Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash introduces new playable characters Lou and Kee

It looks like the upcoming Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash won’t just have Ulala as the main star, it seems that Team Grounding will add Lou and Kee; two twin rookie reporters learning the ropes from Ulala herself. SEGA and Team Grounding showed off a demo at Tokyo Game Show allowing users to play as the new twins.

It seems that the demo level used is the same one as the first Space Channel 5 game, but users have reported new voice acting and even new actions to perform. Check out the new twin rookie reporters Lou and Kee via the screenshots below.

[Via: Siliconera]

Cook & Becker announces Space Channel 5 fine art print

Cook & Becker (who once joined us on a Swingin’ Report Show to discuss their Sonic the Hedgehog art book) have just announced a new SEGA-inspired art print! The latest SEGA art print is inspired by the Dreamcast classic Space Channel 5. Created by artist Veronique Meignaud, whose past work includes Dishonored, Far Cry, Wakfu and Child of Light, the print features star reporter Ulala in stunning futuristic colors.

Those who subscribe to the Cook & Becker newsletter can reserve a low or specific number edition, with the window closing on Sunday, July 8th at 23:59 CET. After that we presume the prints will go on sale to the public. You can browse Cook & Becker’s SEGA selections here.

Space Channel 5 VR coming to America as ‘Kinda Funky News Flash’

Lots of SEGA Dreamcast fanatics will tell you lots of positive things about Space Channel 5 and Part 2, the games had a cult following of hardcore fans. Sadly SEGA has been quiet on the IP, until they showed off a Space Channel 5 VR demo in 2016 (then dubbed Ukiuki Viewing Show).  In February we talked about how the game was getting a downloadable demo and being renamed Arakata Dancing Show. It seems that the game is getting yet another rename for the West, this time being titled Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash.

The game will debut at the Los Angeles VR event VRLA, which will have a 15 minute demo on May 5 and 6. Like we covered before, this game is being developed by Grounding Inc, who did Crimson Dragon for Microsoft and headed by a few long time SEGA veterans.

As of right now Space Channel VR Kinda Funky News Flash! has only been confirmed for HTC Vive, we also haven’t gotten a release date and/or pricing on the game. The US site for the game does mention that they will do a VR Arcade Version… whatever that means.

Space Channel 5 VR to get downloadable demo later this year

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Space Channel 5 VR Arakata Dancing Show  isn’t a new game, it was actually shown at the Tokyo Game Show back in 2016. It is interesting is that SEGA has changed the name of the VR experince, before they called it ‘Ukiuki Viewing Show’, now its ‘Arakata Dancing Show’. The VR ‘experience’ was up for people to try out and then SEGA stopped talking about it. According to a recent tweet, gamers will be able to give the demo another go at Game Party Japan 2018, which happens to be the first official tournament held by JeSU (Japan e-Sports Union) on February 10th and 11th.

While Japanese site Panora got the official scoop that Space Channel 5 VR Arakata Dancing Show will get demos in VR stores this spring and get a download version later this year. For what I gather, the download version will be the ‘demo experience’ shown at events and not a full game. Bummer. The demo experience will still be shown off using HTC VIVE headsets and SEGA still hasn’t mentioned if they have plans on showing it off on PlayStation VR. I think this is SEGA testing the market, see if the general public still has interest in Space Channel 5 with a demo release. Hit the jump to see screenshots of the game.

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.

Space Channel 5 Ulala Figma figure announced – Chu, Chu, Chu!

Figma, the Japanese action figure company, have announced their latest collaboration with SEGA – a stunning Space Channel 5 Ulala figure. The figure is slated for December 2017 and will feature Ulala with microphone and gun accessories and three Morolians. The listed price is ¥7,800 (around $70), which is a bit steep when compared to past SEGA Figma releases, but some stores do list items with discounts. The main release will feature Ulala in her silver Part 2 attire, but if you want the orange original you’ll have to order from Goodsmile. Goodsmile lists their variant at ¥7,222 before tax and states that preorders will be open from 30th May 2017 (Tue) from 12:00JST until 29th June 2017 (Thu) at 12:00JST. The silver version is also available at Goodsmile for ¥7,222 but Amiami has it for less at ¥6,280.

What do you think of Figma’s latest release? Are you annoyed like I am that they still haven’t listed the Jet Set Radio Beat figure that was revealed back in July of 2016?

First footage of Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show surfaces

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Fans anticipating an engaging and entertaining game from the recent exhibition of Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show at Tokyo Game Show 2016 might want to throttle their expectations of the experience. At least for now.

This footage (from twitter user @mutedpsyborg) of a woman interacting with the VR game reveals that players simply flail their arms about while Ulala and the morolians do their thing on-screen. It’s a bit disappointing, as the HTC Vive’s controllers definitely offer the opportunity to emulate the classic Space Channel 5 experience by mimicking the game’s commands.

Perhaps this apparent marketing stunt was simply to gauge interest in the franchise currently or the possibility of a truly interactive Space Channel 5 VR game. Fan attention on social media since it’s announcement has shown there’s definitely some level of excitement about the possibility, but Sega and company need to actually deliver a compelling experience if they pursue it.

As of this time, no formal announcement has been made about the future of Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show.

SEGA News Bits: Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show Announced Reaction

SEGA announced Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show, which will be shown at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. What is Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show? Should you be excited? That’s the type of topics we discuss on this episode of the SEGA News Bits. So sit back space cats and lets talk Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show and let us know if you think this franchise should make a full blown comeback in the comments below.

If you like our SEGA News Bits segments, make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube and never miss an episode.

