SEGA Blog SEGA Blog Homepage SEGA on Facebook SEGA on Twitter SEGA on Flickr SEGA on YouTube

Archive for August, 2010


   
 

Vanquish Demo is Here!

I’m very happy to be writing this blog all about our Vanquish demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which should be out now! For everyone at SEGA, this is very exciting news, and we hope you enjoy taking a spin on SEGA and PlatinumGames newest offering. Before we jump into the details, I want to give you a quick bit of info on the setting, the game, and then offer you a bit of a challenge.

Vanquish

The Story So Far…

Vanquish is set in a desperate future, one that centers around exponential population growth, a demand for resources, and a political power play from Russia that lands you in the heart of the action aboard an orbiting space station. You play Sam Gideon, DARPA Agent and co-designer of some very advanced technology – the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS). Your mission is to work with the infiltrating military to restore order, find your fellow agents, and prevent an attack on New York City, among other American targets.

The Secret to Success

Vanquish is the newest game from the mind of Shinji Mikami, creator of such classics as Resident Evil. Known for his epic games, Shinji Mikami has taken on the 3rd person shooter in a way that only he could. Working with PlatinumGames, together they’ve come up with a very fast, very fluid, and very intense cover to cover shooter. How you operate the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) system and the key abilities it grants you will be the deciding factor in your success – or failure. The two abilities that I find the most useful are Boost and Augmented Reaction (AR).

The Augmented Reaction Suit, you’ll find, is incredibly fast and agile when you use Boost to navigate around the demo area. Boost allows you to dash over to save wounded marines, evade attacks, or quickly close the distance on any enemy to deliver a punishing melee attack. Boost into cover, boost out of cover – boosting is one of the best tools you have for both defensive and offensive action in Vanquish.

Vanquish

While Boost grants you speed, Augmented Reaction (AR) will grant you time. Time will save you in both a reactive and proactive manner – push forward with your Boost and flip on AR to destroy enemies while you dash past them. Jump out of cover into AR to line up headshots and stop a guarded threat behind cover. Roll into AR, plant your body, and focus fire at heavily guarded targets for maximum efficiency. Defensively – you’ll enter into AR when you take on too much damage, granting you a moment to kill your main threat, or evade into cover to recharge and continue the fight.

I highly recommend checking out the tutorial before jumping into the full game to see how these two abilities play out. You’ll get a chance to mess around in a safe environment and become comfortable with how the game works. Trust me, you can adapt while you play the game and absolutely get through it – but you will benefit from a bit of practice!

Vanquish

The Demo Challenge

So as a spot of fun, I figured I’d leave you with a challenge to see if you can best what I consider to be a very impressive clear-time on the demo. The demo, as you’ll find, runs about 45 minutes or so, depending on if you need to do a retry or not.  Our own internal producer, Keith, has become quite good at the demo from various trade shows and has a clear time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds. I challenge you to beat this time! Keith is good, but I’m betting the community will be able to best him in a few short days after release – prove me right, post screenshots if you can, and show them what community can do!

The Vanquish Demo is now available – we hope you enjoy the demo and look forward to your impressions!

 
   
   
 

Sonic Adventure Releases September 15th on XBLA!

Sonic Adventure, the debut Sonic title for the Dreamcast system, is coming to Xbox Live Arcade September 15th!

Gamers will be able to experience the original groundbreaking Dreamcast adventure — redone in HD – on Xbox Live Arcade for the low price of 800 Microsoft Points.

Sonic Adventure (XBLA/PSN)

In addition to being Sonic’s debut on the Dreamcast — and the best-selling Dreamcast game — this was also the first Sonic game set in a 3D environment. Playing it now, it’s still easy to appreciate just how much the Dreamcast brought to the table. Large-scale adventure stages, multiple characters with intertwined stories, and some extremely clever & fast-paced action stages are just some of the highlights of the game.

Sonic Adventure (XBLA/PSN)
Sonic Adventure (XBLA/PSN)

And of course the other highlight, with an extremely devoted cult following of its own, is the Chao Garden. Chao, introduced in Sonic Adventure, are a kind of virtual pet which you raise in a special minigame area linked to each character’s adventure stage.

