Sega has released the launch trailer for 3D Thunder Blade, which is available now in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Priced at $5.99, the simulation game has players control a helicopter and use guns and missiles to destroy enemy vehicles while flying between buildings, through caves and into enemy bases. The re-mastered version of the 1987 classic also boasts stereoscopic 3D visuals and adds a host of new features.
Sega fans will be slightly disappointed to learn that the publisher and developer won’t have its own E3 booth this year. We already know that they’ve scaled back on producing games for consoles and are focussing on tablet, smartphone, and online PC titles. However, Sega will be teaming up with its partners so it is reasonably likely that you’ll see Sega titles at Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s booths.
“Over the next months, SEGA of America will be focusing on the restructure and relocation to Southern California, and we have decided to not attend E3 with our own booth this year,” a representative told us via email. “With the majority of our bigger titles launching later in 2015/2016, particularly those from our AAA studios Relic Entertainment, Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly, we are concentrating our efforts for some of these major announcements after our relocation. Instead, we will be collaborating with our various business partners for this year’s E3 show.”
SEGA has revealed that it’s keen to create more titles in the 3D Classics range if sales of the next range of titles prove to be strong enough. We’ve had a number of great releases and there’s still more to come with games such as GunStar Heroes 3D and Streets of Rage 3D. Let’s cross our fingers and hope they’re a success.
F: First off, congratulations on your continuation with the [Sega 3D Classics] series. We thought you’d stopped after putting out the super-compilation that was Sega 3D Classics. It came as a pleasant surprise that there was more to come. The three titles we’re talking about today will be making up additions to the second round of games releasing in the series outside of Japan, but do you have any plans for more titles after that?
Yosuke Okunari (Sega Games): These games aren’t the start of a new series [of re-releases; rather, they’re the second wave of games within a series] so we have no plans for the future.
Naoki Horii (M2): None at all!
Okunari: These three titles were put out for download overseas simply as an extension [to the existing series]. This really is the end for the second wave [of Sega 3D Classics]. Of course we want to consider the development of a third wave based on the response to this second wave, but we have no plans at this point in time. We’ll look at the big picture, that is, we’ll look at the sales trends of the physical release of the Sega 3D Classics line that went on sale last year [in Japan] as well as how the upcoming three titles perform in the global market. We’re happy to do this indefinitely if sales are good.
Great news for Sega fans as the US branch has announced that they’re releasing their next set of 3D Classics this summer on the Nintendo 3DS. You’ll be able to purchase Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in September, Streets of Rage 2 in July and Gunstar Heroes in August. There’s also some more titles following these. They include 3D Fantasy Zone II (April 16, 2015) and 3D Thunder Blade (May 14, 2015). You can read about each title on the official Sega blog.
Sega has pulled out all the stops when it comes to creating Nintendo 3DS themes. The company revealed that their SG-1000 and Dreamcast themes used authentic sounds that were recorded from the console. The news came from Sega’s Yosuke Okunari who tweeted a number of images to show how they captured the sound effects. So yeah, the themes certainly weren’t created in a half-hearted manner.
We wanted to recreate the short “Buu” sound when turning on the console for the SG-1000 theme and so we brought the console to the studio for recording. However, that sound varies depending on the software so we started up roughly 20 games and chose the one which sounded the most authentic.
The TV series of Sonic Boom may have been a success, but the games on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have been far from it. Former SEGA America producer Stephen Frost still believes that the whole package has been a success. Frost mentions that there are people that loved the game and appreciate that they were trying to take Sonic in a new direction. Here’s some choice quotes.
- Suggestion that Sonic had to re-invent itself because the fanbase was getting smaller. Gives Call of Duty as an example/comparison.
- Boom was made to appeal to non Sonic fans. — This is stated multiple times.
- Suggestion that people/retailers are bored of Classic – Dreamcast era Sonic. States you can only do so much with these eras/characters. He does go on to suggest this is from a retailer standpoint.
- Claims multiple times that Boom (franchise) is a big success.
- Admits Boom (franchise) could have been better.
“Could the games have been better… yes, any game can be made better.”
- Suggestion that part of the reason why Boom (game) isn’t that good is because the team didn’t know what Sonic was about/lack of experience.
- “In focus tests, we heard all the time, people were sick of speed, Sonic was too fast, they wanted to slow down.”
- “People really liked the Co-Op” — Hopes Sonic Team will do that in the future.
- “The biggest mistake in Boom (gaame) was adding too many features to it.
- “It was too much to ask of the/any development team” — In terms of different characters, combat, features etc.
- “I was tasked (by Sega) with creating an experience that appeals to an audience which doesn’t play Sonic.”
- “If I could do it again, I would remove features and speed would be the main focus from the start.”
- “Speed was shelved because we were under the impression people didn’t want it.”
- “Speed is always a Sonic thing, we didn’t focus on that.”
- “The goal of Boom was to reach new people.”
- “As a branch of Sonic, Boom is a success in many ways.”
- Suggests that due to how much content you need to make for a Sonic alone game, it’s too much work. You need additional characters to spread the burden of content.
- “Multiple characters resonate well with people”
“Solo Sonic games, I don’t know how long that can last there isn’t enough variety to sustain it.”
- “The future of Sonic games needs to be Co-Op, it worked really well in Sonic Boom, community and online play, that sustains it.”
Say’s he’d love to see a Sonic level design game.
- “In general, you need to do multiplayer and add online multiplayer aspects, that will sustain and keep the franchise alive.”
- Says that the reason for the change in release date was likely a number of reasons, cartoon air date, Nintendo release dates, Sega release dates.
- When the decision was made to change Boom’s release date, Sega did not know when Smash was coming out.
Dorkly has put together a skit called “If Sega Owned Mario.” In particular, the piece pokes fun at Sonic Boom and how Mario and Luigi could potentially appear in games if Sega was in charge of designing them. The skit ends by taking a jab at Ubisoft and its initial release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, which launched with a number of noticeable technical issues last year.