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Newsletter from 03-08-98
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03-08-98 { Dracula X & SF3:2, Next Console Info, New Releases, Coming This week... }

Hi all,

First off, two big titles were announced last week for the Saturn: Sega's Shining Force III: Scenario II, and Dracula X from Konami. The release dates for the games in Japan are April 30th and May 21st respectively. Dracula X: Symphony of the Night has long been out on the Playstation for a year and after a long wait the game is finally near release. The major differences between the two versions is not yet clear, however it will be interesting if Konami has taken much advantage of the Saturn's superior 2D power. The main rumor is that one will be able to choose from any of the playable characters from the beginning instead of after you progress for a while. Playable characters include Maria, Richter, and Alucard. Konami promises that the Saturn version will offer enough new features over the PSX version to make the game worth buying even if one already has the PSX version. It will sell for ¥3800 or about $30. There are no plans for a US or European release.

This past week has shown the release of several new games. Again all were released in Japan. First off is Wipeout XL (2097). The game first appeared on the Saturn in Europe last September and was considered an excellent port of the PSX version. However, it was missing the music that really enhanced the whole playing experience. I don't have much info on the Japanese version, but I don't think there would be any differences from the Euro release. The texture resolution is slightly lower than the PSX version and some of the special effects aren't as good looking, but the game play is still there. The game also has two hidden tracks.

World Wide Soccer was also released in Japan...long after the US and European releases of the game. One thing to note is that the game is supported on the X-Band system in Japan which adds a great element to the game missing in other versions.

Finally Xing released Arcade Gears Wonders 3. The game features three separate titles: First off is a game called 'Roosters.' This title is a platformer with some very rich graphics in a style similar to Ghouls and Ghosts. For shooter fans there is a game called 'Chariot' which will definitely please most shooter fans. But its not going to be on the scale of Soukyugurentai or Battle Garegga. Lastly is a puzzle game featuring cute animals which have become common in the genre in Japan.

Games coming out this week in Japan include C's Ware's sequel to Eve Burst Error, Eve The Lost One. This adventure title puts you in the same role as a detective. You must interact with the various characters in the game trying to figure out what you plan to do next. Its important to note that each character has his/her own 'personality' which you'll have. Another game coming is one that I don't have much info on at this time. Its Micro Cabin's action title, Savaki. Micro Cabin's previous efforts include the excellent Riglordsaga 2.

Mirroring Sega of America's $100 million announcement, Sega of Europe has also announced a marketing budget of the same size for their next console. The current Euro release date is September 1999. Speaking of the next console, several rumors have been popping about in the past week. Mainly they deal with more developers signing on with the system. First off the developers Iguana are reported to be starting on games for the console. Supposedly a new version of Turok is in the works. Namco has also reportedly signed on and there's a rumor that Square has also signed up for development systems. Other big developers working on titles for the next console include Capcom, Konami, Treasure, Enix, Acclaim, etc. This brings the total to about 40 third parties. Finally, Sega has stated that they have no plans to show their next console to the public at this months Tokyo Game Show. Nor do they have plans to reveal it at the E3 this May. If the console does appear it will definitely be behind closed doors probably up until the Tokyo Toy Show in September, a prelude to the release in Japan.

That's all this week. Thanks for reading!


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