Team Sonic Racing adds Team Vector to the roster – featuring Vector, Blaze and Silver


It looks like Team Chaotix couldn’t afford more than one entry fee! The newest team to be revealed for the upcoming Team Sonic Racing is a surprise to be sure, while we were guessing Team Chaotix were a shoo-in it looks like SEGA is taking a u-turn and are featuring Vector the Crocodile, Blaze the Cat and Silver the Hedgehog in Team Vector. If you want to play with the new racers for yourself, you can check them out at Gamescom 2018 in Cologne, Germany from August 21-25.

After the break, check out a big gallery of screens.

Pre-order Team Sonic Racing today!
PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch

Yakuza 3 PlayStation 4 re-release tops charts in Japan


While a lot of gamers are waiting for Yakuza 3, 4 and 5 to hit PlayStation 4 in the West, the first of these ports has already come out in Japan. I would say its a hit in terms that it topped the Media Create chart this week. Yakuza 3 came out in Japan on August 9th, the charts are accounting for only three days of sales which came into a grand total of 26,047 units. Okami HD came out on the PlayStation 4 the same day as Yakuza 3, that one charted number 11 selling only 14,089 units. A good start for this port.

The real reason these then PlayStation 3 exclusive Yakuza games are heading to PlayStation 4 is mostly due to demand in the west considering a lot of new Yakuza fans never got the chance to try out these titles when they came out. We shall see how they do here in the west, for the full media create sales hit the jump:

[Source: Gematsu]

Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise available to pre-order – new combat trailer released

SEGA has released pre-order details for the upcoming Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, set to release in the Americas and Europe on October 2 for the PlayStation 4. physical pre-orders will include two free deathcry decal stickers that you are encouraged to stick to your console, controller or wherever. Digital pre-orders will include the Destiny Talisman Pack, which add useful abilities to the player. Also included is a theme and avatar set. After the break, check out the new trailer released today which focuses on the game’s combat.

Pre-order Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise

Meet the characters of Shenmue I & II in What is Shenmue? Part 2

SEGA has released the second part in their “What is Shenmue?” video series, this time focusing on the characters of both games and their place in the story. Ryo, Shenhua, Lan Di and many others are highlighted. We suspect Goro Mihashi was not mentioned because SEGA wants to keep him a surprise. Narrated by Ryo’s english voice actor Corey Marshall, the video series is a nice introduction to the series for new players, and a reminder for those who played the Dreamcast originals years ago. You can see the second part above, and the first part can be seen here. Shenmue I & II releases August 21st on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Pre-Order Shenmue I & II:
PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | PC

Valkyria Chronicles 4 demo now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch; digital pre-orders open

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is due out September 25 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam. In anticipation of the game’s release, SEGA dropped a ton of new info about the demo and digital pre-order bonuses. Digital pre-orders are available now for all platforms, and included is a bonus add-on mission ‘A Captainless Squad’ in which a group of Squad E soldiers find themselves on an impromptu reconnaissance operation after the squad’s beloved medic dog, Ragnarok, goes missing. The add-on mission will also be available for $4.99 in late October. Pre-ordering Valkyria Chronicles 4 through the PlayStation Store will get you an exclusive theme and avatar set.

Also available today is the Valkyria Chronicles 4 demo which is free to download from the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store and Nintendo eShop. Players will be treated to the prologue and first two chapters of the game, as well as a bonus mission created just for the demo. Save data will carry over to the full game, and importing data will unlock an exclusive accessory for use in the full game.

Pre-order the Valkyria Chronicles 4 “Memoirs from Battle” Premium Edition
PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch

SEGA Japan reveals Shenmue I & II special collector’s edition for PlayStation 4, with CD soundtrack, poster and box

File this one under: “The Japanese get the coolest stuff!” SEGA of Japan has released a new trailer for the upcoming Shenmue I & II release for PlayStation 4, and in addition to the footage we got the reveal of a special collector’s edition of the game. Like the Japanese Sonic Mania Plus release, this edition will include the game in a handsome box with a special two CD soundtrack. The soundtrack will feature music from both games. Also included will be a two sided poster and, if it is anything like the other regions, a reversible cover. The special edition will retail for ¥5,990, just a little over $50, however sites like Amiami or Amazon Japan should mark it down a little.

While the game releases this month to the Americas and Europe, Japan will have to wait until November 22, 2018. You can pre-order the game now at Amiami for ¥5,300 and at Amazon Japan for ¥6,469, which includes bonus digital smart device wallpaper downloads.

Shining Resonance Refrain Review – AKA Tales of Resonance (PS4, Nintendo Switch)

It’s hard to believe that Shining Resonance Refrain is the first Shining series game to come outside of Japan in over a decade. While the franchise use to be a stable of SEGA back in the 90s, it seemed that us Westerns have been kept in the dark on the recent releases, until now. Shining Resonance Refrain is a definitive release of the PlayStation 3 exclusive Shining Resonance. So was the wait for the return of the Shining series worth it?

