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Archive for February, 2012


   
 

Spiral Knights: Drop. The. Hammer.

Expansion missions have arrived!

Available today, now, for Spiral Knights, a special DLC add-on: Operation Crimson Hammer – face the mighty Warmaster Seerus of the Crimson Order, engage him in fierce and unequal combat, and then take all his stuff.

Spiral Knights

Operation Crimson Hammer is a new DLC pack available for Spiral Knights – tradable on Steam, you can purchase it through Steam, currently 30% off, at just $3.95!

Background & Lore

You may remember the Roarmulus Twins and the industrial menace of their home, the Ironclaw Munitions factory. Spiral HQ has now found the source of that menace – which seeks still to destroy the town of Haven and wipe the Knights off the surface of Cradle!

Warmaster Seerus is the evil master of munitions within the Gremlin’s all-powerful Crimson Order. Thought to be the true mastermind behind the Roarmulus Twins and countless other gremlin weapons, he is the Crimson Order’s creator and supplier for their diabolical engines of war.

Spiral Knights

Recon Knights under the command of Lieutenant Feron recently discovered Seerus’s ‘Grand Arsenal,’ his development center and storage facility for all his weaponry. Now, Feron himself is leading several squads of Knights directly into the Grand Arsenal, with the intention of weeding out Seerus and destroying his war machines.

Met with heavy resistance, Feron’s squads require reinforcements and Spiral HQ is sending you in to assist.

Spiral Knights

Key Features:

  • Experience an all-new adventure in the world of Spiral Knights!
  • Challenge the mighty gremlin lord, Warmaster Seerus, in his terrifying Grand Arsenal!
  • Includes unique mission rewards: the powerful Rocket Hammer and the shadowy Dark Retribution bomb!
  • Includes a bonus craft-able helm, the Mask of Warmaster Seerus himself!
  • Ferocious New Monsters!
  • Face the explosive weaponry of gremlin Mortafires and the stealthy blades of Ghostmane Stalkers!
  • Unlocks three separate versions of Operation Crimson Hammer for each
    difficulty tier!

Be sure to check here for full release notes and info for this week’s update!

 
   
   
 

Binary Domain is Now Available Worldwide!

Binary Domain is now available worldwide! Having launched in Japan and Europe already, North America is finally in and playing!

Binary Domain is the latest and greatest from famed developer Toshihiro Nagoshi, who you might remember from such games as Yakuza or MonkeyBall. Taking his expertise in crafting a brilliant story and blending it with the 3rd person shooter genre, you get a game that will surprise the hell out of you with it’s twists and turns, and make you run and gun to get there. The missions are top notch, the gun play is really fun, and in office we’ve had some lengthy discussions on the story implications. It’s a full package of awesome.

Still on the fence? Then enjoy this recent trailer that we published earlier, it gives you a firm handle on the action and story you are about to witness first hand:
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Get the Strategy Guide!

If you want to get in and get literally everything out of Binary Domain, we encourage you to pick up the Brady Games Strategy Guide! It’s pretty much full of insight into the campaign, secrets and helpful tips, as well as a guide to help you full wreck people in multiplayer.

Want a sample? Of course you do!
Binary Domain Strategy Guide

Buy the full guide right here!

 
   
   
 

Jet Set Radio is Back on the Airwaves

Jet Set Radio
As many of you may have guessed, Jet Set Radio is the next Dreamcast game to hit digital release.

DJ Professor K, Beat, Gum, and all the GGs are taking to the streets in this upgraded HD version of Jet Set Radio, which sees players vying for control of the futuristic Tokyo-to by marking their turf with graffiti tagged across walls, billboards, and rival gang members. Jet Set Radio will be coming to XBLA, PSN, and Windows PC Digital Download this summer.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, Jet Set Radio lets players join the GGs, an up-and-coming street gang in the futuristic city of Tokyo-to, fighting for the right to self-expression against an overbearing, corporate-controlled police force. Rolling and leaping through crowded urban environments on magnetically driven inline skates, players take control of gang leader Beat and his growing posse of deviant artists as they steal turf from the local gangs by covering the city with colorful graffiti. Guided by Professor K, DJ for the hottest pirate broadcast in town – “Jet Set Radio” – the GGs will ultimately uncover the sinister plot hatched by the controlling powers of Tokyo-to.

