Thursday Sep 08, 2011
A brand new event has arrived for Phantasy Star Universe on the Xbox 360 – Maximum Attack X!
UPDATE: The event website is now live! … http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/max2011/en/
It has been over a year since the last “Maximum Attack” event — in PSU, these have historically been all-out monster brawls, with GUARDIANS competing against the hordes — and the more kills, the better, unlocking progressively more content and event rewards. For the all-new Maximum Attack X, you’ll still be competing against hordes of monsters, but there’s more variety in missions and of course, new rewards to pursue!
As with previous PSU events, there will be an event website chronicling the progress of players: this time around, instead of a simple all-out killfest, you are collecting data chips. And, okay, to be fair — and in keeping with the spirit of Maximum Attack — you are collecting those data chips by killing monsters.
The story of Maximum Attack X finds GUARDIANS discovering an ancient RELICS device — an Ark Reactor which seemed to be running simulations of Gurhal’s future — that is to say, Gurhal’s possible futures. The Ark needs data, and that’s where the GUARDIANS come in — collecting special packets of data to feed to the Ark, giving it the ability to run better simulations and see further ahead, with more clarity.
Of course for you individual GUARDIANS that means a number of specialized missions, and fighting of waves of monsters, and competing for glorious prizes — all in the name of the future, of course.
A special training mission to introduce GUARDIANS to the missions for MAX!
The introductory mission for MAX … or is it so simple? Left or right, left or right, until you get to the end… be sure to bring a wide variety of elemental-powered weapons with you!
Just like it sounds — a devious labyrinth, this mission has the most to offer experience GUARDIANS wishing to discover the secrets of the reactor!
And finally — a new lobby decoration for the GUARDIANS Colony, never before seen on Xbox 360 PSU!
Stay tuned, we will post the event website as soon as it is live!
Wednesday Apr 20, 2011
In case you’ve missed it we have, right now, a huge selection of our Xbox Live Arcade titles on sale — 19 in all, as well as all avatar items discounted until April 25th. The full list of discounted titles with old and new prices is below, so let’s get to that:
And, as I said, all of the avatar items are discounted as well. There is what I would call a plethora — a wealth — of titles here; a wide variety. Something for everyone!
Many of these — particularly those involving rapid hedgehogs — you are all quite familiar with. They need no introduction. Some of these I feel compelled to call out: I had almost forgotten some existed on XBLA until now, and others are simply games I love to talk about at every opportunity.
For the record, many Sonic games are on sale. By which I mean, all of them. Sonic and the 2nd one and the one with Knuckles and the other one with Knuckles; Sonic 4 and the one with Knuckles and Big the Cat.
After Burner Climax
There is never a wrong time for After Burner Climax — it represents both SEGA’s arcade lineage and some of the most mind-bending arcade technology ever delivered. For me, it reaches back to one of my favorite 80s games, the 8-bit version of the original arcade title. A challenging game that invites you to blaze through it over and over, in glorious HD.
Phantasy Star II
Honor bound to mention this title, as I continue to represent the series to this day and the originals are some of the finest examples of the genre. A step up from the insidious grinding of the Master System original, Phantasy Star 2 has excellent heroes and villains to spend your time with.
Cyber Troopers Virtual On Oratorio Tangram
One of the first titles I ever wrote about as a Community Manager here, this is one I’d nearly forgotten about. Seeing it on sale a) warms my heart and b) makes me want to turn into a giant robot and blow other robots up. This game boasts one of the most awesome titles on XBLA and is, in fact, one of the coolest games in the genre. That genre is “robots who fight each other”; with multiplayer and a pedigree from the finest in Japanese robot battlin’ entertainment, what are you waiting for?
Streets of Rage 2
Because it’s Streets of Rage 2, for goodness sakes. The best side-scrolling brawler of the 90s, and therefore, of all-time. The music was excellent, and it was incredibly realistic, in that you could heal yourself by turkey legs concealed under breakable objects while fighting off swarms of thugs with co-ordinated names and jean jackets. I’ve heard Tokyo is actually a lot like this.
Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure
The advanced guard of the Dreamcast’s digital return — Sonic and friends adventure across the expanse of the Dreamcast platform in Sonic Adventure, in a unique combination of high speed action, epic story, and puzzle-based adventure. Meanwhile, Crazy Taxi turns you loose on streets that unmistakably pay homage to my own city of San Francisco, featuring an incredibly realistic driving sim of what it is actually like to drive in this city arcade-fueled driving mayhem. For the screenshot here, I picked my favorite one — the one where the car is driving fast and all crazy, and in which you are making crazy money.