Valkyria Chronicles 4 English prologue trailer released and localization interview

SEGA really seems to be taking localization more seriously these last few years. First we got a new prologue trailer in English for Valkyria Chronicles 4 and not only that we also got a interview with SEGA Associate Localization and lead for Valkyria Chronicles 4 Andrew Davis. He went on to reveal details including that English voice over work took 10 weeks, talked about matching characterization, and the fact that Ragnarok the dog has the same voice for both Japan and the West:

No, Ragnarok has the same voice actor for both English and Japanese. Funny story – we did actually record an English track for Ragnarok, but the feedback from our Japanese team was that even with additional post-processing, he sounded too much like a small dog – Ragnarok is more of a medium-sized dog. The English actor’s growls were really well-received, but the barks weren’t quite there, so we stuck with the Japanese actor. It’s unfortunate, it would have been my big break in a voice acting role…

You can check out the full interview over at the PlayStation.Blog, lots of cool tidbits of information. Make sure to pick up Valkyria Chronicles 4 comes out September 25 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC! Here is a sample of the 100-page art book that will come with the Memoirs from Battle premium edition!

SEGA Japan contest giving away Sonic Mania art by Ken Sugimori of Pokemon fame


SEGA Japan’s Sonic Channel is holding a pretty awesome contest giving away original artwork by Ken Sugimori (known for Pokemon, art director at Game Freak). According to SEGA Japan’s tweet it will be given to someone on twitter and they did link to this write-up with Ken Sugimori giving his impressions on Sonic Mania and its features. I do love the ending where he asks SEGA to do a ‘Space Harrier Mania‘, ‘Phantasy Star Mania’ and ‘Altered Beast Mania’. Hey, I wouldn’t complain if SEGA had a Retro line of older games coming back like Sonic Mania.

Yakuza 3 PlayStation 4 demo hits Asian PSN stores


We already knew that Yakuza 3, 4 and 5 was going to hit the PlayStation 4, with Yakuza 3 coming out August 9th. What I didn’t expect was them to do a demo for the Yakuza 3 release. But it seems SEGA has launched a demo on the Asian PlayStation Store which includes: Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and other Asian countries. The demo hasn’t even hit the Japanese PSN store yet!

If you didn’t already know this Yakuza 3 port will be the definitive experience on console, running at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. As for a Western release, SEGA hasn’t discussed it but don’t be shocked if they do end up announcing it sooner than later.

[Source: Gematsu]

SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Classics’ free VR update for PlayStation 4 out now


If you have been playing the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Classics and wished you could use your PlayStation VR headset, you are now in luck my friend. SEGA has just tweeted that the free PlayStation 4 VR update for the collection is out now.

I went online and saw some streamers try the VR update to see how it worked and it looks pretty cool. Obviously most of the impressive ‘immersive’ VR experience comes from the 3D game room when selecting the games, when you are in-game its just a regular screen (in VR!). You can check out GAMERTAG VR’s Stream of it to see what its like. This is cool, I like free updates. I think SEGA should do this more with their games especially Sonic Team games that never seem to get issues ironed out.

SEGA releases Valkyria Chronicles 4 opening movie

Valkyria Chronicles 4 releases September 25, 2018, and to hold us over SEGA has released the opening movie to the game. You know, that bit that plays when you boot up the game? Check out the video above and in the comments let us know your thoughts on the upcoming sequel.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 will release in the Americas and Europe for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, and will see a “Memoirs from Battle” Premium Edition priced at $99.99. This will include the game for your platform of choice, an exclusive vinyl statue of the “Hafen” Tank, “Claude’s Travel Journal” exclusive 100-Page themed artbook and a pair of DLC adventures featuring Squad 7 characters.

Pre-order the Valkyria Chronicles 4 “Memoirs from Battle” Premium Edition
PlayStation 4 | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch

SDCC Sonic the Hedgehog’s Way Past Cool Panel promises surprise announcements


The IDW comic book team will have a big Sonic the Hedgehog panel at San Diego Comic-Con which is being titled Sonic the Hedgehog’s Way Past Cool Panel. The panel is set to take place on July 19 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Here is the panel description by Comic-Con 2018’s event page:

Sonic The Hedgehog has raced back into comics, bringing old enemies and new friends along for the ride. IDW editors Joe Hughes and David Mariotte, artist Evan Stanley, Sega licensing specialist Michael Cisneros, director of product development Austin Keys, and head of Sonic team Takashi Iizuka discuss comics and upcoming games, make some surprise announcements, and more!

I think its pretty interesting that Takashi Iizuka will be at the event and that they will be discussing upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog games and not only comics. Will the IDW Sonic the Hedgehog game announce a storyline to tie into the upcoming Team Sonic Racing? According to the tags there will also be ‘action figures’ and ‘toys’ at the event. Like always, if you miss the panel you can check back here and we will have a post with all the new announcements! See you on July 19th! What do you think the surprises will be?

[Via: Comic-Con event page]

Sonic Mania Plus Review – Worthy of an Encore (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

When I reviewed 2017’s Sonic Mania, I praised it as being the best 2D Sonic game in decades. Now, a year later, SEGA is releasing a new version of the game dubbed Sonic Mania Plus. This definitive edition answers fan demand for a physical release while adding gameplay tweaks, expanded multiplayer, a new mode and two additional playable characters. Typically a reviewer would take this moment to pose the question: “So does Sonic Mania stand up one year later and are the new additions worthy of a double dip or DLC download?”, but I’ll just let you know right now that the answers are “yes” and “yes”. Sonic Mania Plus is everything that made the original Sonic Mania great, and more.

If you’d like to read our initial review, click here. Everything said there applies here. After the break, read about the new additions and enhancements, as well as the contents of the physical release.