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TGS '07 Preview: Echochrome for PS3 50°
September 20, 2007 // 10:33 pm - One of the more unique games that we got to play for the first time at this year's Tokyo Game Show was Echochrome, the PSN puzzler that uses optical illusions as its gameplay foundation. Making use of really simple visuals -- black outlines on a white background, or vice versa -- the game has you rotating the environment in order to see your character progress through various optical challenges. See a gap between two ledges? Rotate the screen so that a column obstructs your view -- now that gap is gone.

The first thing the game teaches you are its five basic laws.


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TGS '07 Preview: Bumpy Trot 2 for PS3 50°
September 20, 2007 // 7:41 pm - The PS2 version of the game looked perfectly fine -- more refined than the original, smoother gameplay and a less jarring frame rate -- but on PS3 the game shines. It's not the best-looking title on the console, but the cell-shaded visuals are somewhat similar in quality to Eternal Sonata, albeit with more subdued colors and less fanciful character designs. The "trotmobile" mechs retain their sense of real-world practicality, more closely resembling actual utility vehicles than the baroque robot suits common in most video games. Characters seem like normal people -- both of which seem important...

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TGS '07 Preview: FF XIII Versus for PS3 50°
September 20, 2007 // 4:22 pm - Final Fantasy Versus XIII may not turn out to be a very good game, but it's going to damn fun to watch.

That's not to criticize the game or take a pessimistic view -- it's just that, well, Square Enix hasn't shown a single frame of gameplay footage since its debut at E3 2006. So we don't know what the game is about, or how it plays, or even what genre it will belong to. But its FMV could best be described as smokin' hot, eclipsing Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children or even the real FFXIII.

The new Versus trailer shown behind closed doors at this year's TGS seemed like...

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TGS '07 Preview: Final Fantasy XIII for PS3 50°
September 20, 2007 // 4:19 pm - Like its spin-off Final Fantasy XIII: Versus, the "true" Final Fantasy XIII seemingly exists more as a story and FMV than as a game at this point. In its defense, though, the FMV is pretty much completely jaw-dropping.

Shown only in Square Enix's TGS "closed mega theatre," the newest trailer for FFXIII has no gameplay footage whatsoever -- but it does contain a ton of new scenes and some narration to help give context to the glimpses we've seen over the past year and a half. The general noise level of the show made the narration difficult to hear, but here's what we've gathered:

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TGS '07 Preview: Yakuza 3 for PS3 50°
September 19, 2007 // 11:00 pm - We should clarify up front that there is no game known as "Yakuza 3" at this point. But in Japan, the Yakuza series goes by a different name, and that series is getting a third incarnation. So using the good ol' transitive property, we decided to call this game Yakuza 3 until we hear otherwise.

Okay, so here's where things get weird. Yakuza 3 no longer takes place in a modern setting, moving things all the way back to 1605. We're not going to claim there weren't any shady business dealings back in that era, but something tells us that's not exactly the "yakuza" Sega of America's marketing...

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TGS '07 Preview: Pain for PS3 50°
September 19, 2007 // 6:59 pm - There's just something about outrageous physical harm that you can't take your eyes off of; at least, that's what the developers of Pain are banking on. For a game that's all about shooting your character (we recommend the Nurse) out of a large outstretched rubber band in order to create the most painful descent possible, the game spends a lot of time early on teaching you to sharpshoot monkeys off skyscrapers, and making sure you know exactly how much force you need until you can soar into that giant donut.

But this PSN game's controls are really simple to grasp from the get-go:...

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TGS '07 Preview: Tori-Emaki for PS3 50°
September 19, 2007 // 6:56 pm - One of the bizarre yet pleasant surprises at Sony's pre-TGS event tonight was EyeToy title Tori-Emaki. The game's Japanese calligraphy visuals immediately caught our eye -- it looks a lot like Okami, except in high-def.

However, don't get too excited just yet. The gameplay we saw was rather simplistic -- you guide around a flock of crows by motioning in directions with your hands. And that's about it. While moving the flock, you explore a rather beautiful animating world, but as far as we can tell, it still doesn't reach much further than that.

Ironically, despite the...

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TGS '07: Preview: LittleBigPlanet for PS3 50°
September 19, 2007 // 6:42 pm - The first noticeable difference with the Tokyo Game Show build was the addition of a new display to house and showcase your and others' created games: a globe. All of the levels that you, your friends, or random others create appear as little patches on a big world. Although it wasn't visible in the TGS version of the game, the idea is that your world will eventually fill with patches -- some through your own doing, sure, but mainly by being populated via the network.

To help promote the game's viral nature, your world will fill up with some of the best or most popular levels from...

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