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TGS 2018 - Day One Roundup

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Day One of Tokyo Game Show is done and dusted. It was a good day.

I knocked out all four of my most wanted games. My legs survived, I didn’t spend too much money on needless souvenirs and I’m only a tiny bit drunk as I write this, so my Day Two hangover should be manageable. All-in-all a resounding success. 
I’ll be posting in-depth impressions over the coming days, but for now here are some odds and ends from a day spent in the Mecca of video games: Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, on the Musashino Line. 
Played
I spent time with Resident Evil 2, Tetris Effect in VR, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Devil May Cry V. They were all very good. From what I saw, Sekiro was by far the most in-demand game of Day One. They only had four demo units, and they were constantly having to close the line as it grew too large. 
Embarrassment 
So, it turns out I’m very bad at video games. I stunk the place up so badly that I felt the need to apologise to the demo attendant at the Tetris Effect booth. If you di…

TGS 2018 - The Queuing Experience

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I'll be attending Tokyo Game this week and posting lots of hands-on impressions.
The doors open for Tokyo Game Show at 10:00AM sharp. I usually hang around until about 4:00PM, at which point I head into central Tokyo for drinks and merriment. So that's around six hours on the show floor, at least half of which will be spent waiting in line.

Unless you are industry royalty or belong to one of the biggest media outlets, you line up with everyone else. Even on press days the lines can exceed two hours for the most popular games, and significantly more than that on the public days.

You have to come prepared. Wear comfy shoes, bring some form of entertainment, carry as little swag as possible and never ever join a queue that you cannot see the end of.

A typical TGS in-queue experience goes a little something like this.

00:00 – This game looks good and the queue seems manageable. I’ve got an appointment in ninety minutes but I should have more than enough time to play this demo and …

TGS 2018 - A Preview

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Just one more day until Tokyo Game Show!

Soon I'll be lining up for games that are almost out, hobnobbing with other sweaty people in queues, drinking inadvisable quantities of beer, desperately trying to figure out why my laptop won't connect to the venue's WiFi, and enjoying watching foreign journalists butcher the Japanese language, which in turn will make me feel better about my woefully inadequate linguistic skills.

All joking aside, I love going to TGS. It's my annual slice of industry action and I'm dreading the day when/if they take my press pass away. I've been going as press on-and-off since 2009, and on the public days since 2006. All in all, this'll be my ninth Tokyo Game Show. You could say that I'm kind of a big deal, not that anyone in the industry would agree with you.

I always find TGS previews a challenge to write. There is rarely a single game that stands out before the show begins - nothing that I'm absolutely dying to play. One…

Relight My Fire

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Next week I’ll be covering Tokyo Game Show, so I need to remember how to write words about games. That’s why I’m blogging (almost) every day for the next week, after which my TGS coverage will kick in.

Another month, another remaster.

You played this on PS3? Why not play it again, only this time on PS4! Missed this one on the Wii U? Of course you did, so why not consider trying a slightly enhanced version on your Switch! This generation, only Microsoft has paid any real attention to backwards compatibility. For all the good press it generated, I'd be surprised if it had any lasting effect on their bottom line.

I get why publishers repackage older games. It’s a safe investment and it can open up an existing property to a new and expanded audience. I’m certainly not averse to shelling-out a second time for games I love.

I’ve put tens of hours into repeat experiences so far this year, including two of my favourite games from the last generation: Burnout Paradise and Call of Duty …

In Defence of Final Fantasy VIII

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Next week I’ll be covering Tokyo Game Show, so I need to remember how to write words about games. That’s why I’m blogging every day for the next week, after which my TGS coverage will kick in.
You think that your jokes about Final Fantasy VIII are funny, but they are not. They are unfair, they are ignorant, and they are hurtful. Also, you are ugly. 
As announced during this week’s Nintendo Direct, Square Enix is content-dumping a sizeable part of the Final Fantasy library onto the Switch. FFVII, FFIX, FFX, X-2, and XII will all make their way to Nintendo's home console next year. They’ll be the first numbered entries to appear on a Nintendo console since whenever it was that the last numbered Final Fantasy appeared on a Nintendo console.

Over the last few years, polished versions of lesser Final Fantasies have appeared on various platforms. FFVIII has been notable in its absence. You can download VIII on Steam and from the PS Store, but you’re getting the original, vanilla versio…

Spider-Man: From Disinterest to Full Embrace

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Next week I’ll be covering Tokyo Game Show, so I need to remember how to write words about games. That’s why I’m blogging every day for the next week, after which my TGS coverage will kick in.
Like 98% of all PS4 owners, I'm currently playing Spider-Man. I've only played a couple of hours, but it's pretty good. Bet you weren't expecting that!

