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New Vanquish Trailer Straight from TGS!

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SEGA @ PAX2010 – Swag Update – Part 1

SEGA @ PAX

PAX2010 approaches and with it the SEGA Community Event on September 4th! If you’ve not yet heard of the event, we’re going to be right across the street from the PAX convention hall at the Gameworks Arcade. Drop by and relax after a long day with a bit of food, clear your head with a drink and hang out at the Arcade with your fellow SEGA friends!

We recently gave you a hint of the raffle prizes we’re going to be handing out at the event with a big image of all the goodies. We mentioned we’ll have 20 prizes to pass out, so we’re going to dive in and show you some of the really great stuff we have planned. This is kind of like a live Free Stuff Friday, but on Saturday and not on the internet – so ya, still kinda similar, right? Still FREE stuff and we’re upping the ante a bit with some really big prizes.

Ultimate Bayonetta Pack

The Ultimate Bayonetta Pack

Let me get this out of the way – if you’ve not played Bayonetta then you absolutely have to; it’s one of the best, if not the best, action games to come out in recent memory. In this prize pack, we’re giving out a copy of the Xbox 360 version, a Sega Sweatshirt, and a very, very special prize – a lifesize replica gun from Bayonetta’s arsenal! Containing every perfect detail, this gun is one of 15 produced for the game’s launch earlier this year. We only have one of these to give away, so this is a Bayonetta collectors dream come true!

Shadow the Hedgehog Plushie Pack

The Shadow Plush Pack

After seeing the demand for these in our recent Free Stuff Friday video where we ‘pretended’ to Burn some of Aaron’s stuff, we figured it would be a fantastic idea to save them from the bin and give them out to the fans! We know they are popular, so we have two Shadow plushies to give away, both accompanied by a SEGA sweatshirt.

Sonic & SEGA’s Allstars Racing Remote Control Car Pack

The All Stars Racing Pack

Recently announced and revealed across the web, these RC cars are nothing short of amazing and super fun. We couldn’t resist opening one and giving it an office tour; practically everyone was asking for where they could pick one up! We’re happy to be giving away 2 of these packs complete with the SEGA sweatshirt.

ASTRO A30 Headphones with 5.1 Dolby Mixer – Vanquish Edition

The Vanquish Astro Headphones Pack

ASTRO headphones are easily the best purchase I’ve made all year – perfect for console gaming, PC gaming, and on-the-go usage. Perfect for the long commute I take into the office and they easily swap into gaming headphones when I arrive back home. These headphones come equipped with Vanquish Speaker Tags (the removable tags on the headphones), which we created for both E3 and the PAX show. The tags are only available in this giveaway and we’ve got two A30 packages to pass out, both complete with a SEGA sweatshirt – an awesome prize for any gamer!

SEGA Mystery Bundle

We have some random swag in our office. It actually intended to be someone’s personal office, like with a door and everything, but we took it over and now it is completely swamped with random T-shirts, games, and odds and ends. So what can we do with all this fun stuff? Give it away of course! We’ve got 5 mystery packs to giveaway, each complete with a SEGA Sweatshirt!

How to Win

Very simple – Attend the event and you’ll get a raffle ticket or two. We’ll hold the prize giveaway later that evening and you’ll need to be in attendance to pick up your prize – it’s that easy! To help save on shipping costs and awkward travel situations (”Sir, you’ll need to purchase another ticket for your friend Shadow”) from the show – we are awarding sweatshirts on the floor and shipping all prizes out to winners after the PAX weekend.

We hope to see you at the event – if you are coming, let us know by signing up on our Facebook Event page!

 
   
   
 

Vanquish Demo is Here!

I’m very happy to be writing this blog all about our Vanquish demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which should be out now! For everyone at SEGA, this is very exciting news, and we hope you enjoy taking a spin on SEGA and PlatinumGames newest offering. Before we jump into the details, I want to give you a quick bit of info on the setting, the game, and then offer you a bit of a challenge.

Vanquish

The Story So Far…

Vanquish is set in a desperate future, one that centers around exponential population growth, a demand for resources, and a political power play from Russia that lands you in the heart of the action aboard an orbiting space station. You play Sam Gideon, DARPA Agent and co-designer of some very advanced technology – the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS). Your mission is to work with the infiltrating military to restore order, find your fellow agents, and prevent an attack on New York City, among other American targets.

The Secret to Success

Vanquish is the newest game from the mind of Shinji Mikami, creator of such classics as Resident Evil. Known for his epic games, Shinji Mikami has taken on the 3rd person shooter in a way that only he could. Working with PlatinumGames, together they’ve come up with a very fast, very fluid, and very intense cover to cover shooter. How you operate the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) system and the key abilities it grants you will be the deciding factor in your success – or failure. The two abilities that I find the most useful are Boost and Augmented Reaction (AR).

