Wednesday Sep 16, 2009
BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom is Available Now!
BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom is now out and available in stores and available for everyone to pick up and play. As you might not know, our newest BLEACH game contains an original storyline created specifically for the Nintendo DS, and follows two playable unique Soul Reapers in a turn based adventure. Why unique? You’ll have to play and see for yourself!
Along the way, you’ll encounter over 50 characters that can assist you in your travels, which covers both single and multiplayer modes. There is a lot in store for BLEACH fans and fans of the tactical turn based genre, one that we think everyone will enjoy.
Our BLEACH Contest is Complete!
Today is also the end of our Ready to Rock with BLEACH Contest to award one lucky entrant a very special Guitar! Over the past two weeks we’ve had well over 900 submissions, which is more than any contest we’ve run to date! We’re really excited to award the guitar and will be posting an update in the weeks to come. Thanks to everyone who submitted for the contest and best up luck in winning our big prize!
Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
I have to say that I really enjoyed the trip to Seattle. We had nice weather, met cool people, got to eat great food – and, on Sunday morning, we were treated to some awesome (and free) doughnuts!
Here are the last pictures from Day 3 of PAX – and our last day in Seattle!
We hopped our evening flight and got back into San Francisco near 10 PM. Thankfully, the next day was Labor Day, so we got a bit of time to recover before coming back in to work bright and early this morning.
Our thanks go out once more to all the cosplayers and the fans who came out to see us at the show! Enjoy the swag, guys – you earned it! The full list of pictures can be found here on Flickr.
So then, I guess we’ll go ahead and announce the next big show we’ll have SOA presence at: Later this month, check back here for even more SEGA community blogs from one of biggest gaming shows in Japan – The Tokyo Game Show!
Until next time – I need to start catching up on my Japanese!
Sunday Sep 06, 2009
I have to admit that I really like Seattle. The scenery is beautiful, the city is nice, and it’s nowhere near as polluted as that one other city I once lived in for a summer – Seattle really is a very cool place.
It was raining this morning, but was mostly light and we hopped in the car to drive over and start getting ready for the Alpha Protocol sessions. I left from there to move over to the SEGA Booth at the convention, where I’d be stationed and taking pictures for the rest of the day. That said – let’s get to it!
Crowds gather quickly around Bayonetta as Matsumoto (left) passes out special postcards.
I talked SEGA with this Destructoid community member for a good 20 minutes – his name tag is also pretty funny, you can see it in more detail here.
More Bleach cosplay! Ikkaku dropped by to hang with Kon and the gang at the SEGA booth!
I’ll be impressed if you recognize this one quickly. Any ideas? (The Shadow plushie is a hint.) This girl is actually cosplaying Maria, first shown in Sonic Adventure 2!
4:30 PM meant one thing only – Phantasy Star Trivia! The guys went head to head, and Jonathan (on the left) emerged the victor! Both went home with free swag, and Jonathan scored a PSU Figurine!
I spotted this Sonic fan passing by the booth, and had to grab a picture – these hats (Sonic, at least) were really hard to find last week in Toronto!
More Bayonetta! The stations stayed completely full for the entire day – a testament to the fact that the people at PAX are definitely true gamers. We had a number of people echo sentiments from last week’s Fan Expo, specifically saying that they thought Bayonetta beat God of War 3 in every way!
A look at part of Bayonetta’s costume. A hardcore fan who actually knows about the character she’s cosplaying just makes me happy. She also did an excellent job disappointing passerby who thought she was just a dumb booth babe they could flirt with, and whose favorite game would be “pong”. We’ll be doing a special interview with her soon to talk about how she made the costume and inspiration behind her passion!
The Phantasy Star guys chat it up and talk PSU, PSP, updates, and more. Also, we heard you like Rappies.
A group of Alpha Protocol fans who scored themselves some free T-shirts. We asked if we could just grab a picture of them holding the shirts, but they all wanted to put them on instead. No arguments there!
As the hours passed and the show was about to end, we all got together for a group shot. I’d like to give special thanks to all the cosplayers here – once again, awesome job! Oh, and keep your eyes peeled tomorrow for a special video of Kon riding a mechanical bull. It’s just as awesome as it sounds, I promise.
For the full set of today’s pictures, including more pictures from Bayonetta’s fan costume, check out our Flickr set, here!
We’ll be flying back to San Francisco tomorrow – but that still leaves one last day for pictures, meet-ups, and trivia! Speaking of Trivia, Valkyria Chronicles Trivia is tomorrow at 11:00 AM, and General SEGA Trivia starts at noon. Good luck to all those competing for the rare swag we’ve brought along!
More pics, news, blogs, and one super-awesome video coming tomorrow!
Saturday Sep 05, 2009
Hello Seattle! Yesterday Clumsy and I flew in from San Francisco to start setting up for the start of PAX – and today, when the floodgates finally opened, things got busy – but awesome.
I should preface this by saying that this was actually my first visit to PAX. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but overall everyone seems really nice and you can totally feel the gamer vibe here, as opposed to some Comic-cons, which are more of a hybrid and mix with the comics and movies. Still, a gamer vibe was awesome news in my book – it meant lots more SEGA fans to chat with, and some sweet cosplayers who came by our booth to help promote some of our games!
We’ll have more pics and stories from the show tomorrow here on the blogs – until then, it’s getting late and I’m off to get some sleep. You can also find the full set of pictures here on our Flickr page.
Monday Aug 31, 2009
SEGA is headed to the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this week! Featured at the show is the community team, swag, and a few of our favorite games are going to be on display at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo, starting Sept 4th, 5th, and ending on the 6th. This is your chance to meet our team, get some hands on time with our games, and pick up some special Swag!
We have a few community projects in store for Sega fans, including some ways to pick up some Sega swag and even play Alpha Protocol in a special offsite event.
Play upcoming SEGA Games at the Expo
At the Expo we’ll have some of our upcoming SEGA games fully playable for you to enjoy! Bayonetta, Phantasy Star Zero, Sands of Destruction, and BLEACH: The Third Phantom are all fully playable from the show floor! If you missed these games at Comic-con or have been dying to get your hands on them, this is your chance.
SEGA, Phantasy Star, and Valkyria Trivia!
We’ll be hosting three unique Trivia contests at the expo – one for general SEGA knowledge, one for the Phantasy Star fans, and one in celebration of our awesome dedicated Valkyria Chronicles community! The winners will all go home with rare swag specially selected for their trivia contest! We’re having different trivia per day, so be sure to head on over for the Trivia session you have the most knowledge of:
Friday: Valkyria Chronicles Trivia – 3pm – 4pm
Play Alpha Protocol & Meet Obsidian Entertainment!
In addition to the excellent games on the floor, we are giving Sega fans a unique chance to play a game we are all very excited about, Alpha Protocol! In a secret offsite location, we’ll have several stations set up throughout the 4th and 5th to provide you with an extended play session of the game, give you some time with Obsidian Entertainment, and some Alpha Protocol Swag.
Meet your hander, Ruby Eclipse…
To secure your spot at our Alpha Protocol community event, you’ll need to first find your handler. Stationed at the SEGA Booth with PAX, blending in with the crowd, you will find Ruby Eclipse (pictured above in casual Sega attire) who is waiting for a very specific phrase to confirm your identity as a Sega community member. Your job, should you choose to accept it, will be to find Ruby and tell him the following phrase:
“The Adirondacks are beautiful this time of year.”
If successful, his response will be:
“Yes, but the Alps are lovely all year long.”
Once confirmed you’ll be given the details of the event and put on the list for attendance and given an Alpha Protocol T-Shirt (while supplies last).
We’ll have multiple play sessions available on both Friday and Saturday, so don’t delay – find Ruby, make the handshake, confirm your spot, and play Alpha Protocol before anyone else.
Cosplay SEGA Style!
Just like San Diego and New York, we’ll be posting times for Meet and Greets at the SEGA booth, where you’ll be able to say hi in person, chat about your favorite SEGA games, and talk / ask about anything else SEGA-related you want. (Yes, even Shenmue.) Anyone who shows up to one of our Meet and Greets in costume as a SEGA Character will be going home with something extra special! Bonus swag will also be given out to anyone who cosplays Valkyria Chronicles, Phantasy Star, Bayonetta, Sands of Destruction, or Sonic the Hedgehog!
Bayonetta Score Attack
We’re giving out GAMER T-Shirts (while supplies last) for players who can beat our set score for top halos earned in our demo after beating the first boss. Simply head to the booth at the designated times and check in with Ruby Eclipse, if you can grab best our score, you’ll instantly win a T-Shirt. Here are the rules & times:
Friday: 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 3pm
See You at the Show!
We’re really excited to head out to Seattle and see everyone at PAX. We’ve got a lot to do for SEGA fans, so don’t delay in getting out to our booth, heading to one of our Alpha Protocol events, and picking up some sweet swag.
