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Posts with tag tgs07

TGS hands-on: Patapon

Patapon, a PSP title which we've seen very little of so far, is proving a great hit at the Tokyo Game Show. With a line that was sometimes longer than Metal Gear Online we were curious to see what all the fuss was about. Finally we braved the Dreaded Public and got our hands on the goods.

Stepping into the Patapon enclosure a Sony booth attendee talked us through the gist of the game. We couldn't understand some of the Japanese, though we did enjoy it whenever she sang instructions to us. "Pon pon pata pon ... pata pata pata pon." Lovely.

Your tribe of one-eyed worshippers are required to go from one end of the level to the other (with two levels in the demo on the show floor). The only method of getting them there is to command them to act by performing different beats with the circle and square buttons, which correspond to the sounds "pata" and "pon", respectively. By stringing combinations of these two sounds together your minions will perform different actions.

Continue reading TGS hands-on: Patapon

TGS hands-on: echochrome

After its shocking E3 debut, we desperately wanted to play echochrome, the mind-bending Escher-inspired puzzle game that has players changing their perspective. Available on the PS3 as a downloadable title and as a PSP game, echochrome excited audiences with its truly innovative concept. But, how did the publicly playable PS3 demo play?

Well, it works exactly as you expect it to. The demonstration features an English-speaking monotone voice that seems a perfect match with the game's ultra-minimalist presentation. She'll explain the five rules of the game that control the way your perspective, the world, and your character, all interact with each other. Each sequence has players testing out a single new device, such as being able to block obstacles by hiding them from the player's vision. Through this brief tutorial, players will be gifted with the ability to start playing through the game's mind-destroying puzzles.

The single level available in the demonstration had us attempting to collect echoes, shadows situated in various points in the stage. As simple as that may sound, imagining the total destruction of object permanence is not something we're readily accustomed to. The on-screen avatar acts like a lemming, constantly going forward, even if it means certain doom for the character. This means players will have to act fast, and position the level correctly as the avatar makes its way forward. This is where we found that the camera rotates a bit too slowly for our tastes. We ended one of our lives trying to cover a hole, but couldn't rotate the level quickly enough to save our character. Thankfully, each echo that one walks into acts as a checkpoint, so that the level we played didn't become frustrating. However, we hope that Sony will make moving the camera a bit speedier.

echochrome is a simple, innovative, and more importantly, fun title that continues to deliver on the PlayStation Store's promise of offering gamers unique gameplay experiences. Although we didn't get to play much, it's clear that Sony has something truly special in their hands.

TGS hands-on: Star Ocean First Departure

Watching Star Ocean: First Departure is far more entertaining than playing it. The time-limited demo we played at the Tokyo Game Show starts with a glorious anime cinema that looks stunning on the PSP's screen. Once the cinema ends, the game goes back to its 2D roots with fairly unimpressive sprites that are a bit too small in the now-widescreen display.

Yes, it's a remake of a decades-old RPG, but the in-game graphics lack the life seen in other PSP RPGs. Even Square Enix's own Final Fantasy remakes on the system added shiny new graphical effects, like brand new lighting. At the very least, the game runs at a silky smooth framerate that looks really eye-popping. Navigating the overworld was easy, and we were pleased by the incredible production values: voice acting was aplenty and much appreciated (even though we couldn't understand what they were saying!).

The battle system is where we found ourselves less enamored with the game. In a similar fashion to Namco's Tales series, the three characters run around a field in real-time. Players can attack in real-time with their lead character, although the experience felt somewhat simplistic. Sure, we had a limited amount of time with the game, and it was in Japanese. However, the game simply didn't have the flair that its animated cutscenes do, and the battles were less than engaging. Hopefully, more time with the game will change our opinion, but for now we're not too enthusiastic about Square Enix's latest effort.

TGS hands-on: Minna no Golf Portable 2

There weren't too many PSP games on display at Sony's Tokyo Game Show booth, but the few that were available drew in consistent crowds. Patapon easily drew the largest audience, but right next to it is Minna no Golf Portable 2, a new online-enabled sequel to the original Hot Shots Golf for PSP.

