The 20 Best Games at TGS

Tim Rogers's picture

By Tim Rogers

October 12, 2008

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5. Bleach Versus Crusade
Treasure / Sega, Wii

Treasure are -- indisputably! -- the greatest minds behind action gaming. Their Bangai-Oh Spirits is perhaps the best game of 2008, and their recent Bleach fighting games on the Nintendo DS have been a joy. Sega recently capitalized on the success of Treasure's Bleach games by releasing a limp RPG with the same subtitle followed by a "3". That kind of hurt fans of the Treasure entries, because they're just so great and the world needs more great stuff. Also, a lot of us were playing those games because of Treasure's game design expertise, not because of the story. I honestly don't know who any of the characters are. All is forgiven now that we know Treasure were working on a Bleach fighting game for the Wii all along. And it's great! It's 3D, it's constantly in motion, and there are a bit too many things that you can do -- switch to a team member, assist attacks, parries, super-moves. A Sega booth staff member encouraged me to skip the tutorial. I didn't listen to him: once you know where the game's coming from, it's really tight and excellent. The weight and gravity of a Treasure gameplay experience are certainly present. Of all the character-driven 3D fighting games shown at TGS -- Dissidia, Castlevania Judgment -- this one was certainly the best, if not the hardest one to imagine playing multiplayer.

4. King of Fighters 12
SNK, Arcade

King of Fighters 12's very existence is precious, gorgeous, and perhaps several other adjectives that end in "ous". 2008 is being called the "year the fighting game came back", though for many of us, fighting games never actually went anywhere: we've been playing Street Fighter III and Virtua Fighter all along. King of Fighters 12 has some delicious hi-res 2D graphics, some adorable backgrounds with copious attention to detail, and all the classic game mechanics that series fans love. King of Fighters has always been something of an alternative to Street Fighter, preferred by fans who find themselves -- uhm, let's just say "more competent". With the Street Fighter IV producer claiming that his team took the entire King of Fighters series into consideration when crafting their new game, it's safe to say that maybe, just maybe, King of Fighters' time has come. After playing the game, love it as I did, I was very easily convinced that this new game will not convert any casual gamers into hardcore fighting fans -- though it might pick up some of the Street Fighter IV runoff, and/or attract plenty of posers who will claim King of Fighter 12 is better than Street Fighter IV without playing either one. I'm not being negative, oh no: posers attract business.

3. Monster Hunter 3
Capcom, Wii

Monster Hunter 3 is going to sell lots of copies in Japan. Morbid bucketloads of copies. It's going to be, quite frankly, kind of sick. I will not, however, let this stop me from complaining about it: it plays and looks exactly like the PSP versions, the interface is still clunky as hell, and the motion controls feel jerky at best. Basically, you swing the remote to pull out your weapon, and varying levels of attack are activated by holding the controller at a specific angle while pressing a button. I've praised Monster Hunter over the years because of the scary-deep level of potential I glimpse on its surface, though Capcom is now treating it the way Koei treats Dynasty Warriors, and I'm afraid it's officially up to other developers (Sega, et al) to pick up on the virtues of this kind of game design. I mean, it's Monster Hunter where the only local multiplayer requires you to share a screen, and it's a Wii game with projectile weapons that you have to aim with the analog stick. I mean, seriously. Either way: hooray for money.

2. Ryu ga Gotoku (Yakuza) 3
Sega, PS3

Ryu ga Gotoku 3 is coming, and it's going to beat everyone's face in. It's big, and properly budgeted. It looks like Sega -- in general -- is finally willing to put a little more money into their games, finally ready to step up and be all that they can be, and their stellar presence at this year's Tokyo Game Show communicated that effectively. 

1. Biohazard 5
Capcom, 360 / PS3

I played this on the show floor, and man, it felt just like Resident Evil 4 with much shinier graphics. Then I played it two-player co-op. The rule is that everything is better with a friend, and shinier Resident Evil 4 with a friend is better than probably anything released since, uhh, Resident Evil 4. If the trailer is any indication, the story will be trashy nonsense, and I certainly won't care about any of the characters or be surprised by any plot developments. Also, the voice-acting sounds completely awful, with weird over-accentuations and stilted delivery. If this is a "throwback" to the way games "used to be", I can only sigh. If it's unintentional, I cannot apologize: with all the money they're spending on the graphics, you figure they'd budget more than $5,000 total for voice acting and script writing. If the dialogue were just a tiny bit snappier . . . ahh, I won't even bother. It's trying to be a big dumb B-movie of a game, and it's succeeding, which I suppose is a lot more applaudable than trying to be literature and ending up Metal Gear Solid 4.

