Mega Man and the incredibly popular Sonic Mega Drive. Check out the interview for yourself to learn about how Matt got his start in the industry and what it’s like to work in comics as a colorist!

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After the break, check out a bonus video of Matt drawing Sonic!

SEGAbits at New York Comic Con 2016: Shenmue 3 Interview with Cédric Biscay

SEGAbits attended New York Comic Con 2016 and had the opportunity to speak about Shenmue 3 with Cédric Biscay, president and CEO of Shibuya Productions. Cédric was kind enough to sit down with our own Kori-Maru to tell us how he got his start in the industry, what it’s like to work with Yu Suzuki and more!

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Swingin’ Report Show #86: Strike Harbinger Game Designer and SEGA Tournament Champion Chris Tang

On this episode of the Swingin’ Report Show podcast, Barry sits down with game designer and gaming tournament champion Chris Tang at the Galloping Ghost Arcade’s SEGA Week. SEGA fans may know Chris best as the winner of SEGA’s Sonic & Knuckles Rock the Rock competition in 1994, and before that Chris was a finalist in 1990’s Nintendo World Championships. Since then, Chris has worked on games at Atari and Capcom, including Gauntlet IV, Primal Rage, Street Fighter III, Rival Schools and Power Stone. Now, Chris is hard at work on a new game inspired by classic SEGA titles like Space Harrier and Phantasy Star. The game, titled Strike Harbinger, combines the fast paced forward flying gameplay of Space Harrier with the RPG and combat elements of Phantasy Star while utilizing a unique control structure that evokes Virtual On.

Strike Harbinger – developed by Chris’s company HitSparks Games – was revealed Saturday, April 30th at Galloping Ghost Arcade where I had the pleasure to meet Chris and the game’s Senior Artist Kiyoshi Okuma, whose past work includes Gauntlet: Legends, World Series Baseball 2K2, The Sims 2 and Darkspore. I also had the honor to be the first member of the public to play the game, and following that experience I chatted with Chris about his life as a tournament gamer, his career, and his plans for Strike Harbinger. 

Want more information on Strike Harbinger? Stay tuned for an upcoming SEGA News Bits as well as a SEGA Week writeup!

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Shmuplations releases translated interview with SEGA of Japan hardware legend Hideki Sato

SegaHardware

Thanks to shmuplations.com, we now have the full interview with SEGA of Japan’s Hideki Sato, the legend who helmed SEGA’s console R&D during the 16-bit era and later became the company president in 2002. The interview initially appeared in the Japanese publication Famitsu DC in 1998 and was later republished in the 2001 “SEGA Consumer History” book. Several hardcore fans, myself included, have that book in their collection, but were unable to read the interview due to the obvious language barrier. Now we have the whole thing in english! Check out the full translated interview here. The interview is in two parts, with part one covering the Dreamcast and part two covering past hardware.

Thanks shmuplations.com!

 

Swingin’ Report Show #82: Interview with Brian Silva of Visual Concepts, Midway, Accolade and more!

Video game designer and voice actor Brain Silva joins us on our latest episode to discuss his work on Bubsy and Bubsy II, Floigan Bros., Hydro Thunder, and H2Overdrive as well as many other games created during his time at Accolade, Visual Concepts, Midway, Blizzard Entertainment and Specular Interactive. Brian also discusses several unreleased games including Hydro Thunder 2 for arcades, Congo: The Secret of Zinj for Genesis and SNES, and Floigan Bros. for the original Playstation!

Brian currently works at Specular Interactive, having helped create the arcade titles H2Overdrive (Hydro Thunder‘s spiritual successor), Project HADES, Dirty Drivin’, and Batman. Learn more about Specular Interactive by checking out their website.

Also, make sure to check out Brian’s website where you’ll find some excellent design docs for Floigan Bros. and Crank the Weasel.

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Swingin’ Report Show #80: Interview with Aaron Webber, Sonic the Hedgehog PR & Social Media Manager

He’s back! After leaving SEGA of America in 2014, Aaron Webber has returned as the PR & Social Media Manager for the Sonic the Hedgehog brand. Since returning, Aaron has been making waves on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, catching both fan and media attention with his sly wit and deep knowledge of the franchise.

Aaron was kind enough to sit down with us for an hour in his first interview since returning to SEGA to talk about his new role, SEGA’s move to LA, his approach to interacting with fans, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, his favorite Sonic games, and answers to some burning canon questions!

