Wednesday Nov 25, 2009
If you signed up for a 3 month VIP subscription on PlaySEGA, you’ve either already received your limited edition controller, or you will be receiving it soon. We got ours into the office a few days ago, and I’ve been playing games with it to see how different it is from the keyboard. (I know, my job is hard. )
First, let’s get some basics out of the way. The controller only works on VIP games, and the description of the game on the website will indicate if you can use the controller with it or not. The controller has a USB plug on the end and works on both PC and Mac (with Snow Leopard). (I don’t have a Linux machine to test it on, but would be interested in knowing how it works.) I’m told that the games (and therefore the controller) don’t work on Macs running an OS older than Snow Leopard, but our development team is working on it. The controller has two shoulder buttons, the d-pad, a start button, and six buttons on the right side.
The controller itself is plug and play — you don’t need to install any drivers or software for it. However, you will need to do some setup on your game before you get to playing.
First, plug in your controller, then select your game. I selected Sonic Spinball. Once the game is loaded, go to the Menu button in the upper left corner of the game screen. Go down to Controller Setup and select the controller from the drop down menu. Then click the button right below the drop down marked “Player 1 – Setup” and it will ask you to press the button you want to use for A, B, C, etc. This requires a bit of setup, but you can set the buttons however you want them. For example, I found it more natural to use the shoulder buttons for the right and left flippers in Spinball, but I might want a different configuration for Streets of Rage. This allows you to set the buttons how you want them. This is just one reason that I like the controller better than using a keyboard and/or mouse.
If you want one of the limited-edition controllers, you’re in luck! You get one free with a 3 month VIP membership for PlaySEGA. Your membership allows you access to all of the VIP games (including many Genesis games) and the level editors for Sonic and Stuntmaster Motocross. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here, and your controller will be on its way to you!
Tuesday Oct 13, 2009
We recently re-launched PlaySEGA! In addition to the great web-based flash games we had before, you can now play original Genesis games for free online. Games like Streets of Rage, Revenge of Shinobi, Gunstar Heroes and Shining force are all available now, and we’re adding new games every week.
In addition to the great games, we also have two level editors available — one for Stuntmaster Motorcross, and the other for Sonic the Hedgehog. You can create your own levels and share them with the community to show off your game design skills.
While there’s lots of stuff you can play for free, the best stuff comes with a VIP membership. To celebrate the re-launch and thank all of our fans, we have some special offers for you!
Free Access to all VIP Games and Level Editors for 10 days!
If you want to test out our VIP access, we’re giving away FREE 10 day trials! These extended trials include VIP games and level editors that aren’t included in our regular free trial. To register for your special 10 day VIP trial, go to http://www.playsega.com/promo and register for an account on the site.
Once you’ve tried VIP access and loved it (as I’m sure you will), we’ll give you 15% off your first month’s bill! Just enter code “segafans” when you are upgrading to a full membership, and you’ll be set!
Have a great time with PlaySEGA!
Friday Jan 23, 2009
We’ve recently updated PlaySEGA with four new games to help drive your day to day productivity down every further.
Blox & Bones
The Quiz of Culinary Delights
Of the games listed, I’m quite a fan of Blox & Bones, a simple to pick up but challenging to master puzzle game. I enjoy the simplicity and was able to quickly get in and earn some rings for my escape.
Wednesday Jan 14, 2009
PlaySEGA has updated to include an all new game, Stuntmaster Motorcross. The game seems simple enough, you can lean forward and back and go either fast or slow. I loaded it up thinking I’d be doing massive tricks and watching my multiplier fly… I was wrong.
On my first few runs of the game, I was thinking that this game was easily Not Safe For Work, due to the number of expletives I was so very close to saying openly across the office. Even my Safe For Work reactions were drawing some eyes. I think I heard, “Are you ok?” at least four or five times while I was trying to just get through the level. The first few runs were just trying to get from begining to end, no fancy stuff, and I was marching my Supercross guy into one painful face plant after another.
So a frustrating start, but fall after fall, I was getting it and it started to come together. I think I failed on maybe 100 flips before I started to get it. The weight of the rider starts to feel more natural and suddenly I’m starting to get the ramp up to the jumps, keeping my speed, and doing endos into double backflips. The subtleties of the maps start to make more sense and pretty quickly I was starting to see more natural lines and opportunities to lean back and sneak in a backflip here and there. The first time you hit the triple backflip, oh man, amazing.
So here are my tips to become a top notch, achievement grabbing, PlaySEGA Motorcross star:
So that’s my take, I hope you enjoy it as much as I now do. If I could make one tweak, it would be to add a save-a-replay feature, so we could share our painful failures or our big successes.
Thursday Dec 04, 2008
Today, PlaySEGA was officially announced by way of a press release, which will soon be spreading to all media sites across the web. If you read the blog, you are likely aware of the games, the rings, avatars & escapes, and other major features. If you haven’t yet heard, then head over to the site and read the full press release to learn more.
In addition to the launch announcement, a few of the classic SEGA games to appear on PlaySEGA were also revealed. Games like Columns™, Puyo Pop™, Chu Chu Rocket™, Sonic The Hedgehog™ and Super Monkey Ball Tip n’ Tilt™ are on their way and we even have a few more that we can’t yet discuss! Speaking as a hardcore SEGA fan, the addition of these classics is certainly exciting news. I’m such a die hard Chu-Chu fan, I can’t wait to get my hands on it, even though I know it’ll be the end of work productivity.
We’re also really interested in what our fans are thinking about the site, the recent news, and the upcoming classics to be available. If you’ve got something on your mind, let us know and add a comment below or head to our forums and chat with our SEGA community!
Friday Nov 07, 2008
I used to think counting from one to fifty was easy.
