This weekend was the start of the biggest game expo in Japan, and one of the biggest in the world: Tokyo Game Show! And Kazamatsuri was there, too, as a full-fledged press representative!
I first headed to register for a press pass, and got it without a hitch! Pretty cool to know that Kazamatsuri is eligible for a press pass in an event like this. You may be asking, however, “What does Kazamatsuri have to do in an event like this?” Well, one booth, Prototype, was featuring their ports of some of their Key games. Most notable of which was the recently announced CLANNAD English for PS Vita!
Upon entry, I was greeted by these gigantic floats of all these big game companies. This being my first time at Tokyo Game Show, I was pretty blown away! But I couldn’t be distracted; I was here for work! It was a business day, after all, so there was a lot less people than there would be for the public days during the weekend. I headed straight for my main objective: the Prototype booth, at booth number 7-C06.
I was immediately greeted by large LED panels featuring characters from the games they were advertising today. Naturally, I snagged pictures of the Key characters. Behind these stands were the actual games, being displayed for everyone at the event to try out.
Off on the side, they had brochures for their games for everyone to check out. Most of them featuring Key’s works! And not just that, most of them were also in English!
The first brochure advertised Harmonia, which, thankfully, now has a release date. On the backside was the rest of Key’s repertoire on Steam. Glad to see so much of them now, and slowly waiting to see more in the future!
Next was a brochure advertising their games, now distributed in PS Store regions in Asia! If you live in the countries mentioned, you no longer have to import these games from Japan, which is pretty convenient. However, the games themselves are still in Japanese.
Now then, off to the game booths!
The first thing I checked out was my personally most-awaited one, the CLANNAD English version on PS Vita! I asked some of the staff to help me out with the games system, and also asked a whole bunch of questions about the system. Thankfully, one of the promotion staff of Prototype, Haruka Kawamoto, was willing enough to help me!
The first thing I asked them was if this English version is the same as their Japanese release of CLANNAD on Vita. They confirmed that, yes, the Japanese and English versions use exactly the same system. They even showed me the cool intricacies of the system!
What blew me away was the ability to swipe the text box to forward or rewind the game. This wasn’t just the usual rewind you see in VNs, either! This reverts the entire game, not just the text. And the distance you slide also controls the speed of forwarding and rewinding. Pretty neat stuff! But that’s not the only cool thing!
If you swipe the screen, you can skip to the previous choice! We had this in CLANNAD on PC, too. But what we didn’t have was the power to skip to the next choice. The system is even smart enough to know if you have unread text before the next choice!
Or if you want to avoid that message, you can just adjust it in the settings! And boy are there a lot of settings.
Lots and lots of settings you can customize. Much more than the PC version, for sure! You can even customize what the buttons and gestures do, which really allows players to read CLANNAD in the most comfortable way for them.
Save/Load screen is pretty basic, though. If the wheel ain’t broke, don’t fix it, after all. After playing around with the game, the TGS preview ended after the 3rd in-day game, and we were returned to the title screen.
Now then, there were a bit of things I wanted to know about the release, which Ms. Kawamoto was kind enough to answer for me. Firstly, I noticed the Dangopedia feature was missing! I told her about it and showed pictures on Steam. She said that, since this was a preview special for TGS, they weren’t able to add in all the features in the final release just yet. She said that, while it hasn’t been officially decided, the Vita system can support the addition of the Dangopedia.
I also asked about their release plans. Of course, a final date has not been decided yet, but they have confirmed that they will make this game available in regions outside Japan. Will it be physically released? Or just on the PS Store? Well, that hasn’t been decided yet, and is ultimately up to VisualArt’s. Though for this kind of release, I’d expect a digital release to be more feasible, personally.
Now that I checked out everything I needed for CLANNAD, I went off to check out their new product: Rewrite for PS4.
They had Rewrite on sample with a PS4 controller on a pretty large screen! This version was full HD, with a resolution of 1920x1080, and it shows! All the sprites and backgrounds look absolutely amazing. This is even better than the PS3 version, which is 1280x720. By the way, this is Prototype’s first ever PS4 release, and might actually be the first commercial visual novel ported to PS4.
The system was fairly similar to that of CLANNAD on Vita, and their other ports. You can use the L and R buttons to forward and rewind, then you can use the left analog to skip to the previous or next choice. As you can see from the picture, they even implemented Mappie pretty well! You can control the map with the analog sticks and everything. They haven’t implemented it yet, but they also plan to utilize the touchpad of the PS4 controller to add in the rewind and forward feature via touch gestures.
Even Inoue is there! I also took this time to ask a few questions about the release. So, while this version is still called Rewrite, it takes all of the changes from Rewrite+: the new dialogue, new CGs, and so on. However it does not include Harvest Festa. So, sorry fans, looks like Harvest Festa will remain the only Key game to be PC-only. The release date of this port is scheduled to be sometime in Spring 2017.
After that, I went to check out their other Key game, on display, AIR.
This one already released a few weeks ago, but it was nice to see AIR in such high quality sprites. This seemed to be the full game, though! If I had the time, I might have even tried to rush to the ending, heh.
Before leaving, though, I made sure to get the special benefit for visiting the booth: clear files! They gave 5 clear files, though all of them at random. ISLAND, Flowers, Hatsuru Koto Naki Mirai Yori, AIR, and Rewrite. Fortunately, I was able to get myself a Rewrite clear file! Too bad though, I really wanted that AIR one.
And that’s all for our coverage of Tokyo Game Show! Yeah, unfortunately, everything Key-related was happening at the Prototype booth. But, hey, if you have the chance, do be sure to check out the Prototype booth and show your support! And enjoy trying out CLANNAD English on Vita before everyone else.