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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

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]

New Sonic Adventure 2, Spinball & Mean Bean Machine Prototypes Released by Hidden Palace

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Fast becoming one of the most important resources for digital archiving of prototype software, Hidden Palace have released another slew of prototype versions of various Sonic the Hedgehog titles. These new dumps of late development builds of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Spinball and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine showcase some fascinating insight into their development and feature a slew of differences from their final builds.

Sonic Adventure 2 features many grammatical errors that would be corrected for the final build, Metal Harbor and the final Sonic and Shadow battle are considerably more difficult and the driving stages feature different collision results when driving into other vehicles. The full list of differences can be read on the Hidden Palace entry for this release.

Sonic Spinball features an entirely different menu theme which was infamously changed at the last minute due to STI discovering they didn’t have the license to use the original Sonic the Hedgehog theme. The full list of differences can be read on the Hidden Palace entry for this release.

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine features the smallest amount of differences between this dump and its final release, with only the staff credits missing from this build. The full list of differences can be read on the Hidden Palace entry for this release.

All of these dumps can be downloaded and played through emulation or on real hardware from the Hidden Palace entries linked above. Hidden Palace will be streaming and revealing their “last present from under the tree” tonight (31/12/2020) at 10pm GMT on Twitch, so if you’re excited to see more prototypes from their team then be sure to tune in.

[Source: Hidden Palace]

Lost ‘The Simpsons: Bug Squad!’ Tech Demo for Dreamcast Discovered

Sunday, December 20th, 2020

A tech demo for a Simpsons game on the Dreamcast has been discovered by ‘sreak’ over at the Dreamcast-Talk forums. This demo of a game called The Simpsons: Bug Squad! was dumped from a Dreamcast dev kit and developed by Red Lemon Studio in 2000 as a pitch to Fox Interactive. It was never greenlit and this demo is the only evidence of it ever existing.

It’s an interesting little title putting you in the shoes of a bug in The Simpsons’ homestead, and you explore the area in a similar way to Toy Commander. You can check out the game in action via the video embed from the Dreamcastic Channel below:

If you would like to play The Simpsons: Bug Squad! tech demo you can download the raw data from the Dreamcast dev kit dump via this forum post over at the Dreamcast-Talk forums.

[Source: Eurogamer]

Wonder Boy: Asha In Monster World Physical Editions Announced, All Editions Include Original Mega Drive Version

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Upcoming Monster World IV remake Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World will be getting a few physical editions of varying complexity, from Strictly Limited Games.

The contents of each pack vary; there’s the regular edition which simply gets you a physical copy of the game for either Nintendo Switch or Playstation 4 (there is no physical option for the PC version), followed by the Collector’s Edition which comes with the entire kitchen sink – including your very own squishable Pepelogoo. Finally there’s the Mega Collector’s Edition, which has the contents of the CE as well as some more extras on top; including a sticker, pin badge, and even an exclusive statue of Asha and Pepelogoo.

Most notably though, all physical versions will include the original Mega Drive version of Monster World IV, ported to the respective platform. For Switch owners, it’ll be included on the cartridge, while PS4 owners will receive a download code for the MD title.

According to Gematsu,  pre-orders will open later today. They also have a detailed run-down of what each edition contains. If you want one you’ll have to act though; even the regular edition is limited.

Sonic 3D Animated Series Coming to Netflix From Man Of Action Entertainment and WildBrain

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

Netflix have announced a new 3D animated series based on Sonic the Hedgehog will be coming to the service in 2022.

The series will be produced by Man of Action Entertainment (Ben 10, Mega Man: Fully Charged) and WildBrain (The Aquabats Super Show!). SEGA will also be involved, and going off the teaser image, it seems it’ll be based on the video game series rather than the movie.

A new Sonic animated series has been rumoured for a while, so it’s exciting to see one finally happening! Now how do we pass the time until 2022…

Persona 5 Strikers Officially Announced For The West, Releases for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam on February 23rd 2021

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

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Persona 5 Strikers, knowing as Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers in Japan, has finally had a Western release confirmed. Better yet, it’ll also be coming to PC via Steam now!

