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TGS Sony Keynote Details

Source: ps3blog.net

2009

It seems that Sony is going to break their keynote for TGS into 2 parts.

The first part is a keynote from Kaz Hirai titles “Sony Computer Entertainment New Tactics 2009″. With a title like this…you can’t but think there will be some big announcments. One wouldn’t title a keynote this and release a few PSN games.

The second part is going to be a panel discussion titled “Visions and strategies of the top publishers in the golbal era” featuring SCE (Yoshida and Kaz), Square Enix’s President, Capcoms President & CEO as well as Namco’s President.

This will take place on September 24th from 10:30-12:30am (not sure what time zone, probably Japan)

Link to Story

Published on July 24th, 2009 under , , , , ,

Virtua Fighter 5 demo up on Xbox Live

Source: seganerds.com

VF5

Everyones favourite PS3 fighting game, Virtua Fighter 5, is now available for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

From reading the description, this 674.39Mb demo, is said to contain many of the of the full game’s features, including online play… Though Kogen informs me that the demo is quite short, with only 4 characters and has no online play.  Oh well, looks like we’ll have to wait for the full version, before we can have a massive Sega Nerds fight-off.

I’m yet to play this particular demo, but I did have a chance to play on one at the Tokyo Game Show, VF5 Live Arena, (check header image), using the official arcade stick.

VF5

Hopefully if the TGS version is anything to go by, the game will be looking very sexy – at least compared to the Ver3 arcade – which I have played on. I’m yet to play the PS3 version, (so I can’t compare to that) but according to Sega, the Xbox version is said to have some graphical improvements, plus the extra features.

No doubt, at least one of us on the site will play the demo over the next day or two, and give you a full opinion of it.  For now, here are a few more images, of the TGS cabinet, for you to enjoy.

VF5  VF5 babe  VF5 kiss

{Note: Right-hand image… looks like one of the guys was so good, the other just had to try and sneak in a kiss}

Published on October 13th, 2007 under , , , , , , ,

TGS07: Seaman 2 hands-on impressions

Source: seganerds.com

Seaman 2

One game that would be bound to get any Sega fan tingling, has got to be Seaman 2.  So, cunningly, Sega decided to hide the game away, with the DS and Wii titles, right next to Sonic Rush Adventure.  So, as you may imagine, the display for Seaman 2, was none too impressive – just a PS2 in a display unit, not much else.

One thing that would catch your eye, though, would be the new Seamancontroller.  For the Dreamcast version, Sega released the microphone attachment, but for the PS2, they have designed a brand new control pad for the game.

The pad looks nothing like a normal PS2 pad, in fact it kind of reminds me of the really old Megadrive controllers (the big ones), but flatter, with a single analogue stick, and a nice chunky microphone bit sticking up.

Sorry for the blurred image, this is the only close-up I got of the controller.

Seaman 2

 

While it looks a bit big and ugly, I found the controller very comfortable to hold, and it was remarkably light.  Though that’s because it doesn’t have a rumble in it – at least I don’t think it does, as the game didn’t rumble for me.

So off to a good start eh?

Well, for me, that’s where the rollercoaster’s high pretty much ended, and the ride down wasn’t much fun, (way too much vomit on my part), I’m sorry to say.  I can almost hear the sound of thousands of Seaman fans crying.  But, please wait, some of my reasons could potentially change.

One of the big problems I had was with the language.  As we all know, in Seaman you have to talk to the character on screen, to play the game.  also as you should all know, by now, that I don’t know any Japanese, and speaking is harder than reading, in my opinion.  So for a section of the game I played, I couldn’t do anything.  But, possibly my main problem was visual.

I’m sorry, but words cannot describe my distaste for the graphics in this game.  I am being completely serious here when I say that the game looks like a DS game.  I can actually feel my blood boil, when I think back to the game.

Seaman 2

Seamanhad some fairly decent visuals, maybe not the best in the world (not even by Dreamcast standards), but it was good to look at.  One could argue that all they were looking at was a ‘fishman’ creature, and so good graphics would be fairly easy to pull off.  Well even though Seaman 2has you looking after a caveman type creature, and a random birdman, you still only seem to have a small area which the Seaman uses, so not much bigger than the fish tank of Seaman 1.

When you start the game, you see a small island, covered in forest, and the camera slowly zooms in from up high, until you reach the beach, where the caveman pops his head out from the trees.

