Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia and SEGA have teamed up to announce the Valkyria Chronicles 4 Limited Edition PlayStation 4, which will come on March 21st.
The Valkyria Chronicles 4 Limited Edition PlayStation 4 is now up to pre-order at the Japanese Sony Store and will cost you 33,480 yen (about $302 USD) for the 500 GB model or 38,480 yen (about $347 USD) for the 1TB model. The Valkyria Chronicles 4 Limited Edition PlayStation 4 will come with a Valkyria Chronicles 4-themed top cover, Valkyria Chronicles 4 original theme (see it below), and of course Valkyria Chronicles 4 themed packaging.
SEGA has declared that they will be hosting a live stream for Valkyria Chronicles 4 before the end of the year. On December 27, SEGA has promised to show off the very first gameplay footage of the upcoming SRPG.
The live stream will start on December 27, 2018 at 8:00pm JST and can be viewed at:
SEGA has confirmed that guests on the stream include the following voice actresses: Naomi Ohzora (voices Nikola Grev) and Yukiyo Fujii (voices Kiara Rosina). Hashiyan Kosaka has been confirmed to MC the event. Of course the creators behind the game will also be on the stream, explaining things. I would hope.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 hits Japanese PlayStation 4 owners on March 21, 2018 and later in 2018 for Nintendo Switch. As for us Westerners, we will get the game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018.
Earlier this month we shared the news that SEGA teamed up with The Yokosuka Action Promotion Committee to design a map of Yokosuka, Japan. Why? Well, because Yokosuka was the setting of SEGA’s hit game Shenmue. Since the game’s release, fans have visited the locations from the game, using fan made guides and videos. But now, SEGA has officially put their stamp on the region with this guide! The guide was originally Japanese only, but now we have the English language version, which you can download here.
If you have been excited to try the upcoming A Certain Magical Virtual-On for the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation Vita, the demo is now available. As for sizes of the demos, the PlayStation 4 comes in at 2.37 gigabytes and the PlayStation Vita version hits a much smaller 431.55 megabytes. The demo will feature all 13 playable Virtuaroids from the full game, include a tutorial and CPU battle mode. No online, of course.
SEGA is set to release A Certain Magical Virtual-On in Japan on February 15, 2018. SEGA West hasn’t announced any plans on localizing it. The last Virtual-On title to come West was Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram port on the Xbox 360 back in 2009, so its been awhile. I say make a Japanese PSN account, try the demo and if you like it, bother SEGA to release the game West.
SEGA was asked to help design a tourist guide map by The Yokosuka Action Promotion Committee. Why did they ask SEGA to help design a map of Yokosuka, Japan? Yokosuka is one of the big locations featured in SEGA’s hit video game Shenmue, which is seemly making a comeback thanks to the Shenmue III kickstarter launched a few years back. You can check out the official SEGA Japan twitter flipping through the guide here, which features lots of cool Shenmue promotional art. According to the same tweet, the English version is being worked on right now. They are calling this Yokosuka Tourist Guide ‘Sacred Spot’, since its mostly covers parts of Yokosuka that where featured in Shenmue. As for how you can acquire one, they are being sold locally in Yokosuka. Oh, don’t live there? Maybe its time to go on vacation?
I think having something like this is really cool and its nice to see that Shenmue‘s legacy still matters in places in Japan. Like most fans online, I really hope this means SEGA isn’t forgetting about the franchise, which if you have seen the rumors about the Shenmue HD releases, you’d agree. I think the Shenmue HD Collection is coming, just a matter of when. You can check out what the guide has to offer below via some helpful scans, of course.
While we cross our fingers for a Phantasy Star Online 2 western announcement, in Japan they will soon be launching a 1v1 trading card game based on the popular IP. The game will feature cards based on characters, weapons and other art assets found in Phantasy Star Online 2. As far as how the game will play, that remains a mystery for now.
Phantasy Star Online 2: Trading Card Game isn’t just aiming at being a competitive 1v1 game, but will also feature “Cooperation Battles” where you and friends can play the game versus in-card (is that a word?) bosses. SEGA will be showing off the card game across Japan starting on December 9, where attendees will be allowed to try the game for themselves. If you’re from Japan and want to give the game a try, check out the participating stores here.
SEGA plans on launching Phantasy Star Online 2: Trading Card Game in Japan on March 22, 2018. The first expansion of the series will have 100 cards to collect. Each pack will come with 6 cards and go for 250 yen (about $2.25 USD) each. As far as this coming to the West, don’t count on it, obviously.
The demo for SEGA’s upcoming remake of Yakuza 2, being called Yakuza Kiwami 2, is now available for you to download via the Japanese PSN store. The demo will weigh in at 9.89 gigabytes and allow users to play through some of the main game’s story. SEGA has confirmed that Yakuza Kiwami 2 demo saves will not transfer over to the full version of the game.
If you never made a Japanese PSN account, I suggest giving some YouTube guides a quick look, it isn’t hard to do. I would say its worth it just to try out some upcoming Japanese game demos. Its free, nothing to lose. Yakuza: Kiwami 2 hits Japan on December 7, no western release date has been announced as of posting. But don’t be surprised if we get an announcement sometime next year.
