News: tokyo game show coverage

| tim

ON A BLUE AND PURPLE NIGHT / THE GIRL I LOVE FELL IN LOVE / WITH A PUPPY NAMED / THE BUBONIC PLAGUE Hello!! If you’re wondering why there’s not much Tokyo Game Show coverage on, it’s because it’s somewhere else. You can see my “TOP TWENTY FROM TOKYO“, which is titled very Britishly yet written very not-Britishly. It contains paragraphs like this:

White Knight Story, in many ways seemingly subtly different from the screeching anime-voiced RPGs that bring bread and butter to Namco-Bandai, is also in many ways just as friendly-looking and accessible. Namco’s “Tales of…” games succeed in making money because their titles almost never carry numerals, and their characters are always new people of familiar personalities in new situations. White Knight Story represents Hino’s furthering attempt to make a name for himself and his studio without sticking to one series. In an age where saying “Final Fantasy XIII” aloud makes me blush for mathematical reasons, I can’t think of a better cause to applaud.

If that seems like something you’d enjoy reading, knock yourself out!! Also, a special bonus prize will go to the reader who can tell me which two games on the list had their places mysteriously swapped by the editor. (Email responses to tim at this website dot com.)

The only person out of, say, twenty-something to reply both seriously and correctly to the previous question, regarding seats in taxi cabs, was Aaron Novak, aka the forums’ newave. Yes, you let the most important person in the cab sit in the seat behind the driver.

Meanwhile, eric-jon has written up this leisurely stroll through the Tokyo Game Show floor. It is portentuously called “Tokyo Game Show: The Report.” I think it would be better titled — in all caps — “TOKYO GAME SHOW: THE REPORT: THE NEXT GENERATION: BY NEXT GENERATION.” Below is a sample of some of the words you’ll see in there:

So we’ve got DEAD OR ALIVE Xtreme2. How about that water, huh? Really, I’m impressed by the waves in the Wave Race mini-game. They don’t look at all like water — more like molten glass. Still, wow. How pretty! The sound was turned down; I’ll be disappointed if, in the full version, the girls don’t giggle and yell “whee!” when they ride over jumps.

Also, if you know this website called Games Radar, they’ll be posting some Tokyo Game Show video footage by tomorrow, so keep a look out for it — because, well, it stars me. Okay, well, I’m off-camera the whole time, interviewing Japanese gamers. We interviewed hundreds of showgoers, trying to get a bit of a grasp on which new console will sell the most in Japan. Our answer was surprising and, at the same time, not surprising at all.

I might as well tell you: Japan wants the PlayStation 3. Common reasons include “Because I already have a PlayStation 2” and “because I hear they’re making Final Fantasy for it.” If 75 out of a hundred people interviewed said they wanted a PlayStation 3 (and they did), and 192,000 people attended the show, I’m sure the PlayStation 3 is going to do just fine. And if you don’t believe these words: well, keep checking here for the video footage.

Really, though — you should have seen the people. Nearly a thousand people were crowded around the PlayStation 3 in a glass case at the Sony booth at any given time, snapping pictures with their cellular phones. Do you realize what that means, when someone takes a picture of a piece of electronics hardware with their cellular phone camera?

Let me try and give you some exclusive show impressions before I sign off: okay, how’s this — Dimps’ Gundam first-person-shooter on the Xbox 360 was pretty disappointing, and slow, and extremely buggy. And, worse than that, none of the HDTVs at the Bandai-Namco booth were configured correctly. They were all in regular AV mode, with the image in “wide zoom” — on Samsung 27-inch HDTVs. It looked positively awful. Sony, meanwhile, had some nice Bravias in 1080p under moody red lights, and Microsoft’s combination of glossy displays and bright white lighting was probably not conducive to enough positive opinions.

Lastly, full disclosure: Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon, Hironobu Sakaguchi’s two games for Xbox 360, are tied for game of the show in my article linked up there.

Beyond lastly — on the last day of the show, the staff in the press room distributed flyers listing the games that won the “best of show” awards from the CESA (Computer Entertainment Suppliers’ Association). Those games included Elebits for Wii (non-playable at the show) and Seiken Densetsu: Dawn of Mana for PlayStation 2, as well as Monster Hunter 2 for PSP and Gran Turismo HD for PlayStation 3. Lost Odyssey, a brand-new game with a story by a living literary figure (Kiyoshi Shigematsu) and character designs from a world-class artist (Vagabond‘s Takehiko Inoue), designed by the back-from-retirement creator of Final Fantasy (Hironobu Sakaguchi) was not on the list. The semi-3D remake of Tales of Destiny for PlayStation 2, however, was.

The chairman of the CESA jury — according to the top of the flyer — is Yoichi Wada. He is also the president of Square-Enix.

That’s a little bit interesting!!

Also, under Wada’s firm, unbiased guidance, the CESA gave Final Fantasy XII the “Grand Award” at its Japan Game Awards: 2006 on September 22nd.

I probably would have given it to Final Fantasy XII as well, come to think of it, seeing as Dead Rising had yet to be released at the time of the vote. Still!

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