Hiroshi Utsumi left Sega yesterday. Mr. Utsumi was supervising the development of Hatsune Miku Project DIVA games since the beginning of the franchise in 2009. He left the company by desire to take on new challenges and explore new fields. He thanked Sega and his team members for their understanding. This does not mean the end of Project DIVA in any way and many projects are still under way like the Hatsune Miku -Project DIVA- X HD and Hatsune Miku VR: Future Live console games as well as Hatsune Miku Magical Mirai 2016 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba in September. Hatsune Miku Magical Mirai 2016 will feature hologram concerts and an exhibition dedicated to the star of Vocaloid. New songs will be added to Project DIVA Arcade Future Tone regularly and several projects are planned to celebrate Hatsune Miku's 10th anniversary in 2017. We wish Mr. Utsumi a lot of success with his future projects.
maimai PINK PLUS is available today. Sega adds new songs to its musical game in "POP & animation", "niconico & Vocaloid", "the East Project" and "Game & Variety" categories. A new feature named "grade certification" is also added to test the players skills: the player will get a rank certification if he clears 4 songs of a determined degree of difficulty with a RANK S or more. And finally, another new feature appears: "event course", the player must clear 4 songs of a degree of difficulty he can choose with a RANK A or more. The two first event courses are GochiUsa course (with songs from the anime GochÅ«mon wa usagi desu ka?/Is the Order a Rabbit?) and East Project course.
Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Scanner starts operation today. This is the successor of Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road released in 2006. Square Enix and Marvelous celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series with this new arcade opus, a "scan battle RPG" in which the player scans cards to make monsters and equipment appear in the game. The gameplay is similar to Battle Road: the red button for the offensive attack and blue for defensive attacks. This time, the ultimate attacks are launched using the stick of the dragon (which replaces the Zenithian sword) when the energy gauge is full. There are three different cards S, M and L sizes. The size depends on the monster size. Players can also create a personalised card with his favourite monster pose. Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Scanner features 2 modes: arcade and adventure. To celebrate the game's release, Square Enix has released some goodies: cards holders, t-shirts, towels, bags,... You can see the trailer here and opening here.
Sega announced the upcoming release of Border Break X during a press conference in March. It's tomorrow that this new version will be available. The new visual theme is green and the main changes concern the weapons. A new type of weapons appeared to respond to any situation of war: guerilla weapons. Sniper weapons were completely renewed. A new map is added: Island Rakuana - sunny sky under a hot air. Two new "event battle" are available: "base overwhelm warfare" and "Rush Challenge".
The 6th Data Discs release celebrates the 30th anniversary of a well-known Sega license: OutRun. This famous racing game had marked the spirits at its release in 1986 especially thanks to its original concept, its perfect realization and its Ferrari Testarossa. But what made its success it is also the music that still recognizable from the first notes even today. Three titles that the player selected via the car radio, were available: Passing Breeze, Magical Sound Shower and Splash Wave. They were composed by Hiroshi "Hiro" Kawaguchi, a well known member of the SEGA Sound Team. Vinyls edited by Data Disc include the 3 tracks from the arcade version plus Last Wave (the high-score music) on one side and on the other side Step on Beat (from the Mega Drive's 1991 version), Cruising Line and Camino a Mi Amor (from the Nintendo 3DS version released in 2014). Music from the arcade version have been recorded directly from the original OutRun cabinet and all songs have been carefully remastered wit. As usual, the packaging is pretty neat and has 3 interchangeable sleeves, an OBI, and a liner note written by Hiro. The three traditional editions are available: limited mint green, transparent and pink edition (available exclusively on Data Discs website), mint green edition and black edition. A 4th special edition available in very limited quantities (50 copies) is reserved for early buyers. It is identical to the limited version but it is signed and numbered by Hiro! It will be assigned randomly to 50 lucky buyers among people who have pre-ordered the limited version within 12 hours after the first pre-order is placed. Preorders start on Saturday 25th June at 19:00 (UK time) at Data Discs. All editions are priced at £19.99 (26€) and the vinyls should be shipped in July.
Dragon Ball Heroes, the Data Carddass card game for which Bandai has sold more than 400 million cards in 6 years of operation, will have a sequel this fall. It will be called Super Dragon Ball Heroes. This new version will have a 32" screen (140% the size of the current machine), a touchscreen monitor to perform new actions and an improved gameplay. The player may use up to 7 cards at the same time (against 5 before). He may also create a "Hero Avatar card" to use his own avatar in the game. You can watch the trailer here.
