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Archive for ‘Phantasy Star Universe’


   
 

A Fond Farewell to PSU on the PC/PS2 Servers!

As previously announced to our users, this past March 31st was the final day for PC/PS2 servers for Phantasy Star Universe. While we still have an excellent Xbox 360 population for the game — one we will be able to devote more time & resources to now — the closing of the PC/PS2 servers was bittersweet for me for more than one reason.

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First, it was through the PC/PS2 population that I was introduced to the game. That’s where I played before becoming a GM, and it’s where I first took on billing support when I worked for SEGA Customer Service. Sitting on a beach at Paracabana Coast (an in-game lobby) with a few dozen players during my first GM Support Session, I realized what a witty & thoughtful community this version of the game had. Not that Xbox 360 doesn’t, but PC/PS2 had a significantly smaller community than the Xbox 360 version of the game — sadly, one of the primary reasons it was shuttered — but that also meant it was very close-knit. Players knew each other, and there was an intimacy there that I valued.

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So while it was difficult & sad to say goodbye, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t make sure to go out with a bang. The last day of server operation had a full slate of plans, but what it boiled down to was spending as much time with players as I could, running the game’s missions, taking photo ops, and even performing an impromptu wedding ceremony between players (GMs, like ship captains, can marry players under their charge).

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We took a tour of the game’s three planets, we raced on airboards, we killed Alterazgohg one last time, and even Sonic the Hedgehog dropped by for an impromptu dance party. Mostly it was just about spending a last day with friends; many GUARDIANS have already moved to the Xbox 360 version but for many of us, this was the last time we’d see each other in this version of Gurhal.

PSU - PCPS2 last day

The last day had many high points — I was able to give away coins for the game’s casino. Ordinarily players are allotted a single silver coin per day, and have to win more than that if they want to get the items available for purchase. Seeing as it was the proverbial end-of-the-world, I was able to give away around 900 gold coins (in other words, 90,000 times the daily allotment) to throngs of people. This lead to some excellent moments at the Casino:

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PSU - PCPS2 last day

I was able to run a high experience / high drop-rate “rare mission” with Momonpso (that’s me with her below), one of our forum moderators and a player who has been with us since Phantasy Star Online. I got a chance to play one of my personal favorite missions, SEED Express, one last time, and of course it was a blast to see people betting hundreds of gold coins at a time in the casino. I even had a chance for what was seemed to be an impromptu staring contest at the Holtes City juice bar (also pictured below — the enormous rainbow rappy was not technically part of the staring contest, but was a welcomed part of the decor nonetheless).

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PSU - PCPS2 last day

Aside from gleeful expressions of unbridled end-of-the-world greed, however, the last day was mostly about taking time to enjoy the environments and missions that players have loved through the past few years. The very last mission I ran was Dark God — in the story missions for the game, it is the  final mission, and it seemed liked an appropriate note to go out on. I actually ran it twice — once, where we achieved victory over the game’s chief villain, the SEED . . . and a second time, where we were defeated and laid waste by Dark Falz, the boss monster at the heart of the dark planet Rykros (and one of the main villains from the very first Phantasy Star game in 1987).

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In the end, we all gathered at the Falz Memoria lobby, a grassy area replete with a monument commemorating the battle with the aforementioned Dark God. I know not everyone was there, of course — I’m sure some people sought out quiet corners alone, or out-of-the-way lobbies with small groups as friends. This was about finding a way to say goodbye to a community & a server population that we’ve all shared memories with, and both Ruby Eclipse and Clumsyorchid (Clumsy has the distinction of being one of the original GMs for this game) were there as well. In the closing 20 minutes we all put up banners thanking the servers — a heartfelt thanks, to be sure, because for all of us on the Community team here this has been a true labor of love.

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There’s more to look forward to for Phantasy Star, and there will be more to talk about soon. This is a bittersweet article to write but there’s no way I could not give a salute & shout out to the PC/PS2 community — to paraphrase the final message banner we put up before server shutdown, We will meet again!

 
   
   
 

Phantasy Star Universe: Protectors ‘Plus’ & New Story Mission

Being a GM for Phantasy Star Universe means a pretty huge amount of time and work — and the thing is, I still very much enjoy just playing the game. The irony is that being a GM for the game means you don’t have nearly as much time to actually play anymore, but I’ve been doing my best to chip away at my “for fun” characters here and there.

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We’re in the middle of an event mission now: In the storyline of the game, it’s a ‘virtual reality’ battlefield training program preparing the GUARDIANS for a major upcoming battle against the SEED. So in my capacity a GM I’ve been running the event missions & dropping in a bit with players — in my capacity as player, though, I’ve been doing some much needed leveling, taking advantage of the missions’ boosted experience point gains to finally give some much-needed oomph to my fortegunner.

