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Archive for April 27th, 2011


SEGA Play! Baseball – Update and a Closer Look

Hello, friends and fans of SEGA Play! Baseball – we have an update this week for our Facebook-based Baseball game, and more to the point, I’m here to talk about the game for those of you who may not be familiar with it.

First, the update – we have some grand new features as of today. Let’s take a look:

  • Convert your players from one position to another – win or use points for a conversion ticket, and shape your team. Particularly useful when you draw an EX NPC player you can’t use!
  • Item Exchange – now you can convert a surplus of one item into another. Have way too many rose bushes or flowering cacti? Just like the real MLB, you can trade these in for magic bats or gloves. In fact I think this is how the Giants won the World Series last season.
  • New event “happenings” – as you can see from the images here, it is now possible for your field to be invaded by gophers; repelling them with a hammer will win you valuable prizes!

SEGA Play! Baseball
That’s the new stuff. Let’s talk about the game, though. Maybe you haven’t seen it yet; maybe Facebook games aren’t your thing. I’ve finally had the chance to spend some more time with it now … I’ll be honest—this is not a game I thought I’d end up playing much. First, I’m not intrinsically a fan of Facebook games; second, if we’re talking baseball games, I prefer a more “hard core” managerial sim.

There’s something charming about this game though. It has not only grown on me but become oddly delightful and charming – there is absolutely room for whimsy and fancifulness in baseball, and that’s what this game has going for it. Also, all your players weave and bob on the field like something from a 1930s cartoon. It’s hypnotic.

SEGA PLAY! Baseball on Facebook

There’s actually a baseball game here too, is the thing. There’s a simple pleasure in building your team, especially if you can rope a few of your friends into the game with you as you can then be added to each other’s squads. This gives you a distinct advantage, since you can train & improve your friends but not regular NPC players; either way there’s enough baseball strategy here to give backbone to all the silly fun.

Also, you can give your players hats made out of skulls. I’ve never actually managed in the Big Leagues but I think any team that took to the field wearing a literal skull cap would offer a distinct advantage. The guy in the below screenshot wearing the skull is actually my manager here at SEGA.

SEGA PLAY! Baseball on Facebook_1303761440474

When you’re not busying decorating your players with skeletal adornments you can actually customize your stadium to what I would call a staggering degree. Decorating your stadium has no in-game impact that I am aware of, and yet, it’s addictive: my stadium has a giant panda – wearing what appears to be a Chairman Mao hat (!) – clutching a gigantic dice (I know the singular is die but … it just feels weird to type).

I’ve elected him as my Third Base coach (there are no base coaches in this game, so I guess it’s an honorary title, but still). I think he uses the die/dice to decide if he should send the runner or not. I took first in the league this past season so I assume he knows what he’s doing.

Here, have a quick gander at my stadium. And to think Ebert said video games couldn’t be art:

SEGA PLAY! Baseball on Facebook

Look, I’m not a Facebook games person. I’ve played my share – it’s hard to not touch them at all while working at any game company (and we’re right next door to Zynga) – but I’ve never really been “into” one. Yet I’ve found myself charmed by Play! Baseball.

Charmed is definitely the right word, too; it won me over and lo & behold, just as I found myself constantly checking on my much more serious MLBMO team, I found myself logging in to spend training points and decide if I had room in the skyline behind my stadium for a roller-coaster and a Ferris Wheel (the answer: Not yet. The panda is a distinguished choice but for now, a roller coaster would just be gaudy).

If you’re looking for the game, just type SEGA Play! Baseball into Facebook’s search, or click this link.


2nd Multiplayer Trailer for Total War: Shogun 2

Today we’re very excited to bring you a new trailer from SEGA and Creative Assembly’s critically-acclaimed PC strategy game Total War: Shogun 2. This is a follow-up to the first multiplayer trailer and serves as a tutorial for even more of the game’s multiplayer components. It focuses on customizable and upgradable avatars and units, navigating and battling across the online campaign map in real time and features an in-depth look at clan competitions across the online world of Shogun 2.

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Total War: Shogun 2 pushes forward the hugely successful Total War series by perfecting the features from previous games such as full 3D land and naval battles and a detailed campaign map, whilst adding this exciting new online multiplayer experience. Total War: Shogun 2 is available now on PC.