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Tokyo Game Show 2012 - Day Two

For Day Two of the Tokyo Game Show, I unfortunately had to leave a bit early. I did, however, manage to try out several more games, all of which were on the PS3.

HMZ-T2 Demo with God of War: Ascension - The lines for the games using the HMZ-T2 were already full by the time I got to the Sony booth, just 20 minutes after the exhibit opened. They were turning away the people in front of me. Lucky for me, when it was my turn to choose a game, the God of War HMZ demo freed up. I've been really curious to see what this sexy-looking device really does.

(Later in the day I found out that the HMZ-T2 is actually the second version of an original model released last year (hence the "2"). How could I have missed that one?)

Basically it's a 3D headset. Instead of watching 3D content on a 3D TV, you can do so with this gadget. As much as it sounds cool, my experience with it wasn't exactly impressive. First of all, I had trouble with the HMZ. You can adjust the focus for each eye using sliders under the headset, but unfortunately the left eye screen wouldn't focus clearly. It could have been a product defect, or something wrong with my eye (I think my left eye's vision isn't perfect). Nevertheless it resulted in an uncomfortable and somewhat painful experience.

The screen appears to cover a very wide space in front of you, emulating watching video on a movie theater screen. The problem is that, with the lights on in the convention, I could see things under the headset, thus reducing its immersiveness. Perhaps if you were to use this in the dark, it would be much better. The 3D also wasn't very noticeable, though that could just be the game's poor translation of 3D.

Price-wise, the T2, which will be released next month, is going to cost a ridiculous amount of 70,000 Yen. I bought my 3D TV for less than half that price!

As for the actual game, well, it's God of War. The only thing new that I noticed in the gameplay is a time manipulation mechanic. Kratos can reverse time, stop time, or return time back to its original state at certain moments in the game. The mechanic was presented as a way to solve puzzles. For example, reversing time will allow you to raise a fallen platform up in the air and stop it midway, thus letting you jump on it and advance to the next area.

Supposedly, the combat has also be revamped, but I couldn't tell as the last GoW game I played was the first one, and that was quite a few years ago.

Zone of the Enders HD Edition - A classic Kojima production that I've never played before, and being a fan of MGS, of course I had to try this game out.

You play a young boy piloting a flying robot (think Evangelion). I didn't really find the combat mechanics very attractive as it only consisted of getting close to an enemy and jamming the attack button (at least, that's how I played the game). Perhaps as the game progresses, the combat becomes more interesting. Or maybe it has a good storyline? After all, it's been turned into an anime series.

Dust 514 - This is a free to play Sci-Fi FPS that is connected to the MMORPG, Eve Online. Players from the space-themed MMO can hire mercenaries (Dust 514 players) to invade and capture locations in the Eve Online world. These locations serve as the battlefield of Dust 514.

Apart from fighting land battles, Dust 514 users can join Eve Online users to form corporations which organize invasions for the purpose of increasing territory.

In terms of gameplay, well, it's an FPS. I didn't see anything special about the combat. Aim, shoot, grenade, crouch, vehicles, etc. I suppose the connectivity with Eve Online and its deep and ever-changing game world that will affect the world of Dust 514 is what the developers are hoping will attract gamers.

Resident Evil/Biohazard 6 - The demo allows you to play as one of four character, Leon, Chris, Jake, or Ada, with Leon being "easy mode" and Ada as "very hard". I always knew Leon was a wuss.

Biohazard has totally left the survival horror genre. This game is essentially a full-fledged third-person shooter. Aiming no longer locks you into position like it did in Biohazard 4 and 5, and you can now take cover in almost any location.

Using Chris, without consciously trying to save bullets, I was constantly shooting an SMG and didn't run out of rounds until the end of the stage. Additionally, at that point, I still had an unused pistol with over a hundred rounds. It seems running out of ammo isn't a major concern anymore.

The only thing that gave the game a bit of "suspense" is your view. The camera is zoomed in rather close to your character, which greatly restricts what you can see, hence the ever looming possibility of an undetected enemy being right beside you.

Still great fun though. Should be really good playing on coop with a friend.

Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku 5 - Running on an entirely different engine, Ryu ga Gotoku 5 looks even more amazing than the last installment. It also promises to have the largest game world in the series. You can now play as one of four characters, though it seems the main story mode is still played chiefly with Kiryu. Not like I'd want to play as anyone else. Kiryu is pretty badass.

The fighting mechanics appear to have remained mostly unchanged, though I did notice some new special moves (activated with the triangle button when Kiryu's spirit energy is charged). One has Kiryu using a guy's face to scrub the floor. Awesome.


Revocation of Saddest Booth Award

I have to say that the Iran National Foundation of Computer Games' booth has improved a bit. While it was almost empty last Thursday, the next day they had posters and pamphlets out.

I talked to a volunteer at the booth, who actually didn't really know much (the representative was at a meeting). She said that the foundation wasn't involved in game development, but instead is active in various projects to support the game industry in Iran.

So, the Saddest Booth award has been revoked, and now it shall go to... Glass Egg Digital Media, a Vietnamese organization.

I mean, come on. Just look at their booth. There wasn't even anyone manning it.

No posters, no pamphlets, no people. The only thing that was in the booth were these things below, and I had no idea what they were.

Back home I checked the internet for more information about Glass Egg, and apparently this group is quite established, having been in the industry for 14 years. They worked on several projects, many of which are racing games, including Forza for the Xbox 360. That's pretty impressive. So why do they have such a bare booth?


For now, that'll be all for the Tokyo Game Show. I wish I had more time to stay. I usually try to get my hands on the many amateur and student-made games, but this year that proved to be impossible. Oh well, 2013 will bring another event.


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