SEGA News Bits: Sonic Mania Hands On Impressions

We played Sonic Mania, and now we’re going to tell you what we think! In this SEGA News Bits, George and I (Barry) rest our aching feet just hours after the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Party in San Diego to share our reaction to the Sonic Mania reveal and give our thoughts on how the game plays. Do we have another Sonic 4 on our hands or is Sonic Mania the true successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles? The answers are obviously “nope!” and “hell yes!” in that order.

Special thanks to Neo Hazard for letting us use his footage, you can check out his channel here! Also, thanks to Bartman for being the one to play the game in our footage. You can find Bartman’s YouTube channel here!

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Preview: Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX (Nintendo 3DS)

Hatsune Miku Project Mirai DX

Thanks to an advance review copy, I’ve been having fun with Miku for close to two weeks now. While this is merely a preview and not a full-on review of the game (which will post on September 4th before the game releases), I did want to give some early impressions from the point of view of a Hatsune Miku newbie.

That’s right, despite contributing to SEGA fan sites since Miku made her SEGA debut in 2009, I have not laid hands on a Miku game until I received my download code for Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX. Prior to this, I reported the occasional press release, posted trailers when they hit, and sat on the sidelines while fellow fans either bemoaned the franchise or celebrated it. Up until now, I knew about the vocaloid craze, I knew that that the SEGA developed games were rhythm based, and I loved the Domino’s Japan campaign as evidenced by my earlier reference to it. But outside of that? Miku was a mystery. But not anymore. So now that I’ve finally had a chance to play a Hatsune Miku game, what do I think of it so far and what do I think the average SEGA fan will enjoy? Let’s find out!

SEGAbits at Comic Con Preview: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

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From its announcement, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric has drawn a healthy bit of skepticism, especially among the hedgehog’s older fans. Developed outside of Sonic Team by the unproven Western studio Big Red Button and intended to coincide with the release of the Sonic Boom cartoon series, fears typically associated with the phrase licensed game immediately came to mind. Having had the opportunity to play the demo, it’s evident that Sonic Boom has potential, I just hope that what I played isn’t too indicative of what we’ll be playing when the game releases this November.

SEGAbits at Comic Con Preview: Alien: Isolation

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I should preface this by saying that I’ve never been a huge Aliens fan. I’d seen Alien years ago, and while I thought it was a fun and creepy movie, it’s never been a series that I’d become overly familiar with. I was excited though when SEGA picked up the license, hoping to see what type of spin they’d put on an IP that offers a lot of opportunity.

On that note, I’d like to thank whatever deity exists out there that made me forget to place my preorder for that Colonial Marines game. But Alien: Isolation is from the start an entirely different beast. Planted firmly in the survival horror genre and not feeling, based on this demo, like a shooter of any kind, this game is scary. It’s a wonderfully, ridiculously scary bit of survival horror that has the potential to reinvigorate a genre that’s become so much less about scares in recent years than it ever should have been.

It’s the type of game that will have you diving for the light switch.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Bayonetta 2

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E3 is a great event filled to the brim with great games, but there can only be one game of the show. For me, that game is Bayonetta 2. I have been excited for Bayonetta 2 since that wonderful day in September when Nintendo had announced they had saved the game from its long-rumored cancellation. I’m happy to say that if the E3 demo is anything to go by, Bayonetta 2 is not only set to live up to the legacy of the original, it’s set to surpass it.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Super Monkey Ball Bounce (iOS, Android)

I’m not really all that experienced with the world of mobile gaming. Though I’ve played my share of Angry Birds and a handful of SEGA games, most of my portable gaming is done on proper handheld systems with buttons and analog sticks. Needless to say, I was a little out of my depth at the SEGA Network party, which was showcasing several upcoming mobile SEGA games to the press, including Super Monkey Ball Bounce.
 