We all know that Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t a very strong brand in Japan, but I don’t think a lot of people know just how unpopular it is. According to this weeks Media Create Sales, Sonic Forces sold 10,624 units, counting both PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions. That’s rather low, seeing Call of Duty: WWII has a staggering second week with sales passing 60k! That’s a game based on the American viewpoint of the war Japan lost and they rather play that by a large number than Sonic Forces. That says something.
But is that a bad thing? Sonic Generations never charted in Japan when it came out in 2011. If anything Sonic Forces is selling higher in the region than expected. The Sonic brand usually makes most of its money in America and Europe, so we will have to see how it performs in those regions before we call it a bomb. You can check out the top selling software titles of the week in Japan by hitting the jump.
A new Sonic Forces trailer has just released from SEGA of Japan featuring new footage from the upcoming game. Several new cutscenes are shown, including Eggman introducing the new enemy Infinite, the avatar character seeing Sonic and his friends, and a large scale battle featuring Sonic and friends and dozens of avatar characters. Interestingly, it is looking like Tails, Amy, Knuckles, The Chaotix, Silver and Rouge have their own base of operations and this is where the avatar character will spend some of their time. We also get a peek at a futuristic city area.
Suffice to say, a lot of fun little things are littered throughout this trailer and it’s worth a watch. Now if I only knew Japanese…
SEGA Japan has recently filed a trademark for “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute” (Narushia no Namida to Yousei no Fue). The trademark was filed on July 24th. According to Gematsu, Narcia is the name of a character from the PopoloCrois series, which has faeries as a prominent role. Not only that, the series’ main developer Epics has been on a hiring spree recently for a new PopoloCrois Monogatari game, looking for a “UI design intended for smartphone and consumer game screens.” Could this mean that the next PopoloCrois game will be published by SEGA?
It seems that the PopoloCrois IP is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Even though they own the IP, 2015’s Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale was the first game to be on a non-Sony platform as the IP was licensed out to Marvelous and the game released on the Nintendo 3DS. Its possible that SEGA could be licensing the IP and planning a new entry along with developer Epics, much how they have found success with Hatsune Miku titles. What are your thoughts on SEGA trademarking “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute” ? Do you think PopoloCoris franchise should be adding to SEGA’s publishing arm?
AmiAmi will be selling the “Tony’s ART works from Origin” book which is set to feature various character designs from his career including magazine covers and vocaloids he has designed, including a long form interview looking at his history these past 20 years. The book will come in A4 page format, will have a hardcover backing and clear slip on box. The book will set you back 5,000 yen ($46), will have 100 pages and feature 80 illustrations. The details of the book also brag that about 30 of the character designs in the book got made into figurines. Good for you Tony Taka, I guess.
Hit the jump to check out preview pages of some of the artwork that will be in the book:
SEGA-AM2’s Border Break: Sega Network Robot Wars debuted way back in September 9, 2009 and since then it has been regularly updated, while still being played competitively in Japan. The game has received over 16 huge updates that all came with name changes. The new version of Border Break is being titled Border Break Zero Plus, the earlier version was being called ‘Border Break X Zero’. As you can tell, the Border Break franchise has been a huge hit for SEGA in arcades.
SEGA is getting ready to show off Border Break X Zero at an official event being held at Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Center at hall 1000 on July 30th. The Japanese Border Break X Zero site also teases that some stores will be participating in showing off the new versions of the game, in a Japan tour that SEGA has planned. I gendered at the schedule with Google Translate and it seems to be opening with a VR demonstration, then moves on to a lottery giveaway and then later will have a competitive tournament with the newest Border Break X Zero build.
A new SEGA racing game in Japan is currently being playtested in Japan. Based on the Super GT sports racing series, SEGA World Drivers Championship continuesSEGA’s track record of producing sports racing games. Notably this is the first time SEGA of Japan has made a racing game for arcades since 2008/2009 (Not counting Initial D.), such as SEGA Race TV. Similar to past SEGA arcade racers of the past, most notably Daytona USA, players can race through three different courses and multiple players can play using separate cabinets. A notable difference however is the usage of cards with different cars, which can be used in the arcade game to use different cars sponsored by companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Honda.
However, a really notable technical aspect about this game is the engine. It is the first title by SEGA that utilizes the Unreal 4 engine used in recent console, arcade, and PC games to provide both great effects and ease of development for working with multiple pieces of hardware. With SEGA being on board with working on a well respected engine, it’s possible more games using the engine will follow.
The playtest is scheduled in SEGA’s entertainment buildings in Akihabara and Ikebukuro in Tokyo and Toshima respectively, on July 28th, 29th, and 30th.
When SEGA dropped out of the hardware business, SEGA fans wanted more games than ever before. Sadly, that didn’t happen as best as it could have. While several great SEGA games came to the west, several never saw a release outside Japan. In part two of this SEGA retrospective, we go through every system’s Japanese exclusives and add our own opinions on games SEGA should have localized and how they could have handled the Japanese line-up better.
Sega is a Japanese company first and foremost, no way around it. As I did in the previous two articles of mine, I will delve into the Japanese side of Sega, and exclusively tailor this to Japanese only Sega games that have not made into the west, as well as how those types of games evolved. Read on for a retrospective look back at some games you likely never heard or about and surely never played!