For those of you waiting for the game’s release on PlayStation Network, don’t worry — we’ll have more good news on that soon. Stay tuned!

 
   
   
 

Valkyria Chronicles II Community BLiTZ – Finale: Succeeded Wish

(Before you start reading this blog, we recommend getting this music playing in the background!)

Finally, the release day has come. As Valkyria Chronicles II ships to stores across the US, the long wait for the sequel to the PS3 masterpiece is over.

Writing a new, lengthy piece for the BLiTZ each day has been a challenge, but one always made worth it by the amazing responses we get from you guys – the fans. We hope you’ve enjoyed the stream of info, pictures, and prizes just as much as we enjoy seeing your excitement.

We have a very special finale today to say thank you to all the fans. For following us from day 1, for supporting great titles like Valkyria Chronicles, and for getting out there to pick up and also support the second game – here is our tribute to you.

A special message for the fans – from the Valkyria Chronicles devs

Just after we began the BLiTZ, I put in a rather selfish request to the developers over in Japan, asking them if they would like to take part in our final day of the BLiTZ and write a message to the fans. The request itself was on very short notice, and I had actually only expected maybe one or two members of the dev team to write back.

Instead, they found time amidst their busy schedule to write something very special for all of you. And not just one – but a great many of them, each responsible for something unique within the series, all took time out of their day to create the following messages, just for the Valkyria Chronicles fans in the west. And here they are:

Their messages, and their role in the team:

Shinji Motoyama                  Chief Producer

We’ll be waiting for you in the new battlefield!

Takanobu Yoshino                Localization Director

Try collecting all the medals with Avan and his comrades.

Hope you like Vario!

Kazuhiro Matsuta                 Chief Programmer

We put in all you can ever want for a portable game.

Thank you for supporting Valkyria Chronicles II!

Hirotaka Kanazawa              Chief Artist

The new Valkyria Chronicles is loaded with new tanks, weapons, characters, and so much more!

Protect Gallia with your one and only Class G!

(JP message: Protect the homeland!)

Shuntaro Tanaka                  Chief Adviser

Valkyria is back!

Takeshi Ozawa                    Original Director

All Valkyria fans are my fellow comrades!!

Kohei Yamashita                  Chief Game Designer

Valkyria is THE strategy game of the century.

You’ll find out that it’s worth 100 times what you pay for, so you gotta play it!

Daisuke Tabayashi               Setting Designer

All Valkyria fans, here we go! Make way for Edelweiss!!

…Sorry, you don’t have Edelweiss this time.  But you get to customize your tank to the limits!  The magnificent world of Valkyria Chronicles and the BLiTZ system are greater than ever, so get ready for some fun!

(+ the illustration)

Akio Horii                            Map Designer

Thank you very much for supporting Valkyria Chronicles!!

And thank you, to everyone above, for taking the time to write those messages.

A call to action

As the day arrives, we hope that everyone will do their part to support the series. Whether that’s simply picking up the game, telling your friends about it, or even cosplaying VC at PAX this week – every little things helps, and collectively as fans, we can move mountains when we all do even just a little.

Thank you to the many who are already doing that – and to everyone who plans to pick up or download a new copy of the game to support Valkyria Chronicles!

A super rare finale prize!

We’ve saved the best for last. Today, we’re going to give away the huge Japanese Development Works artbook, which is worth over $60 alone and is a masterpiece filled with art and design concepts from the entire first game. Massive is an understatement.

But this one is special. This artbook has also been signed by those above – the Japanese development team, and the back inside cover has both messages from them and even a sketch of the Edelweiss all drawn onto it. To date, only two of these exist in all of the US – and you can win this one.

  • To win the artbook, write a message here for the Valkyria Chronicles dev team. Make it as short or as long as you want – and let them know what you think of Valkyria Chronicles, and what the series means to you.

We’ll draw one winner at random from here on the blogs, and they’ll get one amazingly rare piece of merchandise to add to their collection!

What comes next

As the BLiTZ finishes on our end, it passes on to all of you – to the world of Valkyria Chronicles II that you can now experience, and to the battles, characters, and story that awaits.

