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Archive for January, 2015


   
 

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Heads West!

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

SEGA today announced a partnership with Japanese video game developers Ecole and French Bread to bring Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax to the West for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in 2015. Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a 2D crossover fighting game featuring popular characters from Japanese novels published under the Dengeki Bunko label.

YouTube Preview Image

The Dengeki Bunko collection boasts a vast array of beloved characters who lend themselves flawlessly to this highly balanced, easy-to-learn, high-action 2D fighting game. In Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax players attack, guard, and take damage in order to build their Climax Meter, allowing them to execute moves which recreate highlight scenes from the original novels, even adding specially arranged animations for characters who do not fight in the original works. The game includes characters from numerous Dengeki Bunko works alongside several fan-favorite SEGA characters brought together in SEGA-themed environments.

“With controls skillfully adapted to fit each playable character, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is simultaneously easy to learn and a challenge to master. We are excited to work with Ecole and French Bread to bring this beautiful high-action game to the West,” said John Cheng, President and COO, SEGA of America.

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

 
   
   
 

SEGA 3D Classics – Developer Interviews

Each month we’re featuring a look back at some of our most classic SEGA titles through the SEGA 3D Classics for the Nintendo 3DS. With each game release, we’ve also included an in depth interview with Yosuke Okunari (SEGA of Japan) and Naoki Horii (President of M2) to discuss how these titles were re-created. We hope you enjoy these interviews and the 3D Classics!

3D Classics Series 2

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D Thunder Blade
3D Thunder Blade Interview part 1, part 2.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D Fantasy Zone II W
3D Fantasy Zone II W Interview – Part 1, Part 2

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D Out Run
3D Out Run Interview – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

SEGA  3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
3D Fantasy Zone Interview – Part 1, Part 2

3D After Burner II
3D After Burner II Interview Part 1, Part 2.

SEGA 3D Classics Series 1

Space Harrier logo
3D Space Harrier Interview

Super Hang On logo
Super Hang-On Interview

Sonic Logo
3D Sonic The Hedgehog Interview

Altered Beast logo
3D Altered Beast Interview

Ecco Logo
3D Ecco the Dolphin Interview</em>

Galaxy Force II logo
3D Galaxy Force II Interview

Shinobi logo
3D Shinobi III Interview

streets of rage logo
3D Streets of Rage Interview

 
   
   
 

Free Stuff Friday – January 23rd, 2015

Friday! We made it! Hang out with SEGA on Twitter and catch some freebies to help ease into the weekend. Today’s promo features Valkyria Chronicles on PC!

On the Block

Valkyria_2.jpg

This week we have 4 Valkyria Chronicles codes for PC available in our giveaway.

beach towel

We’ve also got a very special prize for the last giveaway, a Valkyria Chronicles bath towel!

How it Works

Free Stuff Friday - Sign up for Twitter

1. You must have a Twitter account and be following @SEGA 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.

Free Stuff Friday - Example Tweet

2. Giveaways start around 11am Pacific Time on Fridays. We tweet a message with instructions and participants send a Direct Message (commonly called DM) in return. Send a Direct Message changes depending on what Twitter client you are using, we recommend reading this helpful tutorial before the giveaway day.

Note: @SEGA is verified, you can send a Direct Message without being followed. This is totally against everything Twitter has taught you about Direct Messages, but it really works.

Example of a typical giveaway:

@SEGA Tweets: “GIVEAWAY: Sonic T-shirt, size L. Be the 15th person to DM “Sonic Adventure” to win!”

You see this, and want to win it, so you send us a direct message that says “Sonic Adventure”. If you are the 15th person to do so, you are the winner! Quotation marks do not matter, capitalization does not matter, but spelling does matter! (Note, this is just an example, please do not Direct Message this example phrase).

3. We will announce the winner the following week across our blog in the next Free Stuff Friday giveaway. Please read the official rules at the end of this post to confirm eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve never used twitter before, how does it work?
A: Twitter is really easy to use! Twitter has a helpful tutorial that walks you through the basics.

Q: How do Direct Messages work again?
A: Check this guide on how to send Direct Messages using the default twitter clients on the web or on a phone.

Q: How can I be sure my Direct Messages are reaching you?
A: Send @SEGA a Direct Message with the word ‘test’ and we’ll respond to confirm we’ve received it.

Q: I have a question for SEGA on Friday, around 11am Pacific Time, why aren’t you responding?
A: We’re probably swamped with messages while running the giveaway, try messaging us later in the day or when it appears to be less busy.

Q: I won a Sonic Shirt that’s too small for me, can I exchange it?
A: No, we don’t allow for exchanges or trade ins. The prizes are up for grabs as is, so in some cases you’ll want to be sure you can use it (like a shirt), or are in can redeem it (like a game).

Official Rules & Regulations

Sega of America, Inc.
Official Rules – Promotions for Twitter

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

This promotion is administered by a U.S. company and in compliance with U.S. privacy laws; by entering you are agree to all the terms and conditions of the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Twitter.
You understand that you are providing your information to Sega of America, Inc. and not to Twitter.
Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Sweepstakes
must be directed to the Sponsor and not to Twitter.

Age of Eligibility: The Promotion is open only to individuals who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older and individuals between the ages of thirteen (13) and twenty-one (21) who have the permission to enter of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Official Rules.

How to Enter: Sponsor will announce the prize we are awarding, a word or phrase, 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!)

How Many Times You Can Enter: Limit of one (1) direct message per person per prize.

How Winner(s) Will Be Determined: Winners will be randomly determined on an “nth entry basis”; i.e. For example, Sponsor will randomly which entrant will be selected for a given prize; i.e. the 50th or 100th.

How Winner(s) Will Be Notified: Winners will be notified on Twitter through Direct Messages (DM) as well as through email.

Where and When Winner(s) Will be Announced:Winners will be announced at least one week after the promotion starts on the SEGA Blog (blogs.sega.com).

(1) Description – Sega of America, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) is offering the above referenced Promotion and will award the prize or prizes described above via a random selection method. The promotion is available for entry only on Twitter. If you do not yet have a Twitter account, create your FREE account at http://www.twitter.com. Visit https://twitter.com/SEGA and using the prompts follow SEGA on Twitter. Your activity on Twitter in regards to this Promotion are governed by Twitter Terms of Use at https://twitter.com/tos.

(2) Eligibility – The following are NOT eligible to participate: Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies, (collectively “Promotion Entities”) their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion.

The promotion is void in all countries currently under sanction by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to include: Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, DR of the Congo, Iran Iraq, Liberia (the former regime of Charles Taylor), Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Please note that the list of sanctions countries ca change at any time, however, a current list can always be located at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs

Further, the promotion is void in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law, rule or regulation.

