The opening to the above trailer really “gets it” when it comes to the quality of the Sonic franchise. Speeding through Sonic’s history, it eventually hits a point where everything begins to rewind, and an admission that things haven’t been so great flashes up on the screen. In an odd moment of sobriety, SEGA realizes that what made the Sonic games so iconic are locked up in the 90s.
So here’s Sonic Mania, which appears to be taking a page from Mega Man 9 and 10’s book, and that kind of announcement is coming at what may be the most crucial time for this franchise. Generations was a hit, and Colors did well for SEGA, but the goodwill earned by those two titles was quickly undone by Lost Worlds and Sonic Boom. The latter of which marked a record low in sales for the franchise. If Sonic wasn’t on life support before, that certainly put him there.
Mania shows promise, though many could cite the “Sonic Cycle” as being in full effect here. However, Christian Whitehead, who spearheaded the HD remake of Sonic CD and the iphone ports of Sonic 1 and 2 appears to be closely tied to the project, and that’s the key element that might just set this thing apart. Sonic CD was incredibly well handled, and what was even more impressive about it was that Whitehead essentially had to remake the original physics engine from the ground up. While I haven’t played the iphone versions of Sonic 1 and 2, they are also held in high regard. Whitehead tried to remake a cut level and additional final boss stage for CD, but his efforts were shot down. He later got his chance to make a brand new level in an official capacity in the form of Hidden Palace Zone for the iphone release of Sonic 2. It looks like now he’s going to be able to do a whole lot more, as Sonic Mania will not only feature remixed versions of classic levels, but will have brand new levels with original assets. Even Sonic’s sprite has undergone a redesign of sort, though it retains just enough of the charm that made the original 90s design of the character work.
Sonic Mania will release in Spring 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
At their PlayStation Experience, Sony announced a release date for Yakuza 5. Previously set for the nebulous timeframe of “Fall”, and later “mid-November”, which went by with no mention, Yakuza 5 will now see our baka gaijin shores on December 8th.
That’s great, but the big news here is that Yakuza 0, the next game in the series, a prequel focusing on Kazuma and Majima in the late 80s, will also come out in “the Americas” (meaning “fuck you, Europe!”) in the future. Unlike Y5, which is relegated to a digital-only release, 0 will also received a physical edition here.
No date was given for 0, but it will likely be late next year or early 2017. Or maybe 2317. Who knows.
That’s pretty much all there is to say on the matter! Above is a short clip with Kitano saying something about “big brother,” I believe, probably referring to a character and not the Orwellian concept. Or maybe he’s saying “Kept you waiting, huh?”
Meanwhile, here’s a hot n phresh trailer for Yakuza Kiwami, the Yakuza 1 remake:
I can’t in good conscious post the same Bad News Barrett clip twice in one day, so I hope the above montage of every “aw here it goes” from Kenan and Kel is an acceptable substitute. However, I am afraid I’ve got some bad news: Persona 5 is delayed until Summer 2016.
Of course this isn’t a huge shock. With what little has been shown of the game, the announcement that it was slated for a 2015 release seemed too crazy to be true.
This is all coming from the live stream that – as of this writing – is currently running on the Persona Channel website, and is hosted by two of the most goddamn insane looking human beings.
It’s a little known fact that Dr.Robotnik loves Persona.
At least, I think they’re human beings. Quite a bit of gameplay footage is being shown, more than we’ve seen prior. Expect this post to update with the archived video once it becomes available.
SEGA has announced Yakuza 6 and Yakuza: Kiwami. Kiwami is a full-fledged remake of the original Yakuza, which is great because that game was not very good, and probably put a bunch of people off of the series as a result.
A trailer for Kiwami is above, so we can all watch it and remember that if we want to play it, we’ll have to import it. This is my life now, stumbling through games in a language I can’t read just so I can see more angry Japanese dudes hitting other dudes with a goddamn bicycle. And playing ping-pong with jiggly AV idols or something, I don’t fuckin’ know.
