Paris, Tokyo Game Show

I should be writing about Paris, but there isn’t much to say: the food is good, the city is pretty and the girls more so. I’m loving the autumn colours along the many tree-lined boulevards and the equally radiant sunsets in the cool, but pleasant, evenings. Long walks, hundreds of photos, numerous atrocities committed to the French language and crowded, stuffy evening Metro rides home. I’m enjoying the city. What more can be said than that?

Instead, I’ve been writing about the Tokyo Game Show. I have also been deleting what I wrote about it. I had a long diatribe about the Japanese games on show at TGS and about how the games there show perfectly well why Japanese developers are falling behind their Western counterparts, but it wasn’t really working towards any worthwhile conclusion. I didn’t want my disappointment with the high-profile games there to overshadow the few interesting ideas on show, so I scrapped it. Being negative is too easy so here’s a few positives:

Noby Noby Boy – who the hell knows what’s going on there? The indication is that the teaser video is not at all indicative of the gameplay, which makes sense if you remember earlier tech demos, but does it even matter? It’s from the creator of Katamari Damacy and it will likely not contain any angsty demons making snarky remarks. This alone makes it more original than 80% of the games at TGS. (BONUS: the music in the teaser is a reinterpretation of the music from the classic Namco game, Metro-Cross.)

Gomibako – a dropping block puzzler in which each block is a random piece of junk with various physical properties. The trash interacts with each other in various ways (can be crushed, ignited) which makes for a unique twist on the standard formula.

Again – yeah, it’s a corny trailer but it’s a new adventure game for the DS that is definitely trying to do something fresh. It remains to be seen if the mechanics in the game are worthwhile, but the idea of having the past on one screen and the present on the other within a detective story is worthy of credit. It’s also quite unique stylistically. A little cornball too, but that’s alright.

That, apart from “Meteos Wars” and “Lumines Supernova”, is it. For such a major exhibition, that’s a weak showing. I wonder, then, is it me? Or is it you, Japan? Is that it? Are you that out-of-touch with my Western sensibilities? Or is it I that have changed?

What’s that? You have Western games on show too? “Halo 3: Recon”? “Halo Wars”? “Killzone”? Oh, you’re right then: it is me.

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