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By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 May, 2017 At 08:50 PM | Categorized As ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSEGA of Europe sent out the following

 

SEGA Europe Ltd. today announced the departure of their COO and President, Jurgen Post. Jurgen had been with SEGA for over ten years, serving as Managing Director and Senior Vice President before being elevated to the position of COO and President for SEGA Europe in 2012.

Jurgen instigated and oversaw a seismic shift in SEGA Europe’s business operation back in 2012, making the very difficult decision to streamline the company’s European setup, closing the European offices and doubling down on a newly formed pillar structure. The pillar structure was at the time Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive, Alien and Sonic the Hedgehog, and the aim was, and still is, to focus on quality consumer experiences instead of quantity.

Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, with SEGA Europe acquiring two new studios forming all new pillars in Relic Entertainment and Amplitude Studios, in addition to acquiring Crytek Black Sea (now Creative Assembly Sofia). Huge partnerships have been signed with the likes of Microsoft, Wargaming and Elex to license existing IP, release new IP and build new franchises. Additionally, a raft of fantastic best practice PC conversions have been released including Bayonetta and Valkyria Chronicles, much to the delight of fans.

“Jurgen leaving us is a huge loss, but he leaves SEGA Europe with the business in a fantastic position and in the capable hands of a superb team who will strive to keep moving it forward”, said Tatsuyuki Miyazaki, CEO for SEGA West. “We wish Jurgen all the very best for the future and in his new role and hope that his employees there will find him as inspirational and as motivating as we did here.”

The legacy Jurgen leaves behind is of a business transformed. A market leader in the PC strategy genre with one eye firmly on the console market and many exciting projects in the works. His tenure has seen Creative Assembly grow to become one the largest development studios in Europe, Sports Interactive to experiment with new ideas within the Football Manager franchise and nurtured the undeniable development talents of Relic Entertainment and Amplitude Studios. It’s a very different SEGA to the company many of us grew up with but it is once again, on the path to great things and SEGA Europe Ltd. would like to publically thank Jurgen for his leadership, his dedication to a vision and his tireless work to realise it.

SEGA Europe’s CFO, John Ward, will act as interim COO while Jurgen’s replacement is sought, with the full backing of the senior management team. For more information about SEGA, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or log on to www.sega.co.uk.

We will the best of luck to him in his future endeavors, and the best of luck to Sega on finding his replacement.
Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 May, 2017 At 10:10 AM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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SEGA has began rebranding itself for a new direction. The gaming giant is giving itself a new corporate identity  and it is centered around the concept of “Amazing SEGA”

The new corporate identity concept has been communicated through a bizarre video of an eye, an emotional clip featuring Toshihiro Nagoshi, who works on the Yakuza series, as well as a making of video.

SEFA has stated  that”Amazing SEGA” is an identity which is focused on providing more surprises than ever to the consumers and fans. As such, SEGA plans to turn this into a branding tool for all of their subsidiaries to use going forward.

 

 

 

 

This could be part of SEGA’s plans to revive their dormant IPs, and if that is indeed the case, it is a welcome change.

Source

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 May, 2017 At 09:54 AM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Sega promised us something different for Sonic Forces and they were not kidding. The game’s much speculated about third style, will feature third gameplay style is a powerful gadget touting customizable character. This character will be fully customizable to the player’s desires and specifications.

 

“In this just announced gameplay style, players will be equipping their custom Hero Character with one of a variety of powerful unique gadgets called Wispons. Wispons are an evolution of the Color Powers from Sonic Colors and double as both offensive abilities and as a way to platform through levels quickly. Along with the Wispon, the Hero Character will have a grappling hook they can utilize to quickly traverse across zones. Players can also customize the Hero Character’s looks by choosing and swapping between hundreds of accessories and outfit options to change the character’s appearance as they play through the game.”

Sonic Forces features seven base animal types that serve as choices and each comes with varying special abilities for more variety.

Wolf – Automatically draws in rings when near them
Rabbit – Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
Cat – Keeps one ring after being hit
Dog – Restarts with five rings after the player dies
Bear – Blows away enemies with a homing attack
Bird – Flies high with double jump abilities
Hedgehog – Collects rings when getting damaged

SEGA then stated that the character players create “will be a key part of the story, appearing not only in cutscenes, but by being a crucial element in helping Sonic reclaim the world from Eggman’s domination.”. In other words, your OC became canon just now.

