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Next-Gen's Top 20 From Tokyo 78

Next Generation has a rundown on the 20 games they think defined TGS 2006. Leading the pack is Microsoft's double-barrel RPG action, Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon, their current great white hope for the Japanese market. From the article: "The weight of the bigger names involved -- artists Takehiko Inoue and Akira Toriyama, and writer Kiyoshi Shigematsu -- might even draw in completely uninitiated gamers. Blue Dragon, coming this year, as a pack-in with the console, will help make the machine a more familiar sight in homes that purchase PlayStation 2s for Dragon Quest; Lost Odyssey, coming next year, looks like something that could be advertised in cinemas." White Knight Story clocks in at number 3, and everyone from Ars Technica to Tycho is praising this Level 5 game as being the first PS3 title they're really getting excited about.
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Next-Gen's Top 20 From Tokyo

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  • by Nazmun ( 590998 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:24AM (#16198923) Homepage
    My precious japanese rpg's (the major ones) which were usually concentrated on one system per generation (SNES, PSX, PS2) seems to be divided into two and maybe three consoles this time around. Microsoft bought out Hironobu's or payed them a truckload of cash to be 360 exclusives and sony also has talented studio's (level 5, square enix also have at least some talent left) in their wing.

    I miss the time I could go on with only one console. Unless the 360 folds and Blue Dragon/Lost Odyssey either suck or come out of the ps3 I can't seem myself without it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rydia ( 556444 )
      Expect it to get worse: I recall Enix saying that if Rocket Slime and DQ Swords sell well, Dragon Quest IX is likely to be for Wii.

      Thankfully, I actually don't care about Final Fantasy (or most of these new shiny-shiny RPGs) anymore, so I should be all right.
      • You have no idea how stongly I wish for that to happen! I've always been a big fan of Enix on Nintendo systems. My first console game was Dragon Warrior on the NES
        • Well, lets consider the downward turn Square's FF franchise has taken from moving to Sony platforms. They certainly haven't gotten any better. Then again, I'm more concerned with how bad the storys have become and gameplay has gotten out of hand, epescially lately... [].

          I just wish I had a chance (and time enough) to play DW VII.

          • by Jerf ( 17166 )
            At first I thought the FFXIII combat system might be a neat idea.

            However, lately I've been playing Star Ocean: 'Till the End of Time and it has the same basic system, you control one character and the other two just go off and do their thing in a live-action combat system. And I'm not particularly enjoying it. Granted, Star Ocean really fucked up in having an incentive to keep your character out of the line of fire so that that damnably fragile "Bonus Battle Guage" doesn't get broken, thus encouraging the p
            • by oc255 ( 218044 )
              Excellent commentary.
            • But don't get so stuck up the ass with the "real-time" buzzword that you sacrifice control over the team to its alter.

              I'm not sure if that's a stab at me or at PA or me for agreeing with them... I just want to clarify that I've played the demo of FFXII and I really didn't like it. It's been a while, but I didn't like switching between charecters, selecting an action or two, unpausing the action, waiting for the chareter to actually do something, then starting the process again. It was tedious in the firs

              • by Jerf ( 17166 )

                I'm not sure if that's a stab at me or at PA or me for agreeing with them...

                Uh, it's neither. It's total agreement with you. RPGs have gotten eaten by the "real time" buzzword, even though the idea really stinks. You just can't control multiple people in realtime. Don't try. If you want to do that, your "party" needs to be just the one character. That has been done successfully.

                Same thing happened to strategy games. Try to find a turn-based strategy game. (I know of Civ. Any others that are still around?) P

                • Well, as far as turn-based strategy, I guess we're stuck with all the tactics games and La Pucell. Personally, I've loved every minute of every Fire Embelem. Though FFT Advance moved so slow it took me months to get into it. I think I timed it at about 12-20 seconds between each turn. Which could be taken down to 4-6, but that's still too much.
                  • by Jerf ( 17166 )
                    There are two things now I'm looking for in tactics and RPGs now: Skippable cut scenes, and turns that don't take for-freakin' ever.

