Sonic Generations and Panzer Dragoon Orta to join Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program


Xbox One continues to expand its Xbox and Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles, this month they will add Sonic Generations and Panzer Dragoon Orta (best looking Xbox title)! Both are great games and glad they get to be played on new consoles.

Sonic Generations is out today and even playable in 4K if you have one of those fancy Xbox One Xs. As for Panzer Dragoon Orta, that one launches on April 17th! There are still plenty of great SEGA Xbox and Xbox 360 games that need to hit the Xbox One, including Jet Set Radio Future!

[Via: Sega Driven]

The SEGA Five: SEGA Games That Would Thrive in Virtual Reality

SEGAVRWhile not every single gamer is sold on Virtual Reality just yet, mostly due to the fact that it is rather expensive to even get a headset and compatible computer, the people that have experienced it all think its the future of gaming. While this is still open to debate, what I do know is that Virtual Reality has opened the door for older types of genres that SEGA pioneered in their long history to thrive. So today on The SEGA Five we will be discussing five genres that SEGA can revive with the help of Virtual Reality.

Before we get started I just want to say that these ideas are to make the games Virtual Reality compatible and not exclusive. I think this would mean that more gamers will be able to enjoy the games, VR headset or not.  The number of gamers with Virtual Reality headsets is too low to spend money on exclusives right now. So let’s get to it.

SEGA News Bits: SEGA says new Panzer Dragoon Won’t Sell

We did a news post on how Phantasy Star Online 2 producer Satoshi Sakai if they where every going to do a game with a Dragon protagonist like Panzer Dragoon, according to Satoshi Sakai SEGA isn’t in the position to have a game like that sell. So we sat down and discussed if there was a market for a game like Panzer Dragoon and if SEGA of today could manage to make the game sell.

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SEGA says they’re in a ‘difficult place for something like’ a new Panzer Dragoon to sell

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SEGA’s Panzer Dragoon is one of those rail shooters with fantastic art style that blew lots of fans’ imaginations and many consider the franchise as being one of the most underrated SEGA games of all time. The Dengeki Playstation magazine decided to ask some SEGA developers some direct questions about the future of some SEGA entries, one being Panzer Dragoon. Satoshi Sakai (Producer Phantasy Star Online 2) was asked if the company would ever make a new Panzer Dragoon type game and he answered:

I would like to make it, but I’m sorry to say we’re in a difficult place for something like that to sell.

The other person that was asked a few questions for the magazine was Toshihiro Nagoshi (Daytona USA, Super Monkey Ball, Yakuza series) who was asked about making a new IP which he said is being considered, even though his team was making it seem like Yakuza franchise can’t last forever a few months ago.

As for Panzer Dragoon not ‘selling enough’ for a new entry, its hard to tell. There hasn’t been a new entry since 2002’s Panzer Dragoon Orta which sold 122,170 units in America alone. Its not a bad number (for being a early Xbox game) and its sad that SEGA never capitalized on it.

[Source: Gematsu]

Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: Xbox Nation interviews Smilebit’s Panzer Dragoon Orta artists

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As evidenced last month, the unofficial Microsoft Xbox magazine Xbox Nation (XBN) really liked Smilebit. Their premiere issue featured Smilebit’s Jet Set Radio Future, which is surprising given Halo‘s dominance at the time, and their third issue featured a Panzer Dragoon Orta cover and an eight page preview and interview with former Team Andromeda staff. As the magazine continued, XBN kept up on various SEGA and Smilebit titles. In the magazine’s sixth issue they returned to Japan for another Smilebit interview, this time with Panzer Dragoon Orta artists Takashi Iwade and Kentaro Yoshida. Let’s crack open this issue to see what these legends had to say!

Developer Retrospective: The wonderfully unique games of SEGA’s Smilebit

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SEGA’s development team Smilebit existed in the public eye for only four short years, yet in that time they managed to create one of the company’s most unique franchises, revived a classic Saturn franchise, contributed to a long running series of popular Japanese sports titles, and managed to create a few new franchises that have gone on to become true hidden gems. It’s fitting that we follow Team Andromeda Month with Smilebit, as Smilebit was actually the bringing together of the SEGA AM6’s Team Aquila, Team Andromeda, and G9 Team (though some staff ended up moving to United Game Artists). This mix of talent lead to Smilebit being primarily tasked with the Let’s Make series of sports titles, franchises that were largely confined to Japan. Utilizing former Team Andromeda staff, the team spearheaded the latest (and thus far last) Panzer Dragoon game. But what really made Smilebit unique were their new franchises including the Jet Set Radio games, Gunvalkyrie, and Hundred Swords.

All month long we’ll be celebrating Smilebit’s eclectic mix of games, celebrating the classics, the lesser known titles, and the ones that never left Japan. Ready to look back? Let’s go!

My Most Memorable Panzer Dragoon Moments

 

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Image credits: Will of the Ancients

As one of my favorite video game franchises, Panzer Dragoon contains many memorable experiences for me. From my first time flying through the sunken ruins in the original to my final battle in Saga, this series will always hold a unique place in my collection of gaming experiences.

With Team Andromeda Month winding down, I wanted to share some of these experiences. In the interest of keeping things interesting, since most Panzer games tend to end on a high note, I won’t be talking much about final stages or boss battles. I will also be spreading them across all of the games in the franchise in order to avoid favoring any one game too much over the others, as they are all worth talking about. Keep in mind this is a personal list, so feel free to chime in with your own top five moments in the comments!

