Sega 8-bit game publisher 2Minds opens pre-orders for Game Gear adventure “The Sword of Stone” + new Mark III and Genesis/Mega-Drive games

Looking for something new to play on Sega’s 8-bit console library, including the Game Gear? French publisher 2Minds has reopened their online store as well as opened pre-orders for a new narrative exploration adventure for Game Gear titled “The Sword of Stone”. In addition, they’ve also opened pre-orders for new Mark III and Genesis/Mega-Drive cartridges of their Master System game library, along with a new Game Gear version of their existing Master System puzzle game “Heroes Against Demons”. The new Game Gear games cost €59 ($63.65 USD), Mark III games cost €55 ($59.33 USD), and Genesis and Master System games cost €50 ($53.94 USD). All pre-orders are estimated to ship in September, while Master System games, as of this writing, are already available to ship. Make sure you get the correct game cartridge for your personal setup.

All of the games are packaged with high quality cartridges containing brand new game PCBs of 2Minds’s own special design. They also come in a box with a color manual. The Game Gear games also come with brand new plastic shells for the cartridges, just like all brand new Game Gear games had. Really takes you back, right? Keep in mind, the Genesis cartridges are still Master System games, but playable on Genesis without the need of a Power Base Converter. They may not work with Genesis consoles incompatible with Master System games, such as the Nomad and Genesis 3, as well as the 32X. (Fun fact: Sega actually released a Master System game in a Mega-Drive cartridge themselves once.) Mark III games will have all text on the box and manual written in Japanese.

You can see links to the store after the break, along with picture galleries of all the available games.

VGNYsoft preparing a new reissue of indie Dreamcast hit Sturmwind; Pre-orders open up May 15th, 2024

Remember the amazing indie Dreamcast shooter Sturmwind? Developed by Duranik and originally published by redspotgames in 2013, Strumwind was a fun and beautiful side-scrolling shmup that has long since gone out of print. Now, a new publisher, VGNYsoft, who is no stranger to publishing new Dreamcast games, has gotten a hold of Sturmwind and is about to release an all new print of the game with all new packaging.

Like redspotgames before them, VGNYsoft is preparing a collector’s edition as well as a much more plentiful standard edition. The special edition packages the game’s jewel case into a cardboard box and includes an all new Sturmwind branded VMU plastic shell, silicone pad, and black d-pad, perfect for anyone trying to refurbish an old VMU. Only 500 copies of the special edition will be available, so act fast if you want one. (VGNYsoft have also cheekily pointed out the fact that their game discs will be professionally pressed instead of burned onto a CD-R, which is a jab at Limited Run Games for a very recent controversy of theirs.)

If you missed out on Sturmwind during it’s original release or during one of its other reissues through different companies, then this is a good chance to get an affordable and brand spankin’ new copy of it today, or at least May 15th, 2024, when VGNYsoft opens pre-orders on their own new print. You can find pre-order links, as well as a video trailer, after the break.

Creator of the GEMS sound driver for Genesis/Mega-Drive, Jon Miller, has passed away

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you all of the news recently shared on Twitter by Ecco The Dolphin creator Ed Annunziata that his old colleague, Jon Miller, has sadly passed away on May 7th 2024. Unfortunately, his exact birthdate is unknown, so we don’t know of his age at the time of death.

Jon Miller (Not to be confused with Joe Miller, former Sega of America Vice President of Product Development from the Genesis/Mega-Drive and Saturn years who, himself, passed away in 2014) was a software programmer at a few companies that worked closely with Sega of America in the early 90’s. At those companies, Jon had worked on Genesis games like Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1991), Chakan The Forever Man (1992), Taz-Mania (1992), Taz in Escape From Mars (1994), and X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995). He was also a co-creator of GEMS (Genesis Editor for Music and SFX), a sound driver and audio production software for PC made to ease the composition of music for Genesis games for musicians who were not well-versed in FM sound programming. GEMS has been used to make music and sound effects in many American-produced Genesis and 32X games, including every game that Jon himself worked on. His brother, Mark Miller (Composer for the Toejam & Earl series, as well as Sega Channel) was another co-creator for GEMS. After 1995, Jon would join Crystal Dynamics, where he would work on games such as Gex: Enter The Gecko (1998), Akuji The Heartless (1999), and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999).

