Tag Archives: japanese gaming

Tokyo Game Show Day One Review

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.

Tokyo Game Show 2012

 

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.

The Konami Booth

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.

[AFG_gallery id=’165′]

Weekly Sales Charts – Japan

It’s that time again for the Japanese weekly sales charts and after slipping down a few notches from the coveted number one position, Mario is back on top.

The 3DS is still holding extremely strong and holding back competition from the PS Vita and the PS3. The Vita is still having sales of over 10 continuing the trend from last week but we’ll see soon if it’s just riding the Hatsune Miku Project Diva f wave.

Software Charts

  1. [3DS] New Super Mario Bros. 2
  2. [3DS] Lost Heroes
  3. [PS3] Max Payne 3
  4. [NDS] Pokemon Black 2 / White 2
  5. [PSV] Hatsune Miku: Project Diva
  6. [PSP] Lost Heroes
  7. [PS3] Gekiatsu!! Pachi Game Tamashi Max: Evangelion 7 x Seimei no Kodou
  8. [3DS] Tousouchuu: Shijou Saikyou no Hunter-Tachi Kara Nigekire!
  9. [3DS] Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
  10. [WII] Dragon Quest X: Mezameshi Itsutsu no Shuzoku Online

Hardware Charts

  • Nintendo 3DS: 64,159
  • PlayStation Vita: 14,106
  • PlayStation 3: 11,813
  • PSP: 9,065
  • Wii: 6,958
  • Nintendo 3DS: 1,269
  • PlayStation 2: 1,078
  • Xbox 360: 815

Project X Zone To Receive Western Localised Version?

Project X Zone for the 3DS would have to be one of the most ambitious titles to come out of three of the biggest studios in Japan. We’re hopeful for a Western release but have been patiently biding our time for any news of this happening.

Today, there might be some silver lining as a rep for Namco Bandai has come forth and said that in regards to a localisation of the title, they’re going to monitor its progress and see how it performs in Japan before anything is decided. If it sells high in Japan then the possibility of a release in another large market, such as the United States, may become a possibility.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for stellar figures when it launches later in the year!

Ground Zeroes Will Have Day/Night Cycles Plus New Screenshots

Great day for fans wanting to see more of Ground Zeroes, the next exciting installment in the Metal Gear Solid series, with the release of the screenshots seen below.

Hideo Kojima has also revealed that the game will incorporate day and night pattern cycles which will affect things such as enemy patrols and other seemingly random world and environment events. The idea being that this feature will increase the replayability time for the game.

[AFG_gallery id=’163′]

Let’s Celebrate Anniversary Of The Sega Dreamcast

Long before Blu-Ray, 3D and HD, there was the little console released by Sega hoping to succeed where the Sega Saturn had failed. I bring up the iconic Dreamcast for two reasons, 1) it’s my favourite console of all time and 2) yesterday marked the anniversary and release of the Dreamcast. Having being released back on the 9/9/99, Sega had high hopes and massive expectations for the advanced 128-bit system with one of the best launches in terms of an incredible library of quality games.

Let’s not forget the Dreamcast shipped with 4 controller ports and the still, to this day, unique VMU memory card, or Visual Memory Unit which doubled as a portable games system on its own. The VMU allowed you to raise and strengthen your Chao before importing them back into launch title, Sonic Adventure. Coupled with revolutionary for then online play via a 33.6k modem and later a 56k modem, the Dreamcast was light years ahead of everything else at the time.

Launch titles included, Sonic Adventure, The House of the Dead 2, Marvel vs. Capcom, Hydro Thunder and the sublime, Power Stone. 

Despite having a massive and extremely impressive range of launch title from RPG’s, fighters, action games and including FPS titles, the Dreamcast struggled to strike a chord with the gaming public. The number one reason would have to be the newly released trailer at the time for Metal Gear Solid 2 which was highly impressive with Solid Snake walking across a rain drenched bridge before slipping into camouflage mode, turning invisible and leaping off the side. This trailer combined with people’s expectations for the Playstation 2 effectively killed any hype that the Dreamcast had generated as the PS2 appeared to promise so much more with its bundled DVD player, a new technology back then.

A look back at some of the games that still put a smile on my face are Sonic Adventure, before bursting out on Xbox Live Arcade and the PSN, Sonic called the Dreamcast home in a blindingly fast adventure across gorgeous scenery intermingled with cameos by other playable characters, each having their own story to tell. Awesome game.

 

Jet Set Radio – Whisking around town on rollerblades tagging and creating aerosol works in Neo-Tokyo was amazing and still looks amazing to this day. Talks of the this title being ported to the PSN in HD put a smile on my face and check out the soundtrack as well. Great techno beats that always bring back memories of jumping on top of buses and doing crazy grinds on anything humanly possible while spray painting at the same time…what’s not to love?

Grandia II – available on PS2 but so much better on Dreamcast if anything for the nostalgia this game generates but good luck tracking down a copy these days. Massive RPG where Ryudo is tasked with protecting a young girl which inevitably ends up becoming part of a much bigger story in scope and scale.

So many more games to tell, I could go on and on but I’ll finish it up with a game that will always hold a special place for me, Shenmue. This game is one of the reasons I became obsessed with Japan and how could you go past the control system employed in the game, “F.R.E.E.” (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment). This game is like living life in Japan as you’re encouraged to talk to everyone and look everywhere for clues as you track down the man responsible for the death of your father. Gripping story with unforgettable characters and fascinating locales. The original is only available on the Dreamcast and comes highly recommended, this game is a pure and total gem.

So to the Sega Dreamcast, we here at Japandaman say Happy Anniversary and thank for the memories!

Capcom Says No Plans To Bring EX Troopers For 3DS To The West

In shattering news, we hear that Capcom has no plans to bring the Lost Planet spin-off, E.X. Troopers for the Nintendo 3DS, to the Western World. Christian Svensson, who holds the mantle of Capcom’s Consumer Software Senior VP has advised fans via the Capcom Unity Forums has shattered hope for gamers outside of Japan with these news.

The justification was, “No because EX Troopers isn’t part of the LP series officially (thus the difference in name) nor are there plans to bring it Westward at this time.”

Does this mean Japandaman will have to purchase a Japanese 3DS next week? Hmm…maybe…

Weekly Sales Figures From Japan

Weekly sales charts time and surprise, surprise…a PS Vita game has managed to nab the number one position with Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F. This  means that Nintendo’s New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS has slipped to second spot, but it’s not all bad for the Kyoto giant as they still occupy 50% of the top ten. The latest Hatsune Miku title no doubt has absolutely driven sales of the PS Vita to something resembling launch figures, will this remain…what do you think?

Software Charts

  1. [PSV] Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f
  2. [3DS] Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
  3. [3DS] Senran Kagura Burst: Guren no Shoujotachi
  4. [3DS] New Super Mario Bros. 2
  5. [PS3] Kami Jigen Game Neptune V
  6. [PSP] Mobile Suit Gundam Age: Universe Accel / Cosmic Drive
  7. [PS3] Sengoku Basara HD Collection
  8. [NDS] Pokemon Black 2 / White 2
  9. [PS3] AquaPazza: AquaPlus Dream Match
  10. [WII] Dragon Quest X: Mezameshi Itsutsu no Shuzoku Onlin

Hardware Charts

  • Nintendo 3DS: 74,293
  • PlayStation Vita: 50,070
  • PlayStation 3: 12,433
  • PSP: 10,266
  • Wii: 8,680
  • Nintendo DS: 1,488
  • PlayStation 2: 1,098
  • Xbox 360: 875

Sega Updates TGS Lineup

Sega have made a few changes to their lineup of games for Tokyo Game Show, adding some new ones in the process. So we hear that Yakuza 5 will be playable (awesome!) as well as Phantasy Star Online 2 being playable (can’t wait!). For Phantasy Star Online 2, there will be versions for PC, Android and Vita version set up at their booth. You can see an image below of the booklet that visitors to their booth will be receiving, looks awesome!

Another game for iOS which will be in video format only will be Rhythm Thief R which was announced as being free to play. The Sega booth will also be hosting distribution partners so this means that FIFA 13, Need For Speed Most Wanted, Medal of Honor Modern Fighter,  F1 Race Stars and F1 2012 will be there as well.

As with previous years, playing the demos gives you access to the best free swag, examples can be seen below of what to expect. Does anything grab anyone’s eye? Yakuza tissues or Phantasy Star Online 2 soundtrack?

[AFG_gallery id=’159′]

Ace Attorney 5 Will Release In The West

Awesome news today for Phoenix Wright fans with the announcement that Ace Attorney 5, which will be in playable form at TGS, will be releases in the West. This has been confirmed by PR Manager for Capcom, Brian Keltner, who said, “Capcom is planning to release Gyakuten Saiban 5 (Ace Attorney 5) in the West. We’ll have more news soon.”

Fantastic to see that Wright’s first entry in 3D, with new control system, will be making am appearance outside of Japan, a couple of previous titles in the Ace Attorney series didn’t see the light of day outside of Japan.