Upcoming Game Symphony Japan Concert Exclusively Featuring SEGA Music

Game Symphony Japan X SegaThe Game Symphony Japan concert series has announced plans for a special type of performance, exclusively featuring SEGA music. This Crunchyroll article mentions that previous Game Symphony Japan performances have featured music from Sakura Wars and Phantasy Star Online. The Game Symphony Japan web page for this concert attaches an interesting subtitle for this event: “Sega Special Vol. 1.” Perhaps we may see another one in the future?

This 14th iteration of the Game Symphony Japan series will take place on October 10th at 4:30, Japan Standard Time. What musical pieces or franchises would you love to see represented? Orchestral renditions of Jet Set Radio music?

Credit for the featured image goes to above-linked Crunchyroll article.

SEGA files trademark for “Shining Seed”

Shining Resonance Yuuma Jenius

News has just broken about SEGA’s trademark for “Shining Seed” going public. Gematsu writes that SEGA filed the trademark application on January 28th, with the trademark finally going public on February 10th. This is almost certainly the title for the next entry in the Shining series, though it’s hard to say what’s next in store for the franchise. Shining Resonance, which released last year on December 11th, was actually the first Shining game to appear on the seventh generation of consoles, and that generation is nearing its end.

Since its release in Japan, Shining Resonance has been regularly supported by DLC from SEGA. There’s been no word on Shining Resonance’s localization prospects as of yet.

Do you have something in mind for the future of the Shining series? Write back in the comments!

 

Article image courtesy of Gematsu.

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (3DS) Demo now available on eShop

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Earlier last month a demo of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal was confirmed. Off of the heels of today’s NintendoDirect, NintendoLife reminds us that the demo for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is now available to try out. A special 3DS theme based off of Sonic Boom will  apparently also be made available with the demo. According to this NeoGAF thread, the demo comes with eight uses and takes up 944 blocks of space.

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the 3DS and its companion title, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U, will release in North America on November 11th and in the United Kingdom and Europe on November 21st.

Credit for the image goes to the above-linked NintendoLife article.

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Yakuza Zero Releases in Japan on March 12, 2015

YakuzaZeroReleaseDateAnnounced

According to SegmentNext, Toshihiro Nagoshi recently announced a March 12, 2015 release date for Yakuza Zero in Japan. As far as known Japanese release dates for other games are concerned, Yakuza Zero comes out two weeks earlier than Sword Art Online: Lost Song for PS3, and comes out within a two week range earlier than Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, and Disgaea 5 for PS4. It isn’t currently releasing simultaneously with any other title. The game will also be priced at ¥8,190.

Yakuza Zero is a prequel title that allows players progress through story mode campaigns as either Kazuma Kiryu or Goro Majima that the pasts of the iconic Yakuza characters. Be sure to check out this extended story trailer if you have not done so already!

Credit for the featured image goes to this AnimeNewsNetwork writeup.

Shining Resonance promotional movie showcases characters and battle footage

SEGA recently uploaded a new Shining Resonance video to their YouTube channel, called the “Shining Resonance Promotional Movie.” It is a little more than four minutes long, and showcases party members and the game’s various antagonists. The video also shows off plenty of battle footage, include a field-to-battle transition in the latter half of the video. Be sure to check it out!

Shining Resonance is scheduled for a 2014 release in Japan, and is exclusive to the PS3. Were Shining Resonance to be localized for a 2015 release, it would have some company among other JRPG’s seeing a Western 2015 release. Tales of Zestiria is scheduled to come out during the summer of 2015 in North America, and Atelier Shallie is also scheduled to be released sometime in 2015. These first two titles are also PS3 exclusives, to say nothing of PS3/PS4 titles such as Persona 5 and Yakuza Zero, which release in Japan during 2015.

Phantasy Star Nova Tokyo Game Show 2014 Trailer


Tokyo Game Show media is quickly pouring out. SEGA recently uploaded their TGS 2014 promotional trailer for Phantasy Star Nova. It features cinematic elements and quick character highlights, while also offering quick looks into gameplay features like combat, weapons, and the Gigantes boss enemies. The trailer also momentarily highlights the game’s character creation, and makes a point to draw attention to the ad-hoc multiplayer mode. It’s a summary trailer for those wondering what Phantasy Star Nova is all about.

