Thursday, September 16, 2010

TGS 2010: Microsoft Announces Five Japanese-Developed Kinect Titles, XBLA FirePro, Radiant Silvergun, More!

Well, TGS is turning out to be full of interesting surprises, isn't it? Among other big news, it looks as if Microsoft's Kinect peripheral is getting some love from developers in Japan and all of a sudden, I'm actually thrilled that I can do a lot more than dance or exercise in front of my TV (yes!). I knew the "core" games were coming anyway, but it's nice to see the return of Steel Battalion, NanaOnSha back in action, a nice Sega surprise and (finally) another game from the director of Phantom Dust. Of course, I'm most thrilled about grasshopper manufacture and SUDA 51's new Kinect project, so I'm doing the happy dance in my chair as I type this post.

A bit from the press release below (clickety click!)...

TOKYO, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Microsoft Corp. and the industry's leading Japanese storytellers showcased 10 transformative games, including five exclusive titles for Kinect for Xbox 360, the controller-free entertainment experience releasing exclusively on Xbox 360 this November. Phil Spencer, corporate vice president for Microsoft Game Studios, and Takashi Sensui, general manager of the Home & Entertainment Division for Microsoft, delivered the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) keynote address alongside legendary Japanese creators including Goichi Suda, also known as "SUDA 51," chief executive officer of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc.; Keiji Inafune, global head of production of Capcom and From Software; Yukio Futatsugi, game director for Grounding; Shigenobu Matsuyama, producer for "METAL GEAR SOLID: RISING"; and Masaya Matsuura, president for NanaOn-Sha Co. Ltd., who appeared via video.

"Microsoft has never been more committed to Japanese developers, the heart of innovative gameplay, thrilling stories and iconic heroes," Spencer said. "To date, Japanese games have already grossed more than $2 billion on Xbox 360, and today's announcements signal tremendous opportunities for Japanese developers to deliver the future of gaming with Kinect."

"This is the biggest year in our history with controller-free entertainment, the best blockbuster games, movies, television, music and sports all coming to Xbox 360," Sensui said. "With the talent of the best creators from Japan, we're able to bring even more fresh and unexpected experiences to millions of people around the world."

Five Exclusive Titles for Kinect for Xbox 360

Looking for adventure and a rush of adrenaline? Microsoft introduced five immersive, exclusive Kinect for Xbox 360 games available in 2011:

"codename D" (Grasshopper Manufacture, Microsoft Game Studios). From
the famed makers of "killer7" and the "NO MORE HEROES" series comes
"codename D" from SUDA 51 for Microsoft Game Studios. You must fight
for your life to survive an evil amusement park filled with twisted
and eerie creatures. With "codename D" for Kinect for Xbox 360, you
are the controller as you unleash devastating effects to destroy
enemies and objects.

"Project Draco" (Grounding, Microsoft Game Studios). The director of
the cult hits "Phantom Dust" and "Panzer Dragoon," game director Yukio
Futatsugi, brings you an epic 3-D flying shooter. With the magic of
Kinect for Xbox 360, you will be able to nurture and learn to
communicate with your dragon as you develop its skills and train it as
a partner in combat. Then join friends* on Xbox LIVE to feel the rush
of flight as you take to the skies together and experience
breathtaking vistas and engage in thrilling battles.

"Haunt" (NanaOn-Sha, Microsoft Game Studios). Gather friends and
family to delve deep into a haunted house dripping with mystery --
you'll need every ounce of your wit and cunning if you hope to unravel
the veil of rumors that hide its darkest secret. Dodge traps and
outwit ghosts, ghouls and frights that lurk with glee around each and
every corner. Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in "Haunt,"
spooky fun for Kinect for Xbox 360.