(3) Entering the Promotion – Creation of false accounts on Twitter is prohibited. (Message, data rates or other charges may apply if you are participating via the use of a SMART mobile device; check your mobile plan for rates and details. Participation may not be available on all carriers.) In the event of a dispute as to any Entry, the authorized account holder of the Twitter account used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned the account by the online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning the accounts. You may be required to show proof of being an authorized account holder. Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different/duplicitous e-mail addresses, the use of multiple identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete, contain irregular or invalid information, or are corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

(4) Data Collection – Sponsor collects personal information from you when you enter the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, you agree to all of the terms and conditions of Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For information about how personal information may be used, see Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available at http://www.sega.com/legal/privacy.php
(5) Prizes – There is a limit of one (1) prize per person per Promotion. The odds of winning in any given Promotion depend upon the number of prizes available and the number of total entries received for that Promotion. In no event will the value of any single prize exceed $600 and the total value of prizes in any given Weekly Promotion Period will never exceed $5,000. All approximate retail values are expressed in U.S. Dollars. In the event of unavailability Sponsor reserves the right to substitute an item of equal or greater value.

(6) Prize Awarding – If you are potential winner and a minor in your jurisdiction of residence, your parent or legal guardian must accept the prize on your behalf by providing their name and complete mailing address for the purposes of prize fulfillment. If you do not respond to the Sponsor’s Prize Notification Message by the date indicated in the message, the prize is forfeited and will not be awarded. If you have provided an invalid or inaccurate email address or postal mailing address for the purpose of prize fulfillment any returned communication or prize items will be forfeited and in this event at Sponsor’s sole discretion an alternate may be selected. Any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. In compliance with Canadian law, any potential Canadian winner will have to correctly answer a multiple part mathematical skill question as a condition of being named a valid winner. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person, or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

(7) General – At the conclusion of any given Promotion or prize winning cycle and the selection or naming of the published winner(s) for that Weekly Promotion Period or prize winning cycle, Sponsor, in its sole discretion, has the right to modify any rule associated with the Promotion including but not limited to the requirement for entry, number of entries you can receive, the number and value of prizes available and the deadline for entry or participation prize winning activity including, or at Sponsor’s sole discretion, to discontinue the Promotion completely.

By participating in the Promotion, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. By participating in the Promotion, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Twitter and Promotion Entities from any and all damages whether direct or indirect, which may be due to or arise out of participation in the Promotion or any portion thereof, or the acceptance, use/misuse or possession of prizes. Further, the Promotion Entities do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

All decisions of the Sponsor in any matter relating to this Promotion shall be binding and final. If there are fewer eligible entries than the number of available prizes, any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Sponsor is not responsible for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware, software, or web site. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer or telephone transmissions or technical failure, jumbled, scrambled or misdirected transmissions, for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, howsoever caused, or other error of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic. Entrants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified. If disqualified for any of the above abuses, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion if any fraud, virus or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Promotion, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Promotion and the rights and obligations of Sponsor and entrants will be governed by and controlled by the laws of the state of California, applicable to contracts made and performed therein without reference to the applicable choice of law provisions. All actions, proceedings or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted, without resort to any form of class action, solely within the state courts of California located in San Francisco, California and federal courts located within such state and county with respect to any action, dispute or other matter pertaining to or arising out of the Promotion. In the event any provision of these Official Rules will be held to be unenforceable, these Official Rules will continue in full force and effect without such provision.

 

Sponsored by:
Sega of America, Inc.
350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

 
   
   
 

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd: New Downloadable Content this Week!

miku logo

The first downloadable content of the new year for Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd is arriving this week!. The update includes the Rhythm Game Songs Sekiranun Graffiti by ryo and Ai Kotoba by DECO*27, five free skins*, and six new Costume Modules. Check our our screens, or head on over to PlayStation Network and pick them up!

Costume Modules

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
School Girl Club for Akita Neru

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
Gothic Purple for Yowane Haku

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
M.S.J for Kasane Teto

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
Nostalgia for Sakine Meiko

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
Shiny for Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
Type 2020 for Hatsune Miku

All Costume Modules are available individually or School Girl Club, Gothic Purple, M.S.J, and Nostalgia can be purchased as a bundle.

Five Free Skins

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
Skins available for free for the first 39 days after release!

Costume Club & Song Club

SEGA also offers two great sales initiatives for fans who want to own every piece of upcoming content; the Costume Club and Song Club offer more than 25% savings and both are available for purchase now on PlayStation Network. Further, all Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd downloadable content is cross-buy enabled, meaning that content purchased on either platform functions on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

 
   
   
 

Free Stuff Friday – January 16th, 2015

Continuing in our week of SEGA 3D Classics, we’re giving our download codes for 3D After Burner II on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for today’s Free Stuff Friday giveaway!

On the Block

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

We have four 3D After Burner II codes to giveaway, which are valid for North America and Europe. Good luck!

How it Works

Free Stuff Friday - Sign up for Twitter

1. You must have a Twitter account and be following @SEGA 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.

Free Stuff Friday - Example Tweet

2. Giveaways start around 11am Pacific Time on Fridays. We tweet a message with instructions and participants send a Direct Message (commonly called DM) in return. Send a Direct Message changes depending on what Twitter client you are using, we recommend reading this helpful tutorial before the giveaway day.

Note: @SEGA is verified, you can send a Direct Message without being followed. This is totally against everything Twitter has taught you about Direct Messages, but it really works.

Example of a typical giveaway:

@SEGA Tweets: “GIVEAWAY: Sonic T-shirt, size L. Be the 15th person to DM “Sonic Adventure” to win!”

You see this, and want to win it, so you send us a direct message that says “Sonic Adventure”. If you are the 15th person to do so, you are the winner! Quotation marks do not matter, capitalization does not matter, but spelling does matter! (Note, this is just an example, please do not Direct Message this example phrase).

3. We will announce the winner the following week across our blog in the next Free Stuff Friday giveaway. Please read the official rules at the end of this post to confirm eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve never used twitter before, how does it work?
A: Twitter is really easy to use! Twitter has a helpful tutorial that walks you through the basics.

Q: How do Direct Messages work again?
A: Check this guide on how to send Direct Messages using the default twitter clients on the web or on a phone.

Q: How can I be sure my Direct Messages are reaching you?
A: Send @SEGA a Direct Message with the word ‘test’ and we’ll respond to confirm we’ve received it.

Q: I have a question for SEGA on Friday, around 11am Pacific Time, why aren’t you responding?
A: We’re probably swamped with messages while running the giveaway, try messaging us later in the day or when it appears to be less busy.

Q: I won a Sonic Shirt that’s too small for me, can I exchange it?
A: No, we don’t allow for exchanges or trade ins. The prizes are up for grabs as is, so in some cases you’ll want to be sure you can use it (like a shirt), or are in can redeem it (like a game).

