Monday, August 20, 2012

Tokyo Jungle Has a Western Release Date

Last December, a little game called Tokyo Jungle was more or less thrust onto a lot of radars thanks to the absolute pure absurdity running through its veins, so to speak, as well as the real, undeniable uniqueness the game holds.  I was....confused about the game and I still am, but I can say with some certainty that it's definitely grown on me a little bit.  I don't know what it is in particular - perhaps just that it's one of those silly little titles that embraces absurdity and runs with it (which you know I am a fan of, despite how I wobble on that stance sometimes) or perhaps it's just that the game will allow me to play as 50 different animals at base, including a goddamn dinosaur, which, let's be honest, enough games do not do this.  I don't really think you can disagree with me on this either, because "You get to play as a dinosaur" is a goddamn bullet-point if I've ever seen one, and I look at a lot of game boxes.  Guess what?  THEY DON'T SAY THAT.

Ahem.  Anyways.  Speaking of game boxes, this game will not have one when it releases as a PSN-exclusive on September 25th which is a -really- bad day because sorry Tokyo Jungle, I will be playing LittleBigPlanet Vita for the next few months starting on exactly that day.  I believe that means you don't have to have a permanent mental break, Chance.  Well...I dunno, it was a retail release in Japan (possibly retail/PSN both), but not here or in PAL territories so....take that for what you will.  The game launches here at $15 which is a lot less than said retail release in Japan, and probably makes it a -lot- more palatable over here for those folks on the fence about it.  Which I can only imagine is just about everybody, so with any luck, there will be a demo for it up on day one or shortly thereafter.  There was for the Japan PSN, but then again, Japan's PSN seems to get -everything-, so it's not that farfetched to think that they got it solely for that reason.

Still, to recap, since I am actually interested in this game and want it to succeed, the game is pretty awesome in premise.  If you looked in the Playstation Blog post to check out the trailer (which is exactly the same trailer as last year with english text) then you'll know this already, but Tokyo Jungle is a survival-based game at its core.  In a world where at least Tokyo has become completely uninhabited by people for some reason, nature steps in and fills in the gap by involving a rather diverse assortment of creatures; at least 50 of them.  Everyone has to fight for their spot in the fragile eco-system and you, as the player, will likely be doing that fighting for them.  Or, rather, as them, since that 50 number is the number of creatures playable in the game.  I assume the story mode has a limited assortment of them (something in the 15-25 range) on focus as they establish their dominance in an area while also finding out just what the hell has happened.  I assume that is more for the player's benefit, as I'm not quite sure just how smart the animals in the game will be, but I'm just not sure on a whole lot of the game, really.

In addition to the Story Mode, there's another mode called "Survival Mode" which seems to stick to its guns with that title, tasking you with taking to an area, making it yours, and going on the hunt not only to survive, but to look for a mate to create future generations that I assume you step into as well once your initial animal has passed on.  Seems almost RTS-like in a sense, since you will likely end up losing because you have been over-taken by another species that has done the same thing, or will win because you reign supreme, though 'Survival' leads me to think more of the former for whatever reason.  Basically just lasting as long as you can until you just can't anymore, I mean.  Ecosystems are hard things to manage after all, especially when you're an animal in the middle of a ruined city with other animals.  Really, it seems simple enough as a system, and the intricacies likely just come in with how you use it.  Since it is basically "Run around, attack, consume", though overkill in some areas is likely a bad idea, as an example.

I really don't know what else there is to say about the game.  It looks neat, even though it's not really a good-looking game, especially for the year 2012, but knowing there's 50 differently modeled animals plus all sorts of costume pieces for them all to wear softens that a little since, -yeah- that is going to be a little hard to manage, especially for this niche of a title.  Seeing your dog run around in a construction hat as he passes by hippos, baby chicks, a crocodile and a kangaroo likely beats seeing your expertly textured dog running by similarly textured dogs that are basically just clones, but hey, at least they look good, right?  I'll take variety over looks super-duper any day of the week, though both is quite nice as well.  Perhaps next generation we'll finally get that level of variety and detail at the same time, since it seems we just won't with this gen quite yet.  Glad to see we still get some of these quirky games rather than mostly just different takes on 'sure sells'.  Because this one surely won't sell all that much, but it'll be unique indeed for the people that play it.

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