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  • 'Sonic Heroes' and 'Sonic Battle' Officially Confirmed in SEGA's E3 2003 Lineup

    It's finally been announced! The next main Sonic the Hedgehog game will be called 'Sonic Heroes' and will feature simultaneous three-character play where you control Sonic, Tails and Knuckles at the same time! It will also be the first truly multi-platform Sonic title as it will be coming to Nintendo Gamecube as well as Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox!

    A new Game Boy Advance game has also been revealed by SEGA today, called 'Sonic Battle'. As you might expect, it's actually a fighting game, where you play in large arenas using special attacks to beat up your opponents. You can play as one of eight characters - including Sonic, Tails and Knuckles - and multiplayer action is included using the GBA Link Cable. An expansive story mode will also feature in the game. Unlike Sonic Heroes, we actually have a couple of screenshots for this one right here for you!  And it looks like Shadow is in this game too! Check them out!

    Sonic_Battle_E3_Screen__6.jpg Sonic_Battle_E3_Screen__8.jpg

    All of this has come from a press release SEGA Europe shared today, outlining the company's MASSIVE presence at E3 2003 next month. On top of these two brand new games, Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Pinball Party will also be on the SEGA show floor, along with the recently-announced Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg and the Phantasy Star Online card game spin-off for Gamecube (called 'Phantasy Star Online Episode III: CARD Revolution').

    Beyond Sonic Team games, SEGA will be showing off many more games in its sports, arcade and console lineup, including Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, Headhunter Redemption, Worms 3D, NFL/NBA/NHL 2K4 and remakes of classics like Altered Beast and Vectorman.

    It really does sound like SEGA is going into third-party publisher mode all guns blazing! We can't wait to see what all of these 20+ games look and play like. It's an exciting time to be a Sonic and SEGA fan, for sure. Check out all the details for all of the games SEGA has prepared for E3 in the press release quoted below.



    Sonic The Hedgehog's Multi-platform Debut, Worms 3D and All-New 2K4 Sports Titles Lead Blockbuster Lineup

    LONDON - (April 28, 2003) - Illustrating its power as an independent content publisher, SEGA® today announced its fall and winter lineup of nearly 20 entertainment and sports games to be featured at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2003. SEGA's E3 2003 lineup features a bold and diverse array of titles for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeTM and the Game Boy® Advance.

    The SEGA entertainment lineup features a thrilling blend of action, adventure and platform games, including the historic multi-platform debut of Sonic The Hedgehog® in 'Sonic HeroesTM,' the return of several classic SEGA franchises such as 'Altered BeastTM', and the first new platform game and character from Sonic's legendary creator, Yuji Naka, since the SEGA SaturnTM era - 'Billy Hatcher and the Giant EggTM.'

    SEGA's 2K4 sports series is back with an all-new look and feel ready to compete for top honors. Packed with gameplay and visual enhancements, the 2K4 series has been completely redesigned including a new interface and enhanced integration with ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports. SEGA's 2K4 lineup includes new gameplay mechanics and revolutionary features that will continue to raise the bar for traditional sports video games by delivering an unprecedented level of immersive gameplay further blurring the boundaries between realism and entertainment.

    'With an impressive lineup of world-class entertainment and sports titles, SEGA's E3 2003 showing is testament to our legendary properties and franchises and the strength of our world-renowned development talent,' said Tetsu Kayama, CEO, SEGA Europe Ltd. 'With an enormous catalog of iconic character-driven franchises and a completely redesigned 2K4 sports series, SEGA is committed to delivering industry leading content across all platforms in 2003 and beyond.'

    SEGA's lineup of entertainment games to be featured at E3 includes but is not limited to:

    'Sonic HeroesTM' (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox): SEGA's legendary mascot Sonic The Hedgehog makes his historic PlayStation 2 and Xbox debut! In 'Sonic Heroes,' Sonic embarks on his biggest adventure ever, with his trademark blazing speed and a new gameplay twist. Sonic and his friends have evolved, adopting a configuration feature that allows gamers to control three playable characters simultaneously, using Sonic's speed, Knuckles' power, and Tails' ability to fly, to conquer massive worlds. This team-based gameplay marks the next evolution in Sonic's gaming career, taking platform gaming to a completely new level. Using the three formations and the powerful moves that each team member has, Sonic and his friends combine forces to battle the ultimate evil.

    'Billy Hatcher and the Giant EggTM' (Nintendo GameCube): Sonic The Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka and SONICTEAM return with their first all-new platform game since the SEGA Saturn era! Darkness has fallen upon a once-magical land. An evil King who seeks to rule with an everlasting night has captured the creatures that inhabit this realm. Now, a young boy must use the powers of a legendary suit to control special eggs in order to restore light to the land. Gamers will collect special eggs, use them to solve puzzles and nurture them with items found by exploring the world. Gamers will be able to hatch the eggs and discover magical creatures with a variety of skills, introducing a strategic planning element to the combat and puzzles. It's up to Billy Hatcher to return light to the land!

