TGS ’12 kicked off today with one of the biggest queues we had ever seen for any event…it snaked through the building, outside the Makuhari Messe building and right down the street with no end in sight. We waited patiently for the end and joined the queue where we entered the game show.
Straight off, if you have the fortune to ever attend TGS on a press day, take the opportunity as the crowds inside the building are not dense and allow you to walk through at your own pace. The lines to play the games are also very short with the exception being Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance where the wait was 60 minutes. Apart from that blockbuster game, which we intend to play through tomorrow, most waits were between 20 – 40 minutes.
So what did I play…Professor Layton Vs. Ace Attorney, Project X Zone, DMC and Monster Hunter 4. I’ll go through each game below, giving my impressions on each one.
Professor Layton Vs. Ace Attorney (3DS)
The whole demo was in Japanese, which was to be expected, and you had a choice of choosing the Layton or Phoenix story, I chose Phoenix. The game starts with a stunning cinematic with a terrible crime being committed and it’s up to Phoenix to work out what happened. I can’t really talk about the story, no English, but the artwork looked absolutely amazing with the 3D assets being rendered flawlessly by the 3DS. It’s actually hard to believe that this game started life as a 2D title, the characters have a real fluid feel to them and the courtroom looked fantastic in 3D. The 3D perspective has been handled just right with an amazing feel of depth to the stages never feeling like it had just been tacked on. The only thing that would make this better is knowing exactly what was being said.
Project X Zone (3DS)
This is one game that we’ve been covering and been waiting to get our hands on and it didn’t disappoint. I wasn’t aware that it wasn’t an SRPG but in any case, it works excellently. The action takes place on a gameboard where each character can only move a certain amount of places in a given direction. I played as Dante, Megaman, Sir Arthur and Dante. When on the board, the characters have been rendered in a cute chibi manner but when you land on a square occupied by an enemy or close to one, that’s when the action kicks up a notch and presents itself in a traditional fighter mode. During this mode, you can call for assists and power moves from your comrades resulting in massive amounts of damage being dealt on screen, hits of up to 80 or more landing, explosions from every which corner and all this without slowdown of ANY kind, it’s truly amazing to see this kind of action on a handheld.
This was also in Japanese but to be honest no English was needed during the demo, if you want to follow the story however, this will obviously be a problem. But for just seeing heroes and villains from three of the biggest players in the game in one title at the same time is truly a sight to behold. As it is a SRPG, it would appear that there’s little chance of this coming out of Japan so import may be the only option.
DMC (Xbox 360)
DMC. Wow! I wasn’t expecting this game to be so good but this is one game that blew me away. First of all, it was in English (yay!) with Japanese subtitles. Dante moves with such an amazing polish and silkiness that has to be seen. As far as gameplay goes, it does play like any other DMC title but somehow the developers have managed to incorporate a new level of smoothness and fluidity to the animations. The environment is fantastic, shifting and warping to allow a constant stream of evil hordes from the fiery pit below. Dante has some tricks up his sleeve where he can detach some demon power and pull enemies to himself or pull the very environment itself, causing it to change allowing him to reach new upper areas to continue the action. His voice acting was spot on and conveyed a realism not seen very often in these types of games.
I will definitely be queuing up to play this game again tomorrow, we’ll see if I can add new thoughts to this then but I definitely can’t wait for this final release.
Monster Hunter 4 (3DS)
This new instalment looks unbelievably well on the 3DS after finding a new lease of life on the Sony PSP and the playing audience have responded in kind with this title have a rabid community eager to get their hands on it. The Capcom booth for this game in incredible, refer to pics, and plays like a dream. It was a bit tricky navigating the world without the aid of a Circle Pad Pro, leaving the rotation of the environment to the D-pad making it a bit of a challenge when playing. But it was possible and didn’t detract from the action at all. There was a choice of beginner, intermediate and advanced level. I chose the beginner level not being a huge Monster Hunter myself. The stages are extremely large, seemingly bigger than they were on the PSP with some large noticeable differences. First of all, some of the walls and environments can now be scaled allowing you to climb walls to access new areas or areas that seem to be unreachable as well, you now have the added ability to jump on the monster’s back, hacking and slashing away before he throws you off. You’re able to mount him again if you’re quick enough to get into his blind spot.
I wasn’t able to capture or kill the monster before time ran out so the level finished with a successful ending but still the demo was extremely enjoyable and left me wanting more. Will definitely play this again on Day Two at TGS.