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Archive for September, 2009


Free Stuff Friday for 10/2/09

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09

Our apologies for the delay this week. We were eagerly waiting for Ruby to get back from Japan and bring us lots of goodies for this week’s giveaway. He’s still recovering from the time difference (he actually arrived in SF before he left Tokyo… freaky, huh?) so we don’t have a video for  you today — hopefully we’ll have one tomorrow. In the meantime, we couldn’t wait to share all the stuff we’re giving away this week.

On the Block

Item 1: Sonic the Hedgehog Messenger Bag

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09

This is the way to bring your books, laptop, and all your stuff to work or school in style.

Item 2: Red Puyo

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09

Puyo Puyo 7 was on display at TGS, and Ruby managed to snag some mini puyos. This guy was last seen taking over Ruby’s couch in Tokyo with his friends. He’d make a great addition to your keyring, rear view mirror, or cell phone. Or whatever you want!

Item 3: Sonic Chronicles Cover Slip, Signed by Bioware Team

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09
This is a great item for all you Sonic Chronicles and Bioware fans out there. It’s the cover slip of Sonic Chronicles, signed by the entire team at Bioware.

Item 4: End of Eternity Postcards

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09

This is also from TGS — it’s a pack of postcards featuring characters and this scene from End of Eternity (that’s Resonance of Fate to you). The top card (seen above) is shiny and sort of metallic, while the character ones later in the pack are matte. There’s also a slip of paper in the back that probably tells you all about the game and the characters. (But I’m not sure because it’s in Japanese and my Japanese skills are pretty much limited to numbers, colors, and other basics like that.)

Item 5: Sonic T-Shirt

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09

Sport your love for Sonic in this size Large grey shirt.

Item 6: SEGA Official Book from TGS

Free Stuff Friday 10/2/09

This book is from the TGS floor, and details all of the SEGA offerings from the show (in Japanese, of course). It also includes a DVD that has all of the SEGA trailers shown at TGS in very high quality. I flipped through it yesterday, and it’s pretty spectacular.

How it Works

1. You must be following us on Twitter to be eligible. (If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can create one by going to and click the green “get started — join!” button in the center of the page.)
2. At random times on Friday, we will announce the prize we are giving away, and what number of response you need to be to win. Send us a direct message (DM) via Twitter and be that number to win the prize. (@ replies do not count as entries!)
3. All followers are eligible to win all prizes, unless a restriction is noted. Restrictions are usually due to the prize being region-locked. For example, US games that won’t work on UK gaming systems. There may also be age restrictions due to the rating of the game.
4. We will announce the winner on our Twitter feed once eligibility is confirmed.

Make Sure We’re Following You on Twitter

If you are currently following us on Twitter, please be sure that we are following you as well. You can do this by making sure that SEGA is in your “followers” list, or by going to DoesFollow and typing SEGA in the first blank, your Twitter username in the second, and pressing the “check” button. You can reverse this to be sure that you are following us. If you are following us, but we’re not following you, please send a message to @SEGA and we will follow you. This is important, because only people we follow can send us direct messages (DMs), and DMs are the only way to enter the giveaways.

How to Send Direct Messages on Twitter

There are a few ways to send us a Direct Message on Twitter. The easiest way is to go to our Twitter page and select “message” under the “Actions” heading in the side bar. If you do not see “message”, this means that we are not following you. Please send a message to @sega to let us know, and we will follow you. When you click “message” you will be taken to a window where you can type a message and press send.

You may also select the “direct messages” tab from your Twitter homepage, and select SEGA from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Again, if you don’t see our name there, it’s probably because we’re not following you. Let us know, and we’ll follow you.

There are also many Twitter clients that you can use instead of using the website. These include TweetDeck, Twitteriffic, Tweetie, and Twhirl. Each of these programs works differently, so you’ll want to figure out how to send a direct message on the program you use. If you want to send us a test message, we’ll let you know if we received it or not.


Super Monkey Ball Photoshop Fun

What would it be like if AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon, and Baby left the world of Super Monkey Ball and joined the real world? We thought it would be fun to find out, so we’re challenging you to send these monkeys on a fantastic adventure!

We’ve got links below to some Photoshop (.psd) files of the monkeys on clear backgrounds. You can use these to insert your favorite character in photos of the real world. Did AiAi join you and  your friends at a picnic last week? Maybe MeeMee came to your family reunion. Did you see GonGon on a bus? Maybe Baby crawled all the way to the Eiffel Tower! Take our images, insert them in your favorite photos, and share the results!

