Review: ToeJam and Earl Back in the Groove

Disclaimer: The author of the review is a Kickstarter Backer and received a copy of the PC version through the campaign. A Nintendo Switch review copy was also provided by the via the game’s PR team.

ToeJam and Earl have returned during a time that could not be more appropriate for not only SEGA fanatics but also for the roguelite genre’s recent surge in popularity with ToeJam and Earl Back in the Groove. The game serves as a return of the adventure-like aspect from first game, serving as an all-star tribute to the history of the franchise and provides a strong artful representation of the culture with it’s cast of characters and musical appreciation. Starting as a Kickstarter project in 2015 this allowed the developers to stick closer to the first game without having to bend to publisher direction and create the long awaited follow-up to the original ToeJam and Earl. Despite the long development time, having to shave off a few goals, (Sorry Wii U) and going through two publishers, the game succeeds bringing the first game’s roguelike experience up to date with bigger multiplayer opportunities while struggling with performance issues on consoles.

Puyo Puyo eSports releasing internationally as Puyo Puyo Champions, coming to all major platforms on May 7th

Puyo Puyo eSports is getting a localization, renamed as Puyo Puyo Champions and will be available in western territories on May 7th, effectively confirming a previous rumor about SEGA trademarking “Puyo Puyo Champions” back in November. In addition to the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions previously released in Japan, Puyo Puyo Champions will also get new versions for the Xbox One and Steam, with the console versions all getting digital releases.

For reference, Puyo Puyo Champions is a Puyo Puyo game that caters to a competitive crowd. It trims the fat, providing players with the bare necessities, focusing heavily on the recurring Tsu and Fever rules from past games only and small quality-of-life additions to streamline Puyo matches further. Both offline and online will provide several multiplayer options, such as a new tournament mode and the ranked mode from Puyo Puyo Tetris making a return.

Puyo Puyo eSports to receive a physical release on July 27th in Japan


Puyo Puyo eSports has been available on the digital stores for both the Nintendo Switch and the Playstation 4 since October 25th 2018. But for those that want physical copies instead, SEGA has been nice enough to announce that both the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions will receive a retail release on July 27th for ¥1,990.

The contents are the same as the original digital version. This includes the ability to play with Tsu and Fever rules, along with both offline and online options, such as a tournament mode for offline and the ranking system for online. However, in addition, Puyo Puyo eSports will receive a new update that brings back the Lesson Mode from past Puyo Puyo games. This mode will go into detail over various aspects of how to play Puyo Puyo, ranging from the basics such as rotating to more complex tactics like how to build specific chain types, overall useful for new players. Both the digital release and the upcoming physical release will receive this update in the future.

[Source: Game Watch]

SEGA AGES Virtua Racing releasing on April 25th in Japan


SEGA has dropped the release date of SEGA AGES Virtua Racing. The game is slated for an April 25th release date in Japan, for the asking price of ¥925 (roughly $8.50).

SEGA AGES Virtua Racing is based on the arcade version, with additional enhancements. Players can play one-on-one against another player in online matches, while offline they can play up to 8 people at once with multiple Joy-Cons. Players also have the option to toy with a new replay feature, which allows the player to view recorded races at different angles and can rewind, fast forward, and pause. Overall SEGA AGES Virtua Racing preserves the original arcade experience, even going as far to introduce a “Grand Prix” mode, where players have to endure 20 laps in a single race, strategizing how to use the pit stops efficiently to prevent their tires from wearing out.

[Source: SEGA AGES website]

Joker coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on April 17th, new trailer goes in depth over Joker gameplay

Nintendo has finally dropped information on when Joker will steal your stocks in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, on April 17th (aka tomorrow). In addition, Nintendo has released a new trailer that goes into great extent over how Joker plays, plus other content from the Persona series. Joker by himself primarily uses a mixture of his knife and pistol to rake up damage, giving him solid ranged and close combat capabilities. But his main gimmick is the ability to summon his Persona Arsene by filling up a gauge, which causes his normal attacks to have additional power and his Specials to change completely as long as Arsene is summoned. He has two different costumes, ones based on his Phantom Thief persona, and the other based on his school uniform, and his taunts can summon Morgana.

Along with Joker, he will be accompanied by a new stage called Mementos, based on the location from Persona 5, the stage receiving music tracks throughout the Persona series, and the addition of Spirits from the Persona series being included. Additionally, new Mii costumes based on Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters will be included, along with the return of the Tails and Knuckles Mii costumes from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.

So when you get the chance, try out Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and comment on your first impressions.

Rumor: Best Buy leaks Persona 5 S for Nintendo Switch early?


Its not a secret that Atlus has a game called “Persona 5 S”, they teased it and said we would get more information on April 25th.

But it looked like we didn’t have to wait too long for more information since a Best Buy employee system started listing a ton of unreleased Nintendo Switch games including Persona 5, Metroid Prime Trilogy and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. As you know, none of these titles have been officially announced.

Seeing that Joker is in Smash Bros, don’t be shocked that April 25th is the official reveal of the character along with the announcement with Persona 5 coming to Switch.

[Via: Wario64]

Team Sonic Racing releases new ‘Team Up’ trailer

SEGA Europe has revealed a brand spanking new trailer for Team Sonic Racing, this one being called ‘Team up’, giving you a overview of all the information we’ve been given the last few months including a overview at a bunch of race tracks.

