SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone releasing on November 28th in Japan

SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone has a release date. You’ll be able to visit the Fantasy Zone once again this coming November 28th in Japan. It will be available on the Nintendo Switch Japanese eShop for ¥999.

SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone is based on the SEGA 3D version on the 3DS, Fantasy Zone Opa-Opa Bros. Like that version of the game, SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone will give you the ability to hoard coins and optionally use them in repeated playthroughs, and brings back the Upa-Upa mode. In Upa-Upa mode, you play as Opa-Opa’s titular brother, as you have every weapon freely available to you, but using these weapons uses up money as ammunition. In addition, players can also potentially fight the bosses from the Master System version under certain conditions, and there’s a new time attack mode which tasks the player to beat the game in the fastest time possible.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone coming soon, more information revealed

Welcome to the Fantasy Zone, as the classic SEGA arcade game Fantasy Zone is coming soon to the SEGA AGES lineup. In this game you take on the role as the winged ship Opa-Opa, as you are tasked with destroying all of the bases and the boss of each stage, armed with a selection of different guns, bombs, and engines/wings you can purchase within shops. Don’t be fooled by the colorful aesthetics though, Fantasy Zone is famous for being surprisingly hard!

SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone is largely based on the SEGA 3D Classic version, officially referred to as Fantasy Zone Opa-Opa Bros. Like that version of the game, players have the option to stock up on coins they’ve accumulated during play sessions and use them the next time they play, and the return of the Upa-Upa mode. In Upa-Upa mode, players have access to every weapon in the game and can freely switch between them on the fly, the catch being that they consume money as an ammo. In addition, if certain conditions are met, players can encounter the bosses from the Master System version of Fantasy Zone, such as the tooth shooting fish boss from Dolimicca and the turtle-like boss from Mockstar. This rounded off by a new Time Attack mode, where players can try to aim for the fastest time at beating the game.

Currently SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone is “coming soon”, with a price tag of ¥999.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Shinobi releasing on October 31st in Japan

SEGA AGES Shinobi finally has a proper release date. For those that live in Japan or have a Japanese account, SEGA AGES Shinobi will release on October 31st on the Japanese Nintendo Switch eShop for ¥999. In addition to the original arcade game, players will have several quality-of-life options available, such as the option to change the difficulty and select any of the stages within the game. It will also come packed with a new SEGA AGES version, which overhauls the game to play more similarly to The Revenge of Shinobi, complete with Joe Musashi now wearing white attire.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Shinobi coming soon, more information revealed


SEGA AGES continues along, now entering the mysterious world of ninja with the SEGA arcade classic Shinobi. In this game, you play as the ninja Joe Musashi, as you’re tasked with rescuing kids held hostage scattered throughout the stage, with an emphasis on jumping between foreground and background. Of course, it won’t be easy, as you must also fight your way through swarms of enemies, armed with your melee attacks, throwing weapons like shurikens, and special attacks that clear out the screen. All tied together by the occasional Bonus Stage, where you have to clear out every ninja with either your shurikens or sword.

SEGA AGES Shinobi adds several new features, as usual with these SEGA AGES releases. For those that want to improve themselves or want to skip stages, both a new stage select and difficulty options are now available. A special border will also be provided that emulates an arcade setting, similar to SEGA AGES Space Harrier. But the biggest addition is the SEGA AGES mode, which causes Joe to dress up in white garments, be fully powered up, and have a life system. For those that have played The Super Shinobi (aka The Revenge of Shinobi), this brand new SEGA AGES mode will be very familiar.

SEGA AGES Shinobi is priced at ¥999 (roughly $9.20), though with no definitive release date yet.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Columns II and Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R releasing on October 17th in western territories

Two more titles from the SEGA AGES series are coming to western territories, which are Columns II and Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R. These two titles are actually relatively significant compared to past SEGA AGES releases, as they’ve previously never got a release in North America and most of Europe, or even that many re-releases in general. Both are scheduled to drop on the eShop on the Nintendo Switch for both North America and Europe on October 17th for $7.99 and equivalent.

Columns II takes the familiar gem dropping premise of the first game, and mixes it up with a new stage based structure. Now players are tasked with trying to clear out specific flashing gems by digging through a premade board, while trying to endure the board gradually being pushed up due to randomly spawning skulls. While Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R is a series of minigames, where up to two players are tasked with clearing over 20 different nutty minigames within 4 rounds. These SEGA AGES releases also include additional features, such as SEGA AGES Columns II giving you the option to disable the skulls and comes with the first Columns game as a bonus, while SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R comes with the Mega Drive version included as a bonus and the ability to play against players with online play.

[Source: Twitter]

TGS 2019: SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R releasing on September 26th in Japan, SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC coming soon


SEGA has revealed several pieces of new information regarding to their SEGA AGES lineup at Tokyo Game Show. The first bit of news is that the previously announced SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R finally has a release date, being slated for a September 26th release in Japan for the Nintendo Switch. This version of Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R coming packed with the original arcade game with all 20 minigames intact, the inclusion of the Mega Drive version that includes additional modes like an RPG mode and a Competition mode, plus online multiplayer.

