Well, what do we have here? Day two of the 2010 Tokyo Game Show has come to a close, and the GameSpot editorial team is still writing previews and producing movies at a power level of 5,000. Yes, 5,000! If you want to see all the great content they've put up so far, please head on over to our Tokyo Game Show page, which you can find here. In the meantime, why don't you read some of the thoughts on day two from members of the GameSpot team over in Japan? You may learn something new about games, and more importantly, you might learn something new about yourself.
Chris Watters, Associate Editor
On the second day of Tokyo Game Show 2010, I spent a lot of time in small rooms with one wall missing, just me, a PlayStation Move controller, a woman in uniform, and a language barrier. Sony's bank of Move demo cubbyholes features a bunch of games that have already been released in the US, like Kung Fu Rider, Sports Champions, and Start the Party, but there were plenty more that I was eager to look at. I had some fun helping Sackgirl through a Little Big Planet 2 level that looked like a digestive tract, and drawing along to the music in Beat Sketcher proved to be a bit trickier than I'd imagined (and my poor dolphin suffered for it).
The game that really piqued my interest, however, was Echochrome II. The series is known for puzzles that require you to change your in-game perspective, and the latest entry is no different. The levels look like scattered assortments of shapes, including rectangles, squares, and balls, with a bright light shining on the objects that casts a shadow on the back wall. The silhouette of the classic Echochrome figure then drops on to the shadows and walks on them as if they were solid. You, in turn, use the Move controller to redirect the spotlight so that the shadows resolve into a solid structure that the figure can safely navigate. It's a seemingly simple application of the Move technology, but the short demo was quite clever and promised intriguing complexity. This is the kind of creative game design that gets me excited about motion controls; here's hoping this kind of ingenuity catches on.
Randolph Ramsay, Site Manager - GameSpot AU
This image (to the right) is why I love Tokyo Game Show (or at least one of the reasons). Sure, this year's show floor may lack the over-the-top excess and insanity of recent years, but if you look hard enough or you're lucky enough, you'll find something alarmingly interesting. Case in point--here I was walking back to the hotel at the end of day two, when I spied Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi lounging casually on a plush red chair outside the side of the booth promoting his upcoming game, Yakuza: Of the End. Nagoshi's credits include the producer of the Super Monkey Ball series, and he has headed the popular Yakuza games since their inception. Nagoshi-san was simply holding court outside the booth, and people were lining up to take their picture with him. He happily obliged. Japan is one of the few nations where game fans treat their favorite developers like rock stars. And sometimes, those developers look and act like the rock star celebs they are.
Dan Chiappini, Editor - GameSpot AU
After day two at Tokyo Game Show 2010 I’ve all but given up on any hope of seeing what Japanese developers are currently working on (or concocting) for Nintendo's 3DS handheld. Unless the magical 3DS fairy visits tonight while the booths of the convention halls sleep, the throngs of Japanese public attending tomorrow will be treated to a distinct lack of handheld hardware supporting the third dimension. The device’s absence is a disappointing one given the buzz it saw at E3 mere months ago.
Today was eaten up chatting with Virtua Tennis 4 executive producer Mie Kumagai about platform exclusivity, coffee tables, and whether games can teach us fundamental skills. On the show floor I got two types of shoot on: scoring goals with an update on Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 and firing rockets with a first look at Valkyria Chronicles III: Unrecorded Chronicles coming to the PSP. One of the biggest surprises was seeing what kind of content pulls a crowd at a show like TGS. Onlookers glanced, but barely batted an eyelid, at the Call of Duty: Black Ops trailer looping at the Square Enix booth, while queues were up to an hour long to groove with Dance Evolution. The real party was over at Capcom's Monster Hunter booth, where people stood 20 bodies deep staring intensely as a grown man with a giant sword hacked up dinosaurs.
Sophia Tong, Associate Editor Apparently there are some "weird" games on the show floor, but I haven't had a chance to really wander outside of the booths that I was assigned to. I went back to Square Enix to play The 3rd Birthday (aka Parasite Eve 3) and swung by Tecmo Koei to get a look at Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll, which was surprisingly quite fun. This button-mashing action RPG lets you switch between three players on the fly, each with a unique set of skills. NIS had a press conference where it announced Disgaea 4, which will now feature upgraded anime-like graphics, but with the option to switch between sprite graphics and anime.
The other game I finally got a chance to play for the first time was Okamiden, and it was, of course, adorable. The demo focused more on puzzle solving with the celestial brush to explore the area. I also had the opportunity to interview the producer and director of the game, to get their thoughts on Okamiden and the development process. No release date for North America yet though. We're halfway through TGS! I can't wait for all the cosplayers and the millions (not millions) of people to show up.
Shaun McInnis, Associate Editor I didn't get a chance to see anything new on the second day of the show, but I did get to interview a few developers about some games we've seen in the past. The highlight was probably talking to Shu Takumi and Hironobu Takeshita about Ghost Trick. We talked about how the idea for the game came about, the potential hazards of making a unique puzzle game with no immediate comparisons for fans to latch onto, and whether we should expect to see a full run of sequels like they've done with the Ace Attorney sequels. After that, I talked to Kazutoki Kono from the new Ace Combat game, Assault Horizon, who readily admitted to me that the new direction of the series has been influenced a lot by some of the big first-person shooters out there. I also wrote about my experience playing Killzone 3 with a Move controller and 3D glasses. At first, I felt dizzier than plugged into the matrix, but after a good 10 minutes of adjustment time I started to get the hang of it. I'm still not sold on the combination of tech personally--the added benefit just doesn't overcome the added cost in my opinion--but I can see people really enjoying the experience playing a game with Move and 3D at the same time.
Laura Parker, Features Editor - GameSpot AU
Once I managed to finally step out onto the show floor, I was surprised by how empty it was. Nevertheless, I made by way to the Konami and Namco Bandai booths to spend a few hours playing Japan's finest JRPGs. The lines were long, but it was worth the wait: 10-minute-long cutscenes in Japanese and no instructions from anyone on how to play. Thankfully it didn't take long to work out the controls, but after a while they all became a big, cute blur (honorable mentions go to Tales of Graces F).
I then checked out Gundam Musou 3 and spent some time killing robots. Lots and lots of robots. Just when I thought I could breathe again, I was ambushed by even more robots.
Looking to take a break, I stumbled upon the wonderful, bizarre, and baffling trailer for Atlus' upcoming horror action-adventure Catherine. It was a welcome distraction watching the game's protagonist turn into a sheep and then dream about having sex with a hot blonde chick who liked to drink martinis [Editor's note: What?].
Then it was back to good old interviews: the most memorable was Ubisoft's Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, not because of the gameplay so much but because the guy demoing the title decided to propose to me on camera. Or something.