                    Advance Wars is the ideal; slow eye candy on one end of the options, dropping down to a quick blip and numbers changing on the other. FFX-2 actually did pretty well in this department, too, with the fancy battle animations that FF is known for being reducible to momentary blips inline with the rest of the battle.

                    (Not having endless random battles is beginning to factor in there
                    • Advance Wars is the ideal; slow eye candy on one end of the options, dropping down to a quick blip and numbers changing on the other.

                      Fire Emblem has the same set of options, allowing you to turn off all battle animations.

                      You can also press start to skip cutscenes - useful when you are re-playing a chapter so that your Pegasus Knight doesn't die.
                    • Yes, that's why I loved Fire Embelem so much. Even on the GameCube. Oh, and if your pegasus knights are dieing, than you really need to level them up proper, because they should be tanks. Sure, almost no defense, but utterly untouchable. I've played through each game using hit-and-run tactics and no knights or generals. They move to slow and get swamped by mages far too easily. All they would need is one more movement and I'd use 'em. But if they can't out run a few mages... pah!
                    • by Rydia ( 556444 )
                      The nice thing about FE is that you can two completely different armies, even with some of the same characters. There's no huge advantage of a fast attack build vs. a slow defense one. Nintendo always gets the balance right.
            • Star Ocean 3 was bad. It got so much hype an praise, and having loved SO2, I was really hoping for something special. Instead, the battle system, which really is the only reason for playing a SO game, was incredibly badly designed, combersomb, and frusterating. On top of that, the story was shit (hackneyed cliche after cliche, and not even done well), the dialog was cringe-worthy, the characters were flat and didn't exude any feeling, and worst of all, the camera angle made navigation so con

              • by Jerf ( 17166 )
                Oh, hey, forgot about that. I think if I stop in to my local Gamestop and they have that I may just trade Star Ocean in for it without finishing.

          • DW VII was really good. Unfortunately I didn't quite finish it before it was ripped out of my hands. I think I racked up about 60 hours of game play on it.

            I highly recommend trying out DW IV, it's incredible. DW II was really good too, from what I can remember. DW III had a pyramid that really pissed me off as a kid - if only there was gamefaqs back then.

            Hopefully I'll be able to get these on Virtual Console.
    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

      I wouldn't worry. Or worry that much. Either the PS3 or the XBox 360 will succeed in Japan (and Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey probably makes it the XBox 360), and all the RPGs from the losing console will be ported over to the winning console in order to make sales.

      You'll probably need to get a Wii to play RPGs released for it, though, since the Wii controller can't be replicated (no matter how much Sony tries) on the other consoles, so expect Wii games to be fairly unique to the Wii.

      In the end, they'l

      • by ArwynH ( 883499 )

        You're probably right about the porting, but I wouldn't bet on the 360 winning the race. Maybe if those games had been released 6 months ago it might of had a chance, but as things stand now, both Sony and Nintendo have highly anticipated launches coming up. That's a lot of momentum and with the 360's sales dead in the water here, I doubt It'll beat the PS3 in Japan. NA and Europe on the other hand are another matter.

        I'm more interested in how the wildcard, Nintendo's Wii, will fare here myself. It's small

    • Microsoft bought out Hironobu's or payed them a truckload of cash

      No, they gave him fat sacks full of money, so he can use it to make himself some money hats [].