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Swingin’ Report Show #77: Interview with Greg Johnson, co-creator of Toejam and Earl

Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove is a Kickstarter campaign from Greg Johnson, video game designer and co-founder of ToeJam & Earl Productions. On this week’s Swingin’ Report Show podcast, Greg joins us to talk about how he plans to bring the funky aliens back in a new game, and how he and Mark Voorsanger pitched and developed the original three games of the series for SEGA.

Learn how Toejam and Earl made the transition from Greg’s subconscious to video games, what it was like working with SEGA throughout the 90s, his thoughts on the sequels Panic on Funkotron and Mission to Earth, and how Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove is set to reimagine and build upon the famous first game. If you’re a game developer, or simply want to know more about how games are made, this episode is a must listen!

Show your support for Greg and his team, check out the Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter today!

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Swingin’ Report Show #76: Interview with Stealth, co-developer of Sonic the Hedgehog 1&2 Remastered

On this week’s SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show podcast, we’re joined by Stealth, who worked on the official recent remasterings of Sonic The Hedgehog CD, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 alongside fellow developer The Taxman.

Stealth talks to us about how the remasters began development, the process of remaking classic Sonic titles, the much talked about the remastered Sonic The Hedgehog 3 proof of concept, and what fans can do to try and make Sonic 3 remastered a reality. Also featured is discussion of Sonic The Hedgehog 4 and the recent decisions SEGA has made with the franchise. If you love classic Sonic games and behind-the-scenes stories of game development, this is the show for you!

Also, Barry and George discuss the recently revealed ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter by Greg Johnson (who will be joining us next week) and Sonic Team’s mobile release Sonic Runners, which soft launched yesterday.

Support the Sonic 3 Remastered campaign: http://sonic3remastered.com/


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MAGFest 13 Interview: DJ Cutman talks to us about his new album “Spindash”

At MAGFest, one of our colleagues Gunstar had a chance to talk with DJ Cutman about the new “Spindash” album, a 16-track remix tribute album to the Sonic series, recently put out through Cutman’s own label, Gamechops. We took the time to discuss song selection, how it helps both video game remix artists and Sega, and the goals of the label itself.

If you’d like to check out the album, you can check out the entire album through Gamechops’s youtube channel, and many other awesome video game remixes.

You can also pick up the album through Loudr or any other major music site.

Finally, you can check out the Gamechops website to see all the albums and remixes they’ve done, as well as find all their social media outlets.

Swingin’ Report Show #75: Interview with Lisle Wilkerson – Shenmue II, Virtua Fighter and Crazy Taxi voice actress

We celebrate 75 episodes in style on this week’s Swingin’ Report Show podcast! Joining us for an interview is Lisle Wilkerson, best known to SEGA fans for her voice work on Shenmue II, Virtua Fighter and Crazy Taxi. Learn what it’s like growing up in Japan and recording for some of SEGA’s greatest Dreamcast and arcade titles. Lisle also tells us about her correspondence work and her acting work on Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation with Bill Murray.

Then, George and Barry discuss the recent news of SEGA of America’s restructuring, dissecting SEGA Sammy’s official document to figure out what exactly we can expect in the future from SEGA. So what are you doing still reading this? We have a special guest and big SEGA news! Click play and enjoy our 75th show!

Don’t forget to follow Lisle Wilkerson on Twitter and Facebook!

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Swingin’ Report Show #74: Drift Stage – Interview with Super Systems Softworks

The SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show returns for 2015, featuring brand new interviews with talented people connected to and inspired by SEGA! On our 74th show we’re joined by Super Systems Softworks, developers of the 80s and 90s inspired racer Drift Stage. Chase Pettit (Programmer), Charles Blanchard (Art), and Hugh Myrone (Music) talk about the genesis of the project, their inspirations, and their plans for the final version of the game. We also take a trip down memory lane, talking about our favorite and least favorite racing games, as well as memories of SEGA-AM2’s classic OutRun.

Visit Drift Stage’s Kickstarter page, give the demo a try – and if you like what you see, back the game!
Demo: supersystems.itch.io/driftstagealpha
Official Site: driftstagegame.com

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SEGAbits at E3 Interview: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd Interview with Producer Sam Mullen

Sam Mullen, Localization Producer for SEGA, joined us for an interview at E3 2014 to discuss Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd and our hopes for future Western releases of SEGA’s Japanese titles. Hatsune Miku Project Diva f 2nd is due out Fall 2014 for the Playstation 3 and Vita. We’re especially looking forward to the title, as we gave the original game for the Vita a well deserved “A” grade.