Hey readers! Andrew here again, reporting on the second day of show floor experiences at Tokyo Game Show 2022.
This time, I took a look at some of the most sought-after booths and hands-on experiences that the venue had to offer. As the second business day was also open to the public from the afternoon, it took some pretty significant effort (and a lot of waiting in line) to play these titles, but some of them were well worth the wait. While I was unfortunately unable to cover all of the games that I’d planned to, below are some of the more notable games that I played.
Resident Evil Village VR
Hooo boy. As someone who’s never used a VR headset before, I vastly underestimated how immersive the experience could be. And whether it was the PSVR 2’s newly upgraded hardware, haptic controllers, or simply the atmosphere of Resident Evil Village, Capcom’s VR experience was scary in a way that felt entirely new.
The demo’s combat system was relatively straightforward. You play as Ethan Winters, and start off with a knife strapped to your left arm. Using the handheld controls, you can grab the knife with your right hand and use it to stab, slash, or even throw it at enemies. After entering Castle Dimitrescu, you acquire a handgun that holds 10 rounds per magazine. What’s more, once you run out of bullets, you have to manually eject the spent cartridge, pull out another magazine, hand-load it, and then cock the barrel. If you aren’t used to that process, reloading can feel like ages, especially when there are ghouls wanting to slice you to bits.
One thing I want to note is how absolutely gigantic Lady Dimitrescu looks when you’re wearing the VR headset. She already seems big on-screen, but in VR, she actually looks like the nine-foot-six giantess she really is.
There are some downsides, however. During my 10-minute demo, there was one occasion where my head temporarily clipped through Ethan’s body as he went to heal his hook injuries. On top of that, the PSVR 2 headset took quite some time to adjust due to the fact that I was wearing glasses. While it wasn’t entirely unplayable, it is something worth considering for those that are unable to wear contacts or otherwise require glasses to see clearly.
Atelier Ryza 3
I gave Atelier Ryza 3 a shot partly because many folks were talking about how it would be a “beginner-friendly” entry to the series. By the time I arrived at Koei Tecmo’s booth, there was a line that lasted about an hour. The 15-minute-long demo was on the PS5, and the game’s graphics were impeccable, to say the least. While the explorable map was quite large, there were no noticeable framerate drops or graphical issues.
The exploration aspect utilized landmarks for fast traveling and zip lines for faster traversal, which I thought was quite convenient. The landmarks also served the additional purpose of periodically providing players with free “keys”. These keys come with various bonuses once used, from additional combat skills to instant rewards. In my case, I got a key that gave me a treasure trove of alchemy supplies. Alchemy also seems to be unchanged from Atelier Ryza 2, with each addition of an ingredient in a given recipe increasing the effect of the product, as well as unlocking further effects.
Furthermore, I really enjoyed Ryza’s new outfit design. There was another installation just outside of the demo area showcasing three life-sized Reisalin Stout statues, with each statue modeled after her appearance in all three Atelier Ryza games. The new addition of childhood friend Bos Brunnen also added some nice camaraderie during fights, although some voice quips did become a bit repetitive. To top it off, Reisalin herself even gave a special introduction and farewell greeting at the start and end of the demo.
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Like a Dragon: Ishin! has an interesting story, and one that I was immediately drawn to when RGG Studios first announced it. You play as Sakamoto Ryoma, a Japanese historical figure credited with pushing Edo Japan into modernization. But technically, you’re also not Sakamoto Ryoma. You play as Kazuma Kiryu, who calls himself Ryoma, and joins the Shinsengumi loyalist group to avenge his father. It’s a bit complicated.
Though I was initially disappointed that RGG’s take on the popular revolutionary didn’t speak with a Tosa dialect, I quickly realized that any historical accuracy was completely thrown out the window with Like a Dragon: Ishin! The game’s combat is wonderfully over-the-top, goofy, and gory. You fight in the streets of Kyoto, swinging blades, shooting bullets, making strange black holes that suck in enemies, and causing tornados. At the end of the day, what’s not to love?
More importantly, the upcoming remake of the 2014 PS3 title is simply beautiful. As comparison screenshots have shown, RGG Studios have vastly improved and overhauled the graphics of cutscenes while managing to keep them consistent shot-to-shot. If you enjoyed the improvements made with recent Kiwami remakes, with its cast of familiar characters and story beats, you’re bound to love Like a Dragon: Ishin! I found no issues playing the game on the PS5, but you may want to keep an eye out for performance issues on the PS4.
Towards the end of the day, I half expected that I wouldn’t be able to have a go at Exoprimal. Due to the demo being an hour long (probably the longest demo of TGS 2022), there was a constant line of people at the front of the booth. Luckily, I managed to sneak in at the last moment, and even got to play it for longer than they had originally planned.
Suffice it to say, Exoprimal was probably the highlight of my experience at Tokyo Game Show. During our hour-long session, I played three game modes with a total of ten people. The first was a 5v5 mode, in which two teams competed to clear through a level of dinosaurs the fastest. We also played a deliver-the-payload mode, in which two teams had to escort a “data-cube” while defending against dinosaurs and, ultimately, the enemy team. Finally, we played a PvE mode, with all ten players fighting against hordes of dinosaurs and a massive “Neo-Tyrannosaurus”.
The most satisfying part of Exoprimal was the class synergy. During my playtime, I mainly focused on using the tank-class Roadblock, which used a massive shield to block dinosaurs and projectile attacks. As my team fought against our enemies, I really felt like I was protecting my squishier teammates from getting chewed to bits. On the other hand, our team’s healer was also working around the clock to keep me topped up with health, all while our long-ranged allies blasted and lasered their way through groups of enemies. Additionally, if the need ever arose for different team compositions or tactics, I could quickly change my class on-the-fly at any point during the mission. All in all, I am incredibly excited for Exoprimal to officially launch in 2023.
That’s a wrap for the second day of visiting the Tokyo Game Show 2022 show floor! While I’ll likely be taking a break from playing demos for the rest of the event, be sure to keep an eye out for a few other highlights and merchandise round-ups in the coming days. And while this year’s TGS was smaller than previous years, I’m hoping that I’ll get to see some of you here in the near future too.
As always, here are your obligatory Dino and Palamute pics.