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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Coming to Steam on December 10th

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

There’s not much longer to wait for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD’s Steam release – because it’s actually out next week!

The game’s Steam page now confirms a launch date of December 10th. And to sweeten the deal, there’ll be a 20% off deal on the game until December 17th, putting the price at £19.99 (down from £24.99). For those unaware, Banana Blitz is a remake of the first Nintendo Wii outing for the series, but with 100% less motion controls. Party games have also been slimmed down to a more curated selection, level design has been tweaked to suit the new controls better, and perhaps most notably there’s a new unlockable character in the form of Sonic the Hedgehog. The Steam version will also seemingly add features, such as a Photo Mode.

[ Source: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz on Steam ]

Persona 5 Royal Launches West on March 31st 2020 for PS4, Atlus USA Rebrand as Atlus West

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Persona 5 Royal, the updated version of Atlus’ hit RPG Persona 5, now has a release date for both America and Europe – it’ll launch on March 31st 2020, exclusively for Playstation 4. There’s also a new trailer to announce it.

Royal adds a slew of new content to the original game, such as an extra ‘semester’ of story content, new areas to visit, alternate endings, and new features including a ‘Thieves Den’ that you can customise to your own tastes. There’s also several brand-new characters, including the new Phantom Thief, Kasumi.

In addition, Atlus USA is technically no more. Instead the division is now known as the much more inclusive Atlus West, to reflect that Europe now gets Atlus games on time. After years of Atlus being the butt of jokes about forgetting Europe exists, it’s been quite the transformation this past year or two, and we’re happy to see it continue.

To recap: Persona 5 Royal launches on PS4 on March 31st 2020 in the West. There won’t be a PS3 version, unlike the original game. There’s also a selection of lucrative (and fairly expensive) limited editions, including a Day One edition with a Steelbook.

SEGA AGES: Fantasy Zone for Nintendo Switch Launches November 28th in Japan

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Sound the SEGA AGES klaxon – because Fantasy Zone will be joining SEGA’s lineup of Nintendo Switch re-releases this week, in Japan at least.

Previously announced to be the next game in the lineup, we now know the game will launch this Thursday, November 28th (thanks to timezones, that’ll be Wednesday afternoon in the UK). It’ll be the usual price of 999 JPY. The release includes the content of the 3DS port, such as the Upa-Upa mode, as well as new elements like a Time Attack mode and revamped HUD display similar to M2’s own ShotTriggers releases.  More information is available on the Japanese page for SEGA AGES.

There’s currently no word on a Western release date for SEGA AGES Shinobi or Fantasy Zone, but we imagine it can’t be too far off now – we’ll report if one shows up.

Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami & Yakuza Kiwami 2 Coming to Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass in 2020

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

In a pleasant surprise for Xbox fans, SEGA’s beloved Yakuza series will finally be making touchdown on the Xbox One for the first time – as Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2 all hit Microsoft’s console in Early 2020.

If that wasn’t enough, the three games will also be added to Xbox’s Game Pass subscription service. This means if you’re subscribed to Game Pass, you get all three games for as long as you pay for the subscription, along with the frankly pretty staggering number of other games on the service. This also goes for the PC version of Game Pass, which likely means the three games will be coming to the Microsoft Store around the same time as the Xbox versions launch.

The only date given was “Early 2020”. It’s fantastic news that even more people will be able to experience the adventures of Kazuma Kiryu – now how much do we have to bribe SEGA for an oh-so-elusive Nintendo Switch port?

Fantasy Zone is the Next SEGA AGES Title for Japan, Launching ‘Soon’

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

The next game to join the SEGA AGES lineup for Nintendo Switch will be the arcade shoot-em-up Fantasy Zone.

As expected, this release of the game will include the extra content introduced in the 3D Classics release of the game, such as Upa-Upa Mode (which lets you switch between power-ups freely, charging you for ammo rather than for each weapon), a ‘Coin Stock’ that accumulates over your playtime (so you can jump into the game with a loaded inventory of coins if you want), and bosses from the Master System version implemented as extra bosses in the arcade version. As you play and accumulate more coins, you’ll also unlock more options, such as increased power-up ammo, and the ability to change how many coins enemies drop when defeated.

There’ll also now be a time attack feature that gives you infinite lives, HD rumble support, the standard replay and ranking functions of the other AGES releases, and a massively overhauled HUD. The HUD is notable, as it’s actually very in-line with M2’s separate ShotTriggers line of shmup ports.

There’s no solid date on Fantasy Zone’s Switch release right now, but we’d expect it to show up within the next two weeks. Over here, it’ll probably launch alongside the recently released Shinobi port.

You can check the official SEGA AGES: Fantasy Zone page here.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 on Steam Upgraded to Complete Edition, Existing Owners Receive All DLC For Free

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Owners of Valkyria Chronicles 4 on Steam are in for a treat, as the game has now been rebranded to the Complete Edition – even for those who already bought it!

