Tag Archives: tgs

Why The Most Recent Tales Game Is Taking So Long

Screenshot: Bandai Namco
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Between 2002 and 2012, Bandai Namco released a mainline Tales game almost every year, save for 2006 and 2010. After 2012, there was a two-year gap before Tales of Zestiria. The following year, Namco Bandai released Tales of Berseria. But since then, there hasn’t been another Tales game. The next one, Tales of Arise, won’t be out until 2020.

So why has there been such a long gap? During a studio visit last week, I asked producer Yusuke Tomizawa that question. “It’s been several years since Tales of Berseria,” he said.

“We’ve switched to Unreal Engine 4. We want to bring in new players. That’s where we are starting from and that’s why it’s taken so long.” Plus, the goal is to release the game simultaneously worldwide next year. That, the producer adds, has also taken time.

“In the past, there was a period in which we put out lots of Tales games,” Tomizawa admitted. “But I’m not saying we are only going to do a new Tales game every four or five years.”

Tales of Arise appears to be a transitional game from the consecutive run of games in the 2000s but also a rethink of what a contemporary Tales game can be. From what Namco Bandai has shown, that looks promising. 

Source: Kotaku.com

Junior High School Student Wins $46,000 Game Tournament, Doesn’t Get Any Money

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During the Tokyo Game Show, legendary Street Fighter player Momochi forfeited tens of thousands of dollars in prize money because he doesn’t have a pro-gaming license in Japan. He wasn’t the only one who lost out on money. The winner of the Puzzle & Dragons tournament did, too.

Junior high school student Yuwa came in first place. The prize purse was 5,000,000 yen ($46,205)—none of which he received. Instead, he was given a trophy, a gaming headset, a year’s supply of chocolate almonds, and a year’s supply of Real Gold Dragon Boost energy drink.

Why didn’t he get any money? According to Japan’s pro-gaming license system, players between the ages of 13 and 15 can only compete under a junior license, which waives any right they have to receive prize money. Japan’s pro-gaming organization wants younger competitors to focus on their schoolwork. In Japan, compulsory education ends after junior high school.

When Yuwa was awarded the trophy after the tournament, the announcer pointed out that because he had a junior license, he would not get any of the prize money. “Aaah, that’s too bad,” said the other announcer. Both announcers remarked how they look forward to what he does from henceforth. Like, win this tournament again?

Later, on Twitter, Yuwa wrote, “I received honor instead of money.” Admirable, but those winnings probably would have come in handy for college tuition.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Cosplay Of The 2019 Tokyo Game Show

Screenshot: Rescue the Princess! (YouTube)
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

This year’s Tokyo Game Show has come to a close. But these cosplay images will live on!

Cosplayers came out in droves during the show’s two public days. Those wanting photos must line up to take snaps, which means a good chunk of time needs to be dedicated to cosplay.

The highlight clip below was taken by Rescue the Princess! (follow on Twitter here):

Let’s have a look at some of this year’s standouts:

Source: Kotaku.com

Final Fantasy VII Remake Seems Popular At The Tokyo Game Show

Photo: All photos: Brian Ashcraft

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In what should surprise absolutely no one, Final Fantasy VII Remake is drawing long lines at the Tokyo Game Show. I think people in Japan might be excited about this game. Call it a hunch!

Today is the first public date for the 2019 Tokyo Game Show. As soon as the general public started being let in, many attendees started making a beeline to either the Sony booth or the Square Enix to play the upcoming FFVII Remake.

At around 9:40 am, the end of the line at the Square Enix booth looked like this:

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Sony had cut off the FFVII Remake line by 10 am, along with several other titles. The red stickers say that the demo sessions have ended for the day.

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Square Enix, which had a significantly larger FFVII Remake set up with more demo stations, didn’t cut off the line until to sometime around 10:10 am or around thereafter.

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Even the wait to take photos with Cloud’s Hardy-Daytona motorcycle is long. Square Enix passing out tickets for folks to come back later so they don’t have to stand in line for extended periods of time.