Be sure to check it out! In other news, Phantasy Star Nova will feature cameo costumes and weapons from 2010 RPG Resonance of Fate, developed by tri-Ace and published by Sega. Phantasy Star Nova is a similar situation as it is being developed by tri-Ace, though SEGA staff members are actively involved in this game’s development.

Phantasy Star Nova is scheduled for release in Japan on November 11. Localization is planned in traditional Mandarin Chinese, and there are a handful of territories besides China with speakers of this dialect including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. However, no localization is planned for other regions; hopefully this state of affairs is reversed, as waiting fans will be missing out.

SEGA Europe to publish Persona 4 Arena Ultimax in Europe, SEGA also publishing in Australia

P4AUEuropeThis NeoGAF topic reported that Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’s (the expansion/sequel to Persona 4 Arena) PEGI classification was recently registered. That registration lists the game’s publisher as SEGA Europe. The move comes across a notable display of the new relationship between Atlus and Sega, fast approaching its first anniversary. Towards the end of May, Atlus took over distribution rights for Persona 4 Arena in Europe from Zen United, delisting the game from PSN in the process. Zen United previously handled distribution of other Atlus games in Europe, including Rune Factory 4 and Persona 4 Arena.

Hero Bank 2 Teaser Video Released

Sega uploaded their new teaser video for Hero Bank 2 to their Youtube channel recently. Following up on SEGAbits’ earlier report on the game, Hero Bank 2 promises tag-team 2v2 battles and a plot that takes players around the entirety of Japan. Raising the stakes further still, Kaito fights this time against the Seven Lucky Gods Group and is saddled with a debt of…one trillion yen!

First-print buyers will receive a special Hero Suit to be equipped in-game along with a card for the Hero Bank Arcade game, which is a 3v3 card battle game. This short promotional trailer will give you a quick peek at the Hero Bank arcade game for those who are curious. Hero Bank 2 will be released in Japan on November 27 for the price of ¥5,139.

Credit to this AnimeNewsNetwork article.

Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode 3 New Content Recap Video

Sega recently released a video recapping the new content coming to Phantasy Star Online 2 with Episode 3. It’s a video packed with content, glossing over the new planet Harukotan, the new Bouncer class, and various character customization option additions alongside balance skill tree adjustments. The ARKS lobby is also receiving some additional touches, and the new Casino is shown off briefly. The new Nyau enemy also makes a quick appearance towards the end of the video, while a couple of new bosses are introduced towards the beginning of the video.

The end of the trailer introduces some new characters players will meet in Episode 3. Episode 3 takes you to the feudal-Japan-themed planet of Harukotan, where the White and Black Nations are engaged in a bitter feud after a non-aggression pact between both parties is violated by the ambitions of the Black Nation.

This expansion to Phantasy Star Online 2 comes out tomorrow, August 27th, for Japan!

Arc System Works’ Limited Edition Guilty Gear Xrd Pad Looks…Familiar

XrdPad

Arc System Works announced a limited edition bundle for the Playstation 4 version of Guilty Gear Xrd. Priced at ¥10,778, the bundle includes a Vocal Collection CD, the above pictured controller, and another surprise to be announced at a later date. The controller actually works with both the PS4 and PS3 versions of Guilty Gear Xrd, but will only be sold with the limited edition of the Playstation 4 game.

The controller is noticeably similar to the Sega Genesis controller. It is compact, and features no control sticks unlike the Dualshock 3 and 4 – only a D-Pad. There are six buttons on the right, which sort of fits since Guilty Gear traditionally features a five button system and having those five buttons adjacent to each other could be essential to some players. The overall shape of the Xrd Pad is strikingly similar to the Genesis controller as well.

You often hear of special arcade sticks for fighting games being designed and not pads, though some pads were made for the first iteration of Street Fighter 4. Nevertheless, it’s an unexpected move and the resemblance is uncanny. What do you think?

Credit goes to SegmentNext for the image and initial comparison.

Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode 3 Introduces Myau…er, Nyau!

PSO2NyauPhantasy Star Online 2: Episode 3 is coming out on August 27 in Japan. It will feature a new planet to explore, a casino for the lobby, new skills for old classes and an entirely new class in the Bouncer. It will also feature new characters and enemies, and the one featured above should be interesting to fans familiar with the classic Phantasy Star games.