To give you an example, here’s an image I made of AiAi at the pyramids in Egypt.

Super Monkey Ball

Of course, we want you to have fun with this, but we will not allow any photos that contain profanity, pornography, racism, sexism, or anything else inappropriate. Let’s keep it clean, people.

The Details

You can download the PSD files here:





Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your images, you can add them to our Flickr group or to the fan photos section of our Facebook page.

I’m really looking forward to see all the creative things that you come up with!


SEGA @ TGS 2009 – Day 3

TGS 2009 has begun! We got an early breakfast, and then left for the convention center at about 7:30 AM. Setup was already mostly done, so we checked to make sure all the demo stations were working, and then I snuck off to get a couple shots of the SEGA Booth, since I can post them now – so here’s the glory that is the front of the massive SEGA shrine:

On the right is the demo area for Phantasy Star Portable II! Now with 100% more Fanta!

Below, the press guys lined up early to get in on the floor. I can only imagine what Saturday is going to look like…

Believe it or not, McDonalds food is actually good in Japan. Service is unlike anything you’ll generally find in the US, and the same can be said for the items on the menu – like the chicken shown here!

We also got to see some of the Swag you can earn by doing a little stamp-rally at the different areas of the SEGA booth. If you’re unfamiliar with how a stamp rally works (Anyone remember that part of the Rappy Holiday quest in PSO?), people go around getting virtual stamps at each location – then, once you have them all, you get the goods.

Yakuza fans, PSP2 passports, Resonance Postcards, Bayonetta DVD’s and a big SEGA book with info on all the TGS games, and another DVD with all the new trailers. I’m working now to bring some back – maybe some of this will show up in a future free stuff friday?

After a long day of demos, the SoA, SoE, and SoJ teams all got together for dinner nearby. The group shot:

What I didn’t know at first, however, is that the fifth guy from the front on the left side was Ueda-san, the Art Director for Jet Grind Radio! Halfway through the meal he jumped tables over to our side, and once he heard it was my first time in Tokyo, he started coming up with all sorts of plans and ideas… some of which involved me getting hooked up with a Japanese girlfriend.

You need to say to her… Kawaii ne,” he told me. (In engrish: Ka-why-e-ney?)
Kawaii ne?” I responded.
Yes, perfect – just like that!” And then all the Japanese speakers at the table laughed as they started thinking of ways for me to use the phrase before the night was over.

He also suggested we go to a “Maid Cafe”, though I wasn’t entirely familiar with how those work until they explained it. On the train ride back, the discussion about preferences for girls continued. It was almost surreal, stepping off the train and thinking “That man was the art director for one of the most stylish games ever made, besides being one of my favorite Dreamcast games period – did that conversation really just happen?”

So there you have it – how a day at TGS turned from cool to awesome, and how I somehow found myself repeating “Kawaii ne” in front of three native Japanese speakers, one of whom helped create Jet Grind Radio and was a lead designer for the first two Yakuza games. It is refreshing to know that people like Ueda-san are still out there working with the company, because it was the games they created that continued my love for SEGA nine years ago, and the passion they show for their games that resonates among gamers even today.

Kanpai to you, Ueda-san!

For the full list of pictures from today, check out the album here or just click on any of the pics above. Tomorrow I’ll be going in for a detailed look at the SEGA booth, and any other fun swag we can pick up – anyone want me to bring them back a Yakuza fan?


New Gameplay Trailer for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Dream Snowball Fight - GamesCom

Do you dream of childhood snowball fights or other fun winter sports? This is the trailer for you — the newest gameplay trailer for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games that features dream events on the Wii.

Flickr Video

We’re getting close to the October 13th on-sale date for the game. What are you most looking forward to?

If you haven’t yet, you can become a fan on Facebook, or see all the art on our Flickr feed. Keep up with the latest news on Twitter, and visit Olympic Video Games for everything there is to see about Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.


SEGA @ TGS 2009 – Day 2

Day 2 in Tokyo started early, but everyone was up and eager to see the sights. (Or at least, a certain blog author certainly was.) We left first to go check out Shibuya, with plans to head to the convention center during the afternoon. On the way to the train, I spotted a bus that I knew someone in our Web team would love:

The bus for only the manliest of man.

