The LOOKBACK at TGS 2001

The 2001 Spring Tokyo Game show kicks off in a matter of days, and while there are sure to be huge showings for some of this year’s most eagerly anticipated titles, don’t forget that plenty of lesser gems will be making an appearance, too. Next week, Matters of Import will report on some of the more interesting of those titles – the games too quirky, abstract and otherwise too Japanese to likely make it to these shores.
Here’s the news…

What’s The Big Deal?
Tokyo Game show is just one week away, and companies are eager to lure the fans with tantalizing tidbits of great games to come. Notable attractions among next week’s fanfare include new details and CG movies of Final Fantasy X and an appearance from Konami’s upcoming sofa-wetter Silent Hill 2 – in playable form, no less.

Capcom shipped 1 million units of Onimusha last week, a record for the PS2.

Logitech has confirmed that it will be bringing Sony’s PS2 force feedback wheel, the GT Force, to the states in June. It’s well known that this will be the wheel of choice for the next installment in Sony’s seminal Gran Turismo series; what’s interesting is that Logitech will be handing out development kits to PS2 developers, including drivers, sample code and full documentation, free of charge. The racing genre just received a much-needed boost in the appeal department.

Packing Action
Hudson’s intriguing action adventure title for the PS2, DNA – Dark Native Apostle, has been pushed back to a June release. The PS2 sequel to Atlus’ Maken – dubbed Maken Shao — has also been pushed back until then.

RPG Me, Please
Dazz will release Velvet File Plus for the PS2 at the end of March. This mech-based battle tactics sim takes place in the very near future, when an unknown force has stormed the city. Naturally, it’s up to the player and the Self Defense Force to regain control – those of you with Sony’s USB printer PopEgg can even snap your own war mementos.

Sporting And Chance
Developer Mahou will release Magical Sports: Hard Hitter for the PS2 this June. This realistic tennis sim will features sharp visuals and the now-standard character edit mode.

The king of cheap thrills, D3 Publisher, will release the 62nd and 63rd editions of its Simple 1500 Series, a value-priced lineup of clever knock-offs for the PSOne. First is The Ski, which features 12 courses, splitscreen action and plenty of tricks and jumps – it’s scheduled for an April 26 release. One week later will see the debut of The Gunshooting 2, a lightgun-compatible collection of minigames, in which up to four people may play.

All Singing, All Dancing, The Cute And The Weird
Because there simply aren’t enough rhythm-based titles already, Global A entertainment is developing Tam Tam Paradise, a new PS2 music title that comes packaged with an analog drum that measures rhythm as well as up to 256 degrees of pressure sensitivity. Sure to be challenging, but quite possibly fun.

For those of you who simply can’t get enough of Ken, Ryu, Blanka and the crew, another title featuring the Street Fighter gang has just shipped for the PSOne. Labeled Fever4 Sankyo Official Pachinko Simulation, the game features nine different slot machines, three of which are based on Capcom’s legendary series of fighters – these will feature super-deformed Street Fighter standbys performing their traditional super moves and combos. We anticipate lots of noise and colored lights, but don’t get your hopes up for Capcom’s standards of quality.

Developer Success/FortyFive will release Tokyo Bus Guide: You’re the Driver Today on May 10. This game has players earning their license and driving a bus through city traffic, stopping to pick folks up and let them off, and always following the traffic signals. Twenty-four PocketStation minigames round out this interactive masochist’s wet dream.