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Archive for January, 2011


Buckle Up for SEGA Rally Online Arcade!

SEGA’s history contains a hearty lineage of both racing and arcade games — and those are being brought to bear once again this Spring, with the release of SEGA Rally Online Arcade!

SEGA Rally Online Arcade

SEGA Rally Online Arcade is an all-new HD game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles featuring fast-paced offroad racing action. If the title seems like a mouthful consider it the necessary application of great racing games from SEGA’s past — SEGA Rally Revo and SEGA Rally 3, in particular, have lent their unique racing DNA to this new off-road console game, which aside from lots of great single player challenges, will specialize in numerous online modes.

SEGA Rally Online Arcade

The game includes familiar race types such as “Championship Battle Mode” and “Time Attack”, letting you fight your way through a field of cars over successive tracks or race against the clock, respectively. There’s a new achievement system for unlocking additional content, and a total of 13 cars to choose from. Multiplayer options include 2 players locally and 2-6 for online play, where you can compete for online leaderboards on tracks choked with dirt, mud, and snow.

Speaking of the tracks: Also featured is the “Desert ’95” track (seen below), from the classic arcade game “SEGA Rally Championship”. It’s a callback to SEGA’s long history in racing games, when arcade technology made it possible to race on different terrains for the first time.

SEGA Rally Online Arcade

With HD graphics and a great blend of arcade and realistic driving physics, you’ll have the chance to jump right in and tear up the tracks as you hone your skills for competitive play. Stay tuned for more info on this title, and get ready to race!


Sonic Colors Guide: Starlight Carnival, Act 1

Sonic Colors Logo

Last week, we brought you a walkthrough of Tropical Resort, Act 1. Today, we’re moving on to Act 1 of Starlight Carnival, again using the Sonic Colors strategy book as our guide. This zone has some really cool stuff in it, including roads made of light energy, new Wisps, and new enemies. Let’s get to it!

Level Details

You’ll start off with 685,000 points. To get a C rank on this level, you need a score of 650,000. To get a B rank, you need 1,000,000. For an A rank, you need 1,350,000 and to get the much-coveted S rank, you need 1,650,000 points. This is a longer act, with time over at 8:09.

As with the other acts, if you play well you will get a no-miss bonus. If you have no lost tries, you’ll get 650,000 bonus points. For 1 lost try you get 487,500 points, for 2 lost tries you get 422,500 points, for 3 lost tries you get 130,000 and for 4 lost tries you get 65,000. If you have 5 or more lost tries, you don’t get any bonus points.

Blue Wisp

There are three Wisp powers available in this act. The White Wisp is your boost. This act introduces the Blue Cube, and once you’ve discovered it, it’s always available here. If you’ve cleared Planet Wisp, Act 1 then you have the Pink Spikes, which you can also make use of in this act.

There are four enemy types in this act: Egg Chasers, Egg Pawns, Spiny, and Motobugs. The Egg Chasers are 2,000 bonus points, the Egg Pawns and Spiny are 1,000 points, and the Motobugs are 1,500.

Level Map

Starlight Carnival

See a full-size map here.


This act begins with Sonic sprinting down a cool-looking road made of light energy. As it unfurls ahead, a pair of Egg Chasers drop down in his path. Use your quick step to avoid their lasers. The Egg Chaser spins its arms just before it shoots, so you can use that as a signal to get out of the way. When the road ends, Sonic is flung into space. Use homing attacks on the floating debris to bounce into a rainbow ring and some dash rings. Sonic will end up inside a big space vessel.

Starlight Carnival

Run into the Blue Wisp capsule to acquire the Blue color power for the first time. Look for some nearby spinning blue rings, which are collectible items, and solid blue blocks, which are indestructible objects. When you activate Blue Cube, all blue blocks transform into rings and vice versa. Two other important things to know about Blue Cube: first, its color gauge runs out fairly quickly, so you have to move fast to use it. Second, you can toggle rings and blocks back and forth until the gauge runs out.

Stand directly on top of the four blue blocks in the nearby floor, and activate Blue Cube. The blocks turn into rings and Sonic drops through them to the chamber below. The transformation also wipes out the Egg Pawns below, which is a nice side effect! Head right and slide through the three blue rings on the bottom row underneath the special ring, and keep sliding to nail the Spiny that is shooting mines at Sonic. Now use the Blue Cube again to change the blue blocks that encase the special ring into blue rings. Jump through all of the rings to collect them.

If the nearby Pink Wisp capsule is empty jump up into the red dash ring and bounce up the narrow shaft. If this is a replay after you’ve unlocked the Pink Wisp, then collect it before you bounce up the narrow shaft. Hold on to the Pink color power for now, as you’ll be able to use it in a few minutes.

