Phantasy Star Online 2 is free-to-play!!!

Not strictly Dreamcast-related news, but who among us has never played PSO? Not many, I dare to assume. I for once have really fond memories of playing the first game, having been the second title I owned for the system (the first was Jet Set Radio), and have since played it again in a variety of versions and platforms, including PSO ver. 2 on the DC, PSO: Blue Burst on the PC, and more recently PSO Episode I and II on the Xbox.

But I digress, so...back to the recent news of PSO 2 being free-to-play! Yup, according to this Joystick article, SEGA just announced that the new game will have a free-to-download, free-to-play model. We'll have to pay for extra stuff, which I hope won't break down the gameplay and make it unfair for those who can't afford it, but at least we won't have to pay to try the game, and with some great examples of other MMORPG's making good use of this system, there's reason to hope this is for the best. Let's hope SEGA has it under control and will deliver a great experience for everyone.

Shenmue: Mad Angels Brawl, on GT Level

Speaking of Shenmue, it just got featured on the GameTrailers-produced show Level! Now, GameTrailers may be a somewhat controversial website, seen by many as catering more to the masses than the dedicated gamers, and I won't argue with that (MW3 got a 9.3/10? Seriously???), but they really redeem themselves with some rather great shows (I can't recommend Pop Fiction enough, it's kind of mythbusters with video games). Level, on the other hand, aims to celebrate and analyze those memorable moments in a game, which leave the best impression on most of the people who play them.

When it comes to Shenmue there are way too many of such moments to choose from, but I think we can all agree that the section they chose is pretty damn good. Now, I won't take your time writing a long description, both because I don't wanna spoil it for anyone who hasn't played Shenmue yet (what are you waiting for???) and the video above just does a better job at it. So, yeah, if you want to relive an awesome moment in video game history just watch the video above.

Shenmue 1 & 2 HD

Wassup, fellow dreamcasters? It's been a long, long time without posting, but today I repent for my sins as I come to you with some rather delightful news (which I really hope haven't been posted before, I searched for a bit and couldn't fin anything).

It looks like that most beloved of Dreamcast sagas is getting an HD treatment. According to this site both Shenmue 1 and 2 have been ported already and SEGA is just waiting for the right time to release them on the XBLA and PSN.

Of course, by now what we're all thinking is: "And what about Shenmue III? Now that would be news!". Well, according to the same source, the delay in releasing these HD ports is tied to SEGA taking the time to decide whether or not they will continue to work on the franchise.

Yeah, I know, it could just be the same "Shenmue III rumours" all over again, but if these HD releases really come out and sell well, who knows? Maybe it could be our way of telling SEGA that we don't just wish for a 3rd game, but are actually willing to pay them for it. Let's wait and see...

New Sturmwind screenshots. Phew!

Sega Portal has got their mitts on some new details on Sturmwind, the upcoming indie shooter from Redspotgames and Duranik, including the fact that the game box will have dual cover artwork, so if the big green octopus thingy is not your cuppa tea there is the flip side art of a pilot's helmet. Take your pick I guess!

If that's not enough they also obtained a whole slew of new screenshots, showing the newly revised hud amongst other improvements. You can check out the rest of the screens over at Sega Portal. Safe to say this game is looking rather good. I mean look at this mean fella of a boss!

Pre-rendered for sure but still massively impressive looking, especially when you see it moving. here's hoping it is fun to match! Still no solid release date yet but we'll keep you posted when we find out!

Jet Set Radio HD to Lose Deavid Soul?

Joystiq is reporting that Jet Set Radio's HD rerelease will not retain the full soundtrack. While I expected the HD version to shed a few tracks, I had thought the losses would be limited to the US and Euro additions. However, Joystiq points to even more cuts, most notably four tracks from Deavid Soul and Idol Taxi's OK House. JSR fans will immediately recognize Deavid Soul's tracks: Miller Ball Breakers, On the Bowl, Up-Set Attack and Yappie Feet.

Now I'm not saying that the game will be ruined without these tracks, it'll be a blast to have the right stick FINALLY controlling the camera and 60fps widescreen in HD will look stunning. But with a game like Jet Set Radio, where music is a major element of the game and story, the loss of five tracks is a big deal. Up-Set Attack and OK House define Shibuya-Cho, the former track serving as the introductory music for the first stage. Miller Ball Breakers and On The Bowl ARE the sound of Benten-Cho.

As the game has yet to be released, the best course of action is to hit SEGA up on Twitter and Facebook and request that they do all they can to bring Deavid Soul and Idol Taxi's songs to the HD version. In the meantime, don't sell your Dreamcast copies just yet.

New Gunlord trailer and release date of 14th June!

NG: Dev Team have released a new trailer for their upcoming run and gunner Gunlord. Once again we get tons of gameplay footage (which if you rather be surprised by some of the level and enemy elements you may wanna skip through like I did) as well as the hilarious opening cut scene. You'll see what I mean. The release date is now confirmed for June 14th. Rather looking forward to this!

In other news Redspotgames have also announced that they can get back to work on Strumwind now that they have solved the issues they had with the production. So that's two DC games for 2012 on the way still! :)

Which Version of Jet Set Radio is the BEST?

In the latest edition of my weekly article series for SEGAbits, I compared three regional versions of Jet Set Radio to find out which version was the best. Those unacquainted with the US, European and Japanese versions of Jet Set Radio may be thinking: “whats the big deal? A ton of Dreamcast titles were released in three regions.” Well, unlike most Dreamcast games, Jet Set Radio had rather notable differences between regional releases. Each version features unique graffiti tags, unique songs, different stages, different character names and voices and even different titles. Of the three, which is the best? That’s what we’ll try to decide today, by comparing five aspects of the games and choosing a winner! 

Check out my full article over at SEGAbits!