May 11, 2007 - The gaming press from all over the world is in Japan this weekend for a series of Square Enix events that started with a press conference yesterday night and continues tomorrow with the start of the public Square Enix Party.
But in between, Tecmo's grabbed everyone for an event it dubs Tecmo's Nite Out 07. Set to kick off in just a few minutes (that's 6:00PM Japanese time) at a club in Tokyo, the event promises to showcase Tecmo's upcoming game lineup.
We're not sure if anything new will be announced, or if we'll just see a recap of March's Japanese press conference. However, if we'll be updating live in this space, so keep refreshing!
6:12: Tecmo president Yoshimi Yasuda, takes the stage for a greeting.
He says they'll be announcing stuff today, but he wants people to have fun.
And now, he's giving an introduction in English!
"We have a good relationship with Microsoft, and just now we are developing a new title for the 360. However, tonight we will also focus on the Nintendo DS, PS3 and Wii."
6:15: Next, a charismatic Tecmo manager takes the stage for a toast:
"Tonight, let's eat, drink, and enjoy! Tecmo rocks!"
6:20: The introductions are over, and now everyone's been asked to have some drinks, chill, and try out Ninja Gaiden Sigma on PS3. They have a near-final version of the game on display. We've got our own master ninja trying it out.
6:30: They haven't started with the announcements yet, but we just thought we'd update with something we noticed on the image disk that Tecmo handed out to the press prior to the start of the event. There's a directory called 'Project Rygar' on the disk. The directory contains just a single piece of character art.
That's all we know at the moment, but we presume this is one of the announcements that Mr. Yasuda alluded to earlier.
6:37: Yosuke Hayashi, manager of high end productions and director of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, takes the stage.
Referring to Ninja Gaiden Sigmna, Hayashi says "We just finished development recently."
As expected, the game will ship to Japan on 6/14. He also announces that in the US, the game will be released on 7/3. Before leaving the stage, he shares the game's Japanese commercial.
6:40: Next, Kyotaro Nishimura Suspense for Nintendo DS, the Japanese mystery game that was announced at Tecmo's Spring press conference in March.
Comparing the game to Phoenix Wright and Hotel Dusk, Tecmo is unveiling here this adventure game is based on the mystery novels of Japanese author Kyotaro Nishimura. The game's producer says they will ship the game to Japan this Autumn.
6:46: Next, Monster Farm DS (aka Monster Rancher DS to those outside of Japan.) The series has always offered unique ways of creating monsters -- the PS1 game was famous for creating creatures and stats based on what music CDs you placed in the disc player. In the DS game, titled Draw, Speak and Start! Monster Farm DS, you have multiple choices of how to create your critter. You can draw doodles of monsters, or speak into the DS's microphone, or even use a variety of GBA cartridges in the second DS slot to create your Monster Rancher creatures. The game will be released in Japan. Tecmo showed a new trailer for the game.
Now, back to eating!
(Another break ... they sure are making the wait for this long-awaited Rygar news as unbearable as could possibly be.)
7:19: Mr. Kikuchi from High Energy Production comes out to introduce a new game. Kikuchi was producer of many titles like Fatal Frame, Gallop Racer and Super Swing Ball and Pangya Golf. "Now, I'd like to try a new challenge this year." The trailer begins...
--For the Nintendo Wii
The Diskarmor is back! Exclusively on the Wii.
No game footage is shown in the trailer, only character art and other concept work. But it's for the Wii! And yes, I'm saying that with exclamation marks, Rygar is on the Wii!
Based on the classic NES/Arcade game (which also made a glorious stop on PS2), this game starts the franchise anew with new characters and settings. Kikuchi wants to make a game that people can easily get into through the Wiimote, and the Wiimote will be your main control device for Rygar's Diskarmor. He hopes to be able to show more of Rygar some time this year.
Next, Tecmo Bowl...
7:23: Seriously, Tecmo Bowl? People at the press conference cheer. Mr. Inaga, Vice President of Tecmo Inc, takes the stage. Inada takes the stage and jokes that the title of the game wasn't supposed to ahve been revealed until the end. "Just pretend like you don't know that it says Tecmo Bowl here" (pointing to the logo on the screen) "Instead of telling you about it, we're going to s how you a video that is very memorable."