 

Does Sega truly realize what they have done?

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 May, 2017 At 09:31 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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SEGA has a new plan to become a big name again. They have said that they realize creating titles that become global hits will be a major issue .

Sega says that to do this this, their plan is to revive classic IPs, use existing IPs and also use external IPs. This will be done through numerous development channels, which include mobile, PC, and game consoles. The aim is for major projects to have a global simultaneous release.

This is exciting news, what could they be reviving? Perhaps a new Shinobi from Platinum Games? A new Streets of Rage? We will have to wait and see.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 10 May, 2017 At 11:50 AM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Sega sent out the following

 

SEGA Europe Ltd. is thrilled to announce that PlatinumGames’ revolutionary sci-fi action shooter VANQUISH™ will launch for PC, on Steam, on Thursday May 25th, 2017, having undergone SEGA’s renowned best practice conversion treatment.

Pre-order VANQUISH on Steam to receive the Digital Deluxe Edition which includes a 5 track soundtrack sampler, character and enemy avatars, art book and exclusive wallpapers. Fans who already own Bayonetta on Steam or purchase it before May 25th 2017, will automatically get 25% off when they pre-order VANQUISH. However, players only have until the 25th of May, 2017, to secure the Digital Deluxe Edition via pre-ordering before it reverts to the Standard Edition.

Directed by Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil™ series, VANQUISH is a sci-fi shooter of epic proportion. Take control of DARPA operative Sam Gideon, who has been assigned a mission to battle legions of future-tech enemies using a vast arsenal of weapons. VANQUISH boasts fluid and frenetic combat, spectacular melee moves, and intense speed, wrapped in a gripping story. VANQUISH is the latest best practice conversion from SEGA, and features a host of PC optimized options, including an unlocked framerate, 4k resolution support, extensive graphics options and full keyboard and mouse support.

“It was great to see the positive response from our community to the Bayonetta PC launch last month, and we are pleased that we are in a position to be able to announce VANQUISH, another of our highly requested back catalogue titles,” said John Clark, Senior Vice President of Commercial Publishing for SEGA Europe. “There’s more to come from SEGA in this space, so stay tuned for further announcements.”

Adding to the growing list of best practice conversions from SEGA’s back catalogue, VANQUISH joins Bayonetta, Typing of the Dead™, Valkyria Chronicles™ and the SEGA Mega Drive™ Collection.

Vanquish was an awesome game for the PS3 and 360 and this PC version looks absolutely amazing. Hopefully more people check out this version, which comes at a great time. This is a game that should not be passed up and will be one of the best gaming experiences you will ever have,

 

Source: PR Email.

By Jessica Brown On 29 Apr, 2017 At 11:17 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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  • TITLE: “Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap”
  • DEVELOPER: Lizardcube
  • PUBLISHER: DotEmu
  • GENRE: 2D Action-RPG
  • PLATFORM: Nintendo Switch
  • ALSO ON: PlayStation 4, XBox One, & PC (June 2017)
  • RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2017
  • PRICE: $19.99 (eShop)

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and I have an interesting history together. I first encountered the game at a kid’s club at a hotel while on vacation. At the time, I had no idea what the game was called and I didn’t even have a clue what the Sega Master System was. After that single play session, the game fell off my radar for over a decade, but as luck would have it I picked up a copy of the game in a lot of games that came with a Sega Master System I purchased on eBay while in college. Having no idea what the game was called, imagine my surprise to see a familiar title when I plugged the cartridge in and gave it a whirl!

It was my experience with the 1989 version of The Dragon’s Trap that drove me to track down other titles in the series, resulting in the discovery of a wonderful, if often-overlooked, franchise of whimsical action-RPGs.

I remember being really surprised when I first learned that The Dragon’s Trap was receiving a full-on modern remake because it almost seemed too good to be true. Thankfully, it was most certainly a thing that was really happening and it was a project that I made sure to check in on every now and then to see how it was progressing. Once I saw that the game was set to hit consoles on April 18, I made plans to pick the title up on the new Nintendo Switch, thinking it would be a perfect title to include in my initial roster of Switch games.

