Tokyo Game Show 2020: The Highlights

This year, we attended the show virtually and weren’t disappointed.

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There are upsides and downsides to 2020’s necessary switch to online events. From the Edinburgh Book Festival to the Tokyo Game Show, events have been hosted online for the world to see. While a lot of grandeur is lost, there’s also a sense of equality that comes with it, as anyone with an internet connection can enjoy a live stream of reveals, interviews, and discussions simultaneously and worldwide.

As for what was revealed at the Tokyo Game Show (held in late September), Japanese games had a terrific run. Nintendo, especially, offered a dense package of reveals and trailers. Here’s a rundown of some of the best news and reveals from the Tokyo Game Show 2020.

NieR: Replicant Ver. 1.22474487139

While it might have a silly name, the gameplay and cover art reveal of NieR: Replicant offered gamers the first big news of Tokyo Game Show 2020.

NieR is a curious series. Having initially existed as a spinoff from the Drakengard series in 2020, the second game in the NieR series, NieR Automata (released in 2017), made the series a global phenomenon. The first NieR is today considered a cult classic but NieR Automata exploded onto the world stage and became an instant favorite for players the world over.

Now, players who initially discovered and fell for the series in 2017 (which was most of us), get to discover the series’ roots with NieR Replicant, a remaster of the original 2010 game, which will arrive on PS4, Xbox One, and PC in April 2021.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Just a few weeks before the Tokyo Game Show, Nintendo revealed the existence of the soon-to-be-released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, coming November 20th, 2020. This game turned a lot of heads. Not only because it’s a new Zelda game set in the world of Breath of the Wild but, also, because it’s a pseudo-sequel to Hyrule Warriors, a Zelda spinoff title developed by Koei Tecmo.

During Tokyo Game Show 2020, more details and gameplay footage was shown off to fans. We learned that fans based in Japan will be able to purchase a special edition of the game, though it is as yet unclear if that edition will be available outside Japan. As for the trailer, gameplay footage showed players what it’d look and feel like to play as Link and the Champions, as well as English-voiced cutscenes featuring returning characters, including Zelda.

Monster Hunter Rise

Nintendo continued strong with a long and detailed gameplay demo of the next game in the beloved Monster Hunter franchise: Monster Hunter Rise. While this series has been big in Japan for many years, it was 2018’s Monster Hunter World, which was initially released on PS4 and Xbox One, which turned so many West players into diehard Monster Hunter fans.

On March 26th, 2021, Nintendo Switch owners will enjoy the next game in the long-running series. While Nintendo fans missed out on the online-focussed World, this newest game in the series is (so far) a Switch exclusive. At TGS 2020, we were offered a 2-minute trailer and an extended 20-minute gameplay video to see how the game looks in action.

What sets this game apart from previous entries in the series is a heavy emphasis on the world and aesthetics inspired by ancient Japan.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires

The same Koei Tecmo who will soon be bringing us Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will also be releasing Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires in 2021. The game is launching for current and next-gen consoles, including Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Dynasty Warriors 9 released back in 2018, and Empires represents another spinoff in the series. While the mainline games are action-orientated, the Empires sub-series is a more strategy-based affair, and the same is true this time around.

It was during Tokyo Game Show 2020 that Koei Tecmo released their teaser trailer and various details concerning the game, including a two-player co-op function (with the Switch version specifically offering local co-op play).

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy

Koei Tecmo dropped yet another trailer during Tokyo Game Show 2020. The new trailer for Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy revealed glimpses of story and characters, as well as footage of various gameplay elements: combat, exploration, alchemy, and mini-games.

Atelier Ryza was the game that helped push the cult series to the very edge of the limelight, and with a sequel having dropped so soon after, the series should continue to gain steam. While the Atelier franchise has never shared the stage with Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, it’s a JRPG series with a dedicated fanbase. And with this sequel releasing for the Switch, Steam, PS4 and PS5 this winter, fans have a lot to celebrate.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD

The Shin Megami Tensei series has been slowly overshadowed by its own spinoff Persona series, especially with man JRPG fans confidently crowning Persona 5 the best JRPG ever made. However, Switch and PS4 owners will get to discover (or re-discover) the wonders of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne when a HD remaster drops in Spring 2021.

During TGS 2020, series director Kazuyuki Yamai outlined, in an interview with IGN, details about the new Merciful Mode, which is coming in the form of DLC after the HD remaster is released. This reveal came alongside other details, such as rewrites of old dialogue from the original game as the addition of a lot more voiced character dialogue.

Other news and reveals:

  • Resident Evil Village is releasing for next-gen consoles but Capcom are considering a release for PS4 and Xbox One as well.
  • Vergil will be available as playable DLC for PS4 and Xbox One versions of Devil May Cry 5 (he was already revealed as part of the next-gen version.
  • Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho will be available as a DLC fighter for Jump Force.
  • Spike Chunsoft have developed a tactical adventure game inspired by the anime Re:Zero titled Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World: The Prophecy of the Throne.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, a rhythm action spinoff game, will be getting a playable demo in mid-October.

Featured image: Tokyo Game Show 2020 Main Visual by artist KUKKA. For more on Tokyo Game Show 2020, see the event official website.

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