I know this isn’t Tottori related, but I wanted to blog about the Tokyo Game Show.
It’s one of the biggest video game conventions that’s open to the public, and it’s recently become the biggest game localization (translation of Western Games) stage for Japan. I wanted to attend so that I could see what the industry is like here compared to the U.S.
As with all conventions, there was a lot going on, so please check out this highlight video for a quick visual overview:
They also have a Cosplay Showcase night, and knowing how serious Japan takes their cosplay, I had to check it out. By the way, Japanese Cosplay Contests are not just displays for costumes… they are choreographed performances.
Watch this video to get an idea what I mean:
The focus of the show was Virtual Reality as Playstation and HTC were showing off their gear while studios were showing off games related them.
All of the demo tickets for VR went fast, so by 11am, only 1 hour after the showroom opened, they were all distributed. I was lucky enough to try a VR game out by being the only one standing around while somebody missed their appointed time slot.
I will say that on the outside, VR looks pretty dumb. I mean, you have to wear a goofy headset, and there are only so many situations that you can apply to it.
But after trying it out, I can see the allure, especially with modern game engine graphics. Anything that reacts to more of your movements, is automatically that much more immersive. The fact that I could look side to side and see the other members in my party beside me, made a difference in how the game felt.
That said, I still predict that current VR will mainly be used in specific settings, such as Dave and Busters or some other gaming club, simply because the cost of technology. Right now VR sets cost the same as a game system, so online play will be a huge factor in how long these systems will sell for as the community will be a fraction of the console owners. There’s also the fact that games such as Assassin’s Creed and Metal Gear Solid lose a huge part of mechanics by being in the first person and don’t .
I don’t have high expectations, but a lot of companies are investing in this technology right now.
Besides that, Japanese games tend to focus on anime franchises and sequels, which is why their pushing Persona 5, as well as new Gundam, Naruto, and DragonBall Z games. FPS games are still more PC focused here, though they keep tryiing to infiltrate the console with games like Mafia III.
For those interested in other games I saw, here is a list of things that I enjoyed from the show:
Most Intriguing Game: Gravity Daze 2
I don’t own a Playstation Vita, so I missed the first game which was released as Gravity Rush in the US.
But watching the demo of this game brought back a rush of excitement that I can recall only feeling on rare occasions such as when I first saw the gameplay of the Nintendo 64. Looking at the game, you’d think it was Super Mario Galaxy on Steroids, but there’s more to this game as the mechanics also add to the story.
Most Over-Hyped Game: Final Fantasy XV
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good RPG as much as the next person, and I know Japan loves Final Fantasy (they’re releasing 3 Japanese titles this year), but this game is looking pretty… meh.
Final Fantasy usually puts a lot of effort into creating the new characters, world, and story. The story we’ll only see once the game is released. The world is just as beautiful, and probably more intricate than any Final Fantasy we’ve seen. But the character design is very flat. It looks like it was designed by a cosplayer who didn’t want to spend a lot of time creating a costume.
In the end, we’ll see if improved gameplay mechanics and pacing can save the US view of this franchise.
Best Game You’ve Been Waiting For: The Last Guardian.
15 minute gameplay demo on loop. No cameras allowed. But I can say that if you are a fan of the puzzle solving gameplay of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, then you will not be allowed.
Also, beautiful environment mechanics. Most games focus on what you can do to the environment, but in this game the surroundings affects you as much as you can effect it.
Best Technology Showcase: Unlimited Hand
This piece of technology uses electrical impulses to let you know when you touch an object in the vr. Uses same technology to read your hand motions so that you can interact with said object (Press button, squeeze trigger, etc).
Best Indie Game to get accepted to the Nintendo Platform (Which is a really really hard thing to do): EctoPlaza
Simple mechanics on a 4 player Battle Royale stage create instant fun in this game. Not to be mistaken for a Smash Bros. Ripoff, this game stands out by creating an even playing field between characters so you have to rely more on base strategy than on special moves.
Last but not least, Strange Games (Y’know… because Japan):
School Girl Zombie Hunter:
Japan’s version of Lollipop Chainsaw. Wouldn’t seem so strange but the demo booth looked like this:
Yeah… I’m gonna pass.
A dating sim where you interact and watch 3 girls in a dorm you manage?
A Playstation VR title where you interact in close proximity with a college-aged woman. This title is supposed to surpass any previous AI interaction held in a VR environment… but it’s a bit creep so, Pass.
UNKORE: A Colon Bacillus as Healthy Life
This is a mobile app/game that monitors your daily pooping activity to help fight colon cancer.
You read that right.
This game started by a colon doctor in Japan, combines the kawaii characters found in most games with real facts about bowel consistency. Not only does it actually include gameplay (your characters power up the more regular you are), but there’s also a forum where you can post your bathroom stories anonymously.
I actually played this, and it was fun despite (or maybe because of) all the poop and butt jokes at the booth.
Well, thanks for sifting through this long blog post. More comic style ones to come in the future, I promise.