As far as I can tell the beach area is all on one screen, so you can’t go off exploring the island freely with your monkeyman.  On the beach you have a few trees… 2D trees, that look pretty crappy.  You have a very flat background and your caveman.  To be honest the caveman doesn’t look terribly good either.

Seaman 2

After a little playing, getting my caveman to shake a tree to drop bananas, (which I found surprisingly tricky), so he could eat, I was then taken to another screen.  The new setting was on a rock, possibly a cliff face, with a single tree to one side, and a birdman flies down to talk to you.

The cliff was a really crappy mix of greys, and the birdman was very square looking.  Overall the textures were poor, and the objects were generally square/blocky, or quite obvious flat.

Like I say, I really think the game looked like it should have been on the DS.  I don’t have a very high opinion of the PS2, but when I see great looking games, like God of War and Shadow of the Colossus, then have to look at this, it makes me angry.

Seaman 2

Really Sega have no excuse for the visuals in this game, unless they are planning on a DS port.  If that were the case, then they would have an excuse, but not a very good one.  Even if a DS version was in the works, Sega should be able to pull off something better on a 128bit system.

Also my game playing didn’t get much past the birdman moment (I mentioned earlier), as that was when you really need to talk to the thing, which a Sega rep showed me.  But as I couldn’t speak it myself, I told him I couldn’t be bothered, I was too frustrated by the whole affair.

Summary:

I’ll say it again, the visuals are crappy.  They look ok in still pictures, but up close, they just look plain shite.

Control wise, the game was just annoying, but that is mainly due to my language limitations.  So the gameplay could turn out to be pretty good.  I will have to play a western version of the game to give a full and proper review/preview on it, God willing Sega will let the game outside of Japan.

From playing the game, I really do hope they have a DS version in the works, because the game would clearly work well on the system, with the sub-par graphics, built in mic, and a touch screen control would make the game easier to play.  As a PS2 game, I am feeling very dubious.

I’ll leave it with this: The game still has potential to be great, but what I played did not excite me much.

Display Impression: 5
Graphics: 4
Sound: 6
Controls: 5 (Partly letdown by language barrier) 
Overall: 5 (My hopes and dreams were shattered)

Seaman 2

~G~

Published on October 5th, 2007 under , , , , , , ,

TGS07: Seaman 2 hands-on impressions

Source: seganerds.com

Seaman 2

One game that would be bound to get any Sega fan tingling, has got to be Seaman 2.  So, cunningly, Sega decided to hide the game away, with the DS and Wii titles, right next to Sonic Rush Adventure.  So, as you may imagine, the display for Seaman 2, was none too impressive – just a PS2 in a display unit, not much else.

One thing that would catch your eye, though, would be the new Seamancontroller.  For the Dreamcast version, Sega released the microphone attachment, but for the PS2, they have designed a brand new control pad for the game.

The pad looks nothing like a normal PS2 pad, in fact it kind of reminds me of the really old Megadrive controllers (the big ones), but flatter, with a single analogue stick, and a nice chunky microphone bit sticking up.

Sorry for the blurred image, this is the only close-up I got of the controller.

Seaman 2

While it looks a bit big and ugly, I found the controller very comfortable to hold, and it was remarkably light.  Though that’s because it doesn’t have a rumble in it – at least I don’t think it does, as the game didn’t rumble for me.

So off to a good start eh?

Well, for me, that’s where the rollercoaster’s high pretty much ended, and the ride down wasn’t much fun, (way too much vomit on my part), I’m sorry to say.  I can almost hear the sound of thousands of Seaman fans crying.  But, please wait, some of my reasons could potentially change.

One of the big problems I had was with the language.  As we all know, i. Seaman you have to talk to the character on screen, to play the game.  also as you should all know, by now, that I don’t know any Japanese, and speaking is harder than reading, in my opinion.  So for a section of the game I played, I couldn’t do anything.  But. possibly my mai. problem was visual.

I’m sorry, but words cannot describe my distaste for the graphics in this game.  I am being completely serious here when I say that the game looks like a DS game.  I can actually feel my blood boil, when I think back to the game.

Seaman 2

Seamanhad some fairly decent visuals, maybe not the best in the world (not even by Dreamcast standards), but it was good to look at.  One could argue that all they were looking at was a вЂ?fishman’ creature, and s. good graphics would be fairly easy to pull off.  Well even though Seaman 2has you looking after a caveman type creature, and a random birdman, you still only seem to have a small area which the Seaman uses, so not much bigger than the fish tank of Seaman 1.

