You can’t just walk up and play Time Hollow at Tokyo Game Show. Konami has prospective players wait in a line, walk into a foggy room with a few green lights to see the concept trailer and then you can play the game. The whole dog and pony show ate up about 45 minutes of time, but it was worth it.
The demo begins with an anime introduction and then you step into the shoes of Horo Tokio who is presently in school and briefly explains about that he has this mysterious hollow pen that allows him to make holes into time. Horo talks to two of his classmates about the previous day and the chat is saved as a flashback. Flashbacks are key events that let Horo use the hollow pen to enter back in time and change the past.
When you use the hollow pen the frozen frame from the flashback is on the top screen and you can draw time holes with the stylus on the bottom screen. The first solution was easy, circle the present in the hand of the girl Horo was talking to. Great. Everything should be hunky dory in the world of Time Hollow right?
Now that we’ve changed the past it’s time to reap the reward of being a hero. Oh wait the girl didn’t fall down so she got on her bike and got hit by a car because her bike is broken. Whoops! I know how to fix this. I’ll go back to the flashback point and play with the gears on her bike. It’s time to walk back to the same location by poking it on the world map with the stylus. This time you need to draw a hollow circle on the bike to play with it.
Obviously, fixing the bike led to another catastrophe and the concept demo ended on a cliff hanger. The demo was extremely text heavy, mostly reading with about 1 minute of actual gameplay. So don’t plan on importing this on January 24, 2008 unless you’re well versed in Japanese.
P.S. the characters names are written in kanji, just to give you an idea of what literacy level you will need. Oh yeah, I just mentioned the release date too! It’s not TBD in Japan, Time Hollow is coming much sooner than you think. For North America and Europe Time Hollow is TBD. It’s coming out in English.