SEGA News Bits: Dreamcast Games Are Coming Back Online – Its Still Thinking?

Our beloved SEGA Dreamcast was known to be the first console to promote online gaming as a feature thanks to having a modem packed into every console. We got a pretty decent array of online playable games, but sadly after SEGA pulled the life support from the Dreamcast, these beloved games went offline. But now they are being resurrected and on this episode of the SEGA News Bits we look at all the Dreamcast games playable online, Dreamcast games that might come back soon and talk about some of the ones that are still offline. Let us know what online Dreamcast games you played back in the day and which ones you wish where back online in the comments below!

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Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works teases never before seen production materials from Jet Set Radio, Shenmue and more

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Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works, an upcoming book from Read-Only Memory, is the followup to SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. Successfully backed on Kickstarter late last year, Read-Only Memory sent a new years update to backers and boy is it an exciting one! Read-Only Memory received a large amount of production materials from SEGA of Japan, including several never-before-seen pieces from popular Dreamcast games. Included in the haul are:

  • Game mechanic sketches, environment concepts and high end renderings for Sonic Adventure
  • The complete design document for Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio, including some amazing graffiti artwork concepts
  • A very early proof of concept video for Space Channel 5
  • Character studies and production artwork for Phantasy Star Online
  • Storyboards, character designs and environment artworks for Shenmue

Read-Only Memory will spend the coming weeks sorting through all the materials and identifying pieces to include in the book, with the final cut of the book to be laid out in a few months. Also revealed is that photoshoots for the Hardware Showcase chapter of the book will be taking place in the next few weeks, featuring everything from consoles to the fishing controller to the Samba de Amigo maracas. If you’re the proud owner of a Dreamcast hardware rarity you think should make the final cut, please do drop Read-Only Memory a line!

We here at SEGAbits can’t wait to get our hands on the book, and in the meantime we’re working to get Darren Wall of Read-Only Memory back for another Swingin’ Report Show podcast.

SEGA survey results reveal what franchise fans want to see return

Sonic___SEGA_All-Stars_Racing-PCArtwork4539Sonic_Racing_GroupHave you been looking forward to the SEGA survey results for the brand Japanese consumers want to see revived? If you guys didn’t know about the SEGA survey, we did a post about it earlier this week. SEGA has revealed not only what franchise fans want to see revived, but also what brand their most invested in and their favorite characters. Get ready for some unexpected results!

So hit the jump to see all the answers, including how many people voted for each brand, after the jump.

[Via: NeoGAF]

Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary with 25 great underrated moments

sonic 25 headerSEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 25 today, and while we’ve celebrated franchise milestone years in the past, there is something really special about this one. A quarter of a century is a long time, and it is a testament to SEGA’s perseverance and the devotion of the Sonic fanbase that the franchise is still going strong. Sonic Lost World and the Sonic Boom franchise – particularly the games – are often pinpointed as the franchise’s recent weak points and signs that the franchise as a whole needs to be put down or at the very least take a long break. While I am not here to debate the merits of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom, I will say that to end a series or take a long break because of either is both incredibly shortsighted and far too extreme a reaction. I would also argue that Sonic is about much more than just the main series games, as fans like to label the major titles, and that there has always been great Sonic things happening even during the franchise’s darkest years.

In celebration of 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, join me in looking back year-by-year as I shine the light on great moments in Sonic history that more people need to be talking about.

SEGA Dreamcast Nintendo 3DS theme brings the nostalgia with the Phantasy Star Online lobby theme

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If you haven’t been following us on the social networks, earlier this week we shared that more SEGA themes are heading to the Nintendo 3DS for those in the west. Yesterday, Americans received a SEGA Dreamcast theme for $1.99 while today Europeans receive Dreamcast, Saturn and Hi-Tech (arcade) themes. Saturn and Hi-Tech had already released in America some time ago, so no surprises there, but what was surprising was that aside from the expected regional tweaks to the Dreamcast theme (blue swirl in Europe, different packaging designs on the top screen) there was also another change to the original Japanese Dreamcast 3DS theme. While the Japanese theme had some happy background music that I can’t quite place from the Dream Passport internet application, the western theme has the incredibly iconic Phantasy Star Online lobby music.

It may sound like I’m fanboying out over this, and I probably am, but man does the inclusion of that music make this theme a must own for any Dreamcast owner who has fond memories of 2am PSO play sessions. Not only did this music ensure that you have properly connected your console to the internet, but it was also the beginning of the adventure. Picture chat with your friends, pretend to be a Japanese girl, trade some guild cards, form a team, and hit the forest of Ragol for some rare blue Al Rappys. After the break, check out the theme in action and if you like it download it yourself. It’s well worth it.

