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Sonic the Hedgehog photo
Sonic the Hedgehog

Crush 40 let slip a 25th anniversary Sonic game is in the works


I tried to think of a Live and Learn pun
Jan 03
// Joe Parlock
Jeez, it’s already been almost five years since the great Sonic Generations was released to celebrate the Blue Blur’s 20th anniversary. With the series’ 25th birthday rapidly approaching later this year, peo...
LOL SEGA photo
LOL SEGA

Phantasy Star Online 2 anime coming west


But not the game, obviously
Jan 02
// Kyle MacGregor
It's been close to four years since Sega announced Phantasy Star Online 2 for a western release, but, despite the game being available in English throughout Asia, we're still without a localization. In an amusing turn of even...
Valkyria Chronicles photo
Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles Remaster looks great in its debut trailer


But we already knew it would!
Dec 25
// Ben Davis
Sega released the debut trailer for Valkyria Chronicles Remaster, set to arrive on PS4 in Japan on February 10. The original was already gorgeous on PS3, so it's no wonder that it will look even better on PS4. Valkyria Chroni...
Phantasy Star Online 2 photo
Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2 will arrive in the spring on PS4 in Japan


Still no international release
Dec 23
// Chris Carter
Ah Phantasy Star Online 2. Why did you have to be so good when I played you at TGS on PS4? Will you ever see a true western release? It's a possibility, but in the meantime, Japan will enjoy the PS4 version this coming spring...

Review: Yakuza 5

Dec 17 // Kyle MacGregor
Yakuza 5 (PS3)Developer: SegaPublisher: SegaMSRP: $39.99 Released: December 8, 2015 (NA/EU)  December 6, 2012 (JP) The tale unfurls from five seemingly unrelated vantage points, picking up two years after the events of Yakuza 4 with former yakuza and series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu attempting to live a quiet life as a cab driver in Fukuoka. Of course, our hero can't seem to escape his past, and with trouble brewing, it isn't long before he's pulled out of his taxi and back into the fray. Far to the north, Tojo strongman Taiga Saejima is nearing the end of a prison sentence in Hokkaido, where he, despite being 2,000 miles away from the events in Fukuoka, feels the ripple effects of what's going on. Meanwhile, Kiryu's adoptive niece Haruka has left her home in Okinawa to chase dreams of becoming a pop star in Osaka, where old friend Shun Akiyama, the affable moneylender from Yakuza 4, also happens to be setting up a new office for his company Sky Finance. Tossed into the mix is newcomer Tatsuo Shinada, a disgraced former baseball player living hand-to-mouth in a seedy corner of Nagoya after being thrown out of the league on suspicion of game-fixing. He, more so than the rest of the cast, appears to have little to do with the goings on of the criminal underworld, much less the tensions between the Omi Alliance and Tojo Clan. And yet he too becomes involved in this nationwide clash between gangs as everything intertwines and comes to a head. Speaking of heads, chances are, unless you're intimately familiar with Japanese geography or the series in general, that synopsis might have left your's spinning. With such a rich backstory and so many characters, locations, and groups, it can be difficult for even the best of us to fully grasp what's going on. But I suppose that's part of the charm; the complicated interweaving of everything makes for one hell of a soap opera delving into the fascinating world of Japan's organized crime families. Another strength of Yakuza 5, and the series in general, is the painstaking lengths at which Sega goes to make that world feel real. Everything from bustling city streets to the convenience stores and ramen shops is rendered with such attention to detail, it might just be the closest you can come to visiting Japan without hopping on a plane. In relief of that realism is the gameplay, which has a certain air about it akin to a smell that can send you back to a specific place and time. Whether you're brawling with gangsters, drag racing, fishing, participating in a FPS snowball fight, hunting, or playing Virtua Fighter or Taiko Drum Master in the arcade, the whole experience feels very much like a Dreamcast-era arcade game. Cut between the ultra-serious story of conspiracy and deadly consequences is a pastiche of ridiculous, over-the-top (and cloyingly dated) mini-games that serve to lighten the mood, smack you in the face, and remind you that it's a video game -- not just a television drama. Nowhere is this more evident than Haruka's portion of the story, which transforms the experience (for a while, at least) into an idol simulation with Hatsune Miku: Project Diva-esque rhythm game sequences and handshake meet-and-greet sessions with fans. Sadly, none of these elements are handled with the same care and dedication given to the story or world-building, which is a real shame, and leaves the experience feeling somewhat archaic. The fighting, in particular, hasn't seen much of a leap forward since the series debuted a decade ago on PlayStation 2. Even considering how long it took Sega to localize this particular entry, its stiff combat just feels woefully antiquated in contrast with most action games on the market these days. However, despite some rough edges like that or a bizarre fixation with hammering home an overarching theme about "dreams" near the point of self-parody, Yakuza 5 provides dozens upon dozens of hours of legitimate entertainment, the sort that kept me engaged and constantly left me torn between rushing ahead to see what twists and turns the story would take next and poking my nose into every single nook and cranny to explore the hostess clubs, remote mountain shrines, and everything in between. Yakuza 5 is exactly the sort of game the expression "greater than the sum of its parts" was made to describe. Each facet of the experience, taken individually, leaves room for improvement, but, reflecting on my time with Yakuza 5, I can't conjure much in the way of disappointment. Some bumps notwithstanding, it's a hell of a ride, one that I heartily recommend. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Yakuza 5 review photo
Who says crime doesn't pay?
With the chairman of the Omi crime syndicate on his deathbed, an uneasy truce with the Tojo Clan hangs in the balance. Anticipating a conflict, Tojo boss Daigo Dojima travels to Fukuoka in search of allies. But before an agre...

