TGS Company Round-Up

Sure, the big companies showed off the big titles, but even smaller companies delivered a variety of new, promising software.

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TOKYO - You've heard about what the larger game companies had to show at TGS, now here's a round-up of the games that were on display from the smaller publishers.

Ascii's booth was a gathering place for a few people looking to take on a game of Beatmania using Ascii's arcade controller. Additionally, the company showed off a handful of PlayStation titles, including the RPGs Kasei mono Gatari (Planet Mars Story), Ling Rise (a 3D scrolling action RPG that looked like it had some promise), Galerians (an RPG with a horror twist much like Resident Evil or Parasite Eve), Shuon (a novel RPG) and Yukyu no Eden. On the simulation side, it had True Love Story (a life simulation) and Bass Landing (a fishing game with a rod n' reel controller). On the “misc.” section were UFO (a peeping tom-type game where you are an alien investigating a cartoony human race), and End Sector, a card battling game. Ascii did have one Saturn title, Derby Stallion.

Sunsoft's Hard Edge looked quite good, even though it's obviously a game that takes a lot of its concepts from Resident Evil (and its character costumes from Burning Rangers). The CG looks great, but can it differentiate itself from the other games in that genre being released currently? Hard Edge supports the Dual Shock controller and goes on sale the same day as Namco's R4, December 3.

Tomy's notable games were the Record of Lodoss Wars for the Game Boy Color, and a PlayStation simulation game called Gungho Brigade.

Toshiba-EMI had two RPG titles on display. Lord Monarch from Falcom is a classic style RPG, with graphics that are fairly simplistic but classic style gameplay. While Lucifer Ring is an action RPG that borrows more from Final Fight or Streets of Rage than newer titles like Brave Fencer. While an interesting concept, the camera in Lucifer Ring moves way too much, making it difficult to see exactly where you are at any given time. You can also only move a certain distance before being stopped by an invisible force field. While that's usually fine, the boxes you'll find yourself in are mostly small and there's not enough action on screen.

Imagineer showed its latest titles for the N64, Game Boy and Dreamcast. Rage's Incoming was shown here in playable form, and looked interesting. Imagineer also had plenty of Hello Kitty games (well, OK…two), including Kitty the Cool!, which didn't look like it had changed at all from the Spring show when we saw it. Imagineer also had the Japanese version of Quest 64 called El Tale. A Game Boy Color version of El Tale (that's Quest 64) is in development now.

Culture Brain was showing off the N64 version of Hiryu no Ken, called Hiryu no Ken Stadium. Yuke's (yes, that's how it's spelled) had a playstation action game called Ertzveju. As for what that means, who knows…

Ubisoft's booth at the Tokyo Game Show showed off its N64 titles Tonic Trouble, Buck Bumble and Rayman 2. But it also showed off two Dreamcast games (not playable - only on video) - Speed Busters and Monaco Grand Prix 2 Racing Simulation.

Telenet Japan had Wolfteam's latest, Cybernetic Empire, a mix of Resident Evil and Ghost in the Shell (with character design and artwork from the artist that does the Eat Man manga in Japan, apparently).

Jorudan (hmmmm… as in, Michael?) had the Basketball fighting action and overall weird and strange game “1 On 1.” Imagine a 3D polygon fighting engine where the point was to play basketball and that's 1 On 1. Interesting concept, along with some interesting characters that can fly and perform other impossible feats to get the ball in the hoop.

Human had its assortment of dating/action games, but nothing overly impressive. Xing Entertainment had the latest version of Fighting Illusion, called K1 Grand Prix '98, and Meremanoid, an RPG that takes place underwater with “merpeople” and other sea creatures. UEP Systems had Cool Boarders 3 (actually developed by Idol Minds in the US), Cool Boarders Dreamcast and Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman. Rising Zan looks, well, really strange. But for a real-time 3D fighter, maybe it's not so bad…

NEC Interchannel, if you didn't know, makes mainly anime-style games that quite frankly aren't that good. They did not show any of their Dreamcast stuff, of which Monster Breed looks the best.

BPS had Herc's Adventures, The Next Tetris, and The Black Onyx (GB). Banpresto had a new Slayers title, A new game in the Super Robot Wars series (two of those, actually), plus a few new RPGs based off of anime. Epoch had a new Doraemon N64 title, and a new Game Boy title in that line. Victor Interactive Software had a fishing title, Harvest Moon 64, and Eternal Chain on display, mainly. Harvest Moon 64 looked promising, but there was a little bit of polygon clipping visible during the game.

The weirdest game of the show goes to Tondemo Crisis, which was showing its game, Tondemo Crisis. It's basically a game where you have to save your family from various pitfalls and emergencies. It's made up of mini-games, and looked really, well…strange. Of course, you couldn't miss all the ska blasting from their area, which definitely fit the tone of the game.

Data East had a new Magical Drop title, Side Pocket III (Best Collection for Saturn), Revive and hoW & thEN for the PlayStation.

Jaleco had Dragon Seeds and a new Bug Battle game which looks like it could be neat (although very Pokemon-ish, right down to the little boy sporting a cap). Bug Battle supports the PocketStation as well.

Finally, Compile had two new Puyo Puyo games. One was on Game Boy Color, the other was on Dreamcast. If you've played Puyo Puyo before, you know what to expect from these titles.

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