Shenmue III update reveals improved graphics and new characters

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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?

SEGA shows an hour of Shining Resonance Refrain English gameplay

Yo, I heard you guys like Japanese games but don’t know Japanese. Relax, SEGA got you covered with this double live stream featuring Yakuza Kiwami (which is out already) and the first look at Shining Resonance Refrain in English! About an hour of the gameplay was shown via SEGA’s official live stream. You can check it out above (1:04:00 into the stream)

We also did a SEGA News Bits discussing the announcement which discusses all the details including the game’s launch day edition, pricing and new platforms. Shining Resonance Refrain will be coming this Summer on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. That’s quite a bit of platforms. If you are picking it up, what platform will you be playing it on?

SEGA News Bits: Let’s Talk Shining Resonance Refrain Coming West

On this episode of the SEGA News Bits we go over all the details surrounding the western release of Shining Resonance Refrain, including the new platforms it was announced for, what is new in this version of the game and some background on the Shining franchise in the West. Tune in and let us know what you think of Shining Resonance Refrain being announced for the West in the comments below.

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Shining Resonance Refrain coming west this summer on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC

In January this was a rumor we shared, and now it’s confirmed! Shining Resonance Refrain is coming west this summer on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC. The game will release as a Draconic Launch Edition featuring a collectible metal slipcase, priced at $49.99 USD / $64.99 CAD. We did a SEGA News Bits video on the initial announcement of the game back in November of last year, noting that the developers considered this a “worldwide product”. It’s great to see that this plan came to fruition, as the Shining series has been MIA in the west for far too long.

Stay tuned to SEGAbits for pre-order information, including an exact release date, and you can visit the official site shiningresonance.com as well. After the break, check out the full press release!

SEGA reports video game division doing well, everything else not so much

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It seems that SEGA is really working hard to turn their console publishing arm around, with recent changes on how they localize games which included announcing three Yakuza games coming to the West. This of course has fans like me very excited and yesterday SEGA-Sammy posted their financial report that ended on December 31st, 2017. It was filled with good and bad news.

Let’s take a look at what SEGA-Sammy had to say about their performance in the last nine months.

SEGA starts teasing Puyo Puyo Tetris for PC release

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The other day we reported that Puyo Puyo Tetris on Nintendo Switch sold almost one million units on the platform alone. Today it seems SEGA Europe is readying for a PC release of the same game, if their teasing is anything to go by. Today a bunch of SEGA game pages updated with an announcement tease, using text symbols to draw out Puyo blobs and Tetris blocks.

Hit the jump below to see SEGA’s teases on various PC game releases and tell us what other games you would enjoy to see on your PC. Huh, SEGA Europe, if you are reading this, get Valkyria Chronicles 4 PC announced already.

Sonic the Hedgehog twitter teases collaboration with Razer for SXSW?

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The Razer and Sonic the Hedgehog social media accounts have been going back and forth lately on twitter, giving each other smiling nods as they collaborate on content. This is usually nothing too new, but today the Sonic the Hedgehog social media account replied with the above image showing Knuckles in Razer gear with the message “By the way… do you guys make keyboards for Echidnas?” 

Usually it will stop there and be thought of as a good cross social platform promotion (considering that today is Hedgehog day), but the Tails Channel twitter account noticed that next to Knuckles was some morse code that translates to ‘SXSW’, making some believe that there could be some crossover promotion between Razer and the Sonic the Hedgehog brand for future products. Especially considering that the SXSW event is going to show ‘the future of Sonic the Hedgehog‘ 

Sonic Mania Original Soundtrack “Selected Edition” hits iTunes

If you have been waiting to get yourself the digital version of the Sonic Mania soundtrack, written by Tee Lopes, you are in luck. The Sonic Mania Original Soundtrack (Selected Edition) has now hit iTunes (USA link here). The soundtrack features 47 tracks, seems that old tracks that would require a royalty fee have been left out. Notice Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone missing. I guess you can let me know in the comments below. The soundtrack is priced at £14.99 or $15.99! The Sonic Mania soundtrack also got a vinyl release by Data Disc, obviously featuring less tracks. No excuses not to promote good video game music.

Above I linked to a interview with had with Tee Lopes regarding his amazing work on the Sonic Mania soundtrack. If you are a fan of his music, give it a listen!

Shenmue 3 gets new screenshots, teases facial expressions

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Shenmue 3 has revealed 3 new screenshots via the MAGIC Monanco conference. One of the screenshots, above, shows off Ryo and Shenhua. If you didn’t notice this is an updated model that includes facial expressions. Personally still think these models are a ways off, the body shape of Ryo particularly is rather strange.

