SEGA’s Rieko Kodama being honored with GDCA Pioneer Award


One of our favorite SEGA developers here at SEGAbits, Rieko Kodama, who has worked on SEGA classics like Alex Kidd, Phantasy Star and even the Dreamcast cult classic Skies of Arcadia. She is set to recieve this year’s pioneer award at this year’s Game Developer Awards.

“The Game Developers Choice Awards were conceived as a way to recognize the all-too-often unsung genius and dedication of game developers throughout history, and this year’s award honors a figure who helped pave the way for countless game creators to follow, after decades spent developing some of SEGA’s most indelible classics, Kodama-san could easily rest on her laurels, but instead has dedicated herself to creating games that transcend gender and generations to give us countless hours of joy. This award is a ‘thank you’ to Kodama-san and all creators who work so hard to achieve greatness.” – Katie Stern, general manager of the Game Developers Conference

THe Game Developer Awards ceremony will take place in San Francisco Moscone Center on March 20, 2019 at 6:30 pm.

[Source: Variety]

Idola Phantasy Star Saga launches November 27th in Japan

If you are excited about the upcoming Idola Phantasy Star Saga mobile game on iOS and Android, I have good news for you. You can begin playing it on November 27, 2018 in Japan (or in Japanese, if you know how to download it outside of Japan). As for my opinions on this title, you can read those here.

If you are a Phantasy Star fan hoping for a lot of cute references to some of your favorite past games, you might want to skip out since SEGA already confirmed this entry takes place in a completely different universe from the past games. They are basing the game on a two faction system of Law and/or Chaos. You can look at some of the gameplay in the video above and see if this is the sort of mobile game you want to spend your time on.

So, what do you guys think about Idola Phantasy Star Saga now that its a few days away from launch?

SEGA AGES Phantasy Star releasing west on December 13 for Nintendo Switch

While the SEGA AGES release of Phantasy Star for the Nintendo Switch has been released, we have patiently been waiting for the western release. October came and went and we thought maybe November would see the release. But no, it appears we will have to wait until mid-December, December 13th to be exact, for the localized release. Via a SEGA and ATLUS European PR employee, we learned of the date and the £5.99 price point.

Past SEGA AGES releases sold at this price, so it is probable that the US and the rest of Europe will see price points of $7.99 and €7,99 respectively.

SEGA AGES Phantasy Star gets new release date for October 31st


Previously, SEGA AGES Phantasy Star was planned for a tentative September release date, but was quietly delayed as the SEGA AGES versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Force IV filled in that month instead. However, now we have official confirmation as to when SEGA AGES Phantasy Star will be released, and it’s much more sooner than expected. The game is currently planned for this Halloween, October 31th 2018. An odd and sudden choice, but this is likely a side effect of these SEGA AGES delays causing the original scheduling to be messed up.

The game is slated for a ¥925 (roughly $8.50) pricing, and like the other SEGA AGES titles will come with an assortment of bonus features. In addition to the original game, players will have access to other features such as the ability to listen to both the PSG and FM sounds, an optional mapping system for dungeons, an “easy” mode for novices, and a special encyclopedia called the “Monster-Codex” that allows you to view the sprites, stats, and descriptions of different enemies.

[Source: Game Watch]

SEGA Ages Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Force IV on Nintendo Switch delayed into September

If you guys didn’t know the SEGA Ages Nintendo Switch versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Blade IV was suppose to come out sometime this month, but SEGA has now confirmed that they have been delayed into September. According to them it was because they wanted to further enhance the quality of the titles. But at the same time, SEGA also plans to release the SEGA Ages version of Phantasy Star in September. So, it seems that SEGA will be releasing three whole SEGA Ages releases in the month of September?

I have also been hearing rumors that SEGA Japan have been saying these will be released ‘world wide’, which is also a bit weird considering SEGA West hasn’t said a peep about them. Could these be the most poorly planned re-releases of all time? I mean, I’m sure they will be quality releases, but whoever is managing this whole thing needs to learn to nail release dates, they are still giving is a vague month without actual dates!

SEGA Ages Phantasy Star hits Nintendo Switch in Japan on September 2018

SEGA has now provided the details for their upcoming SEGA Ages Phantasy Star release on the Nintendo Switch. They have confirmed that the game is set to launch in Japan in September 2018, so next month and will cost ¥925 ($8 USD).

Some of the new features for this release include:

  • Accessibility options.
  • Alter difficulty making the game easier
  • Original hiragana text option (from the Phantasy Star Collection‘s SEGA Saturn version) is included.
  • FM Sound Unit Music player with 19 tracks.
  • Auto-mapping option when entering dungeons.
  • Monster Codex: once you fight a monster you will keep a record of it including its name, sprite and other useful information.
  • Pause menu lets you see items, abilities, equipment and other options.

Hit the jump to see screenshots of the new features in the upcoming game.

What do you think should be the future of the Phantasy Star franchise?


