In an interview earlier this week, Sega confirmed that Sega Ages Phantasy Star will come to Western Switches on November 15th. The launch of Sega Ages Phantasy Star will mark the third Sega Ages title to appear on Nintendo's handheld, after Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Force IV launched in arrived in late September. The interview was posted by Japanese site Game Watch and was conducted with Senior Producer Ichigo Shimomura, M2 CEO Naoki Horii, and Phantasy Star designer Rieko Kodama. There's no word yet on pricing, though based on the 980 JPY price tag for our friends in Japan, we should expect to see Sega Ages Phantasy Star at anywhere from five to ten dollars when it launches on November 15th.
The Sega Ages collection is a long-running effort by Sega and developer M2 to port classic Sega titles to other consoles. Beginning in 1996 with a port of the Sega System-C's Syukudai ga Tant-R for the Saturn, M2 released 33 games for the PS2 in Japan under the Sega Ages label, and six more digitally for the PS3. Sega opted not to continue the Sega Ages label for the PS4 for unknown reasons. Instead, M2 has been hard at work porting a wide array of titles to the Switch. Virtua Racing, Gain Ground, Out Run, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Alex Kidd in Miracle World are just some of the announced titles for the first batch of Sega Ages games.
It is worth mentioning that previously, Phantasy Star games were not available individually under the Sega Ages label. This may be because the Sega Ages Phantasy Star Complete Collection came with a number of spinoffs that have never been available in English previously. Alternatively, Sega could simply be testing the waters with the current Sega Ages lineup to see just how well their retro game releases might do on the Switch. Considering Hamster Corporation has been steadily porting Neo Geo games under the Arcade Archives label for the past year, Sega would do well to offer more curated competition.
Phantasy Star is an RPG that combines the top-down movement found in any number of classic JRPGs with first-person dungeon crawling pioneered in Wizardry, among others. With animated enemy sprites and detailed battle animations, Phantasy Star is considered a landmark title in the JRPG genre. With its port to Switch comes a list of improvements, too: dungeons now feature an auto-mapping system; an FM sound test is included; there is now a codex for both items and monsters encountered; and additional text display options. You can check out one of the legends of the JRPG genre when Sega Ages Phantasy Star arrives on the Switch in Europe and North America on November 15th.
Are you excited to see this classic JRPG coming to the Nintendo Switch? Would you recommend this game to others? Are there any other classic SEGA titles you'd like to have on your Switch?