When you start the game, you see a small island, covered in forest, and the camera slowly zooms in from up high, until you reach the beach, where the caveman pops his head out from the trees.

As far as I can tell the beach area is all on one screen, so you can’t go off exploring the island freely with your monkeyman.  On the beach you have a few trees… 2D trees, that look pretty crappy.  You have a very flat background and your caveman.  To be honest the caveman doesn’t look terribly good either.

Seaman 2

After a little playing, getting my caveman to shake a tree to drop bananas, (which I found surprisingly tricky). so he could eat, I was then taken to another screen.  The new setting was on a rock, possibly a cliff face, with a single tree to one side, and a birdman flies down to talk to you.

The cliff was a really crappy mix of greys, and the birdman was very square looking.  Overall the textures were poor, and the objects were generally square/blocky, or quite obvious flat.

Like I say, I really think the game looked like it should have been on the DS.  I don’t have a very high opinion of the PS2, but when I see great looking games, like God of War andthen have to look at this, it makes me angry.

Seaman 2

Really Sega have no excuse for the visuals in this game, unless they are planning on a DS port.  If that were the case, then they would have an excuse, but not a very good one.  Even if a DS version was in the works, Sega should be able to pull off something better on a 128bit system.

Also my game playing didn’t get much past the birdman moment (I mentioned earlier), as that was when you really need to talk to the thing, which a Sega rep showed me.  But as I couldn’t speak it myself, I told him I couldn’t be bothered, I was too frustrated by the whole affair.

Summary:

I’ll say it again, the visuals are crappy.  They look ok in still pictures, but up close, they just look plain shite.

Control wise, the game was just annoying, but that i. mainly due to my language limitations.  So the gameplay could turn out to be pretty good.  I will have to play a western version of the game to give a full and proper review/preview on it, God willing Sega will let the game outside of Japan.

From playing the game, I really do hope they have a DS version in the works, because the game would clearly work well on the system, with the sub-par graphics, built in mic, and . touch screen control would make the game easier to play.  As a PS2 game, I am feeling very dubious.

I’ll leave it with this: The game still has potential to be great, but what I played did not excite me much.

Display Impression. 5
Graphics. 4
Sound. 6
Controls. 5 (Partly letdown by language barrier. 
Overall. 5 (My hopes and dreams were shattered)

Seaman 2

~G~

Published on October 5th, 2007 under , , , , , , ,

TGS07: Shiren the Wanderer (Wii) hands-on impressions

Source: seganerds.com

 Shiren the Wanderer

{Note: For any videos here, you may wish to turn down the volume, as the sound is loud and shite}

Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer 3 or Fuurai no Shiren 3 (to give the Japanese title), was another of the Chunsoft/Sega collaborations shown at this years TGS, the other being Imabikisou

The booth layout was pretty damn cool, one to rival NiGHTS. It was setup to be (what appeared to be) a dojo of sorts. With images of the game and flowers around the outside, and the booth was pretty much open, just a few supporting pillars.

Inside were 5 or 6 Wii’s setup, with, what was a real luxury at the show, seats (!), plus a small bench for which about 10 people could sit and wait to play the game (real luxury!), though the queue was normally pretty long, and one would find themselves waiting in a line outside the booth for longer than they had to sit down.

 

But still, even the few minutes I had to sit down on the bench section was worth the 20 minutes wait I had before hand. It made waiting to play the game worth while, as after a couple of days walking around TGS and the Chiba district of Tokyo, your feet really start to wear.

Plus I was very lucky, had I waited in line on the public days I would have had some 3 hour wait in line. Yep NiGHTS wasn’t the only popular game from Sega.

In fact, the game was SEGAs most popular, as people were still in line to play, as the rest of the SEGA booth was totally empty, at the end of the 4th day.

Shiren the Wanderer

But was the wait worth it?

First thing I should tell/warn you about is, that this game does not use the Wiimote or Nunchuck at all. The game has been designed to use the Classic Controller instead, so no fancy wand waving to attack, you just sit and press buttons, (like the people used to do back in the 90’s ;) ).

Well I haven’t played any of the previous titles, so I had no idea what to expect with the game. The game reminds me, visually, of the original Zelda games and, more closely, Shining Wisdom, with a top-down view and cute(ish) characters.
So don’t go expecting a big 3D adventure, one to match/beat Zelda: TP, it is more of an old school 16-bit rpg/adventure game, in looks.