The Augmented Reaction Suit, you’ll find, is incredibly fast and agile when you use Boost to navigate around the demo area. Boost allows you to dash over to save wounded marines, evade attacks, or quickly close the distance on any enemy to deliver a punishing melee attack. Boost into cover, boost out of cover – boosting is one of the best tools you have for both defensive and offensive action in Vanquish.

Vanquish

While Boost grants you speed, Augmented Reaction (AR) will grant you time. Time will save you in both a reactive and proactive manner – push forward with your Boost and flip on AR to destroy enemies while you dash past them. Jump out of cover into AR to line up headshots and stop a guarded threat behind cover. Roll into AR, plant your body, and focus fire at heavily guarded targets for maximum efficiency. Defensively – you’ll enter into AR when you take on too much damage, granting you a moment to kill your main threat, or evade into cover to recharge and continue the fight.

I highly recommend checking out the tutorial before jumping into the full game to see how these two abilities play out. You’ll get a chance to mess around in a safe environment and become comfortable with how the game works. Trust me, you can adapt while you play the game and absolutely get through it – but you will benefit from a bit of practice!

Vanquish

The Demo Challenge

So as a spot of fun, I figured I’d leave you with a challenge to see if you can best what I consider to be a very impressive clear-time on the demo. The demo, as you’ll find, runs about 45 minutes or so, depending on if you need to do a retry or not.  Our own internal producer, Keith, has become quite good at the demo from various trade shows and has a clear time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds. I challenge you to beat this time! Keith is good, but I’m betting the community will be able to best him in a few short days after release – prove me right, post screenshots if you can, and show them what community can do!

The Vanquish Demo is now available – we hope you enjoy the demo and look forward to your impressions!

 
   
   
 

SEGA @ PAX Community Event: Epic Raffle Prizes!

SEGA @ PAX

SEGA and the community team is headed to PAX 2010 to show off our games, have some fun, and throw a Community Event at the Gameworks right next to the convention center! Our community event kicks off at 8pm on Saturday and will feature live music from Cash Cash (creator of the Sonic Colors theme song), free food & drinks, access to some classic SEGA arcade games, and a chance at some of the epic swag we’re raffling off!

The Raffle Prizes & Sweatshirt

Our Pile o' Swag for the PAX Community Event

Epic swag you say?? We’ve secured some of our best SEGA swag from years past and present and are rewarding attendees with some really good stuff. To sweeten the deal, we’ve created a very special sweatshirt that’s only available at PAX Community Event – we think you’ll agree, it’s sweet. The sweatshirt comes in black and is heavy duty; very thick. There are four signature controllers from classic SEGA consoles embroidered across the front; we love how they turned out and cannot wait to pass them out. As mentioned, this is only available for our PAX Community event for these special giveaways, so you’ll have to come out and take a chance at winning one!

How to enter?

Very simple – Attend the event and you’ll get a raffle ticket. We’ll hold the prize giveaway later that evening and you’ll need to be in attendance to pick up your prize – it’s that easy! To help save on shipping costs and awkward travel situations (“Is that a Bayonetta gun in your bag, Sir?”) from the show – we are awarding sweatshirts on the floor and shipping all prizes out to winners after the PAX weekend.

Individual Raffle Prizes

We’ve got a total of twenty mixed prizes, spread across a wide range of SEGA brands and even some consoles to giveaway.  Keep your eye on the blogs for updates leading up to PAX 2010 that detail the individual prize packs!  We hope to see you at the event – if you are coming, let us know by signing up on our Facebook Event page!

 
   
   
 

Vanquish Pre-Order Weapons Trailer

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Vanquish Demo Coming Your Way

Vanquish

LONDON AND SAN FRANCISCO (August 23rd, 2010) – SEGA® Europe Ltd. and SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced that the demo for VANQUISH™ will be available exclusively for download from Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, and PlayStation® Store for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system in North America on 31st August, across Europe on 1st September and Australia on 2nd September.

The VANQUISH™ Official Demo: Velocity Attack, allows players to choose one level from the two levels of difficulty (Casual or Normal) available. Taking on the role of Sam, a United States government agent kitted out with a futuristic ARS battle suit, players are vying for ownership of the planet’s remaining energy resources against Russia on board a huge space station. On entering the third port lobby of the space station, numerous enemy robots are being brought in by dropships. Players have an array of weaponry and upgrades at their disposal, as well as the ability to hijack “Walkers”, or use the suits unique Boost and AR mode to take down the robots. The demo climaxes with the formidable boss, Argus which you will need to use all your skills acquired throughout the demo to defeat.

