Bandai Namco’s Gamescom Showcase Hands-On

By: Dan Oravasaari
 

In a private event, Terminal Gamer got a hands-on showcase of a number of Bandai Namco’s upcoming releases. While some releases left us wanting to never leave, some left us looking forward to the future, while others failed to impress and one of them failed to run correctly.

To find out which ones we are looking forward to, make sure to read on below:

*Remember, all opinions are based off of products not yet released, and many things can and probably will be changed prior to release.

Ni No Kuni 2: REVENANT KINGDOM (PS4/PC)

Having played quite a bit of the first Ni No Kuni game on the PS3, I was quite taken aback by how drastically different of a game Revenant Kingdom is. Set in an hundreds of years after Wrath of the White Witch, Revenant Kingdom stars Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, a child king who must reclaim his throne using magic and assistance from elemental creatures and allies he makes along the way.

Unlike the original Ni No Kuni, Revenant Kingdom plays and feels more like an action RPG similar to Zelda with gameplay elements similar to Total War, but with a youthful anime twist. Normal combat requires the player to hack and slash foes, while balancing out magic and allies, while another mode put you in on the battlefield, controlling a squad of melee soldiers and a squad of ranged soldiers, who you could actively rotate around your character. This concept allowed dynamic squad based combat in a simple format that didn’t bog gameplay elements down in convoluted control mechanics.

Overall, while it is still weird how different Ni No Kuni 2 feels compared to its first outing, I think Revenant Kingdom is doing a wonderful job marrying the magical visuals that it was known for with more lively and accessible gameplay. Which makes me interested to see how this game evolves as it prepares for launch early next year.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (Switch)

While there isn’t much to say about Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 that most players don’t already know, as the game has been out for some time on other consoles, this is the first time we got to see the game being played on Nintendo’s new console, the Switch.

Depending on which mode players will be looking to try out Xenoverse 2, will greatly determine how much they might be getting out of it. In single player more, with the Joy-Con controllers attached to the Switch, Xenoverse 2 was a fantastic experience that felt wonderful to play and interact with. The controls were just as tight as they are on other consoles. Sadly, when splitting the Joy-Con’s into versus mode, where each player is using one in landscape, things do start to become more difficult. Due to the loss of a second analog, as well as the full sized shoulder buttons, trying to perform fast paced combat simply doesn’t feel right.

While the controls did seem to suffer when having to divide up the Switches controllers, Xenoverse 2 is very much what we have come to expect. Fans of the franchise may want to check out reviews when the game comes closer to launch, but I have a feeling they may have found the perfect way to play on the go.

Dragon Ball FighterZ (PS4/XBO/PC)

Welcome to the one game from this presentation that I simply haven’t stopped talking about since I got to get my hands on. Dragon Ball FighterZ (not Fighter_Z) is easily my favorite Dragon Ball games in the last decade, and this was based off of a short hands-on. Playing more like a Guilty Gear game than what we have come to see from Xenoverse, makes sense, as it is in development from the Arc Systems, the team behind the Guilty Gear franchise.

Combat is not only gorgeous; it flows very well and has the potential to actually be a deep 2D fighter that could take center stage for the IP. The mode we played had 3v3 combat, which let characters swap in and out, while being able to perform super moves, combos and everything 2D fighters have come to expect. Combat was solid, but the visuals held strong and even as an early build of the game, FighterZ is shaping up better than I could have expected.  

Sadly, there wasn’t much information about a story mode, or mechanics, but that could have been because I just never wanted to put down the controller. This really is going to be one of my most anticipated releases of 2018.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PS4/XBO/PC)

When it comes to arcade action flight games, Ace Combat has always been the perfect blend between arcade fun and realistic simulation. As the first of the series to be developed for the current generation of consoles, Skies Unknown looks fantastic and feels just as nice. Small touches in the controls gave the game a great sensation of flight and turbulence. The most interesting one that we saw was the addition of icing on the wings as you tried to fly through clouds, preventing players from hiding inside cover with impunity.

Sadly, there was not a VR demo of Skies Unknown at the demonstration we were at, but given how immersive it was on a television, I can only expect great things from a full setup. Sadly, while we will have to wait till 2018 to get a full hands-on, Skies Unknown does show us that there is still a lot to offer from this IP.

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet (PS4/XBO)

Acting as one of the biggest surprises from the show, Fatal Bullet was shown off behind closed doors before its official announcement. While I was excited to see a new installment for the series, as I have seen part of the anime, Fatal Bullet does appear to take place after Hollow Realization and continue the story of Hollow Realization ( a game I have not played). So, I couldn’t help but feel a bit at a loss when checking the game out.

The controls felt alright for a third person shooter, but ultimately it was difficult to truly get into the experience as the demo only took place inside a warehouse. Fans of the series will probably want to stay tuned as the game comes closer to release early next year.

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time (PS4/PC)

An anime that has recently been getting some popularity due to Netflix, now has a game based off of it. Little Witch Academia is a side-scrolling 2D hack-and-slash that plays similar to Golden Axe or Dragon’s Crown. While it did have wonderful animations and looked like simple fun, the demo ran into some performance issues. Besides the frame rate drops , the biggest issue was one where I simply could not proceed past a certain point unless I restarted.

So, fans of the anime may want to keep an eye on this game, as it does look like it has potential. But as it is still early in development, it is hard to say how the final product will come out. Bugs happen.

Project Cars 2 (PS4/XBO/PC)

Having been a racing fan for years, and being an owner of a G28 racing wheel, I could not help but smile the second I saw Project Cars 2 on display with a steering wheel attached to it. From the short hands on with three different tracks and three different cars, it was easy to see that not only did PC2 look fantastic, it has seemingly evolved its ability to individualize each vehicle. While Project Cars 2 is a relative newcomer when it comes to the branded racing franchises, it is one that simulation fans are going to be wanting to keep an eye out for.

For more information on all of these great titles and more make sure to stay tuned to Terminal Gamer.