Tokyo Game Show Spring 2000 Round-up

At this year's Spring Tokyo Game Show, held at Makuhari Messe from March 31 to April 2, there were several big name RPGs shown off. And here are descriptions of those RPGs, including Dragon Quest VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Eternal Arcadia.
Enix had a two-floor booth set up at this year's TGS. As everyone wanted, it showed off its constantly delayed Dragon Quest VII - Warriors of Eden. Present at the booth were various illustrations of monsters and small dolls. Once on the second floor, there were 30 machines with two different playable demos of the game. One was playing from the beginning of the game, but the other was battling against enemies using characters which had somewhat advance in level. Well-known creatures such as the Dragon Slime, or the Slime Knight appeared, and the waiting periods for entering a battle and also magic effects were short. It was this quickness, added with the good controls, that really made Dragon Quest VII live up to its name.

At the Atlus booth were several playable versions of Persona 2 - Punishment. As slated for a summer release in Japan, the TGS playable version showed off the near-beginning of the story which already had a five-character party. One could really get to know each character's personality, the story's keywords, and the actual gameplay system. For people who had the played the previous game, Atlus had included parts of the game where you would meet with well-known characters.

At Square's booth was showing perhaps the most anticipated RPG of the moment, Final Fantasy IX. Although a playable demo was not present to the dismay of gamers, instead they showed off the game using a huge 200 inch screen! There were also special events, including a presentation of a talk with Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the Final Fantasy series) and Yoshitaka Amano (the character designer). Furthermore, ten people from those who had answered a questionnaire sheet won a special Square Millenium Conference Staff Jumper! On a final note, it has been reported that at the Final Fantasy IX booth, there was a song playing. There is speculation that this could be a possible theme song for the new Final Fantasy, not unlike "Eyes on Me" from Final Fantasy VIII.

Sega showed off three great-looking RPGs for Dreamcast at their booth. Under a great floating airship was Eternal Arcadia with four different playable demos. According to those in charge at the booth, once you had played all four demos, you would truly get a good feel for the battles and the gameplay system, and that you would experience a part of this epic story. Unfortunately, there was no playable version of the eagerly-awaited Grandia II. There were many people watching the movie, showing unique characters in a world of sword-and-sorcery. Many felt, from watching the presentation, that this sequel captured the feeling of the first game. As well, there were three Dreamcast machines where you could download minigames onto the VMU. Lucky gamers were also given a cute mascot doll of Kallo. Finally, Sega showed off their online RPG Phantasy Star Online, and the information on this can be read in a previous article.

At the Capcom booth, gamers were treated to a Tokyo Game Show playable version of the latest in the popular series, Breath of Fire IV, where you could play from a certain part of the game. Unfortunately, nothing was shown of the serial Dreamcast RPG, El Dorado Gate. According to the person in charge at the booth, it was said that "It is planned to be a 24 game series, and please look forward to it as even during releases, we want opinions from gamers so that we can perhaps improve the game." As has been announced, the character designer is the famous Yoshitaka Amano.

And that concludes the round up of major RPGs shown at the Spring 2000 Tokyo Game Show. Be sure to keep checking RPGamer as more news trickles out after this big event.

by Sachi Coxon    
Source: [GameSpot Japan]
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