September is an important month for everyone: students going back to school, some others going back to work and… there’s the Tokyo Games Show. As someone who loves the Japanese gaming industry and follows it closely, the TGS is still an important event, despite a decreased interest from publishers, media, and fans alike over the past few years. This trend should be reversed as 2017 is a massive year for the Japanese gaming industry: Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Mario Odyssey, NieR Automata, Yakuza 0 (+Kiwami & 6) etc.
As usual, Sony Japan held its conference before the fair. While the announcements and updates were rather leaning on the Asian part of the world, we, the gaijin, got some bones to chew on and that’s cool.
If you wish to watch the entire conference, please head here:
Just like I did for the Nintendo Direct, I’ll focus on my favourite bits… For a full list of announcements, Gematsu is the place to go.
However, before diving into that, I wanted to speak a bit about the controversy that happened lately around the TGS, or rather Sony’s Conference. A rather famous Youtuber have been hyping things up and building crazy theories over the past few weeks about a potential PSP3 or PS Vita 2 to be announced at TGS by Sony. While everybody is entitled to their opinion, we have to keep in mind that spreading rumours and acting like they were “facts” is a dangerous thing to do. It creates crazy high expectations, it creates a distorted reality, and above all it’s unhealthy. Other YouTubers joined the hype train and all ended up being wrong and that’s fine: sh*t happens, they apologized and moved forward while the original person pushing the rumor doesn’t want to admit his mistake. Personally, I’m happy when I’m wrong, it means I still have to learn and I have no problems admitting it.
I’ll never understand why people are chasing after internet glory and social networks karma/fame points, but here we are. What I would like you to say is that we are all here for this main reason: we love video games and we want to enjoy them, no matter the platform, so let’s leave it at this, please?
I just hope that some people will learn their lesson and start to take a step back, be more measured and less aggressive with their reactions/expectations.
Back to the original topic of the article, here are my most hyped announcements:
- Dragon’s Crown Pro
This was leaked last week through a banner going up earlier than expected, but still! VanillaWare is one of my favorite studios and having another of their masterpieces coming to PS4 is a good news: their art is absolutely gorgeous, and among the best in the industry.
Granted, I played it on PS3 and PS Vita (yes, I own a Vita, fight me), I’m still getting it as soon as it’s out. If you didn’t have the chance to do it yet, do yourself a favor and play one (or all) of their games. If you had to ask me which one was my favorite, I’ll go with Muramasa Rebirth.
2. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Surprise! Another title from VanillaWare topping my list. Despite not being into mechas, this game will be a day one purchase. It has that very distinctive art style the studio is known for, plus it is directed by George Kamitani (the company’s president). Last but not least, its setup is perfect for me: Japan from the 80’s, an era I’m still discovering. This will allow me to dive into it through the game and side reads/videos.
They announced that the game will be out on PS4/PS Vita in 2018 (Japan only for now).
3. Hokuto ga Gotoku (Fist of the North Star/Hokuto no Ken)
The game was announced earlier this month during the Yakuza streaming by SEGA’s Toshihiro Nagoshi (Producer, Designer, Director, Board Member etc). While I’m not a huge Hokuto no Ken fan, I’m still massively into manga/anime and highly appreciate what the Ryu ga Gotoku (Yakuza) studio does. Based on this, having at least the Japanese release date is a good thing. Since I’m learning Japanese, maybe I’ll be able to understand it a bit by then, who knows? The game will launch for PlayStation 4 on February 22nd.
4. Monster Hunter World
Spoiler alert: Monster Hunter was never my thing. However, since its initial reveal, this game is kind of touching my feet under the table while winking heavily at me. All the trailers shown until now are impressive. Moreover, from what I have read and seen, this will be different from previous MH games.
The game looks gorgeous and fluid (Note: I’m not one of those “omg 4K 60fps or report to the FBI” guys, but I appreciate when a game doesn’t stutter permanently), enemies seem diverse and massive, and they have a Zelda Breath of the Wild-like cape to glide, SO YEAH COUNT ME IN.
I am looking forward to playing it when it will be out on January 26th, 2018. Capcom has also revealed some trade offers in the form of pre-order bonuses, Digital Deluxe, Collectors and a Monster Hunter World PS4 Pro.
5. Final Fantasy IX
One thing to sum up this: Hironobu Sakaguchi. It was his last game as Producer, but also as Scenarist at Squaresoft. Moreover, FFIX is among the few Final Fantasy games I didn’t play (or at least try) – this is a good opportunity.
This port to PS4 includes:
- HD Movies & Character Models
- Booster features (think Final Fantasy VII port)
- Trophy support & remote play
Someone on NeoGAF did a comparison between PS1 and PS4 versions. See for yourself here! (You don’t need an account)
Moreover, they have created several avatars and a too-cute-to-be-real PS4 theme:
Notable mention: Dynasty Warriors 9
The last time I played a Dynasty Warriors game, it was in 2005 with Dynasty Warriors 5 on PlayStation 2. However, this brand, or rather the Musou genre, is well known for all of its spinoffs… Which leads us to this:
- I played and didn’t finish One Piece Pirate Warriors 1, 2 and 3
- I worked on OPPW2 & 3 (as PR for the EMEA region)
- Played Dragon Quest Heroes and stopped right before the final boss as the game ended up being… boring. I know, it took me 30hours to finally realize that I didn’t like it that much, but I probably kept on playing due to the Dragon Quest brand
Regarding DW9, this game seems to be something I see myself sinking some hours into, we will see. As for its marketing, PlayStation has prepared a special edition PS4 for Japan, which is quite telling about the importance of the brand in Japan (and Asia overall). The game will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC in Early 2018 (worldwide).
Notable mention 2: Shadow of the Colossus
After a rather successful announcement during E3 2017, JAPAN Studio is back at it with Shadow of the Colossus Remake. The epic game created by Fumito Ueda got a new trailer:
Regarding the format, nothing much to say; it was a normal videogames press conference – we are used to it now.
Now that the TGS has started, we can expect a lot of coverage coming out in the next few days with previews of games, but also potential announcements during stage shows. Let’s hope for more goodness!
Thanks a lot for reading.