On behalf of Sega fans everywhere, we here at SegaBits thank Jon Miller for lending his talents to many classic games, both Sega and non-Sega, and for his service in assistance to many composers of Genesis games. May he rest in peace. Many condolences go out to his friends and family.

Join us beyond the break as we reminisce on some classic Genesis game soundtracks that made use of GEMS in memory of Jon Miller.

Original pre-Sega Columns game found; now playable through MAME on modern computers

Columns is, without a doubt, a bonafide Sega classic, but it didn’t start out as a Sega game at all. The truth is that Columns was invented within the walls of computer hardware company Hewlett-Packard in 1989, by programmer Jay Geertsen. He made the original Columns game for HP-UX, an operating system unique to HP’s company computers at the time. Friends of his within the same company then ported his Columns game to MS-DOS and Macintosh computers. In 1990, Sega learned of Columns, bought the rights to it off of Mr. Geertsen, and got straight to work on the first Sega Columns games for Master System, Game Gear, Genesis/Mega-Drive, and their System C arcade board. While those versions of Columns went on to widespread fame, most have never played or seen either of the original three computer versions of Columns.

Now, a twitter user calling themselves Trevgauntlet Noə has managed to get a hold of the original HP-UX version of Columns, gotten it running, and took some screenshots of it. They even went the extra mile and made HP-UX and this original Columns playable in the MAME emulation software for both Windows 10 and 11 and Ubuntu Linux. All Columns fans and Sega historians alike owe Trevgauntlet Noə a big thank you for their effort in preserving this rarely seen piece of Sega history.

You can check out the tweet right here or click the above screenshot. For a gallery of all screenshots they’ve made, as well as links to the HP-UX Columns software for MAME on Archive.org, take a look past the break. While you’re there, tell us in the comments about what your favorite Columns game is.

Google Play’s official Twitter gives us a totally accurate history refresher on Sonic the Hedgehog

 

You know it’s a slow news day when we’re talking about something like this. Sonic fans everywhere were shocked and confused yesterday, April 27th, 2024, when the official Google Play twitter account decided to give everyone an unhinged informed look back over the years at how Sonic the Hedgehog has evolved with time.

It all began with the above post claiming to show us Sonic as he got “older and older”. As you can see, this tweet was labeled with a community note telling us that the entire thread is inaccurate and does not, in fact, show Sonic getting older and older, while giving helpful links to Wikipedia for context. We’re off to a great start right here.

Take a seat and say goodbye to a couple of brain cells as we journey through Sonic’s aging process through the eyes of Google Play. Take a look past the break once you’ve steeled yourself. (Oh, and click the screenshots of each tweet to be taken to the actual tweet.)

EDIT: Google Play has since deleted the entire thread. Oddly, they have not posted a single thing in the two weeks since then. Post your conspiracies about what happened in the comments below.

Atlus N64 classic Snowboard Kids gets an all new, official vinyl soundtrack

You thought there was snow way we’d talk about a Nintendo 64 game here on SegaBits, but being a part of Atlus history means this is now Sega history too. You shred that right.

Cult classic N64 racer Snowboard Kids (1998) has just come out with a new soundtrack on vinyl courtesy of Fangamer. Atlus West have revealed this new vinyl soundtrack on Twitter today, which is now on sale for $29 USD and has already begun shipping. This comes with 17 tracks from the original game on one record, all by original composers Tomohiko Sato and Isao Kawai, from original developer Racjin, formally known as Racdym.

There is also a special limited edition blue vinyl set being sold by Channel 3 Records, which is limited to only 300 copies, so act fast if you want that. That is, otherwise, the same soundtrack and is also available for $29 USD and already shipping.

Catch the ski lift to take you past the break for photos and links to order both versions of this vinyl soundtrack.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters physical soundtrack available at Limited Run Games

Cowabunga! The final TMNT soundtracks are finally available to pre-order from Limited Run Games now. The rounds of pre-orders cap off with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (1993) soundtracks. These soundtracks all contain the music from the Genesis/Mega-Drive version of the game, as well as the SNES and NES versions of the game too. Like all the other TMNT soundtracks before it, including the one for The Hyperstone Heist that was up for pre-order last month, this comes in cassette tape ($14.99 USD), CD ($24.99), and vinyl record options ($59.99), plus there will be 1,000 optional “Green Ooze” edition vinyl soundtracks you can order if you want (and if you’re fast enough). The vinyl and CD versions of the soundtrack even come decorated with the box art from the Japanese version of the Mega-Drive game.

We only talked about this and the Hyperstone Heist soundtracks because these are the two soundtracks relevant to Sega, so if you wanted any of the others and didn’t pre-order already, then don’t panic. Those may hopefully be available at certain online retailers after those soundtracks have finished production. This is actually true for many games produced by Limited Run Games, which go up for sale at retailers like Video Games New York, Video Games Plus, PNP Games, and even Best Buy. Contrary to popular belief, scalpers are not your only recourse if you miss the pre-order window for anything from Limited Run Games, but you have to keep your eyes open.

Now that that’s out of the way, check in after the break for links to pre-order directly from Limited Run Games, the path of least resistance. Remember, you have until May 5th, 2024 to pre-order this way.

Homebrew Saturn port of X-Men arcade gets updated demo, adding 3-player co-op and playable Storm

Remember the homebrew port of the 1992 X-Men arcade game for Sega Saturn being worked on by hotrodx? They just came out with an all-new version of their demo adding Storm to the playable roster, as well as 3-player co-op and a new 2nd stage.

Might as well cut to the chase. Check in past the break for info on the update as well as a download link.

Sega Genesis Mini 3 announced for North America and Japan exclusively; Details and first 10 games revealed (April Fools)

Sega, out of nowhere, just announced their newest mini console and successor to the Sega Genesis Mini 2. The Sega Genesis Mini 3 will be releasing on October 16th, 2024 exclusively in North America and Japan (Sorry, Europe, but you better get ready to import.) Unlike the previous two Genesis Mini plug-and-play consoles, this console will release in the exact same condition both in North America and Europe, as the Majesco-built Genesis 3 console was released originally only in North America. This means the console will have the exact same game lineup worldwide and will be known as the Genesis Mini 3 even in Japan.

At the same time, Sega have revealed that the console will include 50 games while also revealing what the first 10 games will be. Like with the previous two Genesis Minis, more games will be revealed gradually throughout the year before the console’s retail release. To find out what the first ten games are, check in after the break while containing your excitement.

Sega announces a 99% stock purchase of Nintendo (April Fools)

In a move that shook the entire video game industry, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. have announced that they have purchased a 99% share of Nintendo. Yes, that Nintendo. SegaSammy president and CEO Haruki Satomi have announced their near total takeover of Sega’s former console war nemesis late yesterday, March 31st, 2024, for exactly one billion yen.

So what is keeping Sega from acquiring the remaining 1% of Nintendo? Check in past the break to find out.

Engineer discovers “Blue Sky Burn-In” issue, prevalent with all Sega games; issues precautions (April Fools)

 

I don’t wanna alarm you, Sega fans, but I must inform you that Sega games have, for many decades, been damaging our eyes and our TV sets all along. A shocking discovery was just made by retro game engineer Salporoifl of an issue in which all Sega games, with the exception of any Atlus games pre-SegaSammy acquisition, can potentially burn a perpetual blue tint into your TV, monitor, or even your eyesight, if left playing for too long. Salporoifl has called this issue the “Blue Sky Burn-in” effect. (This also includes any Sega games not published by Sega, such as Streets of Rage 4) If you’re too careless in your Sega gaming sessions, blue, blue skies will be all you see.

