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Archive for February, 2010


ASR – Picture If You Will… (Pt 1)

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing



Inside Napoleon: Total War with Intel


Intel has a great article up about Napoleon: Total War, including some behind-the-scenes interviews with the Creative Assembly team, and the Intel tools that were used to create the game. I’ve excerpted the article below, and you can read the rest on Intel’s site.

When Napoleon: Total War* is released, hundreds of thousands of PC gamers will watch Bonaparte’s career crumble in front of the gates of Hougoumont, at their personal Waterloo. When it does, the pint-sized General can take comfort in the fact that he is helping in no small way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Creative Assembly’s phenomenally successful Total War series.

Napoleon: Total War - GamesCom - 8/20/09

There aren’t many games that can claim to have invented a genre. Fewer still have gone on to release an average of one new version or add-on a year, while always hitting critical and commercial success. Napoleon: Total War will mark the point at which The Creative Assembly has been at the very top of its game for as long as the Petit General was on top of his.

When the revolutionary Shogun: Total War appeared in 2000 it married real-time strategy battles with the slower, turn-by-turn tactical overview of a campaign map. It could have gone very wrong. Blending the resource management and empire building model of Civilization* with the fast battles of Command & Conquer* was ambitious, to say the least. Setting the resulting game in a period of Japanese history with which the majority of its potential audience was likely to be unfamiliar compounded the whole project’s “experimental” nature.

The creative gamble paid off. And it continues to. Total War isn’t just still the best example of its genre, it’s the only competitor in a race of one and continues to grow its audience with each new release.

“Sales of PC boxed copy has probably declined over the last couple of years,” said Creative Director Mike Simpson, “But each Total War game that we make sells a bit more than the previous one, which is a good way to be going.“

You can read the rest of the article on Intel’s site.


After Burner: Black Falcon Returns to the Skies!

Get ready for some adrenaline pumping aerial arcade action with After Burner: Black Falcon, now available, once again, for purchase from the PlayStation Store.

Thank you for your support of After Burner: Black Falcon. Many of you experienced an issue with the digital copy of this game earlier this month. Well, good news! Both SEGA and Sony have worked to rectify the issues and are happy to announce that After Burner: Black Falcon is now back online and ready for download.

For those of you who had previously downloaded the game, please delete the old version from your system and re-download this new version. You will not be charged for re-downloading a purchased item.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Also, I did write a blog about the game — click here to check it out!

And, last but not least, as a thank you to the great After Burner fans out there, we have an exclusive wallpaper for After Burner: Black Falcon (with more on the way!). Click the image to get to the full-sized version of the wallpaper!

AB:BF Wallpaper No. 1


Alpha Protocol to Hit Stores June 1, 2010

Alpha Protocol

We’re proud to announce that Alpha Protocol will be on store shelves in North America on June 1st, 2010. It will be available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.

To go with this announcement, we’ve got a new logo (see above), some new screens, and new pack fronts for all three platforms. We also have a new trailer, which you can see on the Alpha Protocol page on Facebook. If you’re not a fan of Alpha Protocol on Facebook yet, now is a great time to become one!

Here are the new screens and pack fronts. They are also on our Flickr feed for your viewing & downloading pleasure. I put the full press release below as well.

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Pack Fronts

Alpha Protocol - PS3

Alpha Protocol - PC

Alpha Protocol - Xbox 360

Press Release


SAN FRANCISCO (February 25, 2010) – SEGA® of America, Inc. is proud to announce that Obsidian Entertainment’s long awaited Alpha Protocol™ is hitting store shelves this summer. The espionage game, a fiercely original take on the role playing game genre, will launch in North America for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC on June 1st, 2010.

“The wait has been worth it. It is time for an RPG to go beyond fantasy and space,” said Sean Ratcliffe, Vice President of Marketing for SEGA of America. “The genre needs a shot in the arm, and renowned developer Obsidian has delivered. Alpha Protocol will be the absolute best it can be and we look forward to revealing fresh aspects of it to the community in the upcoming months.”

With a plot torn from today’s headlines and more twists than a season of “24”, Alpha Protocol brings a new level of modern day realism to the world of RPGs. Tasked with uncovering the perpetrators behind a tragic missile attack on a passenger jetliner, players dive into a story rich with characters and locations to discover an international arms-dealing conspiracy. Through their actions and choices, players direct the outcome of the game as they ultimately decide who to befriend, trust or kill.

In Alpha Protocol, players assume the role of rookie spy Michael Thorton and are given unprecedented control over the development of his abilities and interactions with other characters. Customizable character skill-sets, attributes and weapons all play an important role in allowing gamers to tailor Thorton to their play-style.