Our support for Valkria Chronicles II is far from over, and we’ll be back soon with even more news on the upcoming DLC for the game, and some special codes to unlock new content – some exclusive to the west!

On behalf of all of our teams, thank you for joining us through the entire Community BLiTZ. If you liked it, please let us know!

Happy Valkyria Chronicles II day everyone – we hope you’ll love the game!

 
   
   
 

Valkyria Chronicles Community BLiTZ – Day X: The grounds of Lanseal

Hello everyone, and welcome to Day X of the Community BLiTZ! Thanks for being patient as we’re traveling around a bit and finding time to update has been a challenge. On the plus side, that travel schedule does mean we might meet you at PAX this year, and Valkyria Chronicles II will most definitely be there!

Today marks the launch of the game here in the west, but we’ve saved the big launch blog post for a little later in the afternoon. Thanks to all the great responses on the BLiTZ though, it is going to be a little more special than I thought when we started the series of updates. Stay tuned!

As we catch up on Day X, we explore the grounds of the military academy Lanseal – the place you’ll be spending almost all of your time leveling up, researching new equipment, and learning more about your fellow cadets. A few special guests from the first game might also make appearances here. Read on for all the details, our special thanks, last week’s winners, and another giveaway!

Community BLiTZ – Day X: The grounds of Lanseal


Standing tall for 217 years, the Lanseal Royal Military Academy is also Gallia’s only military academy. The “Royal” part of the name comes from the time it was created: back when Gallia was actually still a Monarchy. Records of the academy’s location show that it was not in fact built from scratch, but rather constructed around an existing old citadel, and then adding new expansions like the training grounds and the residential buildings.

Want to graduate at Lanseal? The academy uses a credit system, and on average, cadets can get through the program in approximately three years. There are two ways in: either get recruited by one of Lanseal’s scouts, who visit schools across the country looking for gifted students, or apply directly. Everyone has to pass both a written and field test, but the bar is much stricter for those applicants who are non-scouted.

Because graduates are immediately promoted to officers in the army, the thought of having a Lanseal diploma is actually quite tempting for many who want to serve their country further. This also means that the age of cadets varies widely, with some in their late teens, others in their twenties, and some in their thirties.

What’s on the campus itself? We’ll start today with the Training Grounds – a very important place for any Squad Leader, and a crucial location to making sure troops are ready for the next battle.

With a special training area designed to tire cadets with rigorous workouts, and with a drill instructor just as hard and relentless as the one from the first game, you can spend your experience here to push your unit classes onward and make them more effective in combat.

Like the first game, you level up units based on class. Scouts, shocktroopers, etc – the only new thing worth noting is that leveling up a class also levels up all advanced types of this class, meaning that leveling up scouts does in fact still give boosts to your snipers, or that leveling up Armored Techs will also make your Fencers even stronger.

Also at the training grounds, you can promote your units based on the number of credits they’ve earned in battle. If you’re missing credits, you can also check which missions offer the specific ones you need – and likewise, you can always move a character back to a previous class, provided they have the credits to do so.

Welcome to R&D! Equipped with their own facilities and a capable young woman known as Lavinia who watches over things here, R&D is a one-stop-shop for all sorts of upgrades. You can create and outfit new parts for your tank, research new guns, grenades, uniforms and armor to keep your soldiers safe, and even combine materials you find in the field to offer new, mission specific buffs to certain classes. These bonuses last for a single mission on a specific class, and you can repeat them after every single mission.

R&D is every bit as important as leveling up your squad members at the training grounds. Those of you who like tanks, especially, will find this as your home away from home at the academy. Lavinia is always around to help, and there are rumors of other cadets sneaking in from time to time here too, whether to admire the stockpiles of weapons or just to lend a helping hand.

Also on the grounds is the residential area, including Avan’s own room. Here, you can explore info about people, places, and more via a  book system that is quite similar to the one used in the original Valkyria Chronicles. You can also check up some very amazing stats – with a full on stat system that we highly recommend taking a look at. From your most used characters to the up-to-the-moment number of kills your squad has achieved, this scorebook has all the numbers you wanted to see and then some.

