This Week in Games
Tokyo Game Show EXPLODES!
by Heidi Kemps,
Hey everyone! It's time to catch up on the remainder of the craziness that was TGS week. This year's show was pretty good, I thought – I saw quite a few games that I was interested in playing, and there were some surprise announcements that put a big grin on my face. Let's not waste time – we've got a lot to talk about! This time, I'll be taking a lengthier look at some big-name games, while doing newsbits at the end for smaller infodrops and trailer reveals.
PROJECT SAKURA WARS IS GONNA BE A REALLY BIG DEAL
Tokyo Game Show 2019 was extremely eventful for Sega. Besides the first big showcase of Yakuza 7, Sega was also making a tremendous push for Project Sakura Wars, a game that aims to put one of their most bankable (Japanese) franchises back in the limelight.
More international Combat Revues are introduced every time Sega does a presentation for this game, and this time, it's the Berlin troupe! Considered the strongest combat revue by many, these girls are ready to go to war.
Elise is the youthful head of the revue, and she's the taciturn leader type. Her companion, Margarete, is a strategist who doesn't have much of a filter when it comes to speaking her mind. They're both designed by Humikane Shimada, who is most famous for Girls und Panzer. Yeah, that's a very good character designer choice for a Sakura Wars game.
We're also introduced to a mysterious masked antagonist named Yasha, who is voiced by Chisa Yokoyama, who also voiced Sakura Shinguji in the original games. BOY I SURE WONDER WHAT THE INDENTITY OF THIS CHARACTER IS HMMMMMMMMM
We've also got more trailers, too! A gameplay trailer:
And a story trailer:
But there's more! Sega isn't just selling you a game with Project Sakura Wars. Oh no, Sega is selling you a future cross-media empire.
If you weren't around anime cons in the late 90s, you might not be aware of just how much stuff was made for the original Sakura Wars. You'd go to a decently sized convention to discover that literally every single vendor had some sort of Sakura Wars merchandise: figures, keychains, pencilboards, trading cards – if it existed, Sega put Sakura Wars characters on it. Then came drama CDs, manga, the anime adaptations, spinoffs like Hanagumi Taisen Columns…
Well, it seems that, once again, Sega intends to bombard the otakusphere with new Project Sakura Wars stuff. they've gone ahead and pre-emptively announced a TV anime adaptation of the game! That's not all, either -- there's a stage play, too! Usually, I roll my eyes at anime/game stage play adaptations because I have no idea why anyone would want to go see these cheap, abridged shows, but Sakura Wars has a very long tradition of doing live events since the 90s. And hey, it works because Sakura Wars is all about a theatre that's a front for a combat brigade!
Oh, and there will be individual character theme songs, too. Here's the one for Sakura Amamiya. Will fans still rush out to buy character CDs in 2019? We'll just have to see!
RESIDENT EVIL GOES MULTIPLAYER, AGAIN, AND IT MIGHT BE GOOD THIS TIME
Resident Evil has been on a bit of a resurgence lately, with both RE7 and the Resident Evil 2 remake seeing great critical reception and strong sales. It's easy to forget that, earlier in the decade, Resident Evil was at its absolute nadir, with Resident Evil 6 being generally reviled and spinoff multiplayer shooters Operation Raccoon City and Umbrella Corps getting perhaps the worst reception the series has ever seen. But now that everyone loves Resident Evil again, CAPCOM's decided that it's time to try the multiplayer shooter idea again because maybe they'll get it right this time!
And the good news? So far, this new game – titled Project: Resistance – seems to be getting a warm reception! Rather than being a straightforward multiplayer shooter, it's a 1-versus-4 asymmetrical experience. For those who aren't up on multiplayer lingo, that basically means you have four players working to survive while a powerful “mastermind” player does everything in their power to murder them. Still a bit confused? Well, here's a trailer that might help explain things a little bit more.
There's word of a beta happening sometime in the future, so if this game sounds like something you'd be interested in, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for future announcements on that front. Anyway, if you're interested in some in-depth impressions of Project: Resistance, we've got a nifty article right over here you can check out!
DEATH STRANDING CONTINUES TO INTRIGUE AND BEFUDDLE (smash that "like" button)
Another event, another round of details about Death Stranding! We saw a lot more gameplay during TGS, and learned something very important:
The stage show for Death Stranding showcased a lot in-game action. Okay, maybe not so much “action,” – we do have some combat and danger, but mostly exploration and, uh... giving and receiving likes.
And hey, do you like playing dress-up? Do you like customization options? Well guess what, Kojima's got you extremely covered!
We also have a new seven-minute story trailer, which you can watch right here:
There's a fair bit to chew on in these trailers, for sure, but one offhand announcement that got a few folks in a tizzy was that there will be an easy mode in the game that lets people just enjoy Kojima's story while ratcheting down the challenge a fair bit. Everyone seems to be forgetting two key things: that Kojima very, very much wants his games to be more movie-like, and that his previous Metal Gear Solid games also had some very easy modes in them. Basically, Kojima don't give a crap about this “git gud” stuff, and he sure as hell doesn't have to listen to anyone online.