Meet Nyau! Nyau is an enemy to be introduced in Episode 3, clearly inspired by the party character Myau from the first Phantasy Star game. According to Siliconera, Nyaus have high defense, so to battle them more efficiently you’ll need to make them vulnerable by destroying their weapon when they drop it. This will prompt Nyau to mourn the loss and be open for attacks. Nyaus are reportedly still strong on offense by themselves and can summon bosses, so speed will be of the essence. Also, if you manage to break a Nyau’s weapon you may have a chance for an item drop!

Credit to this PSUBlog entry for the image capture.

Next Yakuza Title (Yakuza 6?) Website Revealed, Formal Reveal Incoming

Yakuza6Teaser

The teaser website for the next Yakuza title has just launched. It features text that steadily appears and fills up the screen, culminating with the image shown above. Gematsu reports that we can expect a formal reveal via niconico on the 24th of August at 9 P.M. Japan time. Details are scant on the game itself, but we do know that the game is in development for both the PS3 and PS4, and that it will not be a spinoff title.

The Yakuza franchise keeps moving forward in Japan, but outside of Japan the rest of the world still lags with Ishin and 5 not being localized. Please consider learning about and supporting the Day of the Dragon (August 8th) to show your support for bringing Yakuza games outside of Japan!

Credit to Gematsu for the teaser website image capture.

Yakuza Fans: The Day of the Dragon is August 8!

yakuza4protagonists

A couple of weeks ago SEGA forum member king_ruckus came up with the idea of the “Day of the Dragon” – a fan initiative that asks people to send letters to SEGA offices (to be received on the 8th) expressing their desire to see the franchise brought back to life in the West. It’s been a year and a half since Yakuza 5 was released in Japan, and there is no word on localization for Yakuza: Ishin, either. With the next Yakuza title already in development, fans are understandably worried. Keeping this in mind, king_ruckus looked up the mailing addresses for the London, Tokyo, and San Francisco offices so fans can send the letters to the offices of their choosing.

Keep in mind that while the Day of the Dragon is technically set to be August 8 (next Friday,) the spirit of king_ruckus’s idea is such that the letters arrive during the week of August 8. This allows not only for the variation in personal schedules, but for the sending of letters from different parts of the world to the desired SEGA offices. Please consider sending mail to SEGA! Also, get #DayOftheDragon or #BringYakuzaWest trending if you’ve got Twitter, and check out this Facebook page if you’ve got Facebook! To check out the addresses for the three above-specified SEGA offices, hit the break!

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax North and South American releases not region locked, preorder bonuses revealed

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Earlier today, Atlus announced on their website for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax that the North and South American releases of the game will not be region locked. While this news is appreciated, it’s appreciable because the first iteration of the game, Persona 4: Arena, was one of a small number of region locked games on PS3. This was a move that sparked much ire especially from European gamers, who received their release of the game under publisher Zen United and several months after North American gamers had received their copy of the game. The concepts of timely releases and maintaining fan hype are especially important for fighting games; the absence of properly handled releases threaten the development of scenes.

In any case, it seems that European gamers who are unwilling to wait for a European release will be able to import the games without worry of playability. It’s worth noting that there is currently no official news on a European release, though a release may be possible. The Persona Europe Facebook page has made posts for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax among other games recently, and shared an image last September saying “More info soon!” but of course what was meant by that can’t be known for certain.

In that same news posting today Atlus also revealed the preorder bonuses for the game and the spread is thus: a Teddie bop bag, the first of two sets of Persona Tarot cards (the other set to be included with the release of Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth), and the Tohru Adachi DLC pack that unlocks both the character and an accompanying story mode episode. These goodies will also be available to first-run copies of the game

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax releases on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in Japan on August 28 and in North America on September 30.

Yu Suzuki interview at Gamelab 2014

Yu Suzuki attended the recently concluded Gamelab 2014, a gaming conference in Spain. He gave a presentation (partially notable for one of his slides featuring a Roman numeral “3” stylized in Shenmue font, which attracted the usual modest amount of attention) and was the recipient of the fourth Legend Award, a distinction meant for honoring “key figures in the history of video games”, as written at the Gamelab website.

After Gamelab concluded, Yu Suzuki conducted a short interview, available above. The interview asks a variety of direct questions, on topics including his favorite arcade project that he worked on (interestingly, the interviewer also asks Yu Suzuki if he feels nostalgiac for any aspects of Sega’s more arcade-focused past,) opportunities for modern technology in a hypothetical next Shenmue game, and whether or not Kickstarter is being actively considered to fund the next Shenmue game should development be more seriously pursued. Check it out!