This is me going out on a limb, but I think people in Japan are excited about Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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Source: Kotaku.com

The Merchandise Of The 2019 Tokyo Game Show

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When you go to the Tokyo Game Show, you can play games. But if the lines are too long, you can buy stuff. Your choice!

As in years’ past, TGS has a dedicated merchandise area. Certain things sell out, so if you are planning on going (and know what you want to buy), do your shopping early. 

This Monster Hunter hug pillow costs nearly $300.
Dreamcast and Mega Drive themed scales.
The little bowl is for soy sauce.
Monster Hunter themed baumkuchen. Priced at around $150.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro Is Massive In-Person

Photo: All photos: Brian Ashcraft (Kotaku)
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

The images SNK have released do not convey the actual size of the Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro. It’s humongous.

The stick comes packaged with 20 games and can be connected directly to the TV or PC, plug-and-play style.

Huge arcade sticks aren’t uncommon, but this one seems especially jumbo.

It seems that SNK also has a protective cover for the Arcade Stick Pro. Since the stick is white, no doubt it would get real dirty. 

Source: Kotaku.com

Why It’s Taken So Long For A New Space Channel 5 Game

Takumi Yoshinaga of Sega, Mineko Okamura, and Noboru Hotta, both of Grounding Inc
Photo: Brian Ashcraft (Kotaku)
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

It was at 1999 that the first Space Channel 5 debuted at the Tokyo Game Show. Now twenty years later, the classic music game is back.

Following the success of the original Space Channel 5, Sega released a GBA version and a sequel called Space Channel 5 Part 2. While the main character Ulala had cameos in an array of other games, there was never a proper third Space Channel 5 game until now.

“Back when the original games came out, we thought that a third Space Channel 5 would have had the same type of gameplay,” Sega’s Takumi Yoshinaga told me at the Tokyo Game Show. There would not have been enough for a difference to merit another sequel.

“When the Wii came out, I did put together a pitch for a new Space Channel 5 game,” said Yoshinaga. “I also did the same for Kinect.” The projects were never got the green light. While those games might have been fun the first or second time, the thinking was that there wasn’t enough staying power to merit the release.

“But because of VR, we thought we could do Space Channel 5 with a new type of gameplay,” said Yoshinaga. Not only would the motion play add a new aspect to Space Channel 5, but immersing oneself in the world was part of the appeal.

“The team members of the original Space Channel 5 have stayed in touch via social media like Facebook,” explained Mineko Okamura, who worked on the original games and who nows heads up Grounding Inc., the studio that is developing Space Channel 5 VR: Arakata Dancing Show for PlayStation VR. “We would able to bring them back together to work on the VR game.”

Since everyone knew each other and had that shared history of making the original games, development progressed smoothly.

“For this game, we wanted to change the color of Ulala’s outfit,” said art director Noburo Hotta. In the first game, she wore an Dreamcast orange dress, which at that time symbolized something new and exciting for Sega. For Space Channel 5 VR: Arakata Dancing Show, neon yellow was picked as the best way to express the world of VR.

“I think this is a good time to bring Space Channel 5 back,” Okamura said. “Ulala is a reporter looking for the truth, and now it’s increasingly hard to tell what news is real or fake. But she’s searching for that truth and doing it in an upbeat and happy way.” That sounds exactly like what the world needs right now. 

Source: Kotaku.com

Hands-On With Death Stranding: The Umbrella

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Hideo Kojima’s upcoming release Death Stranding isn’t playable at the Tokyo Game Show. But you can demo Death Stranding: The Umbrella.

Full disclosure: Even though it’s overcast here today at the Tokyo Game Show, I was not able to test this demo umbrella outside in the rain.

While Death Stranding: The Video Game is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, Death Stranding: The Umbrella is not. Designed for wet weather, it can also be used as on sunny days to help block out the sun’s rays or during snowy weather to fend off the cold. This Death Stranding is multiplatform.

