TGS '07: New Yakuza gets Sega's booth buzzing

NiGHTS, Kenzan, and Valkyrie anchor Japanese publisher's stand alongside Virtua Fighter 5 for Xbox 360, Sega Rally, and Ghost Squad.

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TOKYO--Sega had an impressively expansive stand at this year's Tokyo Game Show, even if many of their spotlight games aren't even confirmed for a Western release. There was a noticeable buzz surrounding Kenzan on the PlayStation 3, the third game in the Yakuza trilogy (the second installment of which was just announced for an American release earlier this week). Then there was Senjou no Valkyria on PS3, a cartoon-esque role-playing game set during a fictional European War. Finally, in the last of the big three segmented areas of the stand, there was a uniquely Japanese game called Imabiksou on PS3 which was a Ringu-style interactive horror game.

The big games that will be of interest to Western gamers were all pretty much confined to one smaller area, with the exception of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. Virtua Fighter 5 on the Xbox 360, Sega Rally on the PlayStation Portable and PS3, and Ghost Squad on the Wii were all playable and looking very polished. While VF5's online mode remains an untested mystery, we still got to play through all the other modes using the custom-designed Hori sticks, and unsurprisingly it proved to be quite a draw. Sega Rally was only being demonstrated on the PS3 and PSP at Sega's booth, with the Xbox 360 version being exclusive to Microsoft's setup in another hall. Finally, Ghost Squad proved to be one of the few games at the show to use the new Wii Zapper. All three games are due before the end of the year.

Arguably the biggest draw of the booth was the first public showing of NiGHTS on Wii. Prospective players were in for a wait if they wanted to play the game, even during the press days, but there was little new there since we last played the game. The stage shows at Sega were fairly subdued affairs, and consisted mainly of video presentations of the aforementioned Kenzan.

Other games that made an appearance included Sonic Rush Adventure on DS, which has been released in the US, Dino King on DS, which strangely disappeared when the show opened to the public, and Seaman 2 on PlayStation 2, which is so uniquely Japanese that a Western release is by no means assured.

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