Live Report from the Tokyo Game Show 2011


Here it is people, the live report from within the 2011 Tokyo Game Show! The second biggest gaming exhibition in the world and the largest in the gaming rich East Asia, kicked off today! With over 190 exhibitors from 16 countries world wide, exhibiting over 700 titles. From those, over 100 are for Nintendo platforms. We’ve had an amazingly epic day of adventure and discovery, throwing in a good measure of fear when ground tremors shook the show hall and the rest of Japan as a result of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of New Zealand. We were in the press room tweeting the event live to our followers when it hit (here’s our first tweet at that moment).

Setting off from our central Tokyo hotel before 7am, we arrived at the Makuhari Messe just shortly before the 9:30am doors opened. It was a long hard journey involving two changes. During the last leg we encountered the dreded pushers. Pushers are the train staff employees that cram commuters into the trains, you can see a famous video of them here (Although our predicament wasn’t quite as bad, it was similar.) Hundreds of other press attendees queued to be first in rushing the main hall. We however made a direct stroll towards the East hall where Square Enix and Tecmo Koei lay in waiting.

Upon arrival at the Square Enix Booth, we signed up imidiatly so that would’d able to take press pictures of the venue and the booths along with the representatives of the companies involved. But no matter how you tried you are not permitted to include any game footage in the shots. That explains why we have no screens for you here. The armband pictured in the gallery below was very neat and felt a privileged to be able to wear a name such as Square Enix.

The very first game we played was Dragon Quest Slamori 3DS. Not a big game, but fun none the less. It involved you controlling a slime from the Fragon Quest games, and have him slam your way around a top down landscape, slamming targets and carrying objects to specific points on the map. Very easy to pick up, control and play. Cheerful graphics but made no real use of the 3D screen. Still it was fun to play and occupied a good thirty of our first Tokyo Game Show minutes, which is impressive. Next up however was Final Fantasy Theatrhythm, a very good portable take on the rhythm genre games. A number of different modes of play all with their own tasks and styles. One in particular which is very soft on the eye is a cinematic sequence, where you have to slide your stylus over the screen in a multi direction rhythm in tune why music being played. The others generally involve you touching the screen to scrolling instructions. But the game doesn’t feel like a gimmick but has rather been put together with some quality thought and care. This took up at least another thirty to forty minutes of our time. After which we had a short stab at the Dragon Quest & Super Mario game. It’s a good mix of strategic points based board game with Mario Party eliments. Fun, with very chirpy graphics. It is what it is. We then walked around the Square Enix booth which is a multiple entry venue in itself. We found a smallish section dedicated to this intriguing game called Bravely Default. For some reason it hadn’t attracted much attention so we were able to walk straight in. A lady accompanied us and started us in a set demo of the game where we simply pointed the 3DS’s camera at a glowing AR card (specific to the game) on the ground. The games main Charater then started emerging from floor and we had to raise our 3DSs away from the card on the floor bringing as into a full on virtual reality world, where the character walked across the room and proceeded to dissapere.. It was very impressive and think this game could well have something special going for it.

We then walked through the show hall Westwards towards the Sega booth which was next up. There we got a hands on with Project Mira. Not worth saying much about this came, particularly after playing the well made Theatrhythm. This game just felt like it’s been slapped together. Very rudimentary rhythm game which no particular thought into making it special. The only real good aspect of the game is that the 3D footage displayed well and was of good cinematic use. We left this game pretty early (Sorry if things would have turned themselves around after fifteen minuets of play.) and made for Sonic Generations. Decent game, and very similar to what’s been offered before. Not really a Sonic fan so don’t blame me for not getting too excited. Sega’s booth was well organized and they made it all very welcoming for visitors to access the games on demo.

Namco Bandai was the next exhibitor after Sega going Westwards. But their Nintendo offering was prettymuch Tetris (which looked neat) and Go Vacation which is another stab at the Wii Sports gaming bandwagon. Walked straight past and made for the mad buzz that we could see was..

Capcom. Now Capcom’s booth was a sight to behold. Really mad busy with people queueing at every entrance for every game showing. First up was the 3DS Circle Pad Attachment (which we tweeted on first with pictures). There were two booth babes with these attachments strapped to themselves. They were more than happy for us to have a go at the device and to take as many pictures in any which way too. Our review on the device is short and to the point. It’s not designed to be portable (or even attractive) but rather makes up for it by being super comfortable and lightweight, meaning it’ll aid any game that insists upon this type of control setup. But I would still say it’s not sightly at all and only now wish it had been included in the original 3DS design. But then again we don’t know how many games will require this add on. Apart from this, Monster Hunter and Revelations were the mega hits of this Tokyo Game Show (up there with Sony’s Vita). Access to Monster Hunter 3G was via coupon only but plenty were being dished out. However some were not able to get a hands on further into the afternoon. Moster Hunter 3G is an impressive gameplay is very much in character to it’s Wii brother. Graphics are impressive as well as are the areas. Action is fluid but intricate. Can see this becoming very successful. Resident Evil Revelations is still a visually impressive game and still sends a slight shiver up your spine. The RE booth within the Capcom belly, was a darkened Victorian drawing room complete even with a grandfathers clock. We had a time limit of ten minutes before we were kicked out. But this was still the same game demo that’s been doing the rounds in the UK for a while. So nothing really new to report here.

Next up on the route, was Konami with an equally in size booth as that of Capcom but somewhat less busy. Hit Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater before anything. Here as well, the demo was exactly the same as the one being served up all over the UK. Didn’t like to controls during previous play, but gave it another go seeing as I queued for it. Have to say nothing’s changed in that respect. You move forwards, backwards and sideways with the analogue pad but your directional view is via the digital buttons meaning aiming for example is trickier than it needs to be. Would have been much better, were you able to control your directional view using the touch screen. Instead the touch screen is used for weapon and item selections. Regardless the visuals are impressive and the game play is spot on. Perhaps the controls can be tweaked or corrected before this games eventual release. Whilst queueing for MGS, I spotted and very enchanting game called Beyond the Labyrynth! This one I hadn’t expected to be playable at TGS. Anyways, I made straight for this one. No queue, just straight in and started. This game is really quite special. The visual style is captivating and unusual at the same time. But it’s the games engine that is what makes it different. You guide this girl (the game’s made character) with your viewpoint. Your viewpoint can be slid around the playing field using the analogue pad (forwards and backwards) and with the shoulder buttons (look left or right). The girl then follows you as you enter different rooms/areas. Within these rooms/areas you have various enemies to attack with projectiles and powers until their health gage has been depleted. Can’t explain more about the mechanics as it’s not possible to delve too deep in to the game. But the visual style is this games strong points so far.

We then spent a good time around the shows merchandise areas and back tracking through the show checking out some other platform’s games. The only real disappointing factor of the Tokyo Game Show is that Nintendo themselves never really exhibit here. If they had this time I’m sure it would have been even more of an occasion for all.

This is our NintendoScene Video touring the entire Tokyo Game Show Floor. More videos by us can be found at our Nintendo Scene YouTube Channel.

Here’s the complete photo sequence from the show. For future events you might what to “like” our facebook page as pictures are mostly uploaded there first.

Comments
2 Responses to “Live Report from the Tokyo Game Show 2011”
  1. StealthBuda says:

    Awesome, just awesome. So jealous Stuart. But don’t worry. SB has plans for Japan.

    Like

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