SEGA announces Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show

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Sega has announced a special virtual reality experience featuring Ulala will be available at Tokyo Game Show 2016. Space Channel 5 VR: Ukuuki Viewing Show will allows players to participate as one of Ulala’s program viewers.

The VR experience will be running on the HTC VIVE at TGS. Will players be able to mimic Ulala’s commands with the VIVE controllers? Will this evolve into more than one simple encounter? Will you get over the likely possibility that Space Michael will not be included in future Space Channel 5 releases?

No additional details about a public release, future expansion of the demo, or compatible hardware have been announced.

A small teaser website is available here for now.

Rumor: SEGA Blast Heroes a new mobile SRPG gets leaked

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According to the mobile game website PocketGamer there is a new mobile game by SEGA, which features classic game IPs. Not only that, mobile ads for SEGA Blast Heroes (the games name) have been popping up. The ads describe the title as a ‘strategy RPG’. The Facebook page behind the ads leads to a page called ‘SEGA Mobile’ which has a bit over 150 likes at he moment. If you click to download the app from the ad, it takes you to StoreMaven, which is a service to help test upcoming app store conversion rates.

Below are some screenshots of the supposed game called SEGA Blast Heroes. Of course, it looks like it would play like Chain Chronicle. Just looking at the screenshots leaked so far I see Samba De Amigo, Space Channel 5, Sakura Wars, Valkyria Chronicles, Jet Set Radio, Wonder Boy, Alex Kidd, and a lot of unknowns populating the screens. It also seems that you will be fighting generic looking villains, which is a bummer.

This game doesn’t surprise me considering SEGA’s mobile division put out a survey asking fans about classic SEGA franchises. What are your thoughts on the rumor? Would you play SEGA Blast Heroes?

[Via: Segalization]

Project X Zone removed from North America & Europe Nintendo eShop

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For reasons unknown, the digital version of Project X Zone has been removed from the Nintendo eShop. Starting around 2012 games produced for the system typically sport a retail and digital version, with a few exceptions that are retail exclusive or vise versa. Typically the digital version would need to be loaded into an SD card, but the main benefit of choosing digital is slightly faster loading times, the convenience of not switching 3DS game cards, and the option to re-download the game at any given time.

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

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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!

Classic SEGA ads: Space Channel 5’s killer Dreamcast commercial

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SEGA fans love to wax nostalgic on old commercials. Whether they’re the fast paced and competitive ads of the Genesis/Mega Drive era, the bizarre ads of the Saturn era, or in the case of today’s featured SEGA ad, the American Dreamcast campaign featuring fun vignettes taking place inside the console. We’ve featured an ad from this campaign before, and its no wonder we’re going back to the same well because it truly is one of SEGA’s best. The campaign’s concept was simple. Viewers would be introduced to the Dreamcast console’s triangular orange light which acted as a gateway to a magical world inside the console consisting of several levels. On each of these was a different scenario, it could be a DJ party or it could be a sleepy cantina. Sometimes viewers would be treated to an epic crossover of characters from recently released and upcoming Dreamcast titles and every ad ended with a zoom out featuring the console, controller and the memorable slogan “It’s thinking…”.

Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: The Official Dreamcast Magazine blasts off with Space Channel 5

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During their short run, the US Official Dreamcast Magazine managed to produce some excellent covers showcasing a wide range of Dreamcast titles. Unlike other gaming magazines tied to a single company, ODCM didn’t rely on mascots to sell the latest issue. Amazingly, Sonic only appeared on two covers during the magazine’s run; the promotional Issue 0 and the premiere issue. from issue 2 and beyond, ODCM shifted the spotlight to both first and third party franchises from a range of genres. Either it was a testament to the console’s strong library, or the editorial staff’s taste, but not a single issue of the magazine gave a cover story to a dud of a game. In this installment of Classic SEGA Magazine Corner we’re taking a look at issue 4 which gave Space Channel 5‘s Ulala the cover treatment, a full introductory spread, and the top slot in an article about great Dreamcast games due for release in 2000. Enough talk, let’s crack this issue open!

SEGA Tunes: Space Channel 5 resurrects Ken Woodman’s Mexican Flyer

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While SEGA music fans celebrate the likes of Jacques, Naganuma, and Mitsuyoshi who created hours of original tracks for iconic SEGA games during the Saturn and Dreamcast eras, its important to remember that SEGA has also relied heavily on pre-existing music licensed for their titles. Samba de Amigo, for example, used contemporary tracks from the likes of German pop group Bellini, Chumbawamba, and Santana, as well as classic music from the 50s and 60s including tracks from the Gipsy Kings, Perez Prado, and Quincy Jones. Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future also featured several licensed tracks, so many that subsequent re-releases were once in fear of losing iconic tunes thanks in large part to the fact that Crazy Taxi‘s HD release scrapped the original game’s soundtrack which featured Bad Religion and The Offspring. SEGA learned their lesson with Crazy Taxi, however, as the mobile release of the game reinstated the original soundtrack and Jet Set Radio‘s HD release promoted the fact that the soundtrack was largely intact in their marketing of the game.

Internal SEGA development team United Game Artists, known for Space Channel 5 and Rez, put music at the forefront of their titles. Music not only played a part in enhancing the mood, it was a vital part of gameplay. Sure one can play Jet Set Radio or Samba de Amigo with the speakers muted (why would you want to though?), but muting Space Channel 5 or Rez? You might as well unplug the console. Throughout the month of May, SEGA Tunes we will be focusing on both the original and licensed music featured in United Game Artists games. This week, we’re kicking things off with a classic.