By Adlai Rosh
Game releases have an art to them. From announcement to the hype cycle all the way up to launch, there are many factors that play into a game’s publicity. One of the ways that games build hype is through reveals and hands-on demos at conventions and conferences such as E3, Gamescom, Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), or The Game Awards. Tokyo Games Show, held annually, is one such important gaming event. Showcasing mainly Japanese developers, TGS can be considered bigger than E3 for some enthusiasts of Japanese media simply because of its narrower focus.
Like any videogame conference, convention, or expo, TGS gathers hobbyists, professionals, and media people from all over the world to relish in the bevy of new titles, teasers, and hardware. It’s difficult to not get hyped for upcoming announcements, as many high-profile developers will be attending and presenting their latest and greatest. As hype inevitably takes me over, there’s nothing much one can do but wait and wonder what’s going to happen next. In fact, here are a few things that I’d personally love to see make an appearance – or even get a mention – at TGS this year.
An Acknowledgement of Armored Core
Possibility: “yeah, right.”
From Software’s been hitting all the right notes as of late; after the release of their hit classic Dark Souls the formerly niche developer has since rocketed into the spotlight, spawning not only two sequels and the similarly successful Bloodborne but also an entire new subgenre of games colloquially titled Souls-likes. With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Déraciné already announced as new titles and Metal Wolf Chaos getting a re-release on PC, the odds of an Armored Core game being announced are incredibly slim. While I’m not getting my hopes up, it would still be cool for some sort of nod being given to FromSoftware’s original claim to fame. If not, ah well! Maybe next year.
More Kingdom Hearts 3
Possibility: very likely
Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out soon after a ridiculously long gap from the last main entry in the series, and fans couldn’t be more ravenous for information. In fact, Kingdom Hearts 3 has been releasing more information this year than ever before, with each subsequent reveal looking more polished than the last. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kingdom Hearts 3 information at TGS to build hype for its release next year, but it’s only a matter of what exactly gets revealed. Who’s evil, now? How many Xehanorts are there? Why are there TWO Rikus? Better play Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue to find out. And yes, those are all real games. Oh, and don’t forget the spinoff title Kingdom Hearts X… Released mainly in Japan, with the English version behind on a lot of content. Oof.
Possibility: oh, yes.
Conventions have a way of drawing in cosplayers, and TGS should be no exception unless the staff decided to enact a new “No Cosplay” policy. While this isn’t strictly about videogames, videogames are host to all sorts of wild and interesting character designs open for fans to cosplay. No matter what, it’s always a treat to see the skill and passion that goes into the sorts of costumes fans wear. Cosplayers are even celebrities in their own right, sometimes making appearances in big events as the guests of honor. While I’m not looking for anything specific, I’m still a sucker for well-crafted suits of armor.
We Finally Learn Whatever the Heck Death Stranding is About
When Death Stranding was first announced, the reaction was mixed between “Oh cool, Hideo Kojima is making a game with Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)!” and “Why are there dead fish? Why is Norman Reedus naked? Why is there a baby?” For the longest time after, we got little to no information aside from two more trailers. What is Death Stranding? Finally, at E3 2018, we got a glimpse at Death Stranding and learned that it is in fact a videogame. Aside from that – and the large emphasis on walking long distances – what else was there? Death Stranding announcements have become an Easter Egg hunt for hidden clues and messages, and the hype of more footage is compounded by the audacity of its presentation. What’s next in the hunt for Death Stranding info? Prominent games journalists are mailed toy babies with encrypted messages hidden inside their hollow plastic bodies?
Well, there’s no real way to be sure about what’s going to be announced and what isn’t in TGS 2018. The best we can do is wait and let the hype train roll on by.
Tags: Tokyo Game Show 2018