One of the things that I really love about this remake is that while the game is super nostalgic and very familiar, it’s also different and fresh with lots of fine details and added enhancements. The developers took the 8-bit aesthetics of the original game and used them as an inspiration for this modern hand-drawn version, adding in all sorts of extras that make the environments and characters crisp and vivid. Where once there were dark corridors and bleak hallways, now you’ll find intricate carvings, statues, and various odds and ends. The environments are much more fleshed out and places that were once empty now feel like they have their own story to tell (such as the field to the left of the village which in this version has a cemetery in it).

For those that don’t know the story of the original, The Dragon’s Trap picks up at the end of 1987’s Wonder Boy in Monster Land (an arcade title). The hero, fully decked out in legendary gear, makes their way through the final castle and confronts the evil Meka Dragon. Upon its defeat, however, the warrior gets cursed and turned into a dragon-like lizard and must escape the burning, crumbling castle. It’s here that the real journey begins with the hero set on a quest to lift their curse and become human again.

When the main game begins the player is dumped in the village – the game’s main hub area. From there, several themed areas branch off that can be explored to find hidden items, shops that sell various goodies, and lots of treasure. Ultimately, they are seeking out various dragons that hold the power to transform them into something else (for example, the Mummy Dragon turns them into “Mouse Man” once defeated). Each of the different forms starting with Mouse Man that the player can assume has their own special ability (the mouse can walk up special walls and ceilings, Piranha Man can swim in the water, etc.) and making use of these powers in new and creative ways will help advance the game as well as let you uncover quite a few hidden treasures during your adventure.

One neat feature of the game is the ability to play as either the original Wonder Boy character or a new female protagonist referred to as Wonder Girl. They both play exactly the same, but it is a fun, forward-thinking feature that they included.

I really love the game’s original, hand-drawn art style and the soundtrack is simply fantastic. Of course, as great as this version’s music is and as talented as its musical team is, they had some wonderful source material to work with. As fun as the gameplay of the original was, it was one of those games where all of the songs are very memorable and I’d often find myself humming them or playing them through in my head. Here, they’ve all been lovingly updated yet they still remain as catchy as ever.

For those wanting to take a trip down memory lane (or to just see what the title first looked like), Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap allows the player to swap between both modern and retro visuals and sound at any time they wish and in any combination they wish. It may be a small touch that doesn’t really affect gameplay at all, but it’s a really cool feature that pays loving homage to the classic adventure.

Those that are familiar with the original adventure know that as fun as the game is, it doesn’t last forever. It’s one of those games that you have so much fun playing that you’re very sad when it comes to an end, even though you can see it coming. Those who have never played the classic game will most certainly take a good bit of time to make their way through this game but veteran players should be able to clear it within a relatively short amount of time.

One thing that does help with the game’s replay value is the fact that there are various collectibles that you can unlock and the game does feature three different difficulty settings (Easy for beginners, Normal being the original difficulty level, and Hard offering more difficult enemies and a time limit).

Seeing The Dragon’s Trap remade like this makes me hope that someone (if not this team here) will revisit Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV, both of which were amazing follow-ups to this Master System gem.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a great game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s one of those titles that’s fun to play while docked to a TV but also is great to be able to take on the go with you (be that lounging around the house or on a trip of some sort). The developers did a wonderful job revisiting this classic and I can only hope that they consider giving a similar treatment to some of the other titles in this often-overlooked franchise.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Apr, 2017 At 03:21 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Night Trap, the live action Sega CD will be returning now after 25 years, in a brand new edition for the PlayStation 4.

This is somewhat unexpected but oddly welcome. Best of all,  the game will be getting a physical version thanks to Limited Run Games.

Night Trap was one of the reasons for the ESRB forming, although that was based off of misinformation.  This remaster should be great for nostalgic fans.