“The race is about to begin! Join Sonic and friends as they speed across vibrant tracks and do whatever it takes to come out in first place. Race online with up to 12 friends, play with friends in your living room with split screen, customize and personalize your car for maximum speed, and work together as a team to unleash your Team Ultimate Boost. Gear Up. Speed Up. Team Racing at Sonic Speed. Team Sonic Racing arrives May 21st on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC!”

I will say that the game has been looking better and better each time they show it, but something about the game still turns me off. Maybe because one of the reasons I liked the All-Stars Racing series was because of all the fan service while this game is playing it more safe. I guess we shall see if it works out for SEGA.

If SEGA had to go console exclusive, which console would you choose?

SEGA used to have their own platform, their own console and ecosystem that a lot of SEGA fans still fondly remember. Since the death of the Dreamcast SEGA fans have been nomads, seeking SEGA software on other platforms and for some its a big investment to play all their favorite SEGA games.

I posed this question to our audience on Twitter and this is the results:


As a joke I added the Google Stadia, but I should have really added the PC as a platform.Quite frankly I still think the PC would have lost to Nintendo. Seems that a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog fans have had fond memories with the franchise on Nintendo hardware that it swayed the results in a predictable manner. I think SEGA fans worry about going exclusive with Nintendo because they aren’t known for pushing hardware like SEGA tries to do. I mean, the new Dragon Engine in Yakuza 6 is gorgeous and is up there with Capcom’s RE Engine and Square-Enix’s Luminous. 

But what is your take? What console would work out best for SEGA in your opinion and why? Let us know in the comments below.

SEGA AGES Virtua Racing slated for Spring 2019 release, multiplayer information revealed


After several months of silence, SEGA has dropped new information regarding to SEGA AGES Virtua Racing in the latest issue of Famitsu. The main bulk of the new information is regarding to the game’s multiplayer. SEGA AGES Virtua Racing will support both local and online multiplayer, the latter notable due to it being the first online-supported multiplayer title in the SEGA AGES line-up that isn’t related to a puzzle game. For online multiplayer, players will be restricted to one vs. one matches, while for local multiplayer people will have the option to play up to 8 players and the option to change the amount of laps between 5 and 20. Local multiplayer will use the “old-school” style of displaying all the racers, using a classic split-screen approach.

In addition, it’s revealed that SEGA AGES Virtua Racing will be slated for a Spring 2019 release date in Japan. However, due to SEGA’s track record of these SEGA AGES titles being delayed, expect a summer release date instead. No other information regarding to a pricing or release dates outside of Japan have been revealed.

[Source: GematsuRyokutya2089]

SEGA posts survey asking fans for feedback on Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakuza, Valkyria Chronicles, Phantasy Star, & more


If you have been like me, sitting around and waiting for SEGA to ask for our opinion on how they’ve been handling the Phantasy Star franchise; then you are in luck! SEGA has tweeted out asking for fans to give them feedback on their on-going and some legacy brands. You can take the survey here.

This survey is also good for the future direction of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, considering it was announced that the next Sonic the Hedgehog game has already begun production.

Next major Sonic the Hedgehog game in development, what direction do you want the franchise to take?


Just the other day at the SXSW Sonic panel Takashi Iizuka confirmed that the next major Sonic Team entry into the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has begun production. Its quite obvious that fans were less than thrilled with Sonic Forces, but I will say that the engine the team created for that title is one of the best thus far, running at a high frame rate with little to no frame drops. I really want to see how they update it for the next title, at the very least.

Now my question here is what direction do you want to see the next major Sonic the Hedgehog title take?
What do you want to see them focus on? In the last few years Sonic Team has been playing it safe having 2D classic Sonic and 3D boost modern Sonic, is this something that the new game should continue? Is it time to add playable friends like the past? Sound off in the comments.

Sonic @ SXSW: Team Sonic Racing’s customization trailer shows a ton of options including custom horns

BEEP, BEEP! Team Sonic Racing is coming through with a new customization trailer showing how far you can customize your favorite characters. Quite frankly I’m very happy we are finally getting to the single player, unlockable content. I really believe that SEGA & Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed was a much better game due to its single player content. While this is only customizable stuff, its nice that have things to unlock and customize.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Team Sonic Racing hits PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC! on May 21, 2019!

Macaulay Culkin joins ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! as Executive Producer

The studio behind ToeJam & Earl: Back to the Groove, HumaNature, posted up a press release revealing that Macaulay Culkin is Executive Producer for the game. This seems to have been a secret that the studio has kept close to their sleeve and using it as they near the final stretch towards release. ToeJam & Earl: Back to the Groove releases on Xbox One, PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch on March 1st!

“I’m honored to be producing the new ToeJam & Earl because it is literally my favorite video game of all time. Plus, Greg Johnson is the tits!” – Macaulay Culkin

You can pick the game up physically via Limited Run Games: PS4 & Switch. Check out the press release by HumaNature studio below:

Team Sonic Racing adds ‘Hidden Volcano’ as new racing track

SEGA has revealed a brand new track for Team Sonic Racing, introducing “Hidden Volcano” race track! Hidden Volcano is a lava zone that is hidden within the Glacier Land area. According to SEGA’s description on their site:

Hidden Volcano is a lava zone course hidden deep within the ice-covered Glacier Land area. This area is distinguished by its lumps of ice created by the scorching hot magma within the iceberg and complicated terrain due to lava rocks. It requires calm judgment and bold technique to conquer its slippery ice roads and varying bumpiness caused by tears in the earth. At the starting line, a lava giant towers above the track and swings its fist downward to block the racers’ path forward.
Check out screenshots of the game below. What do you think of the brand new Hidden Volcano track?
[Source: Siliconera]