The other two Shenmue 3 screenshots feature two areas that you will be able to explore whenever the full game releases. One is a port with boats and the other looks like a Chinese temple Shopping center*. I might be wrong on that last one, but regardless these environments look impressive. So far Shenmue 3‘s real strength have been its environments. I personally only have issues with the models that are being used thus far. But seeing that every time they show the models, they are changed, maybe they will eventually be fixed. What do you think? Am I nitpicking?

SEGA News Bits: What to expect from SEGA in 2018

On this episode of the SEGA News Bits, we say goodbye to 2017 and start discussing what SEGA has in store for 2018. Join us as we discuss all the major releases from SEGA, SEGA related games not published by SEGA and what surprise announcements we think SEGA has for us next year. So sit back, listen in and let us know what SEGA title you are looking forward to the most in 2018!

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a like so it shows up on more like minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that YouTube algorithm is.

SEGA’s Toshihiro Nagoshi teases unannounced projects for 2018

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The Japanese website 4Gamer has put up an article talking to Japanese video game developers from a wide range of companies on what to expect from them in 2018. It is basically a yearly tradition at this point. Sadly we only got one person interviewed from SEGA and that was Toshihiro Nagoshi, who has many hats at SEGA including Chief Creative Officer. This is what Toshihiro Nagoshi had to say about 2018:

“We still have some unannounced things. We have more surprises, so please look forward to it!”- Toshihiro Nagoshi

Sucks that he didn’t tease what these announcements could be or from what studio within SEGA they are coming from. Toshihiro Nagoshi’s own studio, Yakuza Studios, seems to have laid out its future recently at this year’s TGS with titles like Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Just released earlier this month in Japan), Hokuto ga Gotoku (comes out March 2018), Yakuza Online mobile game, and the barely teased Shin Yakuza title. I doubt these announcements are from the Yakuza Studio, but you never know. There was that financial report that stated SEGA wanted to revive major IPs on their road to 2020. Could we be seeing some of the first hints of this next year? What do you want to see SEGA announce for next year? Let us know in the comments below!

[Via: Siliconera]

Phantasy Star Online 2 shows off Virtual-On in-game crossover content

SEGA and the team behind Phantasy Star Online 2 have revealed that the game will get Virtual-On unlockable items coming this upcoming February. This update is being released to promote the upcoming A Certain Magical Virtual-On crossover game hitting Japan during the same month. The thing is, Virtual-On already had items available in the game, way back in 2014 along with Shining Force Cross Exlesia. Back then it was released to promote the digital only re-release of Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Force. It seems to be a re-release of the DLC, so if you play and missed it back in 2014! This Virtual-On DLC is pay for content…

SEGA also, according to the badly google translated description of the YouTube video, are celebrating 4.5 consecutive login-ins with SEGA ID. If you don’t know, SEGA ID is a service you have to sign up for to play Phantasy Star Online 2. I have also seen it used for some mobile games, so who knows if its just Phantasy Star Online 2 logins or if they’re counting anyone that just randomly logged into their SEGA ID account.

Yes, I know. I want Phantasy Star Online 2 in the west and no its not going to happen. Yes, it sucks. What else can we do about it besides play on the Japanese server?

 

Shenmue 3 introduces new character and new production team

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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 Europe teases that they have “exciting projects coming up”, sharing details in 2018

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SEGA Europe has been teasing new video game projects announcements via twitter the other day. So what could these mysterious projects be? We do have some past news articles that can hint at what they have up their sleeves. For example we reported back in 2015 that The Creative Assembly was working on a “multi-platform AAA blockbuster”, which would mean their return to the console space since they released Alien Isolation back in 2014. We also know that Two Point Studios (ex-Lionhead and Bullfrog) is working with SEGA Europe on a new simulation game, which is set to be announced on January 16th. There’s also that big rumor about the Shenmue HD collection is right around the corner, one of the rumors points at the port being done by UK developer Just Add Water. If that is true, then that would mean that SEGA Europe would probably be involved in handling the project. I also hear that SEGA Europe will be in charge of handling PC ports of upcoming SEGA Japan games, so I can also see them announcing a Valkyria Chronicles 4 port for the West, considering their port of the first game has almost sold a million copies. Of course, this is just my speculation based on past news articles and rumors.

But let me hand the mic over to you, what do you want to see SEGA Europe work on? SEGA Europe has been handling most of the PC stuff, including ports of last generation games like Bayonetta, Vanquish, and even created The Typing of the Dead: Overkill. Is there any other games you want to see them port? Maybe extend their porting program to modern consoles? Sound off in the comments below.