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News Retro

The SEGA Genesis Mini Finally Launches Worldwide September 19

First revealed at last year’s SEGA Fes, SEGA had announced that they would be releasing a SEGA Mega Drive Mini (or Genesis Mini in North America) by the end of 2018, but the year has come and gone with little fanfare or details on their own retro plug-and-play console. It took another SEGA Fes for word to finally come on the delayed legacy system, as the company finally gave eager fans at Akihabara an inside look at the anticipated platform.

Packaged with 40 classic games, you’d best mark your calendars and start saving up, as the SEGA Genesis Mini will finally launch globally later this year on September 19.

This isn’t SEGA’s first crack at a throwback console, having released the SEGA Mega Drive Classic and Genesis Flashback HD
in partnership with AtGames. Those consoles were nigh universally panned, however, with critics citing poor emulation and shoddy hardware. While AtGames was initially meant to collaborate with SEGA again on the Genesis Mini, it appears that partnership has dissolved, with SEGA now working on the system internally alongside developer M2.

M2 is the same studio responsible for a lot of enhanced retro ports of classic games we see on modern platforms nowadays, such as the
SEGA 3D Classics for Nintendo 3DS and the SEGA Ages games for Nintendo Switch. As such, the Genesis Mini is already shaping up to stand on par with Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classics when it comes to quality. Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro is also working on the Mini, having composed the menu music for the system.

As for the games lineup, SEGA has announced that Japanese Mega Drive Mini will include the following among the confirmed 40 titles:

  • Castlevania Bloodlines
  • Comix Zone
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Madou Monogatari Ichi (Story of Sorcery 1)
  • Powerball
  • Puyo Puyo 2
  • Rent-a-Hero
  • Shining Force
  • Space Harrier II
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Meanwhile, the North American Genesis Mini will include the following, among others:

  • Altered Beast
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Comix Zone
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Shining Force
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Space Harrier II
  • ToeJam & Earl

As an added bonus? On top of save states, some games will come with regional variations that you can choose to play from. It’s certainly a nice touch to those who might appreciate some of the minute differences between certain localizations and outright changes between international versions of the same game.

The console will release in two variations in Japan. One edition will come with a single six-button Mega Drive Mini USB controller, with an MSRP of ¥6,980, while the second version comes with two controllers retailing at ¥8,980. This won’t be the case in North America, as the U.S. version will launch with two three-button Genesis-style controllers, totaling to $80.

Would you consider picking up a SEGA Genesis Mini later this year? What other games would you like to see packaged with the retro system? Personally, just give me
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and I’m good, but share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below!

Source: SEGA (JP, US)

Mobile Platforms News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Trailers Videos

Mario and Sonic Throw Down Once More for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Gaming’s greatest rivals are about to go head-to-head once again, now that the Olympics are coming to their home turf. Having reclaimed the video game licensing rights just in time for the occasion, SEGA has announced that their own Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo’s Mario will pick up where they left off in Rio with the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The reveal dropped at this year’s SEGA Fes with a big announcement trailer, with the next Mario & Sonic at the Olympics game set to launch this winter in Japan for the Nintendo Switch. As previous entries’ western release windows weren’t too distant, the same should be expected internationally, pending official word from Nintendo or SEGA.

The “Play 2020” trailer also featured other Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games tie-in titles published by SEGA. On top of the main Nintendo Switch game, SEGA also announced a Mario & Sonic at Tokyo 2020 arcade game for next year, a separate Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for mobile devices, and the Tokyo 2020 game for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for Asia this summer and worldwide in 2020.

SEGA retained the license for tie-in video games for every edition since the Beijing 2008 Olympics, back when the Mario and Sonic crossover sports games first began, with new entries every two years on contemporary Nintendo platforms. At least, this was the case until 2018, when Ubisoft got the license for the Winter 2018 Olympics-themed expansion for Steep.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to run from July 24 to August 9 next year. Japan is the home to a ton of beloved pop culture icons and franchises renowned around the globe and spread out across innumerable manga, anime, and games. The country prided itself on these during the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony, showing off the likes of Hello Kitty!, Doraemon, and Mario himself, among others. While I can’t claim to have 2020 vision, the returning Mario & Sonic franchise might just be the tip of the media crossover iceberg on the horizon.