Produced by Koei-Tecmo’s Omega Force, what we have here is essentially Persona 5 Musou. The game acts as a sequel to the original game (that is, the not-Royal version), to the point one of the Japanese trailers briefly flashed “P52” on the screen. Now the Phantom Thieves are tasked with helping an aggressive detective solve a new mystery, or Joker will be arrested… again. It’s certainly an interesting genre shift for a sequel, but Persona 5 Strikers seems to push the boat out a lot more than just being a typical Warriors game with the P5 license slapped on. We’re excited to get our hands on it!

The game will launch on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC via Steam on February 23rd 2021. There’ll also be a Steelbook for the game, but right now it appears that will be exclusive to Best Buy in America, and only available for the Nintendo Switch version. The Digital Deluxe version of the game allows you to play it 4 days early, and includes extra DLC content, a 40-track soundtrack, a digital artbook, and behind-the-scenes video.

The game’s website is available here.

SEGA Forever Release Sonic R Anniversary Artwork by Sonic the Comic’s Richard Elson

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Sonic R released on this day back in 1997 over the pond, and to commemorate it, SEGA Forever have pulled off something very special – a brand new piece of artwork based on the game, from Sonic the Comic’s Richard Elson!

It’s a beautiful tribute; no surprise, as Elson’s stuff is always gorgeous. The art has a sort-of blend of his own Sonic the Comic style and the more style-guide accurate Classic Sonic art, to make something really special! It’s lovely to see something for the Sonic the Comic fans in audience, and hopefully this acknowledgment could lead to more down the road, as we’d be very much down for reprints!

SEGA Request 650 Employees To Retire “Voluntarily”, Cut Salaries of Executives By Up To 30%

Friday, November 6th, 2020

There’s been a lot of celebration around SEGA lately, what with their 60th Anniversary and all; but sadly, it’s not all been cause for partying. SEGA has published extraordinary losses from its amusements division (thanks to COVID-19), leading them to outright sell off the majority of their arcade business to Genda Inc (formerly Midas Entertainment). SEGA will still be producing arcade games, and their arcade centres will still be plastered with the SEGA logo, but those centres are Genda’s now.

That’s not all though, as it’s now emerged that SEGA have asked 650 employees to “voluntarily retire”. Supposedly those who accept the offer to retire by February 2021 will receive a “payment of extraordinary retirement allowances and reemployment support”. SEGA’s executives are also getting hit by the changes, though not nearly as severely as those losing their jobs; instead, the company’s Senior Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President will have 20% and 10% taken out of their monthly salaries respectively… which isn’t exactly much for the salaries they’re probably on. The Representative Director will see a slightly more substantial cut of 30%.

It’s been a rough year for businesses across the world this year, and given their presence in Japan’s arcade scene, it’s not surprising that SEGA got hit hard; but the layoffs are disappointing news all the same. It’s also very likely that SEGA’s mooted ‘Fog Gaming’ concept may not be going ahead anymore, but time will tell if Genda choose to adopt that instead.

SEGA Forever Releases Jet Set Radio Retrospective, Covering the Dreamcast Classic and Its Xbox Sequel

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Just like Crazy Taxi a few weeks ago, SEGA has published another retrospective for its 60th Anniversary; this time covering the beloved (that might be an understatement) Dreamcast IP Jet Set Radio.

As always there’s some cool facts sprinkled throughout the video, such as how the Game Boy Advance version of JSR later had its engine repurposed for other games. There’s even a short section on De La Jet Set Radio, the second Japanese release that served as an ‘international’ edition, as was common at the time. And there is of course a section on Jet Set Radio Future, the Xbox sequel; as always, it leaves us hoping for a port down the road. Perhaps someday…

On the whole, it’s a great watch as usual; we can’t wait to see what series is up next on the retrospective block!

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