Next up, I took a picture of a fun sign in the train station:

Every time someone rushes into a train, God sets fire to a basket filled with kittens. Think before you rush.

In Shibuya, the gang snapped a picture of me at the famous (and busy) crossway.

Ruby is somewhere in this picture. Of course, being the only white caucasian, it’s kind of like looking for Waldo while he has a big neon sign attached to his head.

Shibuya! The coolest part – those stages from Jet Grind/Set radio future are almost true to life. It’s a crazy feeling walking around and realizing this looks just like the old stages you played nine years ago.

Club SEGA! I didn’t get to go in, but it’s on the to-do list for the weekend. Pics will be coming!

One of the stores in Shibuya had a Bayonetta reel playing in the 360 section, with these cases out front promoting the game. Of course, that wasn’t all…

… this stand-up was also there, grabbing the attention of just about every guy who walked by.

The House of the Dead: OVERKILL is just about to come out in Japan (see, they wait for games too sometimes), so I got a picture of the promo displays for it. The grunting zombies are especially entertaining.

It’s funny, but while being the only starbucks I’ve ever been given a full menu at, it’s also the single fastest Starbucks I’ve been to – period. From the time of order to the time I picked up my Mango Frappuccino, no more than 15 seconds had passed. Crazy!

Riding the train to the convention hall. It takes a little over an hour from where we are in Tokyo, so I snapped a few shots on the way.

We got off at the train station, and… what’s this?! End of Eternity (Resonance of Fate in the US) banners and posters everywhere! Awesome!

We had a little time before our meeting to go check out the rooms / show floor, so we stopped by for a rice omelet lunch! The green drinks are called Melon Soda- and they’re really, really good.

I couldn’t post any pictures from the setup, though I did take a few – you can find some booth pics coming in the next two days, especially Friday’s blog when I get to check them all out in detail. That said, we ended with some traditional Sumo-style food servings – boiling big pots of food, popcorn shrimp (in Japan, you just the whole shrimp, head and all – they’re crunchy!), and big bowls of beer. Below is a picture of some of the miso flavored food:

All in all, Day 2 in Tokyo was awesome, and the variety of food is already beyond amazing. Check the Day 3 Blog for even more fun food adventures and the start of TGS – including a surprise guest who you Dreamcast fans will want to take special note of… oh, and his personal tips for me on dating Japanese girls. (I told you it was coming, Ed!)

Hope you guys enjoy the pics!


New Trailer and Website for Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll

Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll logo

The wave of TGS assets and updates begins with two cool Super Monkey Ball items! To kick things off, we have the first ever gameplay trailer. Check it out:

YouTube Preview Image

If you’re still hungry for more, you can go to our brand new website for game information, some cool mini-games, and more.


Sonic & Knuckles XBox Live Arcade Giveaway!

Sonic and Knuckles-1

In case anyone missed it, Sonic & Knuckles is now available for the XBox Live Arcade service. And the good news, once again, is that this game is compatible with Sonic 3 for XBox Live Arcade, meaning you have access to all the original Sonic “lock-on” features available for the Genesis system.

A quick recap: “Lock-on” means that if you have the XBox Live Arcade versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or Sonic the Hedgehog 3, then Sonic & Knuckles will detect that and unlock extras available in conjunction with those games! That means being able to play as Knuckles in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, as well as the bonus stage game “Blue Sphere”.

More good news? We’ll be giving away Sonic & Knuckles XBLA codes, for one lock-on-fueled hour, starting tomorrow! Tune in tomorrow (Sept. 23rd) between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM (PDT) to our SEGA Twitter, Sonic Facebook, and official Sonic forums to snag codes. As an added bonus, over Twitter we’ll be giving away several Sonic 3 codes in conjunction with the Sonic & Knuckles codes!

Here’s what’s on tap:

  • Twitter: Just make sure you’re following us! We’ll post a message tomorrow, and if you’re the first to direct message us with that message, we’ll direct-message you back with codes to download both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles.
  • Sonic Facebook: Become a fan! Then check tomorrow starting at noon for codes. As with previous giveaways, the codes are first-come, first-serve — so whoever enters the code first will receive the game!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Forums: Just check in tomorrow between 12:00 and 1:00 PM (PDT), and be the first to claim the code!

SEGA @ TGS 2009 – Day 1

Hey everyone!