    'WormsTM 3D' (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, PC): 'Worms 3D' is set in a more exciting and immersive game world than ever before, with the same winning emphasis on great multiplayer action and challenging single player fun. The classic 'Worms' game-play remains unchanged, featuring turn-based fighting and relying on the player to judge the trajectory and strength of their shots in order to inflict maximum damage on opponents, but this time in glorious 3D. Favorite weapons such as bazookas, grenades, dynamite, air strikes and sheep are all present with, the addition of brand new weapons designed to take advantage of the new liberating 3D landscape. With a multitude of tactics available, coupled with the ever changing, randomly generated landscapes, 'Worms 3D' is set to take Worms' award-winning gameplay to the next level. [This title is pending release date information in North America]

    'VectormanTM' (PlayStation 2): Gamers become Vectorman, a veritable walking arsenal, on an epic campaign to free his land from an oppressive robotic dictator, Volt, bent on galactic conquest. The game's dark storyline is packed with explosive combat and vast opportunities for exploration. Vectorman has all the resources he needs to take on Volt's evil minions including an arsenal of powerful weapons and upgrades. With a focus on player freedom, 'Vectorman's' game design encourages players to explore the world at large and utilize any number of different combat strategies. Whether they prefer the direct approach of guns-blazing action, or a more cerebral type of combat composed of sniping and full use of the environment, 'Vectorman' will not disappoint. [This title is not confirmed for a SEGA Europe release]

    'HeadhunterTM: Redemption' (PlayStation 2): 'Headhunter: Redemption' is the gripping story of Jack Wade, a veteran Headhunter keeping order in a futuristic world overrun with unchecked consumerism, vicious organized crime and mind-controlling mass media. When Jack and his protégé, the sassy, streetwise Leeza X, stumble upon an arms smuggling operation that threatens the status quo, they must work together to deliver an oblivious world from impending catastrophe, confronting their darkest fears beneath a chilling shroud of evil that blankets the city. [This title is not yet concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America]

    'OtogiTM - Myth of Demons' (Xbox): Set in ancient Japan and steeped in real-life folklore and mysticism, 'Otogi ? Myth of Demons' is the story of Raiko, an undead warrior who must stop a ferocious demonic army that has been unleashed upon the Earth. As a long-forgotten doomsday myth materializes, Raiko must quickly master more than 30 weapons and 12 varieties of magic to dispatch endless hoards of demon warriors, massive boss characters and everything else that gets in his way.

    'Sega GT OnlineTM (Xbox): Bringing all the thrills of the most realistic driving game for Xbox online via XboxTM Live, 'Sega GT Online' will allow up to six gamers to put their cars ? and their skills ? to the ultimate test against thousands of gamers from around the country. A blend of deep simulation detail and high-octane arcade action, 'Sega GT Online' challenges gamers to qualify for licenses, compete in a series of increasingly competitive races and earn money to soup up their rides and buy newer, more powerful cars. Players can then fine-tune nearly every aspect of their car's performance ? from the muffler and brakes to the suspension, body weight and tires, before hitting the online racing circuit.

    'Altered BeastTM' (PlayStation 2): As a special military operative, you are sent to investigate a deadly genetic outbreak in a small West Coast town. Hunted by unspeakable horrors and haunted by your past, you soon discover that in order to overcome evil, you must become more than evil. The only thing that can save you is your darkest power, the ability to transform into a variety of powerful beasts. As you defeat wave after wave of failed genetic experiments, the line between human restraint and primal instinct will blur, until nothing is left but the savage desire to uncover the true nature of the beast. Explore your inner demons. Unleash your fury. Alter your reality. [This title is not yet concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America]

    'Virtua FighterTM 4 Evolution' (PlayStation 2): More than 500,000 beatings can't be wrong ...SEGA's best-selling fighting game gets a major graphical and gameplay upgrade in 'Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution.' But as any Darwinist will tell you, Evolution is not about looks ? it's about the survival of the fittest. Stakes are raised as players throw-down against aggressive, highly-tuned A.I. opponents modeled after the top players from the arcades of Japan, with new exceptionally detailed arenas, more than 1,500 new costume items and two all-new characters hungry for their place at the top.

    'Phantasy Star OnlineTM Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution' (Nintendo GameCube): 'Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution' expands the 'Phantasy Star Online' (PSO) universe, offering a new style of strategic combat. Combining the excitement of card collection and deck settings with team-based battle tactics, PSO Episode III allows users to chat in the lobby about status upgrades and tactics, and then journey to the planet surface to engage in strategic combat using a turn-based Card system. The game continues the story arc of the previous PSO games, as players once again become Hunters and explore the mysteries of the planet Ragol. Featuring both online and offline play, as well as multiplayer modes, PSO Episode III adds new content and players to the ever-growing PSO community.