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Rollers of the Realm (PC, PS4, & Vita)

Our work at E3 this year would have been cut short if it had not been for Sega’s acquisition of Atlus Games. (It also would have given us more time to have some fun. Kidding, kidding.) Still, this allowed us to check out some quality titles we might have passed up otherwise. Games like Citzens of Earth (which Nuckles87 recently did an extensive view of). I took up the quest to try Rollers of the Realm. A very different take on your average pinball game.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Citizens of Earth (PlayStation 4, PSVita, Wii U, 3DS, & PC)

Citizens-of-Earth

Some games just have this irresistible charm about them. The moment you see it, you just know you want to play it and see if it lives up to just how awesome it looks. At E3, Atlus’s Citizens of Earth was one of those games. As a man who is interested in politics and is always open to some political satire, and the concept on display here is way too hilarious to ignore.

Segabits at E3 Preview: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (3DS)

Nuckles87 and I have been at odds with the Sonic Boom games at E3. While he was more forgiving of Rise of Lyric on Wii U, I found it a dull and mediocre experience overall. However, for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal on 3DS, I really enjoyed this platformer while Nux was not as pleased. Surprisingly, I agreed with most of his complaints, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the game. So what’s in this game that makes me not only enjoy it much more than Sonic Boom on Wii U, but might be my favorite Sonic game on 3DS? Read on.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Sonic Jump Fever (iOS, Android)

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While at E3, Nuckles87 and I were invited to a party hosted by SEGA’s mobile division, SEGA Networks, that was dedicated to mingling and showing off SEGA’s mobile titles. It was a great chance to relax after a hard day and to get some free food and drink. Those pretzel bun sandwiches with the roast beef and bacon were out of this world! But mostly, we where there to check out these games that have only been available to the lucky few… million in the Great White North. The one I’ll be talking about in this preview is Sonic Jump Fever, a sequel to the 2012 game that is both harder, easier and more fast-paced than its predecessor. It even has Chao. Yes, Chao are back!

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Alien Isolation on Oculus Rift

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“Candygram.”

Terror in virtual reality awaited me as I waited for over an hour to check out the Oculus Rift for the first time. I didn’t waste the wait too much. I did go off and leave Nuckles87 in my place for a bit to play as Sonic in Smash Bros 3DS. I won my match and even had an adventure kicking some Koopa and Egg Robo butt. But that’s not why you’re reading this. So after getting inside and sitting on a nice sofa, the fine folks at Oculus strapped on my headgear and headphones and put me into the world of Ridley Scott’s Alien.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

Until a week ago, I had never owned a Hatsune Miku game. Until two days ago I had never played one. What I’m trying to tell you is I am extremely new to this franchise, so I would like to ask you to please excuse some of my noobish glee as I acknowledge several years after everyone else that Hatsune Miku Project Diva F is a really fun rhythm game and I am glad to have finally played it, even if it took the prospect of an E3 write-up for me to finally play it.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)

After you’re done reading, get a second opinion from Jason Berry over at Sonic Stadium!

Sonic has been reinvented countless times over the years, to the point where the character has time and time again become unrecognizable in every way except his name, speed and trademark attitude. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric represents the latest of these reinventions and is one of the most radical re-imaginings since Sonic made the transition to 3D fifteen years ago. Nothing has been held as sacred here, with Sonic Boom effectively acting as a near complete teardown of what past games were.

For one, this game isn’t just about speed and platforming, but also features a variety of brawling-centric levels. Though very few speed areas were on display, the final game will apparently feature a mix of speed areas and brawling areas, rather than keeping them segregated from one another as they were in the demo. Since there were no real speed areas on display, this preview will be focusing mostly on the game’s combat areas.

SEGAbits at E3 Preview: Abyss Odyssey (Xbox 360, PS3 and PC)

This is going to be an interesting year for us here at SEGAbits, as we try to get accustomed to covering Atlus games. I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with the company, but I haven’t truly begun to introduce myself to their catalog until today, when I played several of their games on the showfloor. I’m going to do my best to provide coverage of this company, but I am somewhat out of my depth here. First on my docket? Abyss Odyssey!

I had a fun time with this game. It’s essentially a Smash Bros game with rogue-like elements. So pretty much a side scrolling brawler that can be really, really hard and brutal. Allies can hit and damage each other in this game, the labyrinth quickly becomes much more difficult the deeper you go, and dying will result in you going back to your previous checkpoint, sans all of your equipment and items. Death in this game carries a serious consequence! For a rogue-like this game is actually pretty generous, as you get to keep all of your collected experience, skills and gold.