Finally, the shop on the campus grounds is also open for business, and they offer not only new missions but also Orders (and bread) during times when Welkin or Alicia visit. If keeping up to date and being well educated is your thing, you can also buy three different types of papers here. The Gallia Times is a regularly printed newspaper covering topics across Gallia, the Lotte Insider is Lotte’s own faux-newspaper covering the latest happenings at Lanseal, and the Encyclopedia offers a wealth of knowledge about topics from Ragnite to the Rebels.

That’s it for the tour of Lanseal – you’ll all be able to explore the academy in even greater detail when you pick up the game and arrive there soon. On to the next part of today’s BLiTZ!

Special Thanks

Today’s special thanks go to IGN, who were among the first western press to review VCII. Their score, which went up  yesterday, made all of us here extremely happy – the game received an oustanding 9/10, and was also credited with an Editor’s Choice award.

We’re glad you guys loved it as much as we do – and we’re hopeful that many other reviewers and fans alike will find it just as enjoyable.

Last Week’s Winners

Who got those awesome sets of our exclusive PAX Buttons? Please give your congrats to:

  • On the SEGA Blogs: Steve Halter, who wrote:

I’m looking forward to the snow maps the most. My favorite missions in VC1 were the most challenging ones (Chapter 7!), and from the descriptions you gave, snow sounds like it will make the fight tougher. Can’t wait to play!

  • On Facebook: Brennan M, who wrote:

The desert will always be my fave from VC1. Especially when the sandstorms came in. Something about them masking everyone from each other made it really epic to me.

Chapter 13 and its trench warfare and long strip of no-man’s-land. Those trenches… I still have nightmares about them.

Congrats to all three of you! We’ll be able to ship out the buttons (as well as most of last week’s prizes) following our return from PAX next Monday!

Today’s first giveaway!


As there are two blogs going up today, the first is going to be awarding somebody with a very, very special Alicia Figurine! This figurine, however, is not part of the Yujin set, and the only way to get it was to buy the limited edition version of the original Japanese Valkria Chronicles!

I’ve been giving her a nice home on my desk, but now I think it’s time Alicia was finally given out to another fan to celebrate today, and all of the hard work that the fans have put in to helping this series.

  • To enter to win this figurine, drop us a line here on the blogs with the class you think you’ll level up most at the training grounds of Lanseal!

As a reminder, the choices are: Scout, Shocktrooper, Lancer, Engineer, and Armored Tech.

Coming next…

Keep your eyes to the blogs – the BLiTZ Finale is almost here, and we’ve got something very special for all of you to celebrate the launch of the game!

 
   
   
 

Win a Gunblade NY Arcade Machine

This content is age restricted.

Verify your age

 
   
   
 

Sonic Free Riders – Pack Front and Price

Sonic Free Riders Pack Front

Hot off the presses… it’s the pack front for Sonic Free Riders!

Sonic Free Riders brings full body motion controlled fast-paced boarding action, developed to take full advantage of  Kinect for the Xbox 360. You’ll be twisting and turning your way through a range of visually stunning courses in an action-packed Sonic experience unlike any other! Kinect’s unique motion sensor means Sonic Free Riders will see family and friends controlling their fully customizable hover board or bike by twisting, turning, and jumping in an exhilarating race to be first to cross the finish line.

Choosing from one of your favorite Sonic characters or your own avatar, you can reach out and grab a variety of pickups along the course. By throwing, shaking, or swinging your arms to launch your items, you can gain the competitive edge over your rivals in high octane single or multiplayer races.

Sonic Free Riders will be $49.99 when it hits shelves this holiday season.

 
   
   
 

Gunblade NY & LA Machineguns Out Now

Sega is proud to announce that Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns, two fast-paced and beloved arcade shooter games in one package, is now available exclusively on Wii™!