Anyone that's played a Minna no Golf game will quickly find themselves at home with the sequel. The presentation nearly matches the recently released PS3 Hot Shots Golf 5, but obviously features graphics typical of a PSP game. The golfing mechanic hasn't changed at all: you line up your shot, manage your swing power, and attempt to hit the mark in the swing meter.

There's nothing really surprising about Minna no Golf Portable 2. The franchise has been known for its charming Japanese style, and this sequel doesn't stray from series tradition. With solid golf mechanics and new online play, Minna no Golf Portable 2 is a predictably good game that will satiate PSP golf fans.

TGS hands-on: PSP 1seg TV tuner

The 1seg tuner for PSP makes us jealous of Japanese PSP owners. The tiny peripheral attaches to the top of the system, and allows users to tune into a variety of broadcast channels. The video quality at the Tokyo Game Show floor was stellar, with very minimal artifacting seen in the video. It's easy to change channels through a simple intuitive interface which overlays over the video quite nicely. A variety of video resize options can be readily accessed by bringing up the options menu with the Triangle button.

If there's a complaint we would have about the 1seg tuner, we'd say it has to be the delay that comes when switching channels. It takes a full second or so for the system to display video of the next channel. Certainly not a major hindrance, especially when considering the quality of video that's produced on such a small peripheral. Japanese Joystiq readers will want to check it out.

TGS07: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep impressions

Remember this? This is the original Birth by Sleep trailer that was hidden at the end of the Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. But this is not Kingdom Hearts III for PS3. No, it's not what you were expecting at all.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, revealed at Tokyo Game Show today, is a brand new PSP game that expands the story of the franchise not by looking forward, but by looking back. This prequel stars a character that strongly resembles (but is not) Zack from Final Fantasy VII (and most recently, Crisis Core). In addition, we see a character that appears to be a clone of Roxas -- but that's impossible, considering the massive time difference between Birth by Sleep and the original console games. Certainly, there's a lot of mysteries surrounding this upcoming title.

As this preview video shows, the game features a much darker and sinister feel than the console predecessors. The character designs feature a rougher look, especially the main villains, featured above. The new hero, being of a much older age than the previous heroes, also adds a much more mature feel to the overall presentation. The new keyblade also feels much more menacing, being able to shoot projectiles rather quickly. From the little we got to see at Tokyo Game Show, it seems as though the gameplay of Birth by Sleep will most closely follow the PS2 originals of the new Kingdom Hearts games announced today.

This is easily the most technologically impressive Kingdom Hearts game announced today, and although it's not a next-gen sequel, this PSP iteration looks to satiate the needs of the Kingdom Hearts gamers everywhere.

TGS07: PSP online store open now for Japanese only

The announcement of a PSP store - accessible via the PC - was open for business today, but only for Japanese customers. have a great article up about with a walkthrough of the store. From the looks of it there's a lot of stuff on there already and we're looking forward to getting our grubby mitts on the content soon. Unfortunately you can only access the store if your browser and/or operating system is running with Japanese language settings. Also, the download plugin doesn't work with Macs.

So until the store is available for Europe and America (and they sort out that ridiculous Mac problem), we'll have to keep downloading our content manually. It's a shame, really. Our new Crisis Core PSP Slim is hungry for downloadable content.

TGS07: Sony nabs Evolution and BigBig Studios

At Kaz Hirai's keynote speech, there were only a few, erm, key announcements made. One of these was the DualShock3. Another was the expanded remote play presentation and a third was the delay of Home. Another tidbit worth mentioning is Sony's acquisition of Evolution and BigBig Studios, makers of MotorStorm and Pursuit Force, respectively. These are part of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios now and will be overseen by Phil Harrison.