HOT DAMN, GUILTY GEAR LOOKS REAL GOOD
There weren't a whole lot of fighting games on display at TGS… well, besides the big Street Fighter V tournament Momochi won but couldn't get the prize money from because he doesn't have a license under Japan's stupid eSports licensing system. But as infuriating as that story is, we're trying to focus on the new stuff showcased at TGS, and few things were at hotly anticipated by the fighting game crowd than the presentation of the upcoming Guilty Gear. While we didn't get too much new footage to chew on, what we did get was enough to further increase frothing demand among the Arc System Works faithful.
Here we see more in-battle footage of Sol and Ky in their new outfits, and god damn does this game look absolutely stellar in motion. And yup, that's May at the end! Her new be-coated design was adorable enough to immediately spawn a huge wave of fanart on Twitter. Everybody loves May!
Daisuke Ishiwatari talked more about the game in a Famitsu interview published around the TGS timeframe, as well. Gematsu has translated the full interview over here, but there are plenty of important tidbits to make note of: there are no plans for further Xrd updates, the whole Xrd roster might not be in the game from the start (or ever), and the game will be on PS4, but not exclusively. I do recommend checking out the whole interview if you're interested.
Oh, and the next trailer's going to be shown at CEOtaku. If you're in the Orlando area at the end of the month and like anime, fighting games, or both, I do recommend dropping in.
While we're on the Arc System Works train, let's not forget to mention that Metera was announced for Granblue Versus! Clearly they're teasing us for the inevitable Narmaya announcement… right?
RANDOM TGS NEWSBITS
We talked a lot about the FFVII remake last week, but we got a bit more gameplay info during some of the live stage demonstrations at TGS. If you've been turned off by the action/RPG style combat shown so far, you might be interested to know that the game will also include a menu-driven “classic” mode akin to the original!
Cave had a stage event where they talked a lot about mobile game Gothic wa Mahou Otome, which is something I care a lot about and approximately zero other people reading this column even know exists. But what may be of more interest is the announcement of a Deathsmiles 1 and 2 compilation for as-of-yet unannounced platforms, co-developed by City Connection. Deathsmiles 2 is one of the most overlooked titles in Cave's back catalog, so it'll be great to see it make a return.
Speaking of arcade re-releases, Sega announced that a download-only Virtual On compilation is heading to the PS4! Titled Cyber Troopers Virtual On Masterpiece 1995~2001, this set contains the original Cyber Troopers Virtual On, Oratorio Tangram ver. 5.66, and Virtual On Force. (Virtual On MARZ is excluded presumably because it is not, in fact, a masterpiece.) Of course, this is justification for you mech-heads to import yet another set of ridiculously pricey specialized twin stick controls for your collection.
[email protected]ぱんけーき (@create_sht) September 12, 2019
Enzai Shikkou Yuugi: Yuru Kill is certainly something I wasn't expecting to be announced, but the more I see of it, the more I'm glad it exists. It's a mix of a mystery-solving adventure game and an arcade shooter, with the writing being done by Kakegurui creator Homura Kawamoto and the shooting parts under development by Under Defeat and Senko no Ronde developer G.Rev. Yes, that sounds fantastic already, please sign me up!
TGS always manages to bring a lot of new trailers, so let's run down a few of them. Death March Club is one of the upcoming titles from Danganronpa creator Kazutaka Kodaka and Zero Escape writer Kōtarō Uchikoshi's studio Too Kyo Games, and the trailer is weiiiiiiiird. In a good way. It's unsettling and creepy and has me absolutely intrigued as to what sort of mind-screwery these folks have in store for us. I'm eager to see more.
Hey, how about some more Dragon Ball: Kakarot? We've got that, too! Have a glimpse of the life of Goku, depicted in videogame form.
Tales of Arise was also showcased in a bit more detail. Who is that mysterious figure at the end with a weird mascotty thing…?!
Nioh 2 got some show time as well. Much like the original game, there will be an open beta for all interested players in early November. The beta tests for the original Nioh aided the developers out a lot in improving the game, so if you want to help build a better Nioh sequel, it'd be a great idea to jump in.
Also, Momiji is coming to Dead or Alive 6 as a DLC character! Still no sign of a new Ninja Gaiden game, though.
This isn't TGS related as the news just hit today, but man, did y'all see Sirfetch'd? I always liked Farfetch'd and though it needed a proper evolution. Well, GAME FREAK's design team knocked this one out of the park. That is one extremely badass bird.
Okay! I think that's… most of the TGS news. I'm sure I overlooked a few things, but that's what the forums are for, right? So what was your favorite part of TGS this year? Mine was Yakuza 7, but I'm sure you all have stuff you're hyped for. Let's share our thoughts below!
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