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Persona 4 Golden Now Available on Steam

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

The previously Playstation Vita exclusive re-release of Atlus’ beloved RPG Persona 4, Persona 4 Golden, has arrived on Steam; marking the series’ first ever PC outing.

Due to be revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020, but let slip a bit too early, Persona 4 Golden for PC costs £15.99 (with a £19.99 Digital Deluxe Edition, including a digital soundtrack and artbook). It comes with a slew of enhancements over the Vita version, such as improved framerates, dual audio, and higher resolution support.

Many have cited Persona 4 Golden as one of the main (or rather, only) reasons to own a Vita, so suffice to say it making the leap to PC is very welcome. Hopefully, there’s more where this came from down the road; Persona 3 next, perhaps?

You can grab Persona 4 Golden on PC here.

Phantasy Star Online 2’s Western 2020 Content Roadmap Detailed, Aims for Content Parity with Japan by Year’s End, Plans to Bring Game to Other PC Platforms and Regions

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

SEGA has detailed what exactly their plans are for Phantasy Star Online 2’s Western release over the coming months, in a hefty content roadmap.

Currently, only content up to Episode 3 of the game is available for Western players, whereas Japan is currently on Episode 6. That, and the game is technically only available in North America right now; and on the Windows Store, which has rendered the game’s launch a bit of a mess for many, who’ve had to deal with a slew of bizarre installation issues.

Apparently that’s all set to change; SEGA is aiming to get the game “to reach parity with the Japanese servers eventually, with simultaneous releases moving forward to ensure that both services deliver the best experience possible to our players.” As the above visual shows, the aim to have that parity reached before the year is over; which is great, and there’s a lot of excellent features in the later episodes!

There also seems to be some reprieve on the way for those who can’t stand the Microsoft Store, as the blog notes that “more PC platforms” are coming soon. Presumably this means Steam, as it was mentioned in a manual for the game during the beta; but there’s every chance it could also mean the Epic Games Store. The plural has us hopeful, at least.

Crucially, they also state that:

We are also working hard to introduce this legendary online action RPG to a global audience this year. We will have more information about the regions where the game will become available in the near future.

Given the initial furore European fans had in response to the blind-eye turned towards fans beyond America (or perhaps that was just me…), it’s about time we heard more on plans to expand globally; even if there’s pretty much nothing to stop said non-American fans getting the game right now anyway.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be an exciting year for PSO2 fans in the West. Episode 4 is currently planned to release in August 2020, bringing with it great features such as crafting and an increased level cap.

You can check out the full roadmap on the PSO2 blog.

Clockwork Aquario, A Lost SEGA System 18 Arcade Title from Wonder Boy Creators, Set To See an Official Release Later this Year

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Strictly Limited Games, alongside ININ Games, have announced that they’ve acquired the rights to publish Westone Bit Entertainment’s Clockwork Aquario for current gaming platforms. For those not in the know, Clockwork Aquario was a cancelled SEGA System 18 board arcade title from Westone Bit Entertainment, best known for their work on the Wonder Boy/Monster World franchise. The modern ports of the game will land before the end of the year, with both a limited physical run and a general digital release. Currently mooted platforms are Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Gematsu have the full press release, which goes into the details of how Strictly Limited got their hands on the game; and how they signed a deal with LAT and SEGA to get it released, 27 years later. Westone Bit Entertainment’s former staff, including Ryuichi Nishizawa (generally cited as the creator of Wonder Boy) have also been involved with the new release.

It’s very exciting when lost arcade titles pop up, and even moreso when they get official releases. We’re very excited to get our hands on this gorgeous looking title!

Phantasy Star Online 2 Comes West for PC on May 27th, Will Have Crossplay with Xbox Players

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

True to their word that it would drop before the end of May, SEGA has announced that Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to PC next week, on May 27th.