JOHN LEIGH's picture

this is to deep for me. i'm going.

howardizzle's picture

"this guy doesn't like my favorite game, hes stoopid."

Antipop's picture

Dude, get over it. You will one day want that time back you spent on expressing your love for Monster Hunter.

Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one.

Vanor_Orion's picture

This is the first and last time I make a post on this site. And this will be the last time I come to this site. But I got something to say.

I love Monster Hunter. It's one of the best original video game series to come out this decade, and if not for Monster Hunter, I would have abandoned video gaming a long time ago. But over the years I've had to endure the unparalleled ignorance that the so-called "professional" video-game reviewing community shows this series. I just don't know what to think.

What I do know is that your portion of the article regarding Monster Hunter Tri is filled with fallacies, and unsubstantiated rhetoric. I actually know people that are at TGS that are reporting back to me and my friends about this game. What they (and many others on the internet) are reporting back in great detail heavily contradicts your vagueries.

First off, overall the consensus has been pretty unamimous that the Wiimote controls for the game are surprisingly simple and intuitive, but offers the option of using the Classic Controller. It was already well-known before TGS that MH3 would have online multiplayer. The two-player split-screen was a shocking surprise that I don't think any fan of the series could have anticipated, including myself. And I'm not even gonna go into that inane remark of the PSP games and 3 looking the same. That's just an insult.

Now, as for your trite remark that Capcom is treating MH like Dynasty Warriors....Have you even played any Monster Hunter games? Not changed much? EXCUSE ME?! I played the original North American Monster Hunter for two years. One year offline, another year online. After quitting that to play Monster Hunter Freedom for the PSP, I can tell you, that MHF is by leaps, bounds, astronaumical units and light-years a much different game for a variety of reasons. First off all of the improvements that were made, such as improving the quest-interface, making all the weapons more balanced, and more importantly, by allowing the player access to multiplayer quests even if he has no one to play the game with. Which thereby addresses the major issue with the original for the PS2.

Let's not even go into having your Felynes cook or you at your home for buffs which was only online on the original game, or the fact that you could see your skill ratings on your armor now, instead of just having to guess and pray as you did on the original.

If MHF took the series in terms of gameplay out of Earth's orbit, then MHF2 sent it zooming out our galaxy, because that's how much the game changed. Not only did the game look much better, but it played even better. The weapons all got new moves, on top of all the new weapons added. New monsters to fight, with several unique to the portable MH games, such as Narugakuruga and Ucamulbas. The areas from MHDos for the PS2 were used, which meant the old areas from the prior games (MH/MHG/MHP/F) were thrown out. The village was a brand new area, unique to the series, because it had never been used in any of the prior games, or the following ones. Not to mention the high level of customization thanks to decorative slots for armor and weapons that allowed you to augment and customize skills for your character. And let's not forget how the devs went out of their way to address loading times, first with background-loading, and then with the Media Install on 2G. These guys have taken the PSP architecture to the limits, and not just graphically. The MH devs could take a Commadore 64 and make it run Half-Life, or take a pack of matches and build the Sistine Chapel out of them.

Really, as far as the series not ever changing goes, I could spend all day proving how much of a fallacy that is, but let's talk about that remark you made regarding how clunky the games' controls are. Actually, if we compare your prior statement involving Kingdom Hearts a few pages back, where you decried the series for having simple controls and gameplay that's too easy, then how can you resolve that with your remarks about Monster Hunter?

Now, I'm not gonna say they're perfect. But given what they have to work with, the devs have always impressed me with how intuitively they mapped out the control scheme on the games. Especially on the PSP versions of the series, given how few buttons they have to work with, and yet they pulled it off flawlessly. And as far as the original game and MHDos (and probably 3 with the Classic Controller) using the right analog stick to use your weapons. That took balls. I LOVED that layout. It was much easier on the thumbs than tapping buttons.

What I think a lot of you so-called professional reviewers seem to be missing here as far as the control scheme goes, is that Monster Hunter isn't a button-mashing game. I suppose since you can't level up, you would just assume as such, but that's not the issue at all. Monster Hunter is a contemporary take on Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. Only instead of fighting boxers, you fight psuedo-mythical prehistoric beasts. That's literally the very soul of this series. When you fight the monsters, you're waiting for the creature to give you an opening to lay in a bunch of hits, and then back off without getting wailed on yourself. You have to block, you have to dodge, and you have to improvise and adjust to changes on the field.

