Month: July 2015

PSO News Round-Up: New Anime, New Cafe, PSO 2 IP Block Destroyed, and Fan Remake

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New Anime

Sega announced this past week that in honor of Phantasy Star Online’s 15th anniversary, they will be making a new anime series scheduled to arrive in 2016. The anime will be based on PSO2. You can visit the very empty website here and bookmark it for later use, I suppose!

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PSO 2 Cafe

Also in honor of the 15th anniversary is the new Phantasy Star Online 2 Cafe Sega and Suites Paradise Shinjuku have opened in Tokyo. It will run from July 17th to September 30th of this year. It features a PSO – inspired menu, decor, and some merchandise. So if you’re in that neck of the woods through the rest of the Summer, be sure to stop by for some tea or a dessert!

SEGA Japan and Suites Paradise Shinjuku have opened a PSO2 Cafe to celebrate PSO’s 15th Anniversary. The cafe will be in operation from July 17th to September 30th in Tokyo.

PSO2 SEA IP Block Removed

Speaking of PSO2, the IP block on South East Asian English localized version has been removed. If you feel like playing the slightly less awesome version of PSO2, with a large amount of pay-to-win mechanics and a update schedule a year behind the Japanese version, you can now choose to do so without using a proxy. Joy of joys, kids!

You can hit up the website for that version of the game here and jump right in.

PSO Fan Remake

Finally, are you a jaded and unfulfilled Western fan of the series? That’s rough! However, if you’re somewhat less jaded, then you might feel a little more optimistic about a fan remake of Phantasy Star Online that went public this week!

Work on the remake is still fairly early, but the lead developer decided to go public and make a demo available. In his own words:

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“Hi guys, Glader here. It’s time we released that demo that was promised so long ago. It has been worked on intermittently over the past couple months. It didn’t turn out to be everything we had hoped and a lot of features got cut and it is technically unfinished. We felt it was best to get it out there though rather than rot as a pile of bits on my PC.

“The idea is that this is just a promotional/proof-of-concept demo of a Phantasy Star Online remake. It answers questions such as “What might a remake look like?” and “Is it possible for a small team?” The answers to both those questions have been answered. We hope this gets other developers excited about the project and potentially encourages them to make some contributions to the project. The end goal, of course, is an extendable community owned PSO project with tools support that unlocks the potential that PSOBB server emulation can never reach due to a closed source client and lack of overall mutability of the game in general.”

You can find download links to Windows and Linux builds of the demo here along with Glader’s Reddit Q&A. Someone recorded a video of the demo and uploaded it to Youtube over here.

Will a now much more public fan remake of PSO survive a highly likely Cease & Desist order from Sega during the game’s 15th anniversary?

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Sega Wants to Win Back Gamer’s Trust

From a fairly recent Famitsu interview comes some promising statements from Sega CEO Hajime Satomi. Below is a rough translation provided by Gematsu.

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How are you thinking about the current home console market?

Satomi: “Looking at the Japanese domestic market, you get the impression things are pretty rough, but globally, the PS4 has had the fastest console sales in history, so I think there are opportunities out there.

Ryugagotoku0“I’m feeling a particular response from Asia. The Chinese version of Yakuza 0 sold more than expected.

“We’ve learned a lot about the western market from Atlus. If we can deliver high-quality titles to fans of Japanese games, I think we have a decent chance of making it overseas.”

What specific efforts are you putting into your future home console games?

“Right now, I talk to our team about stressing quality over all else. The west is very schedule-oriented, but that means that if we can’t maintain our usual quality on a project, we shouldn’t put it out. Old Sega worked hard to establish a level of trust with its fans, but when I take a hard look at the past 10 years, I can see there have been some titles that betrayed that trust.”

Can we expect a high-quality title to be released during the second half of the year?

“Since we’re focused on quality, I can’t make any promises, but I do want to make an announcement of some sort regarding a home console game at the Tokyo Game Show.”

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Final Day for Shenmue 3 Kickstarter!

We’re down to the last day for the Shenmue 3 kickstarter! Yu Suzuki has posted a final video message for fans.

Note that the kickstarter is the only guaranteed way to get a physical copy of the game. It is still undetermined whether or not physical copies will be available for PS4 or PC! Better safe than sorry, folks!

Sorry for the delay in other news. I’m enjoying some Summer downtime. Will catch up on news for this week shortly!

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Tembo the Badass Elephant to be Released on July 21st

Sega of America dropped us a line to let us know that Tembo the Badass Elephant now has a digital release date of July 21st. It will show up on Steam, PSN, and Xbox Live on that date.

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In addition, they are throwing a discount campaign. Steam pre-orders before the release date will get 10% off the retail price, while PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold members will be able to get a 10% discount when the game launches. There was no exact end date given for the PS4 and Xbox One discount campaign.

Tembo’s retail price is £9.99/$14.99/€12.99.

If you’d like to see our preview of the game, you can check it out here.

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