Retro Review: Space Channel 5 (Sega Dreamcast/PS2)

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The Dreamcast era was a unique time for SEGA when it came to marketing their characters. While the Saturn’s launch made the error of shifting the spotlight away from Sonic the Hedgehog, the Dreamcast launch proved that there was more than enough room for established characters as well as new faces. Joining Sonic was a lineup of first party and third party faces, from Midway’s Afro Thunder of Ready 2 Rumble and Namco’s Soulcalibur fighters to SEGA’s own creations.

Space Channel 5’s Ulala was without a doubt the most heavily marketed of these new characters, with her face seen just about everywhere. Ulala appeared in a promotional stage show at Universal City Walk, she dominated SEGA’s booth at 2000’s E3, she was seen in print and on TV and even appeared as product placement in the 2001 movie Josie and the Pussycats. There was even talk of Ulala hosting her own TV show! Suffice to say, there came a point in Space Channel 5‘s promotion where Ulala nearly overshadowed her own game. There is no doubt that Ulala is a fantastic character (she is a favorite of the SEGAbits staff, so much so that we named our podcast after her report show), but has the original game stood the test of time? Let’s find out as we look back at the United Game Artists’ classic Space Channel 5!

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!

Review: 3D Out Run (Nintendo 3DS)

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Out Run / Outrun (アウトラン) is a very important game in the history of SEGA, released back in 1986 on arcades and later ported to various consoles. Out Run was a massive success for SEGA, selling over 20,000 cabinets worldwide in its year of release. Almost 30 years later, we get a brand new port on 3DS with 3D Out Run. Is this port worth your time? Well, let’s talk about that…

Review: 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros (Nintendo 3DS)

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I’m going to be honest, when SEGA and M2 announced that 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros was going to join wave 2 of their 3D Classics, I was sold. Fantasy Zone is just one of those games that doesn’t get enough appreciation in the West and having it release digitally will mean that more people get to enjoy this underrated classic. But how is the port? Well, let’s jump right into the review…

Review: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (Nintendo 3DS)

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In late October, SEGA released the first piece of the Sonic Boom franchise by way of the Archie comic book series of the same name. Despite the much touted TV series and video games, the comic book was our first official trip into the Sonic Boom universe. In my review of the first issue, I noted that I really enjoyed the fun, loose, self-referential nature of the comic book series. I compared the Sonic Boom comic to Archie’s early Sonic the Hedgehog issues. My exposure to the franchise continued with the TV series, which I also enjoyed, noting that the series felt very much like DiC’s 1993 series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. By this point, I was feeling fairly positive about Sonic Boom. And then the video games released.

Review: Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd (PS3 & PS Vita)

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All screens from the PlayStation Vita version.

So, Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd is finally here. My first time playing a Project Diva game was last year when it came out on PS3 in western territories, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So many hours of my time logged into playing Project Diva F. Needless to say, I was looking forward to Project Diva F 2nd and it doesn’t disappoint, in fact, it goes beyond my expectations.

If you have played Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, you have an option of carrying over all the accessories, modules, and items you have unlocked over into F 2nd when creating a new game. Don’t worry if you haven’t unlocked everything, F 2nd gives you a way to unlock items from the first game if you haven’t unlocked them.

TV Review: Sonic Boom – “Translate This”/”Buster”

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It has been quite a week for the Sonic Boom franchise, with the Wii U and 3DS games releasing and completing the circle of multimedia that make up Sonic Boom. Regardless of your feelings towards the games, the TV show was a welcome addition to the new franchise last week, and this weekend we have two new episodes to watch – “Translate This” and ”Buster”. How do these episodes compare to last week’s premiere? Let’s pour a bowl of Reece’s Puffs cereal, tune in and find out!

TV Review: Sonic Boom – “The Sidekick”/”Can an Evil Genius Crash on Your Couch for a Few Weeks?”

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Sonic Boom premiered just minutes ago on Cartoon Network! As each episode is 11 minutes long, each week two episodes will be released side by side to fill a half hour time slot. Past Sonic cartoons have premiered either with a very clear first episode (ABC’s Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic X, Sonic Underground), or with an episode that throws you right into the show with no clear feeling if it being the start of something (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog). Sonic Boom’s first episode, “The Sidekick”, falls in between these classifications. The episode kicks off with the very same footage seen in the TV series trailer from months back as Sonic is in pursuit of Eggman, only to take on Burnbot and almost lose Tails to a plane crash. It’s a nice way to establish Sonic and Eggman’s rivalry and Sonic and Tails’ friendship.

Comic Book Review: Sonic Boom Issue #1 (Archie Comics)

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When SEGA’s Sonic Boom was unveiled in October of last year, all we had to go on was four silhouettes and a press release detailing the people behind the TV series and the general direction. What a difference a year makes, as here we are now with a much better idea of what Sonic Boom is all about, as well as an expanded offering of Sonic Boom materials ranging from the TV show and video games, to toys and comic books. Never before has an offshoot of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise spanned so many forms of media, and such a broad spectrum says a lot about how invested SEGA West is in Sonic Boom. While the TV series is a little over a week away (Saturday, November 8th on Cartoon Network) and the games release in the following weeks, we have the first form of narrative content from Sonic Boom available to us in the form of Archie Comics’ Sonic Boom issue #1. I’ve read it, and now I’m going to review it!