Sega Ages Shinobi And Fantasy Zone Are Heading West Soon

Sega has announced that both Shinobi and Fantasy Zone will be joining the collection of SEGA Ages re-releases on Switch in the west soon. Hitting the North American and European eShops on January 23, 2020, these titles come with a whole host of new features that enhance the classic games for a new audience.

We’ve previously reported on the Shinobi port at TheGamer. Packing in a rewind feature, easy difficulty option, level select, and different region options, this new version has quickly become the definitive way to experience Shinobi. Fantasy Zone will be getting a host of similar features, too.

Based on the 3DS re-release, Fantasy Zone makes tweaks to be more accommodating for lesser skilled players. A “coin stock system” allows players to accrue currency in one playthrough and apply upgrades to future runs. These coins will also work in “Upa-Upa Mode,” which removes the in-game stores and forces you to use your accumulated wealth.

As with previous SEGA Ages releases, both games will be going for $7.99 on the eShop. That may seem steep for a single title, but the work developer M2 does is outstanding. Compilation packs like the Sega Genesis Classics bundle on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One are good for getting a wide range of games, but the faults of old-school game design are left untouched.

With SEGA Ages, the entire point was to reintroduce some legendary titles to a new generation without ignoring modern game advancements. Sega isn’t completely remaking things, but improving each game in subtle ways that refine what the developers had originally intended. The best example of this can be seen in Phantasy Star, where an on-screen map is included for each of the game’s very dense dungeons.

So far in Japan, 14 games have been released under this label. With Shinobi and Fantasy Zone, the US and Europe will be caught up with Japan’s available games. Only five more have been announced as in development (Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being an obvious choice), but it seems like Sega has found success here. Maybe after each game is out, an all-in-one bundle can happen.

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