Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Rest of Sony's TGS

Quite a few things of import were announced at TGS where Sony is concerned, but for my part, I've only talked about one thing in particular because it is special.  Still, the rest of the news is good as well and it's something that I want to cover, since the bulk of it might be things that I partake in myself, or at the very least, is somewhat cool on its own merits.  While there's no real megaton big news here (TGS is never the place for 'giant' announcements) what is here is substantial in its own right, really, and I would be remiss if I looked towards anything else to talk about tonight since it seems the after-conference stuff has all been more or less sorted out as well.  As in, the stuff that doesn't get spoken of specifically during the conference, but is still out there at TGS and doesn't generally get much mention for whatever reason.  Like Earth Defense Force 3 Portable for Vita that got announced sometime after E3 if I'm remembering correctly.

First up is the above-pictured new PS3 Model which I am taking to calling the "Super Slim" because that's kind of a pretty neat name for it.  Which is appropriate because it's a neat-looking system.  Or, rather, I think it's a downright sexy-looking system, being at least much, much more sexy than the actual PS3 Slim that looks kind of terrible when put next to this or even (especially?) when put next to the original PS3.  But it was all about functionality at that point, and not-so-much form factor, and now that that's all pretty sorted, they can focus on the form factor, which they have certainly done.  There's only so many ways in my own vocabulary that I know of how to convey that the aesthetics of this model are pretty pleasing.  And that is kind of the only real thing to point out with this particular design since, aside from being sexy and lighter/smaller than the Slim, even, it's kind of fundamentally the same from what we know about it.

The main difference, at least from what I can think of, is the actual method with which the discs are loaded into the system.  You might notice that the area on the right of the system top, the ridged area, is higher than that on the left, and that's for the very simple reason of being the disk tray.  From what I can tell, instead of popping up, the tray slides to the side and then slides back.  Whether it's automated or not, I can't tell, nor can I surmise just how good of an idea it is in theory.  It's....different to think of, certainly, as disks have either slid in or were popped into a tray that popped open (PS1/2 era design), so having a sliding opening is something different entirely I think.  Again, I don't know just how practical it is, but it's...unique, and for the form factor of the device, so long as it's not an inherently bad idea, it'll work just fine.  I know that if I'm in the market for a new PS3, I'd probably shoot for one of these rather than the regular Slims.

Speaking of reveals, there were some note-worthy ones aside from Muramasa:  The Demon Blade getting a Vita port.  The important things are not necessarily all the game reveals, however, as Soul Sacrifice revealed a new launch window of Spring 2013 that I honestly thought it had anyway, so I wasn't too disappointed by it.  Of course, the launch window is purely Japan-only as, even though it's confirmed that it's going to launch in North America, the specifics with that are more up in the air than the Japanese launch, clearly.  The game seems like it's shaping up rather nicely which is good, since it is definitely going to be a game that everybody wants you to be hyped up for.  For my part, I don't generally get into Monster Hunter type games (Including Monster Hunter), but with Ragnarok Odyssey on the horizon in my pre-order cache, I will see if that type of game does fit with me when it's not'heavy' as Monster Hunter itself.

Also revealed were a few offerings from Namco Bandai and Tecmo KOEI, throwing some new and old the Vita's way.  Namco Bandai's offerings include God Eater 2 which will be a PSP/Vita release in Japan (likely just a Vita release in everywhere else) and a Gundam game that apparently has an embargo on it because it is a rather new approach.  From what I could tell via the Joystiq liveblog, the Gundam game is based around the actual Gundam Models themselves, rather than 'actual' Gundams, and there was a lot of explosions and such.  When I say Gundam Models, I mean the type that you can assemble, so I really have no idea what to anticipate in terms of story and design around that.  Still, it's interesting nonetheless and the fact that I can't get information for it is a bit intriguing since it suggests that it will be a very new attempt, instead of a rehash or a version of a Gundam game already out there.  Maybe.

Tecmo KOEI's offerings also incorporate a little new and old as 'Toukiden' seems to be a pretty good merger of that in itself.  Billed as a new thing, Toukiden doesn't really have any screenshots floating around there, but it's going to be a good old hack-and-slash title with fantasy elements that takes place in a Feudal Japan setting.  A fictional one, of course, because the trailer (forgive the quality) features the female protagonist(? or just one of the characters perhaps) slicing up a rather gigantic spider that I'm...just going out on a limb here and suggesting isn't historically accurate.  You know, just a hunch here.  Seeing as Omega Force (the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors crew) knows how to make some action-packed trailers, I'm not going to take it as an indication of how the game is played aside from the idea that there will be slicing and possibly giant spiders, but for what it's worth, I think they have a pretty good grip on the whole hack-and-slash thing so this one's on my radar.

Tecmo KOEI also announced that Ninja Gaiden 2, like Ninja Gaiden Sigma before it, will be getting ported to the Vita as Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus.  There's literally nothing else said about it and being as I didn't play the Vita port of Sigma, I don't know what to expect.  Buuuuut, while we're on the subject of Ninja Gaiden, there was a little something else revealed at TGS.  Remember Yaiba?  The game that promised Ninjas, Zombies and giant mechs?'s still promising that, but under its new title - Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.  It's kind of brilliant, actually, in that the main character, Yaiba, is all three of the promised things in one.  As a Ninja, he was killed by Ryu Hayabusa and then brought back to something resembling life with the assistance of some cybernetic implants which he hopes will help him get vengeance on everybody's favorite Ninja.  Like an entire arm and half a head have been replaced.  So Yaiba is literally a Cyber-Zombie Ninja. probably the coolest goddamn thing I have typed all night.

There's no way I can top that, so I'm not even going to try.  I will mention that Playstation Plus is coming to the Vita in November, featuring its own(?) Instant Game Collection, the usual fare from PS Plus, and an additional (read:  Separate from PS3) Gig of Online Storage which will be real nice for folks running out of Memory stick room.  Or cards with which to place bubbles upon.  Also coming to Vita is Playstation Mobile when it launches on October 3rd.  Neither of those are as awesome as a Cyber-Zombie Ninja (even though I am partial to PS Plus and just resubbed for a year), so I will not stay on them for any longer than this.  Because come on.  I just have to say it one more time as I close out this post, just to get it out of my system and make sure it ends on a high note.

Cyber.  Zombie.  Ninja.

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