Gunblade NY & LA Machineguns Pack Front

Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns offers players two classic arcade light gun shooters for one great value. Featuring immersive pick up and play action that stays true to the original arcade games, up to two players can control Gunblade helicopter gunships and work cooperatively to destroy an android terrorist invasion in the airspace above some of the United States most well-known locations.  Players begin by combating android invaders in New York City and from there, they take their gunships to battle new forces of enemies in Los Angeles and other familiar West Coast locales such as Alcatraz, Yosemite and Las Vegas. There’s no need to reload, as players will be equipped with infinite ammo, just like in the arcade;  just pull the trigger and blast away at android terrorist enemies and exploding objects, and watch as  the environments become strategically destroyed as well. The game contains new features such as the Chain Combo System which enables even higher scores, and the Unlockable Weapon Toggle which uses game ranking to unlock hidden extras such as wide shot, rapid fire and heavy shot.

Gunblade NY

LA Machineguns

Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns is compatible with the Wii Zapper™ and is packed with a host of added Wii™ features like online leader boards for worldwide ranking and Wii Remote™ vibration to complete the experience. The game is available now for $29.99.

See more screenshots from these games in our Flickr set.

 
   
   
 

Valkyria Chronicles II Community BLiTZ – Day IX: The lay of the land

Welcome to Day IX of the VCII Community BLiTZ! Today we’re checking out the new fields of Valkyria Chronicles II, the effects they’ll have on both your infantry and your tank, and some new tricks you can use to make the most of your surroundings.

We’ve got the winner of our Selvaria figurine, more special thanks, and news on some special Valkyria Chronicles 2 collector’s buttons that you’ll be able to get exclusively at PAX this year!

Community BLiTZ – Day IX: The lay of the land

As a certain member of Squad 7 knew well, winning a battle is about far more than simply charging in headfirst. The land itself – from trees to ruins to rivers – can all be used to turn the tide of a fight. Like the first game, the conditions you’re up against will affect not only you, but your enemies as well – meaning that the first to take advantage of the situation can gain a critical upper hand.

Our first tip sounds simple, but it’s actually quite important:

  • Tip #1: know what time of the day you’re fighting at.

Why is this important? Because almost every single area in the game has different effects at night as opposed to during the day. The first key is to learn these, to prepare your squad and your tank accordingly, and then to plan a strategy around it. (You could just charge in too, but it’s not quite as effective.)

For example, Leanbluff forest is a heavily wooded and hilly area, and one of the first you’ll encounter once you get past the training grounds of Lanseal. During the morning and much of the day, the forest is covered in a fine, foggy mist, making sighting enemies difficult and lowering accuracy. At night, the mist dissipates completely, but the lack of natural light also makes finding enemies hard in its own way.

  • Tip #2: Use your tank to give you the advantage.

If it’s daytime, you can research, build, and equip your tank with a Defogging unit to counter the effects of the mist for all of your units on the same map as your tank. Worth noting: this bonus effect only applies to your own / allied units, and will not help your enemies!

Likewise, if it’s night, you can equip a lamp that will boost your own units sighting abilities, making it easier for them to see hidden or incoming enemy units. Just as before, only your troops will get this support buff, making it invaluable to bring along your tank sometimes – even if you don’t end up moving it.

This is Castle Gassenarl, located near Southern Gallia. (Click the picture to see it in high-res.)

Fans of the first game will also recognize the desert settings, though this time they’ll be taking place south of the Barious Desert, which is in eastern Gallia. During the daytime, the immense heat can limit how far your units can move, and during the night, harsh sandstorms make sighting and accuracy rough – thankfully, these will pass eventually, offering a short respite during which to finish off any enemies left standing.

In the cold mountains of Diebal, the chilling temperatures can be both dangerous and deadly. Amidst the freezing snow, units here won’t regain HP at the end of a turn – and if one of your squad members goes down, it’s a race against time to get to them before the weather does.

There are new strategies to keep in mind and new tricks to each of these situations – the best of these, of course, will need to be discovered when the pressure is on: we aren’t going to take the fun out of it!

Remember these basics and you’ll save a lot of time – and headache – when you pick up the full game. If you ever need a refresher, the drill instructor on campus is always there to offer further tips and advice. Once you know the lay of the land, a quick victory is always within reach.

Exclusive: Valkyria Chronicles II PAX Collector’s items!

