SEGA Talk Podcast #06: NiGHTS into Dreams… (1996)

SEGA Talk NiGHTSWe have a very special episode of the SEGA Talk Podcast as we cover not only NiGHTS into Dreams… but also Christmas NiGHTS. We have a interesting discussion on the development of NiGHTS into Dreams…, how it shifted Sonic Team into creating a new mascot, the game’s iconic soundtrack, and even speak about our thoughts on the game play. Make sure to stay on to hear us talk about Christmas NiGHTS during the end of the podcast to get some holiday cheers. Get your eggnog, turn up your speakers and let’s talk about NiGHTS into Dreams…  (and Christmas NiGHTS)

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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 theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

SEGA News Bits: Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Wants A True Mario Crossover

Welcome to a new crossover special episode of the SEGA News Bits, today George and Barry talk about Sonic the Hedgehog Creator Yuji Naka’s recent interview where he said he wanted a Mario & Sonic crossover action game. I know what you are thinking, that there are already Mario & Sonic the Hedgehog crossover games in the form of Olympic titles, but that isn’t really what fans and Yuji Naka envisioned for a Mario & Sonic the Hedgehog crossover game. Tune in and let us know what your ideal Mario & Sonic crossover game would be.

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Yuji Naka wants to see a Mario and Sonic crossover action game

SonicandMarioCrossOver

We know that Mario and Sonic have had a long line of crossover Olympic titles throughout recent years, but that isn’t what Yuji Naka, one of Sonic’s creators envisioned for the duo’s cross over.

Recently Yuji Naka spoke with the Japanese website Famitsu about the origins of Mario and Sonic game, which started talks as an action game during the GameCube era when SEGA first went 3rd party. As we know today, this lead nowhere and Mario and Sonic didn’t happen until SEGA acquired the license to make Olympic video games.

Here is Yuji Naka talking about Mario and Sonic co-starring on titles based around the Olympics and the origins of the project:

“Actually, I wanted Mario [and Sonic] to appear together, so one time I went to give Miyamoto-san a presentation on how I want to create an action game which is co-starred by Mario and Sonic. It was in the GameCube days, and I took around four planners with me. It is a pity that the discussion was ‘clearly it isn’t necessary for Mario and Sonic to co-star in an action [game]’ and it didn’t become a reality, but SEGA was able to get the license for the Olympics just at that time, so in order to make the best use of the license, companion characters appeared together. A little later Sonic appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, this too came into reality because I requested from Sakurai-san, ‘I want Sonic to appear [in Smash Bros.]’. The Olympics is a bit different from my wish, but I think it’s a good thing that children around the world are happy about them co-starring. But someday I want to realize an action [game] together with Mario. I think I’m going to give another presentation so that Takashi [Iizuka] finds the necessity [of a Mario & Sonic action game] (laughs).” – Yuji Naka

Yuji Naka wasn’t the only original Sonic the Hedgehog creator to chime in on the interview, original Sonic designer Naoto Ohshima said the following:

SEGA News Bits: Sonic 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel Discussion

Come get nerdy with me and Barry as we talk about the Sonic 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel and our thoughts on the secret announcement. The panel was moderated by Aaron Webber (Sonic community manager), featured the ex-Sonic Team developer Yuji Naka, current head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka, current voice actors Roger Craig Smith (Sonic the Hedgehog), and Mike Pollock (Dr. Eggman). This will be one of the many Sonic 25th Anniversary events SEGA has plan for this year, so expect more coverage on the site!

If you want to see the panel yourself, we have it up here. What did you think of the Sonic 25th Anniversary panel? Tell us in the comments below.

Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel

The Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel took place on Saturday and was live streamed on Twitch.TV. Now you can watch the panel at your own leisure on YouTube. The panel had Yuji Naka (ex-head of Sonic Team), Takashi Iizuka (head of Sonic Team), Roger Craig Smith (voice of Sonic) and Mike Pollock (voice of Eggman).

Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel is a little under 40 minutes long and goes through the history of the franchise. The biggest announcement was the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary party that we posted about.

So what are your thoughts on the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary SXSW Panel?

SEGA Announces Sonic 25th Anniversary Party in July during San Diego Comic Con

Sonic25thAnniversaryPartyDuring SEGA’s SxSW panel, which was filled with Sonic the Hedgehog alumni including series developers Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka. SEGA announced that they will be having a Sonic 25th Anniversary Party on July . The party will be held in San Diego and tickets are already on sale! Tickets cost $25 dollars and can be purchased online at Universe.com/Sonic25.

This was the announcement that Sonic the Hedgehog teased for the event, even if Sonic fans want it to be the Sonic 25th Anniversary game instead. Who knows, maybe that’s what will be shown at the Sonic 25th Anniversary party?

After the break, read the full event description.

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 1: The Origins and the 80s

THE ORIGINS

Sega is an interesting company when it comes to their origins. There are companies like Namco, Taito and Konami that started in the 60s with electromechanical games and there are those like Capcom and Square that started in the 80s with video games. Sega is different.

Sega had its roots even earlier with slots and jukeboxes in the 1940s in Hawaii, when they were known as Standard Games. Today, Sega of Japan would rather say that Sega didn’t start until it was moved to Tokyo and renamed to Service Games in 1951. However all that expertise in manufacturing slots and jukeboxes during the Standard Games days really gave Sega the boost they needed when they entered the market to manufacture their very first “Amusement Machine” in 1965, Periscope, which the company still prides itself for as it was their first worldwide commerical success.

