TGS 07: Bandai Namco Press Conference

September 24, 2007

As many westerners as there are attending TGS, it’s easy for the overseas audience to forget that this show primarily caters to the Japanese media, with a lot of the materials and presentations being almost entirely in Japanese. Bandai/Namco felt our pain though, and drafted localization team member Austin Keys to organize a press event at the Namco/Bandai booth just for westerners.

Now wasn’t that nice of them? Yes, yes it was.

Six games were shown for the assembled media, four of which we know a fair amount about already. While Austin only briefly touched on Beautiful Katamari (still no Katamari for the Wii, sigh), he did treat us to new TGS trailers for Soul Calibur Legends, Soul Calibur IV, Time Crisis IV, Ace Combat 6 and the newly revealed Family Trainer – Athletic World for the Wii.

The Ace Combat 6 trailer looked to be an extender version of the trailer released earlier this year, which primarily consisted of numerous beautiful shots of dogfighting jet fighters, missile trails and explosions interspersed with images of a young civilian woman and a swelling orchestral score. The high resolution ground textures are still absolutely stunning, and the planes themselves have never looked shinier.

Out of the two Soul Calibur trailers, Soul Calibur Legends did a good of helping us understand what exactly the game is all about (Siegfried, Soul Edge and a lot of slashing, if you want to know). It’s still pretty ugly, running on what appears to be a modified version of the four-year old Soul Calibur II engine, but the action at least looked pretty entertaining. Soul Calibur IV primarily hinted at a final, cataclysmic battle between Nightmare and Siegfried. I don’t think this will be the last Soul Calibur by a long shot, but as a fan of the series, it’s nice to see the long-running story finally come to a head. Naturally, the action was pretty impressive too.

Time Crisis IV was touted by Austin as being “better than the arcade fiction,” a feat ten years ago but somewhat more commonplace today. That isn’t to say that the trailer was bad, quite the contrary. The trailer boasts “full freedom of movement” with the GunCon peripheral, which Austin called a “well thought out bit of design.” The graphics are pretty much par for the course for the PS3, which is to say that they are better than average, but perhaps not as stunning as the likes of Metal Gear Solid IV or perhaps Devil May Cry IV. Naturally, like every cheesy action flick ever made, the trailer had to end on a A