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Jeremy Jastrzab
26 Sep, 2011

Tokyo Game Show 2011 - Day 2

PALGN Feature | And now for day two.
The second business day is the one where you’re likely to see the most, at Tokyo Game Show, particularly as you now have your bearings. Sure, you could always come back for the public days to marvel at the wonderful Japanese past time of queuing, or to check the cosplayers and various freaks, but don’t count on seeing too many games. In any case, I started off the day by trying to head quickly to the Sony booth and get some hands on time with the PS Vita. Being the only new console at the show, it was always going to have the longest queues.

The game with the shortest queue was Shinbido 2, where we got to try out some of the features that were explained to us at the Namco Bandai Pre-TGS Event. Before this though, we were given a brief introduction to the PS Vita with some time-wasting mini-games that used the touch screen and had players competing with the clock. Shinbido 2 certainly showed off some improvements, but the game has a long way to go to prove that it’s better than its predecessor.

Nearly there!

Nearly there!
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After giving up on the PS Vita queues, just opposite in the Sega booth, the queue for Binary Domain was surprisingly empty. Those who started to gather in the queue were treated to a video of the different Japanese voice actors talking about the game (not that I knew what they were talking about anyway…). Once ushered into the theatre, we were treated to a lengthy presentation/trailer detailing the story and gameplay mechanics, which was surprisingly intuitive to understand. Suffice to say, the influence of the team behind the Yakuza titles is pretty evident. Afterwards, we finally got to spend some time with the game, where I played an early level that introduced us to a number of the gameplay mechanics, such as the cover and voice commands. Late in the level, we had to take down a giant robot by first destroying its armour plating with a rocket launcher and then mounting its head and trying to keep balance while firing at the weak point. In all, it looks like Binary Domain is actually shaping up quite nicely now, following an ignominious showing at E3.

Having already seen Namco, there wasn't much else needed.

Having already seen Namco, there wasn't much else needed.
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Having seen just about everything that there was to offer in the main hall, it was time to head to Capcom’s booth in the next hall. The Monster Hunter 3G queues were quite... monstrous, so there was little chance to see whether Nintendo’s new 3DS touch pad peripheral was going to make a public debut. There was however, plenty of time to see Asura’s Wrath and Street Fighter X Tekken, which we’ll talk about in more detail in a later article.

Monstrous.

Monstrous.
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While walking around to see what else was on offer, I happened to stumble upon a presentation that Capcom were giving on the Devil May Cry reboot, as the producer from Ninja Theory, Alex Jones, came on and gave a demonstration and talk about some of the intricacies of the controversial title, which we will talk about in a later article. Despite hunger pangs, I meandered over to Konami, which was dominated by titles specific to Japan such as New Love Plus, though there were still the proper affairs such as Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, which apart from some button rearrangement isn’t doing much different, the Metal Gear Solid HD ports and 3DS title, Neverdead, Blades of Time and Silent Hill: Downpour.

That style just looks plain weird.

That style just looks plain weird.
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Wandering past the Microsoft booth, there was a great deal dedicated to Kinect, showing off the new and upcoming titles such as Star Wars Kinect, Dance Central 2 and Forza Motorsport 4, the last of which we didn’t get to try because the wait blew out to 40 minutes when a TV crew cut in. However, there did seem to be some u-shaped peripheral with controller buttons on display, to help with the steering. There was also a very Japanese flavoured titled, which had players taking baseballer caricatures, while traipsing through a haunted fun park and attack enemies with baseball bats and throwing baseballs… Some how I don’t think we’ll see much more of this one. Either way, the Japanese gamer and Kinect actually seem like a pretty good fit together.

Will she steer you the right way?

Will she steer you the right way?
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As for the core titles, I took Final Fantasy XIII-2 for a spin since the queue at the Microsoft stand was non-existent. Having spent very little time with the predecessor, the presence of cinematic events was quite an interesting twist. But surprisingly, it was possible to progress quite proficiently and even beat a boss by playing in Japanese. Of the other titles on show, the one that stood out as surprising in its presence was Lollipop Chainsaw, the latest bizarre creation from Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51. It was extremely offputting to see copious amounts of zombie blood mixed with bursts of rainbows and stars, all in the same sequence, or hack-and-slash gameplay mixed with cheerleading moves. Still, it was something different.

