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Free Stuff Friday – June 12th 2009

Free Stuff Friday 6/12/09

It’s time again for Free Stuff Friday on Twitter! As you can see, we have some great stuff to give away this week. Read on for details about each item, including eligibility requirements (for the games). If you need a refresher on how to enter via Twitter, details are at the bottom of the post.

On the Block This Week

Item 1: SEGA Polo Shirt

SEGA E3 shirt

A black polo shirt with the SEGA logo, just like the ones that SEGA employees wore at E3 2009. Size medium. Everyone is eligible to win.

Congrats to the winner, @skryerx!

Item 2: Phantasy Star Zero Rappy Armband

Inflatable PS0 Rappy Arm Band

An inflatable Rappy armband for Phantasy Star Zero. Everyone is eligible to win.

Congrats to our winner @tcouto!

Item 3: Daisy Fuentes 8×10

Daisy Fuentes 8x10 image

An 8×10 image of Daisy Fuentes from E3. Everyone is eligible to win.

Congrats to our winner, @Jeremy_LaMont!

Item 4: Virtua Tennis 2009 (Wii) and 4 Finger Bands

Virtua Tennis Wii and 4 finger bands

1 copy of Virtua Tennis 2009 for Wii, plus 4 finger-sized sweatbands. Must live in the US, Canada, Mexico or Latin America to win.

Congrats to our winner @Ronster415!

Item 5: Virtua Tennis Headband and Finger Bands

Virtua Tennis headband and finger bands

A Virtua Tennis 2009 headband and 4 finger-sized sweatbands. Everyone is eligible to win.

Congrats to our winner @British_Brat!

Item 6: Let’s Tap Taprunner Figurine

Let's Tap Tap Runner Figurine

A blue Tap Runner figurine from Let’s Tap. Everyone is eligible to win. (Let’s Tap comes out next week!)

Congrats to our winner @panicpuppet!

Item 7: House of the Dead: Overkill Comic

1 House of the Dead: Overkill comic

A sealed House of the Dead: Overkill comic. Must be at least 17 years old to win. All regions are eligible.

Congrats to our winner @Tabenya!

Item 8: Stormrise for PS3

Stormrise for PS3

A copy of Stormrise for PS3. Must be 17 or older to win, and must live in US, Canada, Mexico or Latin America.

How it Works

  1. You must be following us on Twitter to be eligible. (If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can create one by going to and click the green “get started — join!” button in the center of the page.)
  2. At random times on Friday, we will announce the prize we are giving away, and what number of response you need to be to win. Send us a direct message (DM) via Twitter and be that number to win the prize. (@ replies do not count as entries!)
  3. All followers are eligible to win all prizes, unless a restriction is noted. Restrictions are usually due to the prize being region-locked. For example, US games that won’t work on UK gaming systems.  There may also be age restrictions due to the rating of the game.
  4. We will announce the winner on our Twitter feed once eligibility is confirmed.

Make Sure We’re Following You on Twitter

If you are currently following us on Twitter, please be sure that we are following you as well. You can do this by making sure that SEGA is in your “followers” list, or by going to DoesFollow and typing SEGA in the first blank, your Twitter username in the second, and pressing the “check” button. You can reverse this to be sure that you are following us. If you are following us, but we’re not following  you, please send a message to @SEGA and we will follow you. This is important, because only people we follow can send us direct messages (DMs), and DMs are the only way to enter the giveaways.

How to Send Direct Messages on Twitter

There are a few ways to send us a Direct Message on Twitter. The easiest way is to go to our Twitter page and select “message” under the “Actions” heading in the side bar. If you do not see “message”, this means that we are not following you. Please send a message to @sega to let us know, and we will follow you. When you click “message” you will be taken to a window where you can type a message and press send.

You may also select the “direct messages” tab from your Twitter homepage, and select SEGA from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Again, if you don’t see our name there, it’s probably because we’re not following you. Let us know, and we’ll follow you.

There are also many Twitter clients that you can use instead of using the website. These include TweetDeck, Twitteriffic, Tweetie, and Twhirl. Each of these programs works differently, so you’ll want to figure out how to send a direct message on the program you use. If you want to send us a test message, we’ll let you know if we received it or not.


Join in some multiplayer Stormrise this week, score a shot at free merch

The Stormrisers community site has just announced an official Stormrise Event Night this Wednesday, April 22nd! (Although, if you’re here in the US, it will actually be more of an Event Afternoon.) Here are the details:

  • XBOX 360 – One at 5 AM Pacific and the other at 3 PM Pacific
  • PS3 – One at 3 PM Pacific, possible details on another coming soon
  • PC – Also at 3 PM Pacific

You’ll need to add the Stormrise specific Gamertag / PSN contact to join in, but the best player(s) in the matches are going to score themselves some free Stormrise merch! The multiplayer – especially team based multiplayer – is also one of my personal favorites in the game, so if you own the game but never touched multiplayer yet, I’d definitely recommend giving it a whirl on Wednesday.