    'Virtual On MarzTM (PlayStation 2): Mech combat meets street brawling in this lightning-fast weapon-intensive arena-based Battle Royal. As a member of 'Marz,' a Robotic Special Forces unit, players are thrust into the pilot's seat of a giant mech known as a Virtuaroid (VR), an immensely capable machine built specifically for combat. Through a variety of missions on various planets, players set out to defeat enemy VRs, locate new areas, attack enemy locations, defend allied bases, attack enemy convoys, and fight alongside other VRs in explosive two-on-two battles. [This title is not confirmed for a SEGA Europe release]

    'Dororo (working title)' (PlayStation 2): 'Dororo' is a modern day action epic adapted from the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy). Like the original manga the game follows the adventures of Hyakkimaru, a samurai haunted by a shocking secret, who is on a quest to uncover his past and regain his humanity. Players can choose to battle with various weapons such as blades embedded inside Hyakkimaru's arms, a bazooka hidden inside his leg, or weapons that are found during the course of the adventure. 'Dororo' delivers the ultimate Samurai fighting experience with intense 3D action from one of Japan's most famous storytellers. [This title is not yet concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America]

    'Kunoichi (working title)' (PlayStation 2): A rift to the demon realm has placed Tokyo in great peril. As Kunoichi, a deadly female ninja, you are charged with the task of collecting the scattered pieces of a legendary weapon while dispatching a relentless army of powerful demonic foes. [This title is not yet concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America]

    'Sonic AdventureTM DX Director's Cut' (Nintendo GameCube): Sonic The Hedgehog returns in one of his most popular blockbusters in a special 'Director's Cut' edition for the Nintendo GameCube! The original 'Sonic AdventureTM' returns with enhanced graphics and more than five hours of new gameplay for the Nintendo GameCube. 'Sonic Adventure DX Director's Cut' includes an all-new Mission Mode featuring more than 50 missions for gamers to discover. Sonic fans will be able to explore new hidden areas throughout the game - adding a whole new twist to the original.

    'Sonic Pinball PartyTM' (Game Boy Advance): It's time to get the party started right with 'Sonic Pinball Party' for the Game Boy Advance. Sonic The Hedgehog returns to the Game Boy Advance, with the ultimate handheld pinball experience, delivering fresh pinball boards filled with SONICTEAM characters and a huge assortment of multiplayer party games. With SONICTEAM characters from 'Sonic The Hedgehog®,' 'Samba de AmigoTM' and 'NightsTM,' 'Sonic Pinball Party' challenges players to shoot, tilt, and flip their way through a slew of pinball boards, lightning fast mini-games and party games that promise to give gamers the pinball fix they've been craving!

    'Sonic BattleTM' (Game Boy Advance): 'Sonic Battle' brings furious combat action to the Game Boy Advance, as Sonic and his friends set out to determine which one of them is really the best fighter! Choose from eight characters such as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Choose the arena, set the rules, customize your special attacks, and then engage in non-stop battles. Up to four friends can link their systems together using the Game Boy Advance Game Link® cable for team battles, and then combine special attacks into devastating combos! If you prefer to battle solo, work through the Story Mode to develop your own AI fighting partner. Either way, 'Sonic Battle' is the ultimate showdown between Sonic and his friends.

    SEGA's 2K4 sports lineup to be featured at E3 includes but is not limited to:

    'NFL 2K4' (PlayStation 2, Xbox): 'NFL 2K4' hits the line hard, challenging the conventions of football video gaming once again, with a fresh new experience that will put gamers right into the action. Enter a new world of ESPN integration, bringing you behind the scenes and into a captivating environment of new presentation schemes. A new play calling system makes it easy for gamers to navigate through menus, while more than 1,000 new animations and enhanced moves give 'NFL 2K4' a new level of realism that is unmatched. Playable online and ready for the season to begin, 'NFL 2K4' is destined for greatness.

    'NBA 2K4' (PlayStation 2, Xbox): 'NBA 2K4' advances to the next level of the game with a blowout of new and innovative gameplay improvements. Replicating the quickness and athleticism of the NBA like no other basketball video game, 'NBA 2K4' rises to the top with online play, an all-new franchise mode, redesigned player models and arenas and hundreds of new animations including highlight-reel dunks. An unrivaled telecast presentation brings this all to life with a more dynamic production that only ESPN can deliver.

    'NHL 2K4' (PlayStation 2, Xbox): 'NHL 2K4' emerges with new levels of realism and detail, not yet seen before in hockey video games. Experience the complete NHL environment from the real-time reflections of the arenas on ice to the lifelike appearances of the NHL pros - no detail has been spared. Add to this a polished gameplay engine with adaptive AI and a variety of new modes, including online play for both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. A remarkably authentic ESPN presentation system completes this package, making 'NHL 2K4' the enforcer this season.

    'NCAA College Basketball 2K4' (PlayStation 2, Xbox): 'NCAA College Basketball 2K4' truly embodies the tradition, pageantry, and purity of college hoops. This year, the game features dramatic enhancements including all-new player models, redesigned school-specific arenas, an expanded Legacy mode, more than 100 fight songs and mascots, the ability to create teams and players and customizable gameplay sliders to adjust the game to your preferred style of play. Along with an all-new ESPN presentation format and online play for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, 'NCAA College Basketball 2K4' delivers the complete college hoops experience. [This title is not confirmed for a SEGA Europe release]

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