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Archive for January, 2021

SEGA Reshuffling Management And Structure Again, Toshihiro Nagoshi Steps Down as CCO And Becomes Creative Director

Friday, January 29th, 2021

SEGA is having yet another organisational shift, as the start of the new fiscal year looms. From April 1st, corporate functions will be integrated between the SEGA SAMMY Holdings group (aligning the operations of SEGA and Sammy more, from what we understand), and there’ll be some staff shifting about too. Perhaps none more eye-catching than Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, who’ll be stepping back from his role as SEGA’s CCO (that’s Chief Creative Officer) and into a Creative Director role.

The corporate changes aren’t anything surprising and are fairly normal around the start of a new fiscal year, and it might not even mean a whole lot to the average SEGA fan; but SEGA’s getting it out of the way quite early, and Nagoshi stepping back is at least somewhat of a surprise. He’s certainly had a bumpy couple of years; with his revelation in 2019 that he’d had heart surgery, and the furore he kicked off in 2020 after managing to insult a pro Puyo Puyo player live on air. Either way, we do wonder if this could mean Nagoshi gets closer to the games being developed at SEGA again, because that would obviously be no bad thing.

[ Source – Dr. Serkan Toto and Famitsu ]

Roger Craig Smith Will No Longer Voice Sonic the Hedgehog

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Roger Craig Smith’s tenure voicing SEGA’s beloved mascot Sonic the Hedgehog has come to a somewhat abrupt end, as he’s announced through Twitter that after 10 years, he’s moving “onward to new zones.”

It’s certainly a surprise; for the past decade, Smith’s voice has become synonymous with the hedgehog for an entire generation of young fans. The older generations couldn’t seem to agree, but for our money he was probably the most consistently solid English voice Sonic’s had to date.

Should this mean we won’t be hearing Smith in the next Sonic game, it’d mean his final role as Sonic wasn’t actually a Sonic game; he recently voiced the blue blur in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, as part of a recent content update.

It goes without saying, but we wish Smith all the best in whatever’s next for him. For many Sonic fans, now the question is – who’s next? Unsurprisingly, Ben Schwartz is a name popping up quite a lot on Twitter right now, after his stellar perfomance as Sonic’s movie counterpart – but only time will tell.

YouTuber Archiving Footage of Sonic Cafe i-Mode Games Before Service Closes | Video Spotlight

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

If you’re unfamiliar with the Sonic Cafe line of mobile games they were a series of i-Mode titles released exclusively in Japan between 2001 and 2007. The service is due to be discontinued which has sparked Japanese YouTuber Ruwa into action. Ruwa is currently capturing as many i-Mode games as possible and among them are direct feed captures of various Sonic Cafe titles like Sonic Darts, Sonic Golf, Sonic Jump and Sonic Kart 3DX. It makes for some truly fascinating viewing for Western SEGA fans as these games never made their way across the pond.

There’s also a number of SEGA i-Mode games like Out Run, Pengo and Monaco GP in there. Here’s an incomplete list of SEGA i-Mode games captured by Ruwa. I would list them all but there’s honestly just too many for me to list here. Check out the channel to browse more of his i-Mode captures by clicking here:

Sonic Jump
Sonic Kart
Sonic Kart 3DX
Sonic Darts
Sonic Golf 3D
Shadow Shoot
Sonic’s Time Limit Train
Sonic Billiards
Sonic Speed DX
Out Run
Pengo
Head On
Monaco GP
Hang-On
Virtua Racing DX
See Saw Jump
Woody Pop
Rock-Paper-Scissors Warrior
Pyramid Magic
Pyramid Magic II
Duel Kart
Animal Mountain

[Source: Slopes Game Room on Twitter]

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Comes to PC via Steam on March 23rd

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will be making its long-awaited PC debut on March 23rd, as that’s when the game will be coming to Steam.

The game’s Steam page doesn’t have pre-orders open right now, but we expect it won’t be long now until they are. The trailer’s description also confirms the recent content update will be included, as well as the upcoming ones. On top of that, the next content update for the game is set to be showcased on a Japanese Puyo stream at the start of February, and we suspect Western announcements won’t be far behind.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2’s Steam page can be found here.

 

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World Gets a New Trailer, Q2 2021 Release Window

Monday, January 25th, 2021

The upcoming remake of Monster World IV, Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World, has received a new trailer and a fresh round of details to go along with it.

The trailer is notable as is showcases a fair improvement over the previous ones; Asha’s animations appear to have been reworked, and on the whole it looks a bit nicer. The latest press release makes particular mention that the developers have been taking on feedback, and given the frosty reception to the initial showings, it’s sure looking like it.

The trailer also gives us more of the Japanese voice acting being added to the game, as well as a new Q2 2021 release window. There’s also a reaffirmation that physical copies of the game will include the original Mega Drive title on a separate cartridge for Nintendo Switch, and as a download for PS4; Gematsu reports that this version will now be available at retail, whereas previously it seemed like it’d be exclusive to Strictly Limited, with only 3000 copies being made.

Japan has received a more solid release date of April 22nd, and will also be getting physical versions; their Special Pack will include two artbooks.

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is launching for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 later this year.

[Source – Gematsu]

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Content Update Available Today, Adds Sonic The Hedgehog And Several Other Characters, Raid Battle Mode

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2’s first major update has been released, and it brings along with it 4 new characters. Alongside fan-favourite characters such as Lidelle, Ms Accord and Ocean Prince from the Puyo Puyo Fever titles, Sonic the Hedgehog himself has joined the Puyo Tetris battlefield – and it’s not a mod this time!

Other additions include a raid-style boss battle mode, inspired by a similar feature in Puyo Puyo Chronicle. You can earn Skill Battle cards not available through Adventure Mode by teaming up with other players to take on boss characters. Speaking of Skill Battle, the Sonic-themed cards have now been added into the main game, too.

There’s also four new music tracks, to go along with the new characters; including Tropical Resort, from Sonic Colours.

This… certainly came out of nowhere. We suspect this is what SEGA Europe were teasing for tomorrow’s stream, in which case they weren’t kidding about it being special. Currently only the Japanese announcement is available, but our Playstation 4 downloaded the new update, and Sonic and company are indeed present and accounted for.

Sonic 11″ First 4 Figures Statue Review | YouTube Channel

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

The lovely people at SEGA Europe have kindly sent us the new 11″ Sonic the Hedgehog statue from First 4 Figures. In this video we share our own opinions on this statue and see how it compares to similar statues in the First 4 Figures range:

If you enjoyed this video then why not subscribe to the SEGADriven YouTube channel for more visual SEGA fun!

The First ROM Dump of a Sonic 1 Prototype Has Finally Been Released Thanks to Hidden Palace

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Hidden Palace have gifted the community one of the most significant ROM dumps of any SEGA game for their final release of 2020.

The team have released the very first publicly available prototype of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for Mega Drive, and it is downloadable right now and playable in either an emulator or on real hardware.

You may have seen the various unused gameplay elements and alternate artwork from this prototype in pre-release footage or the various magazine coverage from the time. This includes the UFOs in Marble Garden Zone, the different neon signs in Spring Yard Zone, the checkerboard ball that Sonic can run on in Green Hill Zone and the different stage titles for Spring Yard Zone and Scrap Brain Zone. Well, they’re all in this prototype and it makes for a fascinating insight into the game’s development.

Download the Sonic the Hedgehog prototype now by clicking here. Thank you to everyone at Hidden Palace for digitally preserving such an important piece of SEGA history.

[Source: Hidden Palace]

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