Get the Egg Pawn on the platform to the right. Step on the blue button to open the security door across the shaft to the left, then jump through. Ride the lift up and hop over onto another lift to the right. Ride that one up to another security door. The button to open this door is across to the left.

Starlight Carnival

If you don’t have Pink power available yet, hop across to step on the button, but watch out for the bombs dropping from the Spiny attached to the wall above! Then hop back through the now-open security door. Continue down the corridor and jump off. Sonic goes into a freefall down the ship’s exit tube.

But if you do have Pink power available, don’t open the security door! Instead, activate the pink spikes and attach to the door, then start rolling upward. Sonic’s spikes destroy the Spiny on the wall. Roll up to the top of the structure and stop. Don’t roll over the edge into the gap or Sonic loses the Pink Spikes form and goes into a freefall. You will make this descent later, but first there’s a special ring to find.

After Sonic returns to normal, run to the right toward the gap, then jump and use air boost to reach the far platform. Sonic shoots through another Pink Wisp capsule. Hop across crates all the way to the far wall, and drop down the wall. He lands on a destructible white crate. Stomp on it to slam down through other white crates and land on a black crate.

Starlight Carnival

The black crate is destructible too, but stomp won’t work. You must activate the pink spikes to bust through the black crate and drop. Roll to the left to collect a super ring, then keep rolling down through more black crates to the next platform where Sonic can roll up the stacked boxes to the special ring. After that, use the blue button to open the security door and hop off the edge into a freefall down the ship’s exit tube.

Starlight Carnival

Guide Sonic’s descent through rings to a landing on another light road where he runs automatically. Soon, Sonic is joined by a crew of Motobugs. These robot racers damage Sonic if they bump him. Knock bugs off the three-lane track by using quick step from the side or boost from behind. And don’t miss the special ring in the far right lane.

Sonic ends up inside another star cruiser. A catapult shoots him up above your view, and he lands on top of a massive press. Push the stick to the right to walk him until he drops back into sight. Run through the checkpoint, nail the two Egg Pawns, and snag the Blue Wisp.

Now comes a fairly difficult maneuver to reach the next special ring. Hop up to the impassable stack of six blue blocks and activate the Blue Cube to transform blocks into blue rings. Sprint through those rings and run across the bridge of blue blocks beyond. Hurry! At the bridge’s end, turn and hop up on the block stairs, first to the left, then to the right. Then before the blue color gauge runs out, leap left onto the blocks under the special ring.

After the Blue Cube wears off, jump left through the blue rings and collect the Blue Wisp, then take out the two Egg Pawns. Walk out to the leftmost blue block and activate the Blue Cube again. Hop up the newly created blue blocks, working your way to the right. When Sonic’s path is blocked by a tall stack of blocks, use blue cube again to change them into blue rings. Hop through them and use the last blocks to reach the special ring. After blue cube wears off, jump to the platform at the right.

Starlight Carnival

This platform is the first in a series of catapults that eventually shoots Sonic over to a checkpoint and a blue button that opens the next security door. This puts Sonic at the edge of a series of four massive presses.

Run underneath the press as it lowers. Hurry to the Blue Wisp capsule on the safe, white tiled section. Run under the second press to the three blue rings and, above them, a single blue block that encases a spring. Activate the Blue Cube and hop onto the three blue blocks to reach the now-accessible spring.

Starlight Carnival

The spring shoots Sonic up out of sight atop the third press. Walk him (unseen) to the right until he drops onto more blue blocks, a Blue Wisp capsule, and another spring. Activate the Blue Cube and let the spring bounce Sonic out of sight atop the fourth press.

Walk Sonic (again, unseen) to the right, through rings and the hidden special ring. You’ll hear Sonic collect these items. Keep walking rightward until Sonic drops on the dash panel at the end. This propels Sonic down one last light road. At the road’s end, be ready to launch homing attacks at more debris to bounce into a freefall down to another vessel. Descend through the line of rings into the ship’s hold, and watch Sonic make an automatic dash to the goal ring!

Upcoming Walkthroughs

As I mentioned last week, we’ll be posting a walkthrough from each act in the coming weeks. I try to pick acts that I think will have the most value for new players as well as people who have already finished the game. If you have a particular zone/act combo you’d like to see a walkthrough for, please leave it in the comments! I can’t promise that I’ll fulfill everyone’s wish (remember, we’re only doing one act per zone, and I don’t want to give the *whole* thing away!)  but if there’s a lot of people requesting one particular act/zone, then I’ll do my best!