    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
      Don't you mean a tubeload of cash?
    • It's always (and I mean always) the most successful system that gets the RPG's, as seams to be the case with most japanese games. The only reason the 360 has anything is because they are projects paid for by Microsoft. The 360 is dead in Japan, nothing can save it. So unless Microsoft insists on pushing a dead horse, there probably won't be much interest.
  • well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by B00yah ( 213676 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:28AM (#16198979) Homepage
    It seems microsoft may have finally figured out what it takes to get some hype in japan: rpgs, and quirky, somewhat off games. It's a shame there is no Wii titles in the top 5, but Phoenix Wright for the DS did manage to break that group. I honestly hope that these rpg titles match up to the hype, and allows for a true three system battle in Japan. Because nothing generates innovation more than competition.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but Nintendo wasn't even at the Tokyo game show, hence the reason they aren't predominantly on the list...
    • I'm never convinced by that sentiment. When one player dominates a field, surely you get the underdogs / fresh talent absolutely striving to innovate, just to get a foothold in the market by blowing the current tech away... Just my 2 Gil
  • I saw the video linked from Penny-Arcades site yesterday and have to say that I was pretty impressed. It might not be popular to like Sony at the moment, but if they can pull of a title or two like this then I may start to sway my opinion back in their favor. I am a gamer at heart after all.
    • Same here, if they keep pulling out games that look like that, I'd probably get a system once the price goes down just for those games.

      I think the reason why that video worked so well, is that it showcases the gameplay. Too many game previews are all about the movie-esque flashy graphics, jump shots, and plot. I want a game that's fun to PLAY, not to watch.
    • by Nazmun ( 590998 )
      Yeah, I almost wouldn't have bothered with the ps3 without seeing that video. Nothing else looked interesting enough to plunk down $200-$400 on a console (i'm definately not spending goddamn launch price on the system).
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I kust be alone in NOT finding it impressive. What was so great about it? Graphics? The game play certainly didn't seem that wowwing -- press a button, get a minute of animation, press another button, get another minute of animated conversations and transformation scenes and such.
      • You're definitely not alone. It looked pretty, but not so pretty as to wow me, and it looked like there was very little actual game to the game. I'm not really sure what people are so excited about here, but I think I now have a pretty good sense of how mediocre consoles with mediocre games (PS1 and PS2) could dominate the market.
    • I was really impressed with the video until I saw the character models. They suffer from the same issues that character models on the PS2 suffered - lack of depth. The costumes looked flat and lifeless, as well as too overdesigned.

      The drunken wobbling they were doing in the battle preparation sequence was pretty unintentionally funny, too.
  • by Trillian_1138 ( 221423 ) <slashdot@frid[ ] ['ayt' in gap]> on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:34AM (#16199103)
    "Print" is your friend. Here ya go. []

    Some tidbits: Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon (both XBox 360) share first place, and of the 20 (21 counting both first placers) 7 are for XBox 360, 1 PC, 4 NDS, 2 PS2, 1 Wii, 5 PS3 (I keep recounting and still get 20 - clearly I keep missing an entry). -Trillian

    • I keep recounting and still get 20 - clearly I keep missing an entry
      You're not - there's no number 2.
    • I was amazed at how many 360 games were on the list. Looks like now we'll see if the "racist purchasing" accusation has any weight or not. Personally I think it's crap because of the success of things like the ipod... but fanboys seem to put a lot of weight on it.

      As much as I dislike some things MS does, I can't help but feel a little sorry for them in Japan! =D
      • I was amazed at how many 360 games were on the list. Looks like now we'll see if the "racist purchasing" accusation has any weight or not.

        Uh, no... because this list is compiled by westerners, for westerners.

        I would bet that any "top 20" list generated by a Japanese publication would look a lot different. And it would surprise me if the 360 had more than 2 or at most 3 titles on such a list.

        Regardless, it has always been a myth that any single game or any single genre sells consoles in Japan. The truth i
    • Wow, 20 games which are exactly like all the other games around at the moment, but with slightly fancier graphics.

      Where is the next ground-breaking playable game I can play with my friends, like Katamari Damacy or Super Monkey Ball or Mario Kart?


      • by brkello ( 642429 )
        All of those have sequels that you can play with your friends. Seriously though, on a new gen system, where everything is so expensive, people are going to take less risks and go with things that have the best chance to sell. Once the architecture is better understood, you might see some 'different' games. But I really don't see what you have to complain about...because of the Wii controller, games will have to be innovative...they may be the same games, but how you interact with it will be totally diffe
  • In the top 20 are..

