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Newsletter from 12-21-97
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News, Hutchins Chat Logs, Many New Releases, and more...


On the site, I've put the Hutchins conference log up in the 'Special Features' area...its rather long, but Mr. Hutchins does reveal some interesting information. New releases in the US over the past week include: FIFA '98, NBA Live '98, and Steep Slope Sliders. Now on to the news...

Early last week Capcom confirmed that they plan to release the 4Meg cart in the US. However, they have not mentioned how the carts will be distributed. It is probable that the cart will either be packed with X-men vs. SF or perhaps sold direct by Capcom. Also, there has been a debate over which of the Saturn's latest RPGs would be heading to the US. Either Sega's Shining Force III or GameArts' Grandia. At this time it looks like Sega will choose their own product for translation. However, it is possible that they will end up bringing both games to the US and Europe. Not releasing either of the games outside of Japan will be disappointing as both titles are excellent.

While speaking about SoA...I must mention that there have been a ton of rumors of layoffs at Sega's US branch. The size of the layoffs has been in debate. Some say its just the management, others say its people on all levels. IMO, Sega has lots of valuable and talented people working in their US offices, however not too many of them are in higher management positions. First thing will probably be the removal of Bernie Stolar who is currently the COO (Chief Operating Officer) at SoA. After that its anyone's call. We should expect a series of announcements and staff shuffling early next year.

Several new games have shipped last week in Japan, in no particular order they are:

  • Grandia/Limited Edition of Grandia (RPG/GameArts)
  • Kyuukyoku Tiger II (Shooter/Naxat)
  • Nin Pen Man Maru (Platform)
  • R?MJ Mystery Hospital (Adventure/Bandai)
  • Soukyugurentai Value Pack (Shooter/Raizing)
  • Twinkle Star Sprites (Shooter/SNK)
  • Yuno (Dating Sim/Elf)
  • Zap! Snowboarding Trix '98 (Snowboarding/Pony Canyon)
First off, lets talk about Grandia. As expected the game is simply amazing. The 2D character sprites are very cleanly integrated with the real time 3d environment. There is also a limited edition edition of the game. That version includes a cloth map, a hint and art booklet, and a mini music disc (3"CD.) Several months ago a shooter called Soukyugurentai made a big splash amongst fans of the genre. Now the game has been re-released in Japan at a much lower price ($35US import.) If you haven't picked it up already, you may want to take a look at it. There is a review of it at the site.

I don't have much news for those in Europe...though, the release of Marvel Super Heroes has been mysteriously delayed. No word on why it was, or when the game will ship (it was due to ship on the 12th.)

That's all this week, happy holidays to all!


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