Official Rules & Regulations

Sega of America, Inc.
Official Rules – Promotions for Twitter

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

This promotion is administered by a U.S. company and in compliance with U.S. privacy laws; by entering you are agree to all the terms and conditions of the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Twitter.
You understand that you are providing your information to Sega of America, Inc. and not to Twitter.
Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Sweepstakes
must be directed to the Sponsor and not to Twitter.

Age of Eligibility: The Promotion is open only to individuals who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older and individuals between the ages of thirteen (13) and twenty-one (21) who have the permission to enter of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Official Rules.

How to Enter: Sponsor will announce the prize we are awarding, a word or phrase, 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!)

How Many Times You Can Enter: Limit of one (1) direct message per person per prize.

How Winner(s) Will Be Determined: Winners will be randomly determined on an “nth entry basis”; i.e. For example, Sponsor will randomly which entrant will be selected for a given prize; i.e. the 50th or 100th.

How Winner(s) Will Be Notified: Winners will be notified on Twitter through Direct Messages (DM) as well as through email.

Where and When Winner(s) Will be Announced:Winners will be announced at least one week after the promotion starts on the SEGA Blog (blogs.sega.com).

(1) Description – Sega of America, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) is offering the above referenced Promotion and will award the prize or prizes described above via a random selection method. The promotion is available for entry only on Twitter. If you do not yet have a Twitter account, create your FREE account at http://www.twitter.com. Visit https://twitter.com/SEGA and using the prompts follow SEGA on Twitter. Your activity on Twitter in regards to this Promotion are governed by Twitter Terms of Use at https://twitter.com/tos.

(2) Eligibility – The following are NOT eligible to participate: Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies, (collectively “Promotion Entities”) their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion.

The promotion is void in all countries currently under sanction by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to include: Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, DR of the Congo, Iran Iraq, Liberia (the former regime of Charles Taylor), Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Please note that the list of sanctions countries ca change at any time, however, a current list can always be located at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs

Further, the promotion is void in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law, rule or regulation.

(3) Entering the Promotion – Creation of false accounts on Twitter is prohibited. (Message, data rates or other charges may apply if you are participating via the use of a SMART mobile device; check your mobile plan for rates and details. Participation may not be available on all carriers.) In the event of a dispute as to any Entry, the authorized account holder of the Twitter account used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned the account by the online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning the accounts. You may be required to show proof of being an authorized account holder. Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different/duplicitous e-mail addresses, the use of multiple identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete, contain irregular or invalid information, or are corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

(4) Data Collection – Sponsor collects personal information from you when you enter the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, you agree to all of the terms and conditions of Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For information about how personal information may be used, see Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available at http://www.sega.com/legal/privacy.php
(5) Prizes – There is a limit of one (1) prize per person per Promotion. The odds of winning in any given Promotion depend upon the number of prizes available and the number of total entries received for that Promotion. In no event will the value of any single prize exceed $600 and the total value of prizes in any given Weekly Promotion Period will never exceed $5,000. All approximate retail values are expressed in U.S. Dollars. In the event of unavailability Sponsor reserves the right to substitute an item of equal or greater value.

(6) Prize Awarding – If you are potential winner and a minor in your jurisdiction of residence, your parent or legal guardian must accept the prize on your behalf by providing their name and complete mailing address for the purposes of prize fulfillment. If you do not respond to the Sponsor’s Prize Notification Message by the date indicated in the message, the prize is forfeited and will not be awarded. If you have provided an invalid or inaccurate email address or postal mailing address for the purpose of prize fulfillment any returned communication or prize items will be forfeited and in this event at Sponsor’s sole discretion an alternate may be selected. Any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. In compliance with Canadian law, any potential Canadian winner will have to correctly answer a multiple part mathematical skill question as a condition of being named a valid winner. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person, or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

(7) General – At the conclusion of any given Promotion or prize winning cycle and the selection or naming of the published winner(s) for that Weekly Promotion Period or prize winning cycle, Sponsor, in its sole discretion, has the right to modify any rule associated with the Promotion including but not limited to the requirement for entry, number of entries you can receive, the number and value of prizes available and the deadline for entry or participation prize winning activity including, or at Sponsor’s sole discretion, to discontinue the Promotion completely.

By participating in the Promotion, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. By participating in the Promotion, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Twitter and Promotion Entities from any and all damages whether direct or indirect, which may be due to or arise out of participation in the Promotion or any portion thereof, or the acceptance, use/misuse or possession of prizes. Further, the Promotion Entities do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

All decisions of the Sponsor in any matter relating to this Promotion shall be binding and final. If there are fewer eligible entries than the number of available prizes, any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Sponsor is not responsible for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware, software, or web site. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer or telephone transmissions or technical failure, jumbled, scrambled or misdirected transmissions, for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, howsoever caused, or other error of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic. Entrants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified. If disqualified for any of the above abuses, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion if any fraud, virus or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Promotion, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Promotion and the rights and obligations of Sponsor and entrants will be governed by and controlled by the laws of the state of California, applicable to contracts made and performed therein without reference to the applicable choice of law provisions. All actions, proceedings or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted, without resort to any form of class action, solely within the state courts of California located in San Francisco, California and federal courts located within such state and county with respect to any action, dispute or other matter pertaining to or arising out of the Promotion. In the event any provision of these Official Rules will be held to be unenforceable, these Official Rules will continue in full force and effect without such provision.

 

Sponsored by:
Sega of America, Inc.
350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

 
   
   
 

3D After Burner II Available Today on Nintendo 3DS

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

3D After Burner II, the first release in the second series of 3D re-masterings exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS is available today in the Americas and Europe to download in the Nintendo eShop.

YouTube Preview Image

3D After Burner II is the 1987 flight game masterpiece first released on SEGA’s X Board arcade hardware. Delivering a true vintage arcade experience, the re-mastered version features eye-popping stereoscopic 3D visuals and offers a host of options and settings, including the ability to adjust the difficulty settings and other visual enhancements, such as smoke transparency that were not present in the original version. Players are able to choose from a number of real-life arcade cabinets wherein everything from the appearance to the environmental sounds of the specific cabinet are recreated, providing a true and authentic arcade experience.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

The highlight of 3D After Burner II is the addition of the ’special mode’ which can be unlocked once the player completes the game. The ’special mode,’ while maintaining the basics of the ’arcade mode,’ provides the player with a completely new gaming experience and allows the players to control time by utilizing the ‘burst’ which makes avoiding incoming attacks easier and increases the number of lock-on targets.

3D After Burner II also enhances the original audio experience by including soundtracks with additional melody lines, discovered in SEGA’s archives, from the time of the game’s original development.

We hope you enjoy 3D After Burner II, let us know if you plan to pick it up in the comments below!

 
   
   
 

A Classic contest, for the SEGA 3D Classics

Each month we’re giving SEGA fans a chance to pick up some rare SEGA merch for doing what you love – playing our SEGA 3D Classics!

