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Best RPGs of the Tokyo Game Show

By Heath | October 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

Per annual tradition, here are our picks for the top RPGs of the Tokyo Game Show.
Organized by picking two games per system and one overall champ:

Ni no Kuni
If you read RPG Land at all, you know Janelle and Heath are stoked for this. It’s now the winner of two consecutive TGS Awards, and for good reason. We’re expecting great things out of this, and Level-5 has yet to disappoint.

Dragon’s Dogma
Dragon’s Dogma (also on Xbox 360) by Capcom looks quite promising with a mix of open world exploration and ginormous battles seemingly approaching the scale of Shadow of the Colossus. Watch for it next year.

Final Fantasy Type-0
Type-0 might just be a nice return to form for Square Enix. Its battles are fast-paced fun; I don’t get the comparisons to Kingdom Hearts other than the fact that it’s an action RPG that features both magic and physical attacks. Despite being definite action, though, a lot of Final Fantasy staples make a return, such as the awesomeness that is an explorable overworld and the ability to ride a chocobo across it. Rad. We’ll see just how FF it feels when it launches near the end of October.

Yakuza: Black Panther 2

The first game was good, and this one seems to have addressed the pesky exploration camera that proved to be a frequent annoyance in the Kurohyou: Ryu Ga Gotoku Shinshou. Taking place in Osaka while featuring the same characters and same great fighting system, this is one to watch for importers.

Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
Silly name per series usual, but this game was actually quite impressive. As mentioned in Heath’s hands-on from the show, the big boss battles were fun as heck.

Labyrinth no Kanata
This is a first-person dungeon crawler by Konami that’s all about a mysterious tower. Simple enough premise, but who plays a dungeon crawler for the story anyway? It kind of might remind players of games like Etrian Odyssey or Class of Heroes. One neat feature of the battles was that players could adjust the strength of a character’s attack, with beefed up moves coming later in the turn order but smaller shots coming faster. The turn order was displayed on the bottom of the screen, so players could actually monitor the timing of their moves as the strength meter was manually turned up or down. Kinda neat, and we’re looking forward to more.

We have no fuckin’ idea.
There were lots of great Vita games at the show, several RPGs among them, such as: New Little King Story, Disgaea 3 Return, Tales of Innocence R, Ys IV, and more. The problem was that the Vita was in horribly low supply. Not only that, Sony is convinced gamers are completely retarded (OK they might be onto something there), making even the supposedly short lines take an eternity. You could be the one and only person wanting to play Disgaea 3 Return (I was one of two people), but the line would still take you a damn hour because of Sony’s inefficient setup. So hey, we’re sure there were some good RPGs at the show, but Janelle and I didn’t get to play very many of them, and none were played by both of us. Sorry, but we didn’t pay all that money to ride trains and ferries for 8 hours to get to Tokyo and play 3 games. Maybe next year publishers will be allowed to have their own Vitas at their booths and eliminate that problem.

Overall most awesome game of the show:
Ni no Kuni.
Plain and simple, no RPG fan should skip out on Ni no Kuni. The DS version was that system’s best RPG, and the PS3 version is looking to claim the same title. This game has wowed us two straight Tokyo Game Shows now, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so confident in a yet-unreleased game’s awesomeness. I pretty much think every game is going to blow until I play it. Not this one; I’m feeling good, and you should too. Make sure to support it when it’s released stateside as Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch next year.

Topics: Tokyo Game Show 2011