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Tokyo Game Show - Day 2

The second day started with a 90 minute wait at the Grand Theft Auto V line. I actually already have GTA V for PS3, but they were giving away Los Santos t-shirts for trying the demo, so I figured I should drop by.

Grand Theft Auto V
Waiting time: 120 minutes
With the long queues, you'd think this game was popular in Japan. However, GTA V and most Western open-world games generally don't do well in Japan. Giving cool stuff away like t-shirts is needed to get people to try them, and is the main reason why the line was so long. A few years ago, Ubisoft did the same thing with Assassin's Creed II.

The demo started with a brief video tutorial to ensure that we drove to the correct location for the mission to start properly, and quite stupidly I make a wrong turn at the very start of the demo. Luckily, one of the booth attendants caught this mistake and pointed me to the right direction. The mission was an armored car heist that goes wrong. It was an excellent scenario to get people to try many of the main gameplay mechanics… driving, shooting with assault rifles, sniper rifles, and RPGs, using explosives, blowing stuff up with gasoline, switching between characters, and losing the cops.

Two hours later, I came out with my Los Santos shirt.
Contrast (PS4)

Next up was lunch, followed by an indie PS4 game, Contrast. Another game I'd never heard of, but it was certainly interesting. Set in a 1940s/50s film noire style (but colored), you play the part of a lady helping a little girl solve what appears to be a mystery involving her parents. To reach otherwise inaccessible areas of the level you will need to turn into a shadow. By becoming a shadow, you can walk on shadows on the walls and reach places you normally wouldn't be able to. I really loved the concept, and the mystery itself was very a compelling reason to watch out for more of this game in the future.

Ryu ga Gotoku: Ishin
After Contrast, I moved on over to the Sega booth where I thought I would be playing a demo of the newest installation of Ryu ga Gotoku (Yakuza). And apparently, it wasn't a demo. Instead I was met with a video which had some gameplay clips and explanation of the different mechanics that Ryu ga Gotoku: Ishin includes. As is characteristic of Ryu ga Gotoku, there was a lot of ridiculousness going on in the game. On the one end, it has a serious story that is tied to real events revolving around a famous Japanese historical figure, Ryoma Sakamoto. And on the other end you get to harvest daikon (Japanese radish), cook like Cooking Mama, and go fishing. Silly stuff, but yes, I do like my Ryu ga Gotoku that way.

For watching their video, they gave me a hand fan.

Knack (PS4)

The last demo I tried out was Knack, and I chose to play the version running on remote play on a PS Vita. I wanted to see how it was like playing a PS4 game running on a Vita remotely. It ran quite well with no hiccups, as it should be. The resolution was great on the Vita's screen, and it was also connected to a large LED TV. I did not notice any delays, and it looked equally as good on the large screen. Knack itself, a 3D action game with some platforming, was quite fun. Controls were simple yet engaging, seems well-produced, and has great visuals. It's a family friendly title with the potential of being a Sony mascot, just like Crash the Bandicoot was once back in the PS1 days.

Job & Esther Technologies/Zeenoh (Philippine booth)

As mentioned in an earlier post, there was a Philippine booth at the game show. It was run by Job & Esther Technologies, an IT company based in Manila and Finland that created a game development tool for use with Android and iOS called "Eqela". The development tool allows you to compile your code to both Android and iOS, and so if you were to deploy your game on both platforms, you wouldn't have to do much porting. It's main strength, they said, was that the software would run without a virtual machine, making your games much lighter.

They also have a partnership with Zeenoh, a Filipino game developer which uses the Eqela development software. Among their published games are Antz Spring, Time Slider, Balloon Getaway, and Patintero Playtime, available on Android and iOS (though it seems only Balloon Getaway and Patintero Playtime are in the Google Play store).

Unfortunately, I was told that most people who dropped by their booth were looking for game artists rather than development tools. Hopefully they were able to find some clients on Saturday and Sunday.


And that was pretty much it this year. On another article, I'll be giving some overall impressions of the trade show, some thoughts about the coming next-gen of video games, and other extra stuff, so please keep an eye out for that!

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