The video begins. The video shows Tecmo employees (including Inada himself) playing SNES Tecmo Bowl. Jumps to a trailer for the full game. Set for release in 2008. But, no footage of the game itself ... just a logo. And no platform announcement, intentionally. "I can't tell you what platform we're making it for. But I can tell you that it's probably not going to be on the platform that you're expecting... if that makes any sense." This 2008 game will not be a port. It's a band new game for one of the new systems. But which one?!? "That's one thing I can tell you for sure. This is going to be a brand new game for one of the new systems ... We're confident that the new Tecmo Bowl is going to be the talk of the town in 2008."
7:29: Eat time again! Man, we're getting full...
More announcements are promised to be coming after the break, and after the 1-2 shocker of two classic Tecmo games in one night, we're not sure how much more we can take.
7:31: People are chilling are having drinks and food now (or just staring at the hot maids that are serving the food and drinks) but Itagaki appears to be approaching the stage. We presume he will talk about Ninja Gaiden DS next... stay tuned!
8:00: Now begins a special presentation using Ninja Gaiden Sigma They have the champion of the second Ninja Gaiden master ninja championship there. He will be showing top class play with Sigma. They're using Mission Mode. He's playing the mission featuring two tough bosses, Alma and Mikei (sorry if the spelling is incorrect on these two.) The announcer says this is one of the toughest missions in the game ... The master ninja loses his match. Everyone laughs. He tries again, this time using the Shin Ryuken weapon. And, he loses again... faster than before. Everyone laughs. One more time... The announcer jokes that the player must be sweating. The master is so getting whooped! He dies one more time. This game ain't easy, PS3 gamers!
8:08: Battle over, and all is lost. The "master" apologized as he passed by Itagaki. Itagaki nodded.
They're preparing the next stage, and asked us to wait for a bit. More beer. We're so f'ing loaded by this point with all of these food and beer breaks ... did they really announce Tecmo Bowl??
8:11: Itagaki has taken the stage! He welcomes everyone and says that it's a great night for Team Ninja because they are able to celebrate the completion of Ninja Gaiden Sigma. He says It's great to have a new producer like Hayashi. Itagaki feels Hayashi does things different from him. He jokes that because they finished Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Hayashi will start with a new title tomorrow.
Switching gears, Itagaki shows off his own creation, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword on DS. "As you all know, Team Ninja has had many games on many home consoles over its 10 year history, but this is the first time we're here with a portable title, and we're pleased to show it here today ... We sat down earlier and thought about how many new franchises we've done with the team, and this is the fourth one for us." He says that for Team Ninja, this is a completely new challenge. Itagaki jokes that there's an entirely new graphics board right there in the cartridge. (And we don't doubt it -- this game looks hot!)
Itagaki want people to note that this isn't an offshoot of the Ninja Gaiden series. It's going to play into the main series. It covers events that happens six months after the events of Sigma. "Enough about the story, let's get into the gameplay," Itagaki says. The game begins with a cinema scene showing, funnily enough, the bosses that finished off the "master ninja" earlier. Now, Itagaki is showing the game being played. He is playing the same area that he played at the Spring press conference. Easily the most technically impressive DS game so far. (You can read IGN's hands-on coverage of Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword if you would like to know more about it.)
"As you can see, we are hard at work creating what we believe is the difinitive Team Ninja experience on prortable hardware. This game will be releasing in the Fall of this year."
8:31: Itagaki says there's one more big announcement from Tecmo. He's turning the mic over to president Yasuda.
"Did you enjoy tonight?" asks Yasuda.
He announces that Tecmo will establish a new development team, named "Team Tachyon." It will be established at the beginning of next month. He explains that tachyons move at the speed of light, and with a name like this, Tecmo intends for Team Tachyon to break that physical speed limit with the power of his team.
"As a new global development studio, we have established this team that will support the future of Tecmo." He also says they will continue to support classic Tecmo franchises.