Merch going out includes signed copies of the game, Stormrise posters, and T-shirts! Click here or on the image above for all the details over at the Stormrisers website!


300+ Good reasons to visit this weekend’s Cherry Blossom Festival

If you read my earlier blog post this week, then you know that this Saturday and Sunday SEGA is going to be present at the Cherry Blossom Festival here in Japantown, San Francisco.

I mentioned that we had some swag to give away and that we were going to have a Trivia contest… Since then, we’ve finalized our plans and dug deep into hidden rooms here at the SEGA office to find the coolest stuff possible.

Now, it’s time for all of you not attending this weekend to turn hedgehog blue with envy – and for all of you who are making the trip – or anyone on the fence – we’ve got 300+ good reasons to look forward to it.

It’s going to be a very cool weekend.

I want you to focus on breathing normally now. Deep breaths in and out – now pinch yourself once. You aren’t dreaming.

Sunday at 3 PM is our SEGA Trivia Contest at the SEGA Booth, and whichever one of you knows your SEGA stuff the best is going to be rewarded for it – and seriously so. The Grand Prize is a stack of TEN newly released SEGA games, AND the exclusive Sonic T-shirt we found the other week in the Box of Awesome. The winner gets everything you see here:

To the winner go the spoils… and a really cool T-shirt.

The games will be given out at specific times during the day, so feel free to visit our booth and ask when the next giveaway will be. Oh, and if you do something to really show off your SEGA love – like wearing a SEGA/Sonic shirt or cosplaying as a SEGA video game character, we’ll see to it you get rewarded for your efforts with some of the rare merch shown above. (JSRF Soundtracks, NiGHTS Pillowcases, etc) Special bonus points if you cosplay as anyone from Valkyria Chronicles, since our DLC is coming out next Thursday!

We hope all of you attending this weekend are as excited as we are – of course, you can also be the first to play Let’s Tap! and Bleach: Third Phantom before they come out later this year, but we imagine what you guys really want is the free stuff. 😉

We’ll see you there!


Stormrise now downloadable on Steam!

Great news for all you Steam and RTS fans out there, as Stormrise has just gone live on Steam! This means you can skip the trip to the mall or game store, and download the game straight to your PC instead.

Anyone want to hit up some multiplayer versus or team matches over the weekend? Drop a line in the community forum over at Stormrisers – I may actually hop in soon, just need to get a bit more practice…

Have a good weekend everyone!


Stormrise ships across the US!

Thunder booms across the country as gamers count down the hours… The storm may still be a day or two away for most gamers, but it’ll be here before you know it!

As of today, Stormrise has shipped to retailers across the US! While the realistic date that you can pick it up is still a little ways off, you can also give a ring to your local gaming store and find out when they expect to get them in. The nice part about Stormrise is that you can pick it up on either 360, PS3, or PC, so if you have any of those you’re set to go!

Once you pick it up – or even while you wait – you can talk about the game straight up with other players and even the development team over at the Stormrisers community! They have some fantastic concept art too, which I would highly recommend to those who study or enjoy some really well-done artwork.

I got into the game a fair bit over the weekend, and although it took me just a bit to get used to Whip Select, I think the concept of the game is very cool. Voice acting and the storyline were also very well done – and I’m sure it’s not just because I’ve been playing a certain new 360 RPG lately with both scripting and voice acting that makes me cringe every time I hear it – either way, Stormrise really impressed me in that field. (Well, it may just be the old English major in me speaking. Maybe.)


New Stormrise Trailer – Verticality

With Stormrise arriving in just under two weeks, another new trailer has just gone live, this time with a look at one of the the game’s key features. One of the really interesting things that Stormrise has gone with is a complete removal of the fog of war that you’ll find in most other RTS games – instead, units high up on building rooftops can see enemy troops incoming from far away, and using underground tunnels can allow for some rather effective sneak attacks into enemy territory.

Stormrise Verticality Trailer

11 days until the storm arrives! More to come soon with additional characters, and maybe even some quick tips from yours truly – once I get some practice in, of course. is also growing in activity, and besides 13 new screenshots (one of them above) there’s a new “BAM!” good video up that features the Echelon Stalker – I recommend anyone who was a fan of the Crocodile hunter, or rather, anyone who has a sense of humor, to check it out. A little shout out as well to the CA Australia guys, who dropped by SOA earlier this week!


Stormrise: Meet the Characters, Part 1

We’ve just recently revealed renders and biographies for the main characters in upcoming RTS Stormrise – today we’re going to take a look at two of the big players in the game, one for both the Sai and the Echelon. First up is contestant #1…

Geist, why must you look so awesome? Every time I see you I think you have six mags from PSO.

Name: Geist

Age: 40+

Rank: Principle

Not much is known about Geist’s history, other than he first appeared years ago acting as a general for the Sai leader Meridian.

Many Echelon commanders took this near emotionless enigma to be an obedient animal, lacking in intelligence and battlefield savvy. Their underestimation would prove quite often fatal as Geist would be victorious in many encounters along the frontier.