The second bit of news is that SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC will be the next title in the SEGA AGES series. Thunder Force AC basically being an arcade version of Thunder Force III, with some levels being changed from the original release and naturally having limited continues. However the most notable addition to this version is the option to play as Fire LEO-04 “Rynex”, the ship from Thunder Force IV, complete with all of the same weapons from that game. No definitive release date has been revealed as of this writing.

[Source: SEGA TGS Live Stream]

SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R coming soon, more information revealed

Another SEGA AGES title is coming soon to your Nintendo Switch, this time being the frantic minigame collection Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R. Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R is the second game in the Puzzle & Action series of games, featuring the thieves/detectives Robo and Mobo from Bonanza Bros., this time wearing knight costumes and participating in a stage play. Similar to it’s predecessor Puzzle & Action Tant-R, the player is tasked with beating a series of minigames, for a total of 4 rounds. There are 20 minigames in total, ranging from sharping pencils, hitting baseballs, guiding trains, stacking pots, stabbing dumplings, and more.

SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R includes the arcade version, but also incorporates a “Mega Drive mode” that includes all of the modes included from the Mega Drive version. The most notable addition is the RPG mode, where players are tasked with trying to rescue the princess by collecting the Philosopher’s Stones. In addition, there will also be a Competition Mode and Free Mode. In Competition Mode, up to 4 players participate on a square board in the style of sugoroku (a Japanese board game comparable to backgammon), while in Free Mode up to 4 players compete to see who reaches the specified point threshold first. SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R will also come with online play, allowing players around the globe to participate in the original arcade game.

SEGA AGES Puzzle & Action Ichidant-R is priced at ¥925 (roughly $8.70), though with no definitive release date.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo and Space Harrier releasing on August 22nd in western territories


Two more SEGA AGES titles are coming overseas later this month on August 22nd, Puyo Puyo and Space Harrier! Both titles will be released in both North America and Europe for the pricing of $7.99 and equivalent. As usual with these SEGA AGES titles, both Puyo Puyo and Space Harrier will come with additional features. SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo will come packed with the addition of counter-clockwise rotation and double rotation similar to later games, along with the rare English arcade version and online play. SEGA AGES Space Harrier meanwhile includes the features from the SEGA 3D version, including 16:9 support and Haya-Oh as the final boss, along with a new Komainu Barrier Attack mode where the titular Komainu protect Harrier from everything except enemy fire. This is on top of the usual settings ranging from different picture options to the ability to map your controller buttons.

Puyo Puyo in particular is significant, since this is the first time the original arcade game has been released in western territories since 1992 (or 2003 if you count that weird N-Gage version). Sorry, no mean bean machines this time!

[Source: Official Website, Twitter]

SEGA AGES Columns II releasing on August 8th in Japan


SEGA AGES Columns II The Voyage Through Time has finally got a release date. This game will release on the Nintendo Switch eShop on August 8th, on the Japanese store. As usual it will be priced at
¥925 (roughly $8.70), and will come with an assortment of different features.

For a quick recap, SEGA AGES Columns II will come with the original arcade game, which comes with the two modes Flash Columns and Vs. Columns. Flash Columns tasks you with clearing out a specific flashing gem with the difficulty gradually increasing with each stage, while Vs. Columns allows two players to face off against each other. On top of that, there will be other options available, such as the ability to choose between random graphic changes or a static layout based on the first Columns, a Face-to-Face mode where the 2nd player’s board is flipped 180 degrees for tabletop mode, the option to disable the skulls that force your board to be pushed up when cleared, the first Columns included as a bonus game, and a Jewelry Box section for completionists that has an assortment of bonus unlockables obtainable by playing through the game’s stages.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Columns II coming soon, more details revealed

More SEGA AGES news has cropped up, as this month Columns II The Voyage Through Time is the next game that’s going to be released. Originally released in 1990 for arcades, Columns II features a similar premise to the original Columns, as you are tasked with clearing out gems horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and avoiding the top of the screen. You have two modes, Flash Columns where you’re tasked with clearing a specific flashing gem while avoiding crossing the top, and Vs. Columns which allows two players to fight against each other. The main gimmick is the “time travel”, where each stage changes the graphics to different time periods, such as ancient Greece, prehistoric times, and the far future, hence the subtitle.

SEGA AGES Columns II adds several new features. The first is online play, where up to two players can compete against each other over the internet, along with the leaderboards typical of these SEGA AGES releases. There are also a number of quality of life options available, such as a stage selection that allows you to go up to stage 70, the option to disable the skulls that push up your playing field when cleared, the option to play a “face-to-face mode” where the second player’s field is flipped over to 180 degree, and the option to have the backgrounds and gems either random or default to the Columns I board. Additionally, the first Columns will also be included as a bonus game, serving as a traditional Endless mode. Finally, for completionists out there, there will be a “Jewelry Box” feature that unlocks illustrations of the various characters you see in the SEGA AGES intros, along with a brief description of who they are.

