Beyond the landfilled but scenic coasts of Tokyo Bay lies an ancient glorious structure: Makuhari Messe - built by mythic engineers of the Japan bubble era, in 1989 to be exact. Every year, adventurers (and businessmen) cross skies and oceans to pay homage at the biggest annual gathering of all things video games in Asia. The FANDOM Japan team embarked on our own journey last week. Battling through hordes of rush hour salarymen and Tokyo Disney Resort tourists on the way, we trekked the long treacherous road with vigor, to bring you authentic exclusive coverage of this and next year's hottest games - no fake news here!
Red Dead Redemption 2
As soon as we arrived at the Kahin Makuhari train station, we made contact with agents (campaign girls) of Rockstar Games, and were presented with stickers and brochures. New info on Red Dead Redemption 2 include multiplayer, horse drifting, first-person view able, hat hunting, and other fun essentials a virtual gunslinger must have in 2018. More information on the wiki.
Game shows in Japan cannot be complete without robots. This time we have Sega’s Border Break and Tate Multimedia’s Steel Rats.
The Dark Halls of Makuhari
Some events’ lighting are darker than others. Game shows lighting, or the lack thereof, make the Ninth Circle of Hell shine like Maui. Infrared goggles and light-creation spells (Lumos!) would have been in order, but we managed nonetheless with ISO 2800 setting on the DSLR.
The most exciting title from Sega this year is notably Judge Eyes. The demo has already been out on the PS4 for a few weeks now. Fans of the Yakuza series (龍が如く) will no doubt feel right at home in Kamurocho(神室町), striving for justice through violence for the greater good. Judge Eyes stars a seemingly younger Tatsuya Kimura (木村拓哉) as Takayuki Yagami (八神隆之) - a former lawyer turned private detective doing his thing in the Yakuza capital of the world. What differentiates Judge Eyes form the Yakuza series is, rather than beating up anyone on the street with an offensive face, Judge Eyes focuses on investigative actions such as tailing, chase, interrogation, lock-picking, undercover work, and other activities as prelude to violence - beautifully orchestrated through an evolved battle system. The Sega booth showcased new trailers of the game on a large screen with surround sound.
Another spinoff from the Yakuza series is the Yakuza Online (龍が如く Online) mobile game. This was announced at last year’s Tokyo Game Show and still claims that it’s planned for release this year. Judging from the promotional videos, gameplay has more similarity to old school Shin Megami Tensei than the console Yakuza series - more RPG than action game.
Persona Q2 New Cinema Labyrinth
From the Atlus side, we have Persona Q2 New Cinema Labyrinth (ペルソナＱ２ ニュー シネマ ラビリンス) for the 3DS. Why the game is not being released on the Switch or Playstation is a mystery to us all.
Catherine Full Body
And we also have the sequel to cult platform puzzle game Catherine (キャサリン) - suitably titled Catherine Full Body (キャサリン・フルボディ). The original was known for its progressive theme and high difficulty in puzzle gameplay. Catherine Full Body’s game description mentions new functions of auto-play and stage skip, which may make the game more accessible to those more interested in the unquestionably unique story and adventure rather than solving timed platform puzzles; no more broken controllers or TV screens, hopefully.
This year’s most glamorous booth was notably Sony Interactive Entertainment. Apart from occupying by far the largest area in the hall, they featured games not only from SIE, but other AAA titles from other publishers.
The elephant in the room was obviously Death Stranding. Announced by Hideo Kojima (小島秀夫) in 2016 after his departure from Konami, this is what we have now in 2018, and an event with Kojima with some new footage:
Ghost of Tsushima
Another promising title from SIE is Ghost of Tsushima. We were impressed by the gameplay trailer at E3, and at TGS we had this:
Sekiro Shadows Die Twice
In terms of hardware, no PS5 photos, but we did get a shot of the Playstation Classic. Unfortunately for those with a stack of PS1 games sitting around, the discs don't seem to fit.
Bandai Namco has quite a few “aces” up its sleeve this year- apologies for the bad pun. Long anticipated Ace Combat 7 was on demo, impressive weather effects - can a non-Pro version PS4 handle the graphics?
Ace Combat 7
The event took a deeper look at controls, maps, and dynamic environmental effects such as lightning, rain and mist. Navigation seems to have remained unchanged from Ace Combat 6 and Infinity, which is a good thing. It'll be interesting to see how well VR is implemented on release. More information on the wiki.
Several new announcements for Jump Force include addition of playable character Yusuke Urameshi (浦飯幽助) from YuYu Hakusho (幽遊白書), and other characters. A Collectors Edition and closed beta were also announced. More information on the wiki and video below:
God Eater 3
The God Eater 3 monster was crafted in immaculate details and was quite imposing. Though it might have been even more effective outdoor in open space.
Billion Road (ビリオンロード) was announced for Nintendo Switch. Some say it’s a spiritual successor to Momotaro Dentetsu (桃太郎電鉄).
This year’s highlights at SE were the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 and surprise announcement of Dragon Quest Builders 2.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Before we talk about the Kingdom Hearts 3 game itself, we can’t help but notice the special edition PS4 hardware. Who needs Baccarat when we can have one of these next to the TV.
Kingdom Hearts 3’s demo was available for play. New information include more than 20 mini games, more than 10 worlds, a secret movie, additional info on characters, costumes, character combinations, keyblade transformation, attractions flow, new gameplay, etc. More information on the wiki and in the video below:
Final Fantasy XIV
No new major Final Fantasy announcements. The FF14 x Monster Hunter World collaboration is old news by now. What happened to the FF7 remake?
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Dragon Quest Builders 2(ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ2) was not only announced out of nowhere, the game will be available December 20th for PS4 and Switch. Characters so far are the male/female main character (主人公), young Sid (少年シドー), Ruru (ルル), and Chaco (チャコ). Game demo was on site and no shortage of people waiting to play.
Devil May Cry 5 is the clear headliner, along with Biohazard Re:2.
Devil May Cry 5
One of the hottest announcements from E3, new information from TGS include multiplayer, micro-transactions, new player character V - who is a client of the Devil May Cry office. New weapons, moves, transformations, and more on the wiki.
Biohazard Re:2 (English: Resident Evil 2) is the “reimagined” remake of the classic Resident Evil 2 from 1998. Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield visit Racoon City (again) for some meaty grubs and more. The 2019 version is a third person over the shoulder shooter for PS4, XBox One, and Windows in 4K and 60 fps.
Love Plus Every
The delayed Love Plus Every (ラブプラス EVERY) was playable on demo. Other titles include Dankira!!! Boys Be Dancing (ダンキラ!!! - Boys, be DANCING!), Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, Super Bomberman R, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, Snake Pass, and others.
Dankira!!!! Boys, Be Dancing!
As the name implies, Dankira!!! Boys Be Dancing! is a mobile game about dance, youth, and friendship.
To finish off, we have photos from various other publishers and companies.
An interesting offering from Taito this year is the Arcade1Up “At Home Arcade”. That’s right, you can have your very own Space Invaders, Pac Man, or Galaga arcade machine at home! Priced at JPY 58,000 (not including tax), what else could one possibly want for Christmas?!
With merger of the 3 Japan eSports associations into JESU this year, eSports has its own event stage at TGS.
High graphics mobile RPG BLADE XLORD (ブレイドエクスロード) from Cyber Agent Applibot.
Life-size battleship model from Abyss Horizon (アビス・ホライズン). A campaign girl was supposed to pose in front of it, unfortunately she wasn't around at the time.
TRON-like VR motorcycles.