Yakuza Kiwami 2 demo available now on Japanese PSN Store

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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.

Sonic Forces Japanese debut sales barely surpass 10k units sold

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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.

[Via: Gematsu]

Sonic Forces Japanese promotion video hits, revealing new cutscenes

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 trademarks “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute”

PopoloSoS_Cutscene01.0SEGA 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?

Shining Series artist releases his art book ‘Tony’s Artworks From Origin’ tomorrow

TonysArtOriginRegardless of what you think of Tony Takas art since taking over the Shining franchise’s art duties all the way back in 2004, he seems to have acquired a massive following in Japan. While the Shining series has had trouble selling copies of their games, it seems that Japan responded positively to Tony Taka’s character designs. So much so that there is a ton of Shining series merch being sold, more so than the actual games. Tony Taka has even released a couple of Shining related art books as well, this will be more broad artwork he has done in the past.

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:

[Via AmiAmi]

SEGA teasing new update for Border Break Zero Plus

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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.

It is a little sad that we didn’t even get a console or even a PC port (considering the arcade version is played with a mouse) and was kept as a Japanese only arcade release. Would you play the game if it ever came out outside of arcades?

[Source: Border Break Site]

SEGA World Drivers Championship playtest announced in Japan

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 continues SEGA’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.

[Source: SEGA of Japan and 4gamer]

 

 

SEGA Retrospective: An overview of Japanese only SEGA games, Part 2

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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 Retrospective: An overview of Japanese Only SEGA games

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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!

Atlus shows Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 Japanese box art

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Atlus is now showing off the box art for Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2, this box art is for the standard edition of the game. Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 was announced back in March, when they detailed that there would be two versions: standard version and the ‘Etrian Odyssey 10th Anniversary Box Limited Editon’. The cover is illustrated by series veteran Hiroshi Sasadzu with the cover featuring Kenkaku, Buccaneer, Alchemist, Monk, and Farmer. All classes you’ll be able to play in Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 comes out exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on August 31st. Atlus USA has been pretty silent on releasing Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 or even last year’s Etrian Odyssey V over here in the West. Maybe they have given up on the franchise? I hope not, since the games feature fantastic music by Yuzo Koshiro and you know I love me some Yuzo Koshiro music. What is your thoughts on the game’s cover art? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 & SEGA’s Border Break X Zero having a crossover event

GuiltyGearxBorderBreakSEGA and Arc System Works are teaming up for a limited time Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 and Border Break X Zero (which is still being updated since its debut in 2009) crossover event in Japanese arcades. The event will start on April 24, 2017 and end on May 24, 2017.

The Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 promotion will have the players log in using their SEGA ID, which will unlock the following Border Break X Zero goodies in Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2: A set of four in-game titles, collaboration icon set (see gallery for photo), Collaboration plate (gallery for sample), and weapons like the M90 machine gun and ‘ACHAT missile’. Check out more on that via Arc System Works’ Japanese blog post

As for the Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 items available in Border Break X Zero, that is a bit harder to decipher considering SEGA only posted the image below in the gallery. It does look like you will get custom titles, icons and even Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2  themed custom character portraits. Check out more info on the crossover via SEGA’s blog post. While SEGA-AM2’s Border Break arcade game never made a splash outside of Japan, it has been highly successful for SEGA as it launched a ton of updates (Border Break X Zero being about the 15th update), but also has gotten a huge art book (which was brought over to America via Udon Entertainment),  two full novels novels, and even a manga. What are your thoughts on this crossover? Do you think SEGA should consider bringing Border Break X Zero to the west?

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Japanese Limited Edition Leaks

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It seems we now know that Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Japanese Limited Edition exists, thanks to Amazon Japan for posting the product early. As you can see, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Japanese Limited Edition is a rather big package. So what comes in the Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Japanese Limited Edition?

  • A copy of the game
  • Special-make box
  • Two-disc Complete CD set – Includes the music of the DS original and the new music of the 3DS remake
  • 100-page, full color Special Art Book
  • Complimentary Downloadable Content Pack – A preliminary pack including five items that you can download on release date

The Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Japanese Limited Edition costs 9,800 yen ($88 USD), which is rather pricey for a Nintendo 3DS game. But if you are picking up the first print copies of the game, it will come with a ‘Character Deformation Pack’ DLC content, which changes the illustrations of the 10 main characters into chibi versions drawn by CHANxCO. The Amazon product page also details the game’s story, which you can read after the jump.

[Source: Gematsu]

New Initial D Arcade Stage Zero trailer hits the net

SEGA’s long running arcade series Initial D, which is based off a manga and anime with the same name, is ready to launch its 9th arcade release (give or take due to re-releases under new titles). But this isn’t being called Initial D Arcade Stage 9, it is being titled Initial D Arcade Stage Zero! You are probably asking yourself why this arcade game is being called Initial D Arcade Stage Zero and that’s because its being based on the New Initial D The Movie which a retelling of the early chapters of the Initial D manga. Even the designs in this game are being taken directly for the new movie which is setting to reboot the franchise for a new audience.

Initial D Arcade Stage Zero will also be the first arcade title in the franchise to feature a 6-speed gear shifter and will have completely new background music. You can check out more information about Initial D Arcade Stage Zero on the game’s official website.  While the title does seem to have some pretty low quality graphics, the game play seems fun enough. What is your take on the Initial D franchise of SEGA games? Let us know in the comments below.

Gravity Rush 2 to feature Phantasy Star Online 2 themed DLC

Gravity-Rush-2-Costume-PSO2_12-16-16Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia have announced that Gravity Rush 2 will feature Phantasy Star Online 2 costume collaboration DLC. Back around September, Phantasy Star Online 2 featured Gravity Rush 2 themed DLC and now it seems that Sony will be returning the favor to SEGA’s online RPG.

The Gravity Rush 2 x Phantasy Star Online 2 collaboration outfits will be free to download, so no extra purchase required. This is what the DLC includes:

  • “Crazy Kitten” Costume
  • “Rappy” Photo Item
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 Container” Photo Item

This Phantasy Star Online 2 DLC has only been announced for Japanese release and since Phantasy Star Online 2 hasn’t been released in English countries who knows if it will make it overseas. Gravity Rush 2 hits PlayStation 4 in Europe on January 18, January 19 in Japan and January 20 in America/UK.

[Source: Gematsu]

 

SEGA announces Dark Souls inspired game Soul Reverse for Arcades

SEGA has announced the next upcoming SEGA-AM2 arcade game Soul Reverse, which is looking quite a bit like a Dark Souls type of game. While people will fight and point out that SEGA-AM2 already dabbled into dark fantasy with their arcade game The Quest of D, you’re right. I’m wrong. But it seems this title is trying to cash in on the ‘Souls‘ name with a title like Soul Reverse. It is also true that SEGA previously announced Soul Reverse as a mobile phone title, that should already be out on iOS and Android, but the arcade version is its own build that is 70% complete as of today.

SEGA has revealed one of the characters in the game, Luce, who will be voiced by Japanese actress Nanami Yamashita (you can see her in the screens). You can view the trailer for Soul Reverse above and see screenshots after the jump.

[Via: Segalization]