Yakuza: Kiwami photo
Yakuza: Kiwami

Yakuza: Kiwami continues to look great


New Story trailer
Dec 14
// Chris Carter
Every time I see footage for Yakuza: Kiwami, I just want to replay the first game again. It's a shame that we never got the PS3 or Wii U HD remakes, but I'd settle for a worldwide release of this one, as it seems l...
Yakuza 6 photo
Yakuza 6

First footage of Yakuza 6 looks just wonderful


I'm feeling the heat
Dec 12
// Kyle MacGregor
I may knee-deep in Yakuza 5 at the moment, but it's never too soon to start getting pumped for the next entry in the series. That would be Yakuza 6, which Sega unveiled at Tokyo Game Show this year and plans to release exclusively for PlayStation 4 sometime next autumn. You know, in Japan. Who knows how long the game will take to come west (if it ever does), but it sure does look pretty.
Yakuza comes west photo
Yakuza comes west

Yakuza 5 comes west next week, Yakuza Zero confirmed for PS4


Yakuza news
Dec 05
// Steven Hansen
Yakuza 5 is coming to PS3 December 8 and Yakuza Zero is also coming to the west on PlayStation 4, Sony announced at the PlayStation Experience. SEGA's Yakuza 5 missed its mid-November release date after being announced for a western release at last year's PlayStation Experience. Yakuza Zero is a prequel set in the '80s that came to PS3 and PS4 in Japan earlier this year.
Yakuza photo
Yakuza

You can fight Majima anywhere in the world in the Yakuza remake


Haha, awesome
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
Yakuza: Kiwami, a remake for the original game, is shaping up to be a pretty awesome re-release. There are a ton of new features packed in, one of which is the ability to fight Majima Goro, a Starscream-esque friend of t...
Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

The new Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition trailer shows the whole cast


I've only heard of about three of them
Nov 27
// Joe Parlock
When it’s not being an absurdly long name that’s a pain in the arse to type, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition is the updated version of Sony and Dengeki Bunko’s crossover fighting game. It released i...
Project X Zone 2 photo
Project X Zone 2

Project X Zone 2 pre-order bonuses include a challenge stage


Enh
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
Pre-order bonuses, as a rule, are pretty scummy. I get that publishers really need that cash now, but providing in-game incentives, some of which are not sold later (or, even crazier, just included in the game -- weird, ...
Yakuza photo
Yakuza

Yakuza: Kiwami looks dope as hell, super weird


Comes with a demo for Yakuza 6
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
Sega just dropped a new trailer for Yakuza: Kiwami, and it looks awesome. There's plenty of new features afoot, including new combat abilities and minigames. I love the balance this series always struck with insanity an...
First Valkyria trailer photo
First trailer and way more screenshots
So I jumped the gun yesterday when I said Valkyria: Azure Revolution and Valkyria Chronicles Remaster (PS4) news was petering off. Yesterday's plain, boring website is now home to a bunch of new screens, the first footage of...

Valkyria PS4 details photo
Valkyria PS4 details

Valkyria: Azure Revolution, Valkyria Chronicles Remaster get websites


Plus box art
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
Two days ago an announcement, yesterday the first screens, and today...web pages. Well, yes, things do get less exciting after their initial release. Gotta slow the pace down to be able to blow you out of the water with the n...
Valkyria shots photo
Valkyria shots

First shots of Valkyria: Azure Revolution and the PS4 remaster


New Valkyria series game coming to PS4
Nov 18
// Steven Hansen
I don't know if it was the Valkyria Chronicles Steam release success or Sega just doing its regular couple years of apologizing with good releases before falling into a funk again, but there is a new, anime-as-hell Valkyria C...
Valkyria Chronicles photo
Valkyria Chronicles

A new Valkyria Chronicles and a remaster are coming to PS4


Next year in Japan
Nov 17
// Jordan Devore
As it turns out, Sega's recent Valkyria trademark was worth getting excited over after all. The company has a new game in the series and a remaster of the original Valkyria Chronicles in development for PlayStation 4, accordi...
NSFW photo
NSFW

What is going on with this Dragon's Crown figure?