Shiren the Wanderer

One thing that deeply irritated me, was that SEGA chose the worst dungeon to use for the TGS demo, visually and gameplay wise.  The dungeon was very bland, stone walls and floor, all very samey with no variety. Graphically that can be a bit annoying, but gameplay it is even worse, and I found myself quite bored just walking round square rooms and long corridors, that all looked the same. There were no random objects to make the dungeon rooms look different, they all looked the same – as you will see in one of the videos.

Shiren the Wanderer

Had I been trying to show off a game before release, I would try to show off some of the more vibrant areas of the game. It gave a bad impression, to me, even though I only had a few minutes play, I was kind of frustrated by the game, and surprisingly, even though the game is 2D, I found it quite claustrophobic. Weird eh?

Not only did the level design frustrate me, but so did the gameplay. From the visuals, one would expect the game to be real-time fighting, and the game is… but it also isn’t.

You see you run around in real time, and you see the enemies on screen, and can run up to them, and even start attacking, in real time. But for some reason they decided to make the actually attacking moments very different. In the TGS demo, you had 3 characters on screen, one which you controlled, and the other 2 were AI controlled. When you attacked, you seemed to only be able to attack one at a time.

It’s really hard to explain, but often I would run up to an enemy, try to attack, but my character would stop, while one of the others fired a long-range shot at the enemy. But while I was stopped, the enemy could attack me. Many times I would be trying to fight, but forced to stop and had to take a small beating, or I would be running off to another part of the dungeon, and my fellow team mates would decide to attack random enemies, which would actually cause me to stop running momentarily. So again, I would find myself being stopped, even when I was no where near an enemy.

 

Now I could be quite wrong on the mechanic of how this works.  I’m not entirely sure, because the cause of my stopping wasn’t perfectly clear. I am just guessing it is something to do with attacking, as I always seemed to stop as one of the other characters attack, and something was definitely causing me to stop dead, for a second, while I was running along, it wasn’t just random.  All I know is that I found this to be very annoying, and if I had some influence I would implore Chunsoft to change the fighting, and make it all full real-time, like Shining Wisdom or Shining Soul.

While the game has these, fairly serious, issues, I am not going to totally shy away from it.  I would be very happy to give the game another go, if it were in English.  Because at the show I saw some cool videos of the game, which showed off some better dungeon areas, and some pretty decent looking cut scenes.

Shiren the Wanderer

Also, unlike the old rpg/adventure games, (like Zelda), this game seems to have a great depth to the inventory.  Of course I couldn’t read jack on the menus in the game, but while I was waiting to play, I was watching someone, who seemed to know what he was doing.  The guy picked up a few items, and then went to the menus, and I could see him switching things around and equiping different items and changing weapons.

I’m not sure quite how deep this goes, but, (as I say), I would be very happy to sit down and play a version I can understand some more, and play around with the weapons and inventory properly, because the only thing I managed to do was unequip my sword, at one point, and then run around for a while, until I could work out which Japanese characters signified ‘equip.’

Summary:

Sorry if I didn’t go into much detail about the game, but really all I did was watch part of a cutscene, then run around a boring dungeon for about 10 minutes, until the demo finished.  So I didn’t get to know the game too much.

But while playing the demo wasn’t the greatest experience of my life, I am interested in the game still, and really hope we get a western port of it.

Display Impression: 8
Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Controls: 6 (The pad controls are good, but really let down by weird stopping)
Overall: 6 (Let down by boring dungeon and, again, stoppings)

Shiren the Wanderer

~G~

Published on October 5th, 2007 under , , , , ,

TGS07: Miburi & Teburi hands-on impression

Source: seganerds.com

Miburi & Teburi

What’s that.  Well of course you know what Mibur. & Teburi is.  We told you about this charades-type Wii game a little while ago.

Now I should point out that the title here is a slight lie… I didn’t actually play on the game.  Once again it was due to me failing life and not being able to read Japanese.  So this was not so much hands-on. more eyes-on.

You see the general idea of the game is, that you have a crossword type puzzle, which you have to fill out.  You get the answers by watchin. a brief clip of people acting out some weird scene, and then you have to put what you thought was going on, down as an answer.  The answers to the words link up, so you should be able to roughly guess some of them.