Vanquish

VANQUISH™ is the hottest title Shinji Mikami has worked on in over 4 years, achieving high tension throughout the game and delivering a new sense of game merged shooting and action in a finely balanced manner. The game is set for release across North America on 19th October, Australia on 21st of October and across Europe on October 22nd 2010 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.

For more information about the game, please visit www.vanquish-game.com

 
   
   
 

SEGA PAXtravaganza – Booth and Community Event!

SEGA @ PAX

SEGA is headed to the Penny Arcade Expo, and we’ll be both on the convention floor and hosting an exclusive community event after the show on Saturday night! On the floor we’ll be showing off playable versions of our games, including:

Sonic 4
Sonic Colors
Vanquish
Conduit 2
Yakuza 4
Phantasy Star Portable 2
Valkyria Chronicles 2

Also in appearance is a look at the recently announced Shogun 2: Total War. In a guided demo, Creative Assembly will be on hand to show off the game, it’s features, and answer any questions you may have about the game!

In addition to the Creative Assembly team, we will also have developers on hand from High Voltage Software. If you’ve got a question about Conduit 2 or Shogun 2: Total War, they’ll be on the floor to dish out answers and tell you first hand about the games they are creating.

We’ve got a big show planned, so head to booth #3625 and check out everything SEGA!

SEGA Community Event @ PAX

We’re throwing a community event to celebrate all the fun we’ve been having in the SEGA community; if you are at PAX or around the Seattle area, we want you to attend! The event kicks off at 8pm on Saturday, September 4th right across the street at the SEGA Gameworks Arcade. It will be first-come, first-served, so get there early if you want to be guaranteed a spot inside. Attendees will have access to free food & drinks, exclusive SEGA swag, musical performance by Cash Cash, free Arcade play, and raffle prizes throughout the night from SEGA’s past and present.

SEGA Arcade Games at Gameworks

Sonic Air Hockey
It wouldn’t be a proper SEGA community event without a nod to our Arcade roots. At the Gameworks space, there are ton of classic SEGA games to be enjoyed, including:

After Burner Climax
Daytona 2
F355 Challenge
GhostSquad
House of the Dead 4
LA Machine Guns
OutRun2 SP
Ollie King
SEGA Rally 3
Sonic Air Hockey
Star Wars Pod Racer
Virtua Fighter 5
Virtua Tennis 3
And more!

RSVP on Facebook!

To RSVP for the event, head over to our Facebook event page and let us know you’re coming! Since the event is open to the public, this will get you one step closer to joining the fun on Saturday night. To register your interest in the event, head here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=101129856615510

We hope you can make the event, and we look forward to seeing you at the Penny Arcade Expo!

 
   
   
 

Second Vanquish Gameplay Trailer Now Live!

We’ve got an all new Vanquish Trailer and five new screenshots! Check out the fun stuff that SEGA & PlatinumGames has planned for you in October!

Trailer

YouTube Preview Image

Screens

Vanquish Screen - 8/6

Vanquish Screen - 8/6

Vanquish Screen - 8/6

Vanquish Screen - 8/6

2117Vanquish Screen - 8/6

 
   
   
 

Vanquish Community Q&A

Prior to E3, we asked around on our blogs, twitter, facebook and forums for your questions to Shinji Mikami on Vanquish. We’ve taken your questions directly to the man himself and are happy to post the answers:

Sega & PlatinumGames Forums
Vanquish

Rikitatsu
– What was the inspiration behind the style and setting of VANQUISH?
We based things on the Japanese animated series, Casshern. As far as the game goes, we really put an emphasis on speed during the gameplay.

– How Important will the Melee combat be in the game? and how many melee moves are there?
We haven’t made melee the focal point of combat in the game, but it is an effective technique when you close in on an enemy. The focal point of combat in the game is shooting, so the melee attacks are really just to add to the combat repertoire.

– Do you think VANQUISH will be able to successfully compete with other shooters on the market without Multiplayer?
Of course, the lack of multiplayer will probably make things difficult on the sales front, but what we have instead is the speedy exhilaration of Vanquish’s gameplay, along with the content you can really sink your teeth into. I think it will provide more than enough enjoyment for those who buy the game.

Darkking27
What was your inspiration to make this into a third person shooter and not first person?
I wanted people to really feel the action going on during the game, which means that we needed to show the player on the screen.

Casual 9amera
– Will we’ll see any characters from your previous titles making an guest appearance?
Nope.

Sonic THP
– Do you think Vanquish represents a sort of attempt at making a very traditionally “western” genre and infusing it with a style that is centric to Japanese video games?
If that is how people take the game, I am totally fine with that.

