Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax! – An October (Non) Surprise From Sega


You don’t have to be a fan of the Dengeki Bunko light novels or any of the anime associated with them to appreciate Sega’s upcoming PS3 and Vita exclusive Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax!, headed your way on October 6. Developers Ecole Software and French Bread have cooked up a great looking, fast paced 2D fighter with nice 3D backdrops and some wild “Climax Moves” that can decimate your opponents when pulled off.

The game’s roster includes characters from the following DB light novel series:

A Certain Magical Index
Accel World
Black Bullet
Shakugan no Shana
Sword Art Online
The Irregular at Magic High School

Plus assist characters from these DB series:

Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
Boogiepop and Others
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Golden Time
Kino’s Travels
Spice and Wolf
The Devil is a Part-Timer!
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

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The game will be available at retail in a limited launch edition that comes packed with a CD soundtrack. As far as I can tell, digital copies of the game won’t net players that freebie. So you may want to pre-order this one or take a chance that your local game shop has ordered a few extra copies so you don’t miss out on that bonus.


While I’m not the best fighting game player out there (understatement of the decade, folks), I do appreciate awesome art and animation when and wherever I see it. So this one on the list to check out in full review form.

Yakuza 5 Update: Still Waiting For A Date, Discount For The Early Birds


Y5_wallpaper_01_1920x10801If you got rid of your PS3 when you got your PS4, you may want it back for at least one more exclusive of note. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama are back with two more in-depth “making of” videos for Sega’s upcoming western release of Yakuza 5. Despite its age (the Japanese version shipped back in 2012), the game looks quite spectacular on the aging PS3 hardware and is finally coming to North America later this year as a digital only PSN release.

While the game may be well-aged to some out there, according to the press release it’s looking to be the most feature-packed English version of any in the series:

Yakuza 5 features more mini-games than previous titles, a modified battle system as well as enhanced customizations and interactions in the signature hostess bars of the franchise. In addition to these features, Yakuza 5 also introduces “Another Drama” which is a series of side stories that focus on each protagonist in-depth and are separate from the main story of the game.


In addition, Sega is making a tempting offer to those who pre-order the game with a 15% discount off the $39.99 price plus the free Yakuza 5 XMB theme below:

You’d think Nagoshi and Yokoyama should be singing “We Built This City” at this point, but instead they just happily chat more about the game and what players can expect:

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It’s great to see Sega keeping the Yakuza flame going despite the lengthy wait between releases. Hopefully fans will be on board with the digital-only version and snap it up once it’s released.

3D Gunstar Heroes Out Now on Nintendo 3DS: “Blast Processing,” Indeed

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3D Gunstar Heroes logoFor those of you who’ve never played it, Gunstar Heroes is quite simply one of the best 16-bit games ever made, period. Japanese developer Treasure made itself a household name among gamers with this 1993 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis release that seemed to use every bit of processing power the console had and then some.

While the game has popped up in a few newer console ports over time, it seems that the 3DS just may have the “definitive” version thanks to Sega’s remaster team, M2. Here’s a fun extra credit read from the Sega Blog on how tricky it was to get the game up and running on the handheld in stereoscopic 3D. The plot is nuts if you try to make total sense of it, but you won’t be playing this for the story. It’s a total run ‘n gun with killer boss fights, a “board game” level that’s worth an entire game in itself under the right developer, and a great soundtrack that drives the action from beginning to end.

Anyway, if you have a 3DS, BUY THIS GAME. If you’re thinking about getting a 3DS, see that last sentence. Hopefully Sega has plans to get this on the Wii U as well as an HD version at some point as it’s a total no-brainer that this is a game that really benefits from a larger screen. We’ll see if that ever happens (it would be nice, Sega), but for now, this one’s a must-buy that still packs quite a few wallops.

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Tembo The Badass Elephant Says: “Don’t Forget Me… OR ELSE!”


Is this new Sega-published game out tomorrow equal parts Rambo, Dumbo and Sonic the Hedgehog? Nope, not really… but it’s pretty darn close. But you probably want to buy Tembo the Badass Elephant because if you don’t, Tembo might get mad. And you don’t want to get Tembo mad at you because elephants don’t forget. Ever. Hey, I don’t know about YOU, but I don’t want to be in the shower or walking down the street on an other wise fine and dandy day when all of a sudden I hear a trumpety bellow and a wall comes crashing down on me that Tembo just burst through like a pissed off Kool-Aid Man. Seven and a half tons of fun on my head (not counting the rubble from building that just got crashed through)? Nope, not happening.

Anyway, the game in question SHOULD be bought and played not because of any unveiled threats, but because it’s from the geniuses at Game Freak, who brought Pokemon to the world for Nintendo consoles, a little VERY under-appreciated gem called Pulseman to the Sega Mega Drive back in the 90’s. So, YES. You need a little Tembo in your gaming life tomorrow. Or else you get a LOT of Tembo coming your way when you least expect it. PC, PS4 and Xbox One only. Wii U and handheld system owners? Well, I guess you’ll be getting a little big visit from some very angry elephant soon. And he won’t be playable. Carry a sack of peanuts and a live mouse with you at all times so you can distract him as you make good your escape.