But because all the writing was in Japanese script, there was no way I could really do anything.  Instead a helpful Sega guy, played for me.

Miburi & Teburi

To be honest I had no goddamn idea what was happening, it was completely crazy.  But it brought a big smile to my face, watching the real-life characters performing strange actions, in, (what appears to be), rubber suits, which is what some people would call a good Friday night.

Graphically, the game is one of those that is hard to define.  The backdrops are all static, and pretty basic.  The only things moving are the people.  But the static backgrounds has been done deliberately, and is part of the game’s style.  So some people will complain that the graphics are pretty lack lustre, but they are done as not to confuse the player – having moving backgrounds can distract from the people, whom you are meant to watch – and as I say, they help add to the whole weird vib. the game gives out.

While I didn’t play the game, I did watch the Sega guy quite closely, and the game seemed very simple to play.  You select a word in the crossword section of the game, and then you are shown the clip of people performing, and then you go back to the crossword and fill in the answer.  Simple eh?

The only thing that got me was how the wiimote didn’t seem to come into play much.  I’m not sure if you do use it at some point, but the guy I watched didn’t really use it – it just made it easier to select words from the menu.

Also I have no idea what the sounds and music were like.  I really couldn’t hear anything of the game, the area was way too noisey.

Display Impression. 4 (Sega put no effort into this, just a Wii with sign above. 
Graphics: 7
Sounds. No idea.
Control: 8
Overall. 7

Miburi & Teburi

~G~

Published on September 30th, 2007 under , , , , ,

TGS07: Bleach DS hands-on impressions

Source: seganerds.com

Bleach DS

Now I’m going to be honest, I have never seen an episode of Bleach or played a game, (if there are other games), well you would no doubt find out soon enough, from reading this, if I hadn’t told you.  I know of Bleach, that it exists, but nothing else, what it’s about of characters, nothing.

While some may see that as being bad, some can also think it’s good.  I am pretty impartial on this, so my views should not be swayed by bias, (not that they normally are).  But due to my lack of knowledge, this could be a pretty short article.

The Bleach DS game, was located opposite Ghost Squadand had two systems setup for play, linked to tv sets, so people could watch you play, without bending over your shoulder.

Bleach DS

If you don’t know Bleach DS, is a RPG, which means a lot of talking… yeah you know what’s coming.  Due to being a Japanese exhibition, the game was entirely in Japanese.  So when I started playing the game, I basically kept tapping A through the conversation at the start, until I could start playing.

Graphically the game i. ok.  It looks very much like a GBA game, don’t expect anything mind blowing.  Though the animation i. the battle sequences is pretty decent.  Overall they get the job done, certainly.

The game also plays much like a GBA game.  You don’t use the stylus at all.  Nope, no touch screen action for you in this game, and most of the time you will only be looking at one screen, the top screen was only used when you attack – and then it only showed who was fighting, otherwise it just displayed the word вЂ?Bleach,’ over and over.

Bleach DS

The TGS demo, threw the player straight into a battle, an. you had 5 players available to use.  For fans of the Shining Forcegames, well the early (good) games on the Megadrive and Saturn, they should be right at home with Bleach’s battle system.

It is pretty much just like the Shining Force games, but with some changes.  The main similarity between the two games, is that you are put into a small battlefield, and you move your characters around strategically, depending on the terrain and enemy types.

Some of the differences are, how you now have a set вЂ?Player Turn’ and вЂ?Enemy Turn.&rsquo.  In Shining Force, your characters and enemies moved depending on their level/skills, while Bleach, you can move any of your players within in your turn, then the enemy has his turn to move and attack.  This may seem unfair, as you have a chance to wipe out the entire enemy force straight away, but when you attack an enemy, they will always take a stab at fighting back – unlike Shining Force, when they rarely counter-attacked – every time I attacked, the enemy struck back.

You can also choose which of your team you want to move in your turn.  Rather than having to wait for your character to have their turn, you can select who you want to move/attack.

One other cool feature, is that you can double team enemies.  By standing next to another of your team, in front of an enemy, you can select an option to team up.  This means that when the person you originally chose attacks, the other character will jump in, and help out, to effectively do double the damage on the enemy.  You can use this option, even if the extra character has already made their move.

That’s pretty much all I can tell you about the game I guess, how the battle system works.. A fair amount of it was guess work on my part (language issues, again), though a Sega guy helped with the double team thing.