Initially, I was thoroughly disinterested in Insomniac’s latest. However, the excellent reviews and sparkling word of mouth gradually wore me down. Before I knew it, I was web-slinging my way across New York, collecting backpacks and failing to kill criminals.

So, how did I get here?

Stage One: Disinterest

Comics are for babies and Spider-Man lives in comics. Therefore, Spider-Man games are for babies.

With a few video game exceptions, I don’t really care for anything superhero-related. I especially don’t care for Toby Maguire. I honestly can’t name a single Toby Maguire movie that I like, including that one about biscuits tha…

Ends and Beginnings That Are Also Ends

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Next week I’ll be covering Tokyo Game Show, so I need to remember how to write words about games. That’s why I’m blogging every day for the next week, after which my TGS coverage will begin.

**Far Cry 5 Spoilers Within**

It turns out that Joseph was telling the truth. We were teetering on the edge of destruction, at the mercy of a wrathful God, and Joseph was in on it. Divine forces were whispering in his ear, giving him a godly heads-up about our impending doom. Far Cry 5’s Hope County is gone, consumed by a nuclear fire, presumably along with a significant portion of the US.
All my slaughtering was for nothing. The countless times I interrupted roadside executions, freed locals, cleared bases, located collectibles and culled cultists – it was all for naught. My friends are vaporized, and my dog is gone. My yellow helicopter is scrap metal, and my guns are fucked.
My Far Cry 5 ending was desperately grim, but I kinda liked it. It didn’t make the things I did during the game any less …

E3 2018: A Hastily Written and Poorly Researched Preview

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It's nearly E3weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Saturday

EA's presser starts at 3 AM Japan time. There are scant few things less likely to happen than me getting up at 3 AM on a Sunday to watch Snoop Dog talk about historical accuracy in Battlefield.

Mass Effect is fucked, so instead we'll be subjected to Anthem. Professional speakers will simulate human speech, saying stuff like "enemies incoming", "Susan, you pick up that ammo pack", and "Trevor, you cunt". It'll be the worst thing I've ever seen. However, I won't care, as I'll be giddy with excitement over the Burnout reveal. EA have forced the old Criterion crew back together and they are making Paradise 2. I shall be ecstatic.

Battlefield, Madden, NBA, FIFA, other car games; am I forgetting anything? An indie man will appear on stage and give a heartfelt speech about his adorable game. We will all be rooting for him. Unfortunately, his game will end up…

Game Pitch: Elephant Ice Hockey

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I'd like to make a game some day.

I'm not sure what that game'll look like, or how I'll go about making it. I'm not even all that bothered if anyone else plays it - I just want to make something.

I'd like to have a better idea of what it takes to make a game. I want to gain some insight into the process and learn a little about basic coding. I want to attend an awards ceremony wearing shorts and a t-shirt and hug Geoff Keighley. I want to take pictures of food with Hideo Kojima, and not have it be weird.

From small beginnings.

Game Pitch: Elephant Ice Hockey

Elevator Pitch

It's ice hockey, but with elephants instead of Canadians.

More specifically, it's NHL '94 with elephants.

Everyone likes elephants. They're big, majestic, exotic, and sometimes they let us sit on their backs.

No one understands ice hockey, myself included. To most of the world, it's plausible that elephants could play ice hockey. I couldn't say for sure that they don…

Yamanote Line Game Video Game Game

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I've got an hour to burn, so I'm going to write something.

I've nothing planned, so I'm just going to write about the first video-game-related thing that pops into my head. The next topic I write about will start with the last letter of the previous point. It's a variation of the Yamanote Line game, only written down, and I'm the only player. 
Hello? Are you still there? 
Oh well, video games...... 
Monster Hunter World That was lovely. Eighty hours of slaying with friends and alone. I've got the armour I wanted, a rarity 8 Long Sword, and nothing new left to hunt, at least until Deviljho drops. The tempered monsters are more of a challenge, but they're still the same beasts, and the promise of weapon stones isn't quite enough to keep me motivated. I'll hunt with friends every now and again, and I'll be there whenever the DLC drops, but for now I'm winding down my HR41 geezer. 
Demon's Souls I can't wait to finally start playing D…