But that's what makes this game so great compared to other games these days. You actually have to get better at the game. You can't level-grind, and you can't just expect to put in thousands of hours and expect the game to show leniency. You have to get better at the game. And that's how you can tell a vet from a newbie, because a vet can take a weak weapon and use it so well that it doesn't even matter, whereas a newb will wield a great weapon poorly and never get the most out of it.

When you understand how the game really works, then the controls make absolute and perfect sense. I'm sorry, but this isn't WoW, or Devil May Cry, or Halo. This is Monster Hunter. There is no other series like it out today, and that's why the fans love it so much. And that's why we get so frustrated when people trash talk the game, and in your case, obviously do so without actually doing any objective research into the subject matter, and filling your comments about the game with inaccuracies that anybody that has been casually keeping tabs on the game can tell your just aren't true.

I don't mind criticism, especially when someone backs it up with facts and common sense. I only read one fair review for the original Monster Hunter back in the day, of all things on OPM. Which didn't shower the game with praise, but said that it was a good game, with a lot of potential, that just had a few flaws holding it back. They backed this up with sound reasoning, and facts. And despite being a rabid MH fanboy, I stand by what they said 110%, because it was true. Unlike here where we got a lot of hot air and nothing of substance to back it up. And I made an effort to bring constructive criticism over this matter with a mature attitude, and if this post gets deleted rather than address these glaring errors, not just with Monster Hunter but with several other games on here, well, journalistic integrity really is dead.

Sorry for that, but I'm sick of this series getting trashed for no good reason except that it refuses to dumb itself down for a broader audience. And that's precisely WHY the game is so popular in Japan, and why so many fans abroad (myself included) are so devoted to it. But with that said, have a goodnight.

howardizzle's picture

why in the world would u bash someone for having their own opinion... everything YOU stated to be a fact, is an OPINION. "the controls make absolute and perfect sense" TO YOU no matter how much you believe it to be true, its an opinion! and apparently the article feels otherwise and if thats the case then so be it, everyone has their own different tastes, and this article's opinion doesn't affect how much YOU enjoy the game which is the only thing that matters. "Have you even played any Monster Hunter games? Not changed much? EXCUSE ME?! I" "What I think a lot of you so-called professional reviewers." whats up with this nonsense, you guys act like if someone doesn't like your favorite game its some direct insult to yourself.. people need to relax and let people have their opinions..because thats all it is...we don't need to make it personal and accuse people of losing "integrity" and what not.

Al3xand3r's picture

Why do you bash this guy for having the opinion that the writer's opinion was bash worthy? He did the same thing the writer did when he trashed the game just because he personally doesn't like it and you do the same thing in sequence while saying it's wrong, lol.

Also, many of the writer's statements go beyond a mere opinion like saying the series is handled like Dynasty Warriors which shows he simply doesn't play the series as this commenter shows they actually add substantial new content and features per release which can't be ignored even if you hate it.

Also the fact he states Monster Hunter 3 in particular loses appearl for having no online mode (even though none of the PSP games had it) when in fact it does have it.

Also the fact he says it looks identical to the PSP version when the real fact is that the game and all assets have been rebuilt so even if he's in the Wii graphics hating business he can't just state it's identical to PSP, he could have said the graphics suck or whatever his opinion is but are still different to PSP, not identical.

Similarly for the controls, even if he dislikes them he should still be able to recognise simplicity and intuitiveness as well as the fact the classic controller is supported. Surely even if someone hates Tetris he can't tell you his opinion is that the controls are complex and unintuitive.

All this just shows that despite what the writer said, he doesn't play Monster Hunter on any level enough to judge a new entry in the series and he also didn't experience the game at TGS but just googled random facts from questionable sources, thus missing many facts about the games and even writing false accusations as facts (again, the controls and the multi player).

It's just clear you bash this guy not because you have experienced the series and know the writer is right but merely because you're an Edge fanboy who can't take someone having a different opinion about its writing quality than you.

Tycalibre's picture

Granted most of it is opinion, but he has actually picked up a few reasonable points in there as well.

gyak's picture

"This is the first and last time I make a post on this site. And this will be the last time I come to this site."

Sorry for stating the obvious, but you put so much effort into this 'article', so you will come back definitely (or just stalking around here, which is the same).
However, nice to meet you / so long!

