The announcement that Jet Set Radio is on its way to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this Summer sent waves of joy throughout the gaming community -- well, at least through those members of the community old enough to have played the Dreamcast in its storied heyday. The classic Sega goodness won't end with JSR.
Fighting game fans can look forward to Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown hitting XBLA and PSN sometime this Summer. Additionally, a Sega Vintage Classics: Monster World listing has been spotted on the Xbox Marketplace. Saving the best for last, Sega is teasing another couple of Dreamcast games that may be coming as downloadable titles: Skies of Arcadia and Shenmue.
Let's start with what we know. Virtua Fighter has long been regarded as one of the most technique-intensive fighting games around. There hasn't been a new home version of the game since 2007, though one of Virtua Fighter's signature character, Akira Yuki, is set to make an appearance in Dead or Alive 5. (Did you know that the first version of Dead or Alive ran on Sega's Model 2 arcade hardware, the very same tech used for Virtua Fighter 2? Now you do!) Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is the ultimate iteration of the game, and it'll be available for download this Summer. Check out a description and some screenshots from the Sega Blog.
"Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is the definitive version of the Virtua Fighter 5 series, incorporating all of the enhancements the arcade team has rolled out since 2007. Final Showdown makes significant improvements to the fighting mechanics and adds new single player and online modes while maintaining the series’ classic balance and precision."
"With overhauled core fighting mechanics, Final Showdown is more accessible to new players while carefully retaining the trademark depth and balance of the game."
[gallery include="138414,138413,138412,138411" columns="2" orderby="title"]
Moving on, Sega Vintage Classics: Monster World is comprised of three games: Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy in Monster World, and Monster World IV. Wonder Boy in Monster Land got its start in arcades before being ported to Sega's Master System, while the other two games debuted on the Genesis (Mega Drive in Japan). The most exciting part? Monster World IV has never before been released outside of Japan.
According to the game's page on the Xbox Marketplace (via NeoGAF), the Monster World collection will offer "all new achievements, challenging new trial modes, Xbox LIVE Leaderboards, and recordable and downloadable game sessions!" Sounds good to me! For now, though, there is zero info on when the game will release. Take a look at some screens from the Monster World collection below.
[gallery exclude="138414,138413,138412,138411" order="DESC" columns="2" orderby="title"]
Last, but by no possible means least, comes word that Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia may be the next Dreamcast games to receive a digital release. Speaking with GameReactor (via VG 24/7), Sega's Ben Harbone confirms that those are the two titles most requested by fans, then stops just short of confirming that the games are under development.
“Those are a couple of our most requested games. I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but we may be working on them.”
This would not be the first re-release for Skies of Arcadia, which made its way to the GameCube in 2003. For anyone who hasn't played it, Skies is a real treasure, best remembered for its dual battle systems -- character to character and ship to ship. Skies also had by far the best VMU mini-game of any Dreamcast title, Pinta's Quest.
Shenmue, on the other hand, hardly needs an introduction. It gave the world Quick Time Events, and was a pioneer of open-world game design. At the time of its release, Shenmue was the most expensive game ever developed, and its relative failure in the marketplace is believed to have contributed significantly to Sega' transition to third-party developer. Yes, some players found the game's pace positively glacial, though others found its opulent detail and measured storytelling deeply rewarding (plus, you can play Space Harrier in the game's arcade). Count me among the latter.
It's quite a line-up, right? With Jet Set Radio and Seaman already accounted for, and Crazy Taxi, Sega Bass Fishing, Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Sonic Adventure already available, the list of Sega developed Dreamcast games that haven't been ported to modern platforms is getting smaller than the list of those that have. Sonic Adventure 2 and Phantasy Star Online are just about the only marquee titles remaining -- will they ultimately be ported, too? What do you think?
Ranters, are you looking forward to Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown and Sega Vintage Classics: Monster World? Do you hope that the Skies of Arcadia and Shenmue re-releases are for real? Let us know in the comments below.
Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is due this Summer for XBLA and PSN.
Keep your eyes on Game Rant for updates on Sega Vintage Classics: Monster World, Skies of Arcadia, and Shenmue.
Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken