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VGChartz Spotlight: Win free SEGA swag by posting your favorite upcoming SEGA game!

Hooray for free stuff!

If limited edition SEGA Swag has your interest, this contest is one you won’t to pass up. We’ve teamed up with the guys over at VGChartz once again to offer our communities some special prizes, including:

  • Resonance of Fate T-shirts
  • Infinite Space T-shirts
  • Phantasy Star T-shirts
  • Sands of Destruction Sweatbands
  • Valkyria Chronicles DLC Codes

To enter, all you have to do is drop a comment on their contest page letting them know which upcoming SEGA game you’re most looking forward to.

You can enter their contest here, or by clicking on the picture above.

Good luck guys, and enjoy the swag!


Penny Arcade East Wrap Up

PAX East

Recently, we set out to Boston to visit a the Penny Arcade East convention and show off some of our titles and one of my favorite games, Alpha Protocol. It’s always a bit of a downer to be back in the office after a fun event, especially such an active event like PAX, but the added bonus is to post all the fun photos from the show for those that couldn’t attend. If you haven’t been to a Penny Arcade and you consider yourself a gamer, you have to come; it’s great. Penny Arcade is just fun and it’s filled with people that love games; from the costumes, to the attire, to the smiles and good-natured conversations. I’m a fan.

PAX East - Bayonetta T-Shirt

One of the joys of coming to an event like PAX is meeting die hard Sega fans and fans of our games. One of our favorite things is when we can walk over user feedback to our teams and relay conversations and opinions back to the Sega. Fans are passionate, we’re passionate; it works out great. So in walking the floor of PAX, I have two pictures of fans I met that make me smile and a brief description of each. The first is a shot of someone rocking our Bayonetta Penny Arcade T-shirt. I love the photo because you can tell how proud he is to have it and be at Penny Arcade. I was equally excited to see him with it on!

PAX East - Sonic Fan!

The second image is of a Sonic fan, Max, who I met at the booth. We talked about Sonic 4 and how it wasn’t on the show floor (boo) and general discussions on the Sonic series. We had a small number of shirts to pass out to mega fans, costumed fans, and general supporters and Max wanted one and I wanted to give him one. Before we could pass along a shirt, I asked him jokingly to prove how big a Sega fan he was and man, did he come through and reveal his Sonic pride. First a shirt, which was enough for me, but then a wallet, keychain and even pulled out a NeoGeo pocket to reveal a Sonic cartridge, nice. It was awesome and a shirt well earned.

Cosplay – Two Bayonettas

PAX East - Bayonettas
One thing that always catches me off guard is costumes. I love them. I’m thrilled when people take the time to create them, and I love the attention to detail in the outfits they create. While at the show on Friday and Sunday, I had the good fortune of meeting not one, but two Bayonettas! Both looked the part perfectly, complete with expert hairdos, attention to detail, and both very tall. Enjoy the photos of their efforts, including a surprise visit by Luka. The costumes were amazing and one of the unexpected highlights of the show for me, thanks for being awesome and coming by the booth!  More photos are available on our Flickr of the costumes, head on over to check them out.

PAX East - BayonettaBayonetta and Luka

Sega Classics

PAX East - Classic Gaming Room
Penny Arcade is a celebration of all things gaming, which includes not only current releases and big booth spaces, but also smaller rooms for table top gaming and a whole section devoted to old school / classic gaming. The classic section held a good deal of games ranging from a variety of systems and Sega stuff was very prominent. For your general enjoyment, you can walk in, grab a Dreamcast game of your choice and relax with a gem you haven’t played in a while – all free of charge and for the pure enjoyment of the activity. Walking through, I saw Sonic Adventure DC, Streets of Rage 2, ToeJam and Earl, and a big crowd around Bomberman on the Saturn.

PAX East - Classic Gaming RoomPAX East - Classic Gaming Room

Alpha Protocol – Demo and Panel

PAX East - Alpha Protocol Panel

So why did I travel all the way to Penny Arcade East to spend most of my time off the floor? We had a very special limited demo for some the gaming press to show off Alpha Protocol. The game, as you may or may not know, features a high degree of choice and reactivity, which we did our best to show off to the people in attendance. The real challenge in demoing is in the reactivity, rather than the choice elements. Choice is something people understand, while reactivity is subjective to what you, as the player, do throughout the game. Reactivity in Alpha Protocol is what makes a custom experience, what makes one scenerio play out differently than before, and ultimately shapes the choices you make (both obvious and subtle) in the long and short term of the game. The demo featured, in part, how one conversation in one small part of the world could play out, depending on how you treated a key character in the game up until that point. Unlike other games of the choice RPG genre, the two outcomes we offered are only two extremes outcomes of many – play the section of the game again and you could hit a completely different outcome, that’s just how Alpha Protocol works.