These numbers are not as big as the numbers they had before, ergo you should not invest in SEGA at this time, thank you that is all
The numbers are out and guess what? SEGA isn’t looking so hot.
The company reported $426 million in earnings against $76 million in operating losses and $63.8 million in net losses. All-in-all, their drop in sales comes out to a 42% decrease.
SEGA puts the blame on a weak global economy, as well as the changing landscape of entertainment in Japan.
The economy still remained in the condition requiring further time for full recovery due to uncertainty towards a downswing in overseas economies arising from factors such as the slowdown of growth in the economies of emerging countries and European debt crisis.
I won’t pretend like I know everything about SEGA’s financials, they’ve got plenty of accountants who can sift through all those numbers and get to a cause, but I have a hunch that putting out some really shitty games probably didn’t help them. Good thing they admitted that’s a key problem with their current business model, so maybe we’ll see an uptick in their sales when the next report hits.
Please pre-order Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, in stores this holiday season.
Pictured: A Sonic that is much better than any that has been produced by SEGA in the past 10-plus years.
Let’s face it: After Jet Set Radio Future, there was nowhere to go but down. The Yakuza series aside, SEGA’s output has been almost nothing but shovelware for over 10 years. That’s a really long time to coast on brand awareness and nostalgia, and it seems even SEGA is figuring that out.
Haruki Satomi, CEO of SEGA Games, said the following:
I’ve been talking to employees about how [Sega] should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on. Particularly in North America and Europe, where it’s always been more of a focus on schedules.
I believe that if we can’t maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all. We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega but, looking back, there have been some titles that have partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years.
Of course, nobody knows if they’ll actually stick to this sudden change of heart, and stop making garbage games. Given that Sonic Boom was both absolute trash AND the worst-selling Sonic game of all goddamn time, maybe that was the kick in the asshole they needed. Or maybe the games will continue to suck. Maybe. Probably.
Most companies would go back to the drawing board after releasing two of the worst selling titles in a long running franchise, but not Sega. Determined to make everyone like Sonic Boom, the company has gone ahead and green lit a sequel on the 3DS titled Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice.
Sanzaru Games is returning to develop the game, having previously had a hand in Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, a game that’s still holding down an impressive zero positive reviews on metacritic.
Earlier this month, SEGA proclaimed the following:
It is important for us to ensure that all of our fans, regardless of platform or operating system, have a great playing experience and after evaluating our complete list of titles, we have determined that a number of them no longer meet our standards. As a result, we will be removing these titles from the App Store for Apple devices, the Google Play Store, the Samsung App Store and the Amazon App Store over the next few weeks.
We did not report on this, because, let’s face it: Why would SEGA suddenly start caring about the quality of its output? They’ve been cranking out trash for almost 30 years, albeit alongside some great stuff. Recently, of course, the balance has shifted almost entirely to the shitty side of the spectrum, with SEGA’s subsidiaries (Relic, Creative Assembly, etc) putting out the only worthwhile titles. Besides, Japanese developers deciding to focus on mobile games is not a startling development.
Well, butter my ass and call me a biscuit, SEGA is actually following through. Titles removed include ports of Genesis games like Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, and Phantasy Star 2. Also nuked are Afterburner Climax and Jet Set Radio, the former presumably because of the licensing of jets expiring, and the latter due to poor performance or controls. At least that’s what I assume, because it’s not like Jet Set Radio isn’t one of SEGA’s best games.
I would normally say this is a pretty good opportunity to kick SEGA while it’s down, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job bashing the shit out of themselves. RIP SEGA, see you in the pachinko parlors.
Look, we all knew (or hoped) this would happen eventually. Creative Assembly, creators of the sometimes-great, sometimes-broken Total War series are doing their thang with Warhammer. You might know Warhammer as the basis for Warcraft, and by “basis” I mean “Blizzard straight-up stole pretty much everything from it.”
It’s too bad this is not based on Warhammer 40K, the much goofier and simultaneously cooler sci-fi spinoff, but I’ll take what I can get. And never forget, kids: Orks is best.