NIS America interviews Yuji Naka to promote Rodea: The Sky Soldier

NIS America just posted an interview with Rodea the Sky Soldier creator Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog, Chu Chu Rocket and NiGHTS) and director Zin Hasegawa (Fatal Frame series) on their Youtube channel. It’s a pretty interesting interview with Yuji Naka starting off by saying that it has been a long time and it really has, so it’s good to see him do these types of interviews for games again.

Yuji Naka even talks about how he has created games that have to do with speed like Sonic the Hedgehog and flying games like NiGHTS and whether that factored into creating Rodea the Sky Soldier since it has similarities. Listen in and I hope Prope and SEGA work on a project again in the near future.

Rodea The Sky Solider gets 16-minute gameplay video

Recently some Japanese game programming decided to take a look at Rodea Sky Solider, since I don’t really understand Japanese and I assume you don’t either, I skipped the video above to the gameplay (and if I did it wrong it starts at the 8 minute mark). A few thing that I noticed was the long loading at the start and the low resolution textures (mostly because the game started as a Wii game).

It was recently announced that NIS America would bring the game to America and Europe this fall; so you’ll be able to play it in English soon enough. The game will be coming to Wii U and 3DS, the video mostly shows off the Wii U version but at the end they show off very little of the 3DS version too (off screen gameplay).

So who is picking up this title?

Rodea: The Sky Soldier gets new screenshots, story and gameplay details

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Rodea: The Sky Soldier was originally set to be a Wii game and now is going to get new life next year on both the Wii U and 3DS. Just last week the publisher, Kadokawa Games released a new trailer for the game and not much else. But now they have released the story overview, character profiles, gameplay details, and even a ton of new screens.

The story has empires, battle with technology and other themes present in past Sonic Team games. They even added a hint of Panzer Dragoon in there for good measure with its little map and on-rails looking gameplay.  Not only that, the Wii U version of the game also got a filter that gives it a sketched out feel, similar to what Valkyria Chronicles did compared to the Wii original. Oddly enough no 3DS screenshots have been shown yet.

Hit the jump to see Gematsu’s translation of the story,characters and a screenshot gallery.

Yuji Naka’s Rodea: The Sky Soldier gets new trailer showing off Wii U footage

Yuji Naka’s Rodea: The Sky Soldier is a weird story, seeing as it was supposed to be released on the Wii in 2011, even Yuji Naka said the title was completely done and just needed to be released by publisher Kadokawa games. No information was released and even Yuji Naka said he wasn’t sure if the game was going to be released last year. Well, thankfully the publisher Kadokawa games came to its senses since they announced the game coming for both Wii U and 3DS.

Seems that they are sticking with the Spring 2015 release window for Japan. Now we have a trailer showing off footage of the game and as you can see it looks like very low quality Wii graphics. But you know what? The game looks so fun, that it can be running on the Sega Saturn and I’d buy it. Let’s hope this is a good one, for Prope’s sake.

Yuji Naka’s Rodea the Sky Soldier is Still Alive

Have you been wondering what Yuji Naka has been up to since leaving Sonic Team besides making a bunch of small and kinda neat games? Well, a new action adventure game called Rodea the Sky Soldier was announced for Wii and 3DS, publisher Kadowaka Games released a trailer which can be seen above. So why is it being released for Wii? Well, this trailer was released a little more than two years ago, after which the publisher never spoke of it again. Yuji Naka gave an update a few months later saying that the game was finished, but that they were waiting for Kadowaka Games to publish it. After a while everyone who did know about the game either forgot about it or assumed that it was scrapped.

Now we finally have an update on the title. Yoshimi Yasuda, the president of Kadowaka Games had said that they were having trouble adapting the control scheme to the 3DS version, which is being handled by the publisher. Yasuda said that the version is about 70% finished and that there will be more information in the near future. Maybe it’ll get a re-reveal at TGS 2013? We’ll see.

Prope also released a Digimon RPG called Digimon Adventure for PSP earlier this year in Japan, a western release doesn’t seem likely for this game though.

Round Table: Which ex-SEGA developers do you miss the most?

exsegaroundtable
Most people follow around sport teams and their players, here at SEGAbits we follow SEGA studios and developers. There have been tons of employees and developers that SEGA have fired or left throughout its long history, as is expected with every big publisher. But sometimes there is that developer that was behind one of your favorite games, when he leaves the company it really tugs at the heart strings. So in this week’s round table we will be discussing which ex-SEGA developers we miss the most!

What is Yuji Naka’s studio working on? Digimon Adventures

I know most of you will give me crap for posting this on the blog, since it doesn’t have anything to do with SEGA as a publisher. But let’s be honest, I think we are all interested in what big high profile ex-SEGA developers are up to in the world. This time we look at Yuji Naka’s Prope, who will be working on the upcoming Digimon Adventure.

The game promises to cover the story of the original Digimon anime series and will be a RPG game. Yep, this will be the first RPG from Prope and oddly enough is coming out on the original PSP. So that means no one will probably play it. Find it on shelves in 2013.

Yuji Naka spills the beans on a Sonic movie?

It has been revealed by Naka himself recently that he visited the Mazra Animation studios. The animators behind the Sonic Unleashed CGI scenes and Generations CGI ads. On both Twitter and Facebook he makes comments that sound along the lines that there may be a Sonic animated movie in the works.

Marza Animation Planet is made up of members from VE R&D (http://sega.jp/corp/saiyo/csjob/ve.shtml), which is a division he had a hand in creating. It looks like they’re working on a Sonic movie. Their offices seem nice, and they have a screening room / theatre there.

Whether it may just be some CGI for an upcoming game or a full blown movie remains to be seen. Sega has not made any comment on the matter so far.