By John Kinsella On 24 Apr, 2017 At 03:55 PM | Categorized As Games To Watch, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Puyo Puyo Tetris has come to the Nintendo Switch and it is a fun puzzle game. Combining two of the greatest puzzle games into one really is interesting. While Tetris is known the world over and is popular world wide. Puyo Puyo has typically stayed in Japan for the most part.
I honestly have not played a lot of Tetris at least in the last decade. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of games but this was something new. But, I decided it was a good idea to review it to keep me sharp. Playing it I was reminded of a simpler time where a game like this could really trap me. The Puyo Puyo portion I was reminded of my time playing Sonic Mega Collection for the Game Cube. This amazing game had a classic Sonic Game called Dr.Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. This game was actually a localized version of a Puyo Puyo game and for many, was their first time playing the series. I played this game a lot as it was just so easy to pick up and play. Puyo Puyo Tetris is similar to that wonderful game as it also quite easy to pick up and play. I personally wasn’t drawn into playing it for long stretches of time. Picking it up here and there, for a little light game play made it and kept it fun.
The Adventure Mode is great as it offers 100 stages of play featuring characters from both game series. Some of the challenges are downright hard and that makes it all the more fantastic when you actually win. I honestly struggled through the early levels but that probably is because I’m rusty when it comes to this type of game. This game also offers a full on 4 player local co-op mode. With traditional Versus, Swap where Tetris and Puyo Puyo Boards swap out regularly and even Fuse where you play a true combination of both. There is also Big Bang Mode where its a race to complete boards and Party where you can help or hinder your opponents with hidden items.
In addition, there is also Online Mode with a full Puzzle League and ranking system, a Free Play mode for light online fun. If you feel confident about your skills, go all out for it. If you do well in the match and dominate, you can even save online matches. I usually am not one for online mode but I tried it and got royally destroyed. To hone your skills for online, never hesitate to go to the solo arcade. You can battle up to 3 Computer players, Compete in a never ending Endurance mode, and a robust Challenge Mode. It is certainly a game that is worth training for, as it happens rather fast. I will certainly work on my skills with training like this.
While I wait for other games and in between times I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, I will certainly make time for this fantastic game.If you like puzzle games I highly suggest you give it a try when it comes out April 25th. Plus, you can play a demo right now, to see if it fits you. So, puzzle on dear readers, Tetris blocks need to disappear and Puyo need to explode.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Apr, 2017 At 04:20 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap was a classic game for the Sega Master System. Regarded as one of the all time greats, it has now been given a modern remaster thanks to Lizardcube and Dot Emu, but is it any good?

WonderBoy; The Dragon’s Trap is a beautiful game that takes great pains to replicate the classic 8 bit game and turn it into a modern experience. It has gorgeous hand drawn art that is full of detail and liveliness. The music is also lovingly redone in tribute to the original. You can switch between the original and modern look and sounds at the touch of buttons, and just comparing the soundtrack between the retro and modern really shows how much care was put in to be true to the original music.

Everything has been given an overhaul, for example instead of passwords, you get hints ( the game autosaves now), the nurse is now full of snarkiness, and most useful of all, you can use the shoulder buttons to scroll though your sub weapons. This does come with a drawback however, in that the awkward parts of the game are retained as well. The game has a way of registering hits that is straight from the original game, but feels out of place in a modern game. This gets really annoying during boss fights, and can throw you off. As well, the confusion about where to go next is still here. You can get lost for a while and just wander around looking for wear to go, which is one way of expanding the play experience, which is only 3-5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game and I love it. I love finding all the secrets and the ways to progress and there is just a sense of charm that the game has, that most other retro revivals just miss out on. The different weapons and armors are great, the transformations are awesome ( but actually transforming has a bit too strong of flashing lights), and  the overall experience is really well done. If it weren’t for trying too hard to preserve what the game was in full, instead of filtering it to get only the good, this would have been much better. Still this is a game that is rewarding, that gives you a sense of satisfaction when you make progress and gain new abilities. People often forget how hard the master system games could be, so the challenge is welcome, even with the difficulty settings. Plus there is now the option to play as a female protagonist and if that is chosen, the title screen will say WonderGirl: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a nice touch and really adds to the experience.

Overall I really liked WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a retro game done right (with a few issues) and is genuinely fun and charming. I fully recommend it.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Apr, 2017 At 07:26 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, News, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I recently took the time to talk with Shawn Long of Nintendo Enthusiast, aka Youtube’s RGT 85. RGT 85 is one of the best retro gaming channels on YouTube and we talked about the retro scene and how his channel came to be and works. Have a read below.

 

JB: How did you get into retro game collecting?

 

SL: Retro game collecting was kind of a natural thing for me. I was born in 85 so I got to experience the golden age (in my opinion) of gaming as it was happening, but like most people my family couldn’t always afford to buy me the newest games and systems. So a lot of it is now I’m in a position where I can get the games or systems I always wanted to play when I was younger but never could, so it’s cool.