By rule I’ve always been a fan of melee in any sort of fantasy / RPG / MMO game that even remotely allows it: preferably dual-wielding, and preferably with swords or daggers. That’s just how I’m wired: I like to kill monsters in a whirling storm of precision-wielded sharp objects. But Phantasy Star Universe, wouldn’t you know it, is a blast (pun intended?) to play as a gunner-type character. So in the interests of gunning down SEED-form monsters & expanding my GM knowledge of the game’s classes, I’ve been leveling my aforementioned gunner character. Here she is, ready to kill some bad guys and take their stuff:

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What with the day-to-day business of Phantasy Star GMing I don’t get a chance to level her (or for that matter, my higher-level melee character) nearly as much as I’d like. Event missions for this game always bring out a nice crowd, though, and friendly GUARDIANS have been happy to run missions with me. Just one nice part about event missions like the one that’s going on now is that they offer substantially boosted experience from normal missions.

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Why this particular event has been fun: in addition to the experience boost, the missions are fast-paced and feature lots of changes of scenery. Each of the two main event missions have multiple available routes you can run, lots of little secrets & spots to explore, and fast-paced tours of different zones to do battle in — since it’s a “virtual reality” simulation, every time you change spots in the level you get a different area from the game that loads up.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to run with a GM, and helped me level my “for-fun” character. She does still need work, though: I even got a comment at one point that my gunner’s Photon Arts were “terrible”. This was a fair point: For the record, though, my melee character’s Photon Arts are awesome. Consider my gunner a work in progress.

Incoming news item! Although the Protectors Alpha/Beta+ event missions will be gone at the end of this week, there’s a new update coming right on the event’s heels. Three new missions will be updated to S2 rank (each mission has multiple difficulty levels, from C — the lowest — to S2 — the highest), and, perhaps most excitingly, we’re getting a new story mission.

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The Phantasy Star Universe story has been quite epic so far, as your player-character goes from a GUARDIANS neophyte to — well — there’s some new details revealed in this story that are definitely worth playing for, if you’ve been a fan of the game. The story mission has unfolded in gradual chapters since the release of the game, making it a true investment for the fans who have been following the narrative from the beginning.

For anyone who wants to see the full details for what’s coming this week, here’s the update page.

And: Follow all things Phantasy Star on Twitter!

And: Become a fan on Facebook!

 
   
   
 

SEGA at PAX 2009 – Day 3 and Wrap-up!

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!


The morning started off with free ‘hand-forged’ doughnuts, courtesy of SEGA mod S-T-H. Thanks again S-T-H!


The crowds for Bayonetta continued to grow, especially when people saw the finisher moves on the top screens.


SEGA Trivia begins! We had a massive crowd drop by for our trivia contest, and a number of hardcore SEGA fans who battled it out for first place.


The winners! Congrats to all of the fans who scored themselves free rappies, wristbands, stickers, and the NiGHTS PaPetch figurine, which went to first place.


This Shadow fan came by the booth – and made sure to pull down her hat a bit for extra style points in the pic.


Valkyria Chronicles Trivia winners! The winner, on the right, scored himself a Valkyria Figurine, a limited edition artbook, and a special Grenade that was given away only at the original Valkyria pre-launch event!



We saw this guy the first day and found that he’d come all the way from the UK (he was even at Summer of Sonic!) down to check out the show. On Sunday he was back, and this time rocking some Portal cosplay – quite a triumph.


We left during late afternoon to head to the airport and get through security a little early, just in case of a rush. (It being Labor Day weekend and all.) Security wasn’t too bad when we arrived, and once in we swung by Bigfoot’s Restaurant to get some dinner. I got the Monster Dog, and Clumsy grabbed a classic all-American Hamburger.


My new tradition: have cheesecake at least once on every trip! After NY and Toronto, I added Seattle to the list of places I’ve tried delicious cheesecake at. I’m really thinking this is a tradition more people should get into.

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!

 
   
   
 

SEGA at PAX 2009 – Day 2!

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!

 
   
   
 

Phantasy Star (SEGA Master System) – Out now on Virtual Console!