    1 PC game.
    1 Wii game.
    2 Ps2 games.
    4 DS games.
    5 Ps3 games.
    7 xbox360 Games.
    • by tuck3r ( 987067 )
      which proves that while microsoft has crappy operating systems they seem to have removed sony from gaming console kingship
    • Some of the Xbox 360 games will be out on the PS3. Some of the PS3 games will be out on the Xbox 360. I think a lot of the early porting will be to the Xbox 360 because it is a known quantity, we've seen quite a few 360 games hit number one in the games sales charts. If the PS3 really takes off, you'll see a lot of 360 games released on the PS3 as well. It's difficult to tell whether or not games can be ported to the Wii because of the controller scheme. Nintendo seems to be going it's own way, quite a
      • by brkello ( 642429 )
        I'm really with you on the price war thing. I think Nintendo is going to be interesting...I don't think a lot of games will be ported to or from the Wii. I think the controller begs for different type of game. So even if there is Madden on all three consoles...the one on the Wii will be a whole different beast. We'll have to wait and see if that is a good thing or not.
    • So, That one guys top 20. Top twenty according to some single reviewer from a web site who went to TGS, not Top Twenty as voted on by a statisticly significant number of people.

  • White Knight video (Score:3, Informative)

    by tygerstripes ( 832644 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16199189)
    For those who're interested, the White Knight video [] really is pretty exciting - there's a certain Final Fantasy about it, but it seems unbelievably more fluid and natural.

    Be excited. Oh yes. I just wish I could be arsed with consoles...

  • From the article's end: "On Sunday afternoon, the CESA (Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association) announced their eleven favored games of the show. The list circulated to the press was arranged in Japanese alphabetical order, and featured on television news programs all over Japan. The list included Gran Turismo HD, The Eye of Judgment, the 3D remake of Tales of Destiny for PlayStation 2, Elebits for Nintendo Wii, Seiken Densetsu 4 for PlayStation 2, Monster Hunter 2 for PSP, Metal Gear Solid: Portabl
    • It's hard to have good PR in Japan when your console's name is written as × (×-hako — for some reason, Japanese unicode isn't showing up), which essentially means no-good box in Japanese.

      Lost Odyssey & Blue Dragon both look very good; if MS wants to achieve some measure of success in Japan, why don't they direct a part of its massive marketing machine into generating a little noise about its best titles? Are they relying on the underground/guerilla/grass-roots type of hype-generation

    • From what I've heard, Blue Dragon was advertised everywhere around TGS. I think they were handing out shopping bags with the logo, which people would use to carry other TGS swag, and provide ample advertising while doing so. I think there was some handouts taking place on subways and such as well.

      But yeah, it looks like Lost Odyssey didn't get too much love for some reason. My guess is that Mistwalker/MS wants to put all their eggs in one basket, promote Blue Dragon (especially since it'll be a pack-in game
      • by 108 ( 688828 )

        I'm the guy who wrote the article.

        . . . Ahem.

        Anyway. Yeah, they're not pushing Lost Odyssey at all. Either that, or the fact that the chairman of the jury who selected the top games of the show is none other than Yoichi Wada, president of Square-Enix.


        Maybe a little jealousy, hmmmm? The CESA organization also selected Final Fantasy XII as one of the two "Grand Award" winners for the 2006 Japan Game Awards.


        Either way, Blue Dragon is the big hope. It's the one they're pa
        • I agree. Blue Dragon will probably be a nice "consolation prize" for those in Japan who aren't lucky enough to snap up one of the few PS3s being released for that region. And if the game is good enough, they just might forget about Sony altogether, at least until FFXIII comes out (which won't be for another year, at least).

          I was surprised by how many J-RPGs are being released for the 360. Sure, many of them may end up being rather mediocre, but that's certainly more than 0. (And Japan has its fair share of
  • Do a search on Google News for "Tokyo Game Show" and with the first result you get an article where it states the top 2 games at TGS are for the PS3, while in 3rd place thers is a game for the XBox 360.

    It's obvious that the person who submitted the story has an XBox bias. I'm thinking /. has an XBox bias in general, perhaps because Microsoft pays for more ads on the site than Sony, along w/ the number of people who work for/with Microsoft on this site.

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