Tokyo Game Show 2010 - Day 1 Gut Reactions

GameSpot editors share their thoughts on the first day of Japan's biggest gaming event.

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The first day of the Tokyo Game Show officially ended about a dozen or so hours ago, but our team of editors is still feverishly working away on all the great games they've had the opportunity to see. We asked a few of our Tokyo crew to give their brief thoughts on what they've seen so far and what they're looking forward to seeing (or maybe not looking forward to seeing) over the next few days. And, as always, you can find all of GameSpot's Tokyo Game Show content by following this helpful link.

Ricardo Torres, Editor-in-Chief
The first day of Tokyo Game Show 2010 is a slight mix of contradictions. If you have a look at the basic show-floor layout, it appears to be a pretty small show, from a footprint standpoint. While this could be a recipe for something on the tragic side, there's actually a good amount of news and content coming out of the show. Capcom's new version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has a bunch of content that includes characters, stages, and a new simple mode. The company also announced two new fighters on the roster: Tron Bonne and X-23.

Sega turned heads with a new entry in its Yakuza series, which takes the series in a whole new direction courtesy of the undead. Microsoft has Kinect front and center in its booth, following up on its recent conference here, where it showcased the upcoming peripheral to the Japanese public. While Kinect is great and all, I have to say that seeing Virtual On Force for XBLA gave me a warm fuzzy, seeing as I'm one of a dozen or so people who remember the mech fighter fondly. The Behemoth is even here with a snazzy booth, complete with inflatable chicken, showing off BattleBlock Theater. So overall, it's a deceptively low-key show at the moment, but there's some intriguing stuff here.

Chris Watters, Associate Editor
Much like the gangling video game-y raver chick who is this year's mascot, the first press day of Tokyo Game Show 2010 was a little sad. There were large tracts of empty concrete on the show floor and a distinct lack of overtly strange and unique games. Despite this somewhat lackluster initial impression, however, I have little doubt that the thousands of fans set to arrive on Saturday will find plenty to be excited about. One of the hotspots will likely be the large Monster Hunter pavilion set up adjacent to the Capcom booth. It looks like a cross between a teahouse and a tiki bar and features dozens of tables where you can play Monster Hunter under the watchful eyes of robed ladies.

The wall of PlayStation Move cubbies is likely to be another draw, where players can try out a wide range of Move titles, including The Fight: Lights Out, Little Big Planet 2, and Echochrome 2. And massive video screens showing trailers for Ninokuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joou, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Yakuza: Of the End, and a whole lot more are sure to clog the hallways with wide-eyed fans. They may make things more crowded and noisy, but the legions of fans generate the real excitement here at the Tokyo Game Show.

Shaun McInnis, Associate Editor
My first day was dominated by Sony. In the morning, I took a stroll over to its booth with the hopes that The Last Guardian might be playable on the show floor--but sadly it was not. Instead, I found a new game called Tokyo Jungle, where you play as a Pomeranian with a bloodlust for adorable bunnies and chickens in postapocalyptic Tokyo. Nope, not even kidding--that is totally a thing I saw and played. At least, I don't think it was a fever dream. The more I think about it, though, the more I feel like it was some kind of twisted apparition.

Later on, though, I had an appointment to go see The Last Guardian behind closed doors. Unfortunately, they didn't show a live demo of the game, instead opting to show a new trailer and talk about it for a half hour or so. But when it comes to The Last Guardian, I'll take what I can get. As a nice little bonus, during that same session Team Ico confirmed that the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD remakes are coming next year and even showed us a demo of Shadow. It looked pretty good, as Wander was able to slay the game's first Colossus without those frame rate issues that plagued the original game. After that, I saw some more Gran Turismo 5. It blows my mind that a game that has been in the works for so long and covered so much can still offer an hour-long presentation packed with new, fairly substantial features. But leave it to Kazunori Yamauchi to keep that train rolling, I suppose.

