Tokyo Jungle Impressions

Postapocalyptic setting? Check. Tough protagonist? Check. A Pomeranian with an insatiable taste for blood? Wait, what?

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It wouldn't be a Tokyo Game Show without the discovery of some slightly left-of-center game whose eccentric qualities make it unlikely to ever see a stateside release. So far, this year's poster child for that truism is a new PlayStation 3 game from Sony called Tokyo Jungle. We played a demo on the show floor that was entirely in Japanese, but as best we can tell, this is a game set in a postapocalyptic version of Tokyo where animals have overtaken the city and you play as a bloodthirsty Pomeranian capable of killing everything and anything in its path. Yes, a Pomeranian.

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It's hard to pinpoint a genre, but Tokyo Jungle seems to be a side-scroller with equal parts platforming, combat, and stealth gameplay elements. We began the level controlling the cute, fuzzy little dog (who happens to be wearing a flashy orange jacket for some reason) before being quickly introduced to the concept of hiding in a bush and suddenly lunge-attacking a bunny in order to feast upon its delicious innards. For what it's worth, the game's tutorial sequence told us to do it.

After killing a few rabbits, our cute little dog had to traverse some fallen scraps on the side of a building in order to progress through the next area. This part of the game was pretty standard platforming fare: you need to jump across gaps and navigate a puzzle of demolished scenery in order to succeed. Oh, and you also have to silently kill chickens.

Eventually, we finished the game in a big fight against a bunch of alley cats of escalating sizes and toughness. The first pair were easy to take down, but the last cat we went up against was at least four times as big as a regular one. It was a hard-fought battle, but we eventually discovered that the trick was to lunge at the cat's chest and simply chew out its heart. It was an odd sight to say the least, but that seemed to be par for the course with this game.

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We don't have any other information about Tokyo Jungle apart from what we saw on the show floor, so there you have it: a game in which you play as a cute little pup with a slightly unsettling case of bloodlust. Judging by the game's screenshots, it looks as though you'll be able to control a number of other animals, but this should at least give you a taste of what's being shown on the event floor. Look for Tokyo Jungle to arrive on the PlayStation 3 in Japan some time in the future.

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