Classic games, Classic Contest

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest

Back when these SEGA Classic games were available in arcades, there was a contest style of taking a photo of yourself alongside game progress, results screens, or with credits. We’re bringing that back – each month, with each release of a new SEGA 3D Classic, we’re offering up a few challenges to complete in the games. A chance to take a photo and show off your successes, and get entered into a drawing for prizes.

Classic Contest, Classic Prize

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest Prize
We’ve made versions of our SEGA Controller hoodie over the years and it’s always in demand from our fans, so we figure it would be the perfect prize. For each giveaway, we’re giving away 10 of these hoodies to fans who enter the Classic Contest. As you can see, we’re still in the process of making them, so we’ll fill you in on the details. The hoodie will be black with white embroider stitch, we’ll also have an embroidered SEGA logo under the hood on back.

How to Enter

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

There are two challenges for 3D After Burner II, both grant one entry into the contest. Complete both challenges, submit two photos, and have two entries into the drawing for the hoodie.
Challenge #1: Complete 3D After Burner II for the Nintendo 3DS and unlock Special Mode. Take any photo from the game with the burst meter from Special Mode active or visible.

Challenge #2: Complete Special Mode. Take a photo alongside the game with the Mission Complete screen, with the burst meter visible.

We recommend that you record your replay, ensuring you can get the perfect shot. Simply pause the game, take a photo, or have a friend take it for you.

Then submit to Sega3DClassics@sega.com with the subject, “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes – 3D After Burner II”. In the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth. Easy!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. See Official Rules at http://blogs.sega.com/?p=20502 for FREE entry. Open to legal residents of the United States, D.C. and any member state within the E.U. excluding residents of U.S. territories, possessions and overseas military installations, 13 years of age or older. Ends 1/29/15 at 11:59:59 PM PT.

Classic Official Rules

Sega of America, Inc.
SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes Series
1st Classic: 3D After Burner II
Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
See Section (3) of these Official Rules for FREE method of entry by email.

(1) Description – Sega of America, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) is offering “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes Series” (the “Classic Promotion Series”). The Classic Promotion Series consist of (8) separate sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”). In all Sweepstakes in the Classic Promotion Series winners will be determined and prizes awarded on the basis of random selection from eligible entrants. The 3D After Burner II Sweepstakes (“Promotion”) begins at 12:00:01 AM Pacific Time (“PT”) on January 15, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 PM PT on January 29, 2014 (“Sweepstakes Period”).

By participating in the Promotion, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. By participating in the Promotion, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Facebook and Promotion Entities (defined below) from any and all damages whether direct or indirect, which may be due to or arise out of participation in the Promotion or any portion thereof, or the acceptance, use/misuse or possession of prizes provided for or in connection with the Promotion. Further, the Promotion Entities do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted by Sponsor or any other Promotion Entities for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

(2) Eligibility – The Promotion is open only to legal residents of the United States, the District of Columbia and any member state within the European Union who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry and individuals between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17) who have the permission to enter of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Official Rules.

Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies (collectively “Promotion Entities”), their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion.

Void in Puerto Rico, all other U.S. territories and possessions, overseas military installations, and where prohibited by law, rule or regulation. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

(3) How to Enter – There are two (2) ways to enter:

Via Game Purchase and Game Play –
• Purchase and play 3D After Burner II. Complete the play in Special Mode and take a photo of yourself playing with the burst meter active anywhere in Special Mode, (your “Special Mode Picture”). To receive one (1) entry send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, attach your Special Mode Picture to the email, enter “Special Mode Entry” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

• Continue game play to complete Special Mode and take a photo at the Mission Complete screen with the Burst Meter visible (your “Mission Complete Picture”). To receive one (1) additional entry send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, attach your Mission Complete Picture to the email, enter “Mission Complete Entry” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

FREE Entry by email –
To enter without a game purchase and game play, to receive one (1) entry send an email send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, enter “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes – 3D After Burner II” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

There is a limit of two (2) entries per person regardless of entry method and a limit of one (1) prize per person for the entire Classic Promotion Series.

Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different/duplicitous e-mail addresses, the use of a sweepstakes service, the use of multiple identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete, late, or contain irregular or invalid information, or are corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

(4) Data Collection – Sponsor collects personal information from you when you enter the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, you agree to all of the terms and conditions of Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For information about how personal information may be used, see Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available at http://www.sega.com/legal/privacy.php

(5) Prizes
– Ten (10) winners will each receive a Sega branded sweatshirt, approximate retail value (“ARV”) is thirty U.S. dollars ($30).

There are a total of ten (10) prizes, with a total ARV of all prizes of three hundred U.S. dollars ($300). The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

(6) Prize Awarding – Winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries conducted by Sponsor on or about March 2, 2015. Potential winners will be contacted within one (1) business day of the drawing by the e-mail address associated with their entry (“Prize Notification”) and provided with a Prize Claim Document (“PCD”), which must be returned to Sponsor within five (5) days of the Prize Notification. If any potential winner is between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17), his/her parent or legal guardian must complete the PCD with his/her information and accept the prize on behalf of their minor. Non-compliance with any of these requirements and/or the return of Prize Notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification, winner’s forfeiture of the prize and (at Sponsor’s sole discretion), and the selection of an alternate winner. Any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded.

Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person, or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

(7) General – All decisions of the Sponsor in any matter relating to this Promotion shall be binding and final. If there are fewer eligible entries than the number of available prizes, any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Sponsor is not responsible for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware, software, or web site. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer or telephone transmissions or technical failure, jumbled, scrambled or misdirected transmissions, late, lost or mis-directed mail, for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, howsoever caused, or other error of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic. Entrants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified. If disqualified for any of the above abuses, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion if any fraud, virus or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Promotion, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to select winners and award prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Promotion and the rights and obligations of Sponsor and entrants will be governed by and controlled by the laws of the state of California, applicable to contracts made and performed therein without reference to the applicable choice of law provisions. All actions, proceedings or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted, without resort to any form of class action, solely within the state courts of California located in San Francisco, California and federal courts located within such state and county with respect to any action, dispute or other matter pertaining to or arising out of the Promotion. In the event any provision of these Official Rules will be held to be unenforceable, these Official Rules will continue in full force and effect without such provision.

(8) Winner Information – Winners will be announced at on or about March 13, 2015.

Sega of America, Inc.
350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

© SEGA. ALL rights reserved. SEGA is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. SEGA, the SEGA logo, and After Burner are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation.

 
   
   
 

Release Date for Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX revealed!

