By: Johnny Marcondes
Sony’s presence this year at the Tokyo Game Show was one of their best showings in some time. Earlier this year when E3 rolled by Sony’s overall conference felt a little lackluster and seemed to miss a lot of big named games and overall presence. TGS 2017 showed Sony having some really strong showings in game updates, reveals and announcements which had everyone talking. From new game announcements to showing off footage of updated classics this conference was exactly what Sony needed to rejuvenate some spirits. Here are a few notable highlights and standouts which point to an upcoming great year for PlayStation fans:
Shadow of the Colossus HD Remake:
Shadow of the Colossus is a special game, it’s often regarded as one of the best games on the PS2 and rightfully so. Shadow of the Colossus isn’t just a fan favorite making a return it’s much more than that. There are numerous games that incorporate a lot of the elements found in Shadow of the Colossus like facing off against big bosses, puzzle solving and so on. However no other game quite captures emotion like Shadow of the Colossus, to this day whenever I talk about the game I never state it as being just a game. When talking about Shadow of the Colossus the only way to really describe everything in it is to say it’s more of an experience.
Anyone who dares to argue the fact of video games not being art has never played Shadow of the Colossus. Everything about Shadow of the Colossus works perfectly together and is rather beautiful. There’s this unique presence found in the game that long after you put the controller down you’re left enticed by that world. Lovable characters, well written narrative, memorable encounters and bosses and of course, one of the best soundtracks to date for a game. When word broke out of a HD Remake of the game there were a few fears from fans and it’s justifiable given how much weight the word remake has. The PS3 saw the released of a remaster version of the game while the PS4 is getting a full blown remake, however this remake doesn’t seem to be changing all that much from a gaming standpoint.
Sony showed off new footage of the upcoming remake and it was actually quite refreshing. Showing off some of the new updated graphics, physics and controlled it all looked very familiar but new at the same time which I myself became incredibly happy with. Shadow of the Colossus isn’t just another popular title getting a facelift for the current gen, it’s one of the most beloved series in modern gaming. To see the direction it’s heading in doesn’t strain too far from what many would already call one of the greatest games to come out in recent memory is just what Sony needed. As of right now there’s still no official release date so there’s plenty of time for you to prepare yourself for an emotional roller-coaster.
Final Fantasy IX:
Final Fantasy IX is coming to the PS4 with HD cutscenes and character models, the inner fanboy in me is jumping with joy. Final Fantasy IX is one of the most underrated Final Fantasy games around, even though when it first debut and was extremely well praised by critics and fans I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve ecountered in life that have never played it. Coming out right after Final Fantasy VIII, IX brought fans back to a more classic aesthetic where characters weren’t as stern or serious in appearance it had this nostalgic feeling to it because of the return to a more cartoonish design. Final Fantasy IX is filled with adventure and heart and the characters are all so memorable and enjoyable that personally speaking it made Final Fantasy IX one of my all time favorite games growing up. Sony needed to surprise fans and TGS is the place to do it after their less than ecstatic E3 running. Announcing an updated version of this classic without getting rid of the elements that made it special was the right choice all around.
While there will be enhanced graphics and even better looking cutscenes (PS1 Final Fantasy games had some custscenes that were ahead of their time graphically.) the core game still remains. This wont be a HD Remake like Final Fantasy VII is receiving, it’s more of an HD Re-Release that adds a few welcomed perks. From trophy support for those achievement/trophy hunters to a new auto save system that will make some of the games original long winded chapters seem a little less hectic, there’s a lot that Sony is putting into this release that’s still mindful of the original. Sony announced something fairly interesting that will be incorporated in the game. Within the PS4 release of the game you’ll have seven “booster” features that will give you an edge or help you in game. The booster features include an option to turn off random encounters while wandering, a high speed mode as well as boosters that will let you automatically master the weapons and gear your character currently has equipped.
It sounds like a nice feature but honestly, I don’t see some of those boosters being for most. Automatically mastering our weapon and gear and turning off auto encounters is nice to have available but kind of puts a bad taste in my mouth. Final Fantasy is all about the journey and the characters, leveling them up is part of the fun and to have a booster feature do that for you is a little bit of a let down. Nevertheless Sony made it perfectly clear that at the TGS they were all about fan service and anyone who hasn’t had a chance to play Final Fantasy IX now has the perfect opportunity. Final Fantasy IX is currently now available for digital download so go download it and experience and or relive one of the best tales in the Final Fantasy franchise.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner.
Zone of the Enders is getting yet another remake except this time around the remake will allow players to experience the game like never before. For the first time ever, Zone of the Enders will be VR and 4K ready making this possibly the closest fans will ever get to a G Gundam video game. Not much is really known about the upcoming remastered game other than it’ll support 4K and VR and also have updated sound design. All we know at the moment is that it’s coming out in spring of 2018 in Japan. During the conference there were talks of “brand new features” but nothing was talked about in detail. Zone of the Enders is one of the best mech based games to come out to date and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s fast paced and rapid gameplay translate into VR without getting people sick or dizzy. Zone of the Enders will hopefully be coming out in North America as well but as of right now only the Japan release window was mentioned, we’ll update the post with more information when it’s made available. Until then, check out the reveal trailer for the game showing some of the new sound, graphics and VR controls of the game: