Classic Sega Game Series Returns for New Nintendo Switch Installment

In 2000, Sega released Samba de Amigo for the Dreamcast, a rhythm game that revolutionized the genre. A pair of maracas controllers allowed players to shake to the beat of Latin songs like Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca," Los Del Rio's "Macarena," Quincy Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova," and, of course, Reel Big Fish's cover of A-ha's "Take On Me." This summer, Samba de Amigo: Party Central, a sequel to Samba de Amigo, is coming to Nintendo Switch.

Sega has announced a new Samba de Amigo game at the Feb. 8 Nintendo Direct. Samba de Amigo: Party Central will have 40 songs (including EDM, pop, and Latin), a variety of minigames, as well as online multiplayer. Sega's Sonic Team developed the original Samba de Amigo. It first came out in arcades and then was ported to the Dreamcast. The (relatively expensive) maracas controllers shipped in limited quantities, so players who wanted the full experience at home had to purchase them. In 2008, Sega and Gearbox Software ported the original game to the Wii.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central is this year's second surprise Dreamcast-era revival. Cosmic Smash, released in 2001, merged racquetball with the arcade action of Breakout and Arkanoid to create an unusual arcade, television, and Dreamcast game. This third-person cyberpunk sports game, launched at the end of the Dreamcast's lifetime, appears to be coming back. As of Monday, Sega's social media accounts began teasing "cmashvrs" with the phrase "Eye c sth forming," presumably meaning "I see something forming." There is no other information on the official website except a countdown timer and a Breakout-style minigame. It looks like that gameplay, combined with the gray, black, and orange color scheme, suggests a revival of Cosmic Smash that will be announced in mid-February when the countdown timer ends on Feb. 13.

Musician Ken Ishii retweeted Sega's teaser as well. The Japanese DJ has appeared on the soundtracks for Sega's Rez and Q Entertainment's Lumines 2, and the music playing on the Cosmic Smash teaser website is similar to Ishii's. There is some confusion as to whether the "vrs" in "cmashvrs" stands for versus, VR, or both. Cosmic Smash was a single-player game but could be reworked to be competitive. It seems like the perfect time to bring the Dreamcast cult classic into virtual reality, with Sony's PlayStation VR 2 launching in February, just a couple of weeks after Sega's expected announcement of a new Cosmic Smash. More information is forthcoming.