New SEGA 3D Classics announced; including Power Drift and Puyo Puyo 2

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My life has been made. SEGA has officially announced new SEGA 3D Classics; 3D Power Drift, 3D Puyo Puyo Puyo 2, 3D Maze Walker, and 3D Fantasy Zone II!

The full version of the teaser art we posted yesterday has been released (isn’t Arle adorable?), showing that the new physical SEGA Reprint Archives 2 collection will feature Power Drift and Puyo Puyo Tsu, with the bonus games this time around being Maze Walker and Fantasy Zone II; the Master System versions! Whether these games are to be released internationally is unknown, but honestly by this point I think we’ll be seeing at least Puyo and Power Drift on the western eShop soon.

More information on the new physical collection was released yesterday, but it’s damn cool to see not one but four new games for the collection!

I’m pretty ecstatic right now, but let us know what you think in the comments!

SEGA 3D Reprint Archives 2 announced, with more boxart by Ken Sugimori and a new 3D Classic teased

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Well, this came out of nowhere! SEGA 3D Reprint Archives 2 is officially a thing, in Japan at least.

For those unaware, a while back SEGA released a few of M2’s amazing 3DS remakes of various SEGA games in a physical collection. Now Japan’s getting another one of these packs, but it looks to be something special; notice the mosaic. There’s clearly another character there, and it seems to be hinting at a new 3D Classic. I think the best guess I can muster is that it’s Gillius Thunderhead of Golden Axe riding a Chickenleg, but we’ll have to wait and see!

Currently confirmed for the collection are Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Fantasy Zone II W, Thunder Blade, and Galaxy Force II, all in their remastered 3D Classics state. Various bonuses are also slated to be included; for reference, the previous physical release contained an improved version of Space Harrier’s 3DS port, as well as ports of Space Harrier 3D and OutRun 3D from the SEGA Master System; all of which we haven’t gotten over here on the eShop.

The new collection’s also rocking some amazing cover art by Pokemon legend Ken Sugimori once again; it’s surreal seeing someone well-known as a Nintendo and Pokemon artist drawing Sonic!

As mentioned, there’s no word of this coming here; and given the fact the last collection didn’t release here it’s really unlikely this will (unless SEGA decide Sonic gives it selling power…).

We’ll keep an eye out for any further news on this, including that mystery game and any new bonus features.

SEGA 3D Classics Space Harrier and Fantasy Zone themes now on North American Nintendo eShop

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While SEGA has released several awesome Nintendo 3DS themes over in Japan, here in the West all we have are Sonic the Hedgehog themes. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sonic, but what about SEGA’s non-blue hedgehog stuff? Well today things change, at least for North American fans at the time of this article. Via SEGA Localization Producer Sam Mullen comes news that 3D Space Harrier and 3D Fantasy Zone themes release today! Available now for $1.99 each, these two themes feature graphics and sounds from both games and are an excellent way to scrub every hint of Nintendo off of your 3DS. Fill the home screen with SEGA games, pick a SEGA 3D Classics theme, slap on a SEGA branded skin and you’re all set!

No word on Europe yet, but when we hear something we’ll update the story.

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…

SEGA in the Media: No Continue Kid shows SEGA lots of virtua love

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The arcades were a big part of Japan’s youth group up in the 80’s and 90’s, so its no surprise that a Japanese drama show based around these time periods would be created. No Continue Kid: Our Game History (ノーコン・キッド ~ぼくらのゲーム史~) is a TV show revolving around Reiji Watanabe, who in 1983 isn’t very interested in arcade games. The only reason he has to put up with them is because his father owns a game center. Reiji sees a girl he likes come in daily named Fumiyoshi Takano, she usually plays Xevious and leaves. Reiji decides to give this Xevious game a try to impress her and gets the best local player, Akinobu Kido (who goes by ‘Kid’, his high score handle) to teach him.

The show focuses on the friendships of these characters along with a new ‘Game Center’ trends throughout the decades (this show spans from 1983 to 2013 in 12 episodes) and even some console gaming love. Today we will be looking at some of the SEGA centric episodes including one for Columns, Fantasy Zone and two whole episodes based around the Virtua Fighter 2 fighting phenomenon. Let’s take a dramatized trip to the arcade scene in Japan from the 80’s through the 90’s, SEGA style!

Check out SEGA of Japan’s trailer for the physical SEGA 3D Classics Nintendo 3DS release

Not too long ago, we speculated that a physical release of SEGA’s 3DS 3D Classics was in the works, and shortly thereafter such a release was revealed to be happening! Releasing December 18th, and featuring cover art by Ken Sugimori, the compilation is to include a mix of wave 1 and wave 2 titles: 3D Space Harrier, 3D Fantasy Zone, 3D Outrun, 3D Streets of Rage, 3D Shinobi 2, and 3D Ecco the Dolphin. Also included are two bonus titles, Space Harrier 3D and Outrun 3D which originally released to the SEGA Master System and utilized the 3D glasses.

For a sampling of what to expect from the compilation, check out the trailer above. If you have a Japanese 3DS or alternate means of playing import titles, you can pre-order the game from Play-Asia. In the meantime, I’ll just sit here watching the trailer, fingers crossed for a US release. Tears running down my face.

Yakuza Zero’s Game Center to have playable versions of AM2 arcade classics

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Famitsu has confirmed a few titles that will be in Yakuza Zero‘s Game Center. The titles confirmed so far include:

  • Out Run
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Space Harrier 
  • Hang-On

If you didn’t catch the early information on this title, it is a pre-quel taking place in 1988, so it is fitting that they would include SEGA arcade classics like this. You know who also did this over a decade ago? A little game called Shenmue, you might have heard of it?

