This year’s Tokyo Game Show was the first major gaming event I’ve ever been to, and honestly, I don’t even consider myself a “gamer.”
Sure games a formative part of my childhood, but the last home console I owned was a GameCube and now my gaming activity is limited to quick bouts of Team Fortress 2. And since Valve wasn’t at the show, there weren’t really any titles I was interested in checking out from the beginning.
So I spent most of the show wandering from booth to booth with very little to no knowledge of what each game was about, eventually deciding to allocate my precious time among the numerous titles in the only way that seemed fair: visiting the booths with the cutest girls.
Interestingly enough, this strategy led me to one of the two games that gave me my most enjoyable Tokyo Game Show experiences: EX Troopers.
Capcom’s EX Troopers booth first caught my eye with its stylized, cel-shaded anime artwork reminiscent of Jet Set Radio.
Judging from the demo people were playing, the game seemed to be a simple and fast-paced third person shooter—just the kind of game for a casual (see also impatient) attendee such as myself.
Intrigued, I got in line for the PlayStation 3 single-player demo and was quickly shown to an open station by a booth girl in a cute blue uniform. Let’s call her Troopy.
Troopy explained to me that we would be running through a 15-minute demo that would teach me the basic controls of the game and culminate in a boss battle with a mech.
“I hope we can beat it in 15 minutes!,” she said with semi-believable enthusiasm as she placed a pair of headphones over my ears.
I wasn’t aware this single-player demo was a team effort…was Troopy going to be here the whole time?
It turns out she was, standing behind me while she delivered tips on the efficient eradication of space pirates and cheering me on when I started to get the hang of things.
Is this just how things work at TGS? Call me simple-minded, but it felt good having someone compliment me as I got used to the game. Why don’t we do that for each other more often?
The game itself looked smooth on the PS3 and controlled intuitively: press the right shoulder button to lock on to an enemy, tap the left shoulder button to cycle targets, and use the face buttons for primary and secondary weapons, melee attack and dodge.
The gameplay may be too simple for some people, but it was just the kind of jump-in-and-play action I was looking for and the atmosphere was great.
I went back later to try the 3DS multiplayer demo, which felt like a sort of Monster Hunter-lite with guns—and that’s a good thing for people like me who can’t be bothered spending hours grinding to make new weapons.
In short: I had fun.
Not only that, but when I beat the boss on the PS3 demo, Troopy jumped up and down while clapping her hands for me in congratulations.
Thanks Troopy! You’re great for my self-esteem! If only you came bundled with the game as well…
Ex Troopers is scheduled to be released on November 22 for Playsation 3 and Nintendo 3DS.
■The 3DS version looked beautiful as well