Phantasy Star Online 2 will launch as a Microsoft Store exclusive. Whilst technically only a North American launch, the process of getting the game in the UK and other non-US regions for Xbox One was extremely simple, so hopefully that’ll be the case here too. The PC version will allow players to fight alongside those on the Xbox One version, which isn’t too surprising but is very welcome all the same.

Alongside the announcement, PSO2’s first major Western collab has been announced and kicks off today in the Xbox One version; in a move I can only conclude is specifically trying to get me to make the jump from the Japanese version, it’s with VOCALOID. There’ll be a concert with Hatsune Miku and co, as well as their outfits being up for grabs.

This information all comes via Forbes, who also have a comment on the launch from Fred White, Head of PSO2’s western marketing.

Will you be joining up with the ARKS in when Phantasy Star Online 2 drops on PC next week? Let us know!

SEGA Heroes To Be Discontinued, Service Ends May 21st

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

SEGA’s mobile action-puzzle hybrid SEGA Heroes is unfortunately meeting a premature end, as it’s been announced that service for the game is set to be shuttered as soon as next month.

For some background, recently Demiurge, the developers of SEGA Heroes and a member of SEGA Europe’s family of studios, were repurchased by one of their original founders, Albert Reed. The announcement didn’t make clear if it would affect Demiurge’s current licensed titles, but sadly it seems it will.

SEGA has outlined the closure of SEGA Heroes as follows:

April 16:
●  In-app purchases will be deactivated
●  The same day we will unlock the following content:

– Legendary Events

– Dremagen Boss Battles

– Daily Rewards now grant lots of Gems

– All VIP levels granted to all players

– Taiga Saejima is available, completing the Yakuza Set

 

May 21:
● Servers will be deactivated

It’s a shame to see the game which, from an outsiders perspective, was one of SEGA’s biggest mobile titles meeting an end only a year and a half after it launched; while not to everyone’s taste, SEGA Heroes actually did a surprisingly great job at working fan-favourites into the game, with some deep-cuts from lesser represented games such as the PS2 Shinobi titles, and the classic Phantasy Star games. We wish those at Demiurge all the best in their future endeavours!

Phantasy Star Online 2 Officially Available for Xbox One in North America, Comes to PC in ‘Late May’, Exclusively for the Windows Store

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

After numerous beta tests and events relating to the Xbox One version, Phantasy Star Online 2 is now available for everyone to download in North America, as a free to play title. It would seem that all it takes for those outside North America to download the game is using the store page linked above to download it to their Xbox, bypassing the need to switch the console’s region.

SEGA has also finally confirmed when PC players will be able to get their hands on Phantasy Star Online 2; and it may be sooner than you expected, as it’ll launch in ‘late May’.

This information comes via Forbes, who have learned that it will also launch exclusively for the Microsoft Windows Store, available on Windows 10 PCs. Previously, documentation had suggested a Steam release was on the cards, but for the time being it appears you’ll need to go through Microsoft’s platform for the title. On the upside, the PC version will support crossplay with Xbox One consoles at launch.

Let us know how you get on with the game, particularly those on the UK side!

Panzer Dragoon: Voyage Record Announced, New VR Title Including Levels from PD, PD Zwei, & PD Saga

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

SEGA has announced a new VR title based on the Panzer Dragoon series, named Panzer Dragoon: Voyage Record (see what they did there?).

Via the press release for the game:

Panzer Dragoon Voyage Record is a VR dramatic shooter. It relive each of the various episodes that appeared in the three works of Sega Saturn software “Panzer Dragoon”, “Panzer Dragoon Zwei” and “Panzer Dragoon Saga”.

This work is a completely new work to play the episodes of the series trilogy by a new graphics that the first person view optimized for VR headsets and a new input method that likens the VR controller to the handgun of the dragon rider. The recording episodes and the support platform to be announced later.

