11 Oct 15
The first Tokyo Game Show I attended was in 2008 as a member of the press. I got to play at most of the booths that interested me and the longest queue I remember was an hour’s wait in line for Resident Evil 5. When friends tell me how crowded the show is (in subsequent years), I mentally envisioned the hour’s queue.
The show is so packed, I didn’t even get a good shot of the crowd because HEADS EVERYWHERE.
That said, the main takeaway for me is just how much the industry has shifted in the last couple of years. Console games are no longer the main draw and indie, mobile and VR titles occupy a good portion of the floor space if not most of it. While TGS has always been a more Japan-centric games experience, this year’s show featured a sizable overseas showing, due too, I’m sure to the show’s drive to include more international indie games.
The biggest stages went to Supercell’s Clash of Clans and EA’s Star Wars Battlefront, both big budget games. On my last visit to Japan in May, the trains were plastered with CoC propaganda which shows how aggressively Supercell is pursuing the market. This is significant considering it’s a mobile game and the Japanese market has traditionally been more conservative in catching on to foreign games.
Also making their mark are VR games. Oculus had a smaller but still huge booth and PlayStation VR (aka Project Morpheus) featured heavily in the PlayStation booth. One of the more intriguing titles which I can only judge based on the TV screens outside (since it’s THAT CROWDED) is Kitchen. The player faces off with pretty girls who are uhm cooking and maybe feeding him. It’s not that far a stretch to conceptualize the experience I’m sure but it’s so typical Japanese fare I thought it’s worth the mention.
Amazon had a booth just for Twitch though I don’t have the pics for it. I think they had some Twitch streamers at their conference too but I wouldn’t know because I was so late on the first day, they were all high-fiving and streaming out (see what I did there?) when I arrived.
Among the major titles shown are some new Dragon Quest games including the Minecraft-inspired Dragon Quest Builders. Resident Evil had a live shooting range and Konami showed off Metal Gear Online and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, the latter of which refers of course to the discomfort their new CEO faces after Kojima left.
I think what everyone was looking forward to was The Last Guardian. There was a giant screen with that giant beast onscreen for the audience to interact with. Massive hit if you get my pun. They had what I think is a new trailer too but I’m still quite unconvinced by the gameplay. Personally I feel that the gameplay mechanics are too specialized to each puzzle to be intuitive but since trailers are put together to be spectacular, it might be too early to tell how the game plays out. I’d be looking forward to it regardless.
A new Zelda game was on display. Since I was there late on the first day, there was no queue and I got through to ask the booth staff if I could have a go. They handed me a shield, a sword and a scarf and I pointed at the 3DS area asking again if I could just try it out. “Yes, yes!” they nodded and gestured at the shield, sword and scarf and then ushered me to this:
After the photo, I went to the booth and they told me they’re closed. There are no emoticons that can accurately capture my emotions but maybe this guy can.
I know alpacas are in fashion these days so that might explain why these guys are on display for this game called School Idol Festival.
Since I didn’t get too many other good pictures to show, I think I’ll end my piece with the token picture of booth babes so all you male readers are happy. (Female ones get off with the alpaca pic)