SEGA is releasing a new mobile title launching for iOS and Android; SEGA Heroes grabs characters from various SEGA franchises, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage.
The game is described as an RPG in the Google Play store. The gameplay does have RPG elements, such as building a team and upgrading members. However, the actual battling system is not like Final Fantasy or the Mario & Luigi series. It is turn-based, but instead of using an attack command, you're given a screen full of objects you have to match. It is identical to Bejeweled, or the more popular Candy Crush Saga. So, if you enjoy this type of gameplay and like these characters, you'll probably enjoy SEGA Heroes.
SEGA characters unite in action-packed match-3 brawler #SEGAHeroes, launching soon on mobile!— SEGA (@SEGA) November 3, 2018
Pre-register to be among the first to play and unlock Coins, plus Shards for Axel Stone, Gum, Joe Musashi & Knuckles!
Android: https://t.co/O5cgHpUG5t pic.twitter.com/RE9xaJMOlC
The story as described in the Google Play store: "The mysterious and powerful Dremagen has discovered the SEGA universe and hatched an evil plot to bring it into her dominion. With the help of Dr. Eggman Robotnik, Dremagen traps Sonic the Hedgehog and SEGA’s mightiest heroes from GOLDEN AXE, SHINOBI, STREETS OF RAGE and more in her negative dimension. Now YOU must help the SEGA Heroes face off against Dremagen and her evil army of clones and do battle with the likes of Dr. Eggman Robotnik, Mr. X, and Death Adder."
The other franchises included are: Super Monkey Ball, Phantasy Star, and Jet Set Radio, with "New SEGA Heroes released every month!", according to SEGA. Three franchises are noticeably absent: Shenmue, Valkyrie Chronicles, and NiGHTS. Amusingly, the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter mentions two of these, saying, "Add Shenmue or Valkyria Chronicles and we’ll love this even more." Maybe characters from these will be included at some point, assuming the game is popular enough to remain in the long term.
It's tough to say how well the game will be received. On one hand, it does feature characters from throughout SEGA's history. Jet Set Radio hasn't been seen in years, and Phantasy Star has a cult following. But the actual gameplay looks like a clone of Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga, games that have already been out for years. The story for SEGA Heroes sounds promising, but nowhere does it promise that the plot will be deepened by cutscenes. Without that, there will be little fanfare aside from simply seeing the characters.
With so many mobile titles in the market, it can be hard for a new one to break in. Big franchises can have an edge thanks to name value, like Fire Emblem Heroes. While Sonic is a big name, a lot of current fans may not be aware of these more obscure franchises. Nintendo recently released a new IP on mobile, a game called Dragalia Lost. That title has done decently, making an estimated $16 million in its first two weeks of release, according to Sensor Tower. Dragalia Lost has lore, which is probably a reason why a number of players enjoy the game. It remains to be seen if SEGA Heroes can deliver something unique, or at least interesting to the mobile market.
SEGA Heroes has already soft-launched in select countries. You can find gameplay on YouTube to see if the game is something you'd be interested in. If so, SEGA Heroes is available for pre-register on iOS and the Play Store.