These past few weeks we have been talking quite a bit about Idola Phantasy Star on SEGAbits. The game seems to been met with a lot of negativity and it isn’t just from a whiny SEGA fan like yours truly. I think one of the more shocking things about the mobile game is that the director basically came out and said that Idola Phantasy Star Saga will be the future of the franchise and they want it to replace Phantasy Star Online 2. That means that they want Idola Phantasy Star Saga to be out for at least half a decade, considering that Phantasy Star Online 2 came out way back in 2012. I’ve seen a lot of people reach out to us on Twitter and tell us how they wished SEGA handled the Phantasy Star brand.


But here at SEGAbits want to hear from YOU, the reader. How do you wish SEGA would handle the Phantasy Star brand moving forward?

Why I think Idola Phantasy Star Saga looks terrible

The other day SEGA announced their new mobile game Idola Phantasy Star Saga, in which I did a write up on the news where I said the game looked terrible. It seemed some people didn’t like the idea of me having a ‘hot take’ on a newly released trailer. Some people thought I was judging the game too early, but the issue is I’m not. When I said that Idola Phantasy Star Saga looked terrible, I meant that what we have seen so far has looked terrible. Of course, you don’t have to agree with my opinion and I’m always open to listening to people that disagree, but this is the long version of why I think Idola Phantasy Star Saga looks terrible.

But let’s get into it:

What franchise can SEGA resurrect that would excite you?

Its hard being SEGA, the company has a long history of delivering cult classic games and continuously moving on. This has lead to the company always being ‘ahead of its time’ due to them giving their developers freedom and always moving forward, but it also makes older fans miss key franchisees. For example there is a huge fanbase for franchises like Jet Set Radio, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Shining Force (original, not whatever we have now), Shinobi, OutRun, Phantasy Star, Virtua Fighter, and honestly the list can go on forever.

But the question here is, what franchise would you love to see SEGA resurrect?

We all have different tastes, so it should be interesting to read what you guys want. Personally, I have a hard time picking one franchise. Its like trying to pick which one of your kids you like best. Can I want them all? I guess if you forced me into a corner it would be cool to have a legit follow-up to OutRun 2. But what about you?

SEGA FES 2018: SEGA AGES coming to the Nintendo Switch this summer!

Whilst we’re reporting this one last, SEGA started off SEGA FES by announcing SEGA AGES for the Nintendo Switch and to be released this summer in Japan. Details are still being updated as this is a relatively new story but we can see from the image shared that SEGA will be bringing Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star and for the frst time Thunder Force IV back too modern consoles.

SEGA Talk Podcast #08: Phantasy Star (1987)

Have your interplanetary passports at the ready as we venture to the Algol Solar System to discuss all things Phantasy Star on the SEGA Talk Podcast. Hosts George and Barry have a sit down discussion talking our history with the original game in the long running Phantasy Star franchise, the innovative gameplay, the music (both PSG and FM versions) and the impact the game made on the industry. Barry also dusts off some classic magazines to see what people were saying about the game at the time. So grab a burger and cola and enjoy the show!

In the comments below, share your memories of the original Phantasy Star!

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If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send them directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

Cook & Becker releases official licensed art prints for Phantasy Star, Shinobi, Streets of Rage, and more

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If you have ever wanted to put some cute retro SEGA art on your wall and show people that you too are a retro gaming art snob, you can now pick up prints over at Cook & Becker. These prints are officially licensed by SEGA and being sold by the Dutch art dealer for $99 dollars unframed.

Check out the pieces here:

More should be coming out this summer, if you wallet wasn’t empty already. My favorite prints are Phantasy Star, Golden Axe and Shinobi (yes, in that order). Which are your favorites?

Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: Fall 1988’s Team SEGA Newsletter previews Phantasy Star

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Today marks a big day for fans of Phantasy Star, as it’s the 27th anniversary of the original game and the franchise as well. On December 20th, 1987, SEGA’s now iconic RPG released to the Sega Mark III. Following the original’s release, three numeric sequels released to the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis and further installments released to numerous other platforms. The series has come a long way since 1987, and it’s amazing that it continues to this day with the releases of Phantasy Star Online 2 and Phantasy Star Nova. But rather than focusing on the newest installments, and grumbling about how we still can’t play them in the West, let’s take a trip back to the Fall of 1988 when SEGA’s The Team SEGA Newsletter previewed Phantasy Star for the Master System.

SEGA Officially Announces US & EU Release of Phantasy Star Online 2 in 2013

I’m very happy to report that Sega has finally announced Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released in Europe and North America. I’m sure we all suspected it was only a matter of time but it’s always nice to know it’s official. 2013 though? That seems like a long, long way away. Then again I’ve waited over a decade for a true sequal to PSO I suppose I can wait another six months.

I only hope that by the time it releases in the west it has all of the updates the Japanese version will have received in the meantime and all available from the start. I really hope there isn’t a repeat of Phantasy Star Universe where the Japanese were always far ahead when it came to updates.

Hit the jump for the press release.