The music was pretty decent, as far as I recall, but due to the loud environment it was hard to hear, so I can’t give a definitive opinion on that, I’m afraid.

Summary:

While I may not be a fan of Bleach…. or know anything about the series, I am kind of excited for this game.. Mainly because it reminded me so much of the original Shining Force games.  As Sega don’t seem that keen on resurrecting the old style Shining Force titles, and are content of pumping out the iffy PS2 games, and the lack-lustr. Shining Soul games on the GBA, I think that Bleach could be the closest thing we will see to a true Shining Force style game.

Perhaps that is the wrong way to go about wanting this game, and I’m sure Seg. is hoping people would buy it for the Bleach title, but for anyone like me, who doesn’t care much about Bleach, but misses the good old Shining Force series, I would definitely give this game a look.  As for Bleach fans… you’ll no doubt buy it whatever.

Shining Force.

Display Impression: 5.
Graphics: 7
Sounds. 6
Control: 8
Overall. 7

~G~

Published on September 30th, 2007 under , , , , , ,

TGS07: Ghost Squad hands-on impressions

Source: seganerds.com

Ghost Squad 

One game I’m really excited about, has got to be Ghost Squad.  I love the arcade version, which I have played a ton of over the last few years.  I’d say it’s one of my favourite light-gun games, definitely one of the best in recent years.  So I was very happy to see the new Wii version of Ghost Squad up and running at this years TGS.

Unlike the last few titles I spoke about, Ghost Squad did not have a large, impressive booth to help show it off.  No sir, clearly Sega knew that the name of the title alone could sell the game… or maybe they just don’t care as much for the game. {The latter is most probably true}

There was a small area in the ‘Sega Zone,’ at TGS, which was home to several games, on multiple consoles, and this is where Ghost Squad was, between Doreamon and Miburi & Teburi- both Wii games.  Sega had just one Wii setup for Ghost Squad, though this is quite sad (for me), the queues were quite small for the game, so Sega know their audience.

Ghost Squad

Anyway enough drivel, how is the damn game?

Well I’m sure many of you have already read my review for the arcade version, from the ATEI show.  Well of course you have, no point in putting this link in here, eh?  So you should all know what the game is about.

First thing’s first, with the Wii version of the game, you get the funky ‘Wii Zapper.’  Basically a piece of plastic that you attach the wiimote and nunchuck to, to form a small MP5 gun looking shape.  While this new zapper is a lot smaller than the real arcade guns, which are pretty damn big, it feels surprisingly decent to hold.  The zapper (effectively) extends the size of the B trigger button, to make it form more of a real trigger, and so is good and easy to use.  While most light-gun games only need a trigger, Ghost Squad is a little different, and so the nunchuck attachment at the back of the zapper, does come into play and is not totally pointless… in case you are wondering.

So yeah, the Wii zapper, while looks a little tacky, and you look like a fool holding it, it get’s the thumbs up from me, and feels pretty natural to play with.

Ghost Squad

Graphically, the game looks good.  Some people have said they thought the graphics weren’t up to much, (eyes look at Nathan), but as far as I’m concerned, they look just as good as the arcade version of the game, but perhaps less shiny in some areas.  Inside buildings, you have a lot of small objects, which can be destroyed, and the graphics stay solid throughout.

Well, as you can tell by screenshot, the visuals won’t blow your mind, but they do look good, especially for a Wii game.

Gameplay wise, the game is just as good as the arcade.  Lots of action going on, plenty of enemies on screen all at once, and no slow down or frame-rate drops.

The Wii version of the game is going to have 4-player co-op mode, but at TGS we were only allowed to play with a maximum of 2 players.  It would have been great to test out this feature, as the arcade was only for 2 players, and the 4 player mode is meant to be a big part of the game’s selling point.  But either the mode has not been finished, or Sega ran out of wiimotes…

One thing you will notice from screenshots and videos, is that there is a sight on screen.  Normally this only appears in light-gun games, when the player is using a control pads, not a gun.  But it is different with Ghost Squad, the sight is there, even when you have the zapper in hand.  But don’t go bitching about it being a Wii fault, the arcade version has this too, it is how the game was designed.  After playing for a few mins, you probably won’t even notice/mind it.