Exclusive to PAX, we’re going to be bringing along a few thousand Valkyria Chronicles II buttons to give away! There are five buttons in total, featuring Avan, Cosette, Zeri, Aliasse, and the VCII Logo.

Normally, you’ll only be able to get a single button – meaning you might have to trade with friends to pick up the full set. However, we’re going to make one special exception to this rule:

  • Show up at the PAX SEGA Booth anytime or the SEGA PAXtravanganza event on Saturday night dressed as any Valkyria Chronicles character, and we’ll give you a full set of all five – you’ll also be featured here on the blogs!

I’ve heard rumors that a few members of Squad 7 were already planning on attending, so we’d love to see you guys come spread the VC love – and get something from us as thanks, too. To confirm, all characters from VCI and VCII are eligible!

And the Selvaria figurine goes to…


Time for the moment of truth. Who is the lucky fan (out of over 100+!) who won yesterday’s Selvaria figurine? Please give your congrats to…

  • Aurora, who wrote:

Selvaria. Experience and cunning. Those tip the scales in battle.

And truly, they do. Congratulations on your new Selvaria figurine, Aurora! Hit me up on the forums (RubyEclipse) to let me know where to send it.

We also had two other winners yesterday, once more for signed copies of VC1! They are:

  • On Facebook, Yuta John Y., who wrote:

Obviously Johann from the “Behind her Blue Flame” EX Report. Yuri Lowenthal did an amazing job voicing him, and his character was someone I could relate to. It’s also cool how he constantly appears as an enemy Ace. It shows just how determined he is to protect Selvaria. *tear*

Selvaria! No question about it. She is tough, on and off the battlefield. She’s also classy and drop dead gorgeous!

Congrats all around! (P.S. Aurora – take good care of that figurine!)

Today’s Special Thanks!


Our special thanks today go out to anyone and everyone who has ever cosplayed a Valkyria Chronicles character! I met a girl at the last NYCC who told me she spent almost an entire week leading up to the Con just so she could finish her Varrot costume – and we were happy to give her a well-deserved art book (or two!). Across the world, a number of talented Valkyria Chronicles appearances have shown up, like the one pictured above, from Russia. There’s a really great thread with a collection of VC Cosplay photos here in our forums, so take a look for more!

More free stuff!

PAX is a huge event with a ton of gamers, but we realize that not everyone can always make it out there to pick up the swag and see the sights. So, today, we’re going to give away three full sets of the special PAX VCII Collector’s buttons! (All five) This will be one of your only chances to pick these up outside of the event itself, and anyone (even you guys in Europe) can win!

  • To enter, tell us which environment (Snow, desert, city, forest, etc) you’re most looking forward to fighting in with VCII!

One set will go out here on the blogs, and (you probably know the drill by now) another set on Facebook, and another on Twitter.

Coming Tomorrow…

Though people may have pegged it as a “high school”, the Lanseal Royal Military Academy is anything but. From the harsh courses of the training ground to Lavinia’s R&D department, the Academy is much more than just classrooms. Oh, and everyone’s favorite Drill instructor from the first game? We’d like to think he’s done justice here, too. Join us as we take an in-depth look at what Lanseal is all about, with a special preview of both the campus and a sneak peek inside Castle Gassenarl, which is notably more… red.

Following our list of exclusive swag giveaways, we also hear rumblings that tomorrow’s might be a rather special one related to a certain baker from Squad 7…

Six days to launch – we’ll see you tomorrow!

 
   
   
 

Phantasy Star II Now on iPhone!

Phantasy Star II (iPhone)
One of the greatest 16-bit console RPGs of all time, Phantasy Star II has made its way to the Apple iPhone!

It’s easy to wax rhapsodic about classic RPGs, particularlly from the early 1990s, when the genre was solidifying on consoles and the strength of the titles came from their epic breadth & depth. Phantasy Star II stands on its own for sure, though — it expands on the universe created in the first title, which came out for the Master System, while easing up on some of that game’s arcane difficulty level.