Get Your Tag in the Game

Jet Set Radio
SEGA has also announced an upcoming contest that will let US and UK Jet Set Radio fans share their own love for (digital) graffiti. Eager fans will get a shot at designing eighteen brand new pieces of in-game art that will be seen by players the world over. Winners will receive a prize pack that includes a Rukus from Etón Corporation – the world’s first Bluetooth sound system with solar power – and a number of other wicked rewards. For contest dates and details on how to participate, visit www.sega.com/jsrcontest.

 
   
   
 

SEGA Employee of the Month: Sam Mullen

We’re often asked about what we do at SEGA, and how to get a job here. Most people assume that we are all game programmers, or that you have to be a game programmer in order to work here. But that’s very far from the truth — there are many different types of jobs at SEGA.

I read a comment on one of our videos recently that they feel like the community team are the only ones that work at SEGA, because we’re the only people they ever see. And that really broke my heart, because we have so many great people who do incredible work… but it’s not something that you guys get to see, or something they’ll stand on camera and do an interview about.

In the past few years, we’ve made it a point to highlight our co-workers whenever possible. You might have seen some of our candid photos from shows like E3 or PAX, or been introduced to people when they’ve made guest appearances on our Free Stuff Friday videos. But this year, we’ve decided to take it a step further. Each month, we’ll be featuring one employee so you can get to know the different types of jobs here, and the different people doing them. These are the people working behind the scenes here at SEGA to, ultimately, make awesome stuff for you guys.

This month, we’re featuring Sam Mullen. Sam works in our Product Development (PD) department as a Localization Producer. He’s recently worked on Rise of Nightmares and the brand-new game Binary Domain. We’ve only fried his brain a few times, we promise.

Sam

Tell us about yourself!

I am from South Carolina, born and raised. I went to Clemson University and majored in Computer Science with a minor in Japanese. During my last year in college, I was scared of ending up in a IT cubicle, so I applied to the JET Programme and ended up spending three years teaching English in Hiroshima Prefecture, near a city called Onomichi. Since I’ve returned from Japan, I’ve been working at Japanese gaming companies trying to help non-Japanese speakers enjoy Japanese games through production and localization work. I live on the San Francisco Peninsula and have a Japanese wife and a little 15 month old girl.

How long have you worked for SEGA, and why did you want to work here? 

I’ve been with SEGA for a little over two years now. My move to SEGA was motivated by a number of reasons, but if I had to narrow it down: 1) I wanted to see what San Francisco life was like, 2) it was a good career move because SEGA is a very active Japanese publisher, and 3) well, SEEEEGAAAAAA!

Tell us about your job – what do you do all day?

I’m what they call a Localization Producer. At first glance, that might sound like I work with translators or do a lot of translation work, but at SEGA the job is much more involved. Producers here do something similar to juggling flaming chainsaws while herding ADHD cats. We communicate with our Japanese development and production teams to provide direction and feedback on games in development, champion games through our internal approval processes, constantly communicate with our European counterparts, and coordinate with and inform marketing and QA about the products we are making. I am all over the place. So it’s a lot of e-mail, a lot of paperwork and reports, phone calls, bug tracking, and of course, playing games!

You are one of our producers who is fully fluent in Japanese – can you tell us how you got started learning the language?

Yes, we have a couple of bilinguals on our team. I certainly do not have native-level fluency, but I have been working with Japanese for over a decade now and have been able to leverage my modest language ability throughout my gaming career. I started studying Japanese in my third year of college, when I decided to change from a Bachelor of Science to a Bachelor of Arts. I got to drop some high level math courses, but I had to pick up some liberal arts courses, including a foreign language. I really had an unpleasant experience trying to learn Spanish in High School, but a friend talked me into trying Japanese. It was a little out-of-the-box, so I thought ‘sure, why not?’ At that time, there was a huge movement on the net for fan translations of old NES and SNES games which left a bit of an impression on me, and I thought it’d be really neat if I could learn to read Japanese, if even just a little bit. However, when I started I never would have dreamed I’d eventually obtain the level of fluency I have now.

