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SEGA says they're planning more short-form animated content for future Sonic games

Well that's great to hear!

Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing saw a number of different animated shorts released to promote the titles, and they were all a huge hit. Can we hope for more content like that in the future? According to a Comicbook.com interview with Yukio Kusumoto, Sega's Director of Animation, that will indeed be the case.

I can say we have a plan of continuing this trend creating short-form content per game release, and we can't announce yet, but several projects have been planned; for those projects, we are in early development, but yes, we will continue releasing this type of content.

Listen to another unheard demo track for Sonic 3D Blast from Jun Senoue

Another lost track preserved

TT Games founder Jon Burton has shared yet another previously-unreleased track from Sonic 3D Blast. This tune, again from Jun Senoue, is a demo version of the Knuckles Bonus Stage music. While it didn't end up getting used in Sonic 3D Blast, the tune would later reappear in Sonic Adventure for the "Pleasure Castle" stage.

SEGA AGES: Ichidant-R and Columns II launch trailer

Two for the AGES

Lacking mental focus in your daily life? Maybe the best medicine is to try your hand at two mind-bending puzzle games - Ichidant-R and Columns II, now available as part of the SEGA AGES line-up for the Nintendo Switch!

SEGA asks fans what feature they'd most like to see in a new Super Monkey Ball

ALL MONKEY TARGET

SEGA has shared a second tweet concerning the topic of a new Super Monkey Ball game. The tweet asked fans to vote on what feature they'd most like to see in a new Super Monkey Ball title, and most fans picked the 'Stage Maker' option. Also included as choices were 'Mission Mode,' 'Character Maker,' and 'Network Competition.'

91 tracks revealed for Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix

Dance your heart out!

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix is going to feature 101 songs, and today SEGA has revealed 91 of those tracks. Check out the full rundown of the songs below.

“Ai Kotoba” by DECO*27
“Akatsuki Arrival” by Last Note.
“ACUTE” by Kurousa-P
“Ageage Again” by Mitchie M
“Amatsukitsune” by Marasy
“Arifureta Sekai Seifuku” by Pinocchio-P
“Unhappy Refrain” by wowaka
“1925” by Yuto Tomita (Tomi / T-Pocket)
“erase or zero” by Crystal-P
“Interviewer” by Kuwagata-P
“Weekender Girl” by Hachioji-P
“Ura-omote Lovers” by wowaka
“LOL -lots of laugh-” by KeN
“Electric Angel” by Yasuo
“Envy Cat Walk” by Tohma
“ODDS&ENDS” by ryo
“on the rocks” by OSTER project
“Gaikotsu Gakudan to Lilia” by Tohma
“Karakuri Pierrot” by 40mP
“Colorful × Melody” by doriko
“Cantarella” by Kurousa-P
“Kimi no Taion” by Kuwagata-P
“Cat Food” by doriko
“Glory 3usi9” by Nanou
“Ghost Rule” by DECO*27
“Kochira, Koufuku Anshin Iinkai desu.” by Utata-P
“Saihate” by Kobayashi Onyx
“soundless voice” by Hitoshizuku-P
“Sakura no Ame” by halyosy
“Sadistic.Music∞Factory” by cosMo@Bousou-P
“39” by sasakure.UK
“Cendrillon” by Dios / Signal-P
“shake it!” by emon (Tes.)
“Gemini” by Dixie Flatline
“Just Be Friends” by Dixie Flatline
“Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa” by Noboru↑
“Shinkai Shoujo” by Yuuyu
“Sweet Magic” by Junky
“Sweet Devil” by Hachioji-P
“Suki Kirai” by Gom
“Suna no Wakusei feat. Hatsune Miku” by Hachi
“Snowman” by halyosy
“SPiCa -39’s Giving Day Edition-” by Toku
“Senbonzakura -F edition-” by Kurousa-P
“DYE” by AVTechNO!
“Time Machine” by 40mp
“Tsugai Kogarashi” by hinayukki@sigotosite-P
“DECORATOR” by kz
“Tell Your World” by kz
“Terekakushi Shishunki” by HoneyWorks
“Tengaku” by Yuuyu
“Tokyo Teddy Bear” by Neru
“Tricolor Airline” by Atsuzou-kun
“Torinoko City” by 40mP
“Narisumashi Genga” by KulfiQ
“Nijigen Dream Fever” by Polyphonic Branch
“Netoge Haijin Sprechchor” by Satsuki ga Tenkomori
“Nostalogic(MEIKO-SAN mix)” by yuukiss
“Hajimete no Oto” by malo
“Hajimemashite Chikyuujin-san” by Pinocchio-P
“Hatsune Miku no Gekishou” by Storyteller
“Hatsune Miku no Shoushitsu” by cosMo@Bousou-P
“Palette” by Yuyoyuppe / meola
“Hello, Planet. (I.M.PLSE-EDIT)” by sasakure.UK
“Hello, Worker” by KEI
“Hand in Hand” by kz
“Piano × Forte × Scandal” by OSTER project
“Hibikase” by Giga
“Himitsu Keisatsu” by Buriru
“Fire◎Flower” by halyosy
“Black Gold” by otetsu
“Blackjack” by Yucha-P
“Black★Rock Shooter” by ryo
“FREELY TOMORROW” by Michie M
“from Y to Y” by JimmyThumb-P
“PoPiPo” by Lamaze-P
“magnet” by minato
“Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru♪ [Shite Yan Yo]” by ika_mo
“Miracle Paint” by OSTER project
“Meteor” by John
“Melancholic” by Junky
“Melt” by ryo
“Monochro ∞ Blue Sky” by Noboru↑
“Yubikiri” by Scop
“Rimokon” by Jesus-P (Wonderful☆Opportunity)
“Luka Luka★Night Fever” by samfree
“Rolling Girl” by wowaka
“1/6 -out of the gravity-” by Vocaloid-P (noa)
“Romeo to Cinderella” by doriko
“World’s End Dance Hall -Live Dance Edition-” by wowaka
“World is Mine” by ryo

