Makuhari Messe first opened their doors to the press on Thursday, and are now wide open to the public where eager gamers are piling in to check out this year’s Tokyo Game Show. The crowds get bigger each year, but so too does the Tokyo Game Show ever since recovering from the global recession several years ago. All three main halls are now wall-to-wall with gaming companies and businesses, while an additional two more were open for indie games, VR, and an attempt to promote e-sports here in Japan.
While there weren’t any main events or “must see” games or hardware this year, there were some titles we were thrilled to check out. The PlayStation booth had playable demos for Santa Monica Studio‘s God Of War, set to be released early next year, as well as Polyphony Digital‘s Gran Turismo Sport racing its way to stores next month, and the next Call of Duty: WWII set for release in November.
Other cool titles to try – and were heavily promoted – included Detroit: Become Human, the latest game from the developers of Heavy Rain set in a neo-noir future involving androids, planned for release sometime next year. And of course, Monster Hunter: World – the first Monster Hunter title to have Trophies! – coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in January. It’s apparent Monster Hunter: World is one of the more anticipated games here in Japan, with massive promotional booths at both the PlayStation area, as well as the Capcom spot which featured a massive dragon-like creature.
Other titles being promoted by the bigger companies included Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer DLC coming next month from Square Enix, the remake of Ryu ga Gotoku 2 (Yakuza 2) titled Ryu ga Gotoku: Kiwami 2 by SEGA, as well as their Ryu ga Gotoku Online set for launch next year – which we suspect may not see an overseas release.
But in our opinion, the more exciting stuff was happening at the indie game and VR hall, were we saw – and tried – an assortment of experimental games, as well as new VR software and peripherals.
H2L, a Japanese company, had a new VR device called the First VR, which includes a simple wristband that not only tracks your arm movements, but when your hand is is opened or closed, allowing you to “pick up and drop” items in the virtual world.
Another Japanese developer, named Prodigy, worked with Joysound to create a boxing/karaoke game called Nagu Kara, meaning Punching Karaoke. Select your favorite song (we did Bon Jovi – It’s My Life) and sing into the mic to boost your strength, while using the motion controls to box your way to the top.
And Unbereal created a VR tank battle game called ArtiFight, where players moved their tanks forward and back by peddling on an exorcise bike, while turning and firing using hand controllers.
Chinese developer NetDragon had several “4D” VR games for demonstration, our favorite being D-Day, an on-rails shooter where you fire at multiple alien creatures using a gatling gun. Not only do you feel immersed in the action through the VR headset, but the whole seat and physical representation of the gatling gun moves and shakes depending on what’s happening in the game.
And the biggest event – requiring a 3 hour wait to try – was the Gyro VR from South Korea’s Sangwha. Enter a massive gyro like you might see at NASA, strap on the VR headset, and experience robot battles and extreme sports while being spun 360 degrees in sync to what’s happening in the virtual world.
Perhaps this was the first time the indie and VR games stole the show away from the bigger developers, marking the 2017 Tokyo Game Show an overall fun and intriguing experience!
Be sure to check out our video presentation of both Day 1 and Day 2!
written by Damon Finos