I’m going to keep today’s blog post pretty short text wise, because I’ve been up for… too many hours to count – it was 8 AM San Francisco time on the 21st when I got up, and it’s now 1:30 AM Japan time on the 23rd – and I haven’t slept yet. However, I do have a lot of cool pics to show you guys, so let’s get started!

The welcome banner at the airport, just before customs. After being stopped at customs and the security guy freaking out about the big blue DS-ish-box I had in my luggage, I explained to him that I worked at SEGA, and he finally went “Oh, SEGA? OK, go on.”

Friends from SEGA! After the airport, we had to take a bus ride to get into Tokyo – Narita airport, which we came into, is actually quite a ways from the city.

I thought about trying to figure out what the pamphlet was all about, but the scenes outside the bus window were much more exciting – so I took this picture to look into it later.

This is Patrick. He suggested we take the train instead of the bus – but we took the bus anyway as we were rushing to catch it.

About the time we heard “This bus is taking a detour due to a traffic jam”, Patrick sighed a bit, called us noobs, and said “I told you so.”

He also knows Japanese, so we count on him for all sorts of important things – like finding out when breakfast ends tomorrow morning. You may remember that he’s one of our senior producers here at SEGA, and we actually did an interview with him about Sonic Unleashed many months back.

The bus ride continued for over an hour until we passed through Tokyo, and finally made it to our hotel.

Hopping a train to Shibuya for dinner and the evening industry party. Every where I look, I keep thinking to myself “Oh wow, that looks just like (insert stage) from Jet Grind Radio…” The crazy part – I think I’ve seen at least four stages so far. Pics to prove it in the coming days.

Don’t let the picture fool you – Japanese portions are actually quite smaller than what we’re used to in the U.S. That, and having not eaten a real meal in a day might have also played a part. Maybe.

This was the view from my hotel room as I stepped inside. A perfect, picturesque “Welcome to Tokyo”.

You can find even more pictures, including the Japanese Toilet of Power, here on our Flickr stream. Tomorrow we’ll be checking out the SEGA Booth, getting everything ready, and seeing a bit of Tokyo – lots more pics and fun stories to come!


Find Snow Spirits to Unlock Rewards on the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Website!

Halfpipe - Gamescom

We’ve got a new mini-game up on the website for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games! Find all the snow spirits on the site to unlock rewards. You can find the snow spirits on different pages of our website, so click around to find them all. Once you  have them all, you’ll be able to unlock some cool stuff. What’s there now is just the beginning — we’ll be having more on the way! Once you’ve found all the snow spirits, the “Rewards” button at the top of the site will change from “locked” to clickable.

Happy hunting!


We’re going to Tokyo! SEGA @ TGS ’09!

When I was younger, I used to dream of accomplishing at least a few big dreams in life – one of those, as the longtime blog readers here know, was working at SEGA. The second was one I’ve hoped for since Jr. High school, when I did two-day presentation on the country – and that dream was to one day go to Japan.

On Monday, that dream will become a reality as I board a plane bound for Tokyo and set off overseas. While there, I’m going to bringing you guys coverage from the Tokyo Game Show, a special visit to SEGA of Japan, and a daily journal about my travels. Whether you’re excited about our upcoming games like Valkyria Chronicles II or Phantasy Star Zero, the legacy behind classic SEGA games and arcades, or a mix of both like myself, you’ll be able to check back here every night (Tokyo time, that is) for new content exclusive to the SEGA Blogs!

Ask your questions to developers!

It’s your chance to ask a question to teams like the one behind this gem of a game – don’t miss it!

After TGS is over, I’ll be going to the SEGA of Japan offices to meet with some of their teams face to face – and that’s where you guys come in. Got a question you always wanted to ask a developer, but never had the chance? Send them my way, I’ll grab the best to include in my interview, and you might see your Q&A posted here on the blog! Post your questions over the weekend on this blog post, and let me know who you want to address it to. You can pose questions for:

  • Resonance of Fate (Tri-Ace)
  • Phantasy Star Zero (Sonic Team)
  • Valkyria Chronicles I/II (SEGA WOW)

So get to it! This is the first time ever that SEGA is offering our community front-row seats to both TGS and a special look at parts of our Japanese offices. We’re stoked to see it happen, and we hope you guys are just as excited to hear the news.

Until Monday then – have a great weekend guys!