His appearance can be startling, covered in Sai lesions on all but his neck and head, his mouth is obscured by a mask. Geist’s large frame exudes Sai energy and he wields a wealth of offensive power unequalled amongst the Sai.

Geist is an enigma to Echelon commanders, he seems to follow an unspoken code of honor, being unfailingly polite on one hand and then crushing his enemies remorselessly on the other.

“My Fellow Americans… a change is coming… to RTS on consoles.”

(Come on, I’m not the only one who thinks they look kind of similar… right?)

Name: Donovan Blake

Age: 55

Title: Chancellor

Chancellor Donovan Blake has served the Echelon for many years. Elected Chancellor 10 years ago, He has shown stout resolve in preserving the peace between the Sai and the Echelon, even when the situation has become heated.

A powerful orator, Chancellor Blake uses the full force of his personality to try and keep the disparate elements of the Sai at peace with each other and the protecting forces of the Echelon.

Chancellor Blake is well known for his honesty and desire for stability.

Next time we’ll be hitting things up with a look at two of the female leads in the game – stay tuned!


Official Stormrise Community Site thunders across the net!

With Stormrise launching in less than a month, a brand new community site has just appeared, brought to life by Creative Assembly Australia! Join the Stormrisers and get access to exclusive Stormrise screenshots, Podcasts and interviews with the developers, and meet other Stormrise and RTS fans in their dedicated Stormrise forum!

The Podcasts especially are pretty neat, as you get to hear about the game from the people who are putting in the time and effort to  create it. I’ll also be dropping by their forums to say hey, so be sure to give a shout if you arrive over there too. :) Stormrise will be shipping out to retailers (and those who pre-order) on the 24th of this month!


Stormrise: Line of Sight Trailer

Sai Matriarch

A brand new Stormrise trailer has gone live today, this time with a look at the Line of Sight in the game; essentially a very nifty introduction about how the camera controls work and can add a lot of depth to play – especially considering most RTS games have you locked in an overview setting from high above. Check out the massive Sai Matriarch, featured above – and the trailer itself here!


Stormrise: The Echelon have arrived! (And they totally named a unit after me)

Alright, so maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe the cool guys at the Creative Assembly just happened to realize how amazingly awesome a name is when you add “Eclipse” to the end of it. Or maybe it was the product of a night of too much caffeine, long hours, and a random visit to the SEGA Blogs.

In case you haven’t been up with Stormrise lately, a quick recap on the two warring factions in the game: The Echelon, which we’re showcasing this week, are tech-heavy and use technology as their best ally.  These were the higher ranking members of society and the better-off who were able to sleep for thousands of years underground when the environment took a nosedive.

The Sai, who we’ll be taking a close look at next week, are the descendants of the poor saps who got stuck on the planet’s surface and had to face the harsh environment head-on: because of this, the many years and generations have caused them to adapt, resulting in a race that is certainly still human in origin, but far from what anyone could have predicted. On the plus side, they boast some pretty awesome psychic powers, and can talk to beasts and animals clearer than anyone you’ll see on the Discovery Channel.

Stormrise is a blend of RTS meets a bit of an FPS feel – a unique experience that could very well reshape the way that RTS games are done on consoles.

Echelon Transport Ship

Today, the first of two community exclusive Stormrise units has arrived! This week we’ve got a special look at a number of new units from the Echelon – to keep it simple I’ve added in pictures and bullet points about the pros and cons of each unit, and you can also check out full text here on the PR doc. If you see any units you’re excited about, just click on the image and you can download a super high-res version on our Flickr page!

Technology is the Echelon’s bread and butter, and the Echelon ship above certainly reflects it. This transport ship does what all transport ships do in RTS games: They move units around. But you can’t win a war with just transport ships – which is where the big guns come into play,  like the Echelon Stalkers:

Echelon Transport Ship

Echelon Stalker:

  • Great against air units, can fire surface-to-air Missiles
  • Can pull an Optimus Prime and transform into a massive anti-armor laser. (Transformers theme not included.)

If blasting your enemies from above is your thing, the Echelon Eclipse (An excellent name, I might add) will do the job quite nicely:

Echelon Eclipse:

  • Biggest ship in the entire world (Sorry, Titanic)
  • Can fire the Polaris Rift. (Think ‘big explosion!’, then multiply that by 100.)
  • Can switch between Air and Ground modes
  • Has a really awesome name.*

*: Exact levels of awesomeness may be subject to partial bias from Ruby Eclipse due to name similarity.

Echelon Seeker:

  • The undisputed eyes of the Echelon. Spread these units around to gain a tactical advantage.
  • Fights 1v1 about as well as your grandmother. (In short: they don’t.)
  • Also a support unit: Can boost accuracy of nearby troops.

In many ways, Stormrise is also a neat representation of an age-old question:  Technology (Echelon) or Brute strength (Sai) – Which is more important? If you had to choose between the two, which do you think would be more useful in everyday life?