Honestly, this is what I wanted to hear when I found out that Yakuza Zero was taking place in the 80’s, classic AM2 arcade hits.

Round Table: What’s next for the Fantasy Zone franchise?

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We wrap up Fantasy Zone week with a special SEGAbits Round Table in which we look to the future of the Fantasy Zone franchise. As this week has taught us, Fantasy Zone is a small, but highly imaginative franchise with fantastic music, difficult yet addicting gameplay, and an enduring protagonist. But what about the future of the franchise? Does Fantasy Zone‘s simplistic arcade-style gameplay have a place in 2013 and beyond?

SEGA in the Media: Opa-Opa & Zillion

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Before Sonic, before ToeJam & Earl , before Joe Musashi and even a few months before Alex Kidd, SEGA’s mascot was a sentient little spaceship called Opa-Opa, hero of the Fantasy Zone. Though there’s some debate regarding who was the “true” mascot before Sonic came around, I personally put myself in Opa-Opa’s camp. Why? Well, aside from cameoing in a bunch of SEGA games from the ‘80s, a few of which you can read about here, Opa-Opa was also a supporting character in an anime SEGA partially funded, Zillion.

Zillion is a 1987 sci-fi anime from Tatsunoku Productions. It centers around White Knight J.J. and his fellow White Knights Apple and Champ as they defend the earth colony Maris from the evil Nozas, an alien race intent on wiping humans off the face of the planet. The White Knights battle the forces of evil with their signature weapon, the Zillion Weapon System, a Master System light gun (literally, complete with the cord) capable of destroying the Nozas, who are otherwise invulnerable to human weaponry.

The SEGA Five: Opa-Opa’s greatest cameo appearances

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Before Sonic came along in 1991, SEGA had its fair share of mascots. Ask a SEGA fan in the 1980’s who SEGA’s current mascot was, and you’d likely receive a variety of answers. Some may point to the Shinobi arcade game star Joe Musashi, while others may point to the Mario-like Master System star Alex Kidd. Opa-Opa of Fantasy Zone was another of these mascots vying for the SEGA throne, and if you ask me he was the most worthy of the crown. While Opa-Opa lacked an expressive face, a drawback that some say was the reason Alex Kidd came out ahead of the sentient spaceship, I say he made up for it with a simple yet memorable design that evoked SEGA’s quirky nature at the time. Opa-Opa is both cute with his bright colors and white wings, and hardcore with his jet propulsion and firepower. He also fits in perfectly with the “blue skies” aesthetic SEGA is well known for thanks to the fact that the skies are where Opa-Opa spends a majority of his time.

Since his debut in 1986, Opa-Opa has made cameo appearances in several SEGA games, a testament to Opa-Opa’s original design. In fact, Opa-Opa’s cameo career began the very year he debuted and his cameo appearances continue through to today. In this week’s Weekly Five we’ll be highlighting some of Opa-Opa’s greatest appearances, from playable to non-playable and from obscure to blatantly obvious. Yes, Shenmue made the list, you can stop holding your breath Ryo Hazuki fans.

My Life with SEGA tackles the ultimate cute ’em up: Fantasy Zone

This week on My Life with SEGA, we’ll be exploring Opa-Opa’s very first adventure in the Fantasy Zone.

Fantasy Zone is one of many titles brother insisted on buying for the Master System. It was so strange and other-worldly. Fantasy Zone was unlike any other he shooter he had seen before. While the gameplay is similar to something like Defender, that game was nowhere near as colorful and cheerful. I can’t remember ever seeing this fucker in the arcades, so I thought this was a Master System original for many years….

Playing it again after two decades, let’s see if it’s just as good – and frustrating – as I remember it being. Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

SEGA Retrospective: Welcome to Fantasy Zone Week, get ready!

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Welcome to Fantasy Zone Week, a week in which all our features and original content will be dedicated to SEGA’s side-scrolling shoot-’em-up franchise Fantasy Zone! It’s no surprise that the franchise is near and dear to our hearts, as Opa-Opa himself is our official site mascot, always seen flying over the SEGAbits logo. Between 1986 and 2008, the original game has been released to a multitude of platforms, from the arcade and SEGA Master System to mobile phones and the Wii virtual console. This week we’ll be celebrating the music, the gameplay, the rich and diverse history of the franchise, and even look ahead to the future. But before we look ahead, let’s look back. After the jump, we shine the SEGA Retro spotlight on the many games from the Fantasy Zone franchise.

SEGA Tunes All Stars: Space Harrier Main Theme

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This track acts as the perfect book end for a near perfect SEGA tribute. Much like After Burner, Space Harrier is an arcade classic with an awesome soundtrack. Are you feeling down today? Do you need a little pick me up? No worries, because I’ve brought an extended version of this song today. If you’re feeling blue, just sit back for 15 minutes and let this little tune wisk you away to a far off place with dragons and giant floating heads and some blonde dude inexplicably floating in mid-air with a giant laser gun.

So as to not get the hopes of anyone who hasn’t beaten the game yet up, Space Harrier is not in this game. Just the soundtrack, which plays on a track I don’t intend to spoil.

Speaking of spoilers, though, you’d best have beaten the game by next Tuesday. For the last three weeks I’ve been sitting on music for a course that Sumo kept under wraps so as to not spoil the surprise. Next week I’m spilling the beans. So you’d best have beaten Career Mode by then!

Still want more music from the fantasy zone? Check below the fold for a remixed vocal version of the Fantasy Zone theme from the 1996 SEGA AGES release! Its pretty sick.