SEGA Hits the Big Time - E3 2018
SEGA has always been a beloved company that has been struggling to find an audience for the pas decade. That is not to say they do not make quality games, on the contrary, they make fantastic games that create cult followings, and become hidden gems that create passionate communities. Whether it was Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Original Xbox, Super Monkey Ball which was released on various plarforms, or the Yakuza series, which has just recently finished the story of Kazuma Kiryu. It is clear that SEGA has always had a following, but people have always seem to look over them.
Not this year, as SEGA has come in full force to show just how valuable they are as a company. Showcasing playable demos for Valkyria Chronicles 4, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, Shining Resonance, and Team Sonic Racing, each having their own united fan base. When talking with the people waiting in line for Valkyria Chronicles 4, people were very interested in also checking out some of the other titles because "They looked like so much fun!"
To start off, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the highly anticipated fifth entry in the series, and while Valkyria Revolution's Real-Time Action held people over, people have been waiting for a Turn-Based Action game in the series for 8 years in the US, and 7 years in Japan (Valkyria Chronicles 3 was never released in the US). With Valkyria Chronicles 4, not only does the game look beautiful, but the game runs at 4K 60 FPS on the Xbox One X, and the animations are more crisp and smooth. To say this may be the best in the series is anticipation enough, and fans can pick it up on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC on September 25th, 2018.
Yakuza Kiwami 2, the HD Remake of the Original Yakuza 2 on the PS2,, is arguably the best Yakuza to this date to jump in and throw people around. From the demo played, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios is still making the Yakuza Mechanics more smooth and clean with every iteration because Yakuza has never felt better. The world of Yakuza feels more alive than it has ever been, an the mini-games are just as crazy. The highlight was that, while venturing through the arcade, we noticed there is a fully playable Arcade Version of Cyber Troopers Virtual-On and Virtua Fighter are in Yakuza Kiwami 2. One minute you are beating people in the streets, the next you are playing classic SEGA Arcades Games! Fans will be delighted to know that the story is reanimated beautifully, and Yakuza Kiwami 2 has a schedule release date of August 28th, 2018.
The most exciting announcement was the announcement of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. Know as Hokuto Ga Gotoku in Japan, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is a Third-Person Action game where the player punches people so hard, they burst into pools of blood. The game will feature a mode where you can tone down the blood if that is not your thing, so you can enjoy the game that way if you want. Hokuto Ga Gotoku was a game we imported from Japan and played through to the end, but we promise not to spoil anything. The demo actually is only a taste of what fans can expect from the final product. Truly, what fans can expect is combos for days because there is a skill tree very similar to the Yakuza series. There's crossovers, reversals, parries, action combos, arguably the coolest thing is that when you punch someone enough, the Circl icon comes up, and you can perform a Fatality. There's roughly 30+ Fatalities in the game, and all never get old to watch. As well, the story is an original take, that is somewhat connected to the Fist of the North Star lore, so whether or not you are a fan, youo can jump right in and enjoy the story. The Boss Battles are arguably the most memorable moments about Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise because they are just as exciting as watching the original Film and TV Series from back in the day. When asked about the reasoning for putting English Voice Actors in the game, the Answer we got was because it has been so long since Fist of the North Star has been relevant, that in order to bring a mass audience back, there needs to be top notch voice acting to translated and localize the amazing script. The game will have Dual Audio, so you can either play in English or Japanese Voices. Fans can pick up Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise on October 2nd, 2018.
Team Sonic Racing was the only Sonic the Hedgehog game showcased on the Show floor. Sonic Mania Plus had more information, and will come out physically on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, with a DLC Pack available on Windows PC, on July 17th, 2018. The big game showcased at E3 was Team Sonic Racing. For those who played Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, fans will be happy to hear that SUMO Digital is developing the game, and the similarities are uncanny. Also, while they only showed a handful of characters, the roster will definitely be of decent size, so maybe Big the Cat will be playable. As well, the environment of Planet Wisp looked so well done, that it really does stand to toe to toe against other Kart Racers in the genre. Team Sonic Racing will release on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC sometime this Fall 2018.
As well, with the recent acquisition of Atlus, SEGA showcased Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight. Both of which will release on PS4 and PSVita sometime in Late 2018. As well, Catherine: Full Body has been announced for the West, and will release on PS4 and PSVita in early 2019. Atlus has clearly shown to be a great partner for SEGa, and we are only excited for what Atlus has in store for the future. To say that now is an amazing time to be a SEGA fan, or an Atlus fan, it an understatement!