IR A IP T O IR
– Will it be different color swaps for the suit? I want a black one!!
At first, we thought it would be fun to have a black version of the main character included in special edition. During production though, this plan fell by the wayside, but you are right, a black version of Sam would be really cool.

– Will the Achievements / Trophies be difficult to obtain?
We aren’t making them insanely difficult, but you are going to have to challenge yourself to earn them.

e3_mikami

Phoenix
-What is your favorite aspect of Vanquish?
I really love the boost system in the game, as well as the English voice for our main character, Sam. It is incredibly cool, and I’m hooked on it.

-Is aiming of the guns smooth and precise despite the speed and hectic atmosphere of the game?
We have tuned things so that the guns in the game are easy to aim, and that aiming is smooth.

ViewtifuljoeX
-How serious is the story going to be?
Basically, it is a serious story, becoming a bit dark at the end.

Shinji Mikami (The forum poster)
-Can Shinji Mikami shed some light on some hidden parts of the game that make it special and different?
The staff decided to screw with me a little bit by hiding some rhinoceros beetles in the game. They did this without me knowing, so definitely be on the lookout for them in the game.

Phantasos
– Will be bosses be solely “Shoot and Dodge” or will there be pseudo puzzle challenges like environmental hazards?
The bosses are a bit old-school, in that there is a distinct process for defeating them, kind of like exposing their weak points and then firing upon them.

Facebook.com/Sega
Vanquish
Dan B.
– Did you go to a gaming art school or a regular university?
I went to a normal university, Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. I didn’t really study, but I was somehow able to graduate.

Brian O’C.
– What was the inspiration for the visual style?
The backgrounds are influenced by a movie called Tristan + Isolde. In the end, the visuals are really the product of the individual tastes of the staff creating them, but I think the graphics in the game are something we can be proud to recommend to people.

James M.
– Who will be composing the soundtrack for the game?
The soundtrack was mainly composed by our in-house composers; however, ex-Grasshopper Manufacture composer Masafumi Takada was also in on composing some tracks.

Tom A
– (Shinji Mikami) never seems to stick with one game style for his projects, often doing something very different with each game genre he tackles. I’d like to ask why he chose the third-person shooter genre this time?
It isn’t really a question of why. There was a reason the game had to be a third-person shooter. To create a shooter with strong action elements, I felt the only way to pull things off was with the third person perspective.

Twitter.com/sega
Henry
-What is the main difference between an Occidental shooter and a Oriental shooter design fundamentals that makes the difference at all
The short answer is Realism. From the graphics, to the worlds, games created in the West tend to want to simulate reality at a very high level. On the other hand, there tends to be a great number of Japanese games going for distinctive styles of expression.

There you have it! Big thanks to the good folks at PlatinumGames and Shinji Mikami for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions. We love doing interviews like these, so be on the lookout for future opportunities!

 
   
   
 

The Graphics of Vanquish

In his latest blog, Shinji Mikami discusses the visuals behind Vanquish, including some enemy design choices:

———————————–
Vanquish was originally an open battlefield type of game, where the goal was to move around crushing enemy positions; however, once we got started with development, we quickly made the decision to change to a more linear structure. We abandoned the open battlefield and focused on making each stage as visually dense as possible. As a result, I think the graphics in Vanquish are really quite wonderful. It is one of the main points of Vanquish I want to recommend to people. (The only regret is that our decision decreased the amount of times the player uses boosting.)

Of course, arriving there was a struggle. Upping the visual density, increasing the contrast, making the special effects especially eye-catching, throwing tons of enemies on the screen… In an environment where we were doing whatever we pleased, it became pretty obvious that there was no good way of keeping your eye on the prize – the enemies you are targeting. I felt like I was being pin-pricked by the staff talking about how hard it was to see the enemies. Moreover, the enemy character that you see most often, a robot we call a Gorgie, was predominantly white. We had primarily gray backgrounds with white enemies. When you think about it from a realism standpoint, camouflage exists to make things difficult to see, so in that way things make sense, but from a game standpoint, it was not the best idea. I really liked the white enemies, so it took me a long time to come around to the idea of making them red. We also had to limit the number that we could put on screen at once due to hardware limitations. (This had the effect of limiting the huge amount of information we were throwing at the player, so I’m sort of on-board with this one.)

I’ve written quite a bit about it, but our art lead, Naoki Katakai and programmer Ryoichi tend to do whatever they please, and what they came up with was great, and I think our visuals are quite spectacular as a result. Thanks to all the staff that worked so hard on them.

Vanquish

This is the initial conceptual design for the enemy known as a Gorgie. At first, they had white bodies…

Vanquish

But they are red in the final design!

Vanquish

Once we made them red, they became much easier to identify in-game.

 
   
   
 


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