Round Table: Should the Yakuza franchise end after Yakuza 6?

RoundTableYakuza6The Yakuza franchise has been the longest running new franchise launched by SEGA since going 3rd party, with the first one being released in Japan back on December 8, 2005. The franchise has received seven main entries, one remake, a bunch of spin-offs, and even a full featured length film. SEGA has made a huge deal about the franchise coming to an end, in the past, but seem to have continued churning out games. Yakuza 6 promises to be the end of Kazuma Kiryu’s story while at the same time SEGA has promised that the franchise would continue after Yakuza 6. On this week’s Round Table we ask should the Yakuza franchise end after Yakuza 6?

Rare Yakuza titles get reprinted – including PlayStation 2 titles

YakuzareprintedDid you want to pick up the first two Yakuza titles on the PlayStation 2, brand new and at a decent price? You are in luck as rare Yakuza titles get reprinted thanks to Amazon seller JADD ENTERTAINMENT. Yakuza 2, before the reprinted offer, was over a hundred bucks used, so having it for $50 dollars brand new is a great deal. I first assumed these were actually ‘newly found stock’, but according to producer at Atlus USA, Sam Mullen, these are ‘reorders’. I would totally pick up Yakuza and Yakuza 2 on the PlayStation 2, those are the rarest titles.

There is also a ebay seller, by the name of vgp_videogameplus that is selling these same titles with free shipping option. If you want to save as much as possible.

Rare Yakuza titles get reprinted, but do you think its worth the price? Thankfully, if you aren’t happy with your copy, Amazon has a good refund policy even on 3rd party sellers. Supplies are limited, so be warned that they can disappear at anytime. What Yakuza title are you picking up? Let us know in the comments below.

PlayStation Essentials Sale slashes prices on Persona games

Persona_4_investigation_team_2Are you a SEGA fan that still hasn’t tried any of the popular Persona series video games? I think now is the time for you to jump on board since Sony has put three entries on sale! All prices are USD. Persona is like Final Fantasy as you don’t need to play the prior ones to enjoy a new entry. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a fighting game that continues the plot after the RPG games, FYI:

If the prices aren’t low enough, Playstation Plus members get an extra savings (ranging from 10%-20%). If you have a Playstation Vita I would suggest picking up Persona 4 Golden instead of the PS2 classic version, since it has more content. You can read about that here. The sale ends on January 19th.

If you have an extra $4.00 dollars I suggest you also pick up one of my favorite Playstation One games, none other than Tomba!  a game created by Capcom legend Tokuro Fujiwara.

Phantasy Star Generation 2 gets full English fan translation

PhantasyStarGenerationPart2The Phantasy Star fansite pscave.com has finished fully translating the Japanese only Phantasy Star Generation 2, which is a remake of the SEGA Genesis/Megadrive JRPG Phantasy Star II. This (and the first Generation game) was part of the Sega Ages 2500 series of remakes that got released on the Playstation 2.

Version notes: 

“This version is an open beta. Many pieces of equipment and techniques have had their names revised from their previous incarnations. Namely, many appeared to be German words spelled phonetically in Japanese (i.e., “Nish” is was actually spelled in Japanese as “Harnisch” which is German for “Armor.” Thus, it was decided many techniques will not be seen as they were in previous games like PSO or earlier. This was a collaborative effort with the members of the PSCave forum. A document noting specific changes for reference will be provided with the translated ISO (CRC32: C10FD10C) and the patch.”

You can always download the full English translated ISO of the game here. According to PSCave, the original game was distributed on CD and not DVD, so if you’re going to burn it to play on a modded Playstation 2 then burn it on CD. You can always play it on PCSX2 emulator, which is a lot less of a hassle.

Retro Review: Space Channel 5 (Sega Dreamcast/PS2)

SC5header

The Dreamcast era was a unique time for SEGA when it came to marketing their characters. While the Saturn’s launch made the error of shifting the spotlight away from Sonic the Hedgehog, the Dreamcast launch proved that there was more than enough room for established characters as well as new faces. Joining Sonic was a lineup of first party and third party faces, from Midway’s Afro Thunder of Ready 2 Rumble and Namco’s Soulcalibur fighters to SEGA’s own creations.

Space Channel 5’s Ulala was without a doubt the most heavily marketed of these new characters, with her face seen just about everywhere. Ulala appeared in a promotional stage show at Universal City Walk, she dominated SEGA’s booth at 2000’s E3, she was seen in print and on TV and even appeared as product placement in the 2001 movie Josie and the Pussycats. There was even talk of Ulala hosting her own TV show! Suffice to say, there came a point in Space Channel 5‘s promotion where Ulala nearly overshadowed her own game. There is no doubt that Ulala is a fantastic character (she is a favorite of the SEGAbits staff, so much so that we named our podcast after her report show), but has the original game stood the test of time? Let’s find out as we look back at the United Game Artists’ classic Space Channel 5!

