Episode 272: My Thoughts on The PlayStation LineUp Tour Showcase

Hiya!

Probably after E3, the Tokyo Game Show is probably the next biggest event in the video gaming world. While E3 is the show where every game developer and console maker puts their best foot forward to get gamers all over the world excited for their upcoming products, everything seems more in-tuned to Western sensibilities. This means that they can’t go all crazy as they have to put on a professional face. The Tokyo Game Show, or TGS, on the other hand, is the time when they can get a little more insane with their promotion. Think of it E3 as the venue to debut a new teaser trailer while TGS is where they get the opportunity to show the proper “full” trailer.

Sony is once again doing something different this year. Before, they teased some of the games that they were going to be featured prior to their E3 keynote show. They’re doing the same thing again for TGS as a couple of days ago, Sony graced us with the PlayStation LineUp Tour, a show where they teased the games they were going to show later this week. While I thought Sony’s E3 show this year was very underwhelming, I’m still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and wow me with some spectacular games and a few surprises here and there. So, let’s go see if the PlayStation has anything up its sleeve for the Tokyo Game Show!

First off, I have to say the PlayStation LineUp Tour wasn’t off to a great start. Why does Sony think gamers want to watch a musical performance during their video game presentation events? This was one of the things that felt out of place during their E3 show. I get why they had a banjo player before the gameplay footage of The Last of Us 2. But I don’t think anyone wanted to see that. With the PlayStation LineUp Tour, they doubled down and gave us an excruciating 20-minute long disco/rave/house DJ performance!

What’s worse is that they couldn’t event start the show right after the DJ guy did his thing! We were left staring one of the most annoying things gamers hate: a loading screen! Really! A loading screen! It was a gorgeous looking and beautifully animated futuristic loading screen, don’t get me wrong! But it was still a loading screen! We had to see that plastered on the screen for a good 10-minutes before they got to the show proper! Come on, Sony! You’re just padding the number of minutes for what’s supposed to be a 1-hour presentation!

What? No progress bar, Sony?

Oh, I also have to state that I watched the English version of the show. Well, I had to because I don’t understand English. It was a weird experience because the guy who was doing the English voiceover, although he did an admirable job altogether, it was a sub-par vocal performance. It was like he was being rushed through the script and there were also times when he had to do some acting, which just didn’t work. He had to do the voices of the face buttons on Spaceship Dualshock (yes, it’s as strange and kitschy as it sounds). For some unexplained reason, the X button had a monotone, robotic voice and the Square was a sultry personality. Suffice to say, he didn’t do them justice. Nice try, though, so he gets an “A” for effort.

As they did show a plethora of games, I’ll just go through the more important games they showed. Or, at the very least, the games that I found the most interesting and intriguing. The first real “big” game they showed was Kingdom Hearts III. It’s been so long since I’ve even seen a full-fledged game in the series. The last one I really remember is Kingdom Hearts II because I never really played the “side story” games. This does make me worried since I may be lost and not understand some aspects of Kingdom Hearts III’s story because of this. Still, I am excited to see Sora team up with the guys from Big Hero 6, Monsters Inc. and Tangled.

The next game that piqued my interest is Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. It’s a cheesy third-person shooter where you take on giant insects with huge guns. I’m familiar with the Earth Defense Force and, while I’ve never played it, I love how it manages to capture the B-movie aesthetic and that it never takes itself seriously. It just focuses on making a fun shooter and that’s it. The next game that caught my attention was the new trailer for Dead or Alive 6. I’m not the biggest fan of the series but I know the Dead or Alive series has a legacy and I can’t take that away from them. But the trailer sprinkled in little bits that I assume will be part of the game’s story mode. I can’t wait to see the crazy explanation why Lei Fang and Hitomi are running away from some giant tentacle monster!

The next game I have to mention is Samurai Spirits, AKA Samurai ShoDown for Western audiences. This was definitely a surprise because I didn’t expect SNK to be working on a new Samurai ShoDown game since they’ve been concentrating a lot on The King of Fighters series. But the trailer was definitely a pleasant surprise with their most popular characters appearing in the trailer. I’m kind of disappointed that Ukyo Tachibana, the guy who faces away from his opponent while fighting, didn’t make an appearance. But at least Galford and Poppy are there! Hey Poppy, indeed! The new trailer for Sekiro looked damned cool as well! Glad to see it’s not an Xbox One exclusive, which it what I thought it was going to be!

However, the biggest game they showed was a new game called Judge Eyes, a new property from the team that produces the Yakuza series. It appears you’ll be playing as a former lawyer who becomes a detective who solves mysteries but with a lot of action. Judge Eyes will probably play a lot like the Yakuza series, with a lot of combat and side activities but with a more serious and grounded tone. This was easily the biggest game of the show as they devoted a good chunk of time on it, even letting the developer come on stage to talk about it.

By the way, it may seem like there weren’t a whole lot of good looking games shown during the PlayStation LineUp Tour. That certainly isn’t the case as, like I said before, they had a ton of trailers. The problem was most of the trailers were either very short or they already showed them before in shows like E3. I couldn’t get enthused by a 30-second clip of something, can I? I definitely need more time than that! And as much as I’m all hot and bothered for the Red Dead Redemption 2, the trailer they had for the PlayStation LineUp Tour has been out for a while already. Can’t be excited for stuff I’ve seen already!

With that being said, it was kind of neat to see what the Japanese audience in the auditorium was stimulated to see. The audience of the PlayStation LineUp Tour were equipped with bracelets that’re supposed to gauge their excitement level. So, while I wasn’t hyped up for the latest Ace Combat, you can see that the audience in the auditorium were. They seemed to abandon the entire excitement meter thing during the latter part of the show, which was devoted to PlayStation VR games. I would’ve wanted to see if they were excited for Space Channel 5 VR, though.

I do have to mention that the entire Spaceship DualShock gimmick wore very thin very quickly for me. It would’ve been more exciting if they just showed the trailers one by one and not have to write in that the ship was losing power or crash landed on planet Grave to introduce GunGrave Gore. By the end, I was hoping Spaceship DualShock would just crashland on a planet and explode. The only redeeming thing would be the giant “golf ball” that they introduced into the crowd for no apparent reason. It was a surreal moment and kind of a funny one because you could see some people in the audience just didn’t want to have anything to do with it!

Thank God they aren’t giant blue balls!

Overall, the entire PlayStation LineUp Tour wasn’t all that great but I don’t think it was meant to be so. It’s role is just to give a taste of what’s going to be available on the floor of the Tokyo Game Show. I still would’ve wanted a lot more as, even as a teaser of things to come, it didn’t really do much for me and didn’t make me want to go to Tokyo and see the games on the floor. Basically, it’s nothing home to write about and Spaceship DualShock can suck my metaphorical golf balls.

What did you think of the PlayStation LineUp Tour? Let me know in the comments below!

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