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Archive for September 24th, 2009


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!