TGS '07: Namco Bandai offers saiyans, sponge baths

Publisher of Dragon Ball Z and Ace Combat series shows off a diverse lineup to pack in attendees.

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TOKYO--Every booth at the Tokyo Game Show is bright, loud, and full of people, but Namco Bandai's was brighter and, more importantly, fuller than most. That's because the company has so many licenses that are especially popular in Japan, such as Dragon Ball Z and Gundam. The booth also housed a slew of interesting role-playing games, not to mention Time Crisis 4 and Ace Combat 6.

With that in mind, it's hardly any wonder that showgoers were lined up a dozen deep to get in, or that the screen above Namco Bandai's stage had at least 200 viewers, even when it was blank. They were all gathered to see new trailers and info for upcoming games, as well as whatever stage shows the company might have in store for them.

From what we saw, Namco Bandai's stage presentation didn't quite compete with those of nearby booths, featuring a taped performance of a Japanese pop star, rather than a live show like the one going on at neighboring Tecmo. But at TGS, the games are of first and foremost importance, and Namco Bandai's booth had those in spades.

The company's big licenses were all in attendance, including a multiplayer demo for Mobile Suit Gundam: Operation Troy (or Mobile Ops: The One Year War, as it will be known in North America) that had players battling through a cityscape from the cockpits of Japan's favorite giant robots. We also saw a new Ace Combat 6 mission and got destroyed online before checking out Dragon Ball Z: Sparking Meteor for the Wii and PS2. This upcoming anime-fighter looks to put the Wii's motion controls to good use, as you do battle as or against nearly every character in the entire history of Dragon Ball Z. While the game may miss one or two, the number of playable characters we saw was intimidating.

For families who want to play games together and get in shape, there was Family Trainer. This Wii game will have one or two players competing in short events with both the Wii Remote and a footpad. Or, for families who would rather sit around, Beautiful Katamari was also on display.

Namco Bandai's booth also featured a couple of the weirder titles at the show, including Duel Love, in which you wipe sweat off a naked boy with a sponge. There was also a suggestive Ar tonelico II trailer featuring a provocative kiss between two female characters, and an extremely aroused flower. At the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, you could say that Namco Bandai had a little bit of everything.

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