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, a 3D rhythm game developed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS, will be available on store shelves and via digital download in North America on May 26, 2015, followed by Japan and Korea on May 28 and Europe on May 29. In collaboration with Good Smile Company, a popular Japanese figure company, Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX features Miku and all of her friends in their Nendoroid figure style. SEGA will release information about retailer preorder programs at a later date.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX features forty-eight full length versions of fan-favorite songs with multiple game modes and play styles. Game modes include both “Touch Mode” and “Button Mode”, each featuring multiple levels of difficulty and a wealth of customization options. Players are able to adjust difficulty via challenge and support items, change timing indicators and target icons, and swap out vocals in certain songs. Further, players can watch their favorite videos and add scrolling commentary in the Mirai Theater, create unique dance routines in the Dance Studio, and compose their own song phrases in My Tune. The game also features customizable Player Cards which can be shared with the community over StreetPass and kept current via SpotPass.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

For more images, visit our Flickr album here.

 
   
   
 

SEGA 3D Classics – 3D Afterbunner II – A Classic Reborn – Part 2

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

We hope you are as excited as we are for the release of 3D After Burner II this Thursday! Today we continue our SEGA 3D Classics interview, talking about sound design and an all new mode for After Burner II. Enjoy.

Thanks again to Game Watch and Impress, Okunari-san, and Horii-san for their involvement in making these interviews available to our western audience. Special thanks to our producer Sam for translating these interviews for everyone’s enjoyment.

As always, your comments, posts, and replies are always appreciated. Let us know what you think of these interviews, and the games themselves!

A Present from Hiro-shishou: Sound Data with a Melody!

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Above is Namiki-san, who joined the recording session this time. Below is Chibi-Tech-san.

– Alright, let’s bring in the sound director, Manabu Namiki, to join the conversation. Can you tell us about making the sound for 3D After Burner II?

Manabu Namiki (below MN): Similar to past projects such as 3D Space Harrier, 3D Super Hang-On, and the Giga Drive games, I’ve been overseeing the sound efforts. We started by recording the sounds from the After Burner II arcade cabinet itself. For all the previous titles, my colleague Chibi-Tech, and Matsuoka, the director, would take a trip down to SEGA’s long term storage facility and record all the sounds that the motors, buttons, and triggers make. But for After Burner II, I had a chance to go with them and climb into those machines, trigger the sounds, and record them.

This was different than what we’d done in the past, since I was able to see the machine myself and record things in the best conditions possible. With the help from Wavemaster’s Tsujisaka-san, I was able to actually to turn off the cooling fans as well, which are always a source of noise. But the way the cabinet is designed, some of these fans aren’t easy to just turn on and off. There’s the risk of electric shock, and you might even get injured because the cabinet itself moves. So we weren’t able to get them ALL off, but enough to get a clear recording.

– I see.

MN: If you turn on the environmental sounds in 3D After Burner II, when it’s idling, you can hear the fans, as well as the machinery that drives the cabinet. This is actually recorded from a real machine. This too is part of the environmental sounds.

– You had those in 3D Galaxy Force II as well. Those sounds are really cool. Personally, I think having them makes all the difference, and really leaves you with a different impression. When you hear them, it really gets you excited.

NH: Though, there are those who just want to hear the game’s sounds unaltered.

MN: And for those users, all you have to do is go into the game options and adjust the balance and volumes to your own preferences.

– Now that you actually attended the recording yourself, was there anything different that you noticed?

MN: There weren’t any big surprises, but we really were blessed by the location itself and the condition of the cabinets. The SEGA staff at the warehouse even took considerations to provide us with a room that didn’t have too much acoustic reverberation. And as a result, I think we were able to get a better recording than previous attempts.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

YO: Now that you mention it, we had earthquakes or rain during past recordings. It was pretty rough.

NH: Though we made efforts during the recording so you’d not notice.

– Like when you put blankets over the cabinets for the Galaxy Force II recording.

YO: Oh, and here’s a little something that some fans have been asking for, but in 3D After Burner II, you can actually adjust the balance of the background music (BGM) and sound effects (SE) for the sound source emulator. So now the equalizer and balancer actually coexist.

MN: That’s the result of the work of Saito, our programmer.

YO: When we released 3D Space Harrier and 3D Super Hang-On, we got feedback where users would say, “The SE is too loud, I just want to turn the SE down a bit.” This is a very common feature in modern games. But when you talk about emulated games, the truth is this isn’t something that’s typically possible.

MN: In 3D Space Harrier and 3D Super Hang-On, both the BGM and SE are played through the same sound source just like the original hardware, so there isn’t a clear distinction between the two in the first place. So there’s no separate volume controls.

YO: However, we streamed the background music for 3D Galaxy Force II, with the SE being run through the internal sound source, so it was possible to change the balance between them. But you couldn’t use the equalizer since streaming is just playing back a recording.

MN: But for 3D After Burner II, our programmer set out to make it a reality. This is a pretty big step forward on the sound front for the 3D Remaster Project.

NH: One might ask why we don’t just create two sound sources, one specifically for BGM and one for SE. But this poses a problem for speed and optimization, so having two ultimately isn’t very realistic.

– Wait, so how exactly are you now able to change the balance?

MN: From a software point of view, there is no distinction between the SE and BGM, so we had to go in and say, “This is a sound… This is music…” Then we mark the places where it seems like we would be able to control the volume, and go in and swap out the code and data. It’s just the result of all the previous work and know-how we’ve accumulated on these projects, combined with old-fashioned hard work to find a way to make it happen.

There is this aspect of the 3D Remaster Project where we can’t do something initially, but as we handle more projects we find a way to do it. We knew that we couldn’t do everything right out the door, so we accomplish them one by one, knowing that accomplishments now will enable future accomplishments. Knowing that last time, we couldn’t do something, but this time we nailed it. It’s like one long road, and we’re traveling down it in a quest to achieve the ultimate remastering.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Fully featured sound options.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
And, of course, a sound equalizer.

– 3D Galaxy Force II utilized streaming for its music, but you’ve gone back to emulating everything for 3D After Burner II. Was there anything different work-wise for you on 3D After Burner II?

MN: Since I’d built up experience working on Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and Galaxy Force II, I feel like I was able to bring all those experiences and apply them to After Burner II, a game that was between Super Hang-On and Galaxy Force II in the timeline. I had a lot of trouble with Galaxy Force II.

NH: Trouble, was it? (laughs) That’s putting it lightly.

All: (Laughs)

MN: There are things I’d not have cued in on if I hadn’t worked on Galaxy Force II first, but I can now. And this isn’t just me. I think it goes for the rest of the development staff as well.

YO: Yes, it’s been multi-year process going back to the PlayStation 2 days.

MN: There’s one more point from the sound team about 3D After Burner II I want all the users out there to know about. We’ve implemented a low-pass filter for the first time in the “physical experience” game series in the 3D Remaster Project.

A “low-pass filter” is something we actually put into the Giga Drive* titles about halfway through. On 3D Altered Beast, we were working on the Mega Drive’s rather unique “DA,” a component of the PCM that sounds really rough and scratchy. When we got that working on the 3DS, though, it didn’t sound the way we were expecting.