What’s your favorite thing about working at SEGA? 

There are some really passionate and talented people here at SEGA, not only in our North American offices, but in all of our other global offices. In addition, SEGA has a lot of history and was crucial in making the gaming industry what it is today. I’m glad to work alongside people who helped make and continue to make this company. It’s truly an honor and I’m humbled every day.

One memory that sticks with me is last year at Sonic Boom at 2011 E3. When I saw that huge crowd of people in front of the stage with Senoue-san rocking out on stage, I thought, “this is Sonic fandom.” I was really impressed and it made me feel really proud to be part of the company.

What’s something about SEGA that you didn’t expect when you started working here?

As far as the workplace goes, I was a bit surprised as the work was very challenging and my colleagues were/are skilled and talented (people have come and gone). Up until joining SEGA, I’d always been the single non-native speaker holding his own with Japanese or Japanese-American speakers. But at SEGA, our localization department had 5 very skilled non-Japanese bilinguals, some having graduated from Japanese universities or having lived in Japan for very extended periods of time. It was quite intimidating.

As far as the challenges of work, as a Localization Producer at SEGA, it’s not just managing localization projects; you really have to get your hands dirty and communicate directly with the Japanese teams and tell them what you think. It’s much higher level work than I’d done previously, but I really welcomed the challenge and continue to do so.

What’s your favorite SEGA game or franchise?

In all honesty, I grew up playing ‘the other’ console, so I never really played any SEGA games when I was younger, but if I had to choose, I’d say there’s a special place in my heart for Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and Afterburner. I’ve also recently been having a bit of a love affair with SEGA Japan’s Hatsune Miku titles, but those haven’t come out here.

What other games are you into? 

I don’t have any likes or dislikes when it comes to games, except sports games (I don’t play sports games generally). I like tough games, fun games, games that require the player to learn, and resources management games. Some of the games that I’ve just gotten super hooked on (not including games I’ve worked on) in the past few couple of years would include Dark Souls, Minecraft, Street Fighter IV, Dwarf Fortress, and Oblivion, just to name some big ones. I also enjoy danmaku shooters (Shoot the Bullet, Mushihime-sama Futari, and Twinkle Star Sprites are some notable favs), and other such quirky Japanese games.

What superpower would you most like to have, and why?

Telekinesis. While quite multipurpose, it’d just be nice to not have to get up to get things.

How you do to help keep SEGA weird?

I speak Japanese and tell people what’s going on in Japan. I think that’s self-explanatory enough.

If someone wanted to work in the game industry and land a job in Localization, what advice would you give them?

Localization is broad and there are a lot of positions and capacities at which you can work from translators, to project leads, to producers like me. Each has a specific skill set. But in short, you need a second language. You need to become a communicator. That involves going and spending some time in the country you want to localize to/from so you can really make your work fit for the region. Get out and explore your world and travel, especially while you are young. The industry will still be here when you get back.

What else would you like to share with SEGA fans? 

When I’m our exploring the internets and I see things like Dumb Running Sonic, it just reminds me how much love for SEGA and it’s franchises and history, and that empowers and motivates us here at SEGA. Everyone here works really hard to do their best to make our fans and customers happy. Keep being awesome and we will keep making games!

 
   
   
 

Visit SEGA and Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown at Final Round

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Fighting game fans attending Final Round in Atlanta from March 2-4 will have a chance to be some of the first state-side to get their hands of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. Stop by the SEGA booth at Final Round for Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown open play on two screens and to score some sweet swag.  This is the first time a playable console version of Final Showdown is available for fans to play in the US!

 
   
   
 

More Screens for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Hot on the heels of the trailer and concept art we posted this morning, here are some additional screens for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II. Enjoy!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II

 
   
   
 

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II Trailer & Concept Art

We released the first gameplay trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II yesterday on Gamespot. In case you missed it… here it is!