Nugent's picture

Yeah, this guy can't write an article without inserting a dig on MGS4.

Anyway, I think Naruto:UNS is going to be a sleeper hit. It doesn't get much attention except the occasional "wow the graphics are nice" blog posts, but versus mode in the demo is quite fun when you're playing with a friend. If the adventure mode is good, the game has the potential to be a solid package of single player and versus gameplay. Plus it features an option for Japanese voice-overs, for those of us who can't stand the American voice acting.

AndyLC's picture

Just wondering, does Edge not have any Japanese reporters? I thought I saw one a few months ago...
It'd just be interesting to get a non-western perspective on these things, would add more value to being a 'Global Game Industry Network'

howardizzle's picture

as far as a japanese perspective adding "value to a global game industry network." race is irrelevant, whether your white living in America, or Japanese living in japan, whatever your race or demographic, we all have very diverse or similar tastes in gaming and if you specifically want a certain race's perspective, just ask any Japanese guy you see what he thinks about your favorite game, chances are many many "westerners" share the same view and if not, good for you, you found someone that shares your opinion, you found a friend. race should be highly irrelevent in reviewing games because we live in an era where the whole world enjoys the same games, whether it was made in japan or the u.s.

Kris Graft's picture

Hey Andy,

We do work with Japanese reporters. Tim actually has been a Japan resident for some years now (not sure how long) and works in game development over there.

JimMcDosh's picture

OMG Final Fantasy is so going to rock! I can hardly wait!


Limanima's picture

The person who wrote the article was at TGS to see the both babes, or he actually saw the games?
Little Big Planet wasn't in TGS?
How about MGS4, Gears2, Fable 2, Killzone 2, Resistance 2? I can't believe that none of this games have top 20 quality.
Well, maybe this is the best bottom top 20.
Sonic Unleashed in the top 20? The booth babe must have been pretty hot at the Sega booth.

howardizzle's picture

msg4 is already released as you already know, and millions of people have already beaten it so why would they display that at the TOKYO game show... the article is based on japanese games that the writer apparently feels deserve to be in the top20. Gears is american made, fable is american made, killzone is american made, resistance is american made, otherwise they would definitely have made the list.

Huw Jass's picture

"Edge looks at the 20 Japanese games that we feel represent what's best about Japanese development right now."
I didn't realise Little Big Planet was a Japanese Game.

howardizzle's picture

nor gears, or fable, or resistence.. lol

Al3xand3r's picture

And yet the title is "The 20 Best Games at TGS" as you can see. Surely it wasn't hard to add the word "Japanese" somewhere in there.

howardizzle's picture

yea like maybe "the 20 best games at japanese tokyo game show" even though the whole world knows that Tokyo is a major city in japan, they should add japanese before tokyo in case someone might think it happened in Little Tokyo in LA.

Al3xand3r's picture

Wow, something's wrong with you. It's already explained that games of any origin were displayed at TGS, that's why people rushed to defend the article not having some better games in the list by saying it's only Japanese games list. The title does not state that, it only states TGS where, again, loads of western games were shown.

Al3xand3r's picture

Forgot to say, they have also stated classic controller is supported so even if someone dislikes the simple and intuitive motion controls he can use that instead. That's also not mentioned in the article which spends all that time to bash the game.

Al3xand3r's picture

Monster Hunter 3 is stated to have no online mode when in fact it has been confirmed it will be included. I don't know how anyone can think the 2 player split screen is all it will have when they displayed the game's 4 player single screen mode at TGS. There are no Wii link cables to consider that possibility so where did that "no online mode" statement come from? Certainly not from Capcom's facts & features sheet or any hands on experience.

Also, the game has been rebuilt from the ground up for the first time in many years and that is evident with the beautiful visuals they displayed. It certainly doesn't look identical to the PSP version and only someone who, again, didn't even view the game would say that, judging it by youtube videos or low resolution photos from the event.

They also have announced many new feautures even though the game is only 30% complete. That includes expanded ecosystem AI, monster stamina, underwater hunts, torches for dark areas, and more.

The motion controls are actually intuitive since they're barely used. You mostly attack with the A button, able to do simple combos and charge attacks by holding it down. If you press A while the remote is tilted way to the left then it does a horizontal swing while the opposite direction causes a back swing. These can also be worked into combos. Hardly confusing is it?

The only valid criticism is the ranged weapons' first person aiming not using the IR sensor but it is still early days for the game.