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega39’s gets an intro trailer

Looking to see how Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega39’s plays? Want a better idea of what the game has to offer? SEGA has released an new intro trailer to give a rundown of what the game includes, and you can check it out above.

SEGA AGES: Ichidant-R and Columns II Will Put Your Intellect to the Test, Available Today

Two classics up for grabs

IRVINE, Calif. - October 17, 2019 - Lacking mental focus in your daily life? Maybe the best medicine is to try your hand at two mind-bending puzzle games - Ichidant-R and Columns II, now available as part of the SEGA AGES line-up for the Nintendo Switch!

Neither of these titles have ever been released in the West, so this is a fantastic opportunity for many of you to try out them out for the very first time, either locally or online. Whether you're battling your friends in incredibly bizarre mini-games with Ichidant-R, or find yourself gripping the Joy-Con like a vice while playing the Infinite Jewel mode in Columns II, there's plenty of amazing value here to indulge in!

About Ichidant-R

Originally released for Japanese arcades back in 1994, this unique spin-off from Bonanza Bros. features a compilation of wacky mini-games that require sharp thinking and quick reflexes, all set in a fantasy medieval backdrop where you must save a princess from the Demon King. Experience "puzzle and action" in this definitive party game.

About Columns II

Match jewels, fossils, and disks as you take a voyage through time in the second installment of this fun and exciting puzzle series. Control the falling pieces and aim for three-in-a-row in any direction to clear the screen before they stack to the top. Switch between multiple game modes, like "Flash Columns" where you target flashing jewels and unlock secret Jewel Case characters, or "Versus Columns" that pits friends against one another.

Ichidant-R and Columns II are now available individually on the Nintendo Switch eShop in the Americas and Europe for $7.99 (with commensurate European pricing). For more information, please visit the official website at http://segaages.sega.com/.

New Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 2D event screens released

Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games lets you get your mini-game action in with standard 3D events, or throwback 2D events. If you're excited for the retro action, then today's batch of screens are for you. Check out another look at the various 2D games here.

Full details and new screens revealed for SEGA AGES: Shinobi

Ninja news

SEGA AGES: Shinobi is coming to Switch "soon," according to SEGA. While we wait for a release date, SEGA has released full details on the game and its updates, alongside new screens. Check out the screens here, and read up on the details below.