Gamers that pre-order Alpha Protocol through GameStop will receive the Exclusive Assault Pack, containing exclusive weapons and ammo like the UC Regulator high damage shotgun and Rittergroupen Grizzly high accuracy rifle. For more details visit

Alpha Protocol is set to release on June 1st, 2010 on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. For more information visit

About SEGA® Corporation:
SEGA®Corporation is a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home, encompassing consumer business, amusement machine sales and amusement center operations.  The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.  SEGA® Corporation’s Web site is located at
About SEGA® of America, Inc.:
SEGA® of America, Inc. is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home.  The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.  SEGA of America’s Web site is located at
About SEGA® Europe Ltd.:
SEGA® Europe Ltd. is the European Distribution arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA® Corporation, and a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. SEGA Europe’s web site is located at

Obsidian Entertainment is an entertainment software development company passionately dedicated to making high quality, next generation games for PC and console systems. Obsidian was founded in 2003 by five game development veterans who’ve produced, programmed, and/or designed award-winning role playing games for a variety of platforms over the last 15 years. The five founders are: Feargus Urquhart, Chris Parker, Darren Monahan, Chris Avellone and Chris Jones. Obsidian Entertainment’s Web site is located at


“PlayStation”, “PLAYSTATION” and “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft.


Valkyria Chronicles DLC Spotlight #2 – Marina’s Sniper Challenge!

Oh, Marina. By far one of the most mysterious of the all the members of Squad 7: a seemingly cold-hearted sniper with deadly aim – but also one who holds a soft spot for cute, cuddly forest animals.

In the upcoming DLC pack, Marina’s challenge is built for those of you who love everything that snipers symbolize: stealth, accuracy, and a quick single shot to the head. A single error in this mission and you’re in big trouble, as you’ll be starting out with only two units. I brought along Marina for my run – anyone else would have just seemed a little… insulting, you know? As the mission began, Marina went over the details.

However, as she went over the details, she spotted something else. An enemy?! Ah… not quite.

The conversation only gets better from there when she asks to pet it, but you’ll have to play through the DLC to see the rest!

Tips for Marina’s Sniper Challenge

  • Level & prepare your snipers beforehand! This should go without saying, but when you’ve only got two units to pick from, the difference between a kill and a miss is everything.
  • Use your surroundings to your advantage. As any good sniper – and Welkin – will tell you, the environment can often be a great ally.
  • Use Marina. Mostly just because she’s awesome.

    If ever you have had the urge to simply use Marina (or any sniper) and do nothing but constantly send bullets flying into imps, then this mission is your new holy grail. It may prove a challenge for those used to the shocktrooper or scout method of charging headfirst into battle, but the sweet taste of victory for a sniper is found in that single, perfect shot – because you only need one.

    Tomorrow (or today, technically!) the DLC is going live on the PSN store! As mentioned in the last blog, all six missions will be going out together. Besides our celebration tomorrow – which will include free stuff, of course – we’re also going to be taking a look at someone who calls herself the “Jewel of the Battlefield.” Love her or hate her, she’s got a chip on her shoulder for a certain shocktrooper named Rosie, and she’s back again with her own challenge – Edy’s Shocktrooper Challenge will get the spotlight tomorrow!

    P.S. – A cool tip: while there aren’t English dubs for the short mission briefings in the DLC, we have included the full Japanese audio, which you can listen to by switching your voices to Japanese. So, if you’re more into Japanese voice acting in general, or if you’d just like to hear your favorite characters again, try it out!

    P.S.S. – Ted, keep on trying. She’s got to laugh one of these days. … Right?


    Win a Limited-Edition Ryo Hazuki Figurine!

    Ryo Hazuki

    Have you entered to win a limited-edition Ryo Hazuki figurine yet? If not, hop to it! You  have until March 15th to enter. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada (excluding Puerto Rico and Quebec) aged 13 and older.  Read the official rules here.

    There were some issues with the contest when we originally launched it — we had reports of people who were under 21 being rejected and people in Canada being rejected as well. We believe that we’ve fixed the issues and you should be able to enter with no problem now. If you do run into more issues, please let me know in the comments.


    Nintendo Week Spotlights Ecco the Dolphin

    This is kind of cool — the Nintendo Wii’s weekly video program, “Nintendo Week”, highlights Ecco the Dolphin this week.

    Ecco came out a while back on the Wii Virtual Console, and is available for download there for 800 Wii Points. However, as part of a Sea-themed show, Nintendo highlighted the game, along with an update to Endless Ocean 2 and some DSi games.

    Ecco the Dolphin - Virtual Console

    We don’t have the video to link here, but anyone with a Nintendo Wii and a Wi-Fi connection can boot up their machine and check out “Nintendo Week” from the main menu. It features the Nintendo Week hosts being taken on a sailing vessel and swapping sailing yarns which just so happen to feature sea-themed games on the Wii platform. Check out this link for information and quick, um, sea chantey about the video:

    Part of the reason this is cool is because, well, Ecco is one of the most unique console games I’ve ever played. I would call it haunting, even. Playing as a dolphin looking for your lost pod may sound like kid stuff, but the game had a strangely dark feel to it, helped by the physically dark ocean environments and eerie music. It also had the lure of being, especially at later levels, an incredibly difficult game.