Also, the game's loading is very brief, unlike the PSP versions, so even though you get the brief loading relatively often, every time you switch a "room" within the whole map, it probably ensures a smoother online experience as the game will only have to track your immediate surroundings.

Besides, this is a top 20 games list and yet the aurhor spends all of those paragraphs trashing a game with imaginary facts as he has apparently barely seen the actual game.

You have facts about other games wrong also and it is evident that the images were acquired via a quick google image search as the Sonic image is of the old 360/PS3 game, the Chrono Trigger image is of a canceled fan made remake (duh, it's a 3D screenshot, the DS port is very faithful to the original), the 7th Dragon image is Tales of Vesperia and not that game at first glance.

Again, where did all this come from? Was the author even at TGS or just googled for his false facts? Even worse, how much actual research was done for this article?

Colin Campbell's picture

Thanks for your notes about the pics. The author of this piece did not post the pics. They have been changed.

Al3xand3r's picture

So you fixed the pics but you won't fix the false facts? Even if he's blind and can't see the game is rebuilt from scratch and looks beautiful and no PSP/PS2 asset is reused (so it doesn't look identical) he can at least mention there's the option of a classic controller (even though the motion controls are intuitive and not "jerky at best" as a person who didn't experience them states) and that the ONLINE MODE IS INCLUDED and not oly the split screen mode as he clearly falsely states. It's sort of a big thing to have all the new features, visuals and the return of the online mode for a series which did get stale over the last three+ releases as all that finally moves it forward again, and not to the "Dynasty Warriors" direction the PSP games (and not this) could have perhaps been accused for by someone who hated the series and didn't "get" all it offers. Also, again, it's a top 20 list but in that instance he sounds like he's trash reviewing a game that is 30% complete (and isn't mentioned) rather than be writing about a game that looked good @ TGS.

gyak's picture

Chill out Alex.

Colin Campbell's picture

I have deleted the comments from Alex. We will not tolerate abusive language on this site.

Antipop's picture

Wow, Alexander sure loves his Monster Hunter.

I think you would be better suited to state your argument/statements in a more intelligent fashion. There are more clever ways to call someone a moron. The caps lock must have given you brain damage.

NickgamertagO1's picture

I'm all for being passionate about gaming (I consider gaming more than just a past time) but bro, you could probably take it down a notch. As for your points, I know little about Monster Hunter so what you're saying could very well be true. Either way, the game you love will turn out just the same whether the article was wrong or not, right?

N1njaSquirrel's picture

I was pretty sure that i played the demo of chronotrigger on the DS at the GC. It might have been me though, i didn't pay it much attention, as i feel that RPG's are best played sitting down in a long car journey, or just by yourself, not in a crowded convention. Still looks good.
I'm suprised about the sonic game too. I thought it was rather solid when i played it. can't wait to play resi 5.

John_Ryan's picture

Was there any mention of a console version of king of Fighters 12? I've been stuck playing King of Fighters 2001 for the last few years and am looking for something newer. I will definitely get Street Fighter 4, but KOF 12 looks pretty amazing. If done right, high-res 2d will always beat 3d IMO (for fighting games anyway).

toadwarrior's picture

The fact there is a Sonic game on the list makes me question the quality of the other games...except for the obvious winners like Chrono Trigger.

Tigernado's picture

I was pretty sure that Phantasy Star Zero does have WiFi modes from the previews and translations I saw.

tommy's picture

Also, Bayonetta looks awesome

gyak's picture

"It's trying to be a big dumb B-movie of a game, and it's succeeding, which I suppose is a lot more applaudable than trying to be literature and ending up Metal Gear Solid 4."

Interesting list, but seriously. You sold your soul for THIS punch line? MGS4 was the biggest, dumbest B-movie you and I ever played, and you know it. (And it was f***kin' great.) It's sooo trendy to bash on the series these days, huh?

AndyLC's picture

Tim Rogers hates MGS4 though, he did like a month long videogame review marathon ending with why MGS4 is crap. You can read it at www.actionbutton.net

Bleak Corner's picture

I didn't consider MGS4 necessarily B-movie but I do think it's kind of lame to bash this series as well. Instead, bash what they've done to Silent Hill - where it used to be a more serious horror-series and it's now made into a B-movie. Sure, good graphics but all the explaining and resolving is just as B as your average remake of any Japanese horror flick.

This list is interesting, definitely. More RPGs... can't be bad.