I got to play in both single player and 2 player, and while the two modes I played were the same at TGS, the level I played on was a little different to how I remember in the arcades.  Of course, I may have forgotten how the arcade level played.  But it would be interesting if Sega have actually changed the game from the arcade.  Many moments of the level were the same, but the ending of the level, I’m sure, was different.  But the version I played was the TGS demo, with only one level, so Sega may have just made up that level for the show version, (again that’s just a guess on my part).

The sounds are pretty decent, though nothing to shout about.  They are just like the arcade version, and I’m pretty sure the music is also the same.  Good all round, and they get the job done.

Summary:

Overall the Wii version is just as good as the arcade version.  The graphics have been dumbed down ever so slightly, but nothing too bad, they still look good.  Surprisingly, (for some), the zapper works damn well, the game is easy to play, and is just as much fun as the arcade version.

I’m just waiting to see what extra features the Wii version has to offer.  But it’s good to see that light-gun games haven’t died out from consoles.

  • Display Impression: 5.
  • Graphics: 7
  • Sounds: 7
  • Control: 9
  • Overall: 8

Ghost Squad

~G~

Published on September 29th, 2007 under , , , , ,

TGS07: Yakuza 3 video-impressions

Source: seganerds.com

Yakuza 3

One of Sega’s biggest hitters at TGS this year was Yakuza 3, but unlike NiGHTS and Valkyrie of the Battlefield, Yakuza 3 was not playable.  Instead everyone had to watch an extended trailer of the game. 

Unfortunately, using cameras in the mini theatre was totally forbidden, and it was kind of hard to secretly film it.  So I won’t be able to show you exactly what I saw.

The Yakuza 3 booth, was closed off, to help show the video better (obviously), but the outside was looking pretty cool.  With large image of the main characters from the game, lit up, and just in front of the image was an over-layer  painted to look like bamboo.

Yakuza 3   Yakuza 3   Yakuza 3

Then to one side of this, was the dark entrance, guarded by several ninja types.  No, not Samurais (as you would expect), but the guys were dressed more like ninjas.

Once inside, we were sat upon benches, and looked upon a small stage, with a vale across it.  Lights came on, on the stage, and through the vale we could see a geisha girl.  The geisha said something, no doubt profound, but I couldn’t understand it.  Then the vale lifted, to see her better,  she then spoke some more, and walked off stage.

Then at the back of the stage, there was a screen, on which the extended trailer was played.

Yakuza 3

I have seen several trailers online, and the one at TGS is nothing like the ones I have seen before.  The TGS trailer had moments that are the same, as others, but really it showed a lot more of what the story was about, and what was going to happen in the game.

The TGS trailer made so much more sense, than ones I had seen previously.  It was almost as though Sega wanted to show us most of the story.

The trailer showed what happens at the start of the game, to get the ball rolling, and shows off some of the events that lead to Kazuma’s (who you play as) fight with Musashi (a real-life legendary Samurai/swordsman).

Yakuza 3

The cut-scenes they show look absolutely amazing, and the sword fighting and choreography was outstanding.  I’m a pretty big fan of martial arts films and Japanese samurai films, and what I saw was just as good as the movies.  The video also showed a fair amount of in game action.  This is where I feel the game could become faulty….

When running through the town, Kazuma’s movements looked pretty good, but you could see him knock into people, and the characters just slid to one side, and some of the movements looked rather wooden.

We also saw some in game fighting, against multiple enemies.  The fighting here looked kind of …old, and very basic.  Much like (say) Sword of the Beserk, on the Dreamcast, where you would just tap attack and Gutsu would hit out in a set sequence of slashes, at enemies.

This type of play is fine on older games, but Sega have been promising a good combat system with this game, and while the game is no doubt still not finished, what I saw did stray from their idea of “good combat.”

However, my fears could be wrong.  Because they did also show some one on one fights, and those fights looked damn good.  The one on one looked smoother and generally slicker, than when fighting against multiple enemies.

Summary:

From watching the movie, I really cannot wait to see more of this game.  It looks so damn good.  The trailers I have seen before, are not a patch on the TGS one.  So if you are impressed with what you have seen… well, you aint seen nothing yet, baby.

I just hope the combat system is refined a bit more, and some movement, around towns, becomes less wooden.  But overall, including in-game footage, this is one to get excited about.

Display Impression: 8
Graphics: 9
Sound: 9 (Going on the music from the demo tape)
Controls: N/A
Overall (Anticipation): 9

Yakuza 3

~G~

Published on September 27th, 2007 under , , , , ,

TGS07: Imabikisou hands-on impressions

Source: seganerds.com

Imabikisou

Of course you know the next game, I’m about to take a look at.  We covered the announcement a few months ago, remember?