Developer Retrospective: A look back at the games of SEGA’s Overworks

overworks

Last week when we kicked off Overworks and WOW Entertainment month, we took a look back at how SEGA organized their many internal development teams over the years. Among those teams were Overworks and WOW Entertainment, two separate teams that released games from 2000 through to 2004 when they were merged and became SEGA WOW. This week, we will be taking a look back at the games released by Overworks. While the Overworks softography is small, especially compared to giants like SEGA AM2, in the span of four years Overworks released some truly classic titles.

Retro Review: Shadow the Hedgehog

segabits shadow the hedgehog

On January 4th 2006, I submitted to Gamefaqs a review for Shadow the Hedgehog , a game which at the time I boldly declared “the worst SEGA game I’ve ever played.” To date, the 2/10 score I gave it is the lowest I’ve scored a game in any context, on any site I’ve reviewed for, and nothing I’ve played either before or since has inspired a similar score. My outlook on SEGA at the time was incredibly bleak; it was a game that really tore down my confidence in the company and where it was headed, and for those reasons I’ve left this review, for the most part, as is, as a piece of history for how I viewed SEGA at the time, and where I feared the company was headed. Though I’ve edited it a little for form and trimmed it down, the message remains intact. Read on for my thoughts on Shadow the Hedgehog, directly from 2006, as I sat down to review what was (and still is) the worst game I had ever played.

Persona 4 hits the Playstation 3 on April 8th

Persona-4
Last time we talked about Devil Summoner getting a re-release via PS3’s PS2 Classics brand and now people will be able to download Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 as well.

The game is set to come out on April 8th and cost a mere $9.99 through PSN  in North and South America. This will allow SEGA gamers who haven’t experinced the classic Atlus game to dive right in.

I suggest all gamers give this game a go, it has some memorable characters, writing and story.

Shadow the Hedgehog hits ‘PS2 Classics’ in Japan

shadowpic1
Sony calls their digital PSN re-releases ‘PS2 classics’ and the latest addition is the not so classic Shadow the Hedgehog. This game is just one of those titles that we here like to forget exists. What’s next? Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 port for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One?

Not to mention the Playstation 2 version of Shadow the Hedgehog is the worst version of the game. It ran better on both Gamecube and Xbox. If you live in Japan you can pick this up for 1,200 yen (About $12.60 USD).

Yakuza 1&2 HD Wii U edition screenshots emerge

yakuza_1_2_hd_wii_u-9
It’s weird that SEGA has decided to port over Yakuza 1&2 HD to the Wii U. Maybe this is their first step in planning on bringing over the other Yakuza titles. Regardless, these two Yakuza titles (especially the second one) are the best Yakuza titles ever made. So if you never played a Yakuza game and they bring this over to America, do yourself a huge favor and pick it up.

Here we have screenshots. I know it isn’t fancy graphics, but they look rather nice for what they are; HD ports of Playstation 2 games. Hit the jump to see the rest of the screens.

Sony puts out a PS3 HD remaster trailer showing off Yakuza 1&2 HD

This trailer was posted a few nights ago about was taken down by Sony for unknown reasons. Don’t worry, the trailer is back up now. This is the first footage of Yakuza 1&2 HD I have seen yet. What do you guys think?

You can also see Zone of Enders HD Collection, Okami HD and that Ratchet and Clank HD collection. These last three HD remakes have been confirmed for Western release, Yakuza 1&2 has not, sadly.

Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition Trailer

Sega will release a remastered version of Yakuza 1 and Yakuza 2 exclusively for the PS3, the remastered version boasts HD graphics and a much needed cut in loading times for both games. Will it head West? It’s hard to say at the moment, we don’t really know Sega’s plans for Yakuza in North America and Europe but we can all hope, right? Heck I would take it as a PSN digital download if it meant we could get it in English.

The Yakuza series is one of my favourite new IPs from Sega in recent years, it’s such a shame that with each new release it feels like another heart ache over weather it’ll receive a Western release. Let’s hope Sega West sees the potential in the Yakuza series and continues to support it for years to come because by the looks of Yakuza 5, it’s not going anywhere.

Shadow the Hedgehog was aimed at US market

Takashi Iizuka’s masterpiece Shadow the Hedghog wasn’t received too well by critics, mostly because the game, well sucked. But now he explains why the game was the way it was…

“After Sonic Adventure, we had two studios, in the US and Japan. The Japanese Studio was to develop a Sonic game in the standard style, and the US studio was to develop something different which could contribute to the Sonic franchise. That background generated the Shadow game as he appeared from Sonic Adventure. We wanted to offer other game systems to attract a different audience from traditional Sonic fans. In the US, first and third-person shooters were popular and we decided to go with a character who could work with them.”

I honestly assumed that Shadow the Hedgehog was just ‘Sonic Team’ trying to put out a product like Ratchet and Clank or Jak & Dexter. Too bad the concept wasn’t why the game was bashed…

[Source:ONM]