While in its sheath, the title Death Stranding is clearly legible. The all-black cover builds up to some anticipation. Is there a black umbrella inside? Or will Kojima throw us a curveball?

Since I’d had seen the demo version on the Tokyo Game Show floor, so I was not surprised to find that the umbrella itself was black.

One of the weakest parts of Death Stranding: The Umbrella is that when closed, it is not possible to read Death Stranding. I am sure this won’t be a problem when opened.

The handle is made from soft-touch plastic. Considerable development must have gone into this.

Let’s press the button and see how this story unfolds.

Wow! While this was one of Hideo Kojima’s easier to follow endeavors, it proves that he is a master of raingear surprises.

At its core, Death Stranding: The Umbrella is just that, an umbrella. In many ways, we’ve seen this before. You open it. You close it. The umbrella keeps you dry. He’s not departing from the tried and true formula, but this umbrella is well-made with a nice twist when opened.

But, isn’t it bad luck to open umbrellas indoors?

Damn you, Kojima.

Death Stranding The Umbrella is priced at 4,500 yen ($41.61). You can demo it for yourself at this year’s Tokyo Game.

Source: Kotaku.com

The New Resident Evil Is Good (So Far)

Screenshot: All images Capcom
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I’ll be honest. When Project Resistance was announced, I was skeptical. A multiplayer Resident Evil? Surely, that cannot work, I thought. At the Tokyo Game Show, I got hands-on with Project Resistance, and from what I played, I realized that, yes, yes it can.

Project Resistance is a four-on-one asymmetrical co-op multiplayer game. Four players team up in hopes of solving puzzles and escaping from locked rooms. The other player does everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen.

While Project Resistance is a temporary title, the game itself felt fully fleshed out. The four different Survivors each have a special ability. The character January Van Sant, for instance, can disable the cameras that exist throughout the rooms and hallways in Project Resistance. The character Tyrone Henry specializes in defensive moves; he’s also able to easily kick down doors and rally the others. Valerie Harmon can heal the injured, and Samuel Jordan is good on the attack. These are the Survivors. Each of these specialized skills means that players must work together to solve puzzles and escape from the rooms.

What makes Project Resistance interesting is that there is a fifth player who takes the role of the Mastermind, who tries to prevent the Survivors from escaping. The Mastermind can access the CCTV cameras to monitor the rooms and hallways. When a camera is selected, the Mastermind can then spawn zombies and creatures in that area as well as do other things to make life difficult for the Survivors such as lock doors, turn out the lights and set traps. Since the character January can hack the cameras, that means the Mastermind must toggle from camera to camera to prevent—or slow down—the Survivors.

The Mastermind can also take control of a zombie that’s been spawned, which keeps things interesting. When Mr. X is spawned for a limited time things get really interesting because he packs so much brute strength.

I found that playing as the Survivors was a solid Resident Evil experience, but with the added element of everyone working together, trying to evade the zombies and escape. Because the maps are cramped, however, sometimes it seemed like all the Survivors could get clumped up together in confined areas. The co-op experience is good, and there is the same sense of dread in traditional Resident Evil games. The way that is recreated in a multiplayer co-op was impressive.

What I really liked was how difficult the Mastermind experience was. Shooting a zombie in the face is satisfying in Resident Evil, but when you are the Mastermind, doing something as simple as turning out the lights was also equally satisfying—and for the players, unnerving and frightening. The Project Resistance demo understood what makes horror so effective for those who are being pursued and for those doing the persuing. What could be a deeper understanding of what Resident Evil is than that?

Source: Kotaku.com

The Motorcycles Of The Tokyo Game Show

Photo: All photos Brian Ashcraft
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

I’ve been coming to the Tokyo Game Show since 2004, but this is the first year I remember seeing bikes of any sort at the booths. While they’re not road-ready, they are prime for picture taking.

Makes sense! Both Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy VII Remake feature motorcycles. Neither of these bikes actually move. They’re props designed for photos ops, not real riding.

They have lots of lovely little details.

In smaller-scale collectible form.

Source: Kotaku.com