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Tokyo Games Show 2007
Post by b2 @ 03:08pm 25/09/07 | Comments
AusGamers man-in-Japan b2 hits the 2007 Tokyo Games Show for a show-floor report.

TGS 2007
Having attended the TGS a couple years ago I knew what to expect, only this year I rocked up on a business day (Friday) which made all the difference. Two years ago I attended the open to the public day and fought with the queues, heat and sweaty otaku surrounded scantily clad women, but this year I actually got to play some games without lining up for 2 hrs. Not being an official part of the press I didn't get to take photos of many things and pretty much just enjoyed the show instead of trying for an award winning write-up.

Walking through the front entrance the first booths we see are packed full of mobile games. Having played Tetris on my mobile I feel like I'm up with the cool kids on this so I wander in to see if maybe there's a Tetris 2.0 or something, and am totally blown away by 3D RPGs and games that looked like they could have been on the original PlayStation. Exactly when did mobiles get 3D hardware and a better processor than my DS. Oh wait, this is Japan. Moving on...

The Microsoft area was fairly easy to spot, with the huge Halo 3 sign and virtually the only booth I've seen so far with line-ups to play the games. If you've got a 360 in oz, you're probably already playing Halo 3, and if not, do yourself a favour and get it. Unfortunately for me, Halo 3 doesn't land until Thursday in Japan.

TGS 2007

Next up was Assassins Creed. After about 40 minutes in the line I get lead into a small room where a developer talks you through a small mission (in English thankfully!) and then you get to take the controls. He shows off some really neat stuff like the freestyle climbing/jumping and the simple fighting system with various weapons. There are lots of small details and gameplay mechanics that really work with the game, an example is that when you're running across the rooftops and you see some pigeons, its a visual cue that there is a wagon of hay you can jump in. There was a few visual bugs (shadows from far away etc.) but the graphics overall were pretty nice, and the gameplay was fun so I'll definitely be picking it up - November 29th - oh crap, that's my wife's birthday... I'll have to take her out for a nice day at the electronics store. After playing some other 360 games (Winning Eleven 2008, Devil May Cry and Crysis) we continued our wandering.

Next to the Microsoft area was Japanese developer Level 5. Even on the business day the lines were like 2 hours long (on the Saturday there were people with signs saying you can't join the line any more) so I never got to play anything by them. From the small peeks through the curtains however, it just looked like a bunch of DS games, and possibly even downloading some free stuff to your own DS, I left mine at home unfortunately, doh! Nintendo didn't show at TGS of course, why waste their money when nearly every booth has a DS game.

TGS 2007
In the far corner of the first hall was the overseas pavilion. Nothing really interesting here my first visit but later on I got to see some of the stuff Halfbrick Studios is working on, pretty nice stuff, good luck to them. Other than that the Australian Pavilion was pretty empty... oh yeah, except for three cosplaying foreigners - the only cosplayers I saw the entire business day. On the open day the areas between the halls were packed full of all kinds of Anime characters I've never seen before.

Square Enix had a fairly big stand with a closed theatre and lots of final fantasies but that got boring quick (although there was a cool kingdom hearts comic on a mobile phone) and the guy wouldn't let us into the theatre without some kind of blue ticket thing so off to the next hall we went. Upon entering the second hall we were once again bombarded with DS and mobile games, as well as guys handing out pamphlets with blushing 12 y/o anime girls in school swimsuits... yeah.

TGS 2007
Thoroughly disturbed we headed over to the Konami area for some Metal Gear Solid 4 love. They had yet another trailer on the big screen and occasionally had some people come up and talk about it. The line-up to play was pretty long so we just kind of watched others playing through the barbed wire fence. The game looked awesome and my world was thrown into doubt once again after my decision to get an Xbox 360 over a PS3. Those doubts soon subsided to when I arrived at the Sony Pavilion. The area was huge but walking through it there was nothing that really caught my eye, and I'm sorry, but if you're going to show a game on the big screen make sure it's not running at 5fps (*cough*LAIR*cough*). Eye of Judgement looked ok if you're into that kind of thing and have some money to waste but I'm still cautious from getting an Eyetoy and using it like twice ever.

We were pretty hungry by this time so we headed to the third and final hall to dine on what was the worst Japanese food I've had in Japan. I'm pretty sure that Japanese curry is responsible for what happened to me later on that night, but that's a whole other story. Beside the food court, hall number three was also host to the sales area, where you could buy anything from cosplay items and Square Enix figurines to people sized pillow cases with anime girls on them. This is also where they had the big stage, but I'm not a patient man so we headed back to the other halls.

TGS 2007
The rest of the day was pretty much spent playing any games that didn't involve waiting in a queue. The Mobile phone showing was impressive, I cant wait to upgrade my phone to play some of these games - whether it will replace my DS is another matter though. Have I mentioned the booth babes? I'm pretty sure there were more babes than games.

TGS 2007
There were a few funny games in some of the smaller booths. There was one controller shaped like a broomstick that you sit on with some buttons on the end and a touch screen that you use to trace lines with your finger, to what end, I'm not sure. The entire thing didn't seem very practical, but we had a good laugh when the women in a maid uniform talked us through it, so it's all ok. Just around the corner from that was a pretty neat chair that you use in some custom driving game. As you drive around the track the entire chair lifts and turns as if you were in a real car. I didn't give it a go but I dare say its not something I would buy.

A lot of the games at the show were typically Japanese puzzle/anime/tentacle something-or-other/god-knows-what games that I wasn't interested in, so there was a lot of walking around, playing for two seconds and moving on. There wasn't all that much to see that interested me and by the end the booth babes were getting more attention than the games, but it was fun and I'd probably do it again next year, only if I could come on the business day. I don't think I'll be attending the open day again, some of those otaku are quite pungent.