Archive for the ‘Sonic Team’ Category

NiGHTS Into Dreams is now available on Steam

December 17, 2012

I believe the politically correct term is Winter Solstice NiGHTS, thank you.

The high-definition remastering of Sonic Team’s classic title for the SEGA Saturn, NiGHTS Into Dreams, is now available for Windows PC on Steam. This updated version of the game, which was released for Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 earlier this year, features enhanced visuals and full support for widescreen displays, as well as new online features including leaderboards and achievement support on Steam. This version also includes a faithful port of the unaltered SEGA Saturn version, as well as several bonus features including art and cinematics from the game. Also included with this version is a port of Christmas NiGHTS, a special version of the game that came bundled with some SEGA Saturn consoles in December of 1996, which features a two complete levels, as well as a number of extra features and content, including new music, art, and game modes all themed around the revelries of the Christmas season.

[Source: Steam]

Classic SEGA Music: Star Humming

October 15, 2012

Ristar (also known as Ristar the Shooting Star) is the 1995 platformer developed by Sonic Team and released for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and later for the SEGA Game Gear. The game follows the titular young star as he travels across the Valdi Galaxy in pursuit of the evil space pirate Kaiser Greedy, who has kidnapped the Legendary Hero that watches over the galaxy and protects it from harm. Although it is often overshadowed by Sonic Team’s other popular series, including Phantasy Star, Samba de Amigo, NiGHTS, and, of course, Sonic the Hedgehog, Ristar has managed to hold its own over a veritable who’s who of video game classics, and today it is often considered to be one of the very best and most beloved games on the platform.

Without further ado, let’s blast off and take a look at a cheerful little tune called “Star Humming”.


NiGHTS into Dreams, Sonic Adventure 2 available for download this week on XBLA and PSN

September 30, 2012

Sonic Team’s NiGHTS into Dreams… and Sonic Adventure 2 will both be available for download on the Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360 and PlayStation Network on PlayStation 3 this week with PC versions for both titles being released at an unknown future date. Across all platforms, both games will cost 10 USD (800 Microsoft Points).

Originally released on the SEGA Saturn, NiGHTS into Dreams… was a flagship release on the platform and received critical acclaim for it’s unique take on the platforming genre and the amount of replay value it offered based on it’s scoring mechanics. This modern version of the game is based on the obscure PlayStation 2 port, which was only released in Japan. It features some of the extra content from the demonstrative Christmas NiGHTS and includes newly created higher resolution models and textures.

Sonic Adventure 2 was one of the last major releases on the Dreamcast and was ported to GameCube as Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, one of SEGA’s earliest games on a Nintendo platform. Additional purchasable content for multiplayer will also be available for the game, but it is unknown if that will be playable online.

Phantasy Star Online 2 announced for English language release

July 9, 2012

An English language version of Phantasy Star Online 2 has been revealed for North American and European regions. A role playing game where players create their own characters to complete missions and search throughout the galaxy, the title reflects the online-focused design where friends or complete strangers are able to do all of this together if they so choose. Similarly to SEGA’s own Spiral Knights, Phantasy Star Online 2 will be completely free to download and require no subscription service to access the game.

A sequel to the influential original which originally released in 2000 on the Dreamcast and spawned the more action-oriented gameplay the series is now known for, Phantasy Star Online 2 will launch sometime early in 2013 on the PC. In Japan, the game will also be available on iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as the PlayStation Vita handheld, but no mentions of these were discussed in the announcement, or if the game will even receive the optional retail release Japan has. The announcement trailer has been included after the break.


NiGHTS into Dreams revealed for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

July 5, 2012

SEGA have revealed a high definition remastering of the classic SEGA Saturn title ‘NiGHTS into Dreams…‘ for the Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360, PlayStation Network on PlayStation 3 and Steam for Windows PC. An undetailed ‘Saturn Mode’ is the only addition mentioned with the announcement, but the expected online leaderboards, as well as achievements and trophy support will be included. Little overall is expected to be altered as the original took full advantage of analog controls and was one of the first home console video games to feature a widescreen display.

Initially developed by Sonic Team, NiGHTS was a flagship release for the Saturn console. Before now it was only otherwise available in Japan on PlayStation 2, confusingly not part of the SEGA AGES 2500 series. This newest release will be available for download sometime in the Fall.

We have included the announcement trailer after the break.


Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II Review

June 3, 2012

Date Released: April 15, 2012
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2012
Genre: 2D Platformer
Players: 1-2 Players, Locally and Online
Length: 50+ Minutes
Replayability: Fair



Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II is the latest main-series release in the Sonic franchise, but a continuation of it’s original 2D style of gameplay. Conceptualized in ways to reclaim former glory and fans who have left or shunned the franchise ever since it’s transition into a 3D play space, Episode II is much of what was expected from a Sonic game in the early 1990s, but does not limit itself based on tried-and-true mechanics and concepts from the past. Created by Sonic Team, tooled by DIMPS and developed by SEGA Shanghai, Episode II is an improvement over it’s predecessor in all ways, but still fails to compare to the original series.


Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II available for download this week

May 15, 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, the latest main-line Sonic the Hedgehog game and direct sequel to 2010’s Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I will be released today on Steamworks for PC and the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3. The Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade service will update early tomorrow morning with the game. Mobile versions of the game (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) will be available for purchase on their respective platform’s markets in the upcoming weeks.

The game can be purchased for 15 USD (1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360) and features minor extra content for those who also own the first episode on the same platform. Pricing on the mobile versions has not yet been discussed, but is expected to be cheaper.

We have included the launch trailer for the title after the break.


Featured Video: SEGA at Tokyo Game Show 1996

April 24, 2012


Personal View: SEGA’s March 2012 layoffs – A nail in the coffin or the makings of a bright future?

April 7, 2012

Last week, news from SEGA of America broke that saw numerous members of staff fired, games canceled and a general downsizing of the entire branch of SEGA of America. Initially, rumors ran rampant and confused a large amount of fans across the globe, the worst of which was that the entire United States branch of SEGA had completely shut down, which of course is not the case.

Immediate reconstruction has taken place going into their new fiscal year. They expect a net loss of ¥7.1 billion ($86.4 million) as part of the reform and news of this dropped their entire company’s stock 4%. However, the day after their stock rose 5% and is showing signs of continual growth.

After the break I discuss the potential cancellations, their effects, observe the negatives and positives of the change and attempt to discover if SEGA truly is in trouble or if the downsizing is the start of a brilliant strategy. The rest of the post should be taken as speculation from a dedicated fan of the company and game industry as a whole and not as a financial advisor.

Out of respect of those whom lost their jobs, any subjects around them will not be mentioned at all.


Phantasy Star Online 2 revealed for PlayStation Vita release

March 9, 2012

Phantasy Star Online 2, the next release in the action-focused multiplayer role playing series (opposed to it’s turn based, single player roots) was today revealed to be receiving a release on Sony’s newly launched PlayStation Vita platform, along with the formally announced PC version. In a video shown as part of Sony’s PlayStation Vita ‘Game Heaven’ event producer Satoshi ‘Dragon’ Sakai also confirmed that those with the Vita game will be able to join PC players on the same servers and will be able to use their account across both platforms.

There has yet to be an English-language version announcement.

The video reveal is after the break.