Saturday Aug 29, 2009
As of this morning, I have been ‘officially’ welcomed to Canada. This ritual requires a little something called a Double Double and a Maple doughnut (with filling) from Tim Horton’s – and they were both quite awesome. So first up, special thanks to the segashiro guys once again for bringing in those for me – that was seriously my entire lunch, and a very tasty one! So, check this out. Apparently the line to get in today was absolute chaos – due in no small part to a low amount of volunteers guiding people around. I managed to get a few pictures of the madness, and keep in mind this is at about 11 AM – a whole hour after the show had already started! That line winds alllllll the way around the room, and was just the line to get to the building the con was in! Once you got to that building, there was another line that was about a 30 minute wait just to get inside! Thankfully, once in the first time you could get a stamp that would let you in much faster – but still, talk about one heck of a line, right? I think this picture speaks for itself. (Yes, that is a real tattoo.) For reference: SEGA Tattoo = instant swag if you find me at a show. Next, I had a cool chat with some guys about the future of Phantasy Star and SEGA, and hooked them up with some Rappies once one of them mentioned that he used to skip school just to go play the old Phantasy Star games on Genesis. Does anyone else give you free swag for skipping school? I think not!
Right behind our booth is an awesome import store with all sorts of classic games and systems. With the anniversary of the Dreamcast coming up, I thought this shot was quite appropriate – note the SEGA Saturn on the right too!
So many classics! I own at least nine of these DC games, and they’re pretty much all awesome.
At 4:00 PM, we started our SEGA Trivia! The turnout was much bigger than I expected, and ended up filling a huge part of our booth – when all was said and done, we gave everyone who entered a free SEGA sticker and other free stuff for joining! Here’s the group shot, with the winners below it: Me: On three…. one, two, three! Them: “SEEEEEGAAAAAAAA!” Our SEGA Trivia winners! (First to third, starting on the left) After the SEGA Trivia was over, we spread the love to a fantastic SEGA game known as Valkyria Chronicles! All three of our winners scored themselves a limited edition Valkyria Artbook, and everyone else who entered also got some free stuff to take back with them: The VC Trivia winners – First place in the middle, second on the left, and third on the right. On the way up to do some podcast recording, I ran across two guys with some Knuckles and Shadow hats – as it turns out, they had plushies to match:
I sat down with the guys below to record a podcast and talk about SEGA, our games at the show, and the growing importance of community for both SEGA and the games industry as a whole. They had a Coke waiting for me when I arrived, so what better way to say thank you than… Moar rappies! As the evening began, I noticed one guy who had shown up at the booth at least three different times over the last day. He told me he was trying to beat his own personal record on the Megaton score for Bayonetta’s Climax attacks – and then he proceeded to rock a 750! (For those who haven’t played, you button mash X as fast as you can to get a high megaton score. Most people have trouble just getting 500!) I took a picture of him getting a 650 just afterwards – good luck on your goal of 800 tomorrow amigo!
The show closed just after 7 PM tonight, and we shut things down to head out for some dinner. There was a really cool view of the city skyline from outside, so I grabbed a shot of it:
After dinner, what better way to end the day than Cheesecake, right? It may not have been as good as Jr.’s Cheesecake that Kellie and I had at NYCC, but it was still pretty awesome eating cheesecake outside in the nice Toronto weather.
With the day at an end, I went back to the hotel to post the pics, write up this blog, and settle in. Tomorrow is the last day of the convention, and after that I’ll be heading home, so the third and final blog in this series will probably arrive late Sunday night or sometime Monday. Thanks again to everyone who visited the booth and said hello today! I even took extra swag, and you guys managed to make me run out a day before the show ended.
Friday Aug 28, 2009
What a crazy last 48 hours life has been.
It all started with a midnight train ride to the airport, which led to boarding my plane at 5 AM, then to hopping planes in Denver, arriving in Toronto at 4 PM, spending an hour on the metro to get to my hotel, and finally heading over to the convention center. I have been awake now for a consecutive total of almost forty hours. That said – it’s been well worth it.
The first thing I saw when I arrived at the SEGA Booth were two people wearing Knuckles and Tails hats. Generally, the rule of thumb is that anytime you see someone with a hat like that, things are either about to get totally awesome or totally awkward. Thankfully, it was the former, as I was just about to finally meet DJ Fob Fresh from segashiro.com! Besides talking for a good hour with them about everything SEGA, they were even kind enough to hook me up with an epic SEGASHIRO T-shirt – like the ones they’re wearing here!
I also got a few pictures of the SEGA Booth, which has four playable Bayonetta stations, two DS systems rocking Bleach: The 3rd Phantom, and one DS system each for Phantasy Star Zero and Sands of Destruction!
As the convention was wrapping up for the day, we ran into two very special SEGA cosplayers on the way out!
Up, down, left, right, chu, chu, chu!