Fan launches demo for his Phantasy Star Online Remaster project

If you had a Dreamcast growing up, you probably had a copy of Phantasy Star Online somewhere. Even you, the guy that bought it because it had an exclusive demo of Sonic Adventure 2 in the case. If you spent hundreds of hours playing the game online, then you will be happy to know that Youtube/Reddit user Glader has been working on a remake project for the original Phantasy Star Online game.

You can click here to check out the demo he has launched, above video talks about the project. It seems that the project is very early in development, right now its just a proof of concept showing off the core features. According to the video, it is being developed on Unity 5. Very interesting project, what do you guys think?

[Via Nichegamer]

Swingin’ Report Show #71: Phantasy Star Online with Susan Arendt & James Mielke

Dreamcast Month comes to an end at SEGAbits with a special episode of the Swingin’ Report Show podcast in which we celebrate one of the most memorable Dreamcast games – Phantasy Star Online.

Joining Barry and George on this episode are two gaming industry greats! Taking a telepipe to the Pioneer 2 is Susan Arendt – Managing Editor of Joystiq.com, former Editor-In-Chief at The Escapist, and former contributor to GameShark, Shojo Beat Magazine, and Wired. And back from busting a blue rappy it’s James Mielke – Founder of BitSummit, former Editor-In-Chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly and 1UP.com, and former producer at Q Entertainment and Q-Games.

Join us for a special round table looking back on PSO, from pre-release hype, to launch, and memories of the many versions and episodic sequels. As a bonus, James reveals that he has an army of super soldiers and he shares some inside info on where Phantasy Star Online 2 is at in English translation and what may be holding up a Western release.

[Download] [RSS] [iTunes] [Archive]

Phantasy Star Online 2 – August Update Trailer

Phantasy Star Online 2 will recieve three updates in August the first update arrives on the first of August, the second on the 8th and the final update sometime during the end of August.

The August 1st update will include the summer lobby (which feautures a rappy riding a surf board!), new enemies and new AC content. Plus some new summer themed clothes and hair styles.

Make sure to check out the trailer the new locations and boss look superb!

SEGA Five: Bein’ bad – SEGA style

Admit it. When a game gives you the option to be bad, you go for it. Unlike the stupid real world, video games have no repercussions. While game designers may not intend for you to do these bad things, or there are in-game penalties, in the end it’s just a game so you can be bad to your heart’s content, hit the reset button and return to playing the game as it was intended. In this week’s Weekly Five, we celebrate Friday the 13th with five SEGA games which allow you to be (you guessed it) bad.

SEGA Tunes: Phantasy Star Online’s “Whole New World”

Welcome to the return of Tuesday Tunes, everyone! Changing focus away from remixes and original music, we’ll be focusing more on SEGA’s own music. Boy does SEGA have some great stuff! We’ll be starting this feature back up with a song that inspired me to write up a few of these and restart the feature: PSO’s “Whole New World”, a song that recently saw a remix in the latest PSO2 video. Now, I love SEGA’s orchestrations, especially from the Dreamcast and early third party period. To me, this music represents some of the most beautiful original orchestrations ever done in gaming. One of the first SEGA songs to ever land on my mix CD was this beauty of a track. Very different from the cheesy rock I was used to hearing from the Sonic Adventure games.

This is one of those songs that I think would be really neat to hear in a real live orchestra. SEGA really needs to do something equivolent to the Zelda tour for their series. Come on SEGA, just have Crush 40 pop in at the end to play Live and Learn after the orchestra plays all your other masterpieces. People will go!

Years of the Dreamcast Part 2: Good Things Never Die



To Read Part 1, go here.

In July, reality finally caught up with me. Something had possessed me to join the SEGA forums. Because I hated being told that my name was already taken, and I figured the Knuckles name must already be taken given he’s such an awesome character, I decided to cut to the chase and just leave the K out of my name. Upon joining the forums, I discovered the Dreamcast had been canned and, being a teenager, I immediately latched on to the first online petition I saw. Those were the days. Keeping a thread ever present at the top of the forum whenever I got home from school or my friend’s house. Arguing with older, wiser, more realistic individuals like the naïve teenager I was, a large part of my Dreamcast experience came from defending it from bashers and supporting a petition that SEGA probably never even saw, let alone cared about.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Media Briefing – Fan Subbed!


[Part 1]

I’m sure any avid PSO fan remembers that not so long ago there was a media briefing in Japan for Phantasy Star Online 2, given by the games producer ‘Dragon Sakai’ (Satoshi Sakai). The problem with Japanese media briefings is that, well, they’re in Japanese, a made up language that nobody really understands, similar to talking in tongues.

Thankfully fans exist and so the fan dub was born and so at long last we can present the entire Media Briefing subbed in English. The briefing was translated by Jeremiah Bourque while Ian R. Justman and Velocity7 who did the audio editing, and subtitling, so give them all a round of applause!

Hit the jump for part 2 and part 3 of the briefing!