Hello, readers! I’m Andrew, one of the writers here at Siliconera, reporting from the show floor of Tokyo Game Show 2022. Over the next few days, I will be rounding up all of the hands-on experiences I’ve visited and highlighting some of notable games and booths. Let’s get to it.
It seems so long ago that Tokyo Game Show had a physical event. In 2020, the annual expo was forced to go entirely online due to the ongoing pandemic. Since then, there’s been quite a big shift in how games are announced, with E3 being canceled for the third year in a row and online events such as Summer Games Fest taking their place. This year, however, Tokyo Game Show has come back, albeit as a hybrid event. Nevertheless, the first day has been quite abuzz with new game announcements and first-ever hands-on previews, making for busy days for both the news teams working remotely and the folks visiting Makuhari Messe.
As proof, the first business day of the event was absolutely packed. So much so, that Capcom’s Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak and Resident Evil Village VR booths ran out of queue tickets less than an hour after doors opened. Other experiences, such as Bandai Namco’s One Piece Odyssey and Square Enix’s Crisis Core: FFVII Reunion booths, saw wait times upwards of 50 minutes long. Fortunately, I still managed to get my hands on a few of these games.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
The game was available to play on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5 at Square Enix’s booth. Though the PlayStation 5 version looked significantly better than the Switch, I was impressed by how smoothly the Switch version ran. In my 15-minute playthrough of the Wutai stronghold infiltration section of the game, there was virtually no stuttering or graphical issues with the game. In fact, I’d wager that you wouldn’t be losing out on much even if you opted for the portable experience.
However, the real selling point of this game is in the gameplay. For those who haven’t played the original game for the PSP (like me), Crisis Core is an action RPG with real-time combat. One of the defining features of the game’s combat is the slot-machine-esque Digital Mind Wave system, which randomly provides various combat buffs and special moves. The mechanic incentivizes players to plan their attacks. Bonuses like unlimited MP and immunity to magic can instantly turn the tide of a fight. If you get a three-of-a-kind, you can even unleash a special Limit Break attack that can deal significant damage.
The game was an absolute blast. If I had to play devil’s advocate, I would have to admit that 15 minutes is too short to make any definitive statement. But as someone who admittedly hasn’t had much experience with the recent Final Fantasy Remakes, Crisis Core has made me seriously consider giving them a shot.
One Piece Odyssey
I played the PlayStation 4 version of One Piece Odyssey, for a total of about 20 minutes. Though it was marketed as an Open-World RPG take on the popular Jump franchise, the demo was unfortunately limited in scope. Players were confined to a single path that periodically threw monsters, traversal mechanics, and collectible items your way, with very little freedom to explore. As such, it’s hard to comment on how well the game will perform when it comes to larger-scale overworld travel that is bound to exist in the finished game.
The graphics were pretty, and I couldn’t help but compare it to another popular command JRPG title: Dragon Quest XI. It’s no wonder, as one of the studios that helped design DQXI, Ilca Inc, also helped draw up the game’s concept artwork. The gameplay, while not deviating much from your standard JRPG command battle system, had a few mechanics that helped bring out some flair. One of these unique touches was a Monster Hunter Stories-style rock-paper-scissors effectiveness system. Another was an area-based attack system that changed what enemies you were capable of attacking based on whose “turf” you were in.
Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten
Though delayed for a second time earlier this month, Monochrome Mobius still managed to appear as part of the Happinet booth. I managed to get a hold of the PS5 version of the game for 20 minutes, and also received a complementary swag bag at the end. For a supposedly story-driven RPG, the demo was fairly free-form and, to my disappointment, there wasn’t much in the way of narrative. I was dropped next to a roadside stall at the start of the demo, and allowed to roam around the fields to attack enemies as I wished.
From what I could tell, there wasn’t much of a graphical difference between the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game (though Aquaplus only plans to release the game on Steam outside of Japan). The game is beautiful, and aside from a few unfinished NPC models, the main cast including Oshtor, Shunya, Munechika, and Mikazuchi all had a significant amount of polish. The combat was equally beautiful, though some of the animations ended up looking a bit strange. Combat is still turn-based but eschews the tactics system for a more standard, JRPG-style command battle system. Whether fans of the original Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception will enjoy this is still up in the air.
Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection
After my initial shock of not being able to secure a queue ticket for neither Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak nor Resident Evil Village, there was one game that helped me overcome my grief: Mega Man Battle Network. Specifically, Battle Network 2, which I hadn’t played since primary school. Capcom’s booth allowed players a brief 12 minutes of playtime for any one of the first three games of the series. When the collection releases in 2023, however, players will be able to play all 10 mainline games in the series.
The newly remastered versions feature a “high-resolution filter” that removes some of the jagged edges of the original pixel style. In reality, however, this filter didn’t exactly play to my liking. From what I could tell, the upscaling of graphics removed a lot of the work that went into designing pixel art that looked good on the GBA, without considering modern high-resolution monitors. Even on the Switch, the backgrounds and characters, in particular, looked “too smooth” for my liking. While the game does feature the ability to play with the original graphics, I was not allowed to change them during the demo.
Considering most of these games are only playable via emulation or if you have a working GBA or Nintendo DS, I’d still say there is plenty of value in grabbing the collection. There were no graphical issues to speak of, and load times between areas were incredibly short. I played the Japanese demo, and the game was almost exactly how I remembered it, even down to the original screen ratio. Whether the game will keep its mildly crass English localization, however, is still uncertain.
That’s all for the first day of Tokyo Game Show 2022 show floor coverage! I’ll be continuing to visit more booths in the coming days, and will hopefully check out other titles such as Like a Dragon: Ishin!, Atelier Ryza 3, and Sonic Frontiers.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of me with my pal Mega Man.