Bitmap Books planning a Sega Master System Compendium

sega-master-system-1096331

We haven’t covered Bitmap Books here yet, but they’ve been in the video game history books business for some time. Known best for their visual compendiums, Bitmap has covered classic hardware like the Commodore 64, Amiga and NES. Now, they are finally dipping their toes into the SEGA waters with the upcoming Sega Master System Compendium book. The book will feature in-game graphics, pixel art and provide a history on SEGA’s first western released console.

The Sega Master System Compendium will be funded as a Kickstarter, which goes live on May 7. When we near the Kickstarter’s launch we will be sure to share more information.

Shenmue III’s ending will set up a sequel, confirms Yu Suzuki

s3_magic_2018_03_who-nwukx

SEGA and Shenmue fans have been fighting to get a third installment and closure to the series since back in the early 2000s. Lots of fans where delighted when it was announced that Yu Suzuki, the original creator for the Shenmue series would be asking fans to kickstart Shenmue III. The internet was on fire, with lots of people assuming this would be the last chance to ‘finish the fight’ against famed villain Lan Di.

In a interview with GamersFlag, Yu Suzuki was asked if the ending for Shenmue III would be open (much like the last two games) and suggest there would be a Shenmue IV. This is what Yu Suzuki had to say:

Shenmue III update reveals improved graphics and new characters

Shenmue31

Shenmue III has revealed its 80th Kickstarter update and even with 80 whole updates a large part of the game is a big mystery. On this update we got four new screenshots of the game, one of them showing off a brand new character. That new character can be seen above.

Outside of that we have a screenshot featuring a young kid, an elder man and that bad guy we saw in the trailer released last year. First thing I noticed is how improved most of the characters faces are and how more animated they look. Especially the young kid in the gallery below. I still have some issue with how Ryo Hazuki is designed, something is really off about him. It isn’t the graphics, but more how the facial structure and hairline are placed. Seems a little off compared to the way he was designed in past games. But who knows, maybe I’m crazy? What are your thoughts on the brand new screenshots?

Sonic the Hedgehog: Battle Racers Board Game hitting Kickstarter this February

SonicBattleRacers

The company Shinobi 7 LLC has announced that they have a ‘Pre-painted miniatures board game’ in the works featuring our favorite blue hedgehog, being called Sonic the Hedgehog: Battle Racers. The game will be strategic and mean’t to be played with 2-5 players; allowing users to take on the role of Sonic or one of he’s friends. Shinobi 7 is set to launch the Kickstarter in early February that will include exclusives and limited edition items.

If you want to learn more about the board game, we posted the press release and a couple of images of the minatures after the jump:

Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works teases never before seen production materials from Jet Set Radio, Shenmue and more

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 9.26.52 AM

Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works, an upcoming book from Read-Only Memory, is the followup to SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. Successfully backed on Kickstarter late last year, Read-Only Memory sent a new years update to backers and boy is it an exciting one! Read-Only Memory received a large amount of production materials from SEGA of Japan, including several never-before-seen pieces from popular Dreamcast games. Included in the haul are:

  • Game mechanic sketches, environment concepts and high end renderings for Sonic Adventure
  • The complete design document for Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio, including some amazing graffiti artwork concepts
  • A very early proof of concept video for Space Channel 5
  • Character studies and production artwork for Phantasy Star Online
  • Storyboards, character designs and environment artworks for Shenmue

Read-Only Memory will spend the coming weeks sorting through all the materials and identifying pieces to include in the book, with the final cut of the book to be laid out in a few months. Also revealed is that photoshoots for the Hardware Showcase chapter of the book will be taking place in the next few weeks, featuring everything from consoles to the fishing controller to the Samba de Amigo maracas. If you’re the proud owner of a Dreamcast hardware rarity you think should make the final cut, please do drop Read-Only Memory a line!

We here at SEGAbits can’t wait to get our hands on the book, and in the meantime we’re working to get Darren Wall of Read-Only Memory back for another Swingin’ Report Show podcast.

Xeno Crisis is an upcoming retro-styled arena shooter for the SEGA Dreamcast and Mega Drive/Genesis

0496a36c41c2bfa08bc833680490e584_original

Nearly a year ago today, I shared a list of indie games coming to classic SEGA consoles in 2017. While I’m hard at work on a 2018 list, which includes some who didn’t make their 2017 deadline, I wanted to report on the Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis and Dreamcast game Xeno Crisis. Releasing in both physical and digital formats, the game is an arena shooter for up to two platers and takes inspiration from games like Smash TV, Contra, Mercs, Granada, Alien Syndrome, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Chaos Engine and Shock Troopers. Currently, the game is in the prototype stage and the plan is to release the game in October of 2018 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Mega Drive.

The campaign ends in 5 days, and currently they have $68,726 pledged of a $27,038 goal. You can learn more about the project here, and as always with a Kickstarter campaign, read everything carefully before making your mind up on backing or not.

Shenmue 3 introduces new character and new production team

lakshyadigitalshenmue3

The team behind Shenmue III has recently revealed a brand new character via their latest Kickstarter update.As far as how this new character fits in the world of Shenmue and what her relationship with the temple behind her is, you’ll have to wait until you play the full game to find out. Unless, you know, they tell us via a Kickstarter update.

Most of the Shenmue III Kickstarter update was focused around a character production studio out of India called ‘Lakshya Digital’. According tot he update, Shenmue III will feature a ton of ‘new, compelling’ characters ‘from all walks of life’. According to the studio they will be outsourcing the creation of these NPC characters to the Indian studio. Below we have some photographs of the team, which is located in Gurgaon, India but have online meetings with the team in Tokyo. I never heard about the company, so I took a gander at their site and according to this they have help work on games like Lara Croft and the Guardians of Light, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two , DC Universe Online, Counter Strike Global Offense, and The Elder Scrolls Online. What they helped with on those games is unknown since the site is down and the front page doesn’t go into detail.