Ecco the Dolphin
The most eerie, haunting, difficult, and enchanting game you could possibly have devised of an adorable dolphin searching for his lost pod. Rumors of a next gen sequel are unconfirmed as of press time.
The original, the arcade version, the quarter taking, green ninja wasting, shuriken flinging, advancing wall of spinning-head boss-round having, Joe Musashi-introducing master of side-scrolling 2D old-school excellence. I remember playing this one in the local Safeway back in nineteen eighty-something, thinking I could master it because I had the Master System version at home. I was wrong. This one is hard. Ninjitsu!
Tuesday Dec 21, 2010
Welcome to the Holiday edition of the GUARDIANS Express Newsletter!
Absolute Zero – Event Update
We are still in the middle of the Absolute Zero event and GUARDIANS have put up an impressive tally so far — more than 25 million kills have been registered, and both bonus routes in the main mission have now been unlocked. Here’s the special event website:
Absolute Zero will continue well into January, and intrepid GUARDIANS now have a chance to do something that has rarely been achieved before — unlocking all reward panels for an event! This would be an excellent time to do so: getting to the end of the rewards panels will unlock an unprecedented +20% success rate for weapons and armor synthesis, a PA boost, and the unique Sacred Dusters weapon.
Additionally, the event has received an update — new items are now available for trade at the special event counter. Check out the Ice Crystal Exchange mission on the 5th floor of the GUARDIANS colony to see everything you can get with your collected Ice Crystals!
The event itself offers a very unique playstyle. You can charge through the main mission, which still requires a full group of players in order to unlock all the available rewards — there needs to be some clever positioning with your photon reflectors in order to defrost the different mission targets, and this is mixed up with killing the mission’s mobs. The real fun and challenge comes after clearing this first part of the mission, though, when you can go on to the bonus mission: here, you face a special time challenge to rush back and forth between a special combat area and a “staging block”, with the goal to defeat as many monsters as possible before time expires.
It’s a unique challenge that requires skill and experience — each member of the party must learn where best to position themselves on the map as monsters spawn, and you have to co-ordinate your efforts to clear the maximum number of monsters.
Winter Holidays abound, and in PSU the GUARDIANS celebrate with traditional decorated trees. Come see the festive holiday lobbies while they last — lobbies are available on Parum, Moatoob, and Neudaiz!
Tuesday Oct 05, 2010
Attention, SEGA iTunes, iPad, and iPod touch fans — we currently have a sale going on for iTunes, and for a limited time the following games will be on sale in the U.S. iTunes store:
Sonic the Hedgehog (click here to buy!) $5.99 $1.99
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for helping to make these games a smash success in the iTunes store: Super Monkey Ball 2 is currently the number 2 app in the U.S. App Store, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is right behind it at number 3 !
The Sonic games pretty much speak for themselves, of course, and it’s worth mentioning how native Super Monkey Ball 2 feels on the iPhone. Of course, I’m particularly happy to see Phantasy Star II so easily available — it’s a truly excellent RPG, perfect for the iPhone, and I wrote quite a bit about it when it released a few weeks ago. If you want to pick it up on the cheap, you can check my quick-guide for new players to the game on some easy hints & tips to get started.
We’re excited to see our iTunes games doing so well and, of course, we’re excited to have the chance to bring them to you for super-reduced prices. Get ’em while they’re cheap!
Thursday Aug 26, 2010
It’s easy to wax rhapsodic about classic RPGs, particularlly from the early 1990s, when the genre was solidifying on consoles and the strength of the titles came from their epic breadth & depth. Phantasy Star II stands on its own for sure, though — it expands on the universe created in the first title, which came out for the Master System, while easing up on some of that game’s arcane difficulty level.
Phantasy Star II opens 1,000 years after the end of the first game, and features both the return of series antagonist Dark Falz, as well as the introduction of the series’ other major villian, Mother Brain. It also helps establish the aesthetics which would set Phantasy Star apart from other RPG series and make it SEGA’s longest running franchise, period: a gameworld featuring multiple, distinct planets; epic character-driven sagas grounded with a sly sense of anime humor; a preoccupation with genetically modified races and the racial conflict that emerges between those races; and a mesh of high technology and swords-and-sorcery.
The game is still very difficult, but not as mind-bogglingly so as the first entry in the series. For example, if you happen by the beach in Phantasy Star II — unlike in the first game — you will not be instantly murdered by a giant fish-man. This is still of the “old school” variety of RPGs, though, and you will not be presented with a clear linear path, and wandering too far in the game world too soon will result with an encounter with something huge & murderously beyond your level.
Here’s some tips to get started:
That’s all for now — try this game, and have fun! It’s one of the best in the genre, and a fine example of the majesty & mystery which made evolving RPGs such a natural fit for hard-core gamers.
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