Mesmerizing in all the wrong ways
Nov 11
// Jordan Devore
I'm almost at a loss for words other than to say you don't know what you've got until it's gone. The last Dragon's Crown Amazon figure (that I've seen, anyway) was over the top in ways you would expect given the source material, but that design now looks respectable compared to what's happening here. If you don't mind my asking, uh, what exactly is happening here?
Alien: Isolation photo
Alien: Isolation

A modder has taken the Alien out of Alien: Isolation


And I bet it's still fantastic
Nov 09
// Brett Makedonski
The first time I played Alien: Isolation, I was at developer Creative Assembly's studio in Horsham, England. The game hadn't been announced yet and we were the first non-Sega people to see it. There was the briefest of introd...
Sega financials photo
Sega financials

Sega sales down, but profits up


Gotta earn money fast
Nov 02
// Laura Kate Dale
In a recent financial results briefing for April to September 2015, Sega revealed a small drop in sales but an overall increase in profits compared to the same period last year. While net sales reached $1.2 billion, a 2.5 per...
More empty Sonic optimism photo
More empty Sonic optimism

SEGA sez: New Sonic to be 'inspired by how it played in its heyday'


That smoke'll make you choke!
Oct 29
// Steven Hansen
Earlier this year, SEGA issued a bold apology. The company apologized for accidentally naming its Halloween character "Boob" instead of "Boo." Even earlier in the year, SEGA made another apology for how shit Sonic games have ...
Oh...kay photo
Oh...kay

Dawn of War II: Retribution just got some weird new DLC


Pay money for more blood
Oct 29
// Jordan Devore
Today's reminder that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III would be a lovely thing to exist comes in the form of a peculiar DLC release for 2011's Dawn of War II: Retribution. Out now on Steam, the Ridiculously Bloody Blood Pack adds a toggle for dramatic new blood effects in the real-time strategy game. It's the kind of thing that would be a fun little bonus, but it costs $1.99.
Alien: Isolation photo
Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation gets a Game of the Year edition, but it's named correctly


Alien: Isolation - The Collection
Oct 27
// Brett Makedonski
Xenomorphs are resilient little buggers. One year removed from the release of Alien: Isolation, we thought we had done away with the titular alien. Nope. It comes back to haunt us today because a flamethrower isn't hint enoug...
Sonic Adventure photo
Sonic Adventure

Do you prefer Sonic Adventure 1 or 2?


I want to know
Oct 27
// Chris Carter
It looks like I sparked a discussion yesterday in my recent article on Sonic Adventure 2's twisted backstory. I drew a line in the sand between the first Sonic Adventure and the sequel, and a debate started up, comparing...
Shenmue photo
Shenmue

Sega is apparently looking into re-releasing the first two Shenmue games


Says Sega Europe's marketing director
Oct 27
// Chris Carter
Anyone who knows my gaming habits is aware that I adore the Shenmue series. The second game in particular came at a perfect point in my life, and it got me through some hard times But over the years it's become increasingly t...
Sonic Adventure 2 photo
Sonic Adventure 2

Learn the twisted backstory behind Sonic Adventure 2


Haha, Shadow
Oct 26
// Chris Carter
Sonic Adventure 2 is a pretty strange game. I remember playing it for the first time with my cousin, plugging away at multiplayer for 10 hours straight. For that reason, I've always had a soft spot for the Adventure&nbs...
Sonic's 'Boob' photo
Sonic's 'Boob'

Sega apologizes for Sonic Runners 'Boob' boner


Typo of the Year
Oct 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Someone at Sega made a helluva typo, accidentally naming a character in Sonic Runners' seasonal Halloween stage "Boob" instead of "Boo," which prompted this apology: "In the current 'Halloween Special Stage' event, the charac...
Valkyria Chronicles photo
Valkyria Chronicles

Maybe Valkyria Chronicles isn't dead after all


Sega trademarks Aoki Kakumei no Valkyria
Oct 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Sega has filed a trademark for something called "Aoki Kakumei no Valkyria" (Valkyria of the Blue Revolution), which may or may not be the next entry in the Valkyria Chronicles franchise. It's worth noting the mark can be...
Yakuza 5 photo
Yakuza 5

Sega: Yakuza 5 coming west in mid-November


Good lord, finally
Oct 16
// Kyle MacGregor
I've been starting to wonder if Yakuza 5 would actually be releasing in 2015, as Sega and Sony promised at last year's PlayStation Experience and have scarcely mentioned since, but it seems the long wait is nearly over. Accor...
Sonic Boom photo
Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom Season 2 is coming, you can't stop it


He's the fastest thing alive
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
As far as Sonic cartoons go, the Sonic Boom show actually isn't bad -- hell, it's way more entertaining than the games themselves. For those of you who do enjoy it, you're going to get more of it, as distributor LER has ...
Sonic Dash 2 photo
Sonic Dash 2

Sonic Boom rides again in Sonic Dash 2, out this week


Hmmmm
Oct 09
// Chris Carter
Not to be confused with the microtransaction-stuffed Sonic Runners, Sonic Dash was actually a decent little Temple Runner clone released in 2013. Now it's seeing its second release in the form of Sonic Dash 2: Soni...

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