For the latest information, please check official Twitter account @PanzerDragoonVR

Development seems to be from Wildman inc, who’s main project before this was “Gunner of Dragoon”; a fan tribute project from one of Japan’s most hardcore Panzer Dragoon fans (a fan who also tore the upcoming remake of the original game from Forever Entertainment a new one after playing it – ouch). At the very least then, the project appears to be in good hands – time will tell if the project comes westwards, but given the press release is in English and the Twitter account is using a mix of both Japanese and English, it’s a safe bet.

Data Discs Release Digital Remasters of Streets of Rage Series Soundtracks, £6 Each On Bandcamp

Monday, March 9th, 2020

If you’ve ever wanted to indulge in Data Discs’ sublime work, but lack the vinyl player to do so, good news; they’ve digitally remastered the Streets of Rage trilogy’s soundtracks, and you can now  download them from Bandcamp! Of note, these are masters made specifically for digital playback, as opposed to the analogue format of the vinyl releases.

From Data Discs themselves:

Continuing our partnership with legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro, and just in time to coincide with our label’s fifth anniversary, it’s with great pleasure that we can finally announce our digital remasters of the iconic STREETS OF RAGE trilogy.

Over the past year we’ve been back in the studio, revisiting our previous work and remastering the trilogy for digital distribution. As with our vinyl releases, all three albums were sourced using a combination of the original NEC-PC88 files (captured and supplied by Koshiro-san himself) and a range of Japanese Mega Drive consoles. We are honoured to be distributing these classic albums on digital platforms, so they can reach an ever wider audience and maintain their rightful place as some of the most important and influential game scores ever made.

All three albums are available to purchase today from our new BANDCAMP store, priced at 6.00 GBP each (in a range of lossy and lossless formats). They will also be available on other digital platforms at a later date.

That last bit gives us a little bit of hope that we might see these legendary soundtracks join streaming services at some point – time will tell!

SEGA AGES G-LOC: Air Battle Is Seemingly Up Next For Nintendo Switch in Japan

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

The SEGA AGES klaxon rings out once again; from the sounds of things, G-LOC Air Battle will be the next game to join M2’s lineup of superb Switch ports.

Somewhat of an After Burner spin-off, G-LOC was perhaps most well-remembered for its absolutely ridiculous deluxe cabinet, the R360, which rotated the player’s seat all over the place as you played the game. Sadly we somehow doubt this port will magically spawn an R360 in your home, but we can dream.

This news comes from Famitsu via JapaneseNintendo; apparently the game will boast a new “AGES Mode”, though what exactly that doesn’t isn’t clear just yet. There’ll also be the standard difficulty level toggle, and online rankings to compete in.

An official confirmation from SEGA’s Twitter, as is usually the case, probably isn’t too far off now. That might also shed some extra light on what exactly AGES Mode changes.

GDC 2020 Exhibitor List Includes “Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World” from Studio Artdink; Possibly a Monster World IV Remake

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

We’re coming up to a fair number of expos and conferences for the world of video games, including PAX and GDC 2020; and one announcement that hardcore SEGA fans might appreciate may have been let slip by GDC’s exhibitor list.

First noticed by Sonic Paradise’s AshTheDragon on Twitter, the list includes an entry for “Wonder Boy Universe: Asha in Monster World”. For those unaware, Asha is the protagonist of Monster World IV for the SEGA Mega Drive, widely considered to be not only the best title in the series but perhaps one of the best games on the entire system. At one point Japan exclusive, it was later translated by M2 for numerous platforms, including the recent Mega Drive Mini.

The plot thickens further though, as the lovely folks at HardcoreGaming101 actually chimed in to say they’d heard rumblings of this project – and suggest it will be a 3D remake of the original Mega Drive title. They do note that they weren’t aware of Artdink’s involvement, so it’s possible we could be looking at a situation in which Artdink are simply supporting another studio’s development. HG101 are generally a reliable bunch, but as with any rumour, take this specifically with a grain of salt.

Whatever the case we’re very excited to see what this is, and with GDC taking place next month, hopefully there won’t be too long to wait.

[ Source: GDC 2020 Exhibitor List ]

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