Sophia Tong, Associate Editor
The one thing that I'm sure everyone noticed as we walked onto the show floor of the Makuhari Messe this year is that there is a lot of empty space. It's usually a big spectacle, and with some booths it still is, but overall, it has been downsized. Capcom has a huge section for Monster Hunter and the new Miles Edgeworth game (so check out the photo story to see what it looks like).

I spent most of my first day checking out Level 5 (which has a massive booth as usual) and Square Enix for…you guessed it, more trailers. This year was a bit disappointing because the trailers for Final Fantasy Agito XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII were shorter than usual. However, they did announce that there will be a conference held in January to disclose more details. I did get to play Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded and the new Dissidia game though.

One of the highlights was playing Ninokunion on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 3 at Level 5. I'm really excited for that game and hope that they announce an English version soon.

Laura Parker, Features Editor - GameSpot AU
Day one of TGS 2010 was a bit of a blur for me. I didn't actually set foot onto the show floor and, aside from sneaking in a quick look as I ran past the various halls, didn't get to participate in the madness. I did, however, spend the whole day talking to a whole bunch of interesting people, including the developers behind the Yakuza games, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and, finally, Peter Molyneux. Out of these interviews I learned a few things: (1) Japanese developers are eager to make more games aimed at both the Japanese and Western markets and are interested to learn from Western developers in order to succeed in the latter market; (2) Peter Molyneux would throw a fat guy off a bridge in order to save his own life (you'll have to watch the interview if you're confused); and (3) it's really hard to find a good sandwich inside TGS.

Hopefully on day two I'll get to play some games?

Dan Chiappini, Editor - GameSpot AU
It was three years ago that I last made it to the Tokyo Game Show--a public event that brings the already overt gamer culture of the nation out of the subways, off the couch, and under the roof of the looming Makuhari Messe convention center. While the vibe of the show remains as energetic and passionate as it has previously, the first day of the show seemed a little smaller than I recall. All the big names and faces of the software and hardware development scenes are here, with the notable but expected exception of the big N, and some of the more esoteric Western developers, but there's no shortage of games to see and play.

Day one was spent speaking with the likes of Microsoft and combing the show floor for surprise nuggets of gold. Playable Vanquish code was a nice surprise since we haven't had a chance to get our mitts on it much in the lead up to its release. We kept the shooter vibe going with our first look at Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam and the squad-based action of the PSP title Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity. Sega turned on the charm with real-life zombies at its Yakuza booth, while the biggest disappointment was the Last Guardian panel. That's not to say that the game is looking shabby. In fact, it's actually as lovable as ever. Unfortunately, the hour-long session featured only a short new gameplay trailer and a moderator-led question-and-answer session with Team Ico director Fumito Ueda. The remainder of the session was spent on the all-but-confirmed Shadow of the Colossus and Ico double pack rerelease coming to the PlayStation 3, though we did get our first look at it running on the PlayStation 3. We're hoping for a bit more risk and surprise on day two of the show.

Randolph Ramsay, Site Manager - GameSpot AU
It has been more than 24 hours since I first found out that the Yakuza series will soon have zombies in it, and I'm still finding the concept hard to grasp. That's right folks--this quintessentially Japanese series filled with equal parts street violence and mundane minigames is going the way of Dead Rising by introducing a zombie apocalypse in its next game, Yakuza: Of the End. Such dramatic turnarounds in tone and setting are rare for video game franchises, so on the one hand, I have to applaud Sega for making such a drastic move with one of its most beloved franchises. But will it work? Is this Sega's way of extending the appeal of its decidedly Japan-focused series? Do all Japanese developers think zombifying their games is the best way to attract Western audiences?

As for the Tokyo Game Show floor itself, it's looking rather bare right now. The show is definitely much smaller than it has been in previous years, and there seems to be a real dearth of outstanding, amazing, or just plain wacky games on the floor. Here's hoping the mad crush of the public days this weekend brings some life to the TGS halls.

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