Digital

Plan your attack before you hit the gamefloor at Tokyo Game Show

by Brian Ashcraft

Special To The Japan Times

It’s time to press the start button for Tokyo Game Show (TGS), and while last year’s edition smashed attendance records with more than 270,000 gamers showing up over the course of the event. This year’s TGS hopes to be even bigger. The number of exhibitors has reached a record 421, a significant hike from last year’s tally of 342.

As the numbers of attendees and participants increase, the lengths of the lineups to try out the games are bound to get longer to. The best way to cut down on wait times is to get there early. Fans will dart for the booths as soon as the doors open, so be sure to plan in advance.

After your first play, walk around and have a look at what the biggest game companies are bringing. Remember, Nintendo traditionally doesn’t attend TGS, and this year Level-5 of “Yokai Watch” fame is sitting the show out, too. Here are some of our picks for the event.

Sony

Sony’s booth is always one of the biggest. Due to the sheer number of games and demo kiosks, there’s a chance wait times will be down. Due to Sony’s popularity, though, that’s not a guarantee. Expect an array of titles for home consoles and handheld devices, including the games “Bloodborne” and “Disgaea 5.”

My pick: PS4 exclusive “Bloodborne” looks set to please gamers who like dark, brooding worlds and difficult gameplay.

Microsoft

The Microsoft booth is one of the show’s best-kept secrets. For games released on both the PS4 and Xbox One, go to the Microsoft booth. The lines are often shorter and Microsoft boasts terrific exclusive titles such as “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die,” “Forza Motorsport 5” and “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.”

My pick: “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” is the latest game from Hidetaka Suehiro, who’s known for the offbeat horror game “Deadly Premonition.”

Square Enix

Perhaps the country’s most beloved maker of role-playing games, Square Enix is set to bring a handful of upcoming titles to Tokyo Game Show. Expect trailers for hack-and-slash game “Dragon Quest Heroes” and motorcycle game “Final Fantasy VII G-Bike,” though unfortunately it doesn’t look as if either of these titles will be playable.

The Nintendo 3DS title “Bravely Second,” on the other hand, will be there for the crowd to enjoy. This will be the first opportunity for the gaming public to play the eagerly awaited sequel to the hit “Bravely Default” — expect long lines at this one.

My pick: If you like role-playing games, then brave the line for “Bravely Second.”

Bandai Namco

The longest lines will probably be for the action role-playing game “God Eater 2: Rage Burst” for the PS4 and PS Vita. Other highlights include fantasy role-playing game “Tales of Zestiria” for the PS3 and fighting game “Dragon Ball: Xenoverse” for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

My pick: “Godzilla” is the one to try. In this PS3 game, you play the role of the big beast and get to trash cities.

Capcom

Count on Capcom to have one of the show’s most colorful booths. Both the action role-playing game “Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate” and the survival horror game “Resident Evil Revelations 2” will be there to play.

Unfortunately, neither the hotly anticipated new “Ace Attorney” game “Dai Gyakuten Saiban” nor “Resident Evil HD Remaster” will be on hand. Instead, there will be new trailers for those titles.

My pick: Check out the “Dai Gyakuten Saiban” trailer and stage presentation. The game features famed British detective Sherlock Holmes and an 8-year-old female Watson with pink hair.

Konami

Konami is well-known for two game series in particular: “Metal Gear Solid” and “Silent Hill.” The newest editions of these won’t be playable on the show floor, but creator Hideo Kojima will be giving stage presentations for both.

My pick: Want to play a sports game? Try out “Jikkyo Pawafuru Puroyakyu” (that baseball game with the big-headed characters) for PS3 and PS Vita, or “World Soccer: Winning Eleven 2015” for PS4, PS3 and Xbox One.

Sega

Virtual idols, hard-nosed gangsters and one famous hedgehog. Yep, that’s what you can expect at the Sega booth, which will feature a new Hatsune Miku virtual idol game, new “Phantasy Star” titles and the latest trailer for the upcoming “Yakuza Zero.”

My pick: Check out the new “Yakuza Zero” trailer and swing by the title’s photo spot at the booth.

D3 Publisher

The best thing about D3 Publisher is how it continues to churn out ridiculous games, the latest of which is “Onechanbara Z2: Chaos,” a hack-and-slash title featuring a heroine clad in a cowboy hat and bikini. Also, there are two “Earth Defense Force” titles that see players once again battling it out with giant insects.

My pick: “Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair” is the first game in the series released for the PS4.

Koei Tecmo

The biggest playable title that Koei Tecmo is likely to bring to TGS is “Hyrule Warriors,” its hack-and-slash collaboration with Nintendo. The game is already out in stores, though. If you prefer using fists instead of swords, Koei Tecmo is also set to bring a revamped version of “Dead or Alive 5,” called “Dead or Alive 5: Last Round.”

Our pick: “Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War & Nightmare” is an updated version of the underrated 2007 real-time strategy game “Bladestorm.” The latest release has better graphics and new enemies, such as giant dragons. What it loses in historical accuracy, it makes up for in fun.

If the lines at some of the bigger booths get so long that you find yourself desperate to play anything, swing by the booths run by social-gaming companies such as Gree and DeNA. You could also check out the Game School Area to see what future creators are offering up, or head to the International Pavilion to get a glimpse of titles from around the world.

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