 

JB: What are some of the challenges with retro game collecting?

 

SL: The biggest challenge with retro collecting is by far the price. It used to be dirt cheap but as more and more people get into it the playing field is much more crowded. That pisses some people off, but it doesn’t really bother me too much. I like the challenge of trying to find a good deal or something you know? It’s a rush.

 

JB: You are a part of the Nintendo Enthusiast/Enthusiast gaming team and put videos up for them. What made you decide to start RGT 85 as a separate project?

 

SL: RGT 85 is a pretty interesting story. I used to do retro stuff on the Nintendo Enthusiast channel but it never got good views like most of my other projects so I kind of realized people didn’t really care that much about them that were subbed. I pitched an idea to Jason to kind of do more retro stuff anyways though, but we realized it wouldn’t make much sense to do stuff on like SEGA you know? Everyone else on the video team had a side project so I was just like “hey let me try one myself.” And the rest is history.

 

 

JB:  What goes into the planning process for your videos? Do you have a step by step plan for each one? Do you wing them?

 

SL: As far as making a video goes it just depends on the project. Most of the time when it’s a discussion or whatnot I’m just winging it, all one take. Feels more natural and organic and I think that’s why people like me, because I can talk forever and not lose my train of thought or need to do splices. Bigger projects like Hidden Gems or Reviews are more of a planned out process for sure though.

 

JB:  Your channel has grown significantly since you launched it. How has the experience of growing your channel been?

 

SL:  Growing the channel has been pretty interesting to be honest. Since I had done vids with Nintendo Enthusiast Jason and I kind of learned what works and what doesn’t, and I’m friends with a lot of other YouTube people who have been kind enough to help me along the way with tips about like SEO and Tags and stuff. People don’t realize how hard it is to “make a name” for yourself or whatever in the community, because I’d say making the video is only 25% of the equation. Your tags, title, and marketing are far more important.

 

JB: Is there any game you have wanted to talk about, but felt for whatever reason, you couldn’t?

 

SL: One thing I don’t like to do is talk about things I don’t know. So if I’m not well versed in a topic or game, I’ll either study it and make myself privy to it or just skip it. Luckily my brain is like 95% random video game stuff, so it works out. Haha.

 

JB:  What are some games that you feel are underrated 16 bit gems?

 

SL: There’s a ton of 16-Bit Hidden Gems. I’m actually doing a video on that right now for the Genesis, but I’ll mention one that no one ever talks about: Garfield – Caught in the Act. It was a later Genesis release, like 1995 I want to say, but the animation is some of the best on the system.

 

JB: Since you are a retro gaming fan, I must ask, at what point does a game system become retro?

 

SL:  When something becomes “retro” is an interesting question. To me, I think if a system is over 10 years old, that’s retro. I mean it’s certainly not modern right? I know some people have the cutoff around the Dreamcast or whatever but I just feel like 10 years is an insane amount of time when you think of it in terms of gaming trends and games, so that’s good enough for me.

 

 

JB:  What do you feel should be done to preserve classic games that are at risk of being lost forever?

 

SL: Emulation. There’s nothing wrong with it, you aren’t screwing over the people who made the game 20 years ago, so emulation is key. Thankfully though the theory that carts would stop working after 30 years seems to be a myth, and I think that “disc rot” is a bunch of BS too as long as you keep things nice and clean.

 

JB:  What do you think of the trend of modern revivals of classic genres and games?

 

SL: I like the “new retro” stuff. Some of my favorite recent games have been of that variety. It just shows that all these “AAA” graphic intensive titles aren’t really what everyone wants.

 

JB:  What are some retro series you would like to see revived?

SL: I’d love to see a vast majority of SEGA franchises like Shining, Streets of Rage, Landstalker/Timestalker, Phantasy Star (RPG style), Virtua Fighter, Vectorman, I mean there’s so many franchises SEGA just sits on and it’s like “What are you doing!?”
JB: Do you have anything you want to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

 

SL: Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks for talking to me! You can find me on YouTube at RGT 85!

 

 

 

 

Shawn Long

Editor in Chief at Nintendo Enthusiast

www.nintendoenthusiast.com

http://www.metacritic.com/publication/nintendo-enthusiast?filter=games

 

Thank you again for doing this Shawn. You can follow Shawn on twitter at @ShawnLong85