Ok, so next to the Valkyrie of the Battlefield booth, which was pretty nice and open, we were greeted with a big black wall.  On the wall was a TV set playing the demo video (like with almost all the big booths) and next to the screen was a large vertical sign, displaying the Japanese name of the game.

It was along the front wall that we had to queue, and at the opposite end to the sign, there was a sinister looking tear, which we had to walk through.  After being greeted and almost dragged into the queue by a Sega guy, (he was pointing and pretty much ushered me into the line), I waited for about 10 minutes, and a small number of us were let inside.

Imabikisou

Once inside, we found stools to sit upon, and were treated to a long trailer for the game.  Like with Valkyrie of the Battlefield, the video was all in Japanese, so I couldn’t understand any of the writing or the voice acting. 

The video pretty much showed off exactly what to expect in the game – lot’s of writing and vivid, freaky images.  And Sega used some extra lighting effects and loud speakers to help promote fear into the viewers.  To be honest that didn’t work too well for me, but I’m sure all the nice Japanese people around me were shi%*ing themselves.

Imabikisou

As a non-Japanese speaker, though, it was pretty hard to follow.  Fortunately, I had read a little about the game before hand, so I could just get by.  Part of the story line involves mystserious deaths, in which people spontaneously combust, and one really cool moment in the video, was when you see a man and woman driving along a mountain road, and the womans nails turn black and start to smoke.  Then the guy looks at the woman and you see fire reflect in his eyes.  Then you see the car burst into flames, and fly off a cliff.

~Note: This video is meant to be from TGS – but it is slightly different to the one I was shown~

After the video we were led into a dark corridor, which had several small rooms along the walls.  Naturally, each room contained a small stool and a PS3… it also contained the new Dual Shock 3.

I won’t go into much detail about the controller, other than it’s much like the Dual Shock 2, but wireless and has better L and R buttons.  So basically like a normal PS3 controller, but rumbles.

Back to the game!

Ok so if you don’t know, Imabikisou is not a game per-se, it is classified as a ‘Sound Novel.’  The Sound Novel is essentially like reading a book, on your computer.  So you don’t actually control any character or solve any puzzles, and definitely no shooting. But unlike a normal book, it has sounds and visual aides, to help move the story along, and in the case of Imabikisou, should help to scare the crap out of the ‘players.’

Imabikisou

ChunSoft (the developers) have been making sound Novels since the Snes, but none of them (I believe) ever saw it out of Japan, no doubt due to heavy text use and that there is no real action.  It’s something the Japanese market will lap up, but will only sell about 3 copies anywhere else.

I got to play the game for about 5-10 minutes.  Really it is exactly how I expected it, from seeing videos before hand.  You scroll through scores of text, and have images appear behind the writing, and ocassionally you will see a sort of cutscene – basically a screen with no writing on, but may have some video on it.

The images you see, be it video or a picture, are mainly real life actors and objects, but also include some added CGI to the mix.  Essentially it is like watching a foreign movie, with lots of subtitles.

What I played, I didn’t get much of the story, I literally sat there and tapped X to go through the writing.  Heck, I couldn’t read a word of it, no point in sitting looking at shapes on a screen.

Imabikisou

Summary:

I think the general idea and story behind Imabikisou is pretty good.  I just can’t comment too much on it, as the language barrier is too great.

So far no word of a western release has been announced, I did actually ask someone from Sega, and they said they doubt it would happen.  He worked for Sega Japan, but was actually American, so the conversation between us was pretty good – no mix up of words.

So with no western release, PS3 owners would have to import the game, and really unless you can read Japanese, you are not going to be able to follow it whatsoever.  It’s not like importing a Japanese RPG, where you still get to have cool fights and explore, you will just be reading and watching the screen.

To be honest, I don’t see why ChunSoft don’t just use the money to make a movie, because that is basically what this is, a movie you have to read through.

Display Impression: 9
Graphics: N/A (As it’s not really CG, mainly video)
Sound: 8
Controls: Either 1 or 10 (Depends if you think tapping X all day long is bad or good)
Overall: 5 (It’s low because the language barrier makes it unplayable, and it’s not really my thing)

Imabikisou

~G~

Published on September 27th, 2007 under , , , ,

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