Tokyo Game Show gave us a lot of reasons to be excited of the Playstation 4 and VR gaming

I didn’t know what to expect from this year’s Tokyo Game Show — this was going to be the first video game exhibition I’d ever attended, and I’m the kind of gamer who uses an emulator, mostly for nostalgia-indulging purposes. But stepping into the Makuhari Messe convention center was like whiplash — cutting-edge graphics, super-cute cosplayers and holy moly is that Kingdom Hearts 3?  The whole thing was like, a gigantic salu-salo with LED screens and gamers from all over getting the lowdown on what their favorite intellectual properties are working on.

And while walking around the convention center was hella fun, our itinerary consisted mostly of attending presentations at New Omani Hotel about upcoming PlayStation 4 and VR titles. These are the games (slated to come out 2019) that we’re looking forward to the most. We suggest you add them to your next home entertainment shopping list.

The geeks were right: Guests waved their weeb flag high in different stations for video games and anime.

Days Gone (PlayStation 4)

It was creative director John Garvin of Bend Studios who described Days Gone as an open world game “where the world comes for you” and yeah, the pitch sticks. You play Deacon St. John, a rough-and-tumble, motorbike-riding badass, navigating a dystopian world overrun by zombies which the game calls “Freakers.”

One keyword that came up during the Days Gone press conference was “resource management” — which I know might sound a little dry, but really, it wouldn’t be a realistic zombie survival game if your character was just kicking ass and taking names 24/7. You gotta gather ammunition, repair weapons, maintain your motorbike. Most of the game also consists of DYI-ing the crap out of natural resources and scavenging the detritus of an undead world, and sometimes means crafting arrows from scratch, or accidentally stepping into bear traps.

Rough and tumble: Days Gone sees you playing Deacon St. John, a motorbike-riding badass trying to survive a zombie dystopia.

As for battle, shooting up an entire horde head-on isn’t exactly a viable strategy — sneaking into a Freakers’ nest and setting up traps and throwing Molotovs is one way to sow destruction with less risk. No full details yet on the plot, but your objectives as a character involve looking after your injured partner Boozer, and traveling across the post-apocalyptic US.

Days Gone might jibe well with fans of the zombie genre, or gamers who appreciate the mechanic of scarcity in survivalist situations. Might also appeal to players who just wanna go ham with a wooden baseball bat.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PlayStation 4)

The “Dark Souls” franchise is infamous for its punishing gameplay — it’s so hard to master that it’s impossible to play without dying a hundred times. But it’s precisely this extreme difficulty that makes it so damn popular, and attractive to gamers who want to test their mettle.

Developed by FromSoftware and published by Activision, comes the game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which is also comparable to the “Souls” series in its unforgiving gameplay. Not surprising — Hidetaka Miyazaki, who took on a supervising role for Dark Souls II and acted as lead director for Dark Souls III, is also directing Sekiro. In this game, set in ancient Japan, you play a shinobi with a prosthetic arm on a quest for vengeance.

Way of the blade: Fans of the ‘‘Dark Souls’’ franchise might appreciate Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice for its punishing gameplay.

One thing that distinguishes Sekiro from the Dark Souls games is the resurrection system. Basically, in Sekiro, defeat at the hands of the enemy isn’t the end — you are given the chance to come back to life a limited number of times. According to Hidetaka, the resurrection aspect of the game is 1) something to assist the player, given the shinobi’s glass cannon weaknesses, and 2) integral to the plot, as fragmented as the story will be. I got the chance to play Sekiro for 15 minutes and died like five times, three of them to the same enemy. Ridiculous. But Hidetaka also recommends that the player maximize the open world of the game by exploring different fighting styles, whether head-on or by stealth. Thinking about it now, maybe I should’ve gone for the sneaky approach, what with me being… a ninja.

Focus On You (Sony PlayStation VR)

Dating sims have come a long way, man. Light novels with middling graphics are usually enough to get the heart racing, as long as the story is good. Imagine, then, a dating sim powered by the immersive graphics of a VR headset. Focus On You, the first game developed by Smilegate Entertainment, might be your first chance to get that totally realistic dating sim experience. Get this: you play a high school senior working part-time at a cafe. One day, you encounter the beautiful and bubbly Song Ah-young in a park and request her to be your model for a day. You encounter her next at the cafe where you work, and well, basically, love blossoms.

You’re my world: VR dating game Focus On You is immersive, not just because of its love interests, but also in the way the surroundings are rendered.

While Focus On You is currently working on future updates that allow you to court other heroines, the basic story isn’t about playing a swinging bachelor, but a teenager experiencing their first love. (My water sun sign is shaking.) The immersive VR experience means you’ll have to read a lot of other signals that usually don’t have to deal with in normal dating sims — peculiar facial expressions, telling body language, and other idiosyncrasies. Other subtleties — like the movements of her hair and the ruffles on her clothes — come through crisp and clear. And because you play a photographer, the game also allows you to capture your memories with her! Here, we’ll give you a head start: her likes include strawberries and K-pop, and her sign is Aries. Go make some memories.

Free for all: Multiple booths around the convention center let visitors play games for free.

 

For more information on this year’s Tokyo Game Show (and the last one, if you’re interested!), you can check out the event’s official website, at https://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2018/exhibition/english/.

Tags:
#games #technology

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