    Check out the video if you get a chance, and of course, check out Ecco the Dolphin!

    Ecco the Dolphin - Virtual Console


    Napoleon: Total War – Launch Trailer

    Enjoy the launch trailer for Napoleon: Total War!

    YouTube Preview Image

    What’s up with Yakuza 3?

    Hey everyone,

    Today’s blog is a little different than most for us, but it’s something that our community teams are very passionate about, and we want to make sure gets out there.

    While it’s already been rumored in a couple places, we wanted to confirm that there is some content in the Japanese version of Yakuza 3 that didn’t make it over to upcoming Western version, mostly involving the Hostess Clubs and the Japanese History trivia sections. At the same time, we also want to explain part of the reasoning behind that, and be up front with you guys, our fans, about that fact.

    Ultimately, the choice that had to be made was either no Yakuza 3 in the west, or a version of the game that was almost exactly the same, but with a little less trivia. That said, our teams also understand that many of you guys love games like Yakuza because of that experience, and rest assured that we’ll continue fighting on your behalf to make sure that going forward, we can provide as close to the full experience as possible – no matter how foreign.

    Even so, Yakuza 3 is still a game packed to the brim with things to do, places to see, and people to fight – offering a massive amount of options for fans of the series and new players alike. In addition, the western versions of the game will come pre-packaged with codes for the DLC, already localized and ready to be enjoyed. With gameplay that you truly won’t find anywhere else, we think that Yakuza 3 is genuinely one of the PS3’s best titles, and we hope you’ll think so too when you play it.

    As Yakuza 3 nears ship, we’ll have lots more on the massive amount of things to do, see, and experience in the game – and truly, you’re in for one awesome ride. Until then!


    Valkyria Chronicles DLC Spotlight #1 – Jann’s Lancer Challenge!

    Howdy Valkyria Fans!

    As promised, it’s time for the first look at what’s coming this Thursday in the fourth batch of Valkyria Chronicles DLC! The DLC, which you can pick up for $4.99, comes packed with a total of six different missions, all of which will also become two extra pages in your Skirmish section. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Jann’s challenge – the Lancer mission!

    As a fan who came to work at the company, I must admit that I have become a little jaded over these last two years. I have seen and heard things that weren’t exactly what I’d have liked or hoped for. But I have also witnessed great successes and fantastic games, and there are some series that still manage to rekindle the spark that I hold for the future of SEGA. Needless to say, Valkyria Chronicles is one of them.

    So it was with a smile on my face and no small bit of unsuppressed glee that I sat down to finally immerse myself in the latest addition to one of my favorite PS3 games ever. In the Lancer Challenge, one of (in my opinion) the funniest characters in the game, Jann, immediately greets you and briefs you on the mission. I won’t spoil it all, but his lines crack me up every time – like this one:

    Big ol’ rockets, indeed.

    Now, knowing it was the Lancer challenge I figured it would be wise to take in a few more lancers than normal. Four lancers later, I started up the mission and braced myself for some fun. Immediately upon starting, three things went through my mind:

    • “Wow, they weren’t kidding. That’s a lot of Tanks!”
    • “…Wait… there’s more?”
    • “…Oh my God. I’m so going to fail this.”

    My almost-complete failure was saved only by the grace of the Alicia cutout standee we have also sitting in the community room, who started giving me tips on how to turn things around.  Thanks to her, things held together- and so, ahead of the curve, I’m going to pass on some of those tips for you guys, if you’d like them.

    Jann’s Lancer Challenge Tips:

    Go get ’em, Jann!

    • Bring Lancers – at least two or three.
    • Likewise, remember to include some units that can handle infantry. It’s not just tanks out there!
    • Look behind you. Trust us.

    With Jann’s Lancer Challenge, what awaits you is a mission in the game with more tanks than any other mission in Valkyria Chronicles – period. I found that it was satisfying in two ways: First, at that moment of realization when winning seems almost impossible, and two – and most satisfying – when you finally beat the odds and victory is almost within your grasp.

    Oh, and God bless you, Aika. After as many tank rounds as you dodged in that battle, you deserve a medal the size of Pirates’ Isle. (If you don’t get that reference, you need to play another game from some of the people behind Valkyria Chronicles!)

    That’s it for today’s look at the DLC –  in the meantime, the three new screenshots above can also be found in full size here on our flickr page.

    Tomorrow, check back in as we check out another much-loved character’s mission: Marina’s Sniper Challenge! Until then – if you guys have any specific questions about the DLC, feel free to ask them in the comments below!