Phantasy Star 003

Phantasy Star II opens 1,000 years after the end of the first game, and features both the return of series antagonist Dark Falz, as well as the introduction of the series’ other major villian, Mother Brain. It also helps establish the aesthetics which would set Phantasy Star apart from other RPG series and make it SEGA’s longest running franchise, period: a gameworld featuring multiple, distinct planets; epic character-driven sagas grounded with a sly sense of anime humor; a preoccupation with genetically modified races and the racial conflict that emerges between those races; and a mesh of high technology and swords-and-sorcery.

Phantasy Star 296

The game is still very difficult, but not as mind-bogglingly so as the first entry in the series. For example, if you happen by the beach in Phantasy Star II — unlike in the first game — you will not be instantly murdered by a giant fish-man. This is still of the “old school” variety of RPGs, though, and you will not be presented with a clear linear path, and wandering too far in the game world too soon will result with an encounter with something huge & murderously beyond your level.

Phantasy Star 005

Here’s some tips to get started:

  • Visit everyone in town, and talk to everyone! Make sure you find RUDO in the starting town, as well — he will join your party early on, and provide much-needed combat support. Without him you have only one character at the onset who can attack.
  • Your first mission is being sent to investigate Mother Brain, but before you can even think of doing that (or anything else), wander around the small area outside of town for a bit. Encounters with monsters are — as was intended by the ancient RPG Prophecies — randomized. Fight monsters until all your characters go up a few levels, which won’t take very long.
  • Spend your meseta on monomates at the supply shop, but don’t bother with the more expensive healing options just yet. Monomates will heal you fully for a while. You shouldn’t need any other supplies early on.
  • Use Resta! Nei’s “Technic” power is a healing spell, which you will be able to use the “Orders” command to have her use each turn in combat. Learn to judge how much damage enemies are doing so you know when to use the spell — it doesn’t cost money but it does consume TP, which is the amount of points you can spend on spell casting.
  • Plan to return periodically to the Healer (marked by a convenient red cross) in town. They are much cheaper than buying monomates and will heal you and restore your TP.
  • You can grind up your meseta as much as you want, and use it to purchase new armor & weapons. Pay attention to what the shop owners tell you! There are a lot of restrictions on gear, and if you try to buy something for someone who can’t use it, the proprietor will ask “What, are you joking?” This means that person can’t use that item.
  • Don’t wander too far too soon, but do push the edges of the map a bit — an early encounter with something that might be just a bit too strong for you is what makes games like this incredibly fun. Gearing up to go and beat the snarling scorpion-based monster that wiped out your party at the beginning of the game is one of the most pure pleasures in classic RPG gaming.

That’s all for now — try this game, and have fun! It’s one of the best in the genre, and a fine example of the majesty & mystery which made evolving RPGs such a natural fit for hard-core gamers.

 
   
   
 

Free Stuff Friday – August 27, 2010

Julian (ClumsyOrchid) takes on all the prize revealing himself this week. We’ve got some great games for you, from old-school classics to brand-new hits.

YouTube Preview Image

*Note* Where region-locked, all games are NTSC.

On the Block

1. Gunblade NY & LA Machineguns – Wii
Just released this week! Two old-school arcade classics come together in one great shooter for the Wii.

Congrats to our winner, @DinnerSonic!

2. Bayonetta – X360 or PS3
A great action game, and your chance to pick it up if you haven’t yet. Your choice of platform.

Congrats to our winner, @MANvsGAME!

3. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Game Cube
We didn’t really burn them all! This is a popular item, so here’s another chance at one.


4. Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 – Game Cube

Another Game Cube classic!


5. Valkyria Chronicles II (PSP) and Valkyria Chronicles I Art Book
Super brand new! Get the awesome sequel in Valkyria Chronicles series, along with a limited-edition art book from the first game.


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 http://www.twitter.com 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.

Important Note: Twitter limits us to following 1,000 new people per day. This is a limit imposed by Twitter and is not something we can control, change, or get around. We do our best to follow everyone back in time for the giveaway, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as our Free Stuff Fridays become more popular. Because we must be following you in order for you to send us a direct message, if we cannot follow you due to this limit, you will be unable to enter the giveaway. We do our contests by direct message to avoid having everyone spam their followers with giveaway entries. Please be patient, and we will follow you as soon as we’re able.

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.

 
   
   
 


SEARCH BY GAME