Awesome job you two! Our thanks go out to all the SEGA fans we saw today, and here’s to meeting even more of you guys tomorrow! Speaking of, here are the Meet and Greet times you can find me at the SEGA booth on both Saturday and Sunday:
Remember that I may also be at the booth at times besides those listed, but I will for sure be there at the times above. Also, we’ll be starting up some Trivia contests tomorrow afternoon – be at the SEGA booth at 4 PM for the SEGA Trivia contest, with the Valkyria and Phantasy Star contests to begin shortly after!
Thanks to all the SEGA fans who said hello for making today a fantastic start to the show. Check back in tomorrow night for Day 2 of our Toronto coverage. See you then!
Friday Aug 21, 2009
Today we are very excited to announce a fun contest for BLEACH fans and any one looking to score one sweet guitar. That’s right, we’re giving away a limited edition BLEACH themed Fernandes ZO-3 guitar. The “Death and Strawberry” design on the guitar is a unique collaboration between Fernandes Guitars International and the team at Studio Pierrot, makers of the BLEACH anime. The art on guitar is quite distinctive and a very special tribute to the franchise and the fans!
The contest is open to anyone in the United States & Canada and entering is quite simple. First you’ll need a SEGA Pass account, which if you are a member of our forums or have signed up across PlaySEGA, you’re already one step ahead. Then simply login, submit your information, and you’ll be entered into the running for this unique BLEACH themed guitar.
Don’t delay, head to our contest page to submit your info! Best of luck to all participants!
Thursday Jul 23, 2009
Day 2 of Comic Con is behind us, and what a day it was!
After getting in some morning blogging and work time, the community team headed over to the SEGA booth to hand out T-shirts to cosplayers. It wasn’t long before we had a few people come by.
Although not technically a costume, we couldn’t resist handing out a t-shirt as a reward for this home-made Sonic Team shirt.
Here’s our winner, Kori-Maru as he’s known on the SEGA blogs & forums, with his Madworld prizes.
While we were chatting with Kori, a film crew from Gamespot TV came over to talk to one of our brand managers, Derrek, about Bleach.
We also had a visit from an enthusiastic young man named Steven. (That’s him in the photo at the top). His dad said that Steven’s whole life was Sonic, and he was very excited to play Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. As he went over to play the game, the Gamespot crew finished filming Bleach and moved on to Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing.
Since he was doing such a fantastic job, Steven continued to play the game while the Gamespot crew filmed. He was a such a great sport for helping us out, that we’re going to send him a free copy of the game when it’s released.
After hanging out at the booth for a little longer, we went in search of food. The line was long, but the food was pretty good. Because there was nowhere to sit, we ended up on the floor.
As it turns out, our lunch seating was fortuitous. As we gazed to our left, we caught sight of some Sonic artwork in Artists’ Alley. When we walked up, we realized that it was Ken Penders, best known for illustrating the Sonic the Hedgehog comics. Ken had many items for sale, including some old Sonic comics.
Ken signed some comics for us, and we had a great conversation. We also picked up some original page layout illustrations from the comic books. Here’s one illustration, alongside the final page in the comic.
After seeing Ken, we walked down the show floor a but farther and found Sands of Destruction at the Funimation booth.
A little farther down the way, we came upon some limited edition Metal Sonic figurines. These are only for sale at Comic Con.
As we left, the crowds were getting thicker outside the convention center. It was a busy, but great day, and I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings!
Wednesday Jul 22, 2009
Here we are, sunny San Diego for Comic-con! The weather is nice and we are getting accustomed to our home away from home for the next five days. So what have we done today? Well, we had a chance to go through the convention hall, see a bit of the area, do some fun out of office emails via phones and get ready for the main event this week!
The show officially kicks off tomorrow with the doors opening at 9 am, but tonight there was a preview night, a pre-show chance to check out some special unveilings and get your hands on some nice gear from the floor. Sega was there in force with the full community team (woo) and everyone who will be manning the booth during the next four days.
This is my first Comic-con, I missed out on the trek to New York earlier in the year. I’ve done one smaller fan focused convention, but this is nothing like I’ve ever seen. The closest I know is E3, which is a beast in and of itself, but Comic-con is a consumer show with massive crowds, or so I’m told. Looking at preview night, I was a bit taken aback by the masses of people walking through the space. Overheard by too many people to count: “This is the busiest Preview Night I’ve ever seen.” I’m anticipating the next few days to be absolutely slammed, and can’t wait to see it!
As you can see from the photos posted, the Sega Booth is equipped with four playable games including, Planet 51, Bleach: The 3rd Phantom, Bayonetta, and Iron Man 2. Fun stuff! Look out for some upcoming blogs about a few of those tonight, we are all hitting the laptops and doing some posts about the stuff we saw.
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