The House of the Dead series has been regarded as one of SEGA’s successful arcade franchises over the years with the first title debuting in arcades worldwide in 1997. What makes this series so special to many of us SEGA fans are the following things: Horror elements with blood & gore, fast paced action, and of course, its cheesy voice acting; most notably, The House of the Dead 2 being the most popular titles in this long running franchise. Many of The House of the Dead titles have seen near arcade perfect ports on multiple consoles from Dreamcast to PlayStation 3 with the exception of the original game that started it all, which was only ported to the SEGA Saturn and Windows PC in 1998.
SEGA’s RGG Studio has really made a name for themselves as the premier triple A studio within SEGA. What’s more impressive than the quality of the games, which have all been pretty great, is how many games the studio seems to be able to release. This year the studio has brought us a sequel to Judgment, which is a spin-off to the Yakuza franchise, where instead of playing a Yakuza, you play as Takayuki Yagami, as you can tell from his cool wallet chain, tight jeans, shaggy hair, and leather jacket, this guy doesn’t play by the rules. He’s a Ex-Lawyer, Turned Detective for Hire that just happens to be well versed in Kung Fu. The first Judgment was a enjoyable experience, but it did come off as a bit janky towards the end. Did Lost Judgement fix these issues? Let’s find out!
For a thorough review of Sonic Colors, check out our write-up of the original Wii release from 2010. Much of our original reviewer’s thoughts reflect my own. The review you are about to read is from a review copy provided by SEGA.
For over ten years, the Wii exclusive Sonic Colors remained exclusively on the console. When you take in the Sonic “main series” games, Colors was an anomaly amongst a library of titles that often saw re-releases, remasters and compilations. Even the derided Wii U exclusive Sonic Lost World saw a PC release! So, FINALLY, after over ten years the critically acclaimed and fan favorite 3D Sonic game Sonic Colors sees a remaster with upgraded visuals, music and a few new surprises. But does Ultimate live up to its name? Of course it does. It’s great. What, you expected me to say otherwise?
What better way to celebrate Ichiban Kasuga’s birthday than a late review of Yakuza: Like A Dragon? This title is a big entry into the main Yakuza series that isn’t only changing the main character but also a lot of traditional elements of Yakuza games that fans come to expect. Today we dive deep and see if all the changes are worth it!
Review code provided by SEGA
Puzzle games! They’re fun! They’re varied! They’re kind of strange to talk about, too, they’re very weird and specific in that way. Why do you play them? I play them because I want something fun and simple that puts my brain to work, or to put my brain against some other person’s brain and see who can work their brain better, or something. And that’s awesome! I love these games!
But there’s a lot of them. Puyo Puyo and Tetris are two of the biggest puzzle games on the planet, they have such long, storied histories, they play in such similar yet contrasting ways, it’s fascinating playing a game that has them both in one package. But it’s also not the only time they’ve been in one package. When I previewed this game, I mentioned how it was comforting how little had changed between games, because it meant I was gonna have a good time regardless of which one I booted up. But now that it’s out, I gotta ask myself: does that comfort hold up after a few weeks of playing?
There has been quite a surge in retro gaming devices that offering ways to modernize your SEGA consoles, one of these new interesting devices we have seen online is the Wingman SD Converter for the SEGA Dreamcast and Saturn, which I found out about online because it allows you to use modern USB fight sticks on both retro consoles. Let’s take a deep dive into what the Wingman SD Converter offers and if it fulfills all the promises it makes. According to the site the device offers the ability to use modern game pads and fightsticks along with rumble support and a full memory card for the Dreamcast. Let’s get into the review.
In June 2020, SEGA revealed the Game Gear Micro. Prior to the full announcement, fans speculated on if this would be the successor to the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Mini, how big the actual device was, how many games would be on the handheld and if it would receive a western release. Once the details were confirmed, internet reaction – specifically from westerners – was largely negative. With dimensions of 80×43 mm (about the size of a Dreamcast VMU) and four colors featuring four unique games each, the Micro truly was living up to its name. Micro in size, micro in game lineup, and micro in not living up to expectations set by the Genesis/Mega Drive Mini.
Now, five months later, I have the full lineup in hand (literally, I can hold all four in one hand!) and can make my own determination on the Game Gear Micro. Is it worthy of an import?
Review code provided by SEGA.
Rhythm games are cool. Anime is cool. Anime rhythm games are pretty cool. Sure, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is not an anime game, but its energy, style, and content are sure to catch the attention of anyone who has even a passing interest in Japanese pop culture. At the very least, it might catch the attention of people who recognize the name attached: Hatsune Miku. I assume our readers have at least some grasp on who and what Hatsune Miku is, but I’ll give the skinny anyway.
