SEGA has revealed more details on their upcoming concert, "Sympathy 2013", commemorating the Phantasy Star Series' 25th anniversary. The concert will be performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Masamichi Amano, and will feature at least 10 different pieces taken from a variety of past and present Phantasy Star games, including the opening theme for Phantasy Star Online 2.
In addition to the great music, attendees of the concert will receive special PSO2 item codes for items such as a Guitar Case rifle, Sonichi mag evolution device, nine different room items (including Grand Piano, Drum Set, Jukebox, etc.), four different music discs, and a Phantasy Star Series 25th Anniversary logo sticker. See image below for most of the items:
Sympathy 2013 will take place March 30th, 2013 at the Hibiya Public Hall in Hibiya Park, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Tickets can be purchased for ¥7,300 or ¥7,800 (about $81 & $87 USD).
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first release in the Phantasy Star series, which took place on December 20th, 1987, Sega is having a special art event. They are calling this event the "Illustration Festival" and are asking fans to submit original, unpublished artwork covering any game in the Phantasy Star series.
The guidelines for submission are as follows:
- Submission period: 12/19/12 to 1/16/13
- Art relating to any game in the Phantasy Star series
- Works must be original, unpublished, and created by the submitter
- Accepted format is JPEG, up to 1MB in size
- Image dimensions must be 1280x720
- Multiple submissions from the same person will be accepted
There is extra emphasis on the fact that submissions should not have appeared anywhere else (including other web sites, blogs, social networks, etc.). The selected entries from this event will be published by SEGA in February 2013. There is no mention of any prizes or awards at this time, but we'll keep you updated on any further information that comes in!
For those looking to submit an original work, SEGA has provided a submission form on the official PSO2 JP players site. A SEGA ID is not required to participate, though the form does require an email address, artist name (or pseudonym), title, and comments.
Starting today (Sunday), there's a huge sale going on for SEGA download bundles over at Amazon, with savings of AT LEAST 80% off in most cases! These download packs include a large number of games from SEGA's catalog, going back all the way to the Genesis days (the Genesis pack is only $4.99 and is made up of 50 classics, including Phantasy Star II, III, and IV). Here's a rundown of what is currently available (almost all of these can be activated on Steam, by the way):
Sega Genesis Classic Game Pack - $4.99 (50 Games, Classics Series 1-5)
- Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Comix Zone, Ecco the Dolphin, Gain Ground, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, VectorMan, Crack Down, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi and Space Harrier II
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, Bonanza Bros., Columns, Ecco Jr., Eternal Champions, Fatal Labyrinth, Galaxy Force II, Kid Chameleon, Ristar and Super Thunder Blade
- Alien Storm, Bio-Hazard Battle, Columns III, Sword of Vermilion, Virtua Fighter 2, Ecco: The Tides of Time, Decap Attack, Flicky, ESWAT: City Under Siege and Golden Axe II
- Alien Soldier, Gunstar Heroes, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Light Crusader, Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining in the Darkness, Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, and Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
- Phantasy Star 2, Golden Axe 3, Streets of Rage 3, The Revenge of Shinobi, Wonder Boy in Monster World, Vectorman 2, Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium, Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom, Dynamite Headdy, and Beyond Oasis / The Story of Thor
Dreamcast Pack - $4.99
- Crazy Taxi
- Jet Set Radio
- SEGA Bass Fishing
- Sonic Adventure DX
- Space Channel 5 Part 2
Sonic Action Pack - $24.99
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Sonic Adventure DX
- Sonic CD
- Sonic Generations Casino Night DLC
- Sonic Generations
- Sonic Spinball
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1
- Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 2
Sega Arcade Collection - $14.99
- Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
- Jet Set Radio
- Renegade Ops Coldstrike Campaign
- Renegade Ops
- Virtua Tennis 4
Sega Action Only Pack - $19.99
- Aliens vs. Predator
- Binary Domain
- Condemned: Criminal Origins
- Hell Yeah
- Viking Battle for Asgard
Total War Bundle + Viking + TW Battles - $23.75
- Empire: Total War
- Medieval II: Total War - Gold Edition
- Napoleon: Total War Imperial Edition
- Rome: Total War - Alexander (Expansion)
- Rome: Total War - Gold Edition
- Total War Battles: Shogun
- Total War: SHOGUN 2 DLC - Rise of The Samurai Campaign
- Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai
- Total War: Shogun 2
- Viking Battle for Asgard
The SEGA Genesis Collection for 5 bucks seems like a major no-brainer and includes some great classics, including three Phantasy Star games. In addition, Amazon is also offering a $5 promotional credit with the purchase of any of these bundles, good toward any "Editor's Choice" game download during January 2013, so it might just end up being free in the long run.
The sale will run through this week and will be ending on Saturday, December 8th, 2012. Drop by the comments and let us know what you pick up!
Update 11/12/12: The registration page is now working again for players outside of Japan. A big thanks to juliox for letting us know!
A flood of reports came in during the early morning hours today that SEGA had initiated a block on new SEGA ID registrations from outside of Japan. The block has since been confirmed, though the reasons behind it and its duration are still unknown. Players attempting to access the SEGA ID registration page for Phantasy Star Online 2 are receiving a plain white page with a single error message on it:
(Essentially says, "Not available from your area.")
While initial reports speculated that the PSO2 client downloads were also being blocked, this does not seem to be the case at this time. In addition, existing SEGA ID accounts created from outside of Japan can still be logged in to and managed.
Also worth noting, is that these changes are not specific to Phantasy Star Online 2. SEGA ID registrations for SEGA's other online games, such as Rusty Hearts, are also giving the same error page when attempting to create an ID outside of Japan.
We'll keep an eye out for some kind of official statement from SEGA on this change, so stay tuned to the front page and forums for more info as it becomes available. There could be a number of reasons behind the block and it may just be a temporary measure.
Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. posted its 2nd quarter earnings summary Friday, covering everything from its Pachislot and Pachinko business to its consumer software division. Among the highlights (again), is Phantasy Star Online 2, which has continued to perform well in Japan and exceed the company's expectations.
In a consolidated report covering the first half of the current fiscal year, SEGA's consumer business division, which includes packaged software and digital sales, showed noticeable improvements compared to the same period last year. The company continues to undergo restructuring in an attempt to become more profitable and focus on digital mediums.
Strong software sales and performance of digital titles, such as Phantasy Star Online 2, helped produce ¥35.7 billion ($44 million) in net sales, a 5.6% increase over last year. While the company did still show an operating loss of ¥780 million ($9.7 million) for this division, it is a huge improvement over the ¥6 billion ($74.5 million) loss during the same period in the previous fiscal year.
Looking on toward the future, SEGA still plans to bring numerous titles to the market and notes its continued intention to develop and release the smartphone and PS Vita versions of PSO2.
Phantasy Star Eternal Planets was officially released this week in Japan on Yahoo! Japan's Mobage platform. Eternal Planets is a browser-based role-playing game with microtransactions that is set contemporaneously with Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity. In the game, you are asked to explore unknown planets and harvest resources. Battles are handled using a turn-based system. New items, such as weapons and clothing, can be acquired by visiting the Meseta Shop. No plans have been announced to release Eternal Planets outside of Japan. A Yahoo! Japan account is required to play the game.
Fighting a Gaozoran