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Archive for April 14th, 2010


Aliens vs. Predator Galactic Dance Off on PlayStation Home!

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You read the blog, now see the video of what went down across PlayStation Home. Fan created, fan promoted, fan run and Sega supported. Massive kudos to everyone on the PlayStation Home Moderator program for putting together this fun event. Be sure to check out the forum threads and see all the pictures, including the wall poster we passed out randomly to attendees. Great stuff all around!


A Fond Farewell to PSU on the PC/PS2 Servers!

As previously announced to our users, this past March 31st was the final day for PC/PS2 servers for Phantasy Star Universe. While we still have an excellent Xbox 360 population for the game — one we will be able to devote more time & resources to now — the closing of the PC/PS2 servers was bittersweet for me for more than one reason.

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First, it was through the PC/PS2 population that I was introduced to the game. That’s where I played before becoming a GM, and it’s where I first took on billing support when I worked for SEGA Customer Service. Sitting on a beach at Paracabana Coast (an in-game lobby) with a few dozen players during my first GM Support Session, I realized what a witty & thoughtful community this version of the game had. Not that Xbox 360 doesn’t, but PC/PS2 had a significantly smaller community than the Xbox 360 version of the game — sadly, one of the primary reasons it was shuttered — but that also meant it was very close-knit. Players knew each other, and there was an intimacy there that I valued.

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So while it was difficult & sad to say goodbye, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t make sure to go out with a bang. The last day of server operation had a full slate of plans, but what it boiled down to was spending as much time with players as I could, running the game’s missions, taking photo ops, and even performing an impromptu wedding ceremony between players (GMs, like ship captains, can marry players under their charge).

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We took a tour of the game’s three planets, we raced on airboards, we killed Alterazgohg one last time, and even Sonic the Hedgehog dropped by for an impromptu dance party. Mostly it was just about spending a last day with friends; many GUARDIANS have already moved to the Xbox 360 version but for many of us, this was the last time we’d see each other in this version of Gurhal.

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The last day had many high points — I was able to give away coins for the game’s casino. Ordinarily players are allotted a single silver coin per day, and have to win more than that if they want to get the items available for purchase. Seeing as it was the proverbial end-of-the-world, I was able to give away around 900 gold coins (in other words, 90,000 times the daily allotment) to throngs of people. This lead to some excellent moments at the Casino:

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PSU - PCPS2 last day

I was able to run a high experience / high drop-rate “rare mission” with Momonpso (that’s me with her below), one of our forum moderators and a player who has been with us since Phantasy Star Online. I got a chance to play one of my personal favorite missions, SEED Express, one last time, and of course it was a blast to see people betting hundreds of gold coins at a time in the casino. I even had a chance for what was seemed to be an impromptu staring contest at the Holtes City juice bar (also pictured below — the enormous rainbow rappy was not technically part of the staring contest, but was a welcomed part of the decor nonetheless).

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PSU - PCPS2 last day

Aside from gleeful expressions of unbridled end-of-the-world greed, however, the last day was mostly about taking time to enjoy the environments and missions that players have loved through the past few years. The very last mission I ran was Dark God — in the story missions for the game, it is the  final mission, and it seemed liked an appropriate note to go out on. I actually ran it twice — once, where we achieved victory over the game’s chief villain, the SEED . . . and a second time, where we were defeated and laid waste by Dark Falz, the boss monster at the heart of the dark planet Rykros (and one of the main villains from the very first Phantasy Star game in 1987).

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In the end, we all gathered at the Falz Memoria lobby, a grassy area replete with a monument commemorating the battle with the aforementioned Dark God. I know not everyone was there, of course — I’m sure some people sought out quiet corners alone, or out-of-the-way lobbies with small groups as friends. This was about finding a way to say goodbye to a community & a server population that we’ve all shared memories with, and both Ruby Eclipse and Clumsyorchid (Clumsy has the distinction of being one of the original GMs for this game) were there as well. In the closing 20 minutes we all put up banners thanking the servers — a heartfelt thanks, to be sure, because for all of us on the Community team here this has been a true labor of love.

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There’s more to look forward to for Phantasy Star, and there will be more to talk about soon. This is a bittersweet article to write but there’s no way I could not give a salute & shout out to the PC/PS2 community — to paraphrase the final message banner we put up before server shutdown, We will meet again!


Iron Man 2 at C2E2 This Weekend!

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If you’re in or around Chicago this weekend, stop by the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2)! Here are all the details on how to find us and cool SEGA/Iron Man 2 happenings around the show. If you can’t make it, don’t fret! I’ll be updating the Twitter feed and the blog with all the action from the show.

C2E2 is being held Friday, April 16 – Sunday, April 18th, 2010. The show is open Friday for professionals between 10am and 1pm, and is open to the public from 1pm – 7pm on Friday. Saturday, the show is open to the public from 10am until 7pm. Sunday, the show is open to the public from 10am until 5pm.

C2E2 is being held at Lakeside Center at McCormick Place located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. We will be in the Marvel booth, which is booth 758.

In addition to hands-on play throughout the day, we have a stage demo set up each day in the Marvel booth. On Friday, the demo is at 2pm, Saturday’s demo is at 3:30pm, and Sunday’s demo is also at 3:30pm.

Although not related to the game, I did want to mention one other event that you won’t want to miss.  On Sunday, there is an auction of Iron Man movie props from 11am until 5pm in booth E352. You can be sure that I’ll check out the goods.

We’ve got Iron Man 2 game posters and other cool stuff to give away at the booth and after the demos, so be sure to stop by and see us! Also, if you’re in a SEGA-related costume, I’d love to take your photo for the blog.

Hope to see you in Chicago!


Free Stuff Friday Twitter Giveaway for April 16, 2010

We’ve got some rockin’ prizes this week, and a special guest in the video. Let’s get to it!

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On the Block

1. Super Sonic OR Super Shadow Figurine

Win one of the Super Poser figurines — either Super Sonic or Super Shadow. You can vote for the one we’ll give away on our forums. The figurine that wins the poll will be given away on Friday!

2. Signed Sonic Comic

A signed Sonic the Hedgehog comic #200.

3. Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz T-Shirt

Gon Gon shirt from the Banana Blitz days. Size XL.

4. Valkyria Chronicles Pack

A Valkyria Chronicles art book and figurines.

5.  Madworld Hoodie

VERY limited edition black hoodie with Jack’s skull logo on the front and back. Size XL.

6. Resonance of Fate iPod Touch & signed sleeve

A super cool Resonance of Fate branded iPod Touch. Along with that, you get a signed Resonance of Fate cover for X360 or PS3 (your choice).

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.