Code of Joker S is released today, it is an upgrade of Code of Joker that adds 2 new characters, 70 new cards and a new system called W-JOKER. The new characters are called Kiritani Murasakiame (voiced by SÅma SaitÅ), a scientist of the team of developers of the "ARCANA" cyberspace and Lina Valentine (voiced by M·A·O.), an agent of the UK based "National Intelligence of the Defense Agency". Illustrations of the old characters have all been renewed. The new W-JOKER system increases the importance of the Joker skills. This version also introduces purple cards with powerful effects that use a special "purple" gauge. The opening of Code of Joker S is available here and the trailer here.
1cc Shirts T-shirt of the month is dedicated to Alpha Denshi Corporation. Founded in Ageo, Saitama prefecture in 1980, Alpha Denshi originally produced audio and telecommunications equipment. The company quickly started developing arcade games with Dora-chan for Craul Denshi (which would soon be removed from game centers for its illegal use of the Doraemon character) and a shogi game for Tehkan. They will then create many games during the 80s (Crush Roller, Talbot, Champion Base Ball, Exciting Soccer, Bull Fighter) catching attention of other companies like Sega, that would license some of their games to add to its catalog. In early 1987, Alpha Denshi is approached by SNK who's interested in their latest hardware developed for the game Kyros no Yakata. This PCB uses a Motorola 68000 16/32-bit processor while SNK still uses Z80 8-bit processors. SNK will handle the PCB manufacturing and develop more games on this hardware. As part of the agreement, SNK begin the distribution of Alpha Denshi games in America. This is the beginning of a close collaboration between the two companies that will lead to the creation of the NeoGeo system. Alpha Denshi releases several games on this platform (some of which are still famous today): Magician Lord, Blue's Journey, Ninja Combat, Thrash Rally, Crossed Sword, Ninja Commando and the World Heroes series of fighting games. Alpha Denshi Corporation changes its name in 1993 to become ADK and signs an exclusive contract with SNK, tying them to their platforms. As ADK, the company continues to release NeoGeo games such as Aggressors of Dark Combat, ShÅgi no Tatsujin, Over Top and Ninja Master's. ADK finishes its arcade career with the magnificent Twinkle Star Sprites competitive shooting game. It is to be noted that during its NeoGeo period, Alpha Denshi develops several titles that would never pass the prototype stage. One last game called Dance Rhythmix will be developed on NeoGeo. It will be seen at a location test in 2004, but will never be released, the company having fallen into bankruptcy in 2003. The intellectual property of ADK is directly acquired by SNK Playmore (today SNK) upon closure. SNK now includes some ADK characters in its productions from time to time. The proposed T-shirt is black coloured and features the Alpha logo with the "Alpha Denshi Co., Ltd." text in Japanese and English languages. It is available until Sunday, May 29 at the regular price of $33.00 including shipping ($25.00 in North America). Order here.
Gunslinger Stratos 3 is out in Japan today. This sequel has the same gameplay as Gunslinger Stratos 2 but adds new characters and stages. The three new characters come from the Odhner family: Argo (Tatsuhisa Suzuki), Kathy (Natsumi Hioka) and Ban (Yu Kobayashi). There is now a total of 26 characters, each one features 2 different designs: one from Frontier S and the other from the 17th Far East Imperial City Management District. There are also 3 new stages: Shinjuku, Chinatown and Osaka Castle. A campaign that will last until June 30 is launched for Gunslinger Stratos 3 release: when players buy a weapon pack, they will receive 30000 GP(in-game money) as a gift. Square Enix also organizes an event on May 14 at the Shinjuku Station Square where players can meet 3 of the game seiyus: Atsushi Abe (Tohru Kazasumi), Junichi Suwabe (Riccardo Martini) and Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Argo Odhner). The 150 first fans to arrive will receive a special NESiCA card. A special version of Gunslinger Stratos 3 will also be released in Round1 in the United States. You can watch the long version of the first trailer here and the second trailer here.
Konami started the operation of Quiz Magic Academy Tokyo Grimoire since Wednesday. In this new version, the story takes place in modern Tokyo: character design has been revamped and all the characters wear contemporary costumes. There are 21 students and 11 teachers. The game title screen and interface are also renewed. The national online tournament specifications have also been changed.
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