This is obviously a way for YS Net to focus more on building the game instead of taking all that time to create NPC characters. I hope it works out for the better.

Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works Kickstarter nears final hours, adds Yu Suzuki signed edition tier

926d1a7d792b9163ea4941b05c6b96f1_original

The Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works Kickstarter ends today, with the current pledged amount sitting at £122,127 of a £68,000 goal. As the campaign nears its end, an update has been released announcing a new signed edition tier. SEGA legend Yu Suzuki will be signing 15 copies of the book with the new tier priced at £75, and he has been added to the growing list of interview subjects to appear in the book!

The signed tier will release at 6 p.m. GMT, just a few hours before the campaign ends. So if you want Yu Suzuki’s autograph and a great looking book, you can sit at your computer refreshing like crazy. For comparison, the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter had Yu’s autograph at the $300 tier, whereas here it’s around $99. We’ll have more information about the Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works book, including a Swingin’ Report Show interview with Read-Only Memory’s Darren Wall, in the coming months. So stay tuned!

New Shenmue 3 teaser trailer finally released

With Gamescom going full swing tomorrow, PlayStation youtube channel has released a teaser trailer (And the first trailer since the project was announced way back!) for Shenmue 3. Featuring predominantly Ryo and Shenhua, we get to see the trailer kick off from where Shenmue 2 finishes and some delightful enviroments are showcased. I must admit for the budget of over $6 million, that is some fine looking areas the team have come and I can’t wait to get the chance to explore them. Let’s hope we get to see more of the game with Gamescom opening to the public tomorrow!

What did you think of the trailer? Comment below with your thoughts!

Yu Suzuki announces Shenmue 3 release date delayed to second half of 2018

unnamed

Yu Suzuki has announced, in a message to Shenmue 3 Kickstarter backers, that the game has become bigger and more beautiful than he initially expected. As such, the development schedule has been revised and the release of the game has shifted from the end of 2017 to the second half of 2018. This pushes the release date back 6-12 months. Suzuki mentions that new technologies have allowed the team to discover new possibilities and expressions, and promised that details of the revised schedule will be detailed in a backer report later this month. Suzuki closed the video message by thanking backers for their understanding and continued support.

The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was initially revealed on the Sony stage at E3 2015 and upon completion of the campaign in July 2015, the team had raised $6,333,295. That amount increased to $6,762,419 following a “slacker backer” campaign held on the shenmue.link website for those who missed the campaign. Development was said to begin early 2017, so fans like myself were not expecting the game to meet the December 2017 deadline. To be honest, it’s good news to hear an announcement of a delay, as it relieves the team the pressures of rushing a much anticipated game and gives fans warning of a delay a full 6 months before the originally anticipated release.

DIC Entertainment, producer of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, has a documentary on Kickstarter

6b265c55f37e1fe57c3e0c251573ce12_original

If you were a child of the 80s and 90s, there is no doubt that you saw the logo for DIC Entertainment after countless animated shows. From Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Ghostbusters, and Inspector Gadget to the Care Bears and Dennis the Menace, DIC produced some of the most memorable syndicated cartoon shows for over two decades. Now, three Australians are hoping to create a documentary on DIC and an obscure animated show created by the company in the early 90s called Twins of Destiny. The documentary, English Dub – A DIC Entertainment Story, is hoping to hit a lofty goal of nearly $19k in less than 12 days with $2,000 raised so far. You can check out the trailer and read their plans over on their Kickstarter.

Indie Dreamcast game Alice Dreams Tournament production nearly complete

The Bomberman-inspired indie Dreamcast game Alice Dreams Tournament, successfully funded on Kickstarter in late 2015, inches closer to backer’s hands thanks to a recent project update. According to the team, they have received the games from the manufacturer. All versions are accounted for, except for the PAL collector’s edition which is lacking the front and back covers which are still in production. The team promises to keep backers informed as to when they are ready to ship.

Also announced, the team will be at Retro Game Play this Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th in Meaux, France. Backers were told that if they plan to be at the event or in the area they can pick up their game and get autographs. Copies of the game will be sold at the event itself.

 

Shenmue III music developer diary

A new video developer diary has been posted to the Shenmue III Kickstarter page. This one focuses on Shenmue III music and features a subtitled chat with Yu Suzuki on the subject.

The discussion ranges from Yu Suzuki’s taste in music, his history playing in rock bands that performed Deep Purple and Van Halen style music and covers, setting the tone with music in a video game, and how he directs his audio teams on a project. The video comes off like a nice, natural and unscripted chat with the legendary Sega developer.

Towards the end of the short video, Suzuki previews some of the new songs from the upcoming game.

Shenmue III is still targeted for a December 2017 release for PS4 and PC. Imagine that guys, we’re now just a year away from that target date! Are you excited? Do you think Suzuki and the boys will deliver on time?

[UPDATED] SEGA Genesis homebrew game Coffee Crisis hits Kickstarter

Are you looking to support interesting indie SEGA Genesis titles and want to see more games for the platform be developed? The team at Mega Cat Studios has now launched their kickstarter page for a brand new title called Coffee Crisis. Pledges start at $25 dollars giving you a PC download code and all the way up to a grand. M$ad Cat Studios has set their fundraising goal at $10,000, which at the time of writing this they are almost at 50% of their goal. So how much for the limited edition boxed SEGA Genesis version of Coffee Crisis? You will be dropping $55 buckaroos, with a ‘estimated ship date’ of December 2016.