My Preview for TGS 2008

I will arise from the ashes...
In approximately one month, Tokyo Game Show 2008 will emerge itself to the public. By now, you’re wondering what to expect. My speculations predict these games/announcements will be made (Yes, I am aware that some are quite obvious while others may not be). The following are events that are most likely occur in the game show floor:
  1. Level 5 will show off White Knight Story and announce a release date – Putting LittleBigPlanet aside; this is the biggest game Sony can offer that will target RPG gamers before FFXIII arrives. 2 years ago, critics and gamers viewed a trailer that showed an impressive real-time transition to combat. As a twist, I will also predict  that the game will have a simultaneous release with North America and .
  1. Capcom will announce Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for multi-platforms – Remember Kevin Feige? If you’re a 2D fighting fanboy, you would think he is a God by now after what he said in this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. For those who don’t know who he is, Feige works for Marvel Studios as the President of Production. IGN asked him if there is a possibility that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 would ever be in the making. Feige, with confidence, replied, “Yes. And maybe sooner than you think.”  is a fitting place for Capcom to make the announcement where still reign supreme. I will also predict that it will be coming to the Wii pending that they use the same engine from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. 2D fighting games are truly blooming in this generation.
  1. Kojima’s next game = Zone of The Enders 3 for PS3 - Okay, this one comes from left field, but hear me out. The cash cow, Metal Gear Solid 4, is finally running out of milk. The corporation certainly can’t depend on the Castlevania fighting game and Rock Revolution to be profitable. Before MSG4, Kojima had the right to do whatever he wants after making Konami valid again since…Metal Gear Solid 3. This still applies today after introducing the final chapter of Snake's life. Besides, ZoE 2 was never a terrible game to begin with. It just lacked appeal to gamers due to poor marketing. Outside of , has anyone seen a commercial for this game? I know I haven’t.
  1. Square-Enix will reveal the last 6 remaining characters of Final Fantasy Dissidia – Prepare to squeal, FF fanboys. The company is going to use the biggest stage to announce the remaining 6 characters for the PSP exclusive. Since Kefka made an appearance, I guess the only thing left is to satisfy FFVII fanatics by hogging at least 3 remaining spots with Cloud, Tifa and Vincent. Believe me, it’s going to happen whether you like it or not.
  1. Team ICO’s new game will be shown in trailer form – It’s been known that they have been working on something big that it impressed Shuhei Yoshida (one of the fathers of PlayStation). Although Fumito Ueda (Team ICO’s boss) comments that their latest game is still early in production, I expect to see a teaser of some sort. After all, if God of War 3 had one, why not this game?

Lastly, I would like to comment on the ridiculous theme used for this year’s Tokyo Game Show.

Theme: "Ready for GAME Time!

Really? Ready for GAME Time? Listen, I know they are trying to reach casual gamers. However, TGS always has a big crowd. In 2006, it had 3 times as much of E3’s attendance at over 190,000 people. 2007 was no different since they reached 193,040 people that included gamers and the press. I hardly think they are using this theme to attract more people. It also doesn’t help that it is being held at Makuhari Messe, a building that is almost 2 decades old with no expansion or improvement in sight.

So for those who are attending to the convention, get ready to bring your digital cameras for cosplay photo shoots, water bottles to avoid dehydration from the evaporation of human sweat that does not belong to you, and a foldable mini chair for the long lines in order to play the hottest games available in the show’s gaming floor.

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The warning signs that FFXIII was coming to 360...

E3 has passed, but its impact on Japanese RPG fans continues to sting Sony Fanboys.

No such thing as a coincidence...only inevitability

Sony Fanboys can pass the blame on Square-Enix for lying, misleading fans, and betraying Sony for bringing Final Fantasy XIII to the 360.  A fanboy part of me tends to agree. However, the other side of me begs to differ because we must not forget what Squaresoft (before the merge with Enix) did in the past. Let's take a brief history lesson, shall we? Final Fantasy VII was actually meant for Nintendo 64. From FF I-VI, Squaresoft provided groundbreaking gameplay to the genre with their unique story and intriguing battle system. Then, the unthinkable occurred. Squaresoft abandoned Nintendo for Sony by bringing in their epic-RPG, Final Fantasy VII (We can save the argument for if it sucks or not...but just deal with me here).

I bring this history back to the present to show how it is not as different as people claim. I'm not going to say something stupid like 'Deal with it', 'It's for both consoles so shut up', or 'stop whining, you fanboy'.  Reflecting back on Squaresoft’s corporate decision, you can say that it was inevitable. For example, FFI to FFVI was for Nintendo consoles only. FFVII to FFXII was only available for the Sony Playstation consoles (remember, we are talking about consoles, so I am not counting PC when Squaresoft also released FFVIII and FFXI for the PC. Initial release also falls under this jurisdiction). By looking at this pattern, it almost seems like Square-Enix makes a transition of loyalty to another conglomerate after releasing 5-6 titles of Final Fantasy to a certain platform(s). The merge didn't alter any strategies Squaresoft had with their Final Fantasy franchise.

The first true sign that Final Fantasy was coming to the 360 was when Square-Enix announced FFXI for the 360 which was years after its initial release for PC and PS2. No one really took it seriously since Sony Fanboys believed that it didn't fit the Final Fantasy brand. They would consider it as a consolation price to Xbox fanboys who wouldn't shut up that a FF game will never come to the 360.

I don't believe for a fact that Kitase (Yoshinori Kitase, the FFXIII producer) and Hashimoto (Shinji Hashimoto, executive of Square-Enix) brought FFXIII to the 360 due to a bigger hardware spread as the sole reason.  There are a lot of issues that people overlook. Development cost and advance technology does not soften the corporation's financial statement.  Here is a list of popular titles and their development cost.

Project

Estimated Cost

Final Fantasy VII

26 million USD

Final Fantasy X

40 million USD

Final Fantasy XII

52.3 million USD

Final Fantasy XI – Online + PlayOnline Network System

17-25 million USD

Killzone 2

20 million since 2007

Halo 3

30 million USD

Gears of War

10 million USD (not including the cost of Unreal Engine)

Metal Gear Solid 4

45 million USD

GTA 4

100 million USD (rumored)

courtesy of DiggingTheWeb.com

DVD media is still at its prime. Eventually, it will dwindle down like the VHS. Blu-ray was introduced too early for its time. Evaluating the market for Blu-ray, why wouldn't Square-Enix use this opportunity to gain more revenue for their corporation? Wouldn't this just strengthen their company to release better games and new IPs in the future? Are we to blame them for something that we would have done also? 

The fanboy within me hates this decision. The realistic human form in me understands it.  In my stance, I guess it's bittersweet.

* I aplogize for the late post since the web site has been working out its problems. I couldn't upload anything (including pics and blogs) for a long time until now.

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