Our Yakuza forum just got a nice new look…

If you’re a Yakuza fan and not yet part of our Yakuza forums, we’d like to invite you to join in! From talk of Yakuza 4 to discussions of where Toshihiro Nagoshi is right now (tanning beds = safe bet), the fans and faces of the board make it a fun place for a Yakuza fan to call home.

Today we’re happy to show off our brand new look for the Yakuza forum, which is based on the rather awesome box art for Yakuza 4. Click the image below to check it out on the board!

And for those savvy readers who want to know everything there is to know about the western versions of Y4, we’ve even got SEGA Producer Yas who drops in from time to time to discuss what it’s like working on a game as huge as Y4 is.

We hope you guys enjoy the new skin. We’ll see you on the boards!



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SEGA Genesis Classic Collection IV Now Available on PC

In case you missed it, a new selection of classic Genesis titles is now available. This is the final currently planned release pack of Genesis Classic titles for the PC, and you might say that we saved the best for last. Well — I certainly might say that, considering both Shining Force I and II are in the pack, and I’m record as saying these games are among my favorite of all time.

The games are available individually or in packs; please note some titles are sold separately from the packaged deals, but you can visit both Steam and GamersGate for this excellent collection!

Shining Force (Virtual Console)

First, the full list of what’s available with this offering. As with the previous packs, all these games fit into the snazzy “Genesis Classics” loader that runs all the games, and allows you to save each of the games at any point, as well as using the games original save features (if they had one).

-Alien Soldiers
-Gunstar Heroes
-Light Crusader
-Shining Force
-Shining Force II
-Shining in the Darkness
-Sonic 3 & Knuckles
-Sonic the Hedgehog 2
-Streets of Rage
-Streets of Rage 2
-ToeJam & Earl
-ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron

Is this not an excellent list? Aside from all the praises I’m happy to heap onto the Shining Force series this collection also includes Streets of Rage 1 and 2. The first game is lots of fine fun, and by the second had evolved into probably the best beat-em-up of the 90s — with easily some of the best music of any game in the 90s. As a bonus here’s some video of series composer Yuzo Koshiro DJing in Tokyo, working some of the tracks from the game. Follow the video to YouTube to see more from this performance.

YouTube Preview Image

Even aside from Streets of Rage and Shining Force there’s a lot to recommend this batch of games. Possibly you are aware of the Sonic the Hedgehog series? Well guess what! We have the Sonic. On the PC! Several, in fact: Classics Collection IV features both Sonic the Hedgehog II and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the glorious lock-on combination of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles.

Sonic & Knuckles - XBLA

Sonic 3 and Knuckles is also probably the most difficult of the original series (especially the later half, Sonic and Knuckles) and takes all the mechanics the series was known for and refines them to their most skill-intensive. I played Sonic 2 enough that I can blow through that game pretty easily now — but lots of Sonic 3 & Knuckles remains a challenge, and grabbing all the Chaos Emeralds in either of its games is no mean feat. Of course, the ability to save your game before any special stage and play it over and over til you get it right is a nice way around that. Go ahead! I won’t tell anyone.

And: Let’s not let all these other excellent titles dwarf the release of the original ToeJam & Earl, a game that’s been a lot harder than most of these to get a hold of. There was never another game quite like it; something like a psychedelic dungeon crawler with a goofy sense of humor and one of the most awesome soundtracks in any game ever. Really, this Classic Collection as a whole is just loaded with great Genesis tunes–here’s some of ToeJam and Earl’s music:

YouTube Preview Image

Lest we forget — there’s some other terrific & unique games in this collection, including the isometric action-adventure Landstalker and the Shining Force “prequel”, “Shining in the Darkness” (definitely hard to find in other places).

Between the Sonic games, the Shining Force series, and ToeJam & Earl, a pretty high percentage of my teenage years is represented by this package of games. In my humble opinion, these are not to be missed!


Shinobi III Out Now on iPhone!

Shinobi: Return of the Ninja Master — the culmination of the Shinobi saga on the Genesis — is now available for the Apple iPhone!

Combining ninja moves and magic with a high degree of difficulty and stunning visuals and sound, this was an evolution of a game that helped define platforming from the 1987 original.

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (iphone)
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (iphone)

It combines the straight-up action/platforming stages with a lot of clever mechanics, from horseback riding to riding on a jet-powered surfboard. That last part is italicized because it involves a ninja riding a surfboard, and it is difficult to draw too much attention to this particular game feature.

