As a casual gamer, I’ve never felt the obligation to go to the Tokyo Game Show. Being a TGS n00b, I had no idea that they would make us wait in lines for half an hour and walk around the three halls of Makuhari Messe before reaching the entrance gate.
In the middle of our long march, I saw a little girl who got tired on her feet and tripped because of exhaustion. Luckily, her father was there to help her back up and encouraged her to keep on walking. That’s when I realized something was off.
I went to this convention expecting to join the crowd of stereotypical core gamers, and I was surprised to see people young and old, who obviously did not belong to the gaming community that I knew. This shows how the gamer population has expanded (number wise and category wise) in Japan. But we’ll talk about this later. I’ll tell you what I got from TGS first, with a few of my highlights from the show floor.
Final Fantasy XIII 2 Hands On
Okay, I play a lot of Japanese RPGs, so one of the titles that excited me the most is obviously Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) and man, don’t I know some of you gamers loathe FFXIII, but seriously, it’s good. The gameplay is similar to FFXIII, though they add some new features. One of them is hunting monsters and having them fight for you. There is also the cinematic action feature, where you can trigger extra deathblows if you press the appropriate buttons during cinematic movie battles. Not that innovative, but at least I can feast on pretty graphics.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out the Final Fantasy XIII 2 trailer.
Rhythm Action Final Fantasy Anyone?
Another thing I found interesting at the Square Enix booth is the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for 3DS. This is an interesting rhythm game, which uses cartoon-style characters from the Final Fantasy series. Just like any rhythm action game, it’s a case of hitting the right button at the right time to slay the enemy, but this time it’s with Final Fantasy characters and music.
Thearthythm Final Fantasy for 3DS:
New Suikoden Title for PSP
Konami surprised gamers during the presentation for their upcoming RPG title, Frontier Gate for PSP, with the announcement of a new Suikoden title: Gens? Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki (Gens? Suikoden: Hundred Years Woven). I got excited about this title; that is until they announced it was for PSP. Really!? With PlayStation Vita coming, why is Konami starting a new title for PSP?
Seeing the trailer also disappointed me, because I was kind of hoping for a sequel of the main (IS) timeline of Suikoden, while this game is most likely be a sequel of Suikoden Tierkreis (PSP). Well, I hope they will do a better North American localization on this one, because Tierkreis’ hero in the NA version speaks without commas and full stops.
Gens? Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki trailer for PSP:
‘Tales of’ Series gets a reboot
Another new RPG title announced for next year is Tales of Innocence R for PS-Vita, which is basically a remake of the Nintendo DS version of Tales of Innocence. According to Bandai Namco, R stands for Re-imagination. They are planning to add a new character, making more refined graphics, restructuring the story, and I hope it’s going to be good because Tales of Innocence is a weak game compared to other Tales of~ series, with also a weak promotion, thus is probably why it is unheard in the Western part of the world. Hopefully they will make an NA localization of this version, so you guys can give it a play. The only English version I know of Tales of Innocence is one that was localized by a group of fans.
Another developing title from the Tales of lineup is Tales of The Heroes Twin Brave for PSP, a two character tag-team mus? game. Mus? is a Japanese term for crowd-clearing action games, a la Dynasty Warriors. The premise is that two characters from each Tales of~ games team up and sweep mobs of enemies. As we can see in the earlier released PV, we have a Yuri and Flynn team from Tales of Vesperia, Lloyd and Zelos from Tales of Symphonia, and Jude and Milla from the latest Tales of Xillia.
Tales of Innocence R trailer for PS-Vita:
More Mus? games from Bandai
Bandai Namco also presented another new mus? game in their booth, which was exciting. One Piece Kaizoku Mus? is in development and in case you’re unfamiliar with the title, One Piece is the most read comic book in Japan. The 61st volume sold 2 million copies in just 3 days, earlier this year. This title should be one people are looking forward to, over here at least.
One Piece Kaizoku Mus? is a joint project with w-Force who has developed Gundam Mus?. This and Tales of The Heroes Twin Brave will be joining Saint Seiya Senki, another manga title, and Hakuouki Mus?, originally a girls-oriented love simulation title, in Bandai’s line-up of new mus? games titles. Which makes you wonder why are these developers making mus?s out of everything?
Capcom goes Mus? crazy too
Still on the topic of mus? games, Capcom made a surprising announcement for their upcoming installment of their infamous mus? game series Sengoku BASARA (English title: Devil Kings): Sengoku BASARA 3 Utage for PS3 and Wii. They’re having BSR48 election project – let me explain.
If you live here in Japan, it’s impossible for you not to know AKB48, the multi-platinum idol group consisting of more than 50 members and famous for their annual election system, where the fans and audiences can vote for the member we want to be the stars for the media promotion as well as the lead singers. Capcom is using a similar voting method for fans to elect their favorite 48 members, using the serial code they will get from the Sengoku Basara3 Utage game. You get one serial code for one vote.
The character who wins this election will be the main character in their next Sengoku Basara audio drama CD, and will be the image character for the commercials.
Taiko Rhythm Games Roll into TGS
Bandai Namco also announced their tie-up with the band AKB48 for the 10th anniversary of the famous taiko (Japanese traditional drum) rhythm game: Taiko no Tatsujin! They will have a new arcade machine and a new Wii version, which will be released this winter. They also announced that the mobile phone version Taiko no Tatsujin has been downloaded more than 2 million times and that they will try to embrace more users by developing the social game version of this game that is also going to be released this winter.
A friend I tagged along with to TGS commented that she saw the most beautiful MMORPG ever in the Gaming PC and Network Game area. I decided to take a look in that direction, and I have a feeling that she was talking about this title called Tera. I am not a big fan of MMORPG but this one definitely caught my breath away with the beautiful graphics, so check it out.
Tera Promotion Video:
Those are my highlights from the show floor, at my first TGS. I’m sure there are a few games in there that Western gamers may not be familiar with, so I hope that they get a release in the US and Europe.
I thought you’d like to know what’s hot in Japan, right now, so check out the winners of the Japanese Game Awards 2011 at the Tokyo Game Show.
Game of The Year: Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (Capcom, PSP)
Global Japanese Game: Pocket Monster Heart Gold/Soul Silver (Pokemon, NDS)
Global Overseas Game: Call of Duty Black OPS (Treyarch/Square Enix, PC/PS3/Xbox 360)
Best Sales: Pocket Monster Black/White (Pokemon, NDS)
Special Mention: Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar Games, PS3/Xbox 360)
Game Designer Award: Hirameki Puzzle Maxwell no Fushigi na Note (5th Cell/Konami, NDS)
Other Superior Games:
Wii Party (Nintendo, Wii)
Eiyuu Densetsu Zero no Kiseki (Nihon Falcom, PSP)
Catherine (Atlus, PS3/Xbox 360)
Gran Turismo 5 (Sony Computer Entertainment, PS3)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, Wii)
Xenoblade (Nintendo, Wii)
Donkey Kong Returns (Nintendo, Wii)
Ninokuni Shikkoku no Madoushi (Level Five, NDS)
Pokcet Monster Black/White (Pokemon, NDS)
Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker (Konami, PSP)
Monster Hinter Portable 3rd (Capcom, PSP)
Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Awards: Ishihara Tsunekazu (Pokemon CEO)
Future Award: Asura’s Warth (PS3/Xbox 360)
Additional Information from 4gamer.net