* For more information about the Giga Drive, please refer to our previous blog posts: http://blogs.sega.com/2013/12/03/sega-3d-classics-%E2%80%93-3d-sonic-the-hedgehog-interview-with-developer-m2/

YO: We touched on it a bit during the 3D Altered Beast interview. For the first game, 3D Sonic the Hedgehog, it didn’t sound particularly off when we played it straight, but for 3D Altered Beast, Namiki-san said, “This won’t cut it.”

MN: Yeah. So I was thinking about how to go in and adjust that. For the FM sound source as well, I noticed that the emulated sound and sound that I recorded straight off an actual Mega Drive sound quite different.
Eventually, I implemented a low-pass filter. Simply put, it’s a filter that cuts out the high frequencies, and lets the low ones through. The audiophiles out there will understand, but by putting this in, it’s sort of like taking the “Tone” knob on a cassette player or an amp and adjusting the treble. As a result, I think we got closer to how the Mega Drive actually sounds.

NH: It made it much better.

MN: Only people on the development team heard what it was like before we put the filter in, so let me try to explain what the differences are to the users out there. When it wasn’t in, the treble was pretty strong and it sounded like things were almost too clear. Some people might feel that’s OK, but when you play the sound off a board and compare it to a recording off the 3DS, there’s a difference. By putting a filter on After Burner II, I feel like it’s much closer to the actual machine itself.

With the sampling frequency used on arcade boards from the After Burner II era, the ROMS back then weren’t all that large, so for things like distorted guitars, percussion sounds, or sound effects, they had to think about what level of sound quality they wanted. And while I think Hiro-shishou* probably put a lot of work into it, the sound quality possible on the original hardware, and the quality we can currently get through software simulation is quite different. So I think this is a worthwhile point of pursuit.

There is a soundtrack released by Wavemaster called AFTER BURNER 20th Anniversary Box. I think we’ve got the 3D After Burner II sound to a point where if you take the arcade version sound off that soundtrack and compare with sound from the headphone jack on a 3DS, you’ll think it was pretty close. I think it’s very close to the sound we recorded straight off the arcade board. I’m pretty happy with what we were able to do. The low-pass filter has some constraints on it, so we can’t use it everywhere we might want to, but it still makes a big difference.
* Hiroshi Kawaguchi, After Burner II’s original composer. ‘Shishou’ is a term similar to ‘sensei’ and denotes reverence.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

– What exactly causes the output to change if you are faithfully emulating the FM sound source and bringing in the PCM data from the original chipset?

MN: The sounds are always converted to analog through the board’s circuitry, but the digital-to-analog converter and the wiring after that can have a pretty big differentiating effect on the sound. It can be a challenge to do this through software where you are replicating the analog circuitry due to CPU power restraints, even with the know-how we’ve built up. If you want to get very detailed, you’d have to emulate all the various components of the circuitry, such as the condensers and the individual resistors. We’re talking about silicon-level emulation here. So instead of all that, we tried 3DS’s pre-equipped low-pass filter instead.

– And you found that to be pretty effective, it seems. Not only where you able to achieve the sound quality you were looking for, but it sounds like you were able to revive two songs that had melodies through the internal sound source?

MN: Well, that story started with our director, Matsuoka, telling us that we were going to be emulating the music this time for After Burner II.

NH: It’s always better when a game’s file size is small*! This is something that our main programmer, Saito, worked himself to death over. If the file is really big, it eats up time during our own functionality checks. Saito exploded at one point saying, “That’s just unacceptable!” and demonstrated his prowess with a lot of optimization work, which ultimately saved us a lot of time overall.
*Streamed music results in a larger file size.

– It’s also nice for the consumers because it doesn’t eat up a lot of space on their SD cards.

NH: It certainly took more time to download 3D Galaxy Force II from the eShop compared to the other games in the series, so that was another reason Saito attacked this problem with a vengeance.

MN: I had no problem with taking the emulation route [for After Burner II], but when they started talking about these ‘melody versions,’ then it was sort of a problem. As we mentioned, there were soundtrack CDs for After Burner II that were released, and these CDs had BGM versions with melodies that were not present in the arcade version. These ‘melody versions’ did not actually exist in either the Japanese or overseas versions of the ROM. This leads one to believe that they existed only in the original developer’s data. I thought that this data may well be lost to the world and didn’t exist anymore. But surprisingly, it did still exist and Okunari-san provided it to us.

YO: It turns out that the CD version of AFTER BURNER 20th Anniversary Box was digitally re-recorded, and these ‘melody versions’ were supposedly the hardest part of the remastering effort. The original composer, Hiro-shishou, actually had the original 1987 data. That is, on an ancient 8” floppy disc (laughs).

– An 8” floppy!? (laughs) Wow, that takes me back.

YO: The fact that the original data was even saved in the first place is a bit of a miracle, but playing it back was quite a task. After a lot of work from the Wavemaster staff, they were able to retrieve the data off the floppy and restore the sound data. They then used that to re-record the tracks for the CD Boxset. We subsequently received a request from M2, who thought there must be some data since it had gone through a new recording. So I was able to give them the music without having to deal with the trouble of getting the floppy to play the data.

NH: In order to use a song that didn’t exist in the original game, we needed to reach out to Hiro-shishou and get his permission to use the data. Once we did that, we converted it to a ROM that’d run on the original arcade board.

YO: When we say “sound data,” we mean that back then they used the ICE (in-circuit emulator: hardware that emulates embedded circuitry; aka. a development kit) to build the data out, but they didn’t go so far as to build the ROM data that would actually run on the machine.

MN: I had them show me the data they recovered from the floppy, and it wasn’t final data that could be burnt onto the final ROM, or play on a mass-produced arcade board. I think what they had on that first CD was a recording off a development board that used an ICE. That’s probably what the final melody version was. So what I had to do was go and convert the data to something that would run on a mass-produced arcade board, and that’s what’s being emulated on 3DS.

YO: So the version in there with the melody included is without a doubt the original data. You could take our version and swap it in with the sound ROM on an actual arcade board and it would actually play.

NH: Though we’ve never actually burnt a ROM.

YO: We are talking about emulation here, so you can actually toggle the extra BGM on and off mid-game. You can’t change the songs while it’s playing, but you can switch it without resetting. For example, if you switch it ON while you’re playing the first stage, it will play the melody version of “After Burner” when you get to stage 4.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

– So you’re saying that you’re not just muting the melody for the no-melody version, but there are actually two separate versions in the game?

YO: That’s right. And if you want to get really specific, the difference doesn’t stop at whether or not the melody is playing.

MN: Yes, that’s right. Even I don’t have a complete grasp on all the full contents of the data.

YO: It seems like they probably built and finished the one with the melody first, and then when they cut the melody out for production, they went back and touched up spots that seemed off to them.