I remember being 8 years old — this was well before a complex system of tubes informed users of new info on games 50 times a minute, and where we walked uphill to and from the arcade — and virtually salivating with anticipation for the arrival of each and every issue of SEGA Visions. Actually, I received the magazine even before that, when it was just called the “Team SEGA Newsletter” (a publication too obscure to even have its own Wikipedia link) and only focused on the SEGA Master System. While it may seem odd nowadays to not receive in-depth previews & analysis of a game 2 years in advance of its release from a dozen different sources, the mini-articles published in the old SEGA magazines (particularly the newsletter, before game coverage was serious business) were often the only glimpse we got of titles for the system. The newsletter (and SEGA Visions) may have been primarily marketing tools, but they were always incredibly exciting to read, and before the internet, screenshots of any sort were precious Mana to receive.

I remember being something like entranced by the preview for the original Phantasy Star. Here’s a flashback for you:

Phantasy Star ad

How could you not love a game that had a picture of a floating eyeball and a cool chick with a flaming sword, and some kind of crazy cat creature with big fangs? Plus that evil-looking guy with the mask and the sword in the background? And a big strong guy heaving a skeleton over his head? These things are indisputably awesome. I think the original version of the OED had, next to the entry for “awesome”, a drawing of a burly guy in futuristic armor chucking a skeleton.

What I didn’t realize at the time — aside from the fact that I would be working as the GM for the MMO descendant of this title in another twenty years (!) — was that this would end up being, essentially, SEGA’s longest continually-running franchise (phranchise?), and a landmark in early Japan-style RPGs to come to consoles.

Phantasy Star (SMS) for Wii Virtual Console

This game is something of an artifact, but it’s still fun in a lot of ways. Even just seeing the early mechanics at work and having such a huge area — a massive map spread across multiple planets — to explore is a blast, and the story is still a ton of fun.

This game is also hard. Difficult. Not easy. There’s a reason that Japanese game makers didn’t really think until Final Fantasy VII finally broke through big-time that US gamers could handle the pacing and scope of their “traditional” world-crawling RPGs, but these early games showed just what was possible with epic RPGs (and let’s not forget to heap lots of credit on the Western-made Ultima series). It’s not just the difficulty, it’s the heavy emphasis on grinding for character advancement and fighting through epic quests for every scrap of XP in order to advance your characters. “Old School” RPG means a lot of time invested in advancing your characters, inch by inch, through an epic world you were more or less free to explore, long before the “sandbox game” was popular.

Phantasy Star (SMS) for Wii Virtual Console

Phantasy Star focuses on the simple pleasures of dungeon-crawling and leveling up until you felt ready to take on the next level of monsters. That being said, it can be rough getting started. You are plunged right into the story, as the main character Alis, who has witnessed her brother’s death at the hands of government troops. Your brother’s dying words send you in search of a warrior who may be able to help, but before you can even make it to that town you have to fight the monsters roaming the starting area and collect enough meseta (the in-game currency, which is the same currency used in Phantasy Star Universe today!) to upgrade your gear as you see fit.

Heading out of the starting town, you can journey a little bit to the East and see a beach. You may think the beach is a nice place to visit — hey, you’re level 1, relaxing by the ocean would be great, right? Wrong. Don’t go to the beach! If you do, something called a Fishman will come and murder you. Here, I tried this out so you don’t have to. This digital image was snapped quickly at my own desk here at SEGA, so please excuse the lousy photography–the Fishman was very menacing, and I rushed the shot:

Phantasy Star - fishman

Note that one of the available menu actions is “Talk”. You can try talking to the Fishman! Note that this will also result in murder (your murder, not the Fishman’s). Your best bet, if you encounter anything with higher Hit Points than you early on, is to select the Run option. When you’re still at low level, just stick to the area around the starting town and look for anything with low hit points to kill. It’s wisest to save your game and return to town after each kill, and go into the orange house that’s near the exit to the town, where you can be healed for free. Rinse & repeat until you’ve leveled and saved up some meseta to buy new gear. From there, you can proceed East to the town of  Scion, and continue the game’s story.

Hopefully that’s enough to get you started. This is a great game to play in bits and pieces (or if you’re feeling crazy, stay up all night for serious old schooler credit). There’s a real pleasure in having these characters (including the awesome Myau) over the long haul and investing in & clawing for their every new level. Also, a few staples of the Phantasy Star series make their apperance in the original game — including the Dark Force (called Dark Falz in Phantasy Star Universe), and the mysterious dark planet Rykros.

The Master System version of Phantasy Star is out now for the Wii Virtual Console!

 
   
   
 

Ruby goes to Canada – Toronto Fan Expo, Day 2!

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!

Rappies!

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:

Eyyyyy!

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.

Until tomorrow…

SEGA!

 
   
   
 

Ruby goes to Canada – Part 1: Maple leaves, Passports, and Moose(s)

Ah, Canada.