The Future of Panzer Dragoon

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It’s hard to believe Panzer Dragoon Orta is more than 12 years old. Looking back, Orta has aged incredibly well. Its visuals are still gorgeous and its gameplay still feels just as smooth and polished as it did in 2003. In an age where all sorts of obscure games are seeing digital re-releases and all sorts of franchises and genres are finding new life in the realm of digital, I think it’s a missed opportunity that Panzer Dragoon hasn’t received any sort of new release while digital gaming has been booming.

So today I thought I’d write up an article exploring the many ways Panzer Dragoon could (and should) fit into SEGA’s renewed focus on digital and mobile gaming.

Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: Xbox Nation’s “Chasing the Dragon”, an inside look at Panzer Dragoon Orta

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When SEGA announced that they were discontinuing the Dreamcast in 2001, like many SEGA fans I was in a daze. What competitor console would I buy to continue to enjoy SEGA games? How could I keep up on SEGA news with the cancellation of the fantastic Official SEGA Dreamcast Magazine? With the knowledge that certain internal development teams would be shifting focus to specific consoles, fans had to decide if they were to become a Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo owner (or all three if you were one of those spoiled kids). As a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog and Jet Set Radio, the decision was clear. I was to become an Xbox owner. SEGA told fans that Sonic would be multi-platform, despite Sonic Team’s Nintendo leanings, and that Smilebit would be releasing games to the Xbox. These were deciding factors for sure, but what really tipped me over the edge into pledging allegiance to the Xbox was Xbox Nation, the independent Xbox magazine.

Ryuta Ueda leaves SEGA after 19 years of service

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Ryuta Ueda leaves SEGA after 19 years of service. While at SEGA he contributed to some masterpieces including being the chief graphic designer for Jet Set Radio, enemy art designer for Panzer Dragoon Orta and  he also worked on the Yakuza series.

Ryuta Ueda shared the news via his Twitter account this morning and as you know, he is going to be missed; the art design behind the Jet Set Radio series was totally ‘Next Level’.

EDIT: According to Hideki Naganuma, Ueda left SEGA on March 31st.

So, what is your favorite game that Ryuta Ueda worked on? 

SEGA Tunes: Panzer Dragoon Orta’s Eternal Glacies

The goal of any good video game soundtrack is to compliment the atmosphere and improve the immersion. As far as I’m concerned, few soundtracks accomplish this better then Panzer Dragoon Orta’s. Given that it’s Christmas time, it seems only fitting that we feature a track from a snow level, Orta’s lonely, beautiful Eternal Glacies. Much like the level itself, the track is beautiful, subdued and majestic.

SEGA Tunes Anniversary: Phantasy Star Online 2

A few months ago, someone suggested to me that I use Tuesday Tunes to introduce people to the more obscure works of SEGA’s music library. I was told that my choices were often too predictable, and that I was focusing on works people were already familiar with. That person was right. Since it started in its new form a year ago, Tuesday Tunes has spent much of its time focusing on newer games and games that SEGA fans are more familiar with. Though many of the games that person suggest I feature were games I had either already featured or were games I am currently saving for future themed months I’d like to do, the criticism had convinced me to two things: feature more obscure tracks from a wider variety of games and other SEGA related media, and to also think about just what Tuesday Tunes was supposed to be about. You saw the results of the former last week. As for the latter, well, I came to that decision this week as I was reflecting on a year of Tuesday Tunes for the purpose of this article.

Swingin’ Report Show #30: SEGA – Ten Years of First-Rate Third-Party Games

This week on the Swingin’ Report Show we celebrate SEGA’s 10 year anniversary as a third-party publisher. George, Barry the Nomad, Nuckles87, and Shigs discuss great third-party SEGA titles like Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon Orta and even Outrun 2. But don’t worry we also discuss stinkers like Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 06 and Virtua Quest. Sit back and get a large drink, this is going to be a long one.

[powerpress url=”http://segabits.com/wp-content/uploads/SwinginReportShow30.mp3″]
[Download] [Archive] [RSS] [iTunes]

 

Petition: Asking SEGA for remastered versions of the Panzer Dragoon games

The guys over at The Will of the Ancients have posted up a very good petition, one that asks SEGA to remaster the past Panzer Dragoon games for current generation consoles. Not to mention the recent passing of artist Jean Giraud, now is the perfect time for SEGA to bring these classics back. You want them, I want them. Sign the petition below!

http://www.panzerdragoonrevival.com/

Spread the above link, everywhere. Also follow The Will of the Ancients on twitter.

SEGA Tunes: Anu Orta Veniya from Panzer Dragoon Orta

I love Panzer Dragoon. Panzer Dragoon Orta though? My favorite game of all time. Rail shooting gameplay honed to perfection. Graphics that to this day stand the test of time. Unique and varied locations ranging from epic air battles to lonely snow covered landscapes. Finally, its soundtrack never, ever misses a beat. I fell in love with Anu Orta Veniya the moment the credits began to roll after one of the most surprising and heart breaking endings I had seen in a video game at the time. Its amazing orchestration and beautiful vocals perfectly ended the most impressive gaming experience of my life.

An amazing end to an amazing series. Another song that stuck in my head was “Gigantic Fleet”. As usual, it’s after the break!