Are you looking forward to picking up Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the Switch? What kind of otherwise impossible crossovers would you like to see happen during next year’s sporting festivities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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News Retro

A Brand New Sakura Wars Game from SEGA is Coming Soon

In 1996, the SEGA Saturn was home to a dual tactical RPG/dating sim in the form of Sakura Wars, which follows the story of an all-women task force known as the Imperial Assault Squad in their bid to defend the world from evil. The franchise was a hit in Japan and spawned OVAs, an anime series, and a movie on top of several sequels, the last of which—Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love—was the first to hit North America on PlayStation 2 and Wii. Since then, the series has faded into obscurity, aside from tie-ins with the Project X Zone games.

One fan poll and a SEGA Fes 2018 livestream later, however, SEGA has announced that a brand new game, tentatively titled “Shin Sakura Wars,” is currently in development. Little is known about the actual game at this time, other than it being scheduled for a 2019 launch at the earliest and that it is a direct followup to the fifth game in the series.

However, this reveal proves interesting, as it follows the results of a poll SEGA of Japan held in late 2016. Keep in mind that the poll was aimed at Japanese fans, but with several thousand votes compiled, these were the results of that poll at the time:

  1. Sakura Wars (2457)
  2. Jet Set Radio (1485)
  3. Virtual On (729)
  4. Shenmue (727)
  5. Virtua Fighter (581)
  6. Panzer Dragoon (538)
  7. Shining Force (518)
  8. Skies of Arcadia (483)
  9. Streets of Rage (437)
  10. NiGHTS into dreams… (261)

And thus, a new Sakura Wars game came into being and is set to launch in the near future, suggesting it entered development last year. Yu Suzuki is leading the fray for a third Shenmue game, while SEGA announced last night that the first two games of that franchise would be remastered for modern platforms later this year. The last game in the Panzer Dragoon franchise, Panzer Dragoon Orta, was released for the original Xbox in 2002, and is now becoming Xbox One backward compatible in just a few days.

So with all of that and the poll in mind… please, SEGA. Jeff wants him a new Jet Set Radio game. Which classic SEGA franchise would you most like to see revived next? Share your thoughts with us below.

Source: SEGAbits

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News PC PlayStation 4 Retro Trailers Videos Xbox One

Shenmue 1 & 2 Are Finally Being Rereleased, Coming to Xbox One, PS4, and PC

Oft rumored, long wanted, and once thought impossible, the promised time has finally come to pass. What’s long been considered as the highest requested rerelease for SEGA diehards finally came to light at SEGA Fes last night, being the “HUGE” announcement the publisher has been teasing via their international social media channels.

The Dreamcast classic Shenmue and its sequel are being brought to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and the duology will launch as a single package later this year.

Considered the definitive edition of these games, Shenmue I & II will include a number of extra features not found in their original release, such as high-definition widescreen, classic and modern control schemes, and English and Japanese voiceovers. Preorders for the Shenmue remasters are already open on Steam.

A Nintendo Switch version of these rereleases has not been confirmed. A third game for the franchise, partially crowdfunded on Kickstarter and led by Yu Suzuki, is also currently on track for a 2018 launch.

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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Retro

SEGA Announces “SEGA Ages” Lineup of Classic Games for Nintendo Switch

While Nintendo has yet to reveal a dedicated Virtual Console system for the Switch, its third party partnerships were certainly up to the task in revitalizing their retro games onto the hybrid platform. Hamster Corporation has consistently pushed ACA NEOGEO releases on the eShop since launch, and publishers such as Capcom, SNK, Atari, and Bandai Namco have all come forward with a bevy of collection titles for arcade classics and fan-favorite franchises.

Now, SEGA has announced that they’re finally getting in the action too, with a “SEGA Ages” initiative coming to the Nintendo Switch this summer. In stark contrast to the SEGA Genesis Classics collection coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next month, the company’s approach to SEGA Ages will be handled as individual releases with a finer touch by developer M2.

In recent times, the studio has been responsible for straightforward Virtual Console emulations of SEGA and Bandai Namco games for the Wii, as well as Game Gear titles for Nintendo 3DS. M2 then moved into putting more elbow grease towards developing native, enhanced ports of Genesis, Master System, and arcade software as SEGA 3D Classics remakes for the 3DS.

Starting this summer, fifteen such enhanced ports with extra features will roll out worldwide to the Nintendo Switch eShop, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Thunder Force IV, and Phantasy Star. Thunder Force IV on Switch is also playable for SEGA FES attendees at the Akihabara-held event this weekend.

Are you looking forward to picking up SEGA Ages-enhanced classics on the Switch eShop? Which other classics do you wish to see rebuilt from the ground up for the hybrid platform? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Source: SEGA (via Gematsu)

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