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (iphone)

I remember being surprised when I recently picked up this game for the first time in years — ordinarily if a game shoehorns something like a horse-riding sequence into the mechanics, it feels clunky and gimmicky, but Shinobi III managed these experimental sequences with the grace of, well, a ninja — the story flows smoothly from dark forests to fast-paced battles on horseback to ooze-filled secret laboratories.

Featuring customizable difficulty and graphics and sound that pushed the Genesis to its limits, and the excellent mythology of one of SEGA’s classic franchises, Shinobi: Return of the Ninja Master was a flagship game from its era.


SEGA and PlatinumGames Reveal Anarchy Reigns

Anarchy Reigns

We’re excited to reveal details on upcoming third-person multiplayer brawler, ANARCHY REIGNS™, the much anticipated next title from critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames. ANARCHY REIGNS will be available in Autumn 2011 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3.

Anarchy Reigns

With ANARCHY REIGNS, PlatinumGames will be using their hallmark creativity and technical excellence to challenge the boundaries of the conventional brawler genre by allowing multiple players to get involved in heavy-hitting action simultaneously. ANARCHY REIGNS incorporates a diverse range of multiplayer modes to provide players with different challenges, including Tag Team battles and Battle Royal, where players can challenge others in a full-on fight for victory.

Anarchy Reigns

“SEGA are delighted to continue our collaboration with PlatinumGames, one of the most creative and critically acclaimed developers in the world,” said Gary Knight, Senior Vice President of Marketing of SEGA West. “ANARCHY REIGNS is set to offer gamers a fresh multiplayer experience with the quality and innovation PlatinumGames are renowned for.”

Anarchy Reigns

For more information please visit


Sonic Colors Soundtrack Now on iTunes!

Really, reaaalllly good news!

We know it’s been reported elsewhere that the Sonic Colors OST is getting a digital release in Japan, but what we can confirm today is that it will also be reaching western shores. Yes, that’s right folks — a Sonic soundtrack is FINALLY coming out in the West… albeit digitally.

Starting today, you’ll be able to get Vivid Sound x Hybrid Colors, the Sonic Colors original soundtrack via digital distribution on the Apple iTunes Store in North America (already up), EU (should be up soon hopefully) AND Japan.

Vivid Sounds… features all 82 tracks from the game, split across three discs, showcasing a hybrid of analog and electronic tracks. You can buy the discs separately, and they are listed down on the store as volumes 1-3, but all three together do make the full album. This includes the opening theme “Reach For The Stars” and closing song “Speak With Your Heart”, both of which are performed by New Jersey group Cash Cash.

Speaking of cash, you’ll probably want to know how much these cost, huh?

Individual tracks: $1.29 / £0.99
Per Disc: $9.99 / £7.99

Tracks are available via Wavemaster Entertainment on the iTunes store.


Free Stuff Friday – January 28, 2011

Annie is our guest camera person this week, so please blame/credit her for the “arty” style. Dramamine not included.

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On the Block

1. Aliens vs. Predator Pack

Get the Hunter Pack that includes the game (PS3 or X360), and a facehugger. We’ll also throw in the Omnibus (vol 1) and some Aliens comics, too.

2. Alpha Protocol Pack
Includes an Alpha Protocol knit hat and a Camelbak with the Alpha Protocol logo on it.

3. Total War: Napoleon Hoodie
Get this fleece hoodie in a size L.

4. SEGA E3 2010 Staff Shirt
Cosplay as SEGA staff from last year’s E3 in this size XL shirt.

5. SEGA Watch
A silver watch with SEGA on the face. Think of us when you check the time!

6. Sonic the Hedgehog Pack
Get a safety belt strap, 2 Sonic comics, and a 15th Anniversary shirt (size L).

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.

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.


Conduit 2 – Hands On Multiplayer Event this Thursday!

Calling all Conduit fans! We are throwing the doors open and welcoming 10 lucky fans to play some Conduit 2 with this Thursday, January 27th. We’ll have Eric Nofsinger and Matt Corso on hand from High Voltage Software to walk you through the game and show you all the new features, updates, new maps and modes within the game. Come on out and get some early access and bone up on the skills you’ll need to own the competition when the game releases in March.

Conduit 2

Where? When? How — Sign me up!

The event will be held inside the SEGA offices in San Francisco. As noted, we have spots available for up to 10 people, so you’ll have to act fast to participate. Simply post in the comments below and we’ll email you tomorrow to confirm you in the event – eays!

When: January 27th at 12pm – 2pm
Where: The SEGA Offices in San Francisco
How to Attend: Sign up and express your interest in the comments below!

We hope you can make it!