Way back in early 2015 we reported that SEGA Networks has acquired Demiurge Studios. Demiurge was known for their work in porting games, creating multiplayer maps and developing mobile games. Since their acquisition by SEGA, the studio released Puzzle & Glory and Crazy Taxi Tycoon (formerly titled Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire). The studio’s latest release, SEGA Heroes, is a match three puzzle RPG game combining various SEGA franchises. Free to play and available now, the game can be found on the App Store and Google Play and is available globally (though we have heard some regions are still waiting).
While we have heard about SEGA Heroes as early as July, the notion of a SEGA crossover mobile game dates back to Summer 2016 when SEGA Blast Heroes leaked. The game used sprite animation and used the gameplay of Chain Chronicle, a tower defense style mobile game from SEGA. Since then the game has changed into what we have now. SEGA Heroes features more detailed character designs with a big head little body aesthetic that allows the human characters to fit in with Sonic and his friends.
The gameplay is very similar to Demiurge’s Marvel Puzzle Quest, developed before SEGA’s ownership. Players match three gems which affects an RPG-style battle taking place at the top of the screen. Each gem color is matched to a character and affects leveling up, battling, defense and reviving. While some might balk at the fact that the game doesn’t adapt a SEGA gameplay style, the gameplay works. Take Project X Zone for example. Various franchises came together, including platformers, fighters and survival horror, yet the gameplay style was strategy RPG. It’s clear that Demiurge has experience with their gameplay style, and have worked to balance and perfect it with past titles. So while the gameplay style isn’t anything we’ve seen in past SEGA games, at least it is solid. My only complaint: why didn’t they use the jewel shapes from Columns?
Where the game really shines is in the characters. Franchises are well represented and cutscenes are well written. Characters from the Genesis era who never had real speaking roles have personality, and characters from RPGs and later titles feel like themselves. There is also the fun of seeing characters from different franchises interact. Big the Cat has some of the best lines.
So far SEGA Heroes is on the right track. If they continue to add franchises (Yakuza, Shenmue and Valkyria Chronicles would be most welcome), maintain quality writing for characters and tweak the gameplay as needed I think they will have a successful game on their hands.Ad: