Sunday, 20 September 2015

The TGS 2015 Roundup!

Well I'm back in Nagoya and I'm recovered from my post show drinking hangover so now I'm ready to share my thoughts on the Tokyo Game Show.  While I had a lot of fun at the show walking around and staring at all the shiny new games, I was a little disappointing and there isn't really all that much I came out feeling excited about.

So, let's gets started with the good stuff. 

The first thing we saw as we came into the entrance this time was the Playstation indie booth thing which contained a number of games made by different people from all sorts of backgrounds.  2 games of note that I got my hands on were Slashy Hero and Illan.

Slashy Hero is a dungeon crawling game for mobile platforms where you control a little dude during Halloween slicing up monsters for candy and collecting loot to progress.  It's free to play, fun to muck about with and the system of changing costume to modify stats reminded me of Costume Quest a little bit.  However, Costume Quest sucked a massive cock and Slashy Hero is actually pretty good.  It's available for free next month and I'd totally recommend checking it out.

A little later in the day I got my hands on Illan: Shades of Memories which was a really cool puzzle platformer for PC.  You control a cute little black thing called Illan and you must solve puzzles and do some light platforming to progress.  Really fun and kind of relaxing to play but taxed my brain just enough to avoid becoming boring, nice and chill.   Right now Illan is not available for purchase BUT if you are interested then it is available for voting on Steam Greenlight, so go hit that vote button and get this thing on the store.

After we left the indie booth we looked at the cosplayers for a while which was your same old attractive Japanese girls wearing either not much or incredibly elaborate costumes.  I snapped a few shots but right now my camera is inside my bag and I'm too lazy to get it out, so maybe I'll upload later.

Next we came across Star Wars Battlefront which looked absolutely INSANE

I don't really need to say much about this one since people are familiar with other games in the series and there's already a lot of excitement.  That said, this thing looks INSANELY fun and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  Tokyo Game Show are very uptight when it comes to taking pictures and videos on the show floor but I managed to get a minute or so of footage of the game play so I'm just going to let that do all the talking for me.

Moving on from there we saw the Sony booth which had a number of cool looking games including a new Star Ocean, some JRPG thing called Exist Archive, new content for Bloodborne, a collection of the Uncharted games and a whole host of VR stuff which unfortunately we couldn't get our hands on.  Other cool stuff included a new game play video for Persona 5 and a remake of a PS2 game I really enjoyed called Odin Sphere. 

The final thing to jump out of my mind was a title called Nioh

A game being developed by Koei Tecmo and what essentially looks like Asian Dark Souls which is not a bad thing.  I'd never heard of it before but apparently it was showcased back in 2005 and then vanished for some reason and now it's resurfaced at TGS which is cool.  Game looks really fun and is just another reason that I need to go out and buy a fucking PS4 already.

Now let's talk about the not so great stuff about the show.

Now I'm not the biggest fan of mobile gaming, I don't mind giving the occasional title a try and sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised but there was SO MUCH fucking mobile at TGS this year.  You couldn't walk 5 fucking minutes along the show floor without seeing a booth that had a fucking iPad hooked up to it.

I can understand why companies may see mobile as a decent platform because almost everyone has phone so your game will reach a much wider audience.  However, you can't get a decent experience from a game on a mobile device.  Mobile is perfect for games like the aforementioned Slashy Hero because that's the kind of game I can muck about with on a train and then put away when I get to work.  But playing RPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest or god forbid even trying to play FPS games on a mobile platform?  FUCK. THAT.

Call me a purist, call me a snob, that's fine but Tokyo Game Show was fucking drowning in mobile stuff and I couldn't help but feel like it was a bit of a shame.  Hell, one of the biggest games at show was a fucking social RPG from 2013

Now granted, since returning from the show I have downloaded and given Granblue Fantasy a go and it is one of those rare mobile games that is actually pretty decent.  Hell, it even has Nobuo Uematsu and Hideo Minaba of Final Fantasy fame behind it so I guess that has to say something about the amount of effort in it's production.  That said, the game is from fucking 2013, why is it so prominently displayed at a big games con 2 years later?!  It's not new, I go there to see new shit, not to wank over above average phone RPGs from 2 years ago...

Konami was also a fucking disgrace this year

When I arrived at the booth my eyes were greeted with a football (soccer) game, a baseball game and 4 girls (admittedly rather pretty) dancing around and lip syncing to some shitty Japanese J-Pop song.  We were so bored and disgusted that we left after a short time but upon googling something I remember seeing in the background of the dancing girls there WAS actually a game being talked about.

The game is called Tokyo Xanadu, being produced for the Vita and actually looks like it could be kind of fun.  However I wouldn't have fucking know that if I hadn't remembered the title that was hidden away behind 4 girls dancing about.  Fuck you Konami, you're a fucking mess.

The last thing that kind of ticked me off was the content for The Last Guardian

All they had was some fucking projection of the dog-eagle thing that you could stand in front of and it would kind of react to your movements and a short demo video of footage that we had seen months ago.  I'm excited for this game but what was on display at the show was disappointing.


So that's it folks, my thoughts on TGS 2015.  Not completely shitty but definitely not as good as it was last year.  Few things to be excited about and some cool indie games made it worth while.  Here's hoping that next years show will bring much more excitement. 

I'm not sure if I wrote about everything, I'm going mainly off the top of my head, if I remember anything extra I'll throw it up on twitter.

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