MN: It’s probably not just the melody channel being muted, but rather it’s properly adjusted so that other things are using the track that the melody portion was residing in. They are completely separate pieces of data.

YO: It’s like you can see the progression of the sound from After Burner, to the completed melody version, to After Burner II.

MN: In my head, I feel like they went back and put a little more work into it when it was going to be put on the album. Even for the version without the melody, the volume balances are a little different, though it’s quite subtle. But the differences are so insignificant you could hardly call it a different piece of data. And if we’d not actually gone and opened up the hood and peered inside, we never would have known. And even now that we have opened the hood, we still don’t really know the whole story. (laughs)

NH: Basically we took the parts we thought were the most important, converted them into data, and got them running on 3DS.

MN: Yes, that’s right. And as a result, you can switch between versions with and without the melody while you are playing the game. It’s something we weren’t able to do before, but we were able to do it this time.

NH: I’m glad we got that in.

– This is sort of like how you guys got HAYA OH in for 3D Space Harrier, so fans of the game back then are going to be happy to hear this… And the fact that these things that could actually run on the arcade boards are being emulated.

YO: I heard once they dropped the melody out because the noisy environment of an arcade would have drowned it out, and they also wanted to capture what at the time felt like a real, gritty battle. But I think it really works on a 3DS now that I’ve played it. It feels natural when you are just casually playing the game in your home. By default, it is set to the arcade spec with no melody, but you can set it to how you want, whether you want to relive the arcade days or try something new.

– This is sort of a unique situation because it was the 80s when this music was originally made.

MN: The music back in 1987 was heavily influenced by this strong interest in Western music, especially hard rock, so there was a strong preference for that kind of sound. Music has gone through a lot of transitional changes over the past 20 years, and people have much more refined tastes. What I mean is that I think people are a little more open-minded when it comes to music. I’d like to think people would naturally think ABII is just fine with a melody in it.

– A lot certainly has happened.

MN: I think it’s going to be hard for those out there who are playing After Burner II for the first time, for those who have never sat in an original arcade cabinet, to really understand the environmental sounds. But for those who know what it was like back then, for people who have sat in the arcade machines in the 3D Remaster Project and know what it’s like, 3D After Burner II takes things to the next level. From the actual motor sounds, to the sounds of the thing moving, there’s more in there than any title to date. We went in and thoroughly balanced all the control sounds and the sounds from the game itself, so I want everyone to go in and try playing it with headphones, with the environmental sounds on while in the “Double Cradle” arcade cab at least once. It really gives you the feeling of sitting in the machine and playing the game. When I play it myself, my body remembers what it was like to feel the machine move, because the whole thing felt so real. I feel like I can even remember how the machine smelled. Though, I have a fresh memory of it since I got to play it recently when we went to SEGA’s storage warehouse.

All: (Laughs)

– Thank you so much.

Rearranging Game Resources to Create a New Game Experience with the Special Mode!

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Play a new kind of After Burner II with Special Mode!

– Alright, I think it’s about time we talk about the Special Mode for this game.

YO: You could say it takes After Burner II’s gameplay and makes it more interesting. It certainly extends the gameplay.

– I’m not sure how to put it, but it sounds like you’ve added a “Burst” to the game while keeping the missile management and lock-on controls close to the original version. Similar to After Burner Climax, “Burst Mode” slows down the action, right?

NH: That’s right.

YO: The fun of After Burner II is all about locking on to enemies and shooting them down, so we really focused on that. Basically, we’ve gone and turned up the rhythm a bit. We’ve adjusted the enemy squadrons so they keep rushing at you as you blast through the stage.

We’ve also made locking on to things much easier. Horii-san mentioned earlier that if you are having trouble locking onto things, just lower the difficulty. But in Special Mode, the lock-on box is always the same as Arcade Mode’s easiest setting. So you can easily lock on to everything. It’s tuned so you can just keep locking on and firing missiles until you run out.

– It gives everything a new rhythm.

YO: There’s also a “rival” plane.

– You took the original game’s bonus stage, and added a rival plane. (laughs)

NH: It is most certainly not a bonus now. (laughs)

YO: Well, it was a bonus in the original game. (laughs)

– You can’t just sit there and fire off missiles and get by, right?

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
You will build your Burst Meter as you defeat enemies, and excuting Burst Mode will slow down everything but you!

YO: Well, if you use your missiles wisely to set off chain explosions and build the Burst Meter…

– So you’re saying that it lends itself to a play style where you address enemy groups one by one. I certainly felt that it had a different kind of gameplay compared to the arcade version. So this is the first “Project Grantanoff”* aspect of this second round of games.*
* “Grantanoff” was character added to the Mark III version of After Burner. Okunari-san wanted this character added to 3D After Burner II, asking M2, “Where’s Grantanoff?” on a weekly basis. Okunari-san dubbed it “Project Grantanoff.” Unfortunately Grantanoff didn’t make it into 3D After Burner II, but it became a code word for adding extra content to the games, such as HAYA OH in 3D Space Harrier, or the moving arcade cabinets.

YO: For 3D After Burner II, I wanted to do something different than just the stereoscopic 3D and the moving arcade cabinet, which we’ve done before. The idea behind “Project Grantanoff” is that we need something in there that hasn’t been in a port to-date, and this special mode is M2’s answer. It’s different than HAYA OH. It’s more of a remixed version of After Burner II.

– When we originally discussed HAYA OH, Horii-san spoke about how you took existing boss routines and recombined them, but for 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode, you actually had to remake all the enemy squadrons and change the sprite palette to monochrome for the Burst Mode. You basically had to do a thorough analysis of the original After Burner II and build a completely separate mode that might even run on the original arcade board.

NH: Yes, that’s right. We were able to dive pretty deep into it due to the results of our analysis. You could say it gave us an oxygen tank for the dive, in a way.

YO: Not only can you enjoy playing a port of the original game, you can experience this new presentation as a 2013 version of After Burner II. It also really brings out what makes After Burner II interesting. If you go back and look at interviews with the developers back then, they talk about the things they wanted to do but couldn’t. One of those was “dog fights.” They said they ran out of time to do it. They talk about how fighter planes are all about dog fights.
I don’t know how far the original developers thought about it at the time, but we decided to actually do that, within After Burner II’s architecture.

– Hearing you guys talk about this is reminding me of the SEGA AGES 2500’s System-16 version of Fantasy Zone II, but this is still a little different, isn’t it?

YO: That System-16 version was built around the idea of “what if this game existed in the 80s?” So while we were working within the limitations of yesteryear hardware, we weren’t applying modern game design concepts. Let me give you an example: these days having a boss that has two forms would be a given, so if M2 did their best, they might be able to make a boss that had two forms with various kinds of attacks, even on the System-16. But in the 80s, bosses having only one attack pattern was the norm and characteristic of the style of the time, so you have to stay true to that. That’s the difference between that game and the concept behind 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode.