Yakuza 5: No Controversy Here, Just Sega Pleasing Some Fans


Almost lost in all this noise on Shenmue III and its somewhat controversial (to some) Kickstarter campaign was the fact that Sega of America itself was going to be publishing Yakuza 5 in North America this fall. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi, Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama and their talented dev team are clearly showing that the PlayStation 3 isn’t “dead” yet as a viable console and the game certainly looks like their best work yet. Even better, it’s an exclusive to Sony’s console so you can wave your system under the noses of any friend with a competing console who may be a bit jealous. However, expect that console to be used to gently bash you over the head with if you’re too braggy.

Unfortunately for you physical media collectors out there the game is only getting a digital release via the PlayStation Network. So you’ll either need to bite that bullet and download this one or take the harder road, learn Japanese and import that version from a nice import retailer like Play-Asia. Of course, by the time you’re through with those crash courses in the language the game will be out here in English. So yeah, go support Sega of America with a purchase because they don’t make a penny on anything you get directly from Japan or anywhere outside the U.S. of A., folks.


Shining Through: Old Memories Return Thanks To New Friends


The first Japanese game I ever played to completion with no knowledge of the language outside a few basic characters was Shining and the Darkness for the Sega Mega Drive, later localized as Shining in the Darkness for North America by Sega of America. It wasn’t mad savant skills that got me through this text-heavy role-playing game, but a spoiler-free walkthrough and plenty of maps yanked from a Japanese magazine that came with the game when I purchased it. I’d played a few Japanese MD games previously, but most were shooters such as Gaiares or not quite perfect arcade ports like Golden Axe or Altered Beast.


I stumbled upon Shining and six of seven other imports at a used book and record store in NYC back around early 1992 and couldn’t pass up buying all of the games at somewhere between eight and ten dollars each. All of those games are still in the library here and some even get pulled out and played on occasion. It took me the better part of the summer to complete SitD because I was only using the walkthrough when I got stuck and was filling in the plot on my own. It ended up being pretty close to what the actual game and English version would be because it was a simple “rescue the kidnapped princess!” story with a few expected and unexpected twists.

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Interview: Brandon Cobb of Super Fighter Team


Nice. The last time I spoke to Super Fighter Team’s Brandon Cobb was a while back about some upcoming projects he was working on and before that, it was an interview a few years ago on Zaku, the excellent Atari Lynx game the company published. Just when I was thinking about bugging him again for an update, Eric over at The Sega Collection went and asked a few of the questions I was thinking about and posted the article below. My work here is done, thanks to The Sega Dude! Okay, okay… I’ll bug Brandon about Cascade, Magic Girl and other stuff at some point in January. In the meantime, enjoy the interview! Continue reading

Stuff I Need to Play (at Some Point): Pier Solar and the Great Architects (PC)

Yaaah! When did this slip out? Oh, September 30? Well, I wasn’t paying attention, but this one’s on my list of too many games to buy and play. *Sigh*… well, given that I have the Genesis version here and have made it about halfway through, I know what to expect already. That said, the HD visual upgrade makes this one the one I’ll probably default to once it gets purchased. So many games… so little time, grrrr!

NowPlaying: Alien Isolation (Or: Let’s See How Long I Can Last)…

So, yeah – here we go. let’s see now: phone off the hook? Check. Clean underwear at the ready? Check. Ear out for UPS/Fed Ex in case I get some surprise packages from a PR contact (and/or my SUPER late Think Geek order that’s almost a month old, grrrr?): Check! I think I should eat something too, but I’ll pop into the kitchen while the game is installing and make something quick. Did someone say cheese pierogi with sauteed onions? I think that’s what my stomach was screaming, so that will get taken care of (thank you, stomach!). I think I have some (*ding!*) Gold’s Horseradish left. Hmmm… let me check… (*ding!*) Yep, with beets, at that. Okay, I’m set for the day.

Oh, that flower? It’s there because it’ll probably be the nicest thing I see all day. Back in a bit – maybe later this afternoon or evening with some sort of “I’m too %#$^@! scared to move” update. Maybe.

Alien Isolation Launch Trailer: At Home, Everyone Will Hear You Scream…


AI PS4 CoverIt’s almost here and yours truly will be popping up at a certain retailer bright and early to snap up my copy and trot back home so I can dive in feet first and come up for air with knuckles and hair all white from fear. Yay, fear! Hmmmm. I should e dreading this experience a bit more because I’ve not been really freaked out by any horror game in a while.

On the other hand, I’m knowing I’m going to enjoying seeing what The Creative Assembly has cooked up for people like me who’ve been following this from the shadows who want to go in cold and not have spoilers hitting us on the head because we hung out on the right message boards and want our “fun” spoiled. Of course, I’m less expecting this to be “fun” and more expecting it to be “Holy $#!+, I can’t take another step because I’m TOO damn scared, but that damn Alien is somewhere in the room, Gyaaaaaah!”

Or something like that. (sings) The sun will come out, tomorrow… Hmmmm. I wonder if they sell cork panels at the K-Mart across from the game shop? I may need a bunch to line the living room with so my neighbors don’t keep calling the cops on me. “GYAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”