"Steel Battalion Heavy Armor" (Capcom, From Software). This all-new
game revives the fan-favorite "Steel Battalion" series. With the
support of Microsoft, Capcom and From Software join forces to bring
this groundbreaking collaborative project to Xbox 360. Manhattan,
2082: In a world where computers and almost all modern technology have
been lost, the greatest nations of the world continue to battle for
supremacy. The American army lands in New York to begin its first big
offensive of a long ground war. Soldiers fire from the trenches as
scorched bunkers belch black smoke. As comrades continually fall to
the unrelenting crossfire of bullets, the Vertical Tanks make their
relentless advance. Experience the battlefield as never before with
Kinect for Xbox 360.

"Rise of Nightmares" (SEGA). "Rise of Nightmares" offers a
spine-tingling horror experience that uses the innovative new controls
of Kinect for Xbox 360 to give players the ultimate fright. Using
their whole body, players will experience fear and tension as never
before in this exclusive Kinect for Xbox 360 horror adventure.

Take Aim and Jump in the Ring on Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360

Japanese developers Treasure and Spike announced the revival of two beloved downloadable,* controller-based experiences on Xbox LIVE Arcade on Xbox 360 -- putting your avatar directly into the fighting ring and bringing arguably one of the best 2-D shooters to international audiences for the first time:

"Fire Pro Wrestling" (Spike, Microsoft Game Studios). Your avatar
makes its debut as a pro wrestler! From Spike, creator of the "Fire
Pro Wrestling" series, comes this pro wrestling game for everyone.
Customize your avatar wrestler, choosing from a wide selection of
costumes, before you step into the arena and run wild. Unlock new
moves as you advance your wrestling career. Face off against family
and friends in offline and online competitive play modes, including
single match and tag teams. Ding-ding, round one!

"Radiant Silvergun" (Treasure, Microsoft Game Studios). The classic
scrolling shooter from Japan and spiritual successor to the critically
acclaimed "Ikaruga" receives an international release in this revival
on Xbox LIVE Arcade on Xbox 360, the first ever since SEGA Saturn.
"Radiant Silvergun" will see the return of the unique seven-weapon
system among other fan-favorite gameplay features, as well as
improvements, including the addition of a new system to enhance the
challenging original chain system.

Home for the Best Games in 2010 and Beyond

The destination for the biggest blockbusters like "Dead Rising 2," "Fable III" and "Halo: Reach," Xbox 360 bolstered its impressive lineup with these previews:

"Body and Brain Connection" (NAMCO BANDAI Games). "Body and Brain
Connection" challenges players to exercise both mind and body in the
most cerebral and energetic party game ever from the originators of
the video game brain training craze. Players of all ages must think
fast and act even faster as they answer math, logic, reflex, memory
and physical questions using the full-motion capabilities of Kinect
for Xbox 360. Featuring over 20 different activities in single-player
and multiplayer modes, the game lets up to four friends compete in fun
and engaging activities as they strive for the youngest brain age. A
daily progress tracker makes sure that players are up to date with
their current brain age as they continue to stimulate both mind and

"Child of Eden" (Ubisoft). "Child of Eden" is a "multi-sensory
shooter" that will send players diving into a kaleidoscopic matrix of
synchronized music and mind-blowing visuals that will usher forth yet
another landmark game experience from the mind of renowned game
designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi, its creator. "Child of Eden" thrusts the
player in the center of a battle to save Project Lumi, a mission to
reproduce a human personality inside Eden, the archive of all human
memories. As the project nears completion, the archive is invaded by
an unknown virus. The player's mission is to save Eden from the virus
to restore hope and peace.

"METAL GEAR SOLID: RISING" (Kojima Productions). "METAL GEAR SOLID: RISING" is the highly anticipated debut of Hideo Kojima's critically acclaimed "METAL GEAR SOLID" franchise on Xbox 360. "METAL GEAR SOLID: RISING" will star Raiden, one of the most popular characters in the "METAL GEAR SOLID" universe, in a new, lightning bolt action adventure on Xbox 360.

Color me thrilled. back with more updates as they roll in...

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