The Complete Edition replaces the listing for the original release, and comes in at £39.99 – except now, you also get all of the DLC included in that price. And if that wasn’t enough, SEGA’s gone back and applied this retroactively to anyone who already purchased the game! So picked up Valkyria Chronicles 4 at launch and wish you’d waited for the Complete Edition? No need – you get all of the DLC for free!

It’s pretty generous to say the least, and a welcome move from SEGA. We can’t remember the last time ‘Game of the Year’ or ‘Complete Edition’ goodies got retroactively given to existing customers, so it’s a pleasant surprise.

New Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Trailer Confirms Unlockable Costumes… and Sonic the Hedgehog

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

SEGA has released a new “Special Announcement” trailer for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. It confirms the monkeys will have alternate costumes in the game, including some referencing other games in the series, such as Baby’s Secret Agent costume from Super Monkey Ball 3D for the 3DS.

But the real special announcement here is the confirmation of one of the worst kept secrets in recent SEGA memory – Sonic the Hedgehog has been added to the game as an unlockable character, in his Classic design! This was actually leaked three times, first through achievements that referred to him and then through a datamine of the recently released Japanese demo, and finally just earlier today through a leaked trailer. However we now have official confirmation, and our first look at him in action! There’s no word on how to unlock him in the game as of yet, but given this is Monkey Ball we can’t imagine it’ll be a walk in the park.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD launches October 29th for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, with a PC port coming later in Winter.

“Cheerful Usa-Chan” Stuffed Toy Released in Japan… And It Sings NiGHTS into Dreams Music

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

We love a bit of weird SEGA trivia here at SEGADriven, and this certainly fits that bill!

Very recently, a cuddly soft toy called “Cheerful Usa-Chan” was released in Japan. It seems like it’s a spin-off from another popular product, IWAYA’s “Cheerful Kuma-chan”, and the idea is that it’ll sing kids a lullaby to help them sleep. Which is all well and good, but has absolutely nothing to do with SEGA. Or does it?

Turns out one of the songs included with Cheerful Usa-Chan is none other than a brand new arrangement of “Dreams Dreams”, the main theme of SEGA Saturn cult hit NiGHTS into Dreams! Specifically, it’s a new spin on “Dreams Dreams in Silent Memory”. Composer Tomoko Sasaki goes into detail about the surprising inclusion on her blog – from the sounds of things, she asked SEGA for permission to use the track and they granted it, so you can officially have your kids put to bed by a stuffed rabbit singing old SEGA music at them. The rabbit’s singing for the track is even provided by Sasaki herself! For those unaware, her resume includes Ristar and Burning Rangers, and later on tracks for Namco’s “The iDOLM@STER” series. She even voiced the Chao in Sonic Adventure!

Fortunately Twitter user @mid0_ring0 already got their hands on the plush, and being a NiGHTS fan they’ve provided a video of the new arrangement, after the jump:

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GoodSmile Company Re-Releasing The Sonic the Hedgehog Nendoroid, Pre-Orders Now Open

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

GoodSmile Company have announced a re-release of the original version of their Sonic the Hedgehog Nendoroid figure, to be released in February 2020.

The original figure released back in April 2012, with a rerelease in October 13. It was also made available in the Nendoroid EZ line, but there it was ultimately stripped down with fewer accessories. This release is the full monty, with additional goodies like a checkpoint gate and item box.

He also only comes to 3900 JPY, or £30 – which is a far cry from the £90 the original release was going for the last time we checked second-hand store Mandarake. Sonic fans who missed the first release will want to pick this up ASAP.

You can pre-order the figure here.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Yakuza 7) Finally Announced, Coming West 2020 – And It’s a Turn-Based RPG

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

The seventh (technically 8th, due to Yakuza 0) mainline entry in SEGA’s hit Yakuza series has finally been announced for PS4, and with Kiryu Kazuma’s story over it’s finally time for new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga to properly take the stage. And with him, comes a dramatic shift in the series; the game is a turn-based RPG!

After willingly spending a stint in jail to protect the Tojo Clan and his father figure in the clan, Masumi Arakawa, Kasuga gets out of prison only to learn the Tojo Clan has fallen, the Kansai Alliance run the show, and that father figure he took the jail time to protect’s idea of a reunion is shooting him and leaving him for dead in Yokohama. He wakes up in the trash, and that’s where our story begins.

The main thing setting apart this game from other titles in the series is something we could’ve actually seen coming – back during April Fools Day, SEGA released footage of what they claimed was Yakuza 7, now being a turn-based RPG rather than the SpikeOut-style beat-em-up the series has become known for.

…turns out that wasn’t actually an April Fools. The game really is a turn-based RPG! You’ll still be able to pummel enemies with bikes and all that, no problems there, but now it’s all done in the vein of something like Dragon Quest (something that Kasuga actually directly mentions during the trailer).

An English trailer was uploaded confirming the 2020 date, but has been removed shortly after by SEGA Europe. It also confirmed the game is taking the Resident Evil 7 approach by working the series’ Japanese title into its English name – as rather than Yakuza 7, the game will be called “Yakuza: Like a Dragon.”

Gematsu have mirrored the English trailer here.

Gematsu have also translated the Japanese website, the results of which can be found here.

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