 

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And here’s your weekly dose of concept art — a breakable ice wall that you saw in the trailer.

Breakable Wall

Don’t forget to check the Sonic Facebook page for one additional piece of concept art!

 
   
   
 

Binary Domain ‘Shoots’ into Europe

binary domain

We are delighted to announce that the highly anticipated squad-based shooter, Binary Domain, is available now at retailers across Europe, with a North American release to follow on the 28th of February 2012.

Based approximately seventy years in the future, Binary Domain, puts you in a international peace-keeping squad with the task of battling through a robot-infested derelict ‘lower’ Tokyo to help restore peace to the streets. Along the way you discover the choices you make, via the voice-controlled Consequences System, starts to impact upon the surroundings. Are the robots, known as ‘hollow children’, becoming more human, or are humans becoming more like machines?

Binary Domain also features a mix of competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, spread across seven different game types including Free for All, Deathmatch, Domain Control and Operation, as well as five different player classes to choose from. With a central branching storyline, voice recognition in combat and conversation, Binary Domain offers something genuinely distinctive to the genre.

 
   
   
 

Spiral Quest: Your Mission …

There’s always been more to Cradle than met the eye: a world constructed of massive turning gears, monsters, gremlins, the mysterious Strangers … intrepid Spiral Knights have journeyed into this world in search of answers, glory, and treasure. And now, with the introduction of the Missions system, there is a whole new way to explore the Clockworks!

Spiral Knights - graveyard

Mission Overview

Missions provide players with a a structure for navigating the world of Spiral Knights. Each mission features a reward that is guaranteed with completion in addition to the rewards acquired during the mission itself.

Missions range from simple tasks like speaking with an NPC to going on an a major expedition within the Clockworks. One of the key features of missions is that everything is managed within the mission interface — if you’re ever lost for what to do next, simply open up the mission interface and away you go!

Additionally, the Character Select interface now includes the ‘Ready Room.’ The Ready Room is where your knight chooses where to go after selection. You can chat with friends and guildmates, check out your Social Panel and Event Hub, head in to town or go directly on a mission.

There are four types of missions:

Spiral Knights - rank mission

  • Rank Missions: Rank Missions serve the main campaign of Spiral Knights. Comprised of over 80 missions, Rank Missions will allow a player to rise in the ranks of the Spiral Knights, from lowly recruit to mighty Vanguard.Rank Missions also feature a new way of acquiring the recipes that you need — the ever intrepid vendor Basil is in each mission lobby, selling a selection of recipes geared toward the mission you are about to face.Additionally, Rank Missions will introduce you to the ‘Hall of Heroes’, where players can see veteran knight loadouts and purchase recipes for their gear.
    • Prestige Missions: Prestige Missions are offered to you daily and can only be completed once a day. These missions reward you with ‘prestige’ which acts as a running score attached to your knight. Knights with high prestige will earn a special bonus in the future.
    • Expansion Missions: Expansion Missions are bonus missions that can be unlocked with purchase. Expansion Missions, like Rank Missions, feature set rewards and can be played as often as you like once unlocked. Some expansion missions are a ‘pack’ of missions and provide you with a version for different tiers that feature unique rewards.
    • Arcade Missions: Arcade Missions provide you with the convenience of creating and joining parties in the Arcade directly from the mission interface. However, the Arcade must still be visited to deposit minerals.

The Supply Depot

The Supply Depot is a new feature that is connected to the mission interface. The Supply Depot is a place where players can purchase items associated with missions using energy. This includes accessories, weapons, gear, upgrades and even energy packs.

However, items in the Supply Depot must be earned. Items are added to your personal Supply Depot as you rank up. Achieve the highest rank you can and build the ultimate Supply Depot!

Spiral Knights

Good luck, Knights!

You can read additional details and patch notes, including bug fixes, on the official Spiral Knights release here.

 
   
   
 

Guess Who’s Back?

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