When I think of Canada, the first things that come to mind are generally pretty simple: Maple leaves, the French language, and Moose. Why Moose? Because of a book I read years and years ago back in school – it looked a little something like this.

The Canadian Moose: Godless Killer of the animal kingdom, and second only to bears.

Besides wanting to call them Meeses, I remember a very specific part of this story in which the main character, after surviving a plane crash and lost in the wilderness of Canada, is attacked by a Moose – and so, as with all stories we read or hear when we’re younger, Canada was immediately painted in my mind as a land of vast forests, cold weather, and giant, killer Mooses. Er, Moose.

You can imagine part of my surprise, then, when a little over a month ago I was asked if I’d like to go to Toronto and represent SEGA at our booth at the 2009 Fan Expo. Specifically, I’d be covering Bayonetta, Phantasy Star Zero, and Sands of Destruction – with full freedom to do as many Community meet-ups, swag giveaways, and podcast recording I wanted. It took me a whole second to realize the offer was serious (I’m sure my eyes got a little bigger at this point), and respond excitedly that I’d love to.

As all the paperwork was going through, I made sure to find my passport, check to see if it was still valid (I knew it was, but checked anyway – am I the only one who does this?), and then start deciding just how much swag I could fit into a single duffle bag / backpack on the trip up north. In the end, I decided to just take as much swag as I could and try to give it all away by the end of the event.

Already, the response from the last blog entry just announcing the trip has been fantastic. This will be the first time SEGA has officially sent a community member to the land of Maple leaves and Moose, and it sounds like there will be a lot of awesome SEGA fans to meet with, game with, and hook up with some free swag – I’ll even trade anyone for cool Canadian souvenirs, if you have some. 😉

As the week goes on and my Friday flight draws nearer, expect to see even more entries in the Ruby goes to Canada series, including a daily journal with all the goings-on, pictures from the event, and more once everything kicks off this weekend!

Hooray Moose(s) – and Canada!

Now to get back to work on the “Ruby and Clumsy go to Tokyo” plans… wish us luck!

 
   
   
 

We’re going to Canada! See you at the Toronto Fan Expo 2009!

Hello, Canada!

Next Friday, August 28th, through Sunday, August 30th, is the 2009 Fan Expo, one of Toronto’s biggest gaming, comic, and movie conventions – and this year, SEGA is going to be there too!

All of you who live up north and may not get to visit us at shows like San Diego or New York Comic con – you’re in luck! For the first time ever, SEGA community is coming to you – and, as always, we’re coming with all sorts of awesome goodies!

Play upcoming SEGA Games at the Expo!

At the show, we’ll have three unreleased games for you guys to check out – all of which speak directly to some of our core, oldschool SEGA fans. In attendance we’ll have an English version of Phantasy Star Zero, another full English version of Sands of Destruction, and the blazing-hot Bayonetta – all playable! If you hail the white and red maple flag, be sure swing on by the SEGA Booth, play the games, and then post back here and on our boards with your thoughts!

Even Canada needs free Swag

It wouldn’t be a SEGA community presence if there wasn’t free swag going out! I’ll be packing my duffle bags with as much special loot as I can pull from the office, including inflatable rappies from Phantasy Star Zero, Valkyria Chronicles figurines, and even rare 5″ SEGA figurines specially ordered from Japan!

Cosplay SEGA Style!

A special shout-out to Roxy from SDCC, who created this awesome Naja costume from Sands of Destruction!

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!

Full times on the Meet and Greets will be posted here next week, so keep an eye out!

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!

Convention Details and location

If you aren’t familiar with the Expo, you can find out all the details here, and likewise, the location here.

We’ll be posting even more news about the Expo, our Meet and Greets, and some of the prizes you can expect to see as we get closer to next week!

Until then, how many readers out there do we have up near Toronto? 😉

 
   
   
 

Calling all SEGA JRPG Fans – we’ve got a question for you!

SEGA Logo

There are some games in SEGA’s history that resonate with the feel of what SEGA was in the early 90’s – and, as we’ve seen recently, still holds onto in some ways today. What started with great RPG’s like the original Phantasy Star and Shining Force only continued through the years (and hardware changes) – leading into games like the much-loved Skies of Arcadia and the recent, critically acclaimed Valkyria Chronicles.

Today, we’d like to get your thoughts. SEGA is potentially going to be grouping together fans of our JRPG’s (like the games listed above), and we’d like to give said group a bit of identity. What’s in a name? Well – just about everything!