SEGA AGES Columns II is currently slated for a ¥925 (roughly $8.60) price point, but with no definitive release date yet.

[Source: Official Website]

New Aleste game “Aleste Branch” announced, being developed by M2


Those that are a big fans of shmups and SEGA consoles, you might be familiar with the Aleste series by Compile, such as with the Master System version of Aleste or MUSHA on the SEGA Genesis. Well good news, because the developers at M2 are planning on reviving the series, under the title Aleste Branch. Not much has been revealed, but what is confirmed is that similar to past games, you’ll be controlling a female pilot named Eleanor Wiesen, and a teaser of what the game’s space ship will look like. According to Famitsu, the character designs are being handled by artist Eiji Komato.

Though not much information has been revealed, it’s promised that more information will be revealed by September 7th, while the appearance of the full ship will be revealed on July 28th at Wonder Festival 2019.

[Source: M2Famitsu]

SEGA AGES Space Harrier releasing on June 27th in Japan

SEGA of Japan has finally revealed when SEGA AGES Space Harrier will release. The game is slated for a June 27th release date in Japan, for the price of ¥925 (roughly $8.50) on the Nintendo Switch eShop. As a refresher, SEGA AGES Space Harrier will feature most of the content from the 3DS version, including having 16:9 aspect ratio support and the inclusion of the Master System exclusive final boss Haya-Oh. But it will also have new features on top of that, including a new Komainu Barrier Attack mode where Komainu will protect Harrier from most obstacles, a special border meant to emulate the environment of an arcade, and the ability to hold the Joy-Cons sideways to mimic the arcade button layout of the original machine.

On top of SEGA AGES Space Harrier, remember that SEGA AGES Virtua Racing and SEGA AGES Wonder Boy in Monster Land are also planned to release on the same day for international fans, so when you get the chance try to get all three titles!

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Wonder Boy in Monster Land releasing on May 30th in Japan

After SEGA has officially revealed information regarding to the upcoming SEGA AGES Wonder Boy in Monster Land, we finally have an official release date. SEGA AGES Wonder Boy in Monster Land is scheduled for a Japanese release on May 30th, or next Thursday as of this writing. As usual with the SEGA AGES titles, it will be priced at ¥925 (roughly $8.50) on the Japanese Nintendo eShop, and it will contain bonus content such as three separate challenges and options with the wiggle joystick trick, such as the ability to map it to a button or to disable it and challenge leaderboards.

[Source: Official Website]

SEGA AGES Wonder Boy in Monster Land “coming soon”, new information revealed


The Wonder Boy series has had a lot of love lately from multiple developers, such as the remake of Monster World III and the spiritual sequel Monster Boy and The Cursed Kingdom, and the SEGA AGES series will continue that with arguably the most pivotal game in the series, Wonder Boy in Monster Land.

Wonder Boy in Monster Land departs from it’s predecessor by adapting RPG elements, such as currency and item management, which would become the norm for future installments. You play as Bock Lee Temjin (aka “Tom-Tom”), as you are tasked with clearing through 12 levels with their own unique set of items, monsters, and secrets. SEGA AGES Monster Boy in Monster Land adds some additional features, including the ability to exploit the “rattle joystick” trick using a single button, Money Hungry Mode where the “rattle joystick” trick is sealed off and your score is recorded, and several “challenge” modes. These modes include Sphinx Challenge where you’re tasked with killing the Sphinx in the shortest time, Monster Castle Challenge where you have to clear the final dungeon as fast as possible, and Fireball Challenge where you have to play through the game using only the Fireball weapon and can die in a single hit.

SEGA AGES Wonder Boy in Monster Land is slated for a pricing of ¥925 (roughly $8.50), but with no official release date. Curiously, the copyright mentions LAT, a seemingly unknown company unrelated to other companies like the original developers Westone (aka Escape) or developers for the recent Wonder Boy titles like LizardCube or Game Atelier.

[Source: Official Website, Twitter]

M2: Complete Works interview/retrospective by My Life in Gaming, goes into detail over M2’s history

M2 might be a familiar name for SEGA fans out there. Indeed, this modest development studio has worked with SEGA for more than a decade helping to bring their older titles to modern system, from the “Complete Collection” installments in the SEGA AGES 2500 series to the SEGA 3D and SEGA AGES series on Nintendo’s more recent systems. But their history goes far back, from their modest days of porting games such as Gauntlet and Gunstar Heroes back in the 90’s. The YouTube channel My Life in Gaming has recently done an interview/retrospective with key staff members such as M2 CEO Naoki Horii and Chief Programmer Tetsuya Abe to talk about their personal experiences with working at M2, including the enduring relationship between SEGA and M2 and their general philosophy of adding something extra to these re-releases. The video itself is over an hour long, so there’s plenty to digest, complete with English subtitles for convenience.

If you liked the above video, maybe also subscribe to My Life in Gaming if you’re a fan of technical aspects of video games or retrospectives.