So Sony has a bigger presence? At least you'll get to play something at Microsoft...

So Sony has a bigger presence? At least you'll get to play something at Microsoft...
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After staking out the queue for the HD port of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, some technical difficulties meant that the queue wouldn’t move for a while. At the Arc Systems booth, I took the latest BlazBlue for a spin, watched a few presentations and observed the length of the Persona 4 queue. Now, fighting genre veterans will be able to tell you the differences in BlazBlue much better than I, so I best not to say anything else for now. A quick look around the merchandising area showed that this was definitely a geek’s paradise for paraphernalia, though aside from the Square Enix music stand, the stands were too focused on very recent or upcoming titles and products for the locals (i.e. cutesy crap to hang off your phone or bag).

Not shown: The Persona 4 queue.

Not shown: The Persona 4 queue.
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There was better luck with Peace Walker at the Sony booth, where it was not only working but had a much shorter queue. And after playing for 15 minutes (that is, actual playing and skipping all the cut scenes) it was interesting to see how the game played with its sharper mission structure and with much improved controls. Also, I took a quick look at the next Naruto Shippuden title for the PSP, which while it was quite well directed and it appropriately captured the mood for that part of the story, it played too much like a Dynasty Warriors clone for much hope to be held for it.

The day finished off with a trip to Capcom’s media room to get some hands on time with the latest level of Asura’s Wrath, as well as attend a presentation involving the director and producer of Dragon’s Dogma. This presentation was actually quite informative and managed to paint the game in a much more positive light, what with the potential that it has. Furthermore, the latest build was much cleaner and better looking than the E3 build.

Time to slowly start heading out.

Time to slowly start heading out.
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Once this was done, everything was being shut down for the day and the only thing left to do was observe the booth babe line ups and bid farewell to everyone for the day. There was a huge stand for a company called ‘Gree’ which does some sort of social gaming distribution in Japan, and their babe line up was… long. Suffice to say though, despite being a smaller show, Tokyo Game Show was much more efficiently run than E3. Whether it be due to the much more efficiently organised floor staff, the patient queues, the obedience and manners of the attendees, the looser media restrictions or the fact that the booth babes actually knew how to play the games well and take care of the machines on a basic level… it all worked out quite well.

Counting is fun!

Counting is fun!
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So while Tokyo Game Show mightn’t have had as many reveals and announcements as Gamescom, it wasn’t as big as E3 and a lot of the demos were merely updated from earlier showings, it’s an efficient show that does it’s best to show those who attend what they want to see and as much of it as possible. Oh, and you’ll get a lot more swag and the eye candy is far superior to the other shows. So, can anyone tell me what is Japanese for "can I have your number?"

See you all next year, perhaps?

See you all next year, perhaps?
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Related Content

Tokyo Game Show 2011 - Day 1
25 Sep, 2011 The first day, direct from the show floor.
Binary Domain Interview
25 Aug, 2011 We speak to Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi about his forthcoming game.
PALGN Reader Game of the Year Awards 2009
31 Dec, 2009 The readers sound off.
5 Comments
2 years ago
Woah Microsoft are finally integrating Kinect with controllers and other accessories?! That's a big deal. I thought Forza 4 was just going to be normal except it would have head tracking and other Kinect features as small bonuses but to have it fully is a big thing. It might actually get my dad to use his (Got it in January for his birthday because he wanted it so bad. Has played it 6 times lol)
2 years ago
Jeremy wrote
So, can anyone tell me what is Japanese for "can I have your number?"
私はあなたの番号を持つことができますか?icon_smile.gif
2 years ago
Oi oi! English characters please icon_sad.gif
2 years ago
携帯電話番号を教えてもらえませんか?
keitai denwa bangou wo oshiete moraemasenka?
can you tell me what your mobile number?

if you want just the home number (ie. lan line) drop the keitai

these days in Japan it's all about email addresses than mobile numbers.

あなたのメールアドレスはなんですか?
anata no me-ru adoresu wa nandesuka?
what is your email address?

you'll be picking up in no time! icon_wink.gif icon_loved.gif icon_nn.gif
2 years ago
Thank you! All ready for next year now icon_biggrin.gif
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