Precautions have already been figured out, so check in after the break to find out how you can protect yourself and your displays.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist physical soundtrack available at Limited Run Games

If you’re a fan of the music from the Genesis/Mega-Drive classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (1992), then you’re gonna want this. The complete soundtrack will be up for pre-order from Limited Run Games starting tomorrow, with options for cassette tapes, CDs, and a single LP vinyl record available for the prices in the above graphic in USD. The vinyl is also available in an optional Green Ooze Edition, with a green record, limited to only 1,000 copies, so act fast if you want that in particular. The pre-order period runs throughout the entirety of March 2024.

This comes as part of Limited Run Games’s series of soundtracks for all the 8-bit and 16-bit TMNT games, of which they opened pre-orders for a new one every month starting last year. The only one remaining after this, which is expected to up for pre-order sometime in April 2024, will be for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters, and will include the music for the Genesis, NES, and SNES versions of that game, so be ready for that.

Take a look past the break for pre-order links to all three soundtracks. Just watch your step so you don’t fall in a creepy cave.

A new Genesis/Mega-Drive action game, Rocket Panda, hits Kickstarter; passes its base goal

Another brand-new Genesis/Mega-Drive game has launched on Kickstarter, with the goal of raising funds to finance its development. Rocket Panda, a game developed by Space Pants Games and Mega Cat Studios, is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter and has 18 days left in its campaign. It has also just passed its $15,000 USD goal, so it seems that this is all but locked in, although there is still a stretch goal of $25,000 USD to add an as-of-now unspecified mini-game.

The game puts you in control of the titular Rocket Panda, who must navigate different mazes while avoiding traps and bizarre enemies in order to find the exit. Along the way, you’ll encounter and rescue little badgers to accompany you to the exit, similar to Flicky, Gain Ground, or Sega’s Sonic 3D Blast, except that the badgers also serve as shields to protect you from attacks. As you’d expect, you’ll want to safely guide as many of these badgers to the exit as possible to earn a good score, so fly carefully either way. A demo is also available on the Kickstarter page for you to try right away.

But would you find this to be a game worth supporting with some cash? You can read on past the break and decide for yourself.

Demon Girls homebrew game for Genesis/Mega-Drive demo now available

It’s Genesis/Mega-Drive homebrew time again. Coming to us from developer and artist JuiceLizard, Demon Girls is still in active development for the wonderful 16-bit console, and now a demo is currently available for all to try from his itch.io page. The demo consists of the entire first level of the game and is absolutely free, but if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can also leave JuiceLizard a gracious tip as you download the ROM file. Like any Genesis ROM file, it can be played in your favorite Genesis emulation software, on original hardware with a Mega Everdrive flash cartridge, or on the MiSTer FPGA console.

You’ll find download links beyond the break.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance announced from Atlus, available June 21st, 2024

Good ol’ Atlus with their expanded SMT/Persona re-releases. Seriously though, props for the clever logo design here.

If you liked Atlus’s recent hit JRPG Shin Megami Tensei V, then you’re gonna love Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance. Just announced within the same Nintendo Partner Showcase Direct from February 21st, 2024, which also revealed the new demo for Unicorn Overlord, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance was revealed as an all-new definitive version of the original and highly lauded Shin Megami Tensei V (2021). This all new version of SMT V will include extra locations, demons, and an all new additional story to experience. From a technical side, the game also includes an improved battle, exploration, and demon fusion system, new accessibility features, and all the previously available DLC from SMT V as standard content within the base game.

Journey past the break for links to the game’s official website.