This year’s Tokyo Game Show kicked off with a Press Conference courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan-Asia that was filled with announcements for the PlayStation Vita. There were some that were fantastic for Vita owners but one particular announcement left a sour taste for some.
Starting with the bad news (news that we had seen coming for some time) was the announcement of Gravity Rush Remastered, an upscaled version of the fantastic Vita game that up until that point had managed to remain one of the Vita’s more intriguing exclusives. Combine this with the announcement that a fully fledged sequel to Gravity Rush would be giving Vita the slip saw many Vita fans left angry and upset.
Thankfully, with the bad news out of the way, third party developers were a lot more kind to our favourite handheld, starting off with Bandai Namco who had two brand new titles to show off.
First up was Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force, a new addition to the series based on the popular Japanese arcade game. Revealed as an exclusive to the PlayStation Vita the game is set to land sometime in Winter 2015 – with an English language version of the game also confirmed. Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force is an arena fighter which sees players participate in 1v1 or 2v2 battles against local opponents or online.
Bandai Namco also revealed a new game based on the One Piece series named One Piece: Burning Blood – a title which is also set to be an arena fighter that will take fans of the series back to it’s origins and retell the story of the popular anime. The announcement was also revealed with a trailer that featured English narration, so you can bet your sweet western dollars that this’ll be making it’s way west.
Tecmo-Koei, who have been one of the more prominent supporters of the Vita also took to the stage to announce that a sequel to the popular Oni slaying hack ‘n’ slash game series Toukiden will be making it’s way to PlayStation Vita in 2016. A trailer for the game showed more open world environments as well as new weaponry and the ability to latch onto enemies with a demon arm.
The most supportive 3rd party developer to take the stage at the event was Square-Enix who had not one, not two, but three games to reveal more information on. The first of these three titles was World of Final Fantasy, which was introduced in a much better way than it’s E3 debut with a fantastic looking trailer that gave us a sense of just what kind of new direction the company were aiming for with this title – with a traditional turn-based battle system and monster collecting in tow.
SaGa, a series which is set to be celebrating it’s 25th anniversary sometime in the near future also saw a new title announced, this time in the form of the Vita exclusive SaGa: Scarlett Grace. Square Enix showed off a beautiful trailer showcasing hand drawn graphics and an epic sounding soundtrack, however not much else was revealed other than a 2016 release date.
Project Setsuna, which was teased at E3 was given a full name as well as revealing what platforms it would release on, thankfully one of these platforms turned out to be PlayStation Vita. Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is set to release in Japan sometime in early 2016 and a trailer revealed that this will be more of a traditional JRPG and will take place in an area covered in snow.
To top off Square-Enix’s announcements was the release date of Dragon Quest Builders, a Minecraft style game which will be set in the world featured in the original Dragon Quest game. The trailer which accompanied the announcement revealed that the game will feature a story and a goal to work towards as you aim to rebuild the world after darkness takes over. The game is set to launch in Japan on January 28th, 2016.
Following Square-Enix’s presentation was the announcement that the ongoing partnership between Atlus and Vanillaware, who’ve previously brought Dragon’s Crown the to Vita, would also be producing 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. The announcement trailer showed off a beautifully hand drawn Japanese school in a modern setting with giant robots. Details are scarce on this game at the moment, with no concrete release date set for the title as of yet.
Perhaps the most interesting and exciting announcement from the press conference came from Spike-Chunsoft, a team whose popularity (especially in the west) has been increasing thanks to the Danganronpa series. With two main games and a spin off already available on the Vita, it was inevitable that the main series would eventually continue and, thankfully, the announcement of Danganronpa 3 was mostly welcomed by fans. There was a slight upset caused to Vita fans however, when it was announced that for the first time in the series, Danganronpa 3 will also launch on PlayStation 4 alongside the Vita version.
Details on the sequel are few and far between at present, but a teaser trailer at the event showed a court case involving several different Monokuma’s. The developer confirmed that Danganronpa 3 is in the early stages at the moment and as for more details, well, we should all look out for ‘An event like you’d never expect’.
While those were all of the announcements from the press conference, Square-Enix had one more announcement to make on the TGS show floor, and that was the announcement that the 1991 GameBoy title Final Fantasy Adventure was in the process of being remade for PlayStation Vita and would be releasing in Japan this Winter. Final Fantasy Adventure, the game which became the foundation for the Secret of Mana series, will be fully remade with 3D characters and environments.
To summarise, while we lost one of the longest serving PlayStation Vita exclusives, and with developers seemingly going for multi-platform development over producing exclusives, the future is certainly looking bright for the Vita in Japan. There are certainly a lot of interesting titles still in development, but the hopes for most now will be how many of these titles will make their way into Western hands? Only time will tell!