Digital | ON: GAMES

Welcome to the Summer Games

by Brian Ashcraft

Sega is going for an Olympic gold

It’s only a year until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but if you can’t wait and already have Olympic fever, then why not spend the summer competing in the games virtually?

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Official Video Game allows players to try out an array of sports — including track and field, table tennis, swimming, beach volleyball, baseball, soccer, basketball, boxing and more. There are more than 15 different sports, making this a great all-rounder for any games lovers — Olympics fans or not — who want to find out what it feels like to be an athlete.

The game is being published by Sega, which is also releasing a new Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games title later this year to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics. Since 2007, Sega has released a handful of comical and cute Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games titles, which may appeal to younger players. Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Official Video Game is more realistic-looking, but it’s still not a realistic sports sim.

Players can, however, make fully customized avatars and put themselves in the action, going for gold within a faithful renderings of the new National Stadium and Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

You can even play around with the range of avatar outfits — who wouldn’t, for example, want to see someone jump hurdles in a BMX racing helmet?

Priced at ¥5,389, Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Official Video Game has been released in Japan for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. An English release (Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game) is upcoming.

olympicvideogames.com/tokyo2020/jp (Japanese) olympicvideogames.com/us (English)

Finally, it’s judgment day

Also from Sega is the re-release of Judge Eyes, which was originally released last December until sales were halted in March this year, when actor and musician Pierre Taki, who voiced and lent his physical likeness to a yakuza character named Kyohei Hamura, was arrested on suspicion of illegal drug use.

Sega acted swiftly, taking down game trailers and freezing sales, which was a shame because the game was being anticipated as a whole lot of fun.

Starring actor and singer Takuya Kimura, Judge Eyes is from the same team responsible for Sega’s excellent Yakuza series of games, which are a blast to play with wonderfully silly sequences featuring excellent acting and seriously cinematic scenes. Unlike the Yakuza titles, Judge Eyes features a young lawyer (Kimura) out to right wrongs. But, like the Yakuza games, Judge Eyes has its hero take to the streets and beat the crap out of foes.

In March, Toshihiro Nagoshi, Sega’s chief creative officer, who is credited with launching the Yakuza series and its spin-offs, announced that the decision to delay Judge Eyes was made because the game was still a new release. There was some concern that Sega could appear to be profiting off the scandal, so pulling the game seemed to be the safest option. This, however, appeared incredibly unfair to everyone else who worked on the game, so it’s great that Judge Eyes has finally been re-released for the PS4, and at a cheaper price of ¥4,903. The Western version of the game was also released in June as Judgment.

Unsurprisingly, Pierre Taki will not be included in the game and the appearance of character Kyohei Hamura has been changed.

ryu-ga-gotoku.com/judgeeyes (Japanese) yakuza.sega.com/judgment/home.html (English)

Anime fighting

One of 2013’s biggest anime TV series hits was “Kill la Kill.” Stylish and cool, it followed the adventures of a kickass schoolgirl who duked it out with enemies in battle action-style tournaments. The anime was perfect fodder for a fighting game, so it’s no surprise that’s exactly what we’re now getting for Switch, PS4 and Steam.

Kill la Kill: If (¥7,344) has been developed by Arc System Works, one of Japan’s most respected fighting game studios. It’s an arena fighting title, meaning that characters face off within a large combat arena, but there are still plenty of close-quarters attack options.

The game is relatively easy to just pick up and start playing, but like most Arc System Works fighters, it’s actually more complex than you may think, and there is a lot of depth in the gameplay to be discovered. It also has a rock-paper-scissors gameplay element to mix up combat, which some might like, but others may be less thrilled about.

Arc System Works really has made Kill la Kill: If look like an anime that you can play, giving fans of the TV series another good reason to get it.

www.kill-la-kill-game.jp (Japanese) www.kill-la-kill-game.jp/en (English)

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