Then, a few weeks ago, I got my hands on PlaySEGA and was testing out some of the games – and suddenly, the concept of counting took on a whole new meaning.
Meet Brain Assist. If you’re one of those people that has an awesome memory, a great eye, or fast reflexes, (or even if you’ve still got a ways to go, like me) – you’ll probably get a kick out of this game. The idea behind Brain Assist is pretty simple, and is based off of the original DS game of the same name. There are three different ways to play:
1: Numbers and Letters
Of all the times you’ll be glad you memorized that cheesy ABC song in the first years of your life, this may well be the pinnacle.
In the first mode, you get a task – for example, “One to five”. Then the screen changes to show five different circles with the numbers inside them, and you have to click them in the right order. You wouldn’t think that having some circles a little smaller and some larger would make a difference, but in the later stages I was surprised just how much it did – check out the picture for an example. Just try jumping in order from B on down the alphabet with your eyes in the example above.
2: Matching Pictures
Another fun mode – this one goes by fast, and all you have to do is spot the two matching pictures and click on them within the time limit. At first it’s pretty easy, like this:
“Hey, this is cake! I could do this all day!”
And then you get to one like this:
“Wait – I – no, er – agh! It’s – aw, man.”
I’ve got a long ways to go on this one… anyone out there find it to be the easiest?
3: Colored Hexagons
I love memory games, so this was one of my favorites. You get a few seconds to look at the hexagons and memorize the location and colors, and then you have to fill them in – correctly, of course – within ten seconds. Like the above, this one is also a lot more challenging as you progress. You could also get your friends over and assign a color for each person to memorize, like my friends and I used to do back with the old VMU Chao Adventure matching mini-game in Sonic Adventure. It’s not cheating – it’s teamwork!
Two colors like this isn’t that hard, but things really get fun when you start advancing to four.
So, if you’re a fan of mind games that can be both fun and challenging, I’d definitely recommend trying out Brain Assist. Or, if you’re really feeling up to it, see if you can take one of the high score spots.
Good luck, and to the all the readers who have tried it – of these three, which is your personal favorite?
Thursday Oct 30, 2008
We’ve updated PlaySEGA with some Halloween costumes just in time for the 31st. The costumes are available for both Male and Female avatars and can be found in the Body Section, under Costumes. Most costumes have a hat or hair component, so be sure to look at the available options! Enjoy the new additions and have a happy Halloween!
Friday Oct 17, 2008
I spent a lot of time the past few days with the PlaySega games, in theory playtesting for bugs and such. As it turned out I spent a disproportionate amount of time “bug-checking” Ice Shuffle and Aquatic Word Burst.
Let’s start with Ice Shuffle, and specifically the music for Ice Shuffle: it’s a pleasant, catchy little tune, one that instantly recalls 8-bit gaming sessions, where the same few hypnotic bars of a game’s music hum over and over in your head while you dedicate yourself to some insane task (in this case, blasting pucks around an obstacle course), hunched over a monitor until all of a sudden it’s 2 in the morning and you were supposed to be playtesting the new PlaySega site. Dang.
What’s cool about Ice Shuffle is it gives you the chance to play any way you like—getting through the levels, especially some of the later ones, is a fun challenge that requires some clever use of angles, momentum, and, um, luck. If you’re the obsessive type, then you can replay levels as many times as you want for maximum points, something I have italicized to indicate how truly awesome it is. I like getting maximum points in anything. Getting a massive score and making the tough decision to drop that score to try for an even more maximum score appeals to me on a very primal level.
Allegedly, Ice Shuffle is a kind of version of Curling, but all I know is that it invokes the same frictionless physics that made games like the NHL series so appealing, where objects zoom around on a pleasant, gleaming surface at unnatural speeds. Lowering friction coefficients in video game physics is a move that says now we are having fun!
Also, the last 3 levels of Ice Shuffle are some nasty inventions indeed (see the above image). I literally had to pry myself away in order to move on to Aquatic Word Blast.
In Aquatic Word Burst, a large green fish encourages you to form as many word combinations as you can from 6 available letters. The “casual mode” is untimed, and you earn fewer points for playing that way; the “challenge mode” is timed, and you have to get a certain number of words each round in order to proceed. Both are fun, but it would be dishonest to say that I really tried the “casual” mode. I like to know that my ability to cull words from random letters is being matched against a ticking clock. Also, if you want to get all the words on a given level, you will invariably need to learn words such as “bight” and “Mahout”.
If you don’t love word games like Boggle or Scrabble this probably won’t appeal to you—but these games appeal to me on a very primal level. I was only able to tear myself away from Aquatic Word Blast to go back to, um, Ice Shuffle. Arranging all 6 letters into a satisfying word (Fracas! Devout!) scratches the same itch that, say, a headshot in a First Person Shooter satisfies.
Incidentally: A “Mahout” is “the keeper and driver of an elephant, particularly in India or the East Indies”. So that’s kind of awesome.
Tuesday Oct 14, 2008
www.PlaySEGA.com is up and live and we’re all very excited to be able to discuss it! Over the past several months the SEGA Web group has been quietly working on the site and have had a lot of fun creating the games, avatars, escapes, and battling for high score glory. Now with the site up we can start discussion all the stuff we enjoy and want you to enjoy too.
What is PlaySEGA?
So we work in web, we’re gamers and we play a lot of web games. Given the opportunity and the right project, our designers created some minigames, maybe you’ve played them. PlaySEGA is a new site that allows SEGA to put a new spin on web games, and offer some cool perks to go with it.
Avatars and Escapes
Rings also have another purpose – cash prizes! We’ll be running weekly giveaways of $100; all you need to enter is 50 rings. You can enter as many times as you like, so long as you have enough rings to support multiple entries.
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