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.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 coming to PC on May 9th, free Clan Creator Bundle DLC for pre-purchasing.

After the ESRB leaking it’s rating and SEGA themselves teasing it on Steam, SEGA has officially revealed that Yakuza Kiwami 2 will arrive on PC in May 9th, for the asking price of $29.99. The game is available for pre-purchase on it’s Steam page, with the promise of unlocked framerates, 4K support, customizable controls, and extensive graphics options. In addition, for those that pre-order Yakuza Kiwami 2, they will receive the Clan Creator Bundle for free, which contains exclusive weapons, outfits, items, and rare Leader Cards.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 on PC is also notable for technically having a Virtual-On game appear on PC for the first time, and also having the new “Dragon Engine” introduced in Yakuza 6 be utilized on PC for the first time. So if you have the spare money, join in on one of the finest games in the Yakuza series this May.

Pre-purchase on Steam

SEGA teases Yakuza Kiwami 2 PC release

Last month we shared the news that the ESRB had rated Yakuza Kiwami 2 for PC, and now it seems SEGA is ramping up their marketing for a reveal of the release. The official SEGA Steam account has updated their profile picture to Goro Majima’s eyepatch, which is right in line with past PC reveals by the company. As discussed on SEGA News Bits Extra, we think Yakuza Kiwami 2 coming to PC before Yakuza 6 is a wise move as the prequel Yakuza 0 and the first Yakuza Kiwami have previously released to PC. With the next chapter in the story soon to be released on the platform, it sets SEGA up nicely for a release of Yakuza 3-5 for PlayStation 4 and PC in the west, followed by Yakuza 6.

We’ll share more as we hear it, but expect Yakuza Kiwami 2 for PC news very very soon.

ESRB rates Yakuza: Kiwami 2 for PC release

It seems that the ESRB is good at two things: Putting logos in front of boxes and leaking games early. Good for us because now we know Yakuza: Kiwami 2 will be coming to PC very soon considering its already been rated by the ESRB.

It is sort of weird that there hasn’t been something on Yakuza 6, since that game came out first on PlayStation 4 then it was Yakuza: Kiwami 2. Plus both these games run on the new ‘Dragon Engine’. Let’s hope its not a Epic Game Store exclusive. Should be interesting. Hit the jump for ESRB’s description:

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!

Shenmue 3 pre-order page up on Amazon


Its crazy that Shenmue II released on September 6, 2001 for the SEGA Dreamcast. Ever since then, fans have been begging SEGA for a 3rd entry and now, almost 20 years later we have an Amazon pre-order page. I used to tell people Shenmue III would never happen and now I get to eat crow.

The only thing I would complain about is that Deep Silver and YSNet are going to charge full price for a game that was basically kickstarted by fans? I’m OK with them charging what they want, but personally think it should have launched at a reasonable price of $39.99.

Shenmue III latest trailer finally shows off some gameplay and fully voiced cutscenes

Shenmue III released the latest trailer that debuted at MAGIC 2019 event. The trailer finally shows off fully voice acted cutscenes, mocapped faces and a tiny bit of the combat gameplay. I have to say, the way this trailer was directed was very close to the originals but I’m still not sold on the face models they are using for this game. The trailer also gives us a very small glimpse at the new fighting mechanics, they look pretty engaging in the trailer and just hope its as engaging when your actually playing.

Outside of that its a lot of mystery still on how Shenmue III‘s open world will work, how the mini-games will play like and a lot more. I guess it should be a interesting few months considering that Shenmue III launches on August 27, 2019. Whats your thoughts on the new Shenmue III trailer?

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]

Microsoft adds Alien: Isolation to Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft is beefing up their Xbox Game Pass, which is being billed online as a Netflix of games. Which is true, you pay the low monthly fee and have access to a ton of games including Gears of War 4, Forza series and even the newly released Crackdown 3. They are also working on getting older games released on the Xbox Game Pass, this latest update brings Alien: Isolation on the platform.

It should be interesting to see if Xbox Game Pass works out for Microsoft, if you have it and haven’t played Alien: Isolation; get on it!

Shenmue III shows off new Lan Di model


YS Net has updated us on Twitter, revealing the brand new model for Lan Di. We got just the screenshot above. It was also revealed that we will be getting a brand new trailer at MAGIC 2019 in Moncao on March 9th.

If you guys didn’t know, Shenmue III is due to release on PlayStation 4 and PC on August 27th. Yeah, not that long away and we still haven’t seen the game running at close to retail level. I guess we shall see what the new Shenmue III trailer brings…

New Yakuza 0 PC patch removes Denuvo DRM and adds other fixes

SEGA has just released a new (beta) patch for Yakuza 0, this patch removes the controversial Denuvo DRM. The beta patch was posted by SEGA over on the Steam forums where he goes more into on what the patch fixes. Of course this is a beta patch, it might still have bugs, so if you are a regular user you might want to wait for SEGA and other users to test how it runs.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Fix shaders and shadows on skin tone
  • Improved Ultrawide display support
  • Target monitor output for multi monitor setups

It seems that the biggest update will be the removal of Denuvo, which wasn’t confirmed by SEGA’s developers but by a user. It is nice to see SEGA continue to support their PC games with consistent updates. I just wish SEGA would do this more for console games, especially the Sonic the Hedgehog titles which always seem to ship with a lot of issues.