■ Additional Options Unique to Sega Ages

The Sega Ages version of Shinobi also includes the western version of the game. Additionally, difficulty settings and the ability to select your favorite stages have also been implemented, allowing you to practice the stages you have trouble with.

Furthermore, for players aiming for the “Shinobi Bonus” obtained by clearing the stage without using any shuriken, the “Melee Attack” button can also be added. “HD Rumble” is also supported.

“Screen Mode” has also been updated. In addition to the familiar “Fit” and “Vintage” options, a new “Cabinet” option has been implemented. This option even reproduces the noise of the arcade, so you can get a sense of what playing at a game center feels like.

■ Modes

Arcade Mode

A mode that reproduces the original arcade version. Depending on the settings, you can also use the Sega Ages-original feature “Rewind” to practice. (This is similar to the “Helper” feature in Sega Ages Gain Ground.)

Ages Mode

This is a special mode for players who find Arcade Mode too difficult to be able to enjoy the game. In this mode, you control white-robed Joe Musashi from The Revenge of Shinobi. White-robed Musashi is in a constant powered-up state with high attack power, and it takes two hits to kill him instead of one. The Rewind feature can also be used in this mode.

■ Other

Other familiar Sega Ages features such as “Leaderboards” to compete for the high score against other players online in the arcade version, and a “Replay” feature have also been implemented.

SEGA explains how Sonic Mania's animated shorts came to be

Absolutely wonderful stuff

Sonic Mania was a fantastic experience top to bottom, and the icing on the cake were the animated shorts that released alongside the title, and were part if it through the intro and more. In an interview with ComicBook.com, we hear from Sega's Director of Animation, Yukio Kusumoto, on how the shorts came together.

ComicBook.com: How did these animated shorts come about? How did this all come together?

Yukio Kusumoto: I joined Sega about two years ago and this creating short-form content was a brand-new initiative following Sega's last effort of creating a series called Sonic Boom. And production wrapped for Sonic Boom, and we were thinking about doing something new. Thus, this short-form content idea came, and the original purpose of creating this short-form content is to create something like a companion piece to the game, really. And at that time, when I joined, Sega previously released Sonic Mania game, as a digital download I believe. And then when I joined there was a plan of creating additional SKU. It's a physical package branding called Sonic Mania Plus, and Sega had the idea of adding a few new elements to the game, and we thought, why not create a short-form content to highlight that new element and start with a companion piece, but also promote the brand as a whole. And it was, again, it was a brand-new initiative. Sega had the idea for a while, but they just didn't have a person to do it. So I joined, and that was the very first thing I did with Sega and we created six episodes so far on Sonic Mania Adventure series, and it's been a great success.

ComicBook.com: What was the actual process like for creating the series? Designing stuff, making sure things looked right -- that the series was what you wanted it to be.

Yukio Kusumoto: So as you know, Sonic Mania the game is all about nostalgia, if you will. It's recreating the old side-scroll platform game. So I wanted to make something to speak to that. So my first mission is to find somebody who's really in tune with the original world of Sega. The creator I hire has to be a big fan of Sonic, and has to know about Sonic in and out, and it wasn't too hard to find that person. We were very lucky to have Tyson Hesse as a director who has been working with some Sega projects on and off prior, but at that time I believe he was a storyboard artist, and this was a really nice opportunity for both sides to make something brand new and having Tyson as a supervising director.

And then once we have Tyson on board, we had been discussing how we can replicate this innocent, untapped original world of Sonic, and how we can replicate the ‘90s Saturday morning cartoon type of feel. So our conclusion was we're not gonna do 3D, but let's do hand-drawn animation. And that was a challenge itself, 'cause as you know, only a very handful of production houses does hand-drawn animation at this time, and we were searching Japan, Korea, the U.S., but finally we reached this production house called Neko Productions, located in Burbank, actually not too far from our office in Burbank, and it's a little bit small production but they have a really good pool of hand-drawing animators. And we talk about the style and something close to the game, yet original. So we came up with this look that is hand drawn and not too polished to have kind of, you know, “for the fans, by the fans” type of feel. And we spent a few months designing the character, and we worked very closely with Mr. [Takashi] Iizuka, the head of [Product Development] here, and we finally nailed the look. And the rest is history.

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