Tokyo Game Show 2016 is officially over and after I posted a preview for the event already, it only seemed logical to post my final thoughts on the show as well.
Few new announcements/surprises
If there is something that we love about events like E3 or TGS, then it’s new game announcements or surprises and in the last two years TGS had quite a lot of those. This year was different though, since we only saw a handful of new announcements which were either not surprising or not too interesting for me. The biggest announcements from the top of my head were probably Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2 for 3DS (which will never see Western shores anyway ;_; ), a new God Eater Project for unknown platforms, Gundam Versus for PS4, Musou Stars for PS4 and Vita, Earth Defense Force 5 for PS4 (which was leaked before the event) and Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary for PS4 and Vita (I doubt that this will get localized). Nothing too exciting even for a fan of niche games like me, but considering the fact that many games that were announced last year are not released yet, it’s not too surprising I guess. At least those games that are about to launch in the next 6 months had very promising showings during the show and I am looking forward to a lot of them.
Resident Evil 7
I’ve written in my TGS preview that I expect an info blowout during TGS to get a better feel on the game and its gameplay and I feel that Capcom still hasn’t managed to assuage my worries. In the newest trailer we see glimpses of combat for the first time and while the first person perpective still feels weird you could sense the RE DNA in the first half of the trailer. The second half once more reminded me of games like Outlast and didn’t feel like RE at all. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that Capcom is trying to reinvent the series once more, but I am not sure whether RE7 will still be a game for me to be honest (which is fine, since not all games have to appeal to me). We’ll see what they will decide to show us in the coming months.Who knows, maybe my impression will be totally different then.
SaGa: Scarlet Grace
While I expected it to be fully revealed at TGS, I didn’t expect the game to still be a PS Vita exclusive (if it should come to the West, a PS4 and/or PC version is a given though). It’s coming out in December 2016 in Japan and will be the first console SaGa title since Unlimited SaGa on PS2 in 2002 (Never played that game, but it’s considered to be terrible except for the amazing soundtrack). Series veteran Akitoshi Kwazu is helming the project again and I dare to say that the characters designed by Tomomi Kobayashi have never looked as close to their drawn illustrations. The game will feature a world map “light” in which one can encounter a lot of different events that either feature battles or dialogues. The game won’t feature dungeons, but rely on these events instead which is a bit of a shame. The combat system is turn based and follows a timeline system in which one can see the turn order and attacks from enemies beforehand. The player only has a limited amount of action points though and has to decide on which characters and abilities to spend them each turn. I never really got into the SaGa Series to be honest, but I would definitely give this a try if it should come to the West…
Next to Persona 5 Nier:Automata is probably my most wanted game at this moment and the footage shown at TGS only enforced this. While it was a bit disappointing that we didn’t see the RPG elements that they wanted to show off the combat looked sublime as in the last showings. Side-scrolling combat sections are in again just as in the first game and the visual feedback when hitting enemies seemed to be improved as well. During the time score challenge it became apparent once more that the animations are top-notch and the controls seem to be super responsive and snappy which is very important for fast-paced action games like these. I still feel that this game could become something special and I can’t wait to play this game!
Games that were missing
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim was definitely one of the most exciting new announcements of last years TGS and after a year of silence I expected Vanillaware to reveal more about the game this year. Unfortunately the game was a complete no-show. I am not too concerned about it though since Vanillaware is a very small developer and after being busy with the Remaster of Odin Sphere, the new game might just not be far enough yet to be shown to the public. I hope that we will hear more about it soon though, since I am thirsty for a new Vanillaware game.
Dynasty Warriors 9
Dynasty Warriors 9 was expected by many to finally make its reveal during this years TGS. The series celebrated its 15th anniversary without a new installment and people are wondering why Koei Tecmo is taking so long. They teased a new announcement before TGS started, but that only turned out to be another crossover project called Musou Stars. Shibusawa admitted during the Sony conference that people are probably waiting for a particular game and that he hopes to show it off at the end of the year if possible. It’s been a while since DW8 released and with development this long, I am curious whether they will try to innovate the series with 9 instead of doing the same over and over again.
Devil May Cry 5
Okay, to say that DMC5 was widely expected to be at TGS is probably more than just a stretch, but nevertheless I had the feeling that if a sequel of a known series gets announced during TGS it would be Devil May Cry 5. After the fan backlash on the outsourced DmC (that wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be tbh, except for Dante’s design) it would definitely be time for a new installment featuring the charismatic protagonist. Capcom only recently remastered DMC4 for the new consoles and it doesn’t seem like they will phase out the series anytime soon, so a new game in the near future would only be natural. Rumours have been floating around for a while now and I thought that it might finally happen this TGS but alas it wasn’t supposed to be 😦
In general, I didn’t enjoy this year’s TGS as much as the last two years, mainly because the big announcements and surprises were missing this time. New information about already announced games was very welcomed though and the lineup of Japanese games in the next 6 months looks really promising. I guess that the positive message out of this years show is that Japanese developers this generation are able to actually release their games in a timely manner (or finally release them after ages. Looking at you FFXV and TLG…).