Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 7 - Biohazard, Unfinished Swan,

*Posted Saturday afternoon Japan Time.

TGS Friday!

I finally had a chance to play the latest Resident Evil aka Biohazard. You know the one set in Africa somewhere, and that came under some criticism for being considered racist. We had to wait 30 mintues or so, and were given the option of single player or co-op, with 2 different missions to try. And like the Silent Hill booth, we were treated to a video presentation prior to the game, but in Biohazard's case, it was a little more like going to Universal Studios. After the movie, we were debriefed on our mission with Chris Redfield, an actor from Italy, or France, or Germany, somewhere, came on stage, and in his broken english acted out the lines he was given. I didn't know Chris Redfield was Van Damme's brother? I had to hold myself back from laughing.

I found the 2 co-op missions particularly difficult even with a partner, we kept dying. Aiming is really tough with no auto target, and moving feels quite slow, like with all Resident Evils. The up-close combat is cool, stomping on Zombies to finish them off is fun, but with hordes of Zombies around its hard to fight off multiple enemies. This most definitely isn't Gears of War.

Pictured, the crew and actors behind the motion capture, for Resident Evil 5.

After RE, I tried several times to win a Street Fighter IV hat, to no avail! IN order to get one, you have to win 5 consecutive matches, of 3 rounds each. Which is tough considering the uneven skill level of those playing. Experts versus novice. That, or I guess everyone at the show is reeeeally good at Street Fighter, except for me. Instead all those who played Street Fighter got some nifty pins. Hands down Capcom had one of the most popular booths at the show, because they had so many games that people wanted to play. even then I'd still be happy just playing Street Fighter on those awesome screens, trying to win a hat.

Even though the first 2 days of the show weren't open to the public, the lineups still ate into my play time, so I couldn't get to everything that I wanted to see, and being that my hotel situation and plans conflict with the last 2 days of TGS, I had to make Friday my final day at the show. I hope next year I can stay for all 4 days. I should have planned my game plan better.

I really want Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Phantasy Star Zero.

After the show closed at 5pm, everyone headed on out to the after party and presentation of Sense of Wonder.

If it's one game that caught my attention aside from Pixel Junk, it's be The Unfinished Swan.

The Unfinished Swan, definitely has potential to be a hit in the indie games scene. Players are set in an entirely white world in a first person perspective, with only their black paint to reveal their surroundings. Being developed in XNA, Ian Dallas (USC) submitted this to the Sense of Wonder competition at TGS, which was presented at the after hours party mixer. I hope to follow this games progress, it's be interesting to see where it ends up. The new Portal?

Overall I think TGS is a great experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back. The only thing that really bugged me was the lack of wireless internet through the entire convention. It's kinda prehistoric that way.

So with all that, I'm off to Ginza, staying at the very cool Mitsui Garden Ginza hotel. I'm serious considering extending my trip, at this point. Hmmmm...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Day 6 Tokyo Japan - TGS! I want Phantasy Star Zero! Silent Hill: Homecoming!
Day 5 Tokyo Japan - Akiba is evil! Bye Shibuya, hello Chiba for TGS! Wednesday - posted Thursday Japan time.

Wednesday marked the end of my stay in Shibuya as I had made arrangements to stay closer to the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba city, location of the Tokyo Game Show. After today's train ride, I'm so glad I did move closer to the show, because it's pretty damn far out and commuting everyday from Shibuya was out of the question.

Riding the busy train with all the luggage, and hauling it through the various stations was a pain, but worth it.

The move to Chiba took about an hour, and a half, being we got off at the wrong station, and decided to cab to the hotel, which took longer than the train, but was more relaxing to be driven.

I do miss Shibuya though, and am planning on heading back there for the last leg of my trip after TGS.

After we settled in to the hotel, we went to the Messe to see if they were allowing for pass pickups, but they weren't. Nothing was really set up yet.

We decided to head back out to hit up the very famous Electric City of Akiba, or more formally known as Akihabara.

All I gotta say is, shit, this place will make you broke in a matter of seconds if you're not careful.

I had some names of stores in mind, but I didn't know exactly where they were. As we walked around, the first real gamer store we saw was Super Potato. The Chiptune music gave it away, as well as the film crew of Playstation Networks new show 'Qore' filming out in front of it. (They later made their way inside) I spoke with Veronica, and Audrey (hosts of Qore) for a bit in between checking out the wide selection of games, and they were pretty nice.

I didn't know what to expect from this place, but as soon as we entered I was blown away. 5 floors of awesome gaming, 5 FLOORS with many game consoles and titles that never made it overseas. Famicom, Super Famicom, Mastersystem, PC engine, they even had an Atari Jaguar for sale, and a decent selection of games. There is so much stuff in Super Potato, I honestly didn't know where to start. I knew I wanted a classic Famicom, so I got one, with some games. I also got some sega Saturn games for my Japanese Sega Saturn. I seriously need to go back and pickup a Super Famicom too.

I may not have an encyclopedic mind of obscure Japanese classic games, but I still managed to find some stuff to buy. I even negotiated for a Super Potato Jacket and shirt, that the employees wear, which isn't normally sold to customers. They were charging 85bucks for the jacket, but after telling them I only had 70bucks (lie) left after spending over one hundred dollars on games, they let me take the Jacket for 70, and the shirt for 20.

On the fifth floor was the classic arcade area.

After shopping we got ate some sushi, then headed to the Sega Club for some Virtua Fighter R. I purchased one of those Terminal Character access cards, but I can't figure out how to get it to work. Apparently you have to go online, and create several profiles before you can pop it into the machine... Frustrating!

What else did I see in Akiba?