Philly H released this statement regarding the acquisition: "Our strategy is to create the best games by working with the best talent and Evolution and Bigbig are world-class additions to our team ... The incredible people in these studios further extend the depth and skill of the industry's largest platform-exclusive development resource." We're glad to hear it and expect to hear new games coming from Evolution Studios soon. BigBig is releasing their second Pursuit Force game on the PSP at the beginning of October.

TGS07: Squall joins Final Fantasy Dissidia line-up

Angsty teen star of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall Leonhart, can be spotted in the no-cameras-allowed screening of the Final Fantasy Dissidia trailer. The CG trailer for this PSP brawler showed Squall going head to head against Sephiroth.

Fans of Squall will be glad to see his oh-so-dreamy good looks again. However, many other Final Fantasy regulars will now want to consider picking up Dissidia simply for the opportunity to beat up the "pouty jerk."

TGS07: Silent Hill: Origins video is beauty incarnate

A couple months ago, Andrew said Silent Hill: Origins is one of the best-looking PSP titles he's seen so far, and this new trailer just released during Tokyo Game Show only confirms that. We still can't believe Konami has been able to create such an amazing looking game on the PSP.

The video shows Travis driving his rig when he's attacked with some pretty disturbing mental images causing him nearly to careen off the road. We're not exactly sure why the rest of the video is shown playing on a PSP, which makes anyone with less than 20/20 vision struggle to see it. Perhaps Konami really wanted you to know this amazing game is running on the PSP?

Either way, Silent Hill: Origins is shaping up to be a no-brainer for any PSP owner, and the song was a great choice, too!

TGS07: Square Enix announces Kingdom Hearts: Birth of Sleep

Square Enix has unveiled a trio of new Kingdom Hearts titles for gaming on-the-go. Though none of them are Kingdom Hearts III, the PSP title Birth of Sleep appears to be a single-player adventure similar in style to KH2. According to 1UP, the main character looks eerily similar to Zack from Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core: FFVII.

No release date was given for Birth of Sleep. Square Enix also announced KH: 358/2 Days for DS and KH: Coded for mobile phones.
[Via Joystiq]

TGS07: PlayStation Store coming to PC

In addition to becoming the PlayStation 3's power button of choice, the PSP has made relations with the PC. At the Tokyo Game Show press conference, Kaz Hirai announced that the PS Store will soon be accessible via the computer.

According to Hirai, you will be able to purchase and download PSP content without using the PS3 as a middle-man. The service is reportedly available now in Japan; no word on when it will be coming elsewhere.

[Via Joystiq]

TGS07: Remote Play functionality expands significantly

At Kaz Hirai's keynote in Tokyo Game Show, the PlayStation Portable's Remote Play feature was demonstrated. Mainichi Demo was on display with "new PSP functionality" that allows you to turn on and off your PlayStation 3 system via Remote Play, something that wasn't possible with previous versions of the feature.

In the future multiple PSP systems will be able to connect as a hub, as seen in this slide. Remote Play is a strong focus for Sony+ gamers will play games, use the PSP as a second screen and more.

TGS07: Secret Agent Clank hands-on

Sony revealed a brand new game at its pre-TGS media event. Unfortunately, it was a game we all knew was coming: Secret Agent Clank, a new PSP continuation of the popular Ratchet & Clank series. First accidentally leaked on the musician's resume, and then accidentally confirmed to PSP Fanboy by a developer, the existence of Secret Agent Clank was ironically not very secret at all.

The brief hands-on time we had with the game highlighted gameplay that strays far from what series fans have become accustomed to. The first part had Clank jumping through laser grids while pressing buttons in a music-based rhythm game that very closely resembles PaRappa the Rapper. The next area showed platforming as Clank, sans Ratchet. Finally, we encountered a boss where we finally got to play as Captain Quark. Like another green-plad video game character, he uses a vacuum gun to suck trash and projectiles and throw it back to the enemy.

The visuals were on par with the previous Ratchet & Clank title from High Impact Games. The game still has a long way to go, and will not be present at Tokyo Game Show this year.

Continue reading TGS07: Secret Agent Clank hands-on

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