PAX East - Alpha Protocol Panel

To help further illustrate the heavy emphasis on freedom of choice and overall game reactivity, Obsidian Entertainment was on hand for a Penny Arcade Panel, “But Thou Must”, which looked at the history of choice in games, a look at how Alpha Protocol will change choice and reactivity in games, and the importance of Apple Juice in the development community. On hand for the talk was Joseph Bulock [Cinematics Designer, Obsidian Entertainment], Shon Stewart [Lead Cinematics Animator, Obsidian Entertainment], Matt MacLean [Lead Systems Designer, Obsidian Entertainment], and Chris Avellone [Lead Designer, Obsidian Entertainment]. The panel was completely packed and for good reason, Obsidian Entertainment has made a name for themselves in creating excellent games with excellent choice mechanics. The panel went great, informative, and funny. The best part is we got the entire thing on tape and we’re working to get it out and uploaded for everyone to view. I won’t spoil any of it, except to say it was a great presentation and well worth the trip to Penny Arcade.
PAX East - Alpha Protocol PanelPAX East - Alpha Protocol Panel

So there you have it! Be sure to check out our flickr page for a few more photos from the show floor and as always, leave us your comments!


Meet SEGA, play unreleased games, and win swag in San Francisco this Friday!

If you’re in San Francisco – or can get here – by this Friday night, you’re in for a treat. SEGA has teamed up with the New People Center in Japantown, San Francisco, to offer an evening of Japanese gaming to our fans and press alike. I’ll let the invitation do the talking:

(Click for the full size invitation)

Once more, everyone is invited! Besides playing the games, you can also talk to some some of our community team about the upcoming games, recent SEGA news (including, most definitely, Yakuza 3), or reminisce about simpler times when we all tied up our phone lines playing Phantasy Star Online for hours on 56k dial-up.

Also, the first 50 people that enter the building for the event will receive a special Resonance of Fate T-shirt! The T-shirt is real life swag that is actually based on a shirt in the game, making it an excellent piece of collector’s merch. It’s also one of the best looking game related shirts that I’ve seen in some time.

To attend, just post your details in a blog comment below! Friends and Family are welcome – we hope to see you there!


The Sands of Destruction Website is now live! New Info, Character Bio’s, and Anime Ep #3!

Howdy SEGA fans and Sands of Destruction afficionados,

Today the official website for Sands of Destruction has gone live! On it, you can find character Bio’s for the remaining cast, info on the battle system, pictures and you can even watch the third episode of the anime series – in English! (Just click the box with three white lines at the bottom right of the video player to select other episodes.) Click here, or on the picture below, to visit the website.

You can also hear some of the awesome game music in the background there. (You can turn it off, but personally, we think you probably won’t want to.)

Finally today, we’re giving a spotlight to everyone’s favorite bear with an attitude: Taupy! Those of you with the game already know how awesome this little guy is, so here’s some more info for all those Taupy fans out there.

Morte: “The name from the posters… You a bounty hunter?”

Taupy: “A lucky one, apparently. A fat bounty just dropped in my lap. Didn’t even have to spill any blood. I’ve outdone myself.”

Meet Taupy

Likes: Adventures, and people with the guts to act upon their word

Dislikes: People who make fun of his height

His name’s Taupy – and he’s the baddest bear this side of the Sand Sea. Nothing says “I could mess you up in two seconds” like a bear with an eyepatch and bandana, but this little guy also has a cuddly side hidden behind his spiked collar.

Though a beastman, Taupy encounters Kyrie and Morte while serving under one of the Beastlords. An adventurer that craves his own dreams more than money, Taupy soon realizes that Kyrie and Morte have quite exciting ambitions of their own – and an alliance is quickly formed.

There are two kinds of bears, as a certain saying goes – little ones and big ones, respectively. Taupy may be among the little ones when it comes to size, but when it comes to teamwork, strength, and an all-around ability to charm the ladies (bear ladies, that is) Taupy has heart bigger than almost anyone around.

You can check out all of the Bio’s, as well as everything else Sands related, here on the website!

Let us know what you think – and if you have the game in-hand, feel free to comment with your thoughts so far!


Sands of Destruction is heading your way! Play the Game, watch the Anime, win Sweatbands. (And destroy the world.)

With Sands of Destruction shipping as of yesterday, the game should be arriving in your local stores as soon as tomorrow, or even today – depending on where you live! But there’s more than one reason to be excited about Sands of Destruction – from the game to the anime to some really awesome sweatbands, there’s a ton of stuff going on in the world of beastmen.

In addition, the Sands of Destruction anime will be arriving just in time, releasing on January 26th! Our friends over at FUNimation have also put up the first two episodes of the english version online, which you can watch right now on their website! (And yes, our favorite bear Taupy makes an early appearance!)