Hatsune Miku is/was (the name situation is currently up in the air if I remember) a Vocaloid, a Japanese voice synthesizer program from the late 2000’s that became hugely popular, influential, and got massive worldwide attention. While most musicians and Japanese idols (whom Miku is meant to evoke) have a stable cast of producers, writers, and other musicians, Vocaloid is for anyone to use, and so, a rhythm game showcasing the best of what her users create was a no-brainer. This game is a tenth anniversary celebration of that game, and is chock-full of fantastic and funky beats and tracks.
However, to find out if it’s a game worth your passing attention or a deeper dive, you should read below to see if this is a ‘cool’ you want to get down with.
It has been a long journey and Sakura Wars is now available for a worldwide audience with a brand new cast of characters, a new story, and the charm of the original series that debuted on the SEGA Saturn back in 1996. But does it meet expectations for newcomers and older fans alike? Take a look at my review of Sakura Wars for PlayStation 4!
Review code provided by Forever Entertainment.
Remakes are a common sight in the modern age. I won’t spiel too long about their worth, or their reason for being, but I will put a fine point on one aspect of their existence: what they bring to the original game. A remake can do a lot of things, both good and bad, and the discussion for how faithful a remake should be is a relevant one in the face of games that barely do more than make new art and graphical assets being the most successful remakes on the market. A good remake, in my opinion, is one that injects life into an old idea while keeping sight of what made the idea special in the first place. Or, at the very least, doing something so radically different with the original idea it becomes special in its own right.
Enter Panzer Dragoon: Remake. The original was a seminal 1995 release that ushered the SEGA Saturn into American and European homes with aplomb, and delighted Japanese Saturn owners a year into its life. It was a simple game of arcade sensibility with RPG detail. It was a 3D tour-de-force when polygons were a rarity at home. An on-rails action shooter with a three hundred and sixty degree innovation and a world like nothing else at the time. It’s a prime candidate for a remake, old and unique enough that it could stand improvements without becoming part of the crowd. Does the remake we have now succeed, though? Well…
SEGA has released the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I remember the time they came out and quite enjoyed both titles, so now we are coming back and revising both games a decade later. Do both games hold up to the test of time or have they crumbled? Let’s find out…
It was just a few short weeks before the announcement of Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD that I was talking with fellow SEGAbits editor and writer George about the franchise, specifically the first game and just how impactful it had been in SEGA’s early days as a third party developer.
Starting in arcades and quickly shifting to home consoles, Super Monkey Ball had become a staple for SEGA when debuting their software to new platforms. From the Apple App Store to Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii, it just became expected that Aiai and his friends would make their appearance.
Note: This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher.
Well it’s the 30th anniversary of the SEGA Genesis (aka the Mega Drive). The SEGA Genesis for decades now has been fondly looked back due to it’s strong kit and solid lineup of games, which is reflected in it being SEGA’s best selling console of all time. While it did eventually stutter late into it’s life, ironically from SEGA themselves trying to expand on the console with peripherals like the SEGA CD and SEGA 32X, those that remember the system back in the day remember SEGA’s aggressive push to outsmart their main competition Nintendo. This resulted in quite a number of notable titles being developed over the years, both from SEGA themselves with their arcade ports and original titles, to other third parties contributing to the system like Compile, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Konami, and Namco.
Now 30 years later due to the “mini console” fad, SEGA is now pumping out a huge love letter in a tiny package, simply called the SEGA Genesis Mini. Will this small machine bring out that nostalgic heart tug, or is it more like an embarrassing memory from ages ago?
It’s always pleasing to see a video game that thinks outside the box. Even if it isn’t a masterpiece, the time you had with it would usually stick with you for the rest of your life. That was the feeling I had when I played 2011’s Catherine for Xbox 360. While not perfect, it was impressed how it pulled me into its world. This year’s enhanced version, Catherine Full Body, brings the Stray Sheep bar and crew back with some new faces and features, with an emphasis on a “fuller package”.
Note: We received this game for free from SEGA of America for review purposes.
M2, in collaboration with SEGA, has been doing a great job with the SEGA AGES series of arcade and Genesis ports. Despite being rereleases, there are quite a few new options and features not found in the original releases of games. Add in the portability factor, and you have an attractive new way to play classic SEGA titles. This latest release for the SEGA AGES series sees a never localized port of Puyo Puyo from the arcade will take some puzzle lovers by surprise.