The concept behind this Special Mode does little to change what made the game originally interesting, but instead brings it out in a modern way. On the other hand, After Burner II does actually have a sequel: After Burner Climax. That game was praised for the fact that it kept the fun of After Burner II while adding in Climax Mode. That’s something we took into consideration as 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode took shape.

NH: Yeah, it’s sort of like putting the pieces back together in a different way.

– That said, I feel like if there was a Special Mode back then, then this would have been it. And in that way it feels similar to the “what if?” aspect of Fantasy Zone II. But on the other hand, it also feels like what you get if After Burner Climax’s Climax Mode was redone in a world of 2D sprites.

YO: Well, it’s not as if we set out trying to remake it.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Rival fighters also make an appearance

– Figuring out how to use this new system seems like it’ll be a point of enjoyment for people. Spending time to figure out how to attack each stage is sort of cathartic in its own way.

YO: The Special Mode isn’t something made by Yu Suzuki, After Burner II’s original designer. Out Run has a sequel called Turbo Out Run that runs on the same architecture but was made by a different designer, and they are pretty different in terms of gameplay. In the same way, 3D After Burner II and its Special Mode are pretty different. But unlike Turbo Out Run, we didn’t change the game itself, but instead further brought out and expressed the good aspects of After Burner II.

NH: We were able to take a fresh look at this game and do what we did because of the efforts of our main programmer, Saito, and this guy named Hiroshi Iuchi, who is a designer who comes from a different background.

– Wait… What? You’re saying that the Iuchi-san had a hand in working on this Special Mode?*
* Hiroshi Iuchi is a Japanese game designer and director who is known for his work on Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, and Gradius V. He currently is associated with M2. He recently worked on a title called Kokuga at G.rev, with Namiki-san working on sound.

NH: Both Saito and Iuchi added their own content into the Special Mode. Iuchi joined mid-way through the project. While Saito said he wanted to put in something similar to Climax from the very beginning, Iuchi came along and said, “I wanna see some dogfights.” So in the end, both got put in and Iuchi did the balancing.

YO: There’s some interesting chemistry going on there.

– Wow, this has gotten pretty serious.

YO: 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode is a great example of a “Grantanoff” for this second round of games.

– Even I’m really interested to see how the players are going to react to it. HAYA OH sort of came out of nowhere, but at the same time people thought it was awesome. For this Special Mode, the base game is still After Burner II but the gameplay is different. It’s quite a different beast.

YO: While the base concept behind a port is the same as Nintendo’s Virtual Console, for the 3D Remaster Project, we want to make sure there’s one or two twists in there. This project started from the idea that adding stereoscopic 3D would fundamentally change a game. But we need to be offering something new that makes you want to go and play these games again, even though some of them have been ported many times in the past. So we need to put in something to make that happen.

The same goes for movies; you buy a DVD for a movie you love, and you watch it over and over. But then it comes out on Blu-ray and it has special scenes, interviews, and other content. People love that. But having worked on the PlayStation 2 era SEGA AGES and SEGA AGES ONLINE series, I realize that the time of impressing people with just collector content has passed.

It’s not a given that the fans are simply going to be satisfied with what you bring out. You need to bring something they haven’t done before. You need surprises. It’s all about peeking into this world unknown, like the players who were surprised and delighted when they stumbled upon HAYA OH in 3D Space Harrier, or people who played 3D Galaxy Force II and realized for the first time, “Wow, so this is what Galaxy Force II is” because it was something new now that it had 3D. That’s what we are going for. I want to see more of this.

3D After Burner II’s Special Mode will make you think, “I never realized you could make this kind of fun with After Burner II,” and, “Now I can enjoy an After Burner II I never knew.” There’s fun in that. And on the other hand, if you’ve only played After Burner Climax, then you can play this version as well.

NH: By putting things in that don’t necessarily follow what you remember about the game, you ensure that people will spend more time playing it. Yes, it’s sort of a bonus side feature, but for an early game such as After Burner II, if you don’t go about it correctly, it’s ultimately probably not going to feel right.
YO: I’m not really sure if people reading our interviews have already played Special Mode, but for those out there who are on the fence, I just want them to know that there is an After Burner II here that you haven’t played before.

And going forward, the concept behind this second batch is that we can continue to provide you with consistent deliveries of these sorts of games, all at a competitive low price. We have multiple projects running in tandem with different designers on them, so we hope you guys stay tuned to see what kind of “Grantanoffs” we deliver next.

NH: Just you wait and see!

YO: We’re going to go on another dive, so stay tuned. Next up is the 10th installment.

NH: Oh damn it! I forgot to bring up Thunder Blade this time!

YO: And of course, the 10th game is not Thunder Blade. Neither is the 11th. So no need to stay tuned for that.

– (laughs) Thank you very much, gentlemen. See you all next time!

 
   
   
 

New Alien: Isolation Challenge Mode is Available this Week with ‘Safe Haven’

Alien: Isolation - Safe Haven Add-on

‘Safe Haven’, the third of five Survivor Mode add-on packs for Alien: Isolation, is now available to download. ‘Safe Haven’ introduces the Salvage Challenge, a new way to play Survivor Mode, tasking players to complete a series of ten challenges without dying. With the clock ticking and wave after wave of opponents standing in your way, death has never felt quite so final.

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‘Safe Haven’ introduces a new playable character in Hughes, Sevastopol Station’s Communications Manager. Trapped in a safe room on the lower decks of the Station, his only chance of escape is to take on ten tasks provided to him through the communications terminal. Each task will require stealth and cunning, confronting a series of the stations toughest and most resilient foes as he works to restore communications and escape his confinement.

‘Safe Haven’ is the third add-on pack for Alien: Isolation’s Survivor Mode, and sets the bar high with a far larger challenge map and a new game mode to test the mettle of Sevastopol’s most skilful survivors. With only one life to play with, each challenge accepted brings with it a new objective and enemy type where one wrong move can, quite literally, be your last. Completing challenges unlocks rewards and points, giving access to new items to collect and craft. Should players score enough points, they can be traded for a save slot at the expense of their final score and position on Alien: Isolation’s leaderboards.

Alien: Isolation - Safe Haven Add-on

Alien: Isolation is the multi-award-winning first-person survival horror game with end of year awards from PC Gamer, Official Xbox Magazine, Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, IGN (Sweden), Destructoid, Official PlayStation Magazine (UK), Time Magazine, New Statesman, The Guardian, Game Reactor (Germany, Sweden, Finland), Games Radar, Edge Magazine and many more. With over 50 Game of the Year accolades, the press and public have commended the return to form of Ridley Scott’s terrifying creature. Set on board a decommissioned trading station in the fringes of space, players find themselves in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger as an unpredictable, ruthless Alien is stalking and killing deep in the shadows. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.

Alien: Isolation is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

 
   
   
 


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