If you had to pick something fairly short and sweet to speak to what SEGA’s best RPG’s are all about, what would it be? Right now, we’d like to get feedback on this name:

  • SEGA Heroes

Does the term “Heroes” fit the bill and speak to all of our best Japanese RPG’s? We’re looking for a name that is short and sweet,  general enough that it can apply to all our RPG’s, and still sounds about as awesome as a plate of hotcakes in the morning.

So, what do you guys think? Drop us your comments here – let us know first what you think of SEGA Heroes, and afterwards feel free to swing by your own thoughts on potential names. Please make sure to get all your comments in by this Wednesday, so post away!

Update 8/7/09: Feedback has been collected and sent on! Thanks very much for all the responses everyone!

 
   
   
 

SEGA at San Diego Comic con, Day 3!

There’s something to be said about working a sixteen hour day. Those of you in the working class know that most of us generally just work half that each day – eight or so, and when busy can move up to nine, ten, or at most twelve hours. The reason for this, in most cases, is pretty simple: Working sixteen hour days is about as pleasant as jumping headfirst into a pit of boiling lava while covered in fireworks and soaked with gasoline. In short, it’s not extremely pleasant.

And yet, because we love you guys, we do it anyway. We do it because there are some of you out there who go above and beyond the call of a SEGA fan – those of you who would devote hours of your life to creating a costume, promoting your favorite game to your friends, to learning all the ins and outs of the characters you play as and portay. You bring this passion with you – and it alone is what makes days like yesterday completely worth it.

The Cosplay

In our morning session, we were stoked to see a girl come into the booth with what looked like… could it be? Yes – it is! A Rag Rappy from Phantasy Star! (And a modeled rare weapon item, to boot!) Her feathery-fanaticism won her the special PSZ Sarisa Figurine, inflatable rappies, and even more PSU Merch!

The first of many Sonic costumes that came by the booth! Note too that she made a custom hat, gloves, and even went so far as to get the golden buckles on the shoes right! Fantastic job!

Another female Sonic cosplayer (Interestingly, we’ve had just as many girls dressing up as Sonic as have guys!), this time with everyone’s favorite sidekick Tails in tow!

This kid was awesome. Let me emphasize, once more: Awesome. Not only is the entire costume (minus the hat) homemade, but he’s even got the personality down 110%, and a perfect photo stance to go with it. To the little Sonic: I think you should come apply to work at SEGA someday – people with your dedication have bright futures ahead of them. Hang onto that passion as you get older, and not even the worst (figurative) robots out there will stand in your way!

Phantasy Star Trivia and meet-up

During our morning Meet and Greet session, we had a ton of Phantasy Star fans swing by! The four you see here – including the rappy from above, all happened to drop by at once and got to meet each other in real life as opposed to the Gurhal system! Oh, and check out the shirt on Lock – the guy second from the left  – it’s a custom PSU T-shirt with his character on the front!

Sights like this were common throughout the day – tons of PS fans came by to answer some PSO / U Trivia!  Those who could answer the questions correctly got hooked up with this rare Phantasy Star Zero inflatable Rappy!

Valkyria Chronicles Trivia Competition

At about 4:00 PM we held a competition with some Valkyria Chronicles Trivia! Questions ranged from easy to medium to fairly difficult, and we had one guy who rocked almost all of them, winning the competition with 15 out of the 16 points! Our winner is pictured here in the middle – great job to you, sir! You’ve done Squad 7 proud – enjoy that Alicia Figurine! (If you look closely, you can see him holding it.) As a bonus, everyone who entered walked away with our new GAMER T-shirts, shown here.

Sonic Plushies

“Man, those SEGA employees have it rough! Good thing we’re on vacation!”

Meanwhile… back at the ra- er, hotel, Silver, Sonic, and Super Sonic were getting a relaxing sunbathing session in near the hot tub. These plushies can be found in the 500-600 Aisles at Comic-con, and will run you anywhere from $5 for the little ones to $40 for the big ones (like Super Sonic in this picture.) They were too cool to pass up once we saw some people walking around with them, so we bought a few ourselves for the office and potential free stuff friday giveaways. Now we just have to figure out how to get them home…

Note: You’ll soon be able to find many of these plushies in theme parks like Six Flags across the US! Keep an eye out next time you visit one!

All in all, day three was busy, packed, and absolutely fun – and this blog is actually only about half of it! Keep an eye out for Clumsyorchid’s upcoming blog on the Bayonetta party that followed in the evening, and pictures of the winners of awesome prizes like that custom Bayonetta XBOX 360, and the actual Scarborough Fair gun prop used during the motion capture for the game!

It was great seeing and meeting so many SEGA fans there – special thanks to all of you who came by the booth to say hello!

You make our sixteen-hour-days a lot more bearable. :)

 
   
   
 


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