Sands of Destruction – Episode 1

Sands of Destruction – Episode 2

Personally, I’m really impressed with the voice acting for Kyrie and Morte. I admit; generally I tend to watch anime in Japanese with subtitles  (with only a few shows out there that are exceptions) but judging by the first two episodes I’ve seen, Sands is the newest name on the list. Ah, and the music – which is fantastic – is also worth a big mention! (If subtitles are your thing, FUNimation has you covered there too – just check out the subtitled episodes Sands here!)

Take a look and let us know what you think – and, of course, give us a shout here on the blogs or the Sands forums with your thoughts on the game!

After watching the episodes, what are your opinions? If you’re the first, tenth, or twentieth person to post your thoughts on the anime here, you’ll score yourself a free pair of Sands / Taupy Sweatbands!


Sands of Destruction Character Spotlight #3: Naja Gref

Rajiv:Hah! What have we to fear from this child?”

Naja:Put him down! Look around you! This is no common destruction, Rajiv. Until we learn what happened here, we had best tread lightly.”

Meet Naja

Likes: Reading, games of wit, and planning one step ahead.

Dislikes: Rushing headfirst, hubris, and slander towards his heritage.

Naja is a member of the World Salvation Committee – a group built to defend the world and society as ruled by the ferals from those who would seek to do it harm. (Namely, Morte, Kyrie, and the World Annihilation Front).

A brilliant thinker and just as skilled in combat, Naja is actually a half-breed – born to a feral father – the late Lupus Rex – and a human mother. Even though the stereotypes that divide the ferals from the humans run deep, Naja held a strong love for his mother, even in the midst of constant insults about his impure blood or his “mutt” status in society. While other ferals often view him as a lesser of their kin, his prowess in battle and his father’s old rank have earned him a fair bit of respect.

That respect has come at a cost, however. Rajiv, the son of the current Lupus Rex, silently sees Naja as a potential threat. Though the two are old friends, Rajiv never misses a chance to remind Naja of the weak human blood that is mixed within his veins. Beyond their differences, Naja and Rajiv are still a team, setting off to stop Morte, the Scarlet Plague – and anyone else who would join her cause to destroy the world.

Calm and almost always in control of the situation, Naja will soon be forced to think about the hybrid human and feral blood that flows within him – and make a difficult decision to find his own true answers.

Next time on our Sands of Destruction Character Spotlight: He may be small, but he packs a massive punch – and an eyepatch, to boot. The little bear Taupy is up next!


Sands of Destruction Character Spotlight #2: Morte Asherah

“Your friendly neighborhood World Annihilation Front agent, at your service! The end of the world is long overdue, but it might as well go out in style.”

Naja: “Morte – the Scarlet Plague!”

Morte: “The only and only! Give the boy his prize!”

Meet Morte

Likes: Destroying the world, killing those who oppose her, and chaos in general.

Dislikes: Beastmen, human oppression, and long-winded people.

Morte Asherah is the figurehead of the movement known as the World Annihilation Front. An organization bent solely on the destruction of all life on the planet, she seeks out Kyrie in an attempt to unlock the secret of Destruct – the key to her plans for extermination.

Growing up as a member of the desert Sand Tribe, Morte is far from a quiet, prissy, dainty heroine – she is brash, rude, violent, and often deadly – cross her, and there’s a good chance her massive double edged weapon will be coming for your head. With the strength she built during her childhood, and with the oppression of humans across the world driving her motivation, Morte will stop at nothing until her goals of complete annihilation are complete.

One small tip, from us: Don’t make her mad.

Check back on the blogs soon for our next Sands of Destruction character spotlight – Naja!


Sands of Destruction Character Spotlight #1: Kyrie Illunis

Agan: “He doesn’t look much like the world-destroying type. He’d sooner keep a fly as a pet than hurt it, if you ask me.”

Kyrie: ” I’m not much for bugs. I’m more of a cat person.”

Meet Kyrie Illunis

Likes: Cooking, seeing the world, and cats.

Dislikes: Awkward, Dangerous, or otherwise deadly situations. Usually.

When it comes to people with the power to destroy the world, only  one man ranks with the World Annihilation Front at the top of the list – and that man is Kyrie Illunis.

Though Kyrie’s upbringing started in a small rural town living with his uncle, he learned at a fairly young age how to defend himself – even if only with rather crude knives. Kyrie’s combat style starts off with a knife/dagger in each hand, and his cooking skills, which he learned growing up, are also worth boasting about.

Granted, his upbringing doesn’t matter as much when his own hometown, and everyone in it, is turned to sand and dust – though not how you might think –  marking a unique beginning to an grand adventure that is far from the norm of saving the world or rescuing princesses. In a world this corrupt, there’s only one option:  Destroy it all.

Say goodbye to generic RPGs